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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.
very good

4,770 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,770
Reviews: 1,856
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 377 | 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: 4,770 | Reviews: 1,856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erosier
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper color with a light tan head that faded pretty fast. It laced the glass well all the way down the glass. It has a nice aroma of toasted malts and deeper roasted ones with a slight citrisy hoppy finish to the nose. The taste is a nice blend of sweet toasted malts and more bitter roasted ones with a nice citrisy hop finish. The mouthfeel was very crisp and clean - really refreshing. The drinkability is very high on this beer as it is a really bold yet refreshing beer.

erosier, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of b5d106
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance= A very hazy orange/brown/red. The head was pretty frosty but it dissipated quite quickly
Smell= I didn't much here. A little malt sweetness with some citrusy hops.
Taste= Delicious. It has a good hop character with some spice and lemon. The malt is a bit like caramel and balances the beer out very nicely.
Mouthfeel= Very nice. A good bit of carbonation.
Drinkability= I could definitely put down multiple bottles of this beer in one sitting.

b5d106, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper with some carbonation. Not much head.

S: It smelled really malty with not much else to it.

T: It was very malty at first with some undertones I couldn't pick up on. There was a bit of bitterness at the end which made the beer drinkable. All around it tasted like a high class lager; however, it's not what I dig

M: decent mouthfeel, slightly watery.

D: It's a lager, so it's very drinkable.

swizzlenuts, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the local fish house, paired with a nice piece of grilled salmon and vegetables; I think it was $3.50 for a 12 ounce glass.

Poured a deep golden with a very nice white head that was quite pleasant to view.

Aroma was a nice blend of bready malt goodness and sprightly hops- not overpowering as in many of the beers I have tried recently, but still a solid presence. Flavor follows through very nicely- I would have to say that this beer to me is a solid example of balance. Good solid flavors at a moderate ABV, all balanced nicely.

Did OK paired with the salmon; it actually pairs better with more delicately flavored fishes.


Dukeofearl, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of CortexBomb
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is mild/medium orange with an impressive white head on top. Nose is softly malted.

Flavour starts out nice and full of caramel malts, a certain spicy, peppery tinge shows up about halfway, but the smooth malty overtone stays present for a good long spell. Yeast, bready, nutty with some slight, slight light fruit notes. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and full but nothing particularly special. Drinkability is good, a tasty, inexpensive brew that is available year-around.

The bottom line: Anchor's Steam beer is a venerable oldster on the craft brew scene at this point, but it still persists as a tasty, if not particularly depthy option. A great session brew.

CortexBomb, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Dark ochre in color with a perfect 2 finger head. As it settles to a nebulous cap, the foam leaves some really nice, solid lacing.

Hardly any aroma but I can pick up some caramel malt.

Flavor is quite simple but flavorful. Sweet caramel notes are immediately apparent, along with some brown sugar, cookie dough, and even a hint of fruity esters. There's a tiny hop bitterness in the finish but this beer is all about toasty sweet grain.

Palate is good, with a very smooth mouthfeel that might be a touch high in carbonation. Refreshing, infinitely drinkable.

illidurit, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of rgb2807
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour looks good, with a good inch of head. Looks pretty good producing a yellow-orange color. The smell isn't very strong, and you really don't get much of an impression from just the smell. It'd expect a very light beer from the smell.

The taste is nice, but nothing strong. It is a very mild, balanced brew.

Definitely very drinkable and possibly good for a session, but it's just too expensive for me on the east to every do such a thing. I would drink this again, but I wouldn't seek it out.

rgb2807, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of semihobo
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice head over a light brown body. Classic good looks, only head retention could be better.

Smells of peppery hops and a mix of grains. Very clean.

Taste is a rich medley of grains, from start to finish, complemented by peppery hops. The finish is pleasantly crisp with a goodbye kiss from the hops that fades to a lingering starchiness. A rich nuttiness persists throughout.

Vigorous, peppy carbonation is suitable for the flavor. Brisk but not distracting or overpowering.

I've had Anchor Steam before and didn't find it that impressive... now I'm not sure how I missed it. Sit down with a pint and look closely. A gem. Incidentally, reminds me of several Saranac beers -- if you like those, check this out. Now to find another steam beer to compare...

semihobo, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Pencible
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured a dark amber with a little off-white head. It smelled predominantly of malt with some yeast as well. It tasted like dirty malt with some hops bitterness. It was watery and smooth with no carbonation and a very slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall this was surprisingly dirty and bland.

Pencible, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of cfriend2
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Left this one out a little bit to warm up. This beer pours a rich amber color with a fully thick, off-white, chunky head. Mild citrus and caramel sweetness in the nose with some graininess and earthy hops. Bitter tasting in the beginning, then comes barley and grain and mild hint of sulphur. Roasted malt and caramel. Finishes dry with a mild lingering malt and citrus aftertaste. A beer with a great profile of flavor. The mouthfeel is wonderful, chewy and completely full. Carbonation is on the mark.

This is one of the best beers I've ever had, and my first of its style. I am extremely pleased with this one. In a class all its own.

cfriend2, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of happygnome
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a nice golden almost coppery color with about a half inch of head that dissapears quickly leaving a slight hint of lacing around the edge of the glass
s: wheats, oats, toasted caramel malts, hints of earthy hops
t: not nearly as balanced as the aroma, sweet toasted caramely malts hints of oats and a little earthy hop bitterness
m: medium bodied brew with a good crisp carbonation

overall, this isnt my favorite beer but i could see having a few

happygnome, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber-orange, slightly cloudy, with a couple inch white head. White lacing left.

Aromas of a strong yeast strain and earthy hops. The hops are leafy, with a hint of pepper. Flavor matches; generally a lightish grain bill, assertive bitterness that lasts long in the finish.

The mouthfeel is sufficiently chewy to give a good overall body. Enjoyable, simple lager.

BretSikkink, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of AgingWarrior
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice translucent dark gold color with a fine looking off-white head of approximately two fingers. The head held up throughout my drinking this brew and it had plenty of lacing.

Medium strength aroma, mildly hoppy with some light malts.

The taste is mildly hoppy with hints of grain. Crisp, clean, nice finish.

Mouthfeel is good, with nice carbonation.

Very drinkable brew, I could see myself having 4 or 5 of these in one session.

AgingWarrior, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of Kemmerlin
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an amber resin color with a decent sticky head providing some good lacing.

S: Had some bread yeast aromas with dark rum spices.

T: Interestingly tasted like milk, grass, and slight taste of floral hops. Well rounded hoppy after taste.

M/D: Thick mouth feel like drinking a glass of milk. It is very drinkable and can really see why it is so popular.

Kemmerlin, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of wiseguy142
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fragile, light gold with a limp but persistent white head. Smells of roasted nuts with sugar. Taste is a wet and sweet experience, almost like that of pure dextrose or cotton candy but enriched with the overall nutty flavor of the beer that lingers in the mouth past some taste of alcohol towards the finish. Mouthfeel is one of my favorite parts- there's a high level of carbonation but it's not abrasive. The beer is exceedingly smooth and light, unlike any other beer I've experienced. It seems like the alcoholic version of something from Willy Wonka because you almost can't believe it. I've never drank more than one at a time, though, and I feel that after a couple the distinct sweetness might become a little hard to handle but for a single beer, especially if you were to pair it with a dessert or appetizer, I think it's great.

wiseguy142, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of TYE
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden amber that produces 1-1.5 fingers of white foam head that dissipates quickly to just a covering with little to no lace.
S - Sweet fruit and grain. Well balanced, medium strength aroma. Smells of grapes, maybe?
T - Grain and hops. Strong flavor with a hoppy aftertaste kick in the mouth. Taste lingers.
M - Medium or slightly more carbonation, medium body, a strong hop bite, and a lingering finish.
D - Very hoppy strong taste. Overwhelmingly so. Nicely balanced fruit and grain underneath that take away some of the hop harshness. Not for the weak taste buds! I could only get through one per evening, but I would have another if in the mood for hop overload again!!

TYE, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear amber, huge head.

Smell: Sweet grain, a little grassy note.

Taste: Some grassiness, caramel, and light tea-like bitterness.

Drinkability: Could probably have a few if it was the best beer available.

Was a little disappointed in this, I was hoping for a little more grassy or citrus hop flavors but got mostly tea-like bitterness instead. Not a bad beer, but not to my tastes.

Mdog, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden-copper with a finger of off white head, little lacing.

S - Aromas of wheats and oats, carmels, toasted malts and bitter hops, nice balanced mix.

T - Slightly sweet, roasted malty carmelly flavor with a good balance of hops for a crisp finish.

M - Med to light bodied, crisp and refreshing.

D - Very drinkable nice on a hot day.

trackstar1043, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of riboflavin88
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottom line, this is a unique beer. It pours a nice amber color with a nice ivory head consisting of large bubbles and good carbonation. Its smell was malty and spicy with back notes of citrus. The beers' taste is smooth at first, primarily malt and smokey bread flavors. It finishes dry and the aftertaste is more malt, very bold. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable, crisp and easy to drink more than one. Definitely try this one!

riboflavin88, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of youradhere
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure if I'm just not a fan of this beer, or steam beers in general. Bought this in a mix grab-six-pack from the food Co-op, drank this one first. Poured into a pint glass, darker than commercial lager; flavor was a little too sulphorous, but could taste a good malt profile behind that. A decent first steamer for me, however I don't think I'll go back and stick with ales or true lagers.

youradhere, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into mug.

A- Copper color with thick chunky head.
S- Malty aroma
T- Very bitter at first taste which was surprising. Faded into an easy malt sweeteness. Very well balanced.
M- Good carbonation and the flavor stays with you.
D- Could drink this all day long.

The best of the easy to find micros in my opinion. One of my favorites and it seems to be getting easier to find in Tennessee.

ckeegan04, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of burtonbe
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Wonderful deep amber in color. Crystal clear. Two-finger head, but dissipates rather quickly. Leaves a good lacing.

S - A solid malt aroma with general lager characteristics. Some hoppyness, but it is much less pronounced, very subtle.

T - What a tasty beer. I'm getting a fruity and malty profile. The hop bitterness and flavor is there, but the balance is towards the malt on this one. Some DMS is present, but it seems to really work in this beer.

M - Solid mouth-feel for this style. Carbonation is medium and it is smooth.

D - The drinkability is where this beer really shines. It is so flavorful, yet so very drinkable. I could drink this all day. Very Nice.

Overall, this is an awesome beer of an awesome style. Highly recommended.

burtonbe, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 12/14/07.

Pours clear light copper with nice little off-white head that quickly dissipates. Toasty nose with notes of spicy hop. A little thin on the palate, but flavorful nonetheless.

Rich maltiness is quickly upstaged by bitterness, but the whole affair is rather milder than is typical of many west coast brews. A little of the Bass Ale type flavor is going on, and the clean finish with a hint of astringency reminds me a little of that British brew as well. A very easy drinking beer with some flavor.

Might be a good gateway beer to get from macrobrew lager swill to the good stuff.

charlzm, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of ryrust5301
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a yellow label, blue cap, and anchor on the front.

Apperance - Poured a clear brownish gold. Looks a little lighter than I remembered. Head is a thick half finger puffy white.

Smell - malty aromas, slightly creamy. It almost has a caramel like scent. A little hoppy like an ale.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Once again malty and creamy. Set up nicely by the aroma. Hops and a little citrusy through the middle, following through to a crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability - A long time fav for me, and one I keep in my rotation for everyday drinking. This brew must be given respect for being an all time American classic.

ryrust5301, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of unionturf
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Like said before, I too tried this before (a few years ago) and was not impressed. I guess with ago I now know better. :) I enjoyed a few tonight in a Sam Adams glass and was very impressed. at $10 a 6 pack it better be good and I will be adding this as a regular in my rotation!!

unionturf, Feb 27, 2008
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,770 ratings.