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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,962 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,962
Hads: 5,652
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 195
Gots: 1,018 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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 (30) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,962 | Hads: 5,652
Photo of RJLarse
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a couple of bottles of Anchor Steam beer at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a pale amber color and is clear. A thick creamy head forms and is quite resilient. The beer appears mildly carbonated.

The smell is sweet and fruity. There is a floral scent along with an aroma of grain.

The taste is generally unremarkable. A heavy cereal or biscuit flavor up front, followed by a mildly bitter hop taste.

The mouth feel is dry and perhaps a bit flat.

This is a drinkable beer. It’s a bit average in terms of taste, but a drinkable beer just the same.

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Photo of botham
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a rich amber color with a sizable light orange head that remains for a couple minutes.

aroma is malty, with potent caramel malts, and a base of sark fruit. almost earthy overall, with a bold character.

taste is of caramel malts mainly, with a dry and bitter finish and a subtle hop character. not much else here besides the caramel malts and dark fruit.

mouthfeel is light bodied, and a bit watery. this brew could use a bit more body for the flavors present.

drinkability is decent. this is a bitter brew without much hop character. the malts are well proportioned, but the body is not there to back them up.

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Photo of Hagbard
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of goz
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is a light amber/copper, small white head quickly diminishes and leaves very minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet, lightly fruity, with some hops sneaking in the end. Flavor starts sweet, maybe slightly bready in the middle, and a good hoppy ending. I remember liking this more before than I seem to now.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a good inch of frothy off-white foam. Pretty thick lacing present; it almost looks as though the head is creeping back up the glass. The beer is nearly clear and there is a good deal of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Smell is mostly caramel malt with a touch of yeast. There is also a bit of hop aroma and citrus sweetness. Notwithstanding all that, the smell of this beer is fairly understated. Typical lager aroma.

Taste: Given the mild, malty scent of this beer, I was quite surprised with the amount of bitterness I tasted. The predominant flavor is citrus right off the bat, but it gives way to more of an earthy, grainy finish. Pretty dry on the back-end, and in my personal opinion, the beer lacks a little depth. I know the flavor is unique, and maybe it's the lager fermentation at higher temps, but I found myself wanting a little more of the sweetness I detected in the smell.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, with moderate to high carbonation. Fairly dry and crisp, and almost a touch watery.

Drinkability: This is a pretty easy beer to drink, and even though it's pretty bitter, the bite is soft enough that you could down a few of these if you wanted to. Refreshing and decent for a low ABV beer.

I bought this beer because of the unique way in which it is fermented. Maybe my expectations were somewhat askew, but my impressions of this beer are so so. I guess I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't say it knocked my socks off.

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Photo of aasher
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a burnt orange in color with a billowing and soapy off white head. It's pretty translucent and is light bodied. The smell is lightly malty with little else, other than some slight sweetness to it. The taste is pretty solid. It's very malty and has some light caramel accent to it. It drinks pretty smoothly and is pretty light and well carbonated. The bubbling stayed active the entire time. It's pretty drinkable but I can't compare it to anything else from the style. I liked it for being a lighter beer but wouldn't necessarily go back.

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Photo of Chambic
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

01.19.10 at The Ambassador

A: clear, rich copper with intricate lacing

S: can't really smell much, except for maybe a little bit of caramel sweetness

T: nice and needly, with a malty finish

M: the level of carbonation makes it very refreshing

D: a nice session beer

I love $2 Tuesdays. This is the best you can do if you gotta do beer there.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Very clear, with a thin head and lots of bubbles. The colour is an enchanting nutty brown, bordering on reddish amber.

S: Malted barley and beer. Not much else.

T: Not too crazy about this one, but it's alright. It's light and grainy with an interesting sweet and tangy kick. Aftertaste is lightly dry and vaguely bitter.

M: Feels pretty nice -- carbonated, sweet, with just enough zest to make things interesting.

D: It's a good enough beer, but not one I'd care to drink very often.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Attractive amber/orange color. Small head that diminishes to virtually no head quite quickly.

Aroma/Flavor: I'm not that talented at picking out a half dozen hints of flavors from beers, but orange peel is the one that jumps out at me with this one.

Overall: Quite good. An enjoyable beer. Crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of lawman834
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper with a creamy head that's tall but goes away fast.

S-Kinda hoppy and grassy. Not very strong.

T-Not bad at all. Balanced to a little on the hoppy side. Has a little bit of a strange metallic taste.

M-Very bright and carbonated in the mouth. A little slick on the finish.

D-Pretty darn drinkable. It does however leave a little of that odd metallic aftertaste in my mouth and a bit of that slicknees on my tounge.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a lot different than what I remember from when I was in SF. For some reason I had the distinct memory of sour dough bread and not particularly liking it. But then again that was a few years ago and my tastes have changed since then. The beer poured out of the bottle with a finger-width head on top that dissappeared down to a thin film with a lace that clung to the sides of the glass. The color was a burnt, clear copper. The hops are not overly complex and roll over the tongue very smoothly. However, I did notice slight hints of lemon and sugar. But what gets me is how much smoother a beer it is now than what I remember.

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Photo of corby112
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with floral, piny hops, sweet malt and light fruit. Hints of caramel, toffee and nut.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Crisp floral hop presence up front that's only faintly dry and bitter. This is countered by the sweet malt and light fruit notes. Hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee, hazelnut and apricot. Well balanced and easy to drink. There is nothing outstanding about this beer but it's well crafted and sessionable.

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Photo of JamesBerry
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of ArcTeryx
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber with an orange-ish hue. There is a thick, slightly creamy looking head present. After the beer settled a bit, there was a small amount of lacing. This beverage smelled of caramel, with a slight citrus aroma as well.

This beer has a certain maltiness throughout, with a very light citrus flavor. There is a small amount of hoppiness in the aftertaste.

This is a tasty beer, with a good flavor. For me though, it has a bit too much maltiness to really be viable for sessionability. However, as previously suggested by others, this is a great beer for summertime, so drink up!

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Photo of TobiasGoth
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance
A clear and effervescent amber/light brown with traces of blood red in it. One finger off-white head. A fizzy but fast settling beer.

Smell
Loads of rich malt, then some light and elegant hops, followed by limey sensation. It’s a sweet and sour story really.

Taste
Sweet malts firstly, bitter and astringent secondly. There’s a note of orange seeds too.

Mouthfeel
A light to medium corpus, balanced and normal amount of carbon dioxide, very much a presence though. A buttery smooth liquid.

Known as a California Common, with it’s characteristic Norther Brewer hops, Anchor Steam Beer is Anchor Brewing Company’s flagship product.

I remember enjoying my very first bottle during the summer of 2002 at Fisherman’s Wharf, travelling through the state of California. There was a big old sea gull sitting next to me, watching as I drank the brew.

Many years and beers have passed ever since and although it’s never been a favorite of mine it’s a damn good lager that I enjoy occasionally.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I seem to be the only one here who smelled straight up banana on the nose of this one. This was while the head was still foaming, but it was pretty prevalent. Otherwise I had trouble getting anything out of this beer. It's not really something I would want again, but I feel like I need to try again and parse out more flavors.

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Photo of heavy216
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: small 12oz bottle, huge fist of head which would no die, good/average amount of lacing, amber/gold in color, medium carbonation

S: very fruity smell

T/M: good mouthfeel, refreshing....taste average nothing special slightly fruity like the smell

D: little to no alcohol flavor....very enjoyable on nice day

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy light amber. Fizzy white head that fades quickly. No lacing. Some carbonation is present.

S - Baked bread aroma with a mildly spicy citrusy hop overtone. Nice, but very mild.

T/M - This is where it loses me. Hops hit, but leave no flavor. Malts are mildly sweet, but not compelling. Mouthfeel is at least clean.

D - Fair drinkability. It's standard beer. Nothing special in my book.

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Photo of musicman575
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam is very flavorful and effervescent light bodied beer. You get a lot of bang for your buck.

I am suprised by the pleasant nose. It's yeasty and spicy, almost belgian, with floral hoppiness.

It's a completely different beer than what the smell suggests. The malt is definitely the most salient flavor - semi-sweet and very bready, almost musty. The hops are also pretty prominent and intertwoven with the other flavors. They're present from start to end. Finishes dry with a grainy, slightly bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a 16 oz shaker pint

A - Deep copper color. Small head that is non existent very early into the beer. Very little activity

S - Robust malt up front, caramel, sugar, plum. Slight acidity in the back

T - Surprisingly light. The nose gets you ready for a heavy, malty brew but the hops are really prevalent and snap the beer to a nice clean finish

M - Could use some more bubbles, leaves enough of noticeable alcoholic finish that is less than desirable

O - Not a bad brew at all, very similar to an amber lager. With that being said not my first choice in the variety, but a craft classic and worth a a try.

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Photo of kjyost
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a decent white head atop that diminishes quickly, leaving no cap, but a ring around the edge that doesn't lace. The aromas are muted with sweet malt and a light spicy hop aroma. The beer itself has a nice lightly sweet malt backbone with light bitterness and fruity esters, including apple. Strong carbonation couples well with the light drinking beer. A good beer to drink on a hot day after a bike ride and lawnmowing.

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Photo of HochFliegen
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep carmel color with a thick white head.
The smell was fruity with a carmel like maltiness to it as well. There was also some hoppiness in the smell that was very mild.
The taste was very crisp and refershing. Malt flavors of carmel and hop flavor as well. Citrus like taste in the end. Really nice and refershing.

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Photo of TackleDummy
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a copper color with a minimal off-white head. The head lasts for quite a while and leaves creamy white lacing on the glass.

The aroma is that of malt with a bit of citrus.

The flavor starts with a bit of a hop bite and a slight malt flavor, and finishes with a citrus taste with a decent amount of bitterness.

The mouth feel is pretty light and just a little creamy, and it goes down smoothly.

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Photo of Waypoint
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A :Good light brown color nice carbonation.

S: Light malt aroma.

T: Mild flavor low amount of hops

M: Medium body smooth to swallow

O: A nice easy drinking beer refreshing but no wow factors. I liked the beer but I think that there are way too many other beers out there that are much more interesting.

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Photo of Mazda3
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wanted to try this as I have often heard it mentioned and thought it would be interesting to try a new style. I did have a bit of indecision as the store carried both this beer and their ale. In the end I got this as it is a rare example of a style not often seen.

The initial pour is good with some head development and a beautiful amber color. Unfortunately the head does not last long and sinks back forming a ring.

The initial taste is very bitter, and it is not a hoppy bitterness, perhaps metallic or vinegary? The mid taste is almost non existent, perhaps due to excessive carbonation.

I hate to say it, but this reminded me of a BMC light beer with more bitterness. The carbonation was on a par with a Michelob Light I tried recently. At least the light beer had no offensive flavors.

I might be being harsh - this beer (according to Wikipedia) is a style that was designed to be cheap and easy to produce and was the choice of those without any money back in pre-prohibition California. For this reason one shouldn't expect it to be the best tasting beer in the world.

This beer improved as it warmed a little, and it was interesting to try a new style. I looked it up here on BA and wanted to like it based on the favorable reviews, but in the end I think it is overrated and I don't think I will be buying this beer again.

[Edit] this beer improved a LOT when taken with some food, even some chips or something. The malt and sweet flavors came through and the bitterness reduced. I have changed my opinion of this beer (with food).

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,962 ratings.