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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

5,055 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,055
Reviews: 1,876
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 138
Gots: 485 | 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: 5,055 | Reviews: 1,876 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Left a one finger head that receded to lasting surface skim, with little lacing. Body was an orange copper.

Smell - esters, diacetyl, toasty malt, and some lemony hops.

Taste - almost exactly like the smell, except far less diacetyl present in the taste. Toasty malt, lemon hops. Some tea (malt) with lemon (hops), also. Diacetyl also seems to dissappear as ale warms. Normally diacetyl ruins a beer for me, but it is tolerable, even a little enjoyable here.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - this is good, goes down well. Very sessionable.

Photo of bort11
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a 4th of July weekend cookout.
12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Chunky white head, about 2-3 fingers width. Head quickly recedes, but leaves a moderately sticky lace. Color is a clear amber. Smell is slightly sweet like honey and malt, and a slight hop tang. Taste is a very balanced between malt and hops, one not overpowering the other. Finishes just slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is light to medium body Moderate carbonation. This is very easy to drink, and I'm sure I'm going to finish the six pack this evening. Quite quaffable and refreshing

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

Highs: Mouth, flavor
Lows: None

Sometimes it pays attention to know the background of the beer your drinking. Usually, though I try to judge a beer on its own merits. Anchor Steam Beer, though, shines on both counts. At first, I didn’t really know what it was supposed to be. I was guessing a pale ale. As it turns out, it’s a great representation of the Steam Beer or California Common style. Either way, it’s a noteworthy brew.

Pours a clear amber color beneath a thick, creamy 2-finger head that fades away slowly leaving behind good lacing. Nose is mostly malt. Taste starts with semisweet malt but finishes dry on a bitter hopsy note. Presenting like an ale so far. Mouth is semi-creamy and smooth; quite good. Drinkability is very good. This is a substantial, tasty beer.

Overall: Never had a “Steam Beer?” This one presents like a great pale ale, with good flavor and a good mouthfeel. Very enjoyable. Recommended.

Photo of RJLarse
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a couple of bottles of Anchor Steam beer at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a pale amber color and is clear. A thick creamy head forms and is quite resilient. The beer appears mildly carbonated.

The smell is sweet and fruity. There is a floral scent along with an aroma of grain.

The taste is generally unremarkable. A heavy cereal or biscuit flavor up front, followed by a mildly bitter hop taste.

The mouth feel is dry and perhaps a bit flat.

This is a drinkable beer. It’s a bit average in terms of taste, but a drinkable beer just the same.

Photo of goochpunch
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an amberish iced tea color with a frothy head. Looks like a bitter/pale to me. Some nice lacing present. Has aromas of a bready and malty body with a lightly hopped tinge along with hints of honey. Slight grain detected. Has a clean lager smell as well. Not much to say about the taste that I haven't said in the smell. Pretty much tastes like a solidly hopped pale ale but with a hint of grain and butter as well as a lager-like clean finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft. Drinkability is optimal as I just want to keep on taking sips of this.

This was the first steam beer I'd tried some years ago, and, to this day, it's really the only representation of the style I've ever had. I really have no complaints and, overall, this is a damn good beer.

Photo of TheSarge
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam Beer pours quite nicely forming a light tan head, which stands for a considerable amount of time The body of this brew is a light amber color, and is highly filtered. A firm lace follows through till the last drop.

Anchor's beer is very fragrant. This is mostly from the toasty malts, and fine balance of hops. The flavor is malt dominated, but not overly sugary. It finishes with a hoppy ending... Okay, that was a bit cheesy, sorry.

This is a refreshing brew to have on a mild day between 65 to 70 degrees in the shade.

I like Anchor Steam quite a bit, because this company helped me to appreciate craft beer and American brewing altogether.


Photo of Brian700
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a clear amber color with a white head that settles to a thin layer and leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is of sweet caramel malt with a mild citrus hop aroma.

The flavor is very nice. Good malt profile here. There is some caramel presence along with a clean hop flavor. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a great session brew, very drinkable. I remember liking this beer more than I did this one. I will update review this one again when I get a bottle that I know is fresh.

Photo of cjgator3
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thick fizzy white head. Aroma is earthy malt. Taste is sweet toasted malt with a slight hop bitterness. Overall, I think this is a pretty boring beer that is over-hyped in my opinion. I will probably not purchase this again.

Photo of mooner
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's tough to find a fresh pint of this in Boston, but when in San Fransico you'd be hard pressed to find a more drinkable beer. As far as adhearance to style its much like Duval, didn't they invent the style? A great ale-like lager, I'm sure the best selling craft in America (Sam) owes a great deal of its popularity to this predecesor.

Photo of akahn
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazed amber, with lively streaming carbonation anda bubbly head. Decent lace.

Faint but deep caramel malt aroma tinged by subtle hops.

Interesting, unique, almost confusing flavor. Mildly sweet toffee-biscuit sweet, very toasty, with dry grain flavors too. Gentle tingle of hops plays well with ample carbonation, giving a long, gradually fading finish. The grainy flavors hover over all along. Delightful.

Medium body lightened by crisp, brisk carbonation. Becomes very creamy as it warms up. I'm very impressed – and perplexed! This beer ain't famous for nothin'!

Photo of MiScusi
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The thing I love about Anchor Steam is that it is crisp, has a little bit hop pop to it, and has a nice mouthfeel. What you get is a somewhat lighter feeling beer that has a very good punch to it in flavor. You get a good dose of hops, on the level of a pale ale even. But there is a little malt caramel background that sets it apart from west coast pales. A very good refreshing choice if you are in the mood for this type.

Photo of mdagnew
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle bought from Grape Expectations, Ballyclare...

Poured a nice coppery amber colour... Slightly off white head pours quite small and faded quickly to light ring around the edge. No lacing...

Aroma - Light biscuity / caramel maltiness, honey notes, spicy / grassy hops, peppery, nutty notes, light fruitiness (oranges, dates, raisins)

Taste – Nice spicy floral hop bitterness, light toffee malts, nutty, some fruitiness, (grapefruits, oranges)...

Feel - Pretty smooth and dry... light body.... Very refreshing and very drinkable...

Overall - A pretty good beer....Nothing extraordinary, but very very drinkable... certainly worth a try...

Photo of jahsausage
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I suspect that I have got myself a skunked bottle or something here, its had to come a long way you understand. On first pour the beer looked beautiful with a nice coppery colour and decent head and smelt mildly of malt & yeast (it reminded me of homebrew). The taste itself I found quite subdued, perhaps what would be expected in a kiwi/uk style mild ale but the aftertaste was not to my taste. I found it not only lingering but astringent and sourish like nothing I have tasted before bar homebrewing disasters. I think I am going to have to reserve my judgement on this one until I can try a (hopefully) fresher bottle.

Photo of becktone
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Anchor Steam pours a rich orange color. It is crystal clear and has an off white billowy head. Carbonation is visible, therefore bringing a lifelike appearance to the beer. First began with a two finger head, now down to about a finger and a half, somewhat good retention. The beer exhibits farily good lacing characteristics.

The nose of this beer is of strong sweet malts. Reminds me somewhat of candy,(however, not belgian candi sugar). Don't detect any hops in the aroma of this beer. The sweet malt smell is too upfront and in the face, I can't take much of it before I have to move the glass away from my nose, I think that it could be toned down a bit.

When it first hits the tongue bitterness if very evident, whether it was from hops or roasted grain I couldn't tell on the first taste, but it is very evident, right up there in the front car on a big rollercoaster. This beer is a big malt beer. While it is in balance between bitter and sweet, the main flavor profile is composed of sweet malts. Not much hop flavor in this brew. A little bit might be nice. Big on a darker caramel flavor.

The carbonation of this beer is forefront. It is highly carbonated. The carbonation can be felt up to the point where one swallows the beer. I'm not a big fan of that, seems to be a little too much if you ask me. This is a beer that I'll drink again, but I don't know how soon I'll be in the mood to drink this beer again. It is something unique, however, there are many unique beers that I have had that I might prefer over this one. It just doesn't seem to hit the spot, or any spot like a good beer (in my opinion) should.

Photo of RedChrome
2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour was a very nice almost orange color. Tons of carbonation help highlight the nice cream colored head. Almost no lacing.

Had a very hoppy aroma upon first sniff. Second whiff hints at fruity aromas that almost smell like a fruit salad. I noted hints of pineapple, lemon, apricot, and pears.

Not that impressed with the taste. This brew was to bitter even for my taste. The fruit wasn't in balance to the hops, which overpowered the whole flavor. Might taste fantastic with slighlty less hop.

Feels slighty watery but has a fair amount of carbonation that dances on the edges of my mouth.

If you don't mind the bitterness, this might be a good choice for you. It doesn'tfit my tastes, and unfortunatly, won't go onto my list of would drink again beers.

Photo of ernie
4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Certainly the best American beer I ever had. An incomparable one. It came on a hot sunny afternoon and made my day - hazy and crisp, hoppy and smooth, all in one. Fantastic drink, I wish it would be exported more widely. Anchor Steam can easily beat dozens of European premium lagers. But if San Franciscan brewers decide not to expand production for quality reasons, I can understand. Miss this beer, really.

Photo of Phocion
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass with a very reddish copper color and three good fingers of foamy head, which dissolves into a thin lacing. Lots of bubbles floating up to the top.

Fruity smell, with a bit of a sweeter caramel and a little bit of hops coming through.

Very bitter at first, tastes almost like a weakened PA for the first couple swallows. Starts getting a little fruitier as you work your way down the glass, and finishes off dry. Fairly complex, and very unique flavor.

Light-medium bodied, lots of carbonation. Nothing special here.

This is a highly drinkable brew. Excellent all-around beer that would compliment most styles of food or stand out well on its own. Best "backyard" drink I've had, and I usually try to keep a couple in stock for those times I don't know what else to have.

Photo of wedge
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with a frothy, chunky off-white head. Aroma is toasted caramel malts - creamy, nutty, and bready with a soft sweetness. Malty flavor with an earthy, almost minty hop bitterness. There's definately a solid toasted grain presence...a very rustic and leafy character overall that balances out quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium-light and moderately dry.

Firm maltiness and delicious earthy hop flavors blend together cleanly to make a pleasant and highly drinkable lager. High on my list of all-purpose session beers.

Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, golden amber color with a thick foam head that recedes quickly, leaving sticky lacing along the edge of the glass.

Smells lightly of hops and fruit.

On your first taste you get bitterness, but not an overwhelming amount. Very smooth on the tongue. Immediately after the bitter there is a sweet taste and I could detect hints of citrus fruit and caramel on the tongue.

Very solid beer. I could drink this beer frequently (and have been known to).

Photo of phishgator
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured into a pint glass with a nice deep amber/copper hue. The head is fluffy white and dissapates quite quickly. The aroma is of weak grains, very faint. The taste is o little bitter in the front and in the back. There is the balance of malt and hop in the body, but they just impress. The total brew could be a decent stand by at the bar where not much else is going on. Probably the only one of this style that I've had and I could just not know what I'm looking for.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,055 ratings.