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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

4,999 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,999
Reviews: 1,871
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 140
Gots: 459 | 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: 4,999 | Reviews: 1,871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warmstorage
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, pours a bright copper orange with a medium dense, slightly rocky off white head.

Aroma is grainy, sweet malt, no hop bitterness to speak of. A slight off-smell detected. I hate to say this, but it smells a little like, well, poop.

Taste is bright tangy fruity, slightly spicy, with a strong toasty/bready finish. Again, hops are muted. A little grainy and metallic. A definite tang in the finish that isn't real pleasant.

Bright, tingly carbonation in the mouth, a little too much.

Drinkable beer, but definitely not something I buy on any kind of a regular basis. It's a storied company and a storied style, but Anchor makes far better beer (Anchor Porter, e.g.)

warmstorage, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light coppery amber lager. The vicorous pour resulted in a generous 2 finger off white head. This brew had a persistent level of fine carbonation. Clingy and intricate lacings did there best to defy gravity and pretty much hung out where they stuck to the glass.

Pleasant mild aroma of toasted white bread and crust. A pear like fruitiness, as well as mildly floral hops with a touch of lemongrass.

Yummy and straight forward. Cracker, toasted white bread and crust. Mildly yeasty with notes of pear. Finishes slightly bitter with a touch of lemon and green grass.

Light bodied, somewhat crisp, but certainly refreshing brew. Very well balanced with its lightly toasted malts and continental hop compliment. Almost creamy.

Very drinkable, straightforward, approachable, yet tasty, wel;l crafted session brew. Would be a great brew for introducing BMC drinkers to craft brew. Will be enjoying a few more of these this summer.

demcorhip, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of malcontent
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Haven't had this old standard in ages so it's high time for a review.

Pours a light amber with a comfortable amount of head on top. Head fades into respectable lacing with a healthy stream of bubbles rising to the top.

Grainy mash scent with little hops to speak of. Not the most fragrant of beers but not offputting at all.

Slight pisner-ish hay taste, refreshing hop presence although not a dominant force in this brew. Slightly tangy quality to a finish that is otherwise very clean.

Good body and very crisp carbonation that avoids numbing the tongue. This will never blow away my taste buds but Anchor Steam is one of the very best sessionable American beers in my estimation. Just an easy drinking, well-made brew to have while hanging out with friends.

malcontent, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of BigJTrucker
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this bomber from Market of Choice, Coburg Rd, Eugene, OR. Has an embossed code on the back label "607".

Pours a thick, slightly off white head and copper color. Smells of fresh malt. Tastes fresh, grassy, maybe a little buttery. Doesnt seem to have too much aftertaste. Slightly effervescent mouthfeel and a bit creamy texture.... This one is deffinetly not bad. I don't detect much hoppyness to it, but yeah... it's still good. @ 4.9% this would make a great session beer.

BigJTrucker, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of auxiliary
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance -Copper color, with a nice white head and lacing.

smell - Citrus smell to it. amd some malt.

taste - Has a fruit tate to it, little dry, and slight bitter at the end.
mouthfeel medium body

drinkability - Great beer, had this on tap at a new place that opened up. Nice beern selection too.

auxiliary, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of mooseisloose
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

mooseisloose, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of Dubbercody
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Dubbercody, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

pmcadamis, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of alexskovan
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

alexskovan, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of numenor1
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

numenor1, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of cheers2beers
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.


cheers2beers, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of chuckm
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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).

chuckm, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of copasetic
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

copasetic, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of beeragent
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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!

beeragent, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of PEBKAC
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.


PEBKAC, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of seanyfo
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

seanyfo, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of treehugger02010
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

treehugger02010, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

russpowell, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of doppelmeup
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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!

doppelmeup, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Mebuzzard, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of bgraney
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

bgraney, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of benito
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

benito, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

mpyle, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of ElGordo
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

ElGordo, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

objectivemonkey, Jan 12, 2007
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,999 ratings.