Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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very good

5,061 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,061
Reviews: 1,877
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 140
Gots: 494 | 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)
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Ratings: 5,061 | Reviews: 1,877 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mintjellie
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with 2-3 fingers of very light tan head. Head fades away somewhat quickly to a cap over the body, then holds on nicely. Patchy lace.

Sweet caramel malt aroma. A little bit of grassy hop.

Caramel malt on the palate backed by citrusy hop. Moderate bitterness. Bread. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Medium body and medium carbonation. A craft beer classic.

Photo of NODAK
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is of caramel malt and a bit of hops. Pretty strong smell.

Taste has a fair amount of sweet caramel malt at first with a small note of toasted grain there as well in the background. At the backend, there's a small bitterness that rounds the beer out but doesn't come close to the maltiness. I seem to remember this as a more hoppy beer than this, but as it is it seemed more like an EPA than anything to be quite honest. Interesting. I'll have to have it again sometime.

Tasty, though. Very easy to put down.

Photo of cpone
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber/copper color with about two fingers of head which recedes quickly and leaves some lacing. Smells of malt and hints of caramel - subtle hops in there too. Great taste - some bitterness but well balanced with hops and some citrus. Good carbonation and a medium body make this a very drinkable beer - was my session beer a few days ago.

Photo of jackofclubs
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i always come back to this one

A- golden copper with i 3 finger airy head that doesn't stay too long

S- piney hops with a bread like malty backbone

T balanced maltyness with good bitter dry hop flavor

M medium body medium carbonation a classic

Photo of merryjoulton
2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber with light head that retains well and does a bit of lacing down the glass. Smell is interesting, clean malty bready character along with a slight hint of hops... a tad citrusy. Taste is disappointing, there is a strong bite that is very unpleasant but I can't put my finger on it. Mouthfeel and drinkability are ok.

Photo of DannyS
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. oddly-shaped bomber into a pint glass.

A - Almost Idyllic in its clear dark amber with a lovely little half-inch head that retains amazingly well. Also leaves a thick web of lacing.

S - Not a lot going on aroma wise. Slightly grassy and grainy, with a touch of pine and wood.

T - The bitter hops smack the tongue but quickly subside to usher in the malty, grassy, bready flavor. Kind of basic, but very enjoyable.

M - Medium carbonation, thin, slightly watery body.

D - clean flavors that aren't overwhelming and a low ABV make this an excellent session beer.

Overall - Is it a pale ale? A dark lager? It's somewhere in between. It's unique, not to mention uniquely American!

Photo of DerBayer
2.58/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - slightly cloudy amber colour with a dark tinge

S - Hops, bitter nothing special

T - Little comlexity, little depth, quite bitter but nothing special

M - Dry ver dry, not refreshing leaves a dry / furry moutrhfeel

D - Not very high wouldnt really want to drink it again

Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a classic american lager and a great traning beer for novices. I serve this at my bar too and try to get bud lovers to try. works quite well

appearance: yellow golden lager like. nice and bubbly

smell: light hops

taste: clear refresher and easy to drink

mouthfeel: thin and heavy carbonated

drinkability: A great choice for a standard lager

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, light copper color with a nice tan head. Nose was moderately hoppy with some caramel in the background. Taste is malts and hops and sugary and bready too. Mouthfeel was lively though a bit thin. Drinkability was good but I dont see myself drinking to many of these at once. One and I am pretty much ready to move on.

Photo of Coorskid33
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A~ Pours a nice golden amber color. Bubbly 1 inch head quickly dissipates, but the head kind of fizzes like soda.

S~ the head releases a nice earthy floral scent. It's slightly hoppy, but really I get the smell of alcohol and malt.

T~ Great, very balanced and straight forward. Smooth as heck and leaves a malty but dry aftertaste that makes me want to drink more and drink faster. It's a good thing.

MF~ huge carb level but a good oily like feel that lathers your mouth, but overwhelming.

D~ This is a great beer. I think the first of it's kind that I've ever had. I enjoyed it very much. NIce strong beer but not too serious and leaves room for more than one. :o)

Photo of gory4d
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my everyday beer when I lived in the Bay Area. It's hard to get it as fresh in NYC, but it's great anyway. Pours a clear amber with a huge white head, leaving just a little lacing down the glass. The smell is mineral and fruity at once, with some floral notes. The taste is clean minerals, a floral middle, with a bitter finish. It's moderately carbonated, with a simple, mid-weight body. Downing a few of these is easy and a real pleasure.

Photo of indiapaleale
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange sort of light amber color with a very big fluffy white head. Man, that is a thick layer of foam on top of this beer...

Smell is caramelized malt, brown sugar, molasses, honey and a bit of ivory soap (not sure if I am crazy but I do get a bit of that smell from this).

Tastes like a sweet amber lager. That is my initial reaction. Its clean and crisp and has a very good malt profile with decent carbonation. The California Common/Steam Beer style is hard for me to differentiate tastewise from most common Amber Ales or Amber Lagers. Its a pretty straight forward beer with no really highlights other than the fact that its extremely drinkable.

I like Anchor's Steam Beer but its not something I'd buy all the time. Its a true testament that different can be good and a great reason why the Anchor Brewery is one of the proud father's of the American Craft brewing movement. Cheers Fritz!

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A copper (light amber) beer with a great creamy white head.

S: Malty - it smells like (rye-)bread, fruity (I can sense apples and something else), floralhops.

T: Bready malt. A beer that tastes a lot. Floralhops as well as bitterhops. Fruity (apple & citrus). Dry in the aftertaste, but still sweet. A well balanced taste and aftertaste - a nice mix of malt and hops.

M: A nice tingle at first - great carbonation. Medium bodied. A bit creamy. Smooth.

D: Great beer to go with sturdy home cooking. Over all a great beer. I pity those who havn't tried this one yet.

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured an amber clear brew topped with a decent off-white (tinged with yellow?) head. Bubbles rising.
Smelled like a Belgian Blonde; some maltiness.
The taste ia a nice balance of hops and malts with a nice warming bitterish finish. Very nice mouthfeel; smoothness with a nice bit of "fizz". Overall a very pleasent beer. Very drinkable.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours an orange body with slight copper tones against the light. Has a dense, creamy-looking off-white head. The retention is decent (several minutes), and it recedes into a line of bubbles on top of the brew, continually refreshed by carbonation up the glass. Some lacing down the sides.

S: Caramel and biscuit malt are strongest, but there is a subdued hop component underneath. I smell leafy hops, some earth, and citrus.

T: Lemony citrus comes out first, against expectations. It is followed by biscuit, then caramel in the mid-taste. It becomes earthier in the finish, with a slight leafy hop component. Finishes dry and lightly bitter. Still manages a sweet aftertaste with a citrus tinge, like eating lightly flavored lemon biscuits.

M: Good carbonation, but not crisp or containing a bite. Fairly smooth, and medium-bodied.

D: Does a session beer have to be under 4%? I'd say this is a good candidate otherwise. It has a great flavor, but without being so strong that it induces palate fatigue. Easy to have a few of these and enjoy each one. Still, the flavor is not so great that I'll pick this up very often, which compromises the score a bit.

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper, head disappears quickly leaving moderate lacing. Smells of risen dough, caramel sweetness, herbal and earthy hops, little citrus, touch of sulfur. Tastes of moderate bready malt followed closely by a nice pronounced bitterness. Good earthy hoppy backbone, nice herbal, almost minty element permeates throughout. Nice clean finish with a touch of yeast and earthiness. Fairly carbonated, nice and crisp.

A very good beer, nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. Good clean finish with some residual flavor. A great session beer, one of a kind.

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.

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,061 ratings.