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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

4,810 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,810
Reviews: 1,859
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 382 | 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: 4,810 | Reviews: 1,859 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hagbard
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a 3/4" light tan head, which fades fairly quickly but leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass. Not much of an aroma at all, but what is there smells "like beer"...slightly hoppy and slightly malty. It smells like what you remember beer smelling like as a child. As the beer hits your tongue, there is a slight hop bitterness. As you begin the swallow, the bitterness changes to a malt presence that is not sweet. The bitterness reappears for the aftertaste. This is a rather strange blend. It is not my favorit beer, but it is very satisfying in warm weather and also when served with just about any meal. It is very drinkable.

Hagbard, Apr 19, 2004
Photo of Crotor
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a legend for a reason. Truly unique, Anchor Steam Beer monopolizes the California common beer style.

Crystal clear, rich amber, with a moderate head, Anchor Steam presents a fist class appearance.

The drinker is met by a big aroma of toasty (*toasty,* not sweet) malt. This toasty malt character is also very substantial in the taste. This beer screams malt. Delightful, toasty, dry malt. No sweetness needed here. The moderate hopping is in perfect balance. The highly aggressive ale-like taste profile diffeers slightly from that of an ale because of the lager yeast. This manifest somewhat in a slight tartness and the "shape" of the taste.

Anchor Steam is fully deserving of its reverence.

Crotor, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of LuckySevens82
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
I must admit, this is not the first time I've tried this beer. The first taste I had was when I first started getting into better beer, I personally didn't like it at all whatsoever. It had a very strange aftertaste. This time is different.
Poured a nice deep honey color with a small thick white head.
Smells of grains and slight caramel notes. There is some hops in the nose, but nothing overpowering.
Taste is sweet, caramel, but not overwhelming. The graininess and hops balanace out this brew nicely. This brew is bitter, but not at all overwhelming. The malt character is astounding and I could not ask for a better balance between the two.
This is like no other beer I have tried. An excelent brew.

LuckySevens82, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler, this honey amber brew grew a bubbly white head. The grain aroma, with it's subtle yeast accent, was inviting. The rolling malt flavors started grainy but became sweet and syrupy, only to lead to a crisp finish. The hop spicing provides some interesting counter point, and makes the brew an excellent pair with a bowl of chilli. The mouth feel is fair, at times a little too syrupy, but otherwise this is a drinkable beer that will likely return to my fridge.

AllThingsNinja, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice honey amber with an excellent rocky white head; nice retention to boot. Some lacing, and active, but short-lived carbonation.

Smell: Sweet syrupy malt comes through, with apple yeast and a bit of hop spice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Uniquely steam. Very malty body with a strong, bready yeast flavor on top. Hops blend to create a somewhat perfumed fruitcake taste--you'll know it's Anchor Steam. Anchor's mouthfeel is, not surprisingly, a bit syrupy and creamy, though medium bodied. The finish is slightly bitter and drying. The carbonation is big and rough, but it settles quickly.

Drinkability: It's a good beer, but I'd prefer something a bit more focused and crisp. Still, it's easy to drink and quite tasty.

This is an American classic. The somewhat unusual, non-genre specific flavor might not appeal to all, but it's a well-made, enjoyable brew.

WetCoaster, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of palma
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber body with a creamy long lasting tan head. Aroma is sweet malt, brown sugar, and floral with an enticing hoppiness. Taste is caramel malt and some spiced hops. Earthy flavor comes through strong but it's not overpowering. Nice lingering grainy aftertaste. Carbonation a little high. This brew went down surprisingly easy. I would love to try this one on tap. This is a step above their Liberty Ale in my opinion.

palma, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of hustlemuscle
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft in a very nice Las Vegas casino, and found it very pleasing. Had it on bottle the next day, and found the draft to be a step above.

Ruby red, with nice carbonation, and a decent head. The lacing was thick, and hung around 'til the very end.

Smells hoppy, but tastes malty. Very smooth, with what seems like a couple different malty flavors very nicely blended together.

Very smooth and a little creamy. Good stuff to drink, I could drink it on tap all day, but from the bottle it benefits from a bit of a chill.

hustlemuscle, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a staple in Northern California, and a beer I can remember people drinking around me since my early years. Pours a gorgeous copper/amber color with an average, fizzy off-white head and some solid, sticky lacing. The aroma is strong and sweet with some green hops tang underneath and a note that reminds me of banana...though this is not nearly as bizarre as it sounds, and in fact imparts yet another distinctive aspect to an already unique brew. The taste is likewise singular. I get a big maltiness in the beginning that is masterfully balanced with a healthy dose of grassy hops that keeps the brew on the bitter side. The finish is citrusy and slightly minerally, with a hint of the same exotic banana note that is hinted at in the nose. The mouthfeel is good and chewy but refreshing as well. Drinkability is practically unparalleled. This is a must try and a true American icon of a brew.

MobBarley, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of yeagerbm
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with small white head and amber/bronze body. Very nice color.
Slight malt and hop in smell.
Flavor is satisfying with some slightly roasted malt and smooth but crisp, sharp hop bitterness, and lingering bitter aftertaste. Average mouthfeel for a non-macro, not thick. Good drinkability due to the smooth malt and sharp hop character.

yeagerbm, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of RasputinsRevenge
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had forgotten how much I liked this beer before I picked some up at the store this weekend. Appearance was a shade of copper, with a respectable head. The aroma has a pleasant fruity smell to it, along with a slightly burnt malty smell. The taste, mouthfeel and drinkability, are good to very good. This is by no means a "heavy" beer nor a "light" beer, to me, it has an almost perfect balance that makes it not only tastey, but very drinkable - something that I think is not easily achievable in the brewing world. This is one of the breweries and beers that revitalized the craft-brewing industry in America, and it's still making a statement some 30+ years later. If you haven't tried this beer, this humble reviewer highly recommends it!

RasputinsRevenge, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color, nice bubbly head.

Grainy aroma, slight lemon citrus and a touch of sweetness.

Medium body, light sweet and lemon citrus. Hints of toasted malts and caramel flavors. Finishes with a grainy dryness.

A very fine beer, I have converted a couple people to good beer with this and still enjoy it myself.

Southernbrew, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of CrescentFresh
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. A very tasty beer. Malt sweetness and mild hop bitterness are present. All flavors blend in well to make this a unique brew. Worth the 7 bones for a sixer. Hard to find in this small town so I have to grab it whenever I see it.

Earns at least 4 out of 5 swills in my opinion.

CrescentFresh, Mar 17, 2004
Photo of brewQ
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presents a thick, stable tan head- nicely knit. An appealing rich copper color.

Pleasant to the nose, I found fruity and floral notes and a slight malty sweetness evident.

Great rich initial hit of flavor but it breaks quickly.

I found this bottle true to my distant memory of drinking Anchor Steam some 15 years ago at the brewery in SF. I don't think that they have messed with it or softened it much. (Perhaps as other reviewers have suggested so many more flavor packed brews have hit the streets since these guys blazed a trail).

For me, I'd put this in a 12 pack of classic American beers.
It is drinkable and true.

brewQ, Mar 07, 2004
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
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,810 ratings.