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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

4,995 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,995
Reviews: 1,871
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 140
Gots: 459 | 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: 4,995 | Reviews: 1,871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orangish amber body with tight, foamy-creamy (because it's kinda both), off-white head. Good retention. Carbonation looks pretty lively. Lookin forward to this one.

Smell: Mint, leafy hops, sweet wood (hickory?), and spice. Sweet malts throughout, but some nice, spicy, leafy hops level things out.

Taste: This is a new found love for me. I've had Anchor Steam many times in the past and never remeber it being this good. The same aromas detected in the nose come to life in the taste; mint leaves, grain, and spicy hops steal the show. Citrus can also be found, expecially toward the end. Delicious, balanced, and totally unique. This is a must try.

Mouthfeel: Genrously carbonated (as are most of Anchor's beers), very creamy, and uber smooth. A sturdy malt backbonve gives the imbiber something to chew on. Finishes crisp with some light bitterness.

Drinkability: I'll be buying this again, and again, and again. I feel like this deserves an even better grade than A, but I'll change it in the future if need be. This is a classic and a must try.

ThreeWiseMen, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass

This beer was also an upset. I have never had a steam beer before, so perhaps i am missing the point of the style. Pours a lighter amber color with a terrible head that quickly disappeared and left no signs for its existance. The aroma was very basic with no specific smells. The taste was similar. There were no distinct flavors, mild hoppiness and malt. Felt light but had no redeeming features. I didn't want to finish the beer, but i did in hopes it would get better toward the end... it didn't

Anthony1, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of mnrider
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Pint glass, freshness date on back label.

A: Nice medium amber color, Two finger fluffy white head. Head does not last long but sticks to glass.

S: Basic Aroma, hopy. I want to drink this brew.

T/M: Can't explain but excellent. Very Rich. A lot of taste going on. Easy and smooth with good after taste. Slight bitterness.

D: This is a classic brew from Cali and it never fails. Good for any occasion and season. so good.

Cheers!!!

mnrider, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness dating poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a very clear amber colored body with a large fluffy looking white head. the head lasts for a long time and leaves spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- somewhat sweet biscuit like malts upfront. then comes a small amount of noble hops.

T- again with the biscuit like malts. somewhat sweet. theres a small bite from the hops at the end. i dont know, but if i had to guess, i would say they were german.

M- light to medium bodied with lots of carbonation. crisp, clean, and refreshing.

D- easy to finish and quite sessionable. something i always overlook, but then when i buy it im never disappointed.

jwinship83, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a light copper color with a thick beige head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S- Some pine hops and caramel malt in the nose.

T- Echoing the nose with a light hoppy bitterness and easy sweet malt finish. Balanced and soft with just enough flavor.

M- Light and crisp with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Easy drinking with a nice balanced flavor.

projectflam86, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam is a crystal clear amber beer with a nice, dense, splotchy, off-white head that has great retention and leaves great lacing on the glass. It has a malty, grainy aroma with spicy, fruity, wooden hops in the nose. As it warms, the fruity, estery tones come out more. It's not quite banana-- more like apple. It has a smooth medium body with a crisp finish. It's not sweet or dry. It tastes a little spicy, with notes of bread, grass, clove and lemon rind. It's perfectly balanced. The bitterness is just enough to keep me thirsty for more. This is pretty much a perfect session ale.

yesyouam, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear gold with solid stiff white head that leaves good lacing.

Aromas are malty with a touch of hops. The flavor starts out with a bit more hop character in the finish than I first got in the nose. A clean lager character with enough hops to make it interesting. The malt character is toasty with a fruity character.
A moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation makes for great drinkability. A quaffer.

rtratzlaff, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of hockeyhead
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally on sale 6.99 a six pack
A:pours with a clear orange copper color with a fiant white fluffy head
S: smells like sweet malt with a faint hoppy lemony aroma
T: hits first with a lemony drying bitter hoppyness and finishes leaving your mouth tasting like toasted malts and biscut undertones
M: carbinated and medium body but very good balanced well nice
D: i would drink this any time any where

hockeyhead, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of JoshuaJ
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper with a creamy, off-white head. Head quickly dissipates, and there is virtually no lacing.

Smells like clean, carmelly malts. Herbal hops. Maybe picking up a bit of raisin.

Tastes nothing like it smells. Lemony hops hit you up front, grains take you to the finish. Very crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is high. Not a complex beer, but not every beer needs to be.

Overall drinkibility is good. It goes down easy, and I'd say it's a medium bodied brew, so it's not very heavy. A great session beer.

JoshuaJ, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of jkrich
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. squatty bottle with coded date on back of label.

Poured a beautiful, clear, deep gold to amber with orange gold highlights. a fluffy off-white head slowly dissipated leaving minimal lacing.

Subdued hop aroma and rich malt aroma

Truly a remarkably balanced beer with malt being the dominant flavor, yet with a refreshing crispness from the hops. Very clean tasting and smooth with a slight caramel taste.

Light to medium bodied with crisp and smooth mouthfeel.

I recall when I first tasted this beer over ten years ago, I thought it was thick and heavy. No doubt, I was not a very knowledgeable or experienced beer drinker at that time. This is one of the most satisfying beers for any season or occasion.

jkrich, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of tigerdoc
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours what I would consider to be the definition of copper colored. Off white rocky head that remaines sticky but does dissapate after a few sips. Aroma is quite unique several things going on citrus and earthy notes from the hops, caramel and some grainy notes, the yeast gives interesting esters as well as a sulfer character. The initial sip is impacted by a sharp crisp bitterness and carbonation that relinquishes to more caramel and ceral flavors from the malt. To me the malt, hops, and esters from the yeast are in very nice balance. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp a very sessionable beer.

tigerdoc, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This may be the best beer to have on a warm summer day. In a perfect world, this would be the "Budweiser" of the United States--just a great beer that is easy to like but doesnt' skimp on taste. It pours a medium brown with a slight tan, fizzy head; fair amount of lacing on the glass; crisp bubbles float to the surface at a rapid pace. The smell is exceptionally clean with big hints of malt, barley, and hops. The taste is the perfect amount of carbonation coupled with an ever so slightly bitter hoppiness & a nice, dry finish. For it's slight bitterness, this is very smooth however and very easy to drink. Great session beer. Pick this beer up!

oldirtycaffrey, May 31, 2009
Photo of HalenRush
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A
S
T
M
D
...whatever. What you need to know is this: A beautiful golden beer and a nice foamy head that laces the glass throughout. A moderate dose of Norther Brewer hops makes this an unassuming quencher. You are not going to smell anything extraordinary except a clean proprietary yeast doing its job well. Well made and highly quaffable.

HalenRush, May 30, 2009
Photo of marc956
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good flavour (though an acquired taste, as it is quite unique) that can accompany all kinds of food from pasta to pizza, best served cold. Not easy to find however and a rather upscale beer by domestic standards. (Expect to spend around $10 for a 6pack)

marc956, May 29, 2009
Photo of originalsin
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There's a reason this beers held in such high regard- its an incredibly session-worthy and fulfilling lager. And boy do I love Anchor Steams original bottles. Maybe there's some history there that I'm unaware of...

Anyway, the pour is this one is a light copper color with amble head. It smells and tastes very balanced with biscuit and grainy malts mingling with some floral hops and unmistakeable notes of barley.
Truly a classic

originalsin, May 24, 2009
Photo of njthebestofme
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

njthebestofme, May 21, 2009
Photo of berkey
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean amber body with a slight haze. Forms a fairly large off-white head with great retention. Highly active carbonation with very good lacing.

Nose starts off with cracker-like malt aromas along with what smell like German Pils hops and traces of lager yeast.

Taste brings on some more biscuit and cracker malts along with some mellow caramel flavors. Good amount of bitter hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant and creamy and the carbonation is balanced but still very active even very late in the tasting. Drinkability is off the charts, an excellent sessionable lager.

Overall a true classic. I enjoyed this beer when I was younger and although I took a break from it during a hophead stretch and a Belgian fixation it's been back in regular rotation in recent years.

berkey, May 17, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle with a batch # on the back poured into a Nonic.

A - Clear, well carbonated orange amber color with a huge, bone-colored head that was dense and lumpy. Good retention.

S - Malty sweet with a caramel aroma backbone and a very light hop aroma. Floral with just a touch of bitterness.

T - The sweet caramel malt backbone comes through in the flavor too with an overtone of slightly bitter and floral hops.

M - Smooth and creamy with a bit of a bitter dry hop finish that mellows out well.

D - Very nice drikability with a fantastic malty, hoppy balance that goes down very nicely.

BeerFMAndy, May 16, 2009
Photo of Sutardja
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am currently drinking this beer from a glass while studying for my final exam in advanced analog circuits in a few days. One thing that I can say about this beer is that it is very balanced. The sweet malt and floral hop flavors complement each other very well. The smoothness of the beer is unparalleled among those I have tried. Considering that I am hard pressed to find any harsh or unpleasing flavors in the beer, I could drink this all night.

The only flaw with this beer is that it lacks any big flavors that immediately jump out. But I guess extreme drinkability is a double edged sword, and it is definitely a price worth paying for this extremely session-worthy beer.

Sutardja, May 15, 2009
Photo of aforbes10
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from the Davis Co-Op. Revisiting an old favorite here. Pours a nice even brown with excellent clarity and a nice, well retained white head. Smells of biscuity malt, with some sweetness and a hint of floral hops. Flavor is a nice featured malt body, with lots of nice smooth biscuity flavor, some light toasted french bread, and graham cracker. Finish transitions to more of the same, but drier with more of a bitter kick, which is nice and keeps things interesting. Medium bodied, and supremely easy to drink. One of the best session beers, and has been for a long, long time.

aforbes10, May 11, 2009
Photo of Teeter
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12.oz into tulip glass.

A-Pours copper in color with a thick ivory head (about an inch and a half thich). Nice head retention and great clarity. I can't believe the texture for this clear of a beer, not at all what I expected.

S-malty, grainy, earthy, bready yet clean if that makes sense.

T-acidy and bitter with a little sweetness in the after taste.Floral hops and once again bready and earthy.

M-carbonation and a little tangy.

D-if it is given to me I would drink it, but won't be looking for it again myself. I guess I would put this in the take it or leave it pile.

Teeter, May 10, 2009
Photo of fullsweep
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz./355 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Very thick head, upon a very slow pour. Beer is a deep amber/copper color, while the head follows suit but much lighter with a copper-tinged beige. Mouth-watering.

Smells rich and earthy.

Earthy taste with some bitterness, followed by a light honey (or perhaps caramel) sweetness. The bitterness dominates, but in a rich, earthy way.

Mouthfeel is also rich and syrupy, good carbonation but no bite per se.

High drinkability!

fullsweep, May 10, 2009
Photo of diabecktic
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
A lovely pour. Thick, creamy head (~2 fingers) forms slowly and stays in place - lacing is excellent. The beer is a very light shade of amber and orange; there is plenty of visible, rising carbonation.

Smell:
The aroma is composed mainly of hop and grain tones, but there is a subtle underlying sweetness. I can't quite describe it accurately, but it seems to be something of a mix between caramel and citrus tones with a hint of bubblegum. It's a very sharp scent.

Taste:
The first thing I noticed was the extreme bitterness. Hop and grain character are immense in the first portion of the tasting; the caramel tone acts as a bridge to the citrusy aftertaste. I would say that the taste matches the nose fairly well. As the beer warms, the balance between hoppiness and maltiness becomes a bit more distinct. When cooler, the malt tends to be masked.

Mouthfeel:
I would rate the body as medium. It's a little heavier than I would have thought, but it's just right. For all of its bitterness, it's really not too sharp on the palate.

Drinkability:
This is a very "lively" beer, but it's pretty smooth overall. I think this would make an excellent session beer. It tastes great and goes down well regardless of how it's served. Just don't drink it too quickly because you will miss out on an other-wordly experience.

Summary:
I'm suprised that this wasn't my first choice when I first looked to try an Anchor beer (I had the Liberty Ale in Denver last summer). This is truly a unique beer in nearly every facet subjected to this review. The balance and quality of flavor are unlike many other beers that I have sampled and it's easy to drink; this beer is put together very well. If you haven't tried this before, please do yourself a favor and get a 6-pack as soon as you can.

diabecktic, May 10, 2009
Photo of MLasoski
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was the newest beer on tap at my local bar (Senunas') and I figured I'd give it a shot. I was pretty impressed with it. It poured a medium-dark brown color and it tastes a few steps above Yuengling. I tasted a mild fruitiness in the after taste, which makes it a unique lager to me. I wanted to go back for more, but the bar was too crowded. It is a light lager which makes it easier to enjoy. I'm not too familiar with the Anchor Brewing Company, but I'll keep my eye out for their other brews.

MLasoski, May 07, 2009
Photo of mullenite
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In to a Sam Smith imperial pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear amber in color with a tall (3+finger) bubbly and slightly off-white head that goes down a little bit quickly and doesn't leave too much in the way of lacing down the glass. The head settles to leave somewhat of a cap on the top. There is some visible carbonation coming up from the bottom but not a whole lot.

A slight pine hop to the nose backed up by some sugary sweetness (molasses, honey, flowers).

Taste has a bready maltiness to it followed by just the slightest bit of bitterness from the hops and leaving a dry finish. None of the sweetness from the nose really makes it through save for a little bit on tip of the tongue after the biscuit flavor subsides.

This beer is on the lighter side of having a medium body, the carbonation is a little zingy but overall compliments the weight well.

A good sessionable beer with it's low alcohol and lighter taste. Very enjoyable and highly drinkable.

mullenite, May 07, 2009
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,995 ratings.