Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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very good

5,061 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,061
Reviews: 1,877
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 138
Gots: 493 | 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)
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Ratings: 5,061 | Reviews: 1,877 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JayQue
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color with a medium white head that hands in there. Noticable malty aroma. Good taste, malty, smooth pleasant with no harsh aftertaste. Rich mouthfeel and very drinkable. This would be a top choice at a restaurant with food and right up there with Yeungling, Sam Adams Boston Lager and SNPL as a regular every-day favorite.

Photo of johnniemarg
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Two finger tan head perfectly fills the glass to the rim. Crystal clear amber/golden color.

Smell is malty. Can only just notice a touch of hops.

Flavor is sweet malt up front followed by a slight smokiness and a little floral dandelion flavor. Nice hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily.

An excellent session or ballgame beer. Highly drinkable.

Photo of pweis909
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review based on three bottles consumed over 3-day period.

This bottles served up an amber beer with a thin foam.

Both malt and some fruity aromas were noted. These aromas were not strong, but pleasant.

The malt in the taste reminded me of some Euro pilsner malts, and the hoppy bitterness was strong.

The beer satisifingly coated my mouth.

The malt and the smooth mouth, makes this a pleasure to drink. The bitter finish is just a little harsh at first, not my favorite hops, but the malt is so good.

Photo of medic25
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass; pretty amber color with a tannish-white head that quickly dissipated. Pleasant, malty, sweet aroma. Flavor is well balanced; slightly bitter from the hops, but not overpowering and definitely not unpleasant. Nicely carbonated; this beer goes down very easily. This would be a beer I could drink very easily all night.

Photo of Nesued
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured nice into a open glass. Slight head formed with no lasting presence. A bit of lace but none to speak of. Amber color, clear.

Smell - Malty and hoppy (with malt in the forefront).

Taste - Nice heavy feel to bring me into the fall time of the year. I've been drinking far too many hefe's (as mentioned by a previous reviewer) and this was a nice change. A very nice malty taste with only a very slight bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice body with a full feel. Good american lager taste with a dense presence.

Drinkability - Sure, I'll have another. A lot smoother than many lagers that try too hard to be too much.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up recently to break out of the hefe's and witbier's that I've been enjoying lately. Summer's gonna end soon, and as the weather cools, I'll need to adjust to heavier and hoppier beers. Thankfully, this one has always been one of my old standby's, and it's always had a great drinkablity and timelessness to it. Before I really got into drinking craft beers and microbrews, this was one of the first non-macro's that I enjoyed, and to this day, it's still up there in my view!

Great pour - a very nice burnt orange hue to it, generous head, and lots of carbonation, to boot. The lacing could have been better, but that's about the only problem I have with this beer. The taste is simply amazing, in that it never hits ya over the head, but it very slowy and subtly grows as the beer warms and the serving gets further and further down the glass. Floral, citrus, metallic, leather, and hop notes can all be felt here, but the bitterness is not as overt as it is in Sierra Nevada's or Stone's offerings. The bitterness is just right, lingers nicely, and the carbonation and foaming in the front as I swish it balance it out perfectly.

For the summer - it's light and filling. For the colder months, it has a very nice warming effect without breaking me into a sweat. For the novice drinker, the 4.90% ABV is a perfect reason to use this as a session beer and an introduction into offerings from the West Coast. This is a less-spicy version of Anchor's Special Ale and just as solidly crafted as their other non-flagship offerings. I can't say enough great things about this beer. Just as Todd said, everyone should try this once!

P.S. - I love this bottle shape!

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into chilled pint glass.

Great color. Orange/amber, slightly cloudy. Very low head.

Pleasant fruity smell with a slight bit of hops.

Strong but mellow taste. Not overly better. Citrus taste definetely comes through. Unique and very pleasant. Slightly heavy mouthfeel.

Overall, a great but not remarkable beer. Highly drinkable, and far above average. Reccomended for sure.

Photo of afinepilsner
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Anchor Steam was amber in color and clear, and had a nice head. After a few minutes only a thin layer was left, but did leave some lacing. There were some hops in the aroma. The taste was good. A light malt flavor with plenty of hops. The Northern Brewer hops are a nice change from what I'm used to. It was medium in both body and carbonation. A very drinkable beer.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a golden orange with off-white head that dissipates quickly, with okay lacing. Aroma, while not bad, was nothing real noticeable. Flavor was okay, and this had a decent palate. I did not care for this as much as other Anchor Beers (Old Foghorn and Liberty), but I may have just gotten a bad bottle and may very well try again. This one just didn’t do much for me.

Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is good, clear with a nice colour but slightly thin head.
Malty caramel aroma with some hop presence and a little alcohol. Pleasing grainy malt flavour backed with a good hop flavour, almost wood-like. Medium body and carbonation, with a faint alcohol warmth. Very refreshing and drinkable for a beer with this much flavour.

Photo of Damian
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep crimson-amber with a large, pillowy head. Lots of sticky lacing.

Aroma was intensely hoppy with some malts becoming noticeable mid-glass.

Taste was similar to smell. Hoppy and bitter from start to finish. The beer seemed to have a slight metallic taste at first, but this later subsided.

Rich, creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with a 1/4" head of small off-white bubbles on top. The head fell slowly and ended up as a ring around the top of the beer within a minute or so. There are quite a few bubbles rising that keep the layer of bubbles on top of the beer for quite some time. There is quite a bit of Belgian Lace left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma reminds me of light caramel and bread first off. There is a very distinct buttery quality to the malt. I do get some hops, but this is a subtle piney aroma deep in there somewhere.

Taste: The flavor also has that sweet caramel buttery malt thing going on. The hops are more pronounced in the flavor as compared to the aroma. The malt coexists with a noticeable metallic note...all the while this metallic has a slightly chalky undertone to it. The finish is pretty balanced with the malt being pretty much in charge, but it is challenged by the bittering hops and the water profile. Late in the finish, there is a defined fruity note taking over to linger. There is no alcohol noticeable.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, and the beer that defines this style. How can I take points off of it, because it is the style? Hmmm. Well, I will grade it based more on my interpretation of the melding of the flavors rather than how it fits the category. I like it, but wish that the whole water hop balance made it easier to drink. To my recollection, this beer tastes a lot better in San Francisco, so I would like to try it again there.

Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definetely the type of beer that is good on a warm summer night, like tonight. Very refreshing indeed. Pours a medium golden/orange color with a nice head an inch thick. The head starts to disappear rather quickly, leaving some nice lacing. Aromas of malt and hops are dominant. Some hints of citrus and other fruits may also be present. Tastewise there is a sweet malty taste upfront followed by a bit of hop bitterness and some definite hints of citrus. This beer has a nice smooth and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This beer was indeed refreshing on this hot night that I drank it. This beer is quite easy to drink indeed.


Photo of xzqrut
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice orangish gold color, with decent head, decent retention, good lacing. Smell was light, with classic malt, seemed like some sweet tones as well. Mouthfeel was creamy, light, and crisp. The Steam Beer had a great crisp taste, light and refreshing, with its sweet and bitter flavors in excellent balance. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

Photo of haz77
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Pours a hazy orangey-amber with an inch of tight creamy head. Patches of lacing are left behind as this falls.

S – Grassy hops, honey, caramel, light fruit in the background.

T – Initial sweetness gives way to a gentle bitterness with some background citrus notes. Finish and aftertaste is long, bitter and dry.

M – Medium body and carbonation.

D – Good, easy-drinking beer.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle in a glass at a restaurant.

Pours a slightly hazy amber color -- not too dark, and with a fair amount of visible carbonation. Smells of malts, grains, and some hops. Taste is similar, but with a bit of added florals. Mildly bitter aftertaste. Feels fairly smooth, but there's way too much carbonation. Overall, a decent, better-than-average beer with a nice taste, but it's nothing special. I'd probably get it at a restaurant again, but it seems a bit expensive for what it is in the store.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a tan head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is mostly of malt- fairly light, and pleasing.

The taste is balanced, a little spicy, followed by some hop bitterness, followed by a lager aftertaste and some malt on the finish. Very bready tasting.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and fairly highly carbonated.

Quite drinkable- has enough interesting flavors to hold your interest, but also is crisp and refreshing.

Photo of MusicmanSD
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Franziskaner, one of the bests readily available beers you can buy. Anchor Steam pours a very nice red amber color along with a off white head that sticks around till you finish your pint. That ante's up the respect right there! The smell is floral and has an awesomely balanced complexion of hoppy bitterness and malt. Reminds me a lot of a Sam Adams Boston Lager, but with more flavor and craft. The taste is orgasmic in words. Has a carmel-like initial flavor and then heeds way to the malt, which is quite sweet. The mouthfeel is nice and heavy, makes you think twice about it being a lager! Drinkability is that of a hefe in my opinion, very smooth and balanced. The steaming process leaves it wickedly smooth, and I love it! Anchor pretty much re-invented this style of beers from the grave, and it’s added quite a unique beer to the styles of beer from around the world. It has the character of a hefeweizen and Vienna lager, which is a good mix to go with! Very tasty indeed.

Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On par with a craft amber ale. I cant say I can pick out the difference aside from more hops. Looks amber with a nice white head. Smells very caramel and tastes it with a nicely balanced bitterness. A pleasure to drink and great with rich food. I get a hint of alcohol as it warms, but thats really the only bad thing I can say. Cheers to this classic.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't really know why, but I just find it pretty awesome that this brewery developed their own beer, which eventually became a style all its own. Anyway, enough blabbing...Anchor Steam pours an attractive clear copper, with a smooth, thin white lace heading. Smell was somehwhat weak, but not bad at all. I picked up on some malty biscuit smells, along with a light touch of honey and carmel. Taste was very bitter, with the dark carmel and honey flavors showing up somewhere in the middle. Not too carbonated or big on the hops, but the malt bitterness makes up for it. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and very easy to drink. I see this beer as being somewhat of an acquired taste. This is my second sampling of the beer, and I have to say that I like it a whole lot more then my first time around. Its one that seems to keep growing on you.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a 12 oz bottle at world market in lansing michigan. ($1.49)
pours a deep copper with a off white head that was about a finger thick.
the aroma is malt, hint of hops, hint of peaches.
the flavor is malty, hopsack, grassy, mineraly, clean, finishes with a lingering hop flavor.
anchor steam is a great beer, easy drinker.

Photo of edskirk3
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at The Druid's Keep in Philadelphia.

Brown-amber with a creamy off-white head; aroma of caramel, toasted malt, and hops.

Unique and complex. Starts off with almost astringent bitterness from either hops or toasted/roasted malts. Seems to lean more towards the hop end. After this the sweetness of caramel malts comes through. Then there's another round of bitterness, different from before. Almost like citrus. It all ends with more hop character. This beer has everything, it seems. It's not too light, not too heavy. Appears to be a sessionable brew as well.

I'd buy it again if the opportunity arose.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into goblet, Concordia Ale House

A: A warm reddish amber with a very frothy, 2-finger white head. Well carbonated - a beauty!
S: Lots of malt sweetness but with some overlaying citrus hop. Not really so bitter smelling -maybe sour (lemons?). I
T: Sharp dry bitterness with big tasty roasted malt to follow. It's a difficult flavor combination to describe - it's creamy, yet a bit acidic. It's bitter, yet it's malty sweet. A unique flavor - it's been years since I've had an Anchor Steam, nice to be reintroduced.
M: With the higher carbonation, this is a mildly prickly beer in terms of mouthfeel. There is a nice fullness of flavor and a good bitter hoppiness in the finish.
D: Excellent flavor from a solid beer that's stood the test of time.

Photo of Liquids
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally a chance to try this classic, in the bottle. Pours a middle of the road, muted amber with a full foamy off white head. Lots of visible, small-bubbled carbonation. Extra points for leaving a dolop at the bottom of the pint glass, mmm. Smells very american, with distinct lager aromas. Also seems as though some of the hops are 'noble' though. A small amount of alcohol detected as well. comes the heresy. This reminds me of Sam Adams Lager. No, really. Actually, I had this for the first time on tap at a restaurant about two months ago, and after sipping it, I was convinced is was the wrong pour--tastes a lot like Sam Adams--maybe it's the Dos Equis by accident or they hooked up the wrong keg? I asked for a side sample to make sure it was the right pour, the waitress was accomodating, but the flavors matched. Idiot. So I assumed I was crazy, or they hooked up the wrong tap... But now drinking this, sure of what I'm drinking, I taste the similarity, it's there. It's milder than Sam Adams, slightly less hops and slightly more american flavor, a bit less salty, but in the same league. Certainly a bit fruitier and a bit more ale like, but these are subtle variations. Hops resins remain on the tounge. The malts flavor is gentle. Finishes rather dry also. As for mouthfeel, it's medium and rather carbonated on the tounge.

This is a good beer and even more drinkable than Sam. I like the idea of lagers at ale temps, but it truly is subtle variant for a lager. This beer is a good pick, and I'd love to do a side-by side with the two beers.

Photo of ArcTeryx
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber with an orange-ish hue. There is a thick, slightly creamy looking head present. After the beer settled a bit, there was a small amount of lacing. This beverage smelled of caramel, with a slight citrus aroma as well.

This beer has a certain maltiness throughout, with a very light citrus flavor. There is a small amount of hoppiness in the aftertaste.

This is a tasty beer, with a good flavor. For me though, it has a bit too much maltiness to really be viable for sessionability. However, as previously suggested by others, this is a great beer for summertime, so drink up!

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,061 ratings.