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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

4,778 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,778
Reviews: 1,856
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 376 | 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: 4,778 | Reviews: 1,856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goindownsouth
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I have not had this one in a long time, until last night, that is. It is amazing how a steam beer can make this hop-head do cartwheels. A very attractive amber tapping brew, amber in color. The aroma offers just what the name gives you, a fantasticly grainy steamy type of aroma. A fantastic brew in bottle, but even better out of the tap.


goindownsouth, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of texascarl
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance = dark amber, thick off-white head. Good carbonation, nice lacing. Nice looking beer.

Nose = pleasant aroma, malt, light hops

Taste = bitter, but not 'hoppy' tasting. semi-creamy mouthfeel and a long finish

First time I've had this, not quite sure what I think of it yet. It's good but maybe not my cuppa. I'll wait & give it another try soon.

texascarl, Mar 22, 2003
Photo of Running4beer
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a light amber/orange color. Had a thick head that quickly disappeared but left a lace on the glass all the time. Smell of malts & hops noticeable. Good carbonation and you could feel it when drinking. Mouthfeel was thin and crisp. Smoked, hops was part of the taste malts were strong also. All in all a good beer glad, I bought a sixer of this.

Running4beer, Mar 15, 2003
Photo of nomad
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

everyone says to try it, so i had to...

Pours a light amber with an orange hue. Didn't have much head and had very thin lace. Nose was very smooth, consisting of unripe pear and natural sugars with a little bit of smokiness, too. Flavor was a lemony citrus, medium smoky, and lightly sweet fruity. Mouthfeel was biting but not in a unctuously hoppy or high alcohol kind of way. The bitterness didn't seem to be hop based and hit my mouth all high and up front in the roof of my mouth. Real long and drying finish, but not obnoxiously so.

A very soft and smooth nosed beer considering how lemon, smoky, and uniquely bitter this strange brew is. Truly unique as everyone has said. Definitely picking sixers of this to keep around the fridge. Fabulous.

nomad, Mar 14, 2003
Photo of Morris729
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with a thick and creamy white head that coats the sides of the glass with sheets of lace as it recedes. Nose is sweet malts and caramel with a touch of floral hops. Medium in body with a good amount of carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. Taste is raw grains and bitter hop resins up front with a bit of lemon rind followed by notes of sweet toasted malts and caramelized sugar. A bit of lemony citrus is present in the aftertaste. Simply a classic brew that is a must try for anyone.

Morris729, Mar 11, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, light caramel-amber in color with a decent beige head and excellent retention atop medium bubbles and moderately-strong carbonation. Lacing is adequate. Aroma is grainy, husky, lightly caramel, yeasty with some "primary dredge" characteristics. Hops are not very abundant in aroma. Mouthfeel is initially fizzy with a medium body. Taste starts with a fizzy, clean amber malt profile, some mild, gritty, earthy flavor hops, penetrated by some mild yeasty fusels and sulfur midway through, then ending in a pleasant, lingering grainy sweetness balanced by smooth, earthy hops. Everything simmers and becomes more round after warming. An American classic in it's own right...a good alternative to ESB's, but it just doesn't do much for me.

Mitchster, Mar 04, 2003
Photo of Admiraldinty
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not bad. This is the first lager I've had in quite a long time. Poured a hazy copper with a sizable and stickey head. Malt and semi-sweet aroma. Fairly malty taste with some hop-bitterness. Has a prickly, medium-bodied mouthfeel. This is a pretty good lager - one of the better ones I've had (and they haven't been too many - I'm more of an ale man). Definitely a session beer. I'd make this my regular lager, but it's a little on the expensive side here in the Boston area.

Admiraldinty, Feb 26, 2003
Photo of 44ouncer
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As tasted in the hospitality room after a tour of the brewery in San Francisco. Actually got yelled at by Fritz Maytag because I was heading toward the employees' bathroom instead of the one for brewery guests. Sorry, Fritz.

Appearance a wonderful golden red. Terrific smell -- a terrific blend of all the ingredients. The hops, the malt, everything. A smooth, rich taste, with just enough of a bite to remind you that this is an adult beverage. Not too harsh, though. Pefect. Mouthfeel was very smooth, yet rich. As far as drinkability was concerned, it's a great beer to sit around with family and friends with.

If you're ever planning on coming to San Francisco, make sure you make your reservations for the brewery tour ASAP. They only do them once a day -- for 12 or so people. You won't be disappointed!

44ouncer, Feb 24, 2003
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am excited to finally review this classic! Anchor poured very smoothly, revealing a light copper/red color with a 1/2 a finger thick off-white head that remained the entire way down the glass. The only complaint was the smell. There wasn't any. It just smelled like "beer". The taste on the other hand was great. There was a nice hop bitterness that attcked the front of my tongue while a more mellow malted flavor pleased the back. The aftertaste was tart with some notes of apple. This had a unique lager style taste that I do not think I have ever tasted before. The mouthfeel was well carbonated and creamy. One of the more distinct american beers around. try it if you can.

GreatPondBrewer, Feb 24, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very drinkable session beer. It's clear amber with a small off-white head. I sense just a bit of floral hops in the aroma, nothing pungent. A zesty carbonation treats the tongue, as well as a perfectly balanced hop and malt combo, more hops at first. The finish is dry, crisp, and refreshing. I'm pleased that I finally tried this classic....highly recommended.

AudioGilz, Feb 16, 2003
Photo of Kunsan90
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear amber/orange with a healthy off white head. As the head receded to shallow film, a little lace work was left behind.
It smelled of malt with a fruity/lemony hint. The taste matched the smell, malty with fruity aftertastes that finishes off with a slight hop bite.
It felt nice and somewhat full in the mouth and with an initial malty hit followed by the hit of hops.
This is a very drinkable beer that I had been looking forward to trying, and it did not let me down. Obviously against a macro there is no choice, but still this is a beer that I will buy again and offer to friends.

Kunsan90, Feb 15, 2003
Photo of budgood1
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

can't believe i haven't reviewed this classic yet!

anchor steam pours out a hazy amber color. there was the slightest bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle that i made sure i swirled in. a foamy head dies to a fine lace. not much in the nose except some slight fruity maltiness and a bit of floral hops. tastes very fruity...maltiness evident and a slight stinging hop bite. a lot going on here. the creamy mouthfeel isn't really smooth, so to speak...adding to the unique and rough profile. alchohol is noticeable, and so is a slight sulphur note on the palate. seemingly full bodied; an enigmatic beer to say the least. finishes with a hop attitude which i found stimulating and pleasing to my taste buds. i can see why this is an all time classic. another brew i could easily drink many of!

budgood1, Feb 15, 2003
Photo of Bruiser81
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a clear amber orange color with a small off-white head the did last. The aroma was hoppy with a flowery-citrus background. The taste was also citrus with sort of a lemony zest with a finish that had a fairly bitter hoppy finish. There was a good amount of carbonation and the beer went down easily. This would be a good summertime beer as it is crisp and refreshing.

Bruiser81, Feb 15, 2003
Photo of maxpower
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color, has an average sized foamy white head that last. Has a grainy, bready flowery aroma. Light and balanced hop and malt flavors, medium body with a dry crisp finish, this may be on of the easiest drinking beers I have ever had.

maxpower, Feb 08, 2003
Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hoppy nose and taste. It has a decent golden amber color. and a moderate head that is short lived. Kind of has a stick to the roof of your mouth yet smooth texture in regards to mouthfeel. It has a very bitter finish that is a bit off and lacking balance. Overall a somewhat drinkable beer but not a great beer.

AtrumAnimus, Feb 07, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, opaque copper/red color. Decent head, with the tiniest micro-bubbles, which turn into elegant lace. I like this beer because it has character, but is unobtrusive. It is yummy and interesting, yet it does not get in the way of dinner. It has a malty flavor on a medium body, with light hop bitterness. The high carbonation further enhances this beer’s “with food” profile for me.

Naerhu, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of Realale
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish copper color. Pours with a nice tight 1/2 inch head, that settles slowly, becoming lacy along the way. A very appetizing pint!

Nose is caramel malt, with some fruity notes. There is a mineral quality there as well - a bit like wet concrete, actually.

Very well balanced on the palate. There is a lot of malt, with a substantial crystal component, but there is plenty of bitterness there to counter it, as well as some nice hop flavor.

A bit over-carbonated, but that's the fault of the bar, not Anchor, I hope. The over-carb decreases my drinkability - this is dehydration city waiting to happen.

Realale, Jan 20, 2003
Photo of MJR
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an amber-red color with copper edges. The head was huge to start with, because I poured down the center of the glass, but shrank to a solid, 3/4' cap with good lacing.

Smell: Lots of esters and fruitiness balanced with a good dose of hops.

Taste: Carrys over that balance of sweet malt and fruit and hop bitterness from the nose. The hop flavor is a bit on the coarse side...I like that. Finishes more to the bitter side.

Mouthfeel: Fairly medium bodied with a mouthfeel that bounces back and forth from oily and juicy, to dry and crisp.

Drinkability: Very good. It's modest alcohol, lighter body, and fairly simple flavor profile make this an easy choice.

While it may not be on anybody's 'Best of' list, it's a rock-solid and dependable brew that never fails to please. The granddaddy and precursor of all American micros.

MJR, Jan 15, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is perhaps the best Amber beer I have ever had the privelage to drink. This is kind of similar to yuenglings lager, but it is oh, so much better! This pours a wonderful amber colour and smells of malts and hops. This tastes like a wonderfully balance beer should. Although it is a little light on the hops for my tastes(although I do love the malts too!:-) This has a creamy and smooth mouthfeel and an almost unlimited drinkability making it a great choice for a session beer!

francisweizen, Jan 10, 2003
Photo of kunzbrew
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale copper color with very little head, that leaves a sexy lace behind. Earthy notes in the smell of the malt is very nice. The hops flavor is strong yet nice with that musty note. This is a great steam beer.

kunzbrew, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of Brewzzle
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As the only commercially available Steam style beer I have found I am not sure if it is good or bad example, I can say though that it left a bad taste in my mouth.

It pours to a nice amber color with a head that disappears quickly. Just after pouring there is a slight citrus hint on the nose, as the beer warms a little there is a slightly stale/yeast aroma.

The initial mouthfeel is pleasing, a medium body, rolls around the mouth nicely, however this is where the nicer qualities stop. There is a strong yeast taste, almost like a bread yeast (perhaps something to do with a high fermentation temp?). A subtle hop bitterness at first which lingers and accentuates as an unpleasant `tea' like bitterness as an aftertaste.

Overall, it pretty much met my expectation of a beer style that originated as a crudely made beer, made under hot and trying conditions. Not for me, but a unique beer and probably enjoyed by many.

Brewzzle, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a real winner if you like amber beers. Has a nice wheaty taste, with some faint fruit flavors. Not much of a head to it, but that is to be expected. Also, there was a tinge of hops, but it was balanced well enough for me. "Goes down smooth and never lets you down". Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.

JISurfer, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of johnrobe
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the classics. Highly quaffable and a fantastic session brew, this is also what I would call a very food-friendly beer. I was first introduced to this beer in an excellent San Francisco seafood restaurant, Rocco's, where it paired very well with an italian shellfish/pasta dish.
It pours a light amber in the glass with an off-white head that shrinks to a cap. The smell is of bready malt, some grain, light caramel tones and herbal hops. Carbonation is crisp and tightly knit. Tea-like hops dominate, providing a signature bitter bite, with grain and some caramel malt coming up for support. A light-medium bodied brew.

johnrobe, Dec 15, 2002
Photo of Shiloh
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darker than anticipated and cloudy. Minimum head and certainly full bodied but somewhat bitter with an after taste that will not leave you alone..in a very positive way...Not a good brew for dinning as to its weight...but certainly a session beer...

Shiloh, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of Jarod
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours into the glass a clear dark gold/copper caramel color. The head is not too thick but large. The lace on the sides is quiet evident to the end of the glass. The aroma is of malt, caramel, hops, floral and some spices. The taste in the beginning has hints of caramel (slightly sweet) then hoppy. Followed by some citrus and a little bitter. It then goes slightly sweet again before it finishes somewhat dry. The flavor stays with you a little while after. Not what it used to be, but it is still a good starter beer.

Jarod, Dec 02, 2002
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,778 ratings.