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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

4,983 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,983
Reviews: 1,870
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 139
Gots: 455 | 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: 4,983 | Reviews: 1,870 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Anchor Steam was from a dream as it was one of the first micro's along with Rogue's we took in, in the early 90's in the Oregon valley.

It was a good looking brew with an amber color and a 1-2 finger foam head with some wintery lacing. The aroma was malty with a fruity smell. The taste was creamy and bitter from the get go and had a caramel apple finish. The mouth feel was well carbonated and left some fruity bitterness on the tongue and back of the throat. Overall this is one that needs to be bought more often.

cswhitehorse, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of Ralphus
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor's Steam Beer, whether they know what the term steam means or not, is good beer. It shares qualities of its hoppier cousin Liberty but is easier to drink from the start. My sample was purchased at the LCBO, the best before date some 18 months away.

Liberty pours beautifully. A rich golden brown colour with a creamy three finger head. It simply looks good, matching the prototypes of great looking beer in your mind. The head recedes in time but it leaves behind wonderful lacing for you to remember it by. The first smells have welcome hints of vanilla, fruitiness and hops. The taste is full of a complex mix of fruit, malts, creaminess all topped off with a respectable hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is silky smooth but lacking a little in carbonation.

Overall Steam is a real treat. Pick it up and enjoy.

Ralphus, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of josiahschlender
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've seen Anchor Steam on the shelves for a while now and been curious. Maybe even tried one a while back, but finally saw it on sale and got a sixer to give it a full try. I will be honest, the standard price point here in Portland is a bit higher than I prefer to pay.

Wow, great looks. Beautiful amber luster, with a fluffy pastel orange-white head that lasts and lasts, leaving lots of lacing.

Lots of good aromas going on. Floral, grassy hops, and substantial malts in the vein of caramel and buttered biscuits. Maybe even a bit of yeasty fruit.

Flavors are also ample and complex. Great malt profile that builds on the aromas that is expertly balanced by grassy hops. Nice adequate bittering. Definitely enough hops to let you know they're there, but not enough to drown out the other players. The long finish trades back and forth between bready malts and bitter hops. I love the complex, long lasting flavors. More than I expected in this beer that I see everywhere. Mouthfeel is velvety and medium-full bodied, complimenting the mouthfilling flavors well.

This is a great beer! It will probably not be long before I pick up more. Its balanced flavors make it very versatile when pairing it with food. I enjoyed it thoroughly with Lebanese food, aged white cheddar mac and cheese and more. My drinkability score is hurt a bit by its usual price of nearly ten bucks a sixer around here. When it's on sale, it's a great bargain for a fabulous beer. Plus, it's a lager! Props to Anchor for crafting a classic, out of the box brew.

josiahschlender, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite craft beers that is widley available. Always a good purchase. It is an exceptionally tasty wheat with just a bite of hops and an incredible ability to quench ones thirst. It has nice citrusy finish and looks hazy orange in the glass. Opaque. Try their Liberty Ale as well if you have the chance.

midnite2sixman, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Always saw this in the package store and finally got around to giving it a whirl. I was curious to see how a brewery invented its own style of beer basically, and man this shit is good. It's one of the most crisp and refreshing beers I've ever had. There's also this nice fruity character about and it is extremely drinkable. I like this beer a lot and wish my store carried more from this brewery.

oriolesfan4, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of champ103
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice hazy orange/amber color. A large white head forms a leaves some nice patchy lace behind.
S: Smell is of wheat and grass. Malty with a twangy hop bite. An old musky and funky aroma. Not the good kind like in a saison, but old and wet cloths (if that makes sense).
T: Malty with some light citrus flavors. Well balances with a nice hop bitterness.
M/D: A medium body that is well carbonated with a light creaminess. Though a bit watery almost thin. This is very smooth and easy to drink. An easy choice for a session beer.

This is a micro-brew legend. Tasty and unique. Though this is not my favorite of the Anchor beers. It is still very enjoyable, and something I would recommend.

champ103, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of cbn
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours golden-amber with an off-white head that quickly settles to form a ring with islands in the midst.

Liight sweet malt aromas, a hint of honey and lemon.

Very rich pale malt flavor, good hop bite, yeasty ripe banana and lemon finish.

Interesting combination of flinty sharpness with an almost creamy softness, well done!

This beer looks and smells good, and keeps getting better from there.

cbn, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of Jedimaster1
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Highly carbonated copper color. Bubbles flowing throughout.

S: Smell of sweet. citrus malt.

T: Wow this beer is amazing. I had it long ago, and did not like it. I may have had an old one. But after trying a six-pack of it, now I know why people love this brew. You can really taste the combination of Ale and Lager. It has that citrus taste of an ale, yet that taste and carbonation of a pilsner. Nice hop bitterness at the end. Great beer!

M: Carbonation, but not too much that it becomes annoying.

D: Easy to have a sixer of these. Great session brew, especially during a hot summer day.

Jedimaster1, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a bright orange when held up to the light. Cap is slightly off-white and stood a fluffy, two-fingers high before subsiding slowly. Rings of lace leave their trail.

Smokey, earthy malts and a touch of caramel and toffee.

Full and rich of malt sweetness with a dose of bittering hops for a clean, crisp finish. Very earthy feel overall.

Medium bodied, crisp.

A very easily drinkable and readily available beer that I need to stop neglecting.

ColForbinBC, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of Offa
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great, reliable, tasty, highly drinkable beer and one that is fairly unique in character.

Dark copper, it has a fairly big, off-white, head that lasts fairly long and makes good lace.

The aroma is pleasant and fairly full-bodied, if a tad muted. It's somewhat fruity with a sdtrong maltiness of toasted, yeasty bread, a caramel, and citrus.

The taste is similar, being restrained but flavourful and fairly full-bodied. It's well balanced and has lightly sweet caramel, toasted grain, balanced with mild, citrusy-leafy hop bitterness with lemon and bitter leaves. it's full-bodied yet light, crisp, and asy to drink.

Offa, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is pretty strange that I have never tried this beer before, but I just never got around to it until now.

Copper body with a huge, rocky, bubbly head. Leaves a ton of sticky lacing behind. A really nice looking beer.

Smells of some toasted malts, some citrusy hops, lots of earthy aromas.

Up front some bitterness and lemony hops are noticeable. Slight caramel notes and lots of earthy notes from the malt. Toasted malts come next, they are probably the strongest flavor in the beer.

Somewhat dry mouthfeel.

Pretty drinkable, I was impressed by this beer for sure.

Hojaminbag, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of birchstick
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 4 - pours a darker amber color with an attractive head
S - 3.5 - smells of malts and bready/biscuity
T - 3.5 - malty and bready/biscuity, with an interesting bitterness to it. A bit more bitter than I was initially expecting, but it worked well.
M - nice mouthfeel to it
D - 4 - this is a good session beer, one to enjoy many through the course of a night with friends.

birchstick, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with no freshness date on it. Color is a nice light orange/straw. Head is just a slight off white that keeps for a while. Nice lacing observed.

Smells very subtle, but of hints of honey. Taste is very clean. Not much going on, but very wonderful. I would note the small taste of fruit in this. Very good carbonation.

Overall, this is quite the beer. I have never had a steam beer, but I do like it. I am more of a dark beer drinker, but I could see this being a nice session beer.

mothman, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of tugdriver7
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had tried this a few years ago and tried it again on the recommendation of a fellow BA (Thanks DKB!) who says it's one of his favorites. It was like trying it again for the first time. Beautiful orange amber in the glass with a healthy (almost decadent) head of foam that lingered through the first few sips and laced the glass. Malty nose, but the initial taste was a nice balanced malt and (fruity?) hops that added a whole bunch of tastes to the mix. Not cloying, not too bitter, and definitely very drinkable. A bit of astringent in the aftertaste, but nothing to detract from the flavor. Loved it. I understand the attraction.

tugdriver7, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid, wonderful latte head - almost a perfect pour. Solid bourbon-copper body with loads of carbonation. Head develops yeasty muffin tunnels and has staying power;, when it finally dissipates the lacing is a little austere.

For the look and sizzle of this the nose doesn't necessarily deliver a lot of steak. Mild malt character with a little hop pine and a smidge of sliage. Carbonation makes malt quite clean, though.

Tight taste with a little metallic bite in there. Hop character is slight and grassy. Malt is much more faint on the palate than on the nose. Slight off-taste on the finish.

Too earthy on the palate. Hop bittterness is backed up by decent grain texture. Slight tinny aftertaste.

This is a decent mid-major. It's clean and doesn't drink too badly - better than most. Sessionable.

IBUnit63, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle purchased at Total Wine in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an orangey-amber body with an inch of frothy, white head.

Smell: Mild caramel, bready malts with a savory spicy, peppery note and teensy weensy hint of berry fruitiness.

Taste: Lightly bready, lightly caramel-coated maltiness. Not much sweetness. Tiniest bit of fruit -- watch out or you'll miss it. Tiny touch of acidity. Spicy, peppery hops, maybe a small pinch of lemon zest, too. Medium-low bitterness. Finishes dry and quite crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Paired quite well with the film Karate Kid playing in the background. A fine, drinkable brew all around that appeals to my session beer sensibilities.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

At homebrew club's hybrid and blonde style meeting.

A - Golden, orange head, dissipates, but a little bit still sticks to the glass. Nice.

S - Honey and malts.

T - Sweet up front with honey and malts, but slightly bitter.

M - Slightly bitter aftertaste. A little bit unbalanced.

D - Not great, but not bad.

MisterClean, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Jmamay22
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Steam Beer pours a light honey brown with a tan creamy head. Plenty of gobs of lacing down the glass.

Smells lightly of syrup and honey with fruity and floral undertones. A gentle scent with no aspect overwhelming another.

More of the same as the nose with a stronger honey and fruit scent. Again, soft flickers of flavor that are enjoyable, but faint. The finish is underwhelming and lacks definition as the flavor just thins out and drifts away. Hop bitterness doesn't provide the proper leverage to balance this one out.

Mouthfeel is medium with an ample dose of carbonation. Very drinkable beer that I could find myself enjoying several. Great segueway into the fall as it is a slightly sweeter tasting beer, but doesn't hit as hard as some of the malt bombs that come with the fall.

Jmamay22, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of brewmudgeon
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3.5 A love the bottle shape. light ruddy brown brew.
3 S not much, but that faint bitterness is pleasant enough
3 T bitter, not much to note. clean and simple. but too clean.
3 M fairly watery, carbonation can lend creaminess if swished across tongue
3.5 D simple and weak, bitterness a bit unbalanced, but maybe good for tossing back quickly.
had another one this year and body was a bit thicker than recalled, taste a little sweeter.

brewmudgeon, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of JustinBathurst
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured red copper with a 2 cm tan crown. Good lacing.

Smells of bread dough, celery, floral hops, and is a bit grainy.

The mouthfeel is slightly thicker than crisp.

Taste is malty sweet, with the hops coming through. Very bready without being heavy. A slight toffee shows up in there as well.

Really good beer.

JustinBathurst, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of RodBurg
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally tried this classic at a buddy's birthday party this past weekend. Had on tap at Milano Pizza in San Francisco. Poured a nice amber color with an off white head. Nice lacing.

Smells like toasty malt and bread with a good citrus hop hit.

Taste is very well balanced. Bready malt and hops in harmonious accord. It's a beautiful thing. Finishes with a slight hop bite. This one is extremely drinkable. Had it with pizza and the two went wonderfully together.

RodBurg, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of errantnight
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the long list of beers that are old staples that I've never reviewed, that I almost feel either unqualified, unneeded, or unable to properly quantify in a simple review how I feel about it. The score will either ultimately seem too low for the esteem I hold it, or too high for overcompensating. I hope I nailed this one, but that's of less importance than this beer.

From a sixer brought by a friend that had never actually HAD an Anchor Steam...

Pours a brilliant, rich orange gold. Crystal clear, beautiful couple fingers of head that rapidly dissipate, leaving little lacing on the way down.

Aroma is a rich, almost toffee-like melanoidin-rich, malt-forward experience, heady and almost caramel rich, it's clean, inviting, warm, just a hint of spice at the end. Good stuff.

The taste is practically the definition of balance. Rich and full through the middle with caramel bold sweetness that drops off into a clean, slightly rough bitterness that makes for a formidable introduction at first, full of flavor. As it warms, the harshness of the bitterness drops out, into a clean, earthy quality. If there's a beer that NEEDS to be available on cask that isn't... it's this beer.

Has a substantial feel to it, a solid medium, maybe medium-full body, which is awesome considering how moderate the alcohol content and how restrained the sweetness.

Really, my "criticisms" or evaluation of this beer are almost beside the point. It's an institution, it's an innovator, it's a classic. It's great for beginners, it's practically sessionable. It's important, it's fucking delicious.

errantnight, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of zdyeates
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, light amber hue with a nice frothy head that dissipates a bit too quickly. Personally a bigger fan a more cloudy appearance but that a personal and not very important note. For a filtered beer the appearance is very nice.

S: The smell is not too remarkable, but you do get a hint at the spicy character of the beer. There is also a nice fruity undertone to the aroma.

T: Very nice, well hopped with a malty finish. A fairly well balanced beer, wouldn't think of turning one down.

M: Excellent! Very refreshing, great for summer or for cutting a heavy meal in the winter. Because of the speed at which the head died I was not expecting such a nice level of carbonation, but the beer seems to dance on my taste buds.

D: Very Good, could enjoy having a solo or a six pack. The carbonation is not overwhelming at all and creates a great combination of refreshment and drinkability.

I would definitely love to try this beer on tap because out of the bottle it is a very solid brew.

zdyeates, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper color with a cream colored head that leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Pretty weak here some caramel malts and tiny bit of floral hops but I really had to search.

T- Taste is pretty unique. The beer has much of the flavour of a lager, but the complexity of an ale.

M- Light to medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, but a little watery

D- Interesting beer and a nice change up.

nrbw23, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of Jyubei
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Amber red with a 1 1/2 finger head, tan in color.

S. Light fruit bouquet the a strong aroma of hops and malt.

T. Strong bread smell. A heavy meal bread at that. Also, slight grapefruit at the back of the throat. The after taste leads to a definite grapefruit and hops.

M. Slight syrup with the feel of pudding in accompaniment.

D. Very enjoyable. I will definitely be getting this one again.

Jyubei, Aug 24, 2008
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,983 ratings.