1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,490 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,490
Reviews: 1,836
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 119
Gots: 273 | 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)
View: Beers (24) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,490 | Reviews: 1,836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avylover
avylover

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice copper color with good carbonation a a thick white head.Aroma is a mix of spicy hops and biscuity malt.Taste the definition of "Balance." A malty, creamy front end, with some toffee type notes, which gives way to nice dry bitterness to finish things off. Reminds me of HSA really. very good stuff, and worth the 8 bucks a sixer. Smooth & creamy mouthfeel, drinkablity is decent.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 22:28:56 | More by avylover
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004. Purchased at the local Safeway. Pours with a deep copper/amber color. I very nice head, which some was still remaining after it was gone. Very little lace, but not expected either. Smells of hops, malt, maybe a bit of citrus. A very unique beer in my opinion. Has that lager taste, but also has that IPA taste to it. Even has a bit of citrus taste in the mix. It goes down very smooth. A very easy beer to go through a six pack and still want more. Possibly my favorite session beer, or at least for a nice hot day after working or playing hard. This was the first beer I was introduced to while growing up. I remember swimming in Eagle Lake (Northern California) and doing a little snorkling and finding a bottle cap from an Anchor Steam bottle. I must have smelled it for days. It was such a facsinating smell to me. This was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Ahhhh, good old memories. Too bad it took me almost 20 years from then to try my first.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2004 22:09:33 | More by GClarkage
Photo of cncbofh
cncbofh

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A staple beer that I will never turn down. Coined by NOFX in a song:

Our protagonist named Bill
Sets his sights on an anchor steam pint
All he needs is thirteen quarters
Congregated in his hat...

It smells earthy and a little bit stale, but after tasting it and enjoying the bread and butter mouthfeel, you can forgive the scent. It is perfect for a cooldown after an autumn bbq. I really love this stuff. Best on Tap at an Old Chicago with a slice of pepperoni pizza.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2004 20:58:21 | More by cncbofh
Photo of tatterdash
tatterdash

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting style... it sort of combines the clarity and hoppiness of a lager with the head and maltiness of an ale. Pours a clear brown with a big foamy head which looks very good. Smell was nutty and hoppy. Taste was a sort of "This is a lager?" taste, nutty, with some roasted malts and a nice hoppy finish. This is a very interesting beer, sort of having multiple personalities.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 05:42:43 | More by tatterdash
Photo of fdrich29
fdrich29

Massachusetts

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

This is the second time I've tried a stubby bottle of Anchor Steam, the first time was at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

Pours a hazy copper/apple juice color with a messy head quickly dissapates except for a few patchy circles floating about and a ring of lacing.

Tastes bready, with some hints of lemon and malt. Creamy, mouthfeel after the initial carbonation kick subsides. Highly drinkable, goes down very easily. A quality American classic.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 05:25:09 | More by fdrich29
Photo of trancefishy
trancefishy

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

apearance is a hazy copper with glints of red along the edges. medium head that didn't last all too long, nearly no lacing, but that could be due to the fact i'm drinking this in a brandy snifter.

aroma is quite sweet, with nothing i can put my finger on exactly showing up. nose is thick, and has almost a bit of copper smell; not in a bad metallic kind of way, but, something that complements the colour.

flavourful, nice malts with a pinch of hops. once again, i can't pin anything down in the flavour, except for a bit of caramel when it is rather warm. the taste reminds me a lot of an oktoberfest.

Fine beer, unique certainly (to what i have had), and better than I was expecting. Try it if you have not yet.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 03:17:45 | More by trancefishy
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paid $1.49 for a single...

The beer poured a hazy amber colored base with a large white fluffy head, nice retention and moderate lacing. The aroma was very floral with unique tones...

The taste was alright, it tasted a little fruity with those floral tones. The mouthfeel isn't all that great, it's nice on the palette but the aftertaste isn't to my liking. The drinkability is solid, I could drink this as a session beer but wouldn't necessarily like it.

Final Thought: Not as good as I expected, however I will drink this on occasion, buying it as a single, primarily for the beers' unique aspect.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2004 02:28:05 | More by mobyfann
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

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

I hadn't had this in quite awhile, with all of the other more recent micros now out there. This is still an outstanding beer. It is a hazy, somewhat amber color. The aroma is somewhat floral with hop notes. The taste is slightly sour. Nice blance of malts and hops. One of the originals is still one of the best.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2004 03:43:39 | More by Boto
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this stuff before from a keg (didn't review) and remembered it being excellent. That being, said, I had high hopes for this beer but was kind of let down. Here we go.
Appears light applejuice color, very bubbly with a poofy little head that vanishes pretty quickly. I can barely smell this beer... perhaps a little fruity/grapey scent in there though. This beer tastes bitter at first, and has a unique flavor. Tastes and feels like champagne actually. Definately white grape flavor present. The drinkability is brought down a bit by the fact that the beer is so bubbly.
All in all this is fairly good beer. It's definately unique, which I really enjoy and respect in general, but maybe it's just not my style.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2004 21:37:25 | More by twelvsies
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother has always raved about this brew. Spying that it was on sale for $6.29 at Albertsons recently (And normally in the $8-$9 range), I thought I would pick up some for the Cardinals-Saints pre-game tailgate.
Poured as an amber color with a nice head that lasted awhile. My nose detected a hint of floral hops, otherwise there was nothing notable. Taste was nicely balanced between a hint of caramel with a light dry hop finish. Mouthfeel resulted in a nice clean finish. This is an extremely drinkable beer but one that is unremarkable in my book and not worth the normal high price tag commanded by this "macro micro".

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2004 11:57:05 | More by arizcards
Photo of sardonic
sardonic

Manitoba (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: My first review of the style, and actually my first time trying any micro from the US.

Nice caramel type color with a creamy head. Good hoppy taste, but oddly enough I'm even more drawn to it based on the appearance of the beer itself than the taste. Plus, very pretty packaging. Nice above average beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2004 03:27:53 | More by sardonic
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good-looking amber body with nice carbonation and finely laced 2 inches head, medium-lasting. Piny hops aroma with notes of perfumey caramel. Nice malt development in mouth, good balance. I like it more with every sips. It remains very light though with resin hoppy profile bringing a light bitterness. Well done and indeed got the lager light and refreshing smooth body which I liked.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2004 15:53:38 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of ken3c
ken3c

Michigan

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very bright copper. Lumpy head recedes to a thin lumpy layer. Lacing is spotty but evident. The head really makes this beer look great.

Slightly malt smell but mostly resiny hops.

Slightly sweet and then turns bitter. A hint of carmel in the aftertaste. Very clean taste.

Bubbly feel. Light-medium body.

For me, this is an example of the sum of the parts doesn't quite add up to the whole. I can appreciate this beer in each area but I just don't love it or even like it a lot. I just like it a little.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2004 00:04:05 | More by ken3c
Photo of BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a cloudy brown color and a thin tan head that does not last long. The aroma is minimal with nothiong impressive besides the malty smell. Flavor consists of light roasted malts, breadiness, and a touch of non-distinct hops. It also ends with a bit of sourness. Overall this beer has nothing too distinct about it. It beats macro swill, but not by much.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 15:47:08 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of skybluewater
skybluewater

Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a perfect amber color, rocky eggwhite head, no lacing. Very nice, perky, fruity smell. Has a sweet malty flavor, but it's not at all cloying. Very full mouthfeel for a sub-5% abv brew.

I haven't been drinking craft beer very long, and I came back to this one (after drinking "bigger, better" beer all summer long) not expecting much. I'm shocked to find that it tastes even better than I remembered. This is a truly great brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 13:15:29 | More by skybluewater
Photo of baiser
baiser

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an golden orange colour, with a creamy, off white head. This beer is very carbonated. It's clean and crisp like a lager, and fruity like an ale. Kind of 'woody', with a clean malt character. It's got a bitter aftertaste. Dry finish. A good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 00:00:11 | More by baiser
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with an adequate light beige colored head. Malty, earthy and grassy in the aroma, a slight bit diacetyl and further mineral-like qualities in in the water content. Slightly malty sweet, yet astringent from the malt and backed with a further dulled astringency from the hops. A bit fruity in the whole hop/malt balance, but if you know the brewing history behind a "Steam" (trademarked) or California Common beer, you'll understand why this beer had pushed the envelope at one time when it came to small-batch brewing. It since had become a U.S. classic, and rightly so. It is very crisp and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2004 08:55:46 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A truly excelent and enjoyable brew. This beer poured a good looking amber color with a nice white head that clung to the glass and left slight lace till the end. The smell was good with a nice earthy malt character. The taste was superb with a nice citrus bite in the beginning, a carmel like maltiness as it washes over your mouth and a great dry citric aftertaste. A unique beer indeed and a great session brew as well.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 10:26:47 | More by Dmann
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

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

this beer has a really cool bottle design, I like the colorful turn of the (last) century style a lot.

It pours a copper color with a big tight bubbled head and just a little bit of lace. The aroma is sweet and biscuity, with floral notes. The taste is very interesting. It starts out with a hit of hop bitterness that quickly leads into a sweet, biscuity almost honeyish feel. There isnt much of a finish other than lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel of this beer is a little watery. Its not superlative, but still a very interesting, quaffable beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2004 02:16:54 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, served at the kings head belfast

Pours with a dirty amber body, fizzy tan head forms

Smell, aromatic and hoppy, floral, not disimilar to the liberty ale but less powerful

Taste, nice mix of malt and hops, pretty well rounded. Hop bitterness. Perhaps slightly too carbonated

A good little beer, not on par with the liberty ale but none the less, might have been served a little too cold in the bar i had it in

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 21:18:45 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Ahhdball
Ahhdball

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good strong amber, distinctive in color and smooth on the pour.

Malt, hints of spice and possibly vanilla.

Smooth hops and malt cascade well together. A tiny flavor of the vanilla with some lemon and maybe a washington cherry.

Very smooth to drink, classic in style and flavor. A very likable and drinkable American ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 16:33:40 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

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

What a pour! Appetizing huge pillowy, cake like antique white head that settled into a 1/2" pour over a clear copper teeny bead carbonation. Cryptic freshness date in the label: 4FB.

Spicey nose of cardamon and carrot cake. Mmmm...

Blends of nutmeg and a suggestion of root beer. An A+ for creativity. This is another offering that reminds me of those candies that has the gooey caramel outside and the white sugary middle.

Solid foamy feel. Crisp even after sitting. Goes back like me gullet is pried open.

An easy summer swiggable brew. Awfully drinkable.

Last swigs: This is an historical brew. A truely American style. Blend of lager and ale. Hmmm... interesting. Steam derives from the "steam" carbonation that used to sizzle out from these beers when tapped.

Beer is good. Happy historical beering.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2004 13:28:51 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of abcsofbeer
abcsofbeer

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried this one several times and keep going back to it as it is a good session beer. Pours a medium to dark amber color with a creamy off white head about two fingers wide. The head leaves beautiful, sticky lace all over the glass. There is a great deal of carbonation as witnessed by the numerous bubbles rising to the surface.

The aroma is kind of nutty with a sweet smell in there. The taste is nutty and slightly malty, but only a trace of a hop prescence. Mouthfeel is good and smooth, almost too smooth, though. Overall, a good beer to enjoy anytime.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 15:56:55 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux

Texas

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

I had to try Anchor Steam since it is one of the few American classics. Appearance is a dark copper with medium-sized, creamy head. Smell is clean, slightly hoppy, with a note of sweetness. Taste is nicely balanced. Mild malts and hops combine for a fairly complex taste. Slight citrus taste is noted on the edges of the sip. Thankfully, Anchor Steam is a full-flavored brew that doesn't feel too heavy for high drinkability. Overall, I really liked this beer, but didn't find it to be the most exciting style around. Anchor Steam is a must-try though, it's not often you find the originator of a style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2004 21:18:05 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of Ricochet
Ricochet

Ohio

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

Tried this a long time ago and it wasn't a taste I wanted to re-visit compared to the awesome Anchor Porter. I was able to mix-and-match a 6 from my local beverage store so I got a couple and I was pleasantly suprised.

Appearence: Dark amber, little head.

Smell: Slight fruity scent but an unusual note like no other beer making this unique.

Mouthfeel: Foamy and rich

Taste: It starts out a little lighter, almost like a champagne. A slight "Trappist Monk Ale" note assuming that comes from how this beer is hopped. Strong alchololic taste and strong hoppy flavor with no fruity flavors. Towards the end, just a slight lager flavor.

This Anchor is a very unique and respectable beer. I'll have it again as a change up or sampler but I prefer the porter/liberty ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2004 04:26:45 | More by Ricochet
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,490 ratings.