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.
very good

4,767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,767
Reviews: 1,856
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 375 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,767 | Reviews: 1,856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of micro108
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a mid-amber color, and has a firm, thick bubbly head. It is mildly-carbonatedand and has a pleasant citrusy hop smell. A quick sniff in the glass reveals a touch of grainy malt and a more floral character to the hops. In the mouth it is not too lively, with the flavor dominated by a firm bitterness, displaying the floral hop character noticed in the nose - the citrusy character is there too, but becomes more subdued as the beer warms in the glass. It is balanced by a dryish but rich malt body, with a caramelly, burnt touch. Finish is a bitter blend of burnt caramel and hops, leaving a lingering bitter and slightly cloying aftertaste on the tongue. A great beer - one of the better-known American craft brews, but deserving of its popularity.

micro108, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid copper color in to a pint glass. there is a big sticky off white head with some great retention, it left me with a little bit of a beer mustache as a result of my lack of patience. There's some decent patchy lacing.

There's nothing here really. A really tiny note of citrus rind or unripe banana but not much else to speak of. This is the only California common that I can think of so I left this as a 3 because I really don't have any reference to argue it one way or the other.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's drinks light with a fruit punch note. It reminds me of certain IPAs with out the big hopping. It hits you with some initial hop bitterness but then it just moves on to the tropical fruit notes and some floral touches in the finish. There's a slightly "green" after taste like that of edible flower petals but it's neither bad nor good.

This beer pretty much screams drinkability. It's got long haul ABV, a good variety of flavor, and it doesn't leave you regretting your last sip with an awful aftertaste. Very enjoyable in this aspect.

Bottom Line:
This was my first legal beer if I remember correctly and I remember really not liking it. I'm drinking this and realizing how my palette has developed because this really is a pretty damn good session beer. Next time you're watching the game or hitting the woods with the guys sub out your macro or even craft lager and bring a case of these along.

Grundle20, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of sjambok1
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

My first review and for an excellent beer.

A: Amber and dark with a good, thick head

S-Smelt of hops and caramel. Soothing and not too strong.

T-An excellent taste. Very hopy and somewhat sweet at the beginnign.

MF-Very carbonated, good, and smooth

D-Something I could drink plenty of and not have a problem.

sjambok1, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of MVassar
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty, clear orange/copper color. Medium off-white head which hangs around for a couple of minutes.

Somewhat reluctantly gives up subtle scents of malt and caramel.

Very subtle hints of caramel, sweet malt, lingering citrus. Also a touch of bitter hops in the finish.

NIce round mouthfeel, with plenty of carbonation.

Well-constructed and undemanding, this is a very drinkable session beer.

MVassar, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- reddish copper with a 1" white head that has good retent and lacing, head settles to a tiny ring.

S- clean, toasted malt, floral

T- toasted malt with a somewhat spicy hop flavor, grainy. mellow flavor

M- smooth flowing though at times it feels coarse, light body

D- easyily sessionable. mellow flavor. well deserving of its hype.

tonistruth, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of SilentSabre
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draught at the Mellow Mushroom on Hwy 5 in Douglasville. I was quite impressed with it. It poured a burnt orange colour with a very pretty off-white head. Lots of CO2 streaming skyward kept the foamy cap from fading away for some time. Plenty of glue-like lacing in this one, too. Looks good. The smell was quite lovely, as well. Heavy malt, with light hops, this almost reminded me of the breakfast cereal Sugar Smacks. Certainly very inviting. Much more hops in the flavour than was evident in the smell. This is very well balanced. Pleasant, malty sweetness up front, and a nice hop bitterness on the finish. A rock solid beer. Mouthfeel seemed well rounded and very easy to drink. I truly enjoyed this one. I ended up having two pints. Delicious!

SilentSabre, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of kernalklink
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very light pour, vanishing head and mediocre lacing. Aromas were malty with some floral quality. Taste was better than expected- bready malts with a slightly sweet character, then a nice delicate hop finish. Very crisp clean taste and good carbonation. A very sessionable brew, pairs well with just about anything.

kernalklink, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of adam42381
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a medium caramel with a substantial 2-3 finger light cream head which dissipated fairly quickly to about 1 finger leaving minimal lacing.

Smell: Hints of bitter citrus with sweet malt. Very nice combination.

Taste: Nice bite at the beginning fading into citrus. A very nice bitterness builds up to the finish. Bitter aftertaste that isn't overpowering. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a bite. Your mouth feels coated with it even after swallowing. Mouth waters a bit for more. Not too heavy nor too light; just about right.

Drinkability: Goes down exceptionally smooth and leaves you wanting more. Definitely not too heavy to enjoy several in a sitting. Very drinkable.

Overall: I'd rate Anchor Steam as a very solid beer. Great flavor and high drinkability make this one I would recommend and will definitely continue to purchase. Glad I found this one about 8 months ago. Highly recommended.

adam42381, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of xav33
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anchor Steam Beer
12 oz bottle
Medium pour in an English pint
Brewed 05/06, anchored 11/06

Poured amber orange with an average frothy quickly diminishing head with no lacing.

Smelt of moderate caramel, bananas, grass.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter grass and cobwebs with light sweet and slightly sour raisin fruit followed by a strong bitter grass hops with light sweet gelatin on a long finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, dry, softly carbonated and moderately astringent.

Overall, this beer has a very rustic distinct character, and, as innovators of the style, a great benchmark.

xav33, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber – clear – massive head, as deep as the beer – fairly lively

Sweet and malty – some hop

Not too light, there are significant flavor levels present. Hops and malt with a little alcohol.

Foams up pretty well in the mouth – mild carbonation sting

Anchor Steam makes a no-nonsense American Lager (a Steam): a nice blend of sweet and bitter via the American hop infused malt core. It’s stronger than your average APA.

MrHungryMonkey, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of beveritt
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label has a stamp, 6Y1, whatever that means.

Appearance: Pours a medium brown, clear with a slight hint of orange/red. Nice one inch creamy head that falls to just a coating.

Smell: Sweet, with hints of the the grassy smell you get from a macro lager. Almost a carbon/charcoal odor.

Taste: A pretty good bite up front from the carbonation. A little malt, not much, then some of the grassy hops, finally followed by a decent level of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average level of carbonation. Good, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty easy drinking brew. Have to admit, the grassy flavor reminds me too much of some macros or a can of Boddington's. Not a huge fan, but it is the epitome of the style.

beveritt, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of bark
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The liquid is almost clear; the finger thick head is off white, compact and very smooth. The lacing is hardly noticeable.

The smell is yeasty/fruity/bitter/creamy with notes of honey, peaches, coffee toffee and some broth. It is a very inviting and quite complex smell.

The taste is complex and full of character, but it is neither heavy nor compact. Roasted creamy malt with a nutty-salty flavour, semi-sweet toffee (with a hint of cream sauce). The aftertaste got a slowly building bitterness, black coffee, mixed sweets, and fruits (peaches, pears) and a touch of roasted peanuts, caramel sauce and crisp bread.

The mouthfeel is creamy with lots of small refreshing bubbles.

Oh, I like this one. Better than last time I reviewed it, at least.

bark, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of lagomswedish
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy peach colour with a thick, whipped-cream off-white head.

Smell: Struggled a bit here, as the aromas weren't that obvious. Some metallic hints from the hops and a mild bready backdrop.

Taste: Wonderfully balanced between a biscuity, malty body and apricot/peach fruits, with a noticeable sweetness as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: soft, light carbonation means this is one easy beer to swallow. Hop tingle remains long after the last gulp.

Drinkabilty. Goes down easier than an Italian footballer in the penalty box. A great all-year round beer that matches well with everyday food.

lagomswedish, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of bigone4
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice slight hazy copper amber color with a beautiful creamy tanish two finger white head. Looks very presentable with a nice head and coloration. Head retention is strong combined with a mild decent downward with a nice light frothy layer. Smells of a strong malt and bread like tint. Mild hint of floralness from the hops. Has a subtle hint of fruit or some kind of a fruity sweetness. Perhaps some underlying caramel tones. Tastes smooth and enjoyable. Nice malt flavor balanced with a mild dry hop finish.

The subtle sweetness is definitely from the malt flavors that are heavily present. Has a great easy to drink flavor. Nice mix of flavor. Extremely enjoyable and at 4.9% it has a decent ABV. I will continue to drink this beer and I find it to be scarce in many bars. This is a well crafty beer and has a nice overall mouth feel and drink ability. Pretty neat history behind the name and the brewery. No freshness date on the bottle. This is a great beer that has been a long time coming for a review from me. I enjoyed every last drop. Well recomended.

bigone4, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden color with a thick head but falling head. The smell is slightly malty but not overpowering. The taste is sweet with a touch of spice and hops. It has a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full but not heavy – with a small carbonation bite. The drinkability of this beer is high as they tend to slide back easily without being too filling.

barefootbrewer, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright, nearly transparent amber with a substantial, fine bubbled head. Aromas of caramel malts and a touch of hops; not very expressive, but true to style. Rich, creamy, highly carbonated mouthfeel. Tastes of light fruitiness, citric hops, and dry, crackery malts at the finish. Very active toward the end. Lingers on the tongue a while. Overall, an extremely drinkable beer, understated but flavorful, that will pair well with lots of savory food -- pizza, sandwiches, burgers. Wonderful.

geexploitation, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of wanker
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle.

Nice light amber color; poured with a 1 finger head. Very easy on the palate. Had a slightly sweet note but not cloying. Very pleasant, non-assertive flavor. Mouthfeel a bit better than average, but nothing remarkable.

Super drinkable, perhaps the perfect session brew.

wanker, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug. Brewed in August.

Crystal clear deep copper color. Off white head with good retention, thick from the high carbonation. Layers of sticky lacing make their way down the glass, making an appearance similar to a ringed-snake.

Musty malt aromas along with a light earthy hop aroma. Hints of honey like sweetness.

Very original flavors, some that I haven't tasted in any other beers. Starts off with relatively light malts, with light bits of noble hops. The finish is dry, but with more of a grainy malty taste. Sharp flavors come from the malts. The high carbonation in a lighter body gives it a crisp feel as well.

One-of-a-kind beer. Very complex and unique flavors can be found in this one. An American classic. Be sure to add this one to the list of beers to try.

BeerSox, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of uberabr
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great color, a glowing reddish amber. Well carbonated. Head forms and dies pretty fast, but good lace.

Not getting a whole lot in the small department. Grassy with a zesty lemon-peel hoppyness. A nice, simple, aromatic smell.

A tad bitter. Hops are there but not overpowering. There's a real simple but charming quality to this beer. It could be a lot more malty but doesn't have much alcohol, a good call in my opinion.

Not a whole lot of complexity but I like it. Feels bubbly and refreshing in the mouth. The excellent drinkability and relatively low AbV make this a great session beer.

uberabr, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle> 16 oz. SA glass.
This brew is a brilliant amber, totally clear, big carbonation that easily creates a mighty fine smooth, creamy and even white head that dissipates only a bit and leaves plenty of froth hanging around.

Caramel-sweet malt on the nose much like a vienna lager and with it's sour/sweet yeatieness. Very hearty scent as well with a spicey balance that is pretty aromatic. Way down there's vanilla and nutmeg.

The flavor at first is this honey-soaked breadiness with caramel and vanilla currents riding along side. Herbal, spicey and hearty flavors create a unique and even balance. The hop flavor is spicey and wheatie, not at all green or bitter. The last element is a roast beefy flavor that comes from the hearty wheat and herbal yeast effect. Still, a complex brew.

Medium bodied, big, clean crispiness and a delightful smoothness right at the end.

When this stuff is fresh, which can be rare here on the East coast this stuff is amazingly easy to drink and a real joy. An American original (with taste!)

GratefulBeerGuy, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appereance: good head, retention is decent
Smell: faint apple. Caramel hops come out a little
Taste: Balanced, yet bitter. Hops are present balanced with caramel malts.
Mouthfeel: crisp, refreshing.
Drinkability: easily a session beer.

This beer could go good with some tacos.

jasonjlewis, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of HochFliegen
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep carmel color with a thick white head.
The smell was fruity with a carmel like maltiness to it as well. There was also some hoppiness in the smell that was very mild.
The taste was very crisp and refershing. Malt flavors of carmel and hop flavor as well. Citrus like taste in the end. Really nice and refershing.

HochFliegen, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dense white head reigns over a caramel body with a healthy amount of visible carbonation bubbles. Nose is malty with a hint of citrus and little if any evident hopping.

Taste is refreshing yet balanced and mellow. Tough to gauge by style since it's the only California common beer I've ever seen. It is unique, and well made. Slightlly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slightly watery. I'd try it again, especially to ward off the indian summer we're currently experiencing here in central NC. Worth a try.

daliandragon, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of klewis
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6MG

A: Pours a caramel color with a big bubbly head with good sustain.

S: Neutral hop aroma with a slight vegetal smell.

T: Sweet with buttery malt flavors and a touch of hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D: Nice for a session beer, but in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty average.

klewis, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice fluffy white head.bout an 1 inch thick.A light coppery color,slightly hazy apperance.Has a fruity.burnt,carmel smell.not of a hop aroma.Tastes carmely,slight hint of a roasted coffee flavor,a very tastee brew.A nice clean dry finish a hint of citrus. A complex flavor. An interesting beer and very drinkable.
A must try beer.

jcdiflorio, Sep 23, 2006
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,767 ratings.