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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,131
Reviews: 1,897
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 145
Gots: 580 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,131 | Reviews: 1,897 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doppelmeup
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear amber with a thin layer of foam that leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas are not strong, nothing to really grab you but nothing bad either.

Taste is very crisp and pure. A slight hoppy bitterness shows itself as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Dry, crisp, with slight carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

This is one of the most drinkable beers I've had! I could drink these all evening long, and at just 4.9% that would be a great option! Anchor Steam has always been one of my favorite beers, and I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to review it!

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange/yellow, with some haze and a fluffy white head. The head lingered for a while, but didn't last more than half the drinking time.
Smells of sweet malt, some citrus and a bit phenolic.
Tastes like a dry lager. Mostly malt and biscuit, yet a bit dry due to the hops. Some floral and diacetyl, but that may be due to the tap lines.
Crisp feel, especially if its colder. A nice low alcohol brew. Should try it again in the summer

Photo of bgraney
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber, minimal head. As the beer settles the bubbles emerge.
Mild biscuity aroma with a slight hop presence in the background.
Lager-like flavor with a mild grapefruit background.
Thin mouthfeel, a little grapefruit tang on the tongue.
Smooth and drinkable but I don't find it particularly interesting.

Photo of benito
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't know that Anchor Steam is one of the best beers made in the US today, but it is the seminal and definitive beer in this style, and any other California common or steam beer lives in its long shadow. Hence my scores.

A: Copper with a large fizzy head with high sturdiness.

S: Minty and woody. Exactly what I expect from this beer and, in turn, style.

T: The start is soft with a strong flavor of honey and is followed by a slightly bitter, dry, and bready finish. The minty hop presence carries through the flavor and adds a nice, refreshing zing.

M: Very soft and smooth. Medium bodied with good length and an ongoing emergence of flavors.

D: Top notch. This is a great session beer for any time of year.

There are more ambitious beers on the American market, and there are lots of other good, innovative steam beers too, but this is a classic and one that never dissapoints. Highly recommended.

Photo of mpyle
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy white head. Smallish but lingers nicely. Pale amber color and excellent clarity. An attractive brew.

Aroma is very clean, with some caramel maltiness that increases as the beer warms.

Has a hoppy bitter initial impression, balanced somewhat by a caramelly maltiness. Finishes moderately dry and generally bitter, the malt isn't completely lost at the end. Tasty.

Light to medium body with moderately high carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel despite the carbonation.

Overall a flavorful, bitter, clean beer with just enough malt to keep it balanced and interesting.

Photo of ElGordo
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty golden-copper color, topped by a smallish bright white head. Sweet aroma of caramel and adjunct malts, along with some light sweet fruit. Palate is much the same - caramel malt, a hint of adjunct, and some lighlty fruity hops. Body is smooth and creamy, great for session drinking. A unique American classic.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, a nice clear copper with a good half inch white head, a little bit of lacing. Aroma is a bit faint, but a full maltiness with some fruits, some citrus in the hopping, its decent. Taste is classic, as good as a lager will get for me (because it kind of isn't). Nice medium body and good carbonation, its an extremely drinkable beer, balanced, clean, crisp, they really have it just right, it enjoys popularity for a reason.

Photo of surcorx
1.66/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance--This pours a deep golden amber color. Nearly no surface foam. Low carbonation--nearly flat. No lacing.

Aroma--Smells of slight carmel, malt and hints of a metal trash can. Smells like a dirty bar room floor. Sorry. A combination of puke and metal.

Taste--This was terrible. Actually one of the first beers I have ever stopped drinking. No skunking, but possibly it has gone bad. Unfortunately, there are no dates for freshness. That is their fault for not labeling as such. It was bought at a very good high volume store--Binny's in Chicago. I am willing someday to try again based on the favorable reviews of others. But if it has gone bad it speaks volumes to the importance of date labeling.

Mouthfeel--Watery, flat metallic- awful.

Drinkability--I stopped drinking it.

Photo of zuggy9
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was recommended to me and I was quite happy about it. It pours a dark amber with a little head and some crowning after it thins. The smell is very woody with subtle malt and hops. The taste is rather light, but with some good hops and is quite dry. It's fairly medium-bodied and refreshing. Very drinkable and pleasant.

Photo of bacabuck
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pilsner style glass. Clear dark amber in color. Minimal head with good lacing on glass as it is drank. Smell of malted barley and hops, trace of banana. Flavors of molasses and coffee. Good mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Definitely can drink more than a few of these without realizing it.

Photo of jdg204
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Figured it was time I got a fresh 6 Pack to review this hallmark brew, I was glad I took the time as it had been a while since I had one.

Appearance - Nice golden, amber color with a lovely, full white head.

Smell - Nice light aroma with sweet fruits and a spicey hint, not a whole lot here though.

Taste - A light sweet malt flavor when you first try and then a very nice hop pop backs it up but does not overpower, there's also some bitterness there that works with the hops to provide a nice CRISP sensation, hard to beat. Definetly comes through more as you let it warm a bit.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth consistent feel, this is an easy drinker.

Drinkability - A classic session brew and a nice return to excellent "normalcy" for me after having several complicated brews over the Christmas season. This classic lives up to it's name and is a great easy drinking brew while still providing phenominal quality.

Photo of Hammarby
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with offwhite head.
S: Kind of faint smell of malts and alcohol. Not a big nose. Maybe some caramel.
T: Malty with pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. Rice, honey, a faint buttery tone. A bit metallic (not flawed).
M: Carboration with tiny bubbles. Just below medium body.

This is not the kind of beer that "attacks" your buds, rather one that grows on you.

Photo of zeff80
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an orange/amber color with a one finger head. Not much lacing.

S - Smelled malty and grassy.

T - Malt, grain and clove are the dominant flavors. Also, a citrusy kick.

M - It is crisp and light to medium-bodied.

D - A nice brew. I always enjoy picking one up but the price always seems to be a bit much for the quality.

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

I must say, this is a very different brew.
Appearance is good with some head and a collar that lasts the whole glass.
Smell is good but odd. Very woody, lots of dry malt, and some slight hops poke through.
Taste is a lot lighter than expected, very dry and woody.
Mouthfeel is light to medium in body.
Drinkability is on par.

Photo of micro108
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a mid-amber color, and has a firm, thick bubbly head. It is mildly-carbonatedand and has a pleasant citrusy hop smell. A quick sniff in the glass reveals a touch of grainy malt and a more floral character to the hops. In the mouth it is not too lively, with the flavor dominated by a firm bitterness, displaying the floral hop character noticed in the nose - the citrusy character is there too, but becomes more subdued as the beer warms in the glass. It is balanced by a dryish but rich malt body, with a caramelly, burnt touch. Finish is a bitter blend of burnt caramel and hops, leaving a lingering bitter and slightly cloying aftertaste on the tongue. A great beer - one of the better-known American craft brews, but deserving of its popularity.

Photo of Grundle20
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid copper color in to a pint glass. there is a big sticky off white head with some great retention, it left me with a little bit of a beer mustache as a result of my lack of patience. There's some decent patchy lacing.

There's nothing here really. A really tiny note of citrus rind or unripe banana but not much else to speak of. This is the only California common that I can think of so I left this as a 3 because I really don't have any reference to argue it one way or the other.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's drinks light with a fruit punch note. It reminds me of certain IPAs with out the big hopping. It hits you with some initial hop bitterness but then it just moves on to the tropical fruit notes and some floral touches in the finish. There's a slightly "green" after taste like that of edible flower petals but it's neither bad nor good.

This beer pretty much screams drinkability. It's got long haul ABV, a good variety of flavor, and it doesn't leave you regretting your last sip with an awful aftertaste. Very enjoyable in this aspect.

Bottom Line:
This was my first legal beer if I remember correctly and I remember really not liking it. I'm drinking this and realizing how my palette has developed because this really is a pretty damn good session beer. Next time you're watching the game or hitting the woods with the guys sub out your macro or even craft lager and bring a case of these along.

Photo of sjambok1
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

My first review and for an excellent beer.

A: Amber and dark with a good, thick head

S-Smelt of hops and caramel. Soothing and not too strong.

T-An excellent taste. Very hopy and somewhat sweet at the beginnign.

MF-Very carbonated, good, and smooth

D-Something I could drink plenty of and not have a problem.

Photo of MVassar
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty, clear orange/copper color. Medium off-white head which hangs around for a couple of minutes.

Somewhat reluctantly gives up subtle scents of malt and caramel.

Very subtle hints of caramel, sweet malt, lingering citrus. Also a touch of bitter hops in the finish.

NIce round mouthfeel, with plenty of carbonation.

Well-constructed and undemanding, this is a very drinkable session beer.

Photo of tonistruth
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- reddish copper with a 1" white head that has good retent and lacing, head settles to a tiny ring.

S- clean, toasted malt, floral

T- toasted malt with a somewhat spicy hop flavor, grainy. mellow flavor

M- smooth flowing though at times it feels coarse, light body

D- easyily sessionable. mellow flavor. well deserving of its hype.

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

Had this on draught at the Mellow Mushroom on Hwy 5 in Douglasville. I was quite impressed with it. It poured a burnt orange colour with a very pretty off-white head. Lots of CO2 streaming skyward kept the foamy cap from fading away for some time. Plenty of glue-like lacing in this one, too. Looks good. The smell was quite lovely, as well. Heavy malt, with light hops, this almost reminded me of the breakfast cereal Sugar Smacks. Certainly very inviting. Much more hops in the flavour than was evident in the smell. This is very well balanced. Pleasant, malty sweetness up front, and a nice hop bitterness on the finish. A rock solid beer. Mouthfeel seemed well rounded and very easy to drink. I truly enjoyed this one. I ended up having two pints. Delicious!

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

Very light pour, vanishing head and mediocre lacing. Aromas were malty with some floral quality. Taste was better than expected- bready malts with a slightly sweet character, then a nice delicate hop finish. Very crisp clean taste and good carbonation. A very sessionable brew, pairs well with just about anything.

Photo of adam42381
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a medium caramel with a substantial 2-3 finger light cream head which dissipated fairly quickly to about 1 finger leaving minimal lacing.

Smell: Hints of bitter citrus with sweet malt. Very nice combination.

Taste: Nice bite at the beginning fading into citrus. A very nice bitterness builds up to the finish. Bitter aftertaste that isn't overpowering. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a bite. Your mouth feels coated with it even after swallowing. Mouth waters a bit for more. Not too heavy nor too light; just about right.

Drinkability: Goes down exceptionally smooth and leaves you wanting more. Definitely not too heavy to enjoy several in a sitting. Very drinkable.

Overall: I'd rate Anchor Steam as a very solid beer. Great flavor and high drinkability make this one I would recommend and will definitely continue to purchase. Glad I found this one about 8 months ago. Highly recommended.

Photo of xav33
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anchor Steam Beer
12 oz bottle
Medium pour in an English pint
Brewed 05/06, anchored 11/06

Poured amber orange with an average frothy quickly diminishing head with no lacing.

Smelt of moderate caramel, bananas, grass.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter grass and cobwebs with light sweet and slightly sour raisin fruit followed by a strong bitter grass hops with light sweet gelatin on a long finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, dry, softly carbonated and moderately astringent.

Overall, this beer has a very rustic distinct character, and, as innovators of the style, a great benchmark.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber – clear – massive head, as deep as the beer – fairly lively

Sweet and malty – some hop

Not too light, there are significant flavor levels present. Hops and malt with a little alcohol.

Foams up pretty well in the mouth – mild carbonation sting

Anchor Steam makes a no-nonsense American Lager (a Steam): a nice blend of sweet and bitter via the American hop infused malt core. It’s stronger than your average APA.

Photo of beveritt
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label has a stamp, 6Y1, whatever that means.

Appearance: Pours a medium brown, clear with a slight hint of orange/red. Nice one inch creamy head that falls to just a coating.

Smell: Sweet, with hints of the the grassy smell you get from a macro lager. Almost a carbon/charcoal odor.

Taste: A pretty good bite up front from the carbonation. A little malt, not much, then some of the grassy hops, finally followed by a decent level of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average level of carbonation. Good, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty easy drinking brew. Have to admit, the grassy flavor reminds me too much of some macros or a can of Boddington's. Not a huge fan, but it is the epitome of the style.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,131 ratings.