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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,988 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,988
Reviews: 1,870
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 139
Gots: 457 | 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: 4,988 | Reviews: 1,870 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Byeast
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint, color is a deep clear amber , with an inch of creamy , off white foam that dissipates to quarter inch; well sustained by a constant rising carbonation. A fair amount of lacing left on the glass. Taken to the nose ,aromas are of grain , earthy , some fruity notes and slightly bready qualities. Raw , grainy flavors come first ( and quickly) , then some bitter earthiness and a slighty citric and bitter hop finish. Interesting floral flavor here and there. This is a very unique and neat beer. An in yo face , grainy-raw ride , full of character and intrigue. Just a great beer.

Byeast, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a perfect all-around session beer, which isn't to say it lacks anything in the flavor arena, that's simply not the case. Pours a crystal clear amber in color, very nice to look at, with a two finger fizzy head that left a creamy crown after a couple of minutes. Nose is very lager-like, very 'grainy' but appealing. Taste is much like an ale, but still somehow clean like a lager, which makes sense after reading how it's made. Taste is fruity like an ale, but still quite crisp.

I really like this, I can forsee drinking a lot of this during the warmer months.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of Rezzin
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber copper color with a 1" foamy head in my pint glass.

S - Not much nose to speak of but I've been drinking too many IPA's as of late so I think it's about right for this style. A bit malty and slightly sweet in the aroma with a faint alcohol aroma.

T - Not too bitter.. not too sweet.. but definitely on the more malty side. There is some hop bitterness but it's more of an earthy /fruity bitterness to me. Pretty much a 'down the middle' tasting beer - but it's not bad. This would be the perfect intro beer for BMC friends.

M - Clean tasting. For lack of a better term I'd say nice and smooth in the front and somewhat crisp in the back. That clean taste is something I enjoy with this style.

D - Definetly a sessionable beer and something I always have on hand for friends. I have no idea why I didn't review this earlier - I've had this sitting in my fridge for quite a while now. A good beer.

Rezzin, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of scoobybrew
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has a light amber color and when I poured it, there was a decent head retention. There is almost no aroma to speak of, mostly malt with a hint of alcohol and no hop aroma. The taste was a bit "earthy" with the malt dominating and slight hop bitterness, but then again, this might be the lager yeast (fermented at ale temperatures). The finish was clean, with a slight hop bitterness lingering. The consistency was fairly common.

Overall, a decent example of a uniquely American style. It was okay to share this with an Austrian friend who had never had this style before, but I don't think I'd be purchasing this on a regular basis (I would rather have Anchor's Liberty Ale, as my tastes lean towards the American Pale style...also, too much good homebrew to drink!).

scoobybrew, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of DouggiePhresh
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass with a 1 finger head lasting 5 seconds. I love the color of this brew, it looks exceptional. At first sip, it tasted somewhat like an ale, but later it subsided to a malty taste. I think this would be an excellent session beer (I will find out tonight.) Not too much in the aftertaste, but quite refreshing

DouggiePhresh, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of TrickKnee
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is a little hard to describe this beer but i will take my best shot. There was almost no head at all, could have been the way the bartender poured it. Taste was decent but I dont think I could sit down and drink a lot of them. If you are going out to dinner I would definetly suggest it if they have it on tap.

TrickKnee, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of mghotbi
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber-red with short-lasting two finger head and moderate lacing with prominent carbonation.

Caramel malt nose with traces of vanilla and banana - very pleasant

Smooth on the palate. Carbonation is perfect.

Hop bitterness hits the tastebuds first, followed by wisps of banana, dates and trace of vanilla, then a more definite malt sweetness and emergence of crisp hop and citrus notes with a long spicy hop finish. This is a unique beer - a delicate blend of contrasting flavors in perfect balance.

This is the beer that changed my attitude about beer. Very drinkable, makes an excellent and refreshing session beer, but it's can be an acquired taste for some folks. Serving this beer too cold can make for a bitter experience.

mghotbi, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of scottoale
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the funky shaped 22oz. brown bottle pours a deep, honey-amber, slightly hazy brew with a foamy inch+ of off-white head. After a couple minutes the head subsides leaving some nice lace on the glass.

Nice barley malt nose, kinda earthy and toast like with notes of yeast, wheat, faint tobacco and hops. The hops smell a bit grassy.

The taste is much like the smell with some black tea, more tobacco and a matallic twang in the finish. Pretty tasty stuff, not too sweet at all, very well balanced with a crisp, clean finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Medium body, good carbonation give a nice smooth, cream like mouthfeel, then a bitter dry ending as it disappears.

Very drinkable, worth a try.

scottoale, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear copper color with a white head that thins. Spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma is fairly crisp and malty with just a slight suggestion of hops.

Taste is rather crisp and malty with just a slight fruitiness from the warm fermentation temps. Has a nicely balanced hop bitterness but the only trace of hop flavor is a mild suggestion in the afteraste. Finishes quite dry.

Meduim body, plenty of carbonation.

I can always drink one (or six) of these. This is the standard for the style, as they created it.

MaltyGoodness, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a clear golden amber with a light head of froth. Some lacing on the sides of the glass. Grainy nose, lightly toasted. Moderately malty start with a fair hop bitterness. Hops are a bit floral, perhaps a tad citrusy. Clean finish. Neutral, crisp texture, medium mouthfeel.

I've never found the "California common" style very interesting, which I guess is why I never got around to reviewing it to now. A drinkable beer, but not much that makes it stand out. Other interpretations that are good tend to rely on good malt character or interesting hops. The character of lager-at-ale-temp yeast just doesn't produce interesting flavors, in my opinion.

allengarvin, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped two bottles and poured into a .5L Pilsner Urquell glass. Got a finger-thick creamy, spongy head that halved in a few minutes. Clean amber color with constant bubbles running up to the head. Small dottings of lace.

Smell is a well-balanced but super-subtle combo of malt and hops, with an even milder fruitiness and a brown sugar/caramel sweetness way back. It reflects what you get in the taste: all the above, with the hops slightly dominant, and better than the somewhat muted aroma. Feels tingly in the mouth yet there's a creaminess balancing it out, and that creaminess is more pronounced as it warms.

A simple, uncomplicated beer with no real negative traits. A sensible session beer choice, favored over many equally low ABV beers that can only claim a fraction of the quality.

Metalmonk, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of shamus
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had great expectations for this beer and it's legendary status which perhaps is why it turned out to be a disappointement. It's not a bad beer and is far better than a pale tasteless macro beer, but compared to what I expected it was bland. I wanted more perfume, more scent, more magic. What I got was fine.

shamus, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap served in a pint glass. Copper hue, slim head of white foam, good carbonation present. The aroma was quite faint with a light maltiness. The taste is nice, not particularly sweet, but somewhat nutty and semi-bitter. Alcohol does not appear strong. Crisp mouthfeel and finish, light bodied, but not watery, it goes down easy. This has always been a very reliable session beer, especially when there isn't much else to choose from. A classic...

bennetj17, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of Bcant
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark amber, with an off-white head which is made of various seized bubbles and has some retention. Malty aroma that with herbs, almost medicinal. Dark chocolate, and coffee – nice dry finish that balances the flavor profile nicely. Very chewy and round, wonderfully soft.

Bcant, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a a light amber color with a relatively thick head that fairly quickly becomes a thin lace. There is quite a bit of carbonation at first. But that too disspipates after a brief time.
The smell is light. After smelling it, I wasn't sure what to expect, maybe a hint of caramel flavor. Nothing special, but nothing offensive.
The taste is thick but without much of a distinct flavor, except a bit of refreshing sweetness. Tastes good but nothing special.
It does leave a refreshing feel in the mouth, as there is nothing offensive, while nothing special about it either.
Overall, it is a decent session beer.

jwc215, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours an Orange-ish brown color. Large carbonation bubbles lead to a nice head.

Smell: I got very little out of the aroma. but in the beers defense it was served to me at the bar way to cold. I let it warm as much as I could. I was also sitting in outdoor seating. Nonetheless, I only got a hint of sweetness and some carbonation in the nose.

Taste: I have never had a steam beer before and I enjoyed this. The flavor was not complex or amazing but i was extremely drinkable. I was eating a Kilbassa and this was a perfect accompaniment. It had the nice sweet amber attribute to it. The sweet malts. but then it had a bit of hops. Gentle, laid back hops but enough to keep it interesting. I think there was a certain amount of smokiness to the beer as well. There were no fire works with this beer is was simple and drinkable. mmm.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and active. lots of carbonation. Refreshing.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely sessionable. Low ABV, mild on the palate it is all around a 'Good' beer.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of vanrassel
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This isn't a bad beer — and forgive me if this sounds a little sacreligious to other BAs who have extolled its virtues — but I don't see where this beer got the rep it has.

It looks really good, pouring a rich copper colour with a nice foamy head that left plenty of lacing on my glass.

I smelled grassy hops with a slight caramel malt aroma. The first sip delivered hoppy bitterness that gave way to some sweetness from the malt. Nicely balanced with a dry, slightly astringent finish.

The carbonation is nice and lively and this beer is highly drinkable. I just wouldn't ever think of going out of my way for it.

vanrassel, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of jameaterblues
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam pours a golden amber color, and mine had a thin off white head that left a lacing around the sides of the glass. It has a musky sweet smell of malts, with ample hops to balance it out. The beer seems to have malty characters that hit the pallet first, and in the body significant hop characters(kinda resiny). The aftertaste is fairly smooth, but bitter at the same time. I felt like the bitterness was really strong, but as you drink the beer it becomes much less prominent. Mouthfeel: nice balance of malts/hops. The drinkablity grows as you drink it, I always want another when I finish the first. I had this conception that I really wasn't a fan of lagers, but to my surprise this is a lager...it has really changed my perception...I plan on experimenting with the variety a little more.

jameaterblues, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of joeskirkie
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear rich amber, BIG creamy head, nice.

It has a faint leafy woodsy hop aroma. Tastes creamy and light and finishes with this sorta sour (in a good way) bite. It's pretty well balanced, not "in your face" by any means.

It's smooth and slightly dry and just oh so easy to drink. This is a great gateway beer for friends and a wonderful session beer to have on hand.

joeskirkie, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of mcowgill
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a true original. The beer pours an amber color with a nice head. The smell is a pleasing sweet malty aroma that I can't quite put my finger on. The taste is a well balanced mix of malts and hops. The mouthfeel was low carbonation and dry. This is the epitome of a good session beer to me.

mcowgill, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice coppery color with good clarity. Wonderful malty, caramel smell. Malt flavor prominent. Smooth mouthfeel & easy drinking. Not as hoppy, but with good hop flavor in the finish without being bitter. Could be a bit more carbonated for my taste, but porper for the style.

JMD71, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of Matthew
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice yellowish to copperish color, nice big white fluffy head.
Slight lemmony smell, grainy, some caramel malt, and some yeast.
Nice malt backbone, mainly light, crisp, dry, hints of lemon from its hop character, a grainy character as well present in the taste.
Nice carbonation, light and well carbonated in the mouthfeel.
This is a nice drinkable steam beer from anchor that really would be nice on a nice warm day or even as a nice drink after a long day at work. A good all around beer for the beer geek or the average beer drinker.

Matthew, Mar 03, 2006
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,988 ratings.