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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,810 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,810
Reviews: 1,859
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 382 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,810 | Reviews: 1,859 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nrbw23
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper color with a cream colored head that leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Pretty weak here some caramel malts and tiny bit of floral hops but I really had to search.

T- Taste is pretty unique. The beer has much of the flavour of a lager, but the complexity of an ale.

M- Light to medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, but a little watery

D- Interesting beer and a nice change up.

nrbw23, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of Jyubei
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Amber red with a 1 1/2 finger head, tan in color.

S. Light fruit bouquet the a strong aroma of hops and malt.

T. Strong bread smell. A heavy meal bread at that. Also, slight grapefruit at the back of the throat. The after taste leads to a definite grapefruit and hops.

M. Slight syrup with the feel of pudding in accompaniment.

D. Very enjoyable. I will definitely be getting this one again.

Jyubei, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of changeup45
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from the bottle and now sampled on draft 5/9/08. Good beer, I like it better now than I did when I first sampled it. Amber colored with a nice khaki head which leaves some nice lacing. Some sweet caramel malts in the aroma with some fruity spice. The flavor starts off with carmel malts but it is also nicely hopped making it pretty well balanced. I'd get it again.

changeup45, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of ectomorph
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, no best by date.

A - Clear copper with a thick of white head that is just staring at me...

S - I noticed the malts 1st, almost caramel. Hops biterness barely noticed at the end. Sweet overall on the 2nd whiff.

T - This is the 1st of this style for me. I taste a honey and sweet darkness. I'm not used to hops on the end only. I like the separation here.

M - The head is still there and the body of this brew is balanced and easy.

D - I could pair this with any BBQ and great summertime sessions. The diamond of this mixed 6...

ectomorph, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep copper with a dense frothy head that left decent lacing.

Good malt aroma with some brown sugar characteristics.

Tastes of toasted grain, a little citrus rind, and very firm hop bitterness.

A very very drinkable beer. A fantastic standard and no-fail fallback. It is actually hard not to grab a 6 of these.

OtherShoe2, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of adamette
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 ounce brown bottle into clear glass.

A clean amber, brown body actually very much like the color of the bottle. one finger head dissipated in about 60 seconds.

S minimal barley, not much hops smell.

T Barley taste with little hops persists to the taste. I can already tell that this is very drinkable. Taste is really of and pertaining to Barley. I feel like I am drinking liquid barley.

M Good, smooth, moderate mouthfeel.

D Excellent, as predicted above.

Notes: My impression is that if you stumbled upon this in San Fran (on tap) that it would be a great find (along with the ambience and what not). A good drinking beer and a great alternative to mass market beers for sure.

adamette, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of jake87
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L. Amber redin color with a two finger off-white head and moderate lacing
S. very faint, but mild sweetness with hops
T. starts off with a hoppy bitterness followed by light maltiness and fruitiness
F. Good carbonation and moderate body followed by a near sticky feel

A very nice beer, I wish I hadn't had those others before it though

jake87, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I haven't tried this one yet. Finally picked up a single today. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a very nice looking clear amber color with very lively sparkling carbonation that produces a big three finger off-white head brimming over the top of the pint glass. Leaves a fair amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is almost non-existent, very faint hints of caramel malts and herbal/earthy hops.

Taste is full of toasty flavors with some caramel malt. Earthy hops come out strongly on the finish with a good amount of bitterness and almost have a very slight minty flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-light and insanely smooth, I love the hyrbid ale/lager thing.

I had no idea what to expect from this beer but it's really quite good. It might be the color, but for some reason this beer reminds me of autumn. I could see this being very sessionable this coming season.

roadhouse, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of denflyr
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit a sin...

As much as I like craft beer, I have never had this beer up till this point. I wish I had had it earlier!!!

Overall a very drinkable beer.

Poured out an amber color in a pilsner glass. Not much of a head or lacing.

Nice flavors and a good mouthfeel. Not much of a hop character. A solid malt backbone, but not in a sweet way.

Reminded me a Alaskan Amber which is one of my favorites. So I will be getting more Anchor Steam. A solid beer that is a great drink on a hot Houston afternoon!

denflyr, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and solidly amber. Moderate chaulky white head with good lasting power.

Good caramel notes in the nose. Light background hoppy aromas.

Much more bitter than the aroma suggests. It's not an IPA but the hop bite is quick to show and long to fade, even after the swallow. Still, I'd describe this as a well-balanced beer with lots of astringent malt background. Good body and slightly high carbonation.

If I were blindfolded, I'd presume this to be a typical APA. I imagine the uninitiated wouldn't realize that they were drinking the most original of American beers--the first of our own.

smcolw, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of youngleo
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to a good head that lasted a while. Head was slightly off white. Also had some lacing. Poured gold in color. Smelled very light. Maybe a little malt. Tasted very light also. Some citrus and hops. Then again very light tasting. Had a slightly bitter aftertaste. Felt good in the mouth. I thought maybe a little too much carbonation. I will buy these again on occasion. I just wouldnt want to make this a session beer.

youngleo, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first steam brew ever. It had a pleasing dark golden hue to it. The taste was clearly lagerish as it should be, but without a doubt had a leg up on your standard lager. It had a healthy kick of hops and finished rather clean. Not a bad beer.

HoppyMcStout, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

How have I not reviewed this before- a tremendous standy beer. One that led me to the craft brew scene on tap in SF many years back.

A: Darck gold with active carbonation and a fluffy white head.

N: Loads of dough, caramel and cheerios.

T: A nice spice up front with the sweet sugary caramel quickly following. You catch the hop presence that rounds this out to near perfection. Crap, this is good. Nice pine flavor.

M: Full and chewy, bready and the spices are constant.

D: Ultimate drinkability- not like the BMC commercials claim. This is a beautifully crafted beer and perfect for summer and a long session.

An absolute fridge staple.

marcpal, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear and bright gold color, with a nice white head.

Aromas are doughy, spicy, and of cereal like grains.

Taste is spicy, yeasty, and of bread dough. There are flavors of creamy, sweet malts, and some brewed tea. Finish is crisp and a bit dry, with a slight pine like hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, very well carbonated too.

Drinkability is very good. Anchor Steam is a classic tasty and very sessionable beer. Everytime I get some, I wonder why I don't grab this beer more often. Very good stuff.

flexabull, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't know what to expect when I bought this therefore I had no expectations. Pours a nice orange/amber with a creamy head that sticks around for the duration. Minimal lacing clings to the glass and a slow but steady stream of carbonation is present. This beer is extremely aromatic primarily consisting of sweet malts. The aroma is absolutely wonderful. The taste is very malty, sweet, and even a bit hoppy. There is a good balance present in this beer and makes for an enjoyable experience. The more I try this the more I like it. Creamy and full on the palate with a smooth finish. Overall this is a great beer that I could easily enjoy in any setting.

kinger, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of JRed
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam beer is an amber, mahogany syrup in a glass. The smell isn't that strong but satisfying. The taste is one of malty, grain, and vegetables. But kids don't beware, it still tastes great. Carbonation attacks the tongue but the aftertaste is where the goodness lies and where you can tell much about a beer. This brew has a deep, mahogany taste that can satisfy the drinker that is looking for an "in between" lager and porter beer. This beer is a great Fall season beer that equips you for making the transition between light, sweet brews and bitter, heavy ones.

JRed, Jul 30, 2008
Photo of jordoo
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poored into a pint glass.

Its an amber/orange color with a very nice looking 3 fingered electric white head. Left minimul lacing. Smell light, some citrus zest and carmel hint sto go with a little spicey hop and bready malt. Taste has a nice bitterness and decent malt backdrop. The mouth feel could be a little heavier for me its med/light. Very drinkable and overall refreshing beer. Its easy to see why its been around for so long.

jordoo, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the bottle an amber-copper color with a big off-white head head. A pleasant aroma consisting of fruity, caramel, malt character with a slight whiff of hops. The bitterness of the attacks the palate quickly but then retreats allowing the malt to come through with caramel, fruit and a bit of sugar. The beer leaves the palate dry with lingering bitterness. This is a good classic beer. Definitely worth a try.

BeardedBoffin, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a translucent amber-red with a thin off-white head. Smells malty, with nuttiness, fruitiness, and caramel. Tastes sweet and fruity, with caramel, biscuit, nut. Somewhat aqueous with effervescent carbonation making this one a super-drinkable refreshing beer. A classic for sure and for good reason. Unfortunately, at the current price on the other side of the country from the brewery, this will only be an occasional treat.

MrHurmateeowish, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of yemenmocha
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Translucent amber with generous white head. Nose is hop citrus (lemon), and very metallic. Overall, a malt focus on the palate, with caramel, very smooth body, and the hops have a dry, grass/earth character that is what reminds me of this beer every time. Finish is dry, crisp, refreshing. Drinkability is over the top!

yemenmocha, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of Atlas1
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first steam beer review. But by no means my first steam beer.

Poured into my DFH barrel pint glass, the Anchor Steam is a nice enough looking bronze/amber color, with a healthy head on top with good staying power. Little to no lace as the beer recedes. The nose is muted for the most part, but I do detect some earthen dirt scents. They fuse with floral notes and some grassy scents as well. Taste is good. Carbonated fiz with a light caramel flavoring. Earthen, like the aroma, but fruitier. Noticeably faint hop content. Mouthfeel is bubbly, but appropriately lager-ish. Does that last sentence even make sense?

A solid beer, the Anchor Steam. I've always been a fan. It's not fancy, and doesn't hit you over the head or anything, but it's a consistently fine beer. I'd say this sets the bar for steam beer, but it's the only one of the style I've ever had. Still, it's a fine example of an under-used brew, in my opinion. A great session beer too, at 4.9% ABV.

Atlas1, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of wl0307
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB July 2009, served lightly chilled in a pilsner glass.

A: pours an ultra-elegant bright blood-orangey tawny hue, on top of a fast dissipating white foam and lively (but not fierce) carbonation.
S: very malty and caramely upfront, with a sticky and raw-ish edge of plum jam as well as sugar-cane-like aroma. Not complex, a bit sweet on the balance.
T: the bitter-sweet caramalts and burned sugar-cane upfront are underlined by a touch of coconut-shaving, light prune-ish fruits and sweet herbs, leading fast towards an intensifying bitter aftertaste full of tea-leafy hops and chewy, powdery bitter elements. The finish is IMO the best moment of the tasting, that it's chewy, bitter, and yet free from any residual sugary mouthfeel.
M&D: compared with the draught version, the bottled one fares slightly lower due to the slightly more coarse fizziness and also a thinner body, but the trademark flavour profile stays intact. A bitter-sweet session beer designed to quaff!

wl0307, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of laituegonflable
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly orange golden hue with a thin beige head that retains its shape well. Fast carbonation. Like, it's FAST. Decent, but not mind-blowing.

Interesting nose. I can't quite put my finger on it. There's a sweetness, kind of a sweet pastry smell to it. It's subtle and underplayed and yet full-bodied. There's quite a pleasant, almost buttery character on the nose. Almost some kind of deep plummy jam as well? Wow, it's certainly unique.

That sweetness continues on the palate and has a back palate similar to a mild English ale but it's sweet and almost like a waffle or something. Maybe it's because I'd always imagined a steam beer would taste like a waffle for some reason. The palate kind of folds over and well, I don't know. It's unique. Lots to like though, and yeah, I quite enjoy drinking this. Pleasant and unique. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

laituegonflable, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Kyle987
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic golden brown/amber color, and a good head that stuck around. Slightly hoppy, maybe with a hint of toast or nut. Also a pleasant dry bite with very slight bitterness. Aroma is very fresh and pleasant, reminds me a little of an ESB. Mouthfeel is slightly dry and full, but not heavy.

Kyle987, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this back from the States for me.

Nice dark orange, tending-to-amber body with a tightly packed head of off-white foam. Lots of streaming carbonation. Excellent lacing. Nice looking beer.

Odd toffee characters on the nose, hints of grain bread and molasses. Even an odd tang reminiscent of sea-water. Or am I imagining that from the Anchor imagery?

On the palate, it's quite unlike anything I've tried. The taste profile's just warped. Light, frothy kind of bitterness first up, then a subtle, smooth, vaguely sweet honey character, and finally, a grassy fresh fragrant flavour. Finish is quite dry and with a residual pleasant bitterness. Really even a vague seafood character lurking at the back, which I swear I'm not making up, like fresh mussels or pipis. It's quite unlike anything I've had before, but it's the sort of beer I can imagine starting to crave after a while, just because it's so unique.

Really pleasant, very drinkable beer. It's the sort of beer that makes its way by pure quality, not by being something extreme. Next time I myself am in San Francisco I'll be picking up a couple more of these for sure...

lacqueredmouse, Jul 20, 2008
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,810 ratings.