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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

4,694 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,694
Reviews: 1,847
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 128
Gots: 349 | 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: 4,694 | Reviews: 1,847 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mooseisloose


3.38/5  rDev -12.4%

Metallic copper in color with a quickly dissapating head. Smell in the bottle is kind of corny. Taste is very lager like with a little more carbonation. More malty than a lager, good carbonation and good tart finish. As a "common" beer it is very good. This is a good sessioner. Goes great with a steak. A good standby beer to keep on hand for your friends. Not exotic but different and more uncommon than common.

03-04-2007 19:20:03 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of Dubbercody


3.23/5  rDev -16.3%

It's a good beer, yeah, time to review the stuff that usually gets passed over because it's good, solid brew, but not one that I would not normally pick up a sixer of, but you know it's on tap at my favorite BBQ restaurant.

Copper, white head,sightly tart first taste that pops out into a great malty. Easy to drink, tasty and like I said, a solid great brew.

02-27-2007 02:53:48 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of pmcadamis


3.15/5  rDev -18.4%

I only wrote a few lines on a napkin for this one since I was at a wine bar in Galena IL, and didn't want to get all beer-geeky since I was with my girlfriend for a romantic evening out.

A - Red amber in color with a nice solid one finger tan head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Unique and sweet. Caramel and sugar cookies. A bit of hops in the background.

T - Sweet and tasty chewy caramel candy. Thin hop profile is thankfully unintrusive. A very malt-forward caramel brew with some pale ale like qualities.

M - Medium bodied. Slightly dry finish. Very fine carbonation feels smooth on the tongue.

D - Pretty decent. I could drink these all night.

02-24-2007 21:00:40 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of alexskovan

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Let me say right up front: I don't LIKE this beer. I never have, and I've tasted it many times and tried to like it. So this is a bit of a tough review for me to do because -- despite the fact that I don't care for the taste -- I recognise a complexity in it that speaks well of the craftmanship of the brewer.

Pours a cloudy amber with an off-white head. Smell is very rich and full of fruity esters. I like the aroma a lot more than the taste. The taste. . . a lot going on, and the effect has always felt unbalanced to me. It jangles me rather than soothes me. But there are grapefruit hops, fruity esters, and a malty sweetness. But to me it feels like they are all fighting each other.

Strange brew. I don't like it, but I'm sure that's my palate and not the beer. I recommend you try it and see what you think.

02-18-2007 00:43:53 | More by alexskovan
Photo of numenor1

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

This is an odd beer for me. Everytime i drink one it seems to taste a little different to me. Sometimes the yeast goes a bit chalky, sometimes the hops are especially grassy, sometimes it comes off really earthy and rustic, sometimes it seems really clean. Even out of the same six packs, maybe my palate has just been wacky lately. Anyhow pours hazy light copper with a decent head. Smell is lightly malty with light yeasty fruitiness and spicy hops. Starts off with a nice even keeled maltiness, the yeast then perks up with some fruity notes and earthiness accented by the hops. Hops turn spicy through the finish. Light body, highly carbonated, not abrasive, but not creamy either--just the right level of aggressiveness. Great session beer.

02-16-2007 07:35:29 | More by numenor1
Photo of cheers2beers


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%

Appearance: Pours a lightcopper hue with a slightly off-white head that rose up to be about three fingers high and quickly died down to a quarter inch of foam. A few columns of beading can be found. No laceing is noticed.

Smell: The aroma has a nice grassy hop character, along with some floral notes. This has a very pleasant sweet malt profile. No alcohol in the nose.

Taste: The flavors are much like the nose. Grassy hops, the taste of flowers with a vague alcohol is definitely present. No sweet malts like the nose. Just some light fruit accents.

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied with medium amount of carbonation. Goes down easy and has a "suds" finish.

Drinkability: This is a decent beer overall, but its not something out of the ordinary. Just an easy going, go to beer.


02-13-2007 00:00:43 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of chuckm


4.38/5  rDev +13.5%

Because this was the first steam beer I was ever exposed to I suppose I'm biased towards it , still while pouring a magnificent 2.5 finger head and lacing the glass nicely it lacks a distinctive smell. Taste , while not overpowering is strong enough to get your attention and I find it to be a beer one can drink all night long ( assuming an unlimited budget).

02-11-2007 03:57:22 | More by chuckm
Photo of copasetic


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange with a thin creamy head that forms a film on the surface that lasts for most of the beer. As I drink this, I realize that it's been a long time since I've enjoyed an Anchor Steam beer and wonder how this can be. The aroma is faint malt, just a little biscuity, with a hint of non-specific hops. From the first taste to the last, this is an nice middle-of-the road beer: smooth with just a little yeasty spicyness, a little hoppy but not particulary high in bitterness, and vaguely sweet and rich, but not too rich. I suppose this is homage to the idea of the California Common beer --nice qualities from both beer worlds.

I'm very happy that I decided to pick up a six pack after a long hiatus. This is an excellent beer. You can't drink just one.

02-10-2007 23:02:30 | More by copasetic
Photo of beeragent


3.23/5  rDev -16.3%

I have to say this is the only steam beer I've been able to find in my area, so my review is only based on this, and not comparable to any other beer.

A - The beer poured a medium amber, forming a small thin head, that quickly faded, leaving no lace on the glass.

S - The aroma is light, mainly consisting of fruit notes, and maybe a little malt. The aroma is weak, so thats all I could really detect.

T - The taste is not like any other beer I've experienced. Light hops at first, followed by a little malt in the middle, and finnishing with a dry sour taste.

M - The mouthfeel is medium, with a rough finish.

Overall, I dont think I could drink more than one of these at a time. Not having experienced this style, I cant really say if its a bad example, or a good one. I'll have to try the style more, before I can say if I like it or not. Congrats to Anchor though, for going the creative mile!

02-08-2007 03:56:55 | More by beeragent
Photo of PEBKAC

New York

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%

One of the most accessible beers around, I absolutely love it. Everytime someone comes over, it's served. I had to remember to hide a few, so that I could actually review it before having to satisfy grandpa's never ending thirst.

The color first off starts as a very deep ruby hue, but it reaches a nice clear bourbon once it touches light. Like little sea monkeys racing towards the surface, the carbonation never stops. A pasty head, & a twingle in my nose. Smells like stepping outside into a bushy backyard garden. Add in some granny smith apples, & maybe even some candied ginger with a bunch of extra crusty sugar.

The carbonation holds your tongue in place while everything works around. Pumpernickel is just everywhere. Spread along the top is some sweet butter. More of the fresh butter taste, & not the slick greasy feel, as this beer is nice & sharp. A little puckering sensation at the end. Nothing too intense or alienating. Very unique. Lovely.


02-06-2007 07:55:07 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%

My first steam beer, poured into a half pint glass

A: Copper body with 2-3 finger head, produces great lacing throughout.

S: I can get some pear, mint a marinara herby tomato sauce smell ( yes i know thats weird, but i reckon i smell that in Paulaner Munich Helles aswell - must be the malt)

T: Pretty bland, a nice hop bite in the end, not a lot of malty profile in this one,

M: medium carbonation, a little thin.

D: A very drinkable session beer, that has little character in my opinion, just something to pour down your neck. However, does beat macro in appearance and smell, not too sure about taste tho. Glad i tried it once.

02-04-2007 23:21:32 | More by seanyfo
Photo of treehugger02010


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

I got this 12 ounze (?) bottle from the Fox and Hound in King of Prussia, Pa. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: I poured about 2 fingers of head that didn't feel like staying for very long. THe lacing was thin and sparace, but still there. The body of the beer was a dark, but transparent brown. The head produced a bit of an off white color.
Smell: There was many nuances with both the smell and the taste, but the over all impression I got was that the IBUs were not that high.
Taste: This brew, played games with my taste buds and certainly demonstrated that different parts of you tounge taste different things. I won't spoil the suprises, but it is worth looking it just to see this.
Mouthfeel: The first couple sips were kind of ridge, but as I settled in, they became much smoother.
Drinkability: I would say this is certainly a drinkabile beer.
Don't drink and review.

02-04-2007 20:05:37 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of russpowell


4.4/5  rDev +14%

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: A bit of caramel & fruittyness

T; A little fruittyness & some serious herbal hop snap up front. A little grainyness , fruittyness kicks in as this warms. Finishes dry, fruitty & quenching with a piney hop edge

MF: Medium bodied, perfect carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks too easy, baseline for the style. Even better on draft

02-03-2007 05:21:37 | More by russpowell
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%

Pours a crystal clear amber with a thin layer of foam that leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas are not strong, nothing to really grab you but nothing bad either.

Taste is very crisp and pure. A slight hoppy bitterness shows itself as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Dry, crisp, with slight carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

This is one of the most drinkable beers I've had! I could drink these all evening long, and at just 4.9% that would be a great option! Anchor Steam has always been one of my favorite beers, and I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to review it!

01-31-2007 01:38:30 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours a light orange/yellow, with some haze and a fluffy white head. The head lingered for a while, but didn't last more than half the drinking time.
Smells of sweet malt, some citrus and a bit phenolic.
Tastes like a dry lager. Mostly malt and biscuit, yet a bit dry due to the hops. Some floral and diacetyl, but that may be due to the tap lines.
Crisp feel, especially if its colder. A nice low alcohol brew. Should try it again in the summer

01-25-2007 04:16:53 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of bgraney


3/5  rDev -22.3%

Hazy amber, minimal head. As the beer settles the bubbles emerge.
Mild biscuity aroma with a slight hop presence in the background.
Lager-like flavor with a mild grapefruit background.
Thin mouthfeel, a little grapefruit tang on the tongue.
Smooth and drinkable but I don't find it particularly interesting.

01-24-2007 15:31:19 | More by bgraney
Photo of benito


4.85/5  rDev +25.6%

I don't know that Anchor Steam is one of the best beers made in the US today, but it is the seminal and definitive beer in this style, and any other California common or steam beer lives in its long shadow. Hence my scores.

A: Copper with a large fizzy head with high sturdiness.

S: Minty and woody. Exactly what I expect from this beer and, in turn, style.

T: The start is soft with a strong flavor of honey and is followed by a slightly bitter, dry, and bready finish. The minty hop presence carries through the flavor and adds a nice, refreshing zing.

M: Very soft and smooth. Medium bodied with good length and an ongoing emergence of flavors.

D: Top notch. This is a great session beer for any time of year.

There are more ambitious beers on the American market, and there are lots of other good, innovative steam beers too, but this is a classic and one that never dissapoints. Highly recommended.

01-24-2007 02:20:00 | More by benito
Photo of mpyle


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

Creamy white head. Smallish but lingers nicely. Pale amber color and excellent clarity. An attractive brew.

Aroma is very clean, with some caramel maltiness that increases as the beer warms.

Has a hoppy bitter initial impression, balanced somewhat by a caramelly maltiness. Finishes moderately dry and generally bitter, the malt isn't completely lost at the end. Tasty.

Light to medium body with moderately high carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel despite the carbonation.

Overall a flavorful, bitter, clean beer with just enough malt to keep it balanced and interesting.

01-18-2007 01:13:52 | More by mpyle
Photo of ElGordo


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours a pretty golden-copper color, topped by a smallish bright white head. Sweet aroma of caramel and adjunct malts, along with some light sweet fruit. Palate is much the same - caramel malt, a hint of adjunct, and some lighlty fruity hops. Body is smooth and creamy, great for session drinking. A unique American classic.

01-13-2007 07:02:25 | More by ElGordo
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Into a pint glass, a nice clear copper with a good half inch white head, a little bit of lacing. Aroma is a bit faint, but a full maltiness with some fruits, some citrus in the hopping, its decent. Taste is classic, as good as a lager will get for me (because it kind of isn't). Nice medium body and good carbonation, its an extremely drinkable beer, balanced, clean, crisp, they really have it just right, it enjoys popularity for a reason.

01-12-2007 02:41:41 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of surcorx


1.65/5  rDev -57.3%

Appearance--This pours a deep golden amber color. Nearly no surface foam. Low carbonation--nearly flat. No lacing.

Aroma--Smells of slight carmel, malt and hints of a metal trash can. Smells like a dirty bar room floor. Sorry. A combination of puke and metal.

Taste--This was terrible. Actually one of the first beers I have ever stopped drinking. No skunking, but possibly it has gone bad. Unfortunately, there are no dates for freshness. That is their fault for not labeling as such. It was bought at a very good high volume store--Binny's in Chicago. I am willing someday to try again based on the favorable reviews of others. But if it has gone bad it speaks volumes to the importance of date labeling.

Mouthfeel--Watery, flat metallic- awful.

Drinkability--I stopped drinking it.

01-11-2007 11:13:15 | More by surcorx
Photo of zuggy9


4/5  rDev +3.6%

This was recommended to me and I was quite happy about it. It pours a dark amber with a little head and some crowning after it thins. The smell is very woody with subtle malt and hops. The taste is rather light, but with some good hops and is quite dry. It's fairly medium-bodied and refreshing. Very drinkable and pleasant.

01-08-2007 04:18:23 | More by zuggy9
Photo of bacabuck


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

Served on-tap in a pilsner style glass. Clear dark amber in color. Minimal head with good lacing on glass as it is drank. Smell of malted barley and hops, trace of banana. Flavors of molasses and coffee. Good mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Definitely can drink more than a few of these without realizing it.

01-07-2007 06:35:11 | More by bacabuck
Photo of jdg204


3.9/5  rDev +1%

Figured it was time I got a fresh 6 Pack to review this hallmark brew, I was glad I took the time as it had been a while since I had one.

Appearance - Nice golden, amber color with a lovely, full white head.

Smell - Nice light aroma with sweet fruits and a spicey hint, not a whole lot here though.

Taste - A light sweet malt flavor when you first try and then a very nice hop pop backs it up but does not overpower, there's also some bitterness there that works with the hops to provide a nice CRISP sensation, hard to beat. Definetly comes through more as you let it warm a bit.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth consistent feel, this is an easy drinker.

Drinkability - A classic session brew and a nice return to excellent "normalcy" for me after having several complicated brews over the Christmas season. This classic lives up to it's name and is a great easy drinking brew while still providing phenominal quality.

01-06-2007 04:41:29 | More by jdg204
Photo of Hammarby


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Amber with offwhite head.
S: Kind of faint smell of malts and alcohol. Not a big nose. Maybe some caramel.
T: Malty with pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. Rice, honey, a faint buttery tone. A bit metallic (not flawed).
M: Carboration with tiny bubbles. Just below medium body.

This is not the kind of beer that "attacks" your buds, rather one that grows on you.

01-04-2007 20:10:50 | More by Hammarby
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,694 ratings.