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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,237 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,237
Reviews: 1,922
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 161
Gots: 683 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,237 | Reviews: 1,922
Photo of Larrytown
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite its availability, I hadn't gotten around to trying Anchor Steam before. We start off with a small head which fades quickly, but leaves some decent lacing. Nice coppery gold color. There's nothing especially striking about the nose; there are some floral scents, increasing as we near the bottom of the glass.

In the mouth, it's a bit thicker than I was expecting which is a nice surprise. This beer is very nicely balanced as the taste on the tongue alternates between the hops and the malt. There's a definite bitter note, but the taste really grew on me by the bottom of the glass.

I'll probably look elsewhere for a drink when the warm weather hits, but this strikes me as a pretty great springtime beer; it's got some hints of summer but enough body to fight through the last throes of winter.

Photo of jsprain1
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- The appearance is a red/amber color with a 1 finger head that disappears pretty quickly. Fairly good amount of lacing too.
S-A pretty low-key scent. Kinda smells like bread.
T- The taste is similar, reminiscent of bread crust. It tastes really good, but it left a bit of an odd aftertaste, especially when it got a bit warmer.
M- Mouthfeel is what should be expected. Fairly strong carbonation, but not overly aggressive. Overall it is light weight.
O-Overall, I actually liked this beer quite a bit. Maybe didn't live up to a lot of the hype I heard, but still enjoyable.

Photo of BeanBone
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear orange/amber body with a huge and off-white craggy head that leaves decent lacing

Aroma: Caramel and toasted malt ride atop more subtle hops and lemon notes

Taste: Quite bitter up front with rich toasted malt, caramel, banana, and citrus right behind - this is a full-bodied beer

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a good amount of carbonation, leaves a nice grain-like aftertaste

Drinkability: While you can't doubt the boldness of this beer, it's still wonderfully sessionable

Verdict: This beer easily earns its status as an absolute legend by being both crucial to the revival of American beer and downright delicious. We owe this beer a lot, buy some and enjoy a few pints of your history.

Photo of DrainBamage
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color with a nice lace a head. The smell has many of aromas of adjuncts, but also slightly fruity. Goes down pretty smooth and leaves a little bitter aftertaste. Taste is very malty, but bitter with a hint of apple fruitiness. Overall this is a decent beer. Not bad to have once in a while.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of those gateway beers you never get tired of. This beer pours a clear amber with a sudsy white head. Aroma is pretty malty with dry biscuits and a little brown sugar; also some hop fruitiness in the background. Taste resembles an English pale ale, light and malty with a great balance of hops. Bitterness is there but understated.

Classic brewery, classic style, classic beer. Always a great go-to brew.

Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Four Points Sheraton next to Round the Clock diner in North York, Pa. Served cold w/ a pils glass

A - A very light shade of bronze w/ a quick condensing head of beige that becomes a ring w/ a tight bead

S - Slightly citrus/tannic w/ green apple hint and an earthy estery combo of malt and subtle woody odors

M - A very effervescent and dry feel w/ a clean finish and nice tannic fruitiness w/ a slight grainy quality

T - Very crisp w/ rye and piney northern brewer citrus rind and spice flavor. There is a gentle rye taste w/ toasted malt flavor and a touch of sweetness w/ grapefruit in small quantities. The overall taste is dry and piney w/ a spice accent there are subtle earthy hop flavors as I taste bottle #3.

D - A fine hybrid beer - more ale like. I appreciate the historic relevance of this specimen to the American Brewing landscape. This is one I welcome to my lips w/ a great hop and malt balance. Pale ale in some repsects yet Steam beer deserves a category all its own. There is fruit and woody earthy flavor but the finish is clean and this one goes down refreshingly easy. I already mentioned I had three, but for a buck a bottle at a place that has a decent selection locally I couldn't resist. Kudos to Fritz Maytag for reviving Anchor and keeping this style alive.

Photo of hellomcfly
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice looking copper with ruby and gold hues when held up to light. A fairly aggressive pour into a Corsendonk tulip produced a large, off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly with fair lacing.

S - Spicy hop, malty buscuit aroma

T - A lot like the smell. A spicy hop character hits the front of the tongue with a malty sweetness on the back that transforms into a nice bitterness that is the aftertaste.

M - Nice prickly carbonation, medium body, kind of dry

D - Nice beer that would probably make a good session beer. I think this would be good with many different kinds of food.

Photo of CNeilP09
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm actually surprised at myself for waiting so long to review this beer, as I've always been a fan of anchor. Anyhow, the good stuff: nice copper/red hue. hefty body on the lager. good carbonation. soft fruity cereal notes on the nose. medium viscosity for a lager, a bit heavier on the palate than one would expect (on first try). a spiked dry creaminess on the finish. good beer.

Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark gold body with some decent head and lacings. A rather simple smell, dry and hoppy with some airiness to it. A smooth, medium bodied brew with a hop kick to it, but also some roasted malts and sweetness to it. The malts and sweetness (caramel/honey?) dominate the tongue and the hops hit for a dryer, but not overpowering backbite. Simplistic, maybe, but still a nice beer to relax with while sitting at a bar on the beach.

Photo of TheEremite
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to really love this beer. I remember it being very full bodied and having way more hops. This is one of those beers that makes me wonder if I've changed or if the beer has chaged. Probably both.

Poors amber/red. Smells of grain husk and some earthy spiciness. Fairly clean though. Tastes very crisp. Clean, and somewhat refreshing. Nothing spectacular, but easy to drink. I'll happily have another.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap the othernight at strangebrew in NH. 910 reviews as of this writing so I'll go with a slightly different angle than usual. This is a classic and good choice most anytime. Maybe my taste buds have changed or this was not the freshest tapline but I'd swear it was hoppier in the past. Regardless it was a great choice at the pub.

Photo of addiegg
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Almost no foam as I pour it into the glass. Reddish brown colour. Smells like caramel and nuts and the smell is nice and powerful. When it comes to the taste I can taste some sweet caramel and then there are bitter hops to keep things balanced. A really nice brew. Gets better when it warms. Recommended.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a wonderful deep amber with a thick, wispy head that left good lace on the glass.

S: Smelled great--definitely some caramel maltiness but mainly an overpowering citrus and fruity aroma. One of the most interesting noses I've ever experienced on an ale like this.

T&M: Wish I could say it tasted the same as it smelled. Initially, the beer has some earthy, grainy flavors, but it quickly turns to intense bitterness. Absent from this was a strong hop flavor, which often enhances the bitterness in such a style. The bite increases in the finish and lingers for quite a while. I basically had to drink the whole thing quickly in about 4 big gulps after the initial taste to keep the bitterness from lingering any long than it had to. Mouthfeel was average: Lots of carbonation, and easy to get down (if you can get by the bitterness).

D: It has a good mouthfeel, but the intense bitterness severely limits the drinkability for me. I could see drinking it with some spicier foods, but definitely not a beer I could sit down and flat-out drink.

Photo of PBBC
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a nice copper color, with a one finger creamy head, which disappears rather quickly.

The aroma is slightly spicy with an almost cider-like malt tang. However, the taste is extraordinarily well balanced, somehow, nothing stands out, but everything is there. The malt flavors are rich, but refreshing, the taste lingers on the tongue long enough to be recognize, but is swiftly moved away by the hop balance.

This beer is incredibly drinkable, giving smooth lagers everywhere something to aim for. Almost dangerously drinkable... a lager version of an english bitter... not too strong, but packed full of flavor, a great beer for all parts of the year, but I would recommend it for summer.

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Small, off white head with good retention and lace. The body is copper colored, with good clarity.

S - Malty with biscuit and caramel aromas. There is a slight, spicy hop note and some honey lingering in the background.

T - Malty flavors up front with some toasted malt notes. Moderate hop flavor compliments the malt and sharp, assertive bitterness dominates the finish.

M - Creamy body with moderate carbonation and a dry, slightly astringent finish.

D - Very drinkable. Truly a classic American beer with a pleasant malt character and enough hops to balance.

Photo of Rsobotka
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Gold to Dark Brown with a thin foamy head
S: Lots of Malt flavor with a little floral of violet
T: Tasted like a rich malt follwed by a ravish of spicy hop bitterness
M: This, tasty and fun to drink...

D: I could easily drink a 6er of this beer and I hear they open ferment on top of the roofs in SF.

Photo of cdrogers
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely one I can add to my list of a good drinking and everyday beer. Nothing in this beer is too overwhelming to not be able to drink it regularly :) I had it in the bottle it came in and it had been in the refrigerator for a day or so. I've not had anything else from the brewer, but if this has anything to say about them then I'm looking forward to my next experience. Yep an experience.

I've adding another review of this beer below...this was my second tasting and review.

Yet another one of my favorite beers. I read a lot on Beer Advocate before I decide to buy a beer and this is one of those I've wanted to try for quite some time and finally purchased. It was in a bottle and I chilled it slightly because it was somewhat warm. Poured into a goblet. Much darker, golden color and nice off-white head. I get a nice hint of red-raspberries and strawberries. It goes down extremely well and is a good beer to have anytime. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a good beer.

Photo of erosier
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper color with a light tan head that faded pretty fast. It laced the glass well all the way down the glass. It has a nice aroma of toasted malts and deeper roasted ones with a slight citrisy hoppy finish to the nose. The taste is a nice blend of sweet toasted malts and more bitter roasted ones with a nice citrisy hop finish. The mouthfeel was very crisp and clean - really refreshing. The drinkability is very high on this beer as it is a really bold yet refreshing beer.

Photo of b5d106
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance= A very hazy orange/brown/red. The head was pretty frosty but it dissipated quite quickly
Smell= I didn't much here. A little malt sweetness with some citrusy hops.
Taste= Delicious. It has a good hop character with some spice and lemon. The malt is a bit like caramel and balances the beer out very nicely.
Mouthfeel= Very nice. A good bit of carbonation.
Drinkability= I could definitely put down multiple bottles of this beer in one sitting.

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper with some carbonation. Not much head.

S: It smelled really malty with not much else to it.

T: It was very malty at first with some undertones I couldn't pick up on. There was a bit of bitterness at the end which made the beer drinkable. All around it tasted like a high class lager; however, it's not what I dig

M: decent mouthfeel, slightly watery.

D: It's a lager, so it's very drinkable.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the local fish house, paired with a nice piece of grilled salmon and vegetables; I think it was $3.50 for a 12 ounce glass.

Poured a deep golden with a very nice white head that was quite pleasant to view.

Aroma was a nice blend of bready malt goodness and sprightly hops- not overpowering as in many of the beers I have tried recently, but still a solid presence. Flavor follows through very nicely- I would have to say that this beer to me is a solid example of balance. Good solid flavors at a moderate ABV, all balanced nicely.

Did OK paired with the salmon; it actually pairs better with more delicately flavored fishes.

Recommended!

Photo of CortexBomb
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is mild/medium orange with an impressive white head on top. Nose is softly malted.

Flavour starts out nice and full of caramel malts, a certain spicy, peppery tinge shows up about halfway, but the smooth malty overtone stays present for a good long spell. Yeast, bready, nutty with some slight, slight light fruit notes. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and full but nothing particularly special. Drinkability is good, a tasty, inexpensive brew that is available year-around.

The bottom line: Anchor's Steam beer is a venerable oldster on the craft brew scene at this point, but it still persists as a tasty, if not particularly depthy option. A great session brew.

Photo of illidurit
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Dark ochre in color with a perfect 2 finger head. As it settles to a nebulous cap, the foam leaves some really nice, solid lacing.

Hardly any aroma but I can pick up some caramel malt.

Flavor is quite simple but flavorful. Sweet caramel notes are immediately apparent, along with some brown sugar, cookie dough, and even a hint of fruity esters. There's a tiny hop bitterness in the finish but this beer is all about toasty sweet grain.

Palate is good, with a very smooth mouthfeel that might be a touch high in carbonation. Refreshing, infinitely drinkable.

Photo of rgb2807
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour looks good, with a good inch of head. Looks pretty good producing a yellow-orange color. The smell isn't very strong, and you really don't get much of an impression from just the smell. It'd expect a very light beer from the smell.

The taste is nice, but nothing strong. It is a very mild, balanced brew.

Definitely very drinkable and possibly good for a session, but it's just too expensive for me on the east to every do such a thing. I would drink this again, but I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of semihobo
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice head over a light brown body. Classic good looks, only head retention could be better.

Smells of peppery hops and a mix of grains. Very clean.

Taste is a rich medley of grains, from start to finish, complemented by peppery hops. The finish is pleasantly crisp with a goodbye kiss from the hops that fades to a lingering starchiness. A rich nuttiness persists throughout.

Vigorous, peppy carbonation is suitable for the flavor. Brisk but not distracting or overpowering.

I've had Anchor Steam before and didn't find it that impressive... now I'm not sure how I missed it. Sit down with a pint and look closely. A gem. Incidentally, reminds me of several Saranac beers -- if you like those, check this out. Now to find another steam beer to compare...

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,237 ratings.