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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,873 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,873
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 406 | 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: 4,873 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maddogruss
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Steam Beer/California Common...whatever you want to call it!

A: Pours an amber body with a small white head. There was decent retention, but eventually slowed to a nice lacing that held to the finish.

S: Not much of a smell. Smelled slightly malty and alcoholic.

T: Tastes like "beer." Reminded me a lot of a macro light lager but tasted a lot smoother. Also, tasted slightly salty, which was interesting.

M: A nice, light mouthfeel that was rather crisp.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. Does not really taste like much, but it was pretty light and easy to drink. Definitely good for the summer or grilling.

maddogruss, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours into a very deep, orange body with a very good amount of head. Color is very distinctive.

Nose is mostly citrus like, with a lemon note being somewhat dominant.

Upon the first sip or two, this beer has a distinctive salty flavor too it that actually takes a little getting used too. However, it's by no means excessive, and it actually integrates well into the distinctive taste of this beer. Some caramel and hint of molasses are in there as well, and towards the end, a nice crisp lemon note hits the back of the tongue and rounds things out very well. Low to medium bitterness, just right to round things up. The residual salt taste just slightly stays on the palate, and leaves you wanting another sip.

The number one thing that comes to my mind about this beer is "distinctive". Think about it, it's a beer brewed with bottom fermenting lager-yeast, but fermented at an ale temperature. I guess you could say, you kind of get the best of both worlds in this beer. Indeed, this beer more less possesses the flavors of an ale with the smooth crispness of a lager. Only drawback is it's a little pricey, but in my opinion, it's well worth a little extra cash.

AustinBeerLvr, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from 1 pt. 6 oz. bottle. Pours clear amber-copper color with slightly off-white head. Thick head at first that takes some time to settle but once it does it leaves a nice residue for the remainder of the beer. Medium carbonation and lots of bubbles. Smell is mainly of malt and sweetness but there seems to be a small, very small touch of bitterness. Flavor is nearly identical, mostly malt, some caramel with a toasted feel to it but there is a taste of bitter hops in there, a very nice balance. Leaves a slightly dry feeling in the mouth that I wasnt too fond of but wasnt terrible either. Overall a great beer, easy drinker with a great taste to it.

bunnyhustle, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my Pig's Eye Pub glass.

A: Pours a clear, light copper-orange with a very small head that quickly turns to lace. Carbonation is fairly decent.

S: Smells, ironically, a bit like steam. A little fruity hop on the nose.

T: Taste is well balanced between fruity hops and a little sweet roasted malt. There is a lingering malt flavor that satisfies, while the hop leaves a resin in it's wake.

M: Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, not too heavy, and a little sharp on the tongue.

D: Because of lower ABV and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel and flavor, this is a very drinkable beer. There's an element, maybe its lingering sweetness, that would make me choose a different session beer, but I'd sit through 2-3 of these easily.

Anchor seems to have cornered the market on steam beer, but readers beware, Flying Dog puts out a very nice California Common called "Old Scratch" that gives this brew a run for its money, if not surpassing it in taste.

Gambrinus1184, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of lawman834
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper with a creamy head that's tall but goes away fast.

S-Kinda hoppy and grassy. Not very strong.

T-Not bad at all. Balanced to a little on the hoppy side. Has a little bit of a strange metallic taste.

M-Very bright and carbonated in the mouth. A little slick on the finish.

D-Pretty darn drinkable. It does however leave a little of that odd metallic aftertaste in my mouth and a bit of that slicknees on my tounge.

lawman834, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of bradford
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bought a sixpack at Cost Plus for $6.99.
Poured a hazy dark blonde with a solid whit head
Smelled very good. Lots of something I can't put my finger on. Not spicy or yeasty, but pleasant and crisp.
Tasted very nice. Crisp, clean, refreshing, hoppy, delicious.
Mouthfeel was pretty good, a bit bitter from the hops, but nice.
Drinkability is absolutely perfect. This is THE example of the style. If Steam Beer isn't named after this, it should be. Highly recommended.

bradford, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle marked 7LC (July 3, 2007) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a copper color with a nice thick off-white head.

S: Mostly malt aromas in the form of some caramel and grains.

T: A completely unique taste. Lots of toasted malts, grains, some astringent tastes, with the slightly bitter and slick hops coming through in the end.

M: Medium bodied, nice level of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, a craft beer classic. I'm very lucky to live in the Bay Area where this stuff can be found damn near everywhere on tap.

willjschmidt, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of YonderWanderer
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear copper with a thin layer of head. Dissipates pretty quick and leaves little lacing.

S: Not much of an aroma. A slight hint of malt, but not much.

T: Decent - the malt hits you up front with a bit of sweetness. A slight hit of hops comes through near the end to leave a decent aftertaste. Well-balanced, but not anything spectacular.

M: A little thin, but not too bad overall. Decent carbonation.

D: This is definitely a session beer. Tastes good enough and low enough ABV that you could throw back a few of them. Not bad, but not great.

YonderWanderer, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of skineg
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Meduim, clear (not cloudy) amber color with 1/4 head that doesn't stick around long, but never completely goes away.

Smell:Sweet and lightly toasted malts with the smell of floral and herbal hops. I can definitely smell of hops in this brew, but not too strong.

Taste: This is just a very good beer. Well rounded and smooth with little aftertaste. Tastes a bit like a lager but is more smooth and has a hint of floral.

Mouthfeel: Very light on the palate, not Miller Lite, but very light nonetheless. Good, but not great in this department

Drinkability: Very drinkable and easy to put back a few because it doesn't fill you up

skineg, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of Rainintheface
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taking notes while trying out the new local bistro.
12oz bottle poured into shaker pint

A: beautiful dark amber, medium carbonation with foamy tan head. o.k. head retention, nice lacing

S: not much happening on the nose slightly malty, caramel. not much aroma at all

T: malty, a little bitter some fruit flavor

M: creamy medium body and med carbonation and a nice dry finish

D: I had to order a couple more with dinner. Great session beer

Besides aroma this beer is pleasingly good on all levels.

Rainintheface, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

pours a gorgeous amber/copper color, very bright and excellent clarity. The sizeable head fades fast (although I drank it nearly as fast) and leaves decent lacing, but this is one time I'm not looking for retention - this is all about quenching thirst.

Aroma is pleasant but can only be called light. toasted grain and mild sweetness. Meh...let's talk about taste!

There's a great light bitterness here, light fruity flavor, plenty of caramel malt, and a drying finish. (though I admittedly have mere seconds to experience the drying effect before filling my mouth with another "sip") I think there's a bit of salt flavor, as whenever I have this I'm reminded of deep sea fishing trips as a young man, sipping a beverage with a fine salt spray hitting my nose and on my lips.

Goes down smooth, with a body on the light side and appropriate carbonation. A fantastic thirst quencher, and extremely drinkable. Coming home from a quick trip to the grocery store in a scorching hot car on a 100+ degree day, I couldn't wait to crack this open, and it did the job. I'd drink a few more, but tomorrow will be hot again...

udubdawg, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of Derek
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Earthy-mineral & floral hops with a slight caramel aroma.

T: Earthy-mineral, caramel, orange zest, slight hint of fruity esters. There's a slight nutshell-like bitterness that I'm not fond of.

M: Moderate body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Personally I'm not fond of that nutshell flavour.

Derek, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of mobud
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass

A- Nice copper color with thick head that slowly faded. Active carbonation.

S- Strong malty nose with a fresh bread smell.

T- Sweet malt with a slight hop taste,but just enough to keep it from being a malt explosion on sipping.

M- Medium feel with an easy finish.

D- Another winner for me from this great brewery. It is easy to see why this company has been so strong for so long. Light enough to have several, but complex enough to keep you enjoy every sip.

mobud, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of BigRedN
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is amber/copery in color, clear, with a fluffy white head about an inch and a half in height. The head lingers half way through before it finally fades to a thin cover. Leaves good lacing.

Smell: Aromas of bready malt. Some light floral hops are present as well.

Taste: The beer has a strong malty presence on the outset, followed by a slightly bitter hoppy finish. Overall though, the beer is well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, well carbonated. A touch dry with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: A very interesting beer, somewhat rare and unique. This beer has great taste, an ABV less than 5%, and I don't get bored or filled up drinking it. Just a perfect session beer. However, it is unfortunately somewhat expensive for me (I purchased some Anchor 6 packs on sale for $6.99, they are regularly $7.99). If this were less than $6 a six pack, it would be a regular in my fridge.

BigRedN, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of biggmike
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color with thick creamy head. Very drinkable beer and like the other Anchor entries that I’ve tried(Porter and Liberty Ale) very tasty and satisfying. The head was not that long lasting and the lacing was mediocre. Still, an excellent beer that I would recommend. Flavor grows on you.

biggmike, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of cichief
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft, always a welcome favorite.

A- Pours a deep golden amber, with a nice tan head.

S- Scent of toasted malt and subtle hops.

T- Toasted barley, very biscuity, a very clean, balanced flavor.

M- Well carbonated, not too bubbly, thin to medium on the tongue.

D- A super beer to spend a session with, tasty, but not overly done.

cichief, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of scriabin
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor's flagship beer is very solid and never disappoints. It seems to be one of the more versatile beers in that I love it on a hot summer day and it satisfies on the coldest night.

This one has a lovely copperish color and a subtle but enticing smell steeped in hops. The flavor is a nice mix of hops and malt. It is quite flavorful, yet light enough to enjoy again and again without bogging down the stomach. Mmmm...

scriabin, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, reddish/amber. Sort of a cider color. 1/4 inch head that settles to almost nothing. Sort of bready in the nose, earthy malt balanced with a very faint hop aroma. The taste is sort of peculiar. Not much flavor at all at the beginning of the drink, although it tastes very fresh and pure. The taste is mostly towards the end of the sip and ends with a rye-like dryness. The mouthfeel is crispy and smooth especially served relatively cool. Quite drinkable as well. It is almost like a brown ale with an extremely light body and a little less flavor. Good session beer I would imagine.

Rudgers73, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of shererjt
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, light copper color with a nice, big, long-lasting light tan head. Nose was very hoppy with some caramel in the background and a subdued fruitiness. Some mintiness in there, too. Tasted about the same--crystal malt with a lingering bitterness. Moderate hop flavor; thought it could use a bit more malt for balance, but very nice. Mouthfeel was lively though a bit thin. Drinkability was quite nice.

An all-around solid brew.

shererjt, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of Shadman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good old 8th street wine & liquor store brought some of this in. Heard lots about it, let's see if the hype holds.

Not sure where all the hazy reviews came from. My bottle poured a slight copper color with a head that showed some good retnetion, but no lacing.

Rich, bready malt with a hint of caramel to it. Spicy hops linger in the background.

Interesting taste. Flood of bitter hop and smooth caramel malt attack the tastebuds in perfect unison. Finish, even with the hop blast, is only slightly dry.

Very smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel. Maybe a tad bit watery..but overall a good experience.

Nice west coast offering as they didn't go overboard with the hops and the smoothness certainly makes it a breeze to drink. Would be a good companion to some SF seafood

Shadman, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of jayfarley3
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a 12oz bottle pours a medium hazy copper color with a big fluffy off white head.

smells bready, malty and has a slight sweetness to it.

this is a very tasty beer, toasted malts, slightly hoppy and a very balanced bitter finish.

very smooth medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. this is a great beer, definitley worth trying if you havent yet.

jayfarley3, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of AlephNull
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly hazy deep amber, little head retention.

S- floral hoppiness over some apricot/fruity malt.

T- Active citrusy hops come to the forefront immediately, once they smooth out a bit, I taste a bit of a slightly nutty malts.

M- Very active and refreshing. The mouthfeel's the best part of the beer.

D- I can imagine a lot of situations this would be a great beer. But I probably wouldn't choose it often out of a huge lineup. Still not bad.

AlephNull, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of GeneralZod
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE
A brownish gold clear color. Has good head retention.

SMELL
Smells appetizing. Has a hoppy fragrance.

TASTE
Very balanced. Slighty bitter, but in a good way. Very good

MOUTHFEEL
Slippery. Somewhat watery. Well carbonated.

DRINKABILITY
Taste great. Quickly one of my favorite beer. Would definitely have another one.

GeneralZod, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of Durge
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ice tea brown, a thin but steady head with a lot of lace. Smells of malt and white bread, tangy with nice carbonation. A touch of clove flavor with a pleasant bitter finish. Very drinkable, mild but interesting flavor. This would always be a welcome selection. Nice.

Durge, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of sleazo
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't gotten around to reviewing this so I figured I would see if I could uncover anythign else here.

A-Pours a clear brown with a steady stream of bubbles. Nice soapy foam head settles to a thin covering but the lacing is impressive. Sheets of lace cling to the sides of the mug.

S-Very bready with hints of caramel. The hops are lurking in the background, not enough to determine the kind.

T-The first impact of the taste is the sweetness from the malt. A sort of caramel flavour gives way to rich toasted bread and this is followed by a very nice bitterness from the hops. The hops make their presence very well known here at the end with their resiny slightly floral quality. Running throughout is certain mineral taste much like a good bottled water.

M-Very much American lager in body. It is slightly thin with a good carbonation and a slightly oily feel to it.

D-What more can I say, this is a true classic and one of the first beers that got me into the whole craft movement. This is a welcome summer beer on a humid evening.

sleazo, Jul 20, 2007
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,873 ratings.