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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,200 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,200
Reviews: 1,918
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 160
Gots: 644 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,200 | Reviews: 1,918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zodijackyl
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber color, clean pour with a very smooth head which doesn't stick around. Smell is biscuity caramel malt with a bit of hops. Taste is complex, bitter and mildly citrus hops blended well with an unrefined/raw grain taste. Creamy taste and feel, very smooth despite the strong flavors of both hops and malt. Long-lasting taste, with a creamy grain taste lasting, while the hops and stronger grain taste come first. Very drinkable, but also very complex to focus on the beer itself, I am able to sit through a pint sipping it and thinking about each sip and the finish.

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear amber with a moderate head that quickly dies down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Pale and caramel malts are evident in the nose, along with some hints of hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a mild sweetness associated with it. There's only a small bit of bitterness from the hops. Overall, the taste is very well balanced.
M: It feels medium bodied, crisp and smooth but also a bit thin on the palate.
D: It's very easy to drink and makes for a good session beer.

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had to review this one while in San Fran...

Poured from the bottle a nice translucent, effervescent amber with whisky head that dissipates

smell is a roasted biscuity malt with mild hop, very feint but a solid scent.

Taste is big malt front with crisp mild hop finish, just a solid well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, flavors cling to all sides of the tongue.

Extremely drinkable, had a few more on the same night of review.

Photo of kwjd
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber colour with a nice white head and lacing. I smell light hops and biscuit malt. The taste has a nice bitterness to it. I get some citrus hops with almost a bread flavour from the malt. Very smooth mouthfeel. I could drink many of these in a row. I don't often drink this, but when I do I always enjoy it.

Photo of DoktorZee
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355ML bottle into a large pint glass. Best before date on the bottle listed as July 2011 (a long, long time away).

A - pours a light copper, with very slight cloudiness. The small head goes away quickly and cleanly. Not a lot of obvious carbonation.

S - really hard to pick anything significant out - a slight hint of toasty malt lingers in the background, but nothing else I can detect.

T - not a lot up front, but then a slight hoppiness followed by a distinct bitterness. A very slight hint of iron at the end.

M - nice mouthfeel, a light shot of carbonation off the start smoothing out to accentuate the bitterness.

D - quite drinkable - many of these could go down in an evening.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of bourbonbock
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of this into a pilsner glass.

A. Light clear brass color with white foamy head with very good staying power. Excellent amount of carbonation rolls up the side of the glass. Very interesting beer to look at.

S. Smells of malt and some fruity overtones.

T. Very interesting flavor profile. Begins with a malty and sweet flavor and ends with a tad bit of bittersweetness coating the palate.

M. Light and bubbly but very refreshing. This would be a delicious beer right out of a cooler at a softball game or at the park.

D. Great drinkability. I would have no problem drinking the whole 6-pack tonight as I find this beer to be very delicious and very refreshing.

Photo of uconnroller
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with a thin semi-foamy transient lace head.

S: Lots of malty aromas mixed with hints slight hints of caramel.

T: Tastes the way it smells, it has a lots of sweet malts, hints of caramel and grains.

M: Light bodied, and easy to drink.

D: Very drinkable, easy to finish off a six-pack in one night.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Clear light amber color with a small off-white head. This beer has great lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malts and slightly bitter hops. A delicious overall "beer" smell.

T - Biscuit-like with slightly bitter hop finish. Kind of like a salty cracker with some citrus rind essence. Very, very good.

M - Creamy head with a crisp body. Great carbonation makes this a very easy drinking beer.

D - Very, very drinkable. This is one of my go to beers for an all around great American craft brew. I think I might have a special place in my heart for Anchor Steam because it is brewed in SF (one of my favorite cities).

Photo of SteveS1
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle to a glass-

Look: Small head that quickly fizzle out, light amber coloring, clear

Smell: sweet, a hint of bubblegum

Taste: Sweet up front, then a dry malt, finishes with a dry grain flavor. Aftertaste is mild bitter grains.

Feel: Light, but not terribly so. Mild carbonation.

Drink: It has an interesting flavor, starts sweet and finishes dry. Nice to taste one, but you could easily have it for a session as well.

Photo of steveh
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another old stand by, a good choice from the early days of the craft beer revolution that I turn back to now and again.

A -- Clear, amber with a thick, off-white head that holds up very well and leaves some good lacing as it settles.

S -- Bitter hops up front with some biscuit to nutty malts fighting to balance. Vague citrus esters blending with both hops and malts for that warm-fermented character.

T -- The fruit esters hit first followed by a mix of the biscuit malts and citrus hop character. Finishes with the bitter hops at the back of the mouth and lingering breadiness on the tongue. Even some slight diacetyl with warmth.

M -- Medium body with a mouthfeel that starts soft and finishes crisp.

D -- There's a reason this beer has been around as long as it has, it has a great, complex character, but doesn't overwhelm with too much -- it goes down nicely and leaves you wanting to try more.

Photo of ryanonline
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color with a thin compact white head that does not stick around. Nice lacing.

Smells like a nice grapey, malty and slightly honey like beer. It actually smells like a cross between a lager and an ale...imagine that.

Taste is the same but very dry in the finish.

Thin and slightly creamy with some nice spritzy carbonation and dry on the tongue.

I could handle a few of these.

Nice and tasty, and a nice change from regular styles.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic glass. Light amber, with a 1/2 inch head that dissolves into a ring. A few flecks of lacing.

Nose is earthy malts, biscuit, honey and citrus.

Taste is crisp and slightly bitter, with citrussy hops to the finish. There's a salty character to it that I quite like.

Light, even carbonation that hits the back of the tongue.

Bold, but light enough that it can be drank in a session. It's hard for me to pin down this brew, but all I need to know is: it works.

Photo of Flashsp2
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam into chalice

Pours medium with a two finger light beige coarse head with decent
retention and a couple patches of lace.

Aroma is lemon, light caramel, pine.

Caramel, pine, lemon, herbs, pale malt.

Slick with a semi-coarse carbonation.

Nice drinking beer, but a bit sweet for me. Nice for sessions and BBQ.

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this several times, and have somehow managed not to review it. However, I have been thinking about using it when steaming some muscles (Anchor Steamed Muscles amuses me), so I figured it would probably be a good idea to sample the beer alone first.

Pours a copper color with a bit less than a finger of fluffy, off-white head. Head quickly evaporates to a thin covering, but leaves sporadic lacing. Visible carbonation for the duration of the glass.

Smell is minor. Some malts and grains?

Some sweetness. Not quite honey, not quite a fruity lemon, but somewhere between those two. Middle of the taste is somewhat bitter, but then goes back to sweetness briefly. Dry finish, with no real aftertaste.

An interesting beverage. I keep picking it up occasionally, so that says something, doesn't it? I can think of worse ways to spend an afternoon than knocking a few of these back. Will definitely be trying to do Anchor Steamed muscles with it.

Photo of eat
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the look of these bottles. I wish more breweries would take the time to come up with such a unique bottle design. Pours with a solid layer of off-white head sitting atop a transparent amber body. Some lacing. Good looking beer.

Light smell: wheat, doughy yeast, lightly-floral hops, light malt, touch of caramel. Nice but a little weak.

Wheat, cracker, light hops, not-too-sweet malt. Really simple and extremely balanced. Very wheaty aftertaste, along with some hop bitterness.

Nice medium body and carbonation. Pretty great feel for the style.

This is a hugely drinkable beer. Just fresh, clean and simple. Why don't more people drink beer like this instead of BMC/MolsonLabattSleeman? I can't see this beer scaring anyone away, no matter how accustomed to that other BS.

Photo of juju7
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decently made, fairly unremarkable beer. For all the fuss made about the way this beer is made, it doesn`t really deliver anything particularly special. Nice golden copper body with a soft head that fades quickly. Pleasant but maybe characterless nose of soft fruitiness. It`s significantly more bitter than I expected. A touch metallic in the finish. Not a bad beer but nothing to get excited about.

Photo of bobapfel
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a nice orange-ish copper color, no haze whatsover, nice, healthy offwhite head which recedes to a thin film in a few minutes.

Smell - Malty, fruity - maybe apricot?.. reminds me of tea or something, sort of an herbal smell. Smells healthy. Not my favorite.

Taste - Slightly toasted malt, with a nice hop bitterness. Tastes sorta like a toned down Irish Red, but with a nice freshly toasted barley taste. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Watery, but respectable.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, I could drink this for hours and stay satisfied, without filling up.

Photo of JamisonM
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: beer is a nice amber color and pours with a nice big head. the head sticks in quite a long time.

S: Carmel malt and you can get some grassy hops, smell is inviting

T: A nice fresh bite of hops followed up with the malt and a slight fruity note taste lingers a bit and is quite nice.

M: for me its slightly over carbonated but still not bad mouth it glides across your tongue and goes down easy

D: its quite drinkable since its a nice craft brew no flavors over power or anything like that so ya its drinkable

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into Pint Glass

Poured a hazy copper color, head quickly dissipated but left some sticky lacing along the glass

Smell was toasted malts, grain, slight hop background

Taste is dry, some fruity lemon is definitely present, bitter hops in the front, dry finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, not much linger

Drinkability is pretty damn good, could def enjoy this on a summer day. I'm glad I finally tried this micro classic.

Photo of taigor
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a regular pint glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with big head that quickly dissipated leaving decent lacing around the glass.

S - Malts upfront followed by hints of grass, caramel and fruits.

T - Slightly sweet to start followed by hops, slightly bitter to finish but just right.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Very delicious and enjoyable beer.

Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big off white head after an aggressive pour. Couldn't pour the entire bottle, had to wait for the head to settle before emptying the rest of the bottle. Deep amber in colour.

S - Malty aroma that is, at first, hard to detect. Beyond that some very light notes of honey, apple, and apricot.

T & M - This opens smooth and malty with a very slight hint of honey followed by a hoppy bitterness in the finish that lingers briefly. This is not a rich tasting beer but the flavor is not thin either. Medium bodied with a persistent carbonation that bristles against the tongue.

Photo of farrago
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finger plus of deep tan microfoam, dense even if not the best retention, thin but sticky streaks of lacing. Deep metallic copper color, slight haze only partially disturbs the transparency, lighter orange around the rims.Earthy, minerally nose with its own metallic veneer, apricots and oranges, smidge of caramel and honey glaze, hoppy florality, basically, though, the earthiness its best attribute. Medium-bodied with a big foamy attack that fills your mouth swiftly. This might serve the purpose of disguising some of the bitterness of the grassy hops and sour bread aspects. More minerally here than earthy, like quinine. Apricot, peach, apple fruit match up well with the bitter front, together with the lemon and orange citrus make it a balanced experience. Caramel salves the wounds at the end. These days it is getting tougher to give props to beers which don't strive for pyrotechnics, but this is a traditional winner which deserves its place at the table of champions.

Photo of MikeInIowa
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: nice medium, amber appearance, transparent, with substantial white foam and intricate lacing.

Nose: nice fruity hops aroma,

Taste: full-on hop flavor reminds the imbiber of an IPA.

Mouth: full-bodied mouthfeel.

Drink: easily drinkable. A totally nice beer.

Photo of dismal
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a pint glass. Pours a very bright clear copper/amber color with a small white head. Pretty nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Smells earthy and fruity, a touch of caramel, citurs and kind of biscuity. A little hoppy mainly citrus hops I'd imagine. The taste is really refreshing. Citrus is the main thing I pick up as well as a bit of caramel. Kind of biscuity just like the smell as well. Kind of bitter but not bad, malty but it doesn't overpower anything. Nothing though really jumps out, to me seems pretty balanced and like I mentioned earlier refreshing. Pretty average mouthfeel nothing special there. Overall this one is pretty good. Pretty low ABV so having a few is no problem and I would gladly grab another. Definitely a classic and one of the beers that helped me turn to craft beer. I love to grab some of this once in a while and enjoy a few.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic at Brewskis in Fayetteville, AR and I believe this was a 16oz serving.

Golden and brilliant. I got a pour that's as close as makes no difference to a stadium pour, there's only a fine, soft halo. Even so, this halo is finding a way to cling in a few streaks to the glass.

Not much pop to the nose. Subtle pale 2-row, grain, cracker, and some lemony twang. Very lager-like.

Crisp, palate cleansing, clean. Not having previously had any California Common I was unsure how far they would lean to the light, crisp, fizzy side. This one does. Again citrus, lemon twang accompanied by crisp cracker-like grain. Very little lingers.

Crisp but not over-carbonated, very clean. More weight than a cold fermented lager in the mouth but possibly more cleansing and refreshing than many.

I have finally tried this legend, on-tap no less. I have heard that this is the best way to get your Anchor Steam and someday I'll compare to the bottle. A great alternative to macro for that icy summer drink but I couldn't possibly justify the $12 six-packs here.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,200 ratings.