1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,132 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,132
Reviews: 1,898
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 146
Gots: 583 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,132 | Reviews: 1,898 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wagenvolks
2.59/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Color is a golden-copper-amber mix with a moderate amount of cream head. Aroma has some vanilla, wheat, rice, and sour metallic notes. Very faintly reminds me of a budweiser. (not a good thing)

Taste has some maltiness to it, with a sour, astringent grassy hop note and a metallic copper flavor. It's overly carbonated with an unpleasant tasting hop/metal aftertaste. Not especially tasty or easy to drink. It sure looked good, but damn, I just don't see what everyone is nutting over with this one...

Photo of IceStation
4.97/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply put; the very best of the best. Expensive, but worth it. My general everyday beer. Great creamy head. Smooth as a payne of glass!

Generally drink in bottles. My package store keeps on hand for me. $8.99/rack. Trying to find in a restaurant/bar on the East Coast? GOOD LUCK! Seved on tap at Jivelli's in Maverick Square in East Boston -the only place I have ever been in East of California that has it. Anybody know of another place? Temendous as a session brew.

Photo of atsprings
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crisp orange with a diminishing head. The aroma was a great blend of caramel and pale hops balanced with earthy citrus hops. The taste had a great malt sweetness in the initial and a great hop bite in the finish. The beer was light and crisp on the palate. This is a great session beer.

Photo of soupyman10
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this after hearing so many rave reviews on BA and from friends. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a fairly reddish copper color, almost amber but not quite. A little bit of lacing after one finger head faded. Smell was mostly malty, bready. Taste was a lot of bread and grain. Slight sweet maltiness, and even slighter hop aftertate. Overall, though ,the grainer texture and taste dominates, with a more standard lager flavor following up. Feel is fairly thin bodied, with that grainy texture and medium carbonation. Um...I dunno. I feel like I'm supposed to like this beer - it's unique and...fairly acclaimed - but I didn't. It's definitely better than your standard macro-lagers, or even most lagers overall. I guess it'd be sessionable if I was forced to drink lagers, but it's just not great.

Photo of guinnessfan
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased from Total Wine in McLean, VA.

A: Nice burnt copper/amber color with a slight 1 finger head and virtually no lacing.

S: Malty/bready sweet smell.

T: Slightly burnt-like malty goodness. Pilsner-like, but more roasted. Reminds me of fire-brewed Stroh's on steriods.

M: Crisp, clean and refreshing. Good carbonation tingle and balance.

D: Good beer, not over the top and easy to session.

Photo of prototypic
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a transparent golden brown color. One finger head with decent retention and lacing.

Smell: It's a bit malty with some toffee or caramel fragrances. I'm actually picking up peppery (spicy) smell. I'm picking up any type of hops really. All in all, not bad, but not flashy.

Taste: Primarily this has a strong biscuity or yeast-like taste. The caramel or toffee notes blend very nicely. It also has a nice malty taste to it. There are a bit of hops, but it's mostly a malty taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and leaves a dry taste in my mouth. But, it's very drinkable. Overall, this is a classic, very good beer. Definitely recommended.

Photo of Redwood21
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Upfront: My review "MAY" be biased. This was my first craft brew, and it was love at first sip. If anything that should be a statement to its quality. Its fun because its steam beer, not a lager, not an ale...its steam beer.

A: This beer is probably my favortie to look at. It pours a great amber color. The head is sort of a tan/offwhite color that pours thick but then drops to form a nice lasting thin veil. Beautiful.

S: I was suprised that a beer style labeled steam was so fragrant. I later learned where the "steam" term came from and realized my earlier thought was foolish...any way when you pop the cap and get a whiff its just good.There is some malty aromas but overall its just a reat smell that makes me want to start drinking.

T: This is where all beers make their moeny, and this anchor steam is "my" favorite, Its a beer that no matter what mood, what meal, what occasion, ill know id love to have one. there is a malty grain taste, with bitterness as well. The flavours like the aromas meld so well, and are balanced so well its hard to describe seperate flavours.

M: Extremel smooth, not sure how else to say ityou wash it around your mouth and is just tastes great and goes down so easily.

D: Highly drinkable, my all time session beer. If i had to drink only one beer forever (right now) this would be it. extremely pleasant experience.

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

355 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. Imported to Europe by www.bierenco.nl . ABV is 4.8%. The beer starts gushing out of the bottle when opening. Deep golden to amber colour, decent head. Nice aroma of fruity hops, malt and raisins, hints of bakery and oak. Low carbonation in the glass, soft mouthfeel. The flavour is malty sweet with caramel and some crisp hops. Decent hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Uncomplicated, but okay.

Photo of warmstorage
2.81/5  rDev -27%
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.)

Photo of demcorhip
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of malcontent
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of auxiliary
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Photo of Dubbercody
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of alexskovan
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of numenor1
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
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.


Photo of chuckm
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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).

Photo of copasetic
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of beeragent
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
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!

Photo of PEBKAC
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
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.


Photo of seanyfo
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,132 ratings.