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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

1,932 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,932
Hads: 5,515
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 185
Gots: 931 | FT: 2
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.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,932 | Hads: 5,515
Photo of jack11c
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours great!! beautiful light amber grain color. tiny bubbles

smells maltey. caramel. sweet and a lil pungent

tastes great. hops, grain, and a lil iron on the back of the tongue

drinks great. like a true American Original microbrewery

reminds me of summer :)

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Photo of semihobo
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice head over a light brown body. Classic good looks, only head retention could be better.

Smells of peppery hops and a mix of grains. Very clean.

Taste is a rich medley of grains, from start to finish, complemented by peppery hops. The finish is pleasantly crisp with a goodbye kiss from the hops that fades to a lingering starchiness. A rich nuttiness persists throughout.

Vigorous, peppy carbonation is suitable for the flavor. Brisk but not distracting or overpowering.

I've had Anchor Steam before and didn't find it that impressive... now I'm not sure how I missed it. Sit down with a pint and look closely. A gem. Incidentally, reminds me of several Saranac beers -- if you like those, check this out. Now to find another steam beer to compare...

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Photo of Wasatch
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. One of the first micro's I bought in CA. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a nice head, but does not last long, very light lacing if any at all. Nice malty scent with a great light taste. I really enjoy this beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Franziskaner, one of the bests readily available beers you can buy. Anchor Steam pours a very nice red amber color along with a off white head that sticks around till you finish your pint. That ante's up the respect right there! The smell is floral and has an awesomely balanced complexion of hoppy bitterness and malt. Reminds me a lot of a Sam Adams Boston Lager, but with more flavor and craft. The taste is orgasmic in words. Has a carmel-like initial flavor and then heeds way to the malt, which is quite sweet. The mouthfeel is nice and heavy, makes you think twice about it being a lager! Drinkability is that of a hefe in my opinion, very smooth and balanced. The steaming process leaves it wickedly smooth, and I love it! Anchor pretty much re-invented this style of beers from the grave, and it’s added quite a unique beer to the styles of beer from around the world. It has the character of a hefeweizen and Vienna lager, which is a good mix to go with! Very tasty indeed.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having this one at my bud Ralph's house out here in San Diego. Poured with a giant foamy, frothy, sudsy, cream colored head, that lasts a while, good lacing, and lots of big bubble trails. Color is a clear orange amber. Aroma is burnt sugar, caramel, malt, minerals, and hop with a bit of fruit. Flavor's the same way. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. First started drinking this in the early 80s and it doesn't seem to have changed a bit. Great beer! Session.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orangish amber body with tight, foamy-creamy (because it's kinda both), off-white head. Good retention. Carbonation looks pretty lively. Lookin forward to this one.

Smell: Mint, leafy hops, sweet wood (hickory?), and spice. Sweet malts throughout, but some nice, spicy, leafy hops level things out.

Taste: This is a new found love for me. I've had Anchor Steam many times in the past and never remeber it being this good. The same aromas detected in the nose come to life in the taste; mint leaves, grain, and spicy hops steal the show. Citrus can also be found, expecially toward the end. Delicious, balanced, and totally unique. This is a must try.

Mouthfeel: Genrously carbonated (as are most of Anchor's beers), very creamy, and uber smooth. A sturdy malt backbonve gives the imbiber something to chew on. Finishes crisp with some light bitterness.

Drinkability: I'll be buying this again, and again, and again. I feel like this deserves an even better grade than A, but I'll change it in the future if need be. This is a classic and a must try.

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Photo of airforbes1
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out a deep orange red and gives off a grassy aroma. The taste starts crisp, builds a slight apple-y taste, and finishes with some piney hops which linger on the tongue and strengthen as the beer warms. Even though the head quickly disappears, there's enough carbonation that leave me burping for a while. While this is not a particularly strong brew, it's more complex than one might suspect.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There is no beer in the world like Anchor Steam, and any attempt at making another steam beer has fallen well short of the high mark Anchor has set with this one. The California Common style is not one that will have any sort of worldwide presence, and you see on the style page how big of a gap there is in total reviews between Anchor Steam and whatever the #2 is. Anchor Steam is so unique and so good, that the style is basically named after it.

It's got a nice grainy smell. A powerful hop bitterness up front that mellows out with excellent malts and a mild fruitiness. That's the simplest way of explaining it, but really you won't have any idea what to expect. It's a beer in a league of its own. Maybe it's not for everyone, but everyone needs to try it.

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Photo of Arno
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Bright orange. Lovely sugary broken white foam with great lacing.

smell: I get dark honey / nectar. Sweet grains and malts. Surprisingly i'm not getting much hop smell from it.

taste: It has a grainy dark honey sugary base flavor with some bittering hops through it to balance it out. The hops mellow out during the finish, leaving the lovely sweet malts and nectar like texture.

mouthfeel: Brilliant. Nectar like velvet. Syrupy. Very smooth and round. With some medium carbonation to freshen it up.

overall: It's not a very complex beer, but it does everything right. It's somehow quite sugary in texture, yet the hops gives it a nice light bitter kick. It's just a joy to drink and not one to over think ;)

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Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my birthday presents was a six pack of Anchor Steam. Awesome present. Take note.

12 oz adorable stubby bottle into Sam Adams glass.

I don't really feel like talking about the individual qualities of this beer. It's a delicious beer of an authentic original American style. It's hoppy and satisfying, yet light and thirst quenching. Spicy and a little fruity, yet also clean and crisp. A classic, and something I can drink almost all the time. If you're reading this and haven't tried it yet, do it!

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Some light biscuit malts a very small tad of grain and a slight herbal/floral hop. Sweet bready/biscuit malts with an herbal/floral hop. It definitely seems like an old fashioned beer for lack of a better way to put it because it does have a bit of that grainy malt flavor but the richness of the malt and hop character definitely put it above your average macro. As the beer warms the biscuit sweet malt comes out and reminds me of a samuel adams lager. Very drinkable and a full body for only a 4.9 percent. Definitely an artfully crafted beer.

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Photo of elniko
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice head creamy head. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Malty with some floral tones that I pick up, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer.

T & M: This is one fine brew, one of my faves that I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Taste is wonderfully balanced, malt up front with nice finish of slight bitterness and floral tones. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

D: Highly drinkable and sessionable. One of my faves, only complaint is high cost of six pack here in Texas.

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Photo of jamiejohnson
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I genuinely love this beer. Super session craft brew that's smooth and super tasty. But to be honest I'm rating it so high because of the pioneer factor. I'm 55 yrs old and to anyone else who endured the fizzy 70's and 80's, especially in a rural area like where I grew up - you know what I mean. Fritz and Homebrew Charlie P saved the day and instigated the craft beer gold rush. Nowadays there's literally thousands of excellent brews out there. Thank you so much Anchor Brewing

Way back then
I drank pee
Anchor Steam
Set me free

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Photo of T100Mark
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - The classic 12 ounce brown bottle in a shaker pint glass (the bottle looks so cool).

Appearance - A perfect copper color. I wish the beer left a little more lace around the inside of the glass however.

Smell - Good.

Taste - Flavorful. The beer has a slight botanical flavor. The balance between malt and hops is ideal. Very drinkable!

Mouth - Tart yet clean.

Overall - This is the first micro brew I remember being aware of (as a young boy, I watched my father drink one at Fisherman's Wharf). Yes, I'm a little biased. I love this beer.

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Photo of Dmann
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A truly excelent and enjoyable brew. This beer poured a good looking amber color with a nice white head that clung to the glass and left slight lace till the end. The smell was good with a nice earthy malt character. The taste was superb with a nice citrus bite in the beginning, a carmel like maltiness as it washes over your mouth and a great dry citric aftertaste. A unique beer indeed and a great session brew as well.

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Photo of unclepedro
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my all-time favorite beers. If I had to have my fridge stocked with ONE kind of beer forever, this would be on the short list. It would also be on my short list for introducing newcomers to good beer. (And the Anchor Steam story is good for that, too.)

Why do I like it so much? I'm not sure... it's kind of a "sleeper beer" ... it's not exciting or especially bold, but the flavor profile, mouthfeel, and whole experience is so enjoyable and satisfying I am never disappointed.

The big thing for me is the taste. There's something so wonderfully balanced about Anchor Steam. It's malty, toasty, caramelly, with these flavors that are reminiscent of a darker beer, but it also has these brighter citrusey and fruity characteristics that poke out now and again. Those notes mostly just brighten up the flavor, but every once and a while it grabs you in a different way. It's well carbonated, not in an aggressive way, but in a way that makes your mouth happy.

It's just one of the best all-around beers, period.

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Photo of berkey
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean amber body with a slight haze. Forms a fairly large off-white head with great retention. Highly active carbonation with very good lacing.

Nose starts off with cracker-like malt aromas along with what smell like German Pils hops and traces of lager yeast.

Taste brings on some more biscuit and cracker malts along with some mellow caramel flavors. Good amount of bitter hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant and creamy and the carbonation is balanced but still very active even very late in the tasting. Drinkability is off the charts, an excellent sessionable lager.

Overall a true classic. I enjoyed this beer when I was younger and although I took a break from it during a hophead stretch and a Belgian fixation it's been back in regular rotation in recent years.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip pint: a nice medium amber, clear, under much glistening, large-bubbled head (four fingers on first pour), that sinks a bit but retains a sculptural lumpiness. Bright gold highlights. Had to do 4 pours to get the whole bottle into the glass. Foamy lacing.

Smell is clean but flavorful, with a light caramel aroma & some cereal grains. Slightly toasty, bread crust. Lightly floral, crisp hop notes.

Well-rounded toasty & caramel flavors as well, with enough bitterness from hops to balance out perfectly. Maybe some slight lemon, but not much at all. Finishes clean. Aftertaste goes through a few movements between dry, slightly mineral, sweet, & then resting on toasted. Not a big flavor but really well done, full but restrained.

Light-to-medium body with a slightly dry feel in the aftertaste.

This is so solid. Lower ABV brew, no flares or tricks, just well balanced & very tasty. I tend to overlook this on too often, but when I have it I'm reminded what a great, drinkable brew this is. Possibly my favorite session beer.

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Photo of KeefD
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tumbler, copper orange color with a big billowing head that become dense and rocky, lots of carbonation bubbles. Aroma of caramel, some floral notes, slightly perfumey. Taste of lightly toasted grains, semi-sweet, hints of caramel, bready, and dry on the finish. Only the slightest bit of hops can be detected. Creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied. A very nice lager. A wonderful session beer.

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Photo of baseballrock
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - amber color, thick slightly cream colored head, head retention very well.

Smell - smell is a little earthy

Taste - right from the start bitter with a little carmal, great flavor bitterness stays with you from first to last drink.

Mouthfeel - full of many flavors, very enjoyable to to try and decide what exactly you taste.

Drinkability - a beer this good is always drinkable. this beer leaves you wanting more and more.

I really like this beer, incredibale. you don't find many like this.

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Photo of codekiln
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, large head, ruby color, clear, decent lace

Metallic, slightly sweet, a little sour (like a midwestern silo)

Balanced, not too hoppy; berry notes, gentle, deliciously bitter finish

Bubbly and smooth


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Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale, clear light coppery color with a medium sized cap of off-white dense smooth foam. Settles down slowly to a healthy slim skim and collaring. Drippy lace with some globs sticking.

Aroma is softly clean and grainy with a slight toastyness; creamy, earthy tones keep underneath with a great fresh breadiness displayed on the nose the whole time.

Great fresh flavors, lightly malty with a nudging sweetness always peeking through with what tends to be an always present, fine bready toastyness. Creamy and lightly earthy with a tender texture and easy going malt base. The grain flavors are nicely handled with an eager mildness that lasts a long time. Finishes earthy with a slight grassy edged hoppyness floating along the end of the bready stuff. A great Steam beer by the innovators of the style, Anchor.

Sessionable by the gallons!

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Photo of avwrite
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice caramel look. A bit fizzy but also crisp.

S - Sweet smell. Smells are a mixture of molasses and honey.

T - Nice sweet. Surprisingly flavorful given. No bitterness detected.

M - Perfect for summer. Light feel.

O - A local favorite and the perfect beer for a hot day.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into mug.

A- Copper color with thick chunky head.
S- Malty aroma
T- Very bitter at first taste which was surprising. Faded into an easy malt sweeteness. Very well balanced.
M- Good carbonation and the flavor stays with you.
D- Could drink this all day long.

The best of the easy to find micros in my opinion. One of my favorites and it seems to be getting easier to find in Tennessee.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm very partial to Anchor Steam, but I'll try to be as objective as possible here.

Dark copper color with a 1 1/2" tan head. Good retention. The smell while it is cold is just a waft of a little malt and citrus aroma. But as it warms up a bit the malt aroma sweetens to almost an candyish degree. Either way the taste is clean with a short-medium finish. There is a mellow caramel apple flavor to it. The drinkability is exceptional and it would pair well with a wide range of foods.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,932 ratings.