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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

4,885 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,885
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 132
Gots: 409 | 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: 4,885 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tastybeer
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears clear and copper with a small white head that leaves a nice ring of retention. Aroma isn't complex but its rich with sweet carmel-cream and woodsy malts. A hint of farm freshness with dandelions, leaves, and light lemon hopping. Taste is great with sweet leafy, gritty malts and tangy lemon dryness. The lemon and semi-sharp carbontion keep the beer swirling around in your mouth. Mouthfeel has a lot of nice texture too. Its grainy with clarity and has an overall smoothness. A pleasure to drink.

This makes a great session beer, all year round but especially during the warm months.

tastybeer, May 26, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Murphy's in Boone NC.
Pours a copper, amber, gold color with a 1/4" white head that quickly dissapated. Mild hops and fruit in the nose. Maybe bannana. Taste is very simple but good. Easy to drink, with a mild hop finish. Very dry in the mouth. Possibly the most drinkable beer that I've ever had. It's just so smooth. Recommended.

wcudwight, May 22, 2006
Photo of Sosh
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night at a german-style restaurant. I got this kind of as an appitizer. Tasty. This was my first beer from Anchor. This is just overall a great beer, really for any occasion. It went down smoothly, and had an exceptional finish. The frothy head lasted all the way down and left a nice lace throughout.

Sosh, May 20, 2006
Photo of Orrshow
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours a copper/orange color with a decent amount of whitish frothy head.

Smell – Smells of sweet caramel malts, wood, and citrus hops. A nice combination in my books.

Taste – Caramel malts are present for sure. There is some graininess and astringent qualities as well. I detect some bitter citrus hops too but they are very easy going and don’t overpower. The aftertaste is sweet and very soothing with just a hint of those hops.

Mouthfeel – This beer has a slightly tingly carbonation but it’s not enough to complain about. The body is excellent…almost creamy in a way.

Drinkability – Easy to drink rather it’s to gulp or to sip. It could be used for tasting or session.

Like this beer a lot. It was the first American craft beer I ever tasted (thanks to elricorico) and I enjoy returning for a visit here and there.

Orrshow, May 16, 2006
Photo of WonderWoman
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this beer in a bottle and it came with a frosty mug. Once in the mug, the beer looked a light amber. At first it had a nice frothy head that soon dissipated to nothing. It smelled of a fresh cut lemon and a bitter hops with a few oats in the background. The taste reminded me of a watery red grapefruit with a metallic aftertaste that lingered far too long. Lacking carbonation, this beer had a very thin mouth feel to it. Over all, I thought I could do with out ever drinking an entire bottle again. However, I could take a swig here and there with out being totally offended.

WonderWoman, May 14, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color woth slightly off white chunky head. Smell is a very enjoyable combination of malt with citrus notes. Taste follows through with a good malty character and a mild lemony note. Finishes with a good refreshing taste that is supremely enjoyable. Hard to believe I never had this beer before.I will definitely visit it again.

tgbljb, May 14, 2006
Photo of SethB2
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my Black Butte pint glass.

Beer pours a transparent ligh amber color with a nice two finger snow white head. Head disipates and leave a small amount of lacing. Smell is a tad on the sweet side and a little malty. Not a whole lot going on in the nose for me. Taste is good. Toasted malts followed by a better than expected hoppiness, providing a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is OK, but a bit thin and watery. Drinkabilty is good. This would be an easy drinker in session bender.

Overall, I like this beer, but I didn't have anything to compare it to. Not sure I've ever had another steam beer. So my ratings pretty much only reflect how I feel about the beer. In conclusion, for a lager that is fairly light in color, I was pleasantly surprised.

SethB2, May 13, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is nothing more refreshing than drinking an Anchor Steam on a hot day (yes, even outta the bottle) or more classic a microbrewed taste than this beer. This was one of my first microbrews and I fell in love with it immediately. It says, "Anchor Steam" to you while you consume it. Slightly malty on the front, mild hoppy kickback, great session beer, great starter for a new micro-drinker. Nice head upon the poor, decent lacing down the glass. An alltime classic!

bigdeuce, May 09, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice copper color with just a bit haze to it. Fingers worth of creamy head. The smell was hard to find...slight malt scent in the distance but nothing really pops out. Nice and creamy feel to it. A semi-sweet roasted malt flavor with a bit of hoppy citrus on the finish. Nicely balanced, almost full-bodied brew that goes down easy. I only wish the aroma would catch up with the rest of the characteristics.

Imstillthegman, May 08, 2006
Photo of GuinnessHero
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Stemmed Pislner glass.

Appearance - A light ruby color to this beer. One-finger head develops that dissipates over the course of a few minutes. Very few signs of carbonation. Nonetheless, very nice looking.

Smell - Light with a touch of hops and maybe a hit of lemon.

Taste - Lemony with some notions of hops. Not very hoppy like my tastes prefer, but still good.

Mouthfeel - Fresh, and coats the pallet decnetly.

Drinkability - I can't drink this too much. Something about this makes it a bit undrinkable once it is halfway through the glass. Still a good beer.

GuinnessHero, May 08, 2006
Photo of Graebner
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown-orange with a finger+ of white, meringue-like head that slowly diminshes, but never completely fades, and rejuvinates itself a little with each sip.

Smells like sourdough. Faint hints of spices and even fainter florals, and some smoky smells, but pretty much sourdough.

Tastes like peaches, rosewater, sourdough, and sports a very impressive hops presence. The hops are drying and bitter, yet quite pleasant.

The mouthfeel is also very pleasant. It starts out immediately sweet, but almost instantly the carbonation hits and tingles, and almost instantly afterwards the hops starts to dry out your tongue. Finishes nicely astringent, clean, and refreshing.

The drinkability would suffer a bit from the hops, which are somewhat out of balance, but you could sit down with a few of these. The price is what really does it in...at $10.75, it's one of the most expensive sixers on the shelf, and by no means one of the best.

A very good beer overall. Certainly not worth the price, but very good.

Graebner, May 04, 2006
Photo of sammy44
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Love the shape of the bottle also.

Poured a really nice copper color that seemed to have a chill haze on it. The head poured up real nice and fell to about a 1/4 inch with a good creamy texture.

Smelled of citrus hops and some toasty malt. Taste was really good as you were hit up front with some hop bitterness and then you got some malty sweetness and finished up dry and puckery. Excellent flavor.

What I really loved was the mouthfeel. The head was creamy and the body of the beer was full and heavy. Very good for a lager style beer.

I could have several of these and they might have to become a go to beer for the summer.

sammy44, May 03, 2006
Photo of SetarconeX
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in color, and an astonishing amount of clarity. Can look straight through the bottle and see everything in the room on the opposite side. Not a whole lot on the nose, perhaps a bit of yeast.

Rather tasty, however. Lot of graininess in the flavor, with a hint of yeast and rather subdued hops. Finishes with a very slight dash of a metallic flavor which prevents me from giving it a higher score, but just so well balanced and drinkable that it more than makes up for it.

I'll definately be coming back to this one, perhaps fairly often. Tasty brew!

SetarconeX, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of dustified1234567
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light brown with 3-4 fingers of he

S- Grainy and something else that I couldn't make out

T-A little tart for a beer. Also was harder to taste because of the carbonation.

M-Light not too smooth

D-A little tart and makes your mouth water and your cheeks pucker. Recomend it once

dustified1234567, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First time I've had this in at least 20 yrs...probably the first micro that I had.
Clear amber ..big off-white head..lacing hangs around ...head drops to a film.
Very little smell...faint malt....metal.
Tastes at first like bitter almond....then a sweet malt emerges...grainy, burnt toast....the bitter is always present and is dominant at the finish with it's strange little almond/cherry bite.
Medium bodied; high carbonation.
I found the bitter odd flavor too much for me and did not finish it...I let it warm to see if more malt or something would come out and balance it...but it just didn't get better.
I still think this beer is worth a try...everybody likes different flavors , as odd as they may seem to others.
I don't ever remember tossing one of these in the old days.
Has it changed or has my taste changed..????

Hautacam, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of shroompod
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz poured from bottle into pint glass.Head retreats quickly. Clear copper color , with plenty of carbonated bubbles.

Smell has slight malt notes , almost no hops.

Taste has a slight hop bite that mingles well with the malty base.

Moutfeel is medium weight , high carbonation.

Drinkability is very good , a good session beer.

shroompod, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of psinderson
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into glass.

Appearance: This beer pours a deep amber color, like caramel, with a rich, creamy-looking 1 finger head. Some lacing that's more or less even around the glass. Clear and bubbly.

Smell: Very little hop aroma, almost non-existent to me. The prevailing aroma to me is malt or cream.

Taste: Hmmm...a very slight roasted, malty flavor with minimal hoppiness (or is that "happiness"??) up front. It finishes with a pleasant fading bitterness, nicely balanced against the malt.

Mouthfeel: Nice, creamy, full-bodied feel.

Drinkability: This beer tastes very balanced which, to me, means I can drink this with no problem. The full-bodied feel will probably limit the drinkability for some.

I've heard so much about this beer, I had to try it. No complaints. The creaminess definitely puts it in a category by itself.

psinderson, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of Applesauce1
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the Anchor Steam into my pint glass and got about a 1/2" head.

Looked OK, not great as the head slowly faded away.
Smell: very pronounced; some hops, cinnamon?, something else kinda spicy
Taste: bitter, but not a hoppy bitterness, hints of some fruitiness, unique flavor however, not like anything else i've tasted before (except my previous encounters with this beer)
*This beer tastes better as it gets warmer and you get into it more.
Mouthfeel: like a pale ale, good carbonation
Drinkability: could drink more than one in a night, but don't wanna go back to back

This beer doesn't give you anything spectacular, but the taste is really unique, and it's one you can drink frequently and not get sick of it.

Applesauce1, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of skizziks
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a nonic. One inch cream colored head, coarse, falls quickly with minimal lacing. The beer is a very clear light amber.

Aroma is malty sweet with some spicy hops, a suggestion of cinnamon and toffee.

Flavor is grainy with a little caramel. Very well balanced, not very sweet, not very bitter. Hops are understated. Finish is dry with cleansing carbonation.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, a little sticky.

Overall a nice refreshing and flavorful beer. Clean and well balanced. Not my favorite of Anchor's offerings, but a fine beer anyway.

skizziks, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As the standard for California steam beer, it should get all 5's. But then any crappy beer would rate all 5's if it's unique enough to be a new class. So I factored in my tastes...

The liquid was copper orange, very clear. Thin head on top which lasted pretty long. Smelled and tasted malty, not any bitterness at all.

Pretty good, a perfect session beer.

TurdFurgison, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of ChuckD
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Dirty white, chunky lacing atop a cloudy, shiny golden orange body.

To the nose, sweet malts and grassy undertones. No real floral character at all.

In the mouth, citrus bang right up front. The malts follow and create a nicely balanced combination of sweetness and bitter lemony goodness.

The feel is full and substantial for a highly drinkable beer. The body covers your mouth with flavors. It finishes dry, clean and very organic.

Musings: One of my favorites. The accustomed taste is like a train wreck to get thru at first - but then becomes one of your best friends. Highly refreshing and interesting.

ChuckD, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of gbarron
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Hard Times Cafe in Arlington, Va. Shared a pitcher.

A - light golden, clear. Head is off-white to white, leaving a little bit of lacing, but not much. Head retention is excellent.

S - grains, very bready. Biscuit, yeast. Some fruity/floral notes here, more than I would normally expect from a steam beer yeast. Plums. Light earthy hop aroma in the background.

T - very malty with bitter, dry aftertaste. Sweetness up front. Biscuity, toasty. Hops make a comeback at the end and balance this out pretty well, but overall a sweeter brew with some fruity esters like peaches, pears, plums.

M - thin bodied, carbonation is average. Dry. Smooth.

D - very tasty session beer, not overly hopped, easy to go down.

gbarron, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of bruachan
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

yep...it's a lizard tour beer

well carbonated and therefore a big head at pour time. it dropped, leaving respectable lace. below the lace is a clear copper-amber color. musky hop aroma

clean, slightly sweet taste. there's an essence of sulphur (i guess it's in the aroma), but it's slight. a slight fruity flavor pops in late as well—apple, pear. hop flavors are very crucial

it's not a character of aroma or taste i can really identify. not that it's all that mystical, but it is a bridge style. i like it, but i don't

bruachan, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking a 12 oz bottle poured into an Ommegang Witte glass. I opened the beer at the start of the Sopranos (1 hour ago) and am getting to it now, so it has warmed considerably.

Appearance: The lager as an amber color, almost bordering on maraschino cherry red. It poured with a vigourous 2 finger head that left a small band of lace on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells like a cookie. The malts impart a sweet biscuitiness that are offset by a subdued hop nose.

Taste: The beer tastes like a rich, yeasty biscuit. The notes are subtle and sweet, leaving the faintest flavor in the mouth. The is a small hop presence that compliments the malt without detracting too significantly.

Mouthfeel: The lager is smooth with a dominating malty sweetness, very pleasing in the mouth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Grab yourself a six pack enjoy the day.

akorsak, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of Daredevil
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thirst quenching like a lager, fruity like an ale ...
lovely caramel bronce color, with a firm head
malty and nutty aromas in the nose
taste is lightly sour with more malt and light fruit in the mouth finally a long finish in which the hops slowly dominate
This is a very interesting brew, not comparable to any standard beer ... guess this is hardly a love at first sight, but once you start liking it ...

Daredevil, Apr 07, 2006
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,885 ratings.