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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

4,772 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,772
Reviews: 1,856
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 377 | 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: 4,772 | Reviews: 1,856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soper2000
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While Anchor is a flagship of American brewing this brew does not do much for me but I love Anchor for doing it as it has provided a stepping stone into the craft brewing world. I cut my teeth on this beer so to speak and still revisit it from time to time. The beer pours a light amber color with a clear head. The smell is nothing spectacular but then again, it's not offensive either. Its taste is initially interesting as the hops struggle to let presence be known. As the bottle is finished it leaves you with just an average feeling. This beer is tons better than BMC but again, it does not do much for me. I must salute Anchor for being a pioneer though and this beer definately has its place in my fridge for the occasional BBQ or for my as of yet to be BA friends

soper2000, Mar 04, 2004
Photo of jimdkc
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, dark gold color with a white medium-sized head. Very nice looking. Nose was carmel malt with a hint of hops. Taste was more carmel malt at first followed by earthy hops with a touch of subdued grapefruit. I'd say this is more balanced than the Anchor Liberty Ale I reviewed recently. Mouthfeel was OK... pretty high carbonation. High drinkability, goes down easy and nothing offensive about it.

I'd easily choose this over a Bud or Miller, but I don't think I'd seek this out. I do, however, see how this gained popularity back when an American microbrew was a novelty. This would probably be a great gateway beer to lure someone away from macroswill to quality beers!

jimdkc, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured clear golden amber. The head was white and did not hang around long, but laced the glass.

The aroma was woodsy Northern Brewer hops and some slight caramel.

The flavor was bitter NBrewer hops with caramel but no sweetness.

The finish was dry and woodsy bitter into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured with lots of carbonation and a nice white head. It sits in the glass with a dark gold color. It looks crisp and clean. It's tastes good, too. The carbonation makes it feel very light on the tongue, but the flavor is still substantial.

If any beer was ever properly described by the word "suds", this is it. It's a great standby to have waiting in the refrigerator.

watermelonman, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of AdrenX
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I spotted a six-pack of this Californian Common while I was grocery shopping at Giant Eagle. I was really surprised to find it and have never seen it sold at my local Giant Eagle before. When grocery shopping I always stop and check to see if they have any new micro beers in stock. And to my surprise they had two six-packs left. I grabbed one and rushed home to crack one open.

This beer pours a very clear average size head, which clings to the glass nicely to form a good lace on the glass. Color is any where from copper to amber. Head retention is average and carbonation seemed just right. Has a clean malty and grainy aroma. An average bitterness with a dry aftertaste that just lingers a little. This beer goes down very easy. Nothing real exciting and nothing really wrong either.

After finishing one I was a slightly disappointed. It may have been due to all the expectation and hype I have heard about this famous beer. One consideration to take from my review is that I live in Cleveland, Ohio so this beer may not have been in the best condition. I will definitely be giving this beer another try. Everyone must try an Anchor Steam beer at least once.

AdrenX, Feb 24, 2004
Photo of Mark
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had a renewed love affair with Anchor the last month or so. Since returning to my "roots" I thought I should re review this classic that is responsible for the micro revolution, it also started me in to the world of quality beer. This beer is a medium amber, head retention and lacing are excellent. Fresh malty and grainy aroma is prominent. Smooth, rounded, refreshing and a tad dry. Some caramel notes, Good hoppy bite. A totally drinkable beer, good year round.

Mark, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Buttery, caramelly, and honeyed, this is an absolutely gorgeous beer. Anchor Steam centers this hybrid style of beer around the lager instead of the ale and so it comes off as a rich example of an otherwise unenticing style. Malt character is up front with flawless northern brewer bittering that's lightly spicy, but otherwise neutral. One of the most subtle beers I've had, yet it never fails to deliver. This isn't a beer, it's a lesson in etiquette.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear beer that is a deep bronze color.

Smell is mostly of hop perfume. There is also malt, grain and toffee smells here.

Taste is of malt balanced by hops, it is a little sweet but then the hops dry the flavor out without being bitter. Mild caramel and citrus are in here. Many ghostly flavors to this, you taste it and then it changes or hides. Succeeds in being flavorful without being harsh in any respect, an excellent brew to convert the Budweiser drinkers of the world.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Super drinkable, mild yet flavorful.

Zorro, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of Dubblebock
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam is one rollickin' good beer, one that I don't get my hands on nearly often enough. This particular bottle came to me by way of fellow Texan and co-worker BA MJBrill, who picked up a bottle of Anchor OSA and the Steam for me on one of his beer runs.

The Steam has a well-deserved reputation as an American beer classic, and it definitely fits the bill. It lives up to it's hype, that's for sure. This was one of my "gateway" beers many years ago, one of my initial introductions to the wider world of craft beers.

Anchor Steam pours with an amber hue, lighter looking than one might expect. The head was a good half-inch thick, but it didn't hand around for too long. Still, a nice-looking pour. Good carbonation. Smell was malty and faintly fruity in an nondescript way.

The taste was smooth and easygoing. Slight hops bitterness chased the malts, but the light fruityness kept tingling my tongue. Slightly biscuity, with an earthy feel the whole way down. Very good mouthfeel, the level of carbonation is just about perfect in this beer. Extremely drinkable, it was gone before I knew it, leaving me to wonder why I don't pick this up more often.

If you've never had this classic beer, try one. It's distributed just about everywhere, and it's generally affordable. Anchor Steam has a lot of interesting history behind it, as does the entire Anchor Brewing Company. It's right powerfull stuff, and it's fun to learn the background of this great American beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to spend some time with this old friend.

Dubblebock, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a cold bottle with a frigid, ice-crusted beer mug. Once I let both warm for about 10 minutes, I was all set to pour beer into glass. Dark amber with a heavy dose of orange. The head was eggshell white and firm. It had decent staying power and left several thick rings of lace.

The smell was of earthy hops, not a bit floral or citrusy. The flavor was of earthy hops and grain. There was a mild-moderate amount of bitterness without much hop flavor, but it was still pretty good stuff.

The finish was long and bitter and the beer dried out a bit at the very end. The mouthfeel was firm, seamless and smooth. Anchor Steam is a true American classic.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, copper amber with a small beige head that retains well, and leaves lots of patchy and sheet lacing. Nose is subdued, but is a nice balance of fruity hops and caramel malt. Mouthfeel is well carbonated with a moderate hops bite. Good, well rounded taste that is dominated by lager style malts. Plenty of fruity and floral hops for balance. A very friendly drinking American classic that is deserving of its reputation in the history of 20th century American brewing. Exceptional drinkability.

merlin48, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a pint of this last night and I was a little taken aback. I've had this in a bottle before, but I decided to try it on tap (especially after trying the Anchor Steam Xmas brew--excellent!!) This beer pours a medium orange-brown and had a faint musty smell. The taste was different. Certainly not what I remembered. I sort of think I had some pulled from a really old keg, because it just felt flat, and had macro-like thinness. I know this isn't a thick beer, and I noted light citrus notes of orange or something, but again it just felt 'off'. There were very faint hops, and decent malt, but again, not what I wanted. I'll try to re-review with a well kept bottle, but as it stands, I would not order this on tap again (at least not where I got it last time)

99bottles, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber hue, thin bubbly white head. Weak aroma of hops, malts, barely noticeable. Creamy, sweet, sweet malts off the bat, backed by somewhat of a light grainy touch. Hops dominated palate; medium bodied. Dry finish, little aftertaste going on here. Perhaps a yeasty end, again hops-dominated palate. Not as good as I remember, somewhat subdued flavorings, nothing to really get your attention. Average across the board.

GeoffRizzo, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of waughbrew
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very clear light copper with a whitish head with impressive creaminess and retention. A bright sting of hops, but surprisingly not cascades in this californian brew. It smells like a German variety along with bready buttery malt. Flavor is a nice fight between the hops and caramel malt - the hop flavor and bitterness rides all the way through, although I find the finish is slightly harsh. The body is too heavy to be a session brew of mine, and the tingly carbonation is not that great. Despite the rich history, I find this brew to be pretty forgetable. Good hop flavors accompany a decent caramel malt body with a subpar feel. An average beer.

waughbrew, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of Beastdog75
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Anchor Brewing is another company that can be considered one of the "pioneers" of the microbrew revolution. Who knows where American beer might be if Fritz Maytag stuck to selling household appliances instead of beer. Anchor Steam Beer is a unique beer that is just a bit funkier than your average run-of-the-mill American macro.

This beer pours a nice copper/amber color with a decent off-white foam that lasts for about 30 seconds. A very fruity aroma emminates from this beer with a light hoppiness detectable underneath that. The mouthfeel is a little thin, and there is a low-moderate amount of carbonation in this brew. The fruity flavors seem to be the focus here, and a bubblegum like flavor seems to partner up with the fruitiness. There are some hints of caramel malt with an even lighter hint of buttery toffee. Some soapy flavors make their presence felt as well, with a low-moderate hop bitterness popping up in the finish with a grapefruit like quality. The aftertaste has some flavors of toasty grains, and is more dry then I was expecting. The beer finishes off with very little alcoholic warmth.

This is a very easy to drink beer, and even though it isn't the most complex brew in the world it is certainly an interesting one. I wouldn't mind having this with some "finger foods" such as mozzarella sticks, potato skins, buffalo wings, etc. Fritz did the beer drinking world a service by saving the Anchor Brewery, and I'll salute him by drinking a few of these anyday.

Beastdog75, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of JamesBerry
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color, with a great head. Smells simultaneously fruity, tangy and malty. This possesses a bitter taste, though deep and malty, and with an aftertaste that is even more bitter. Not surprisingly, this was rather complex, and an impressive example of a truly unique style.

JamesBerry, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of wsouloa
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer and perhaps my rating is a bit lower than it would have been if I hadn't heard so many good things about this beer. I tried this beer for the first time in Northern California. It pours a very nice orangish-red type of color. The smell isn't very overpowering. The taste initially is very good but then it gives a bit of a dry aftertaste to which I wasn't a fan of. Its a better beer than most of the things you will find in most local bars. I would try this again but not anywhere where they have a good selection of beers.

wsouloa, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of filabrazilia
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper delight with a nice off-white head. Exceptional lace adorns the glass.

There is a light hop essence in the nose with a hint of sweet malt.

There was not as much flavor as I expected there would be. There is a slight malt sweetness in the taste. I wanted more flavor from this beer.

There was a smooth and creamy presence in the mouth as I drank this beer. A nice hop bite on the back of the tongue finishes the beer.

Despite the absence of flavor, this is a drinkable beer. All other elements of the beer brought up its rating. I would try this again.

filabrazilia, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper colour with a thick head that had real staying power and ended in a pretty lace. The smell was sweet and malty. The taste had a bready quality to it. Also sweet. It went down pretty smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. A good beer to enjoy with friends or at the bar.

CBFanWish, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of JAL67
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer...a classic. I started having this beer(actually my first micro ever) to get away from the macros. Solid, solid beer. Has a nice red/copper color and good hops. Very good taste and a beer to enjoy.

A very complex beer but at the same time I can recommend to those just starting out on the journey of "good" beer that this is a beer not to be missed.

I don't have it as often but every once in awhile I go back to it. I would say it's along the lines of my fav brewer...Sam Adams.

Cheers

JAL67, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of byrd
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good sized frothy and rocky white head. Clear copper in color. The head is quite sticky and reduces very slowly, holding onto the sides of the glass until it eventually becomes a thin lace. Mild aroma that is a bit different (can’t quite put my finger on it) yet hops are fairly apparent. Nice smooth medium mouthfeel. Bready malt start with a caramel notes. Nice hop finish that is a bit dry and lasts a good length of time. Some slight lemon notes are noticeable. Great highly drinkable, well balanced brew. I really liked this one. Not an overly complex brew, but a great one that I’ll be buying again.

byrd, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of Shaw
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a pint of this at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. I've had Anchor Steam many times before, but never reviewed it until now.

It is a pale bronze color with a short head that vanishes after a few sips. It smells lightly of hops and a teeny bit of malt. There is a good amount of hops in Anchor Steam, both for bitterness and aroma. It had a solid body, neither too light nor too heavy.

Anchor Steam is a good beer, especially for those who enjoy hops.

Shaw, Jan 12, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is of sweet malts and a mild hops; very aromatic. The taste is good. It is dry and malty. It has a bit of a watery finish, but all in all it's pretty good. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; an excellent sessions ale.

WesWes, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber with a two finger head, that quickly dwindled to a bubbling head, while it lasted the head was quite pillowy. Well carbonated.
Malty sweet and lightly hopped (earthy) aroma.
Malt taste (caramel and toasted grain), but a little too coppery (metallic), earthy hops, slight citrus as well.
Light-medium feel with good carbonation feel, an easy drinking session beer. Thank you Mr. Maytag

mschofield, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam Beer!!

Appearance- a beautiful orange/ copper with a nice thick light tan head. Lacing down the glass that marks every sip you took!
Smell- earthy hops, wood, a hint of citrus.
Taste- oh soo good! Malty with a strong yet smooth hop flavor a hint of bitterness that makes you take another sip and another...
Mouthfeel- crisp with a faint bitterness. Goes down too easy!

Overall, quite frankly 1 of the best beers ever!!! A beer that yo can slowly savor or drink several of hanging out. A beer that you can always rely on!!!

NJpadreFan, Jan 06, 2004
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,772 ratings.