Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,913 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,913
Hads: 5,412
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 176
Gots: 844 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,913 | Hads: 5,412
Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into Pint Glass

Poured a hazy copper color, head quickly dissipated but left some sticky lacing along the glass

Smell was toasted malts, grain, slight hop background

Taste is dry, some fruity lemon is definitely present, bitter hops in the front, dry finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, not much linger

Drinkability is pretty damn good, could def enjoy this on a summer day. I'm glad I finally tried this micro classic. (439 characters)

Photo of velosuds
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Appears to be a code printed on the label. I'm lazy. I like bottled on dates foremost, and then best by dates. Codes are better than nothing, for I suppose they can be decoded. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.59.

A-Poured a medium amber hue with a 2+ finger head and modest lacing. Overall, a nice looking beer in the glass.

S-What smell? If I had been wearing a blindfold, I would have only recognized it as "beer." Non-descript.

T-I'm still waiting for this. Someone, please let me know the secret to discerning this beer's taste. But a 12 oz. bottle for nostalgia's sake is all I am willing to grant this offering. Very disappointing. Mostly earthy malts and bitterness. Can't quite tell if bitterness from hops or the modest alcohol. Not very well crafted.

M-Excellent mouthfeel. Exceedingly smooth and well balanced carbonation. This and the appearance are quite good. Too bad taste accounts for 40% of the rating.

D-This went down very easily, but I wouldn't readily reach for another. Taste just isn't there, and there are much more affordable alternatives available for getting a buzz, not that I was looking to this beer for, but presently I can't see much other use for this. Sad.

Not sure about what the California Common/Steam Beer style is all about. This beer makes me want to suggest a new style: enigma. This is a craft beer icon, but it has no taste. Thankfully, it is not yellow. I want to like this beer. It is probably one of the first craft beers I recall having at an excellent hole-in-the-wall pizzeria in Sausalito, CA while on my honeymoon 26 August's ago. Not even close to the caliber of Anchor Liberty or Anchor Porter. I am flummoxed, and disappointed. (1,759 characters)

Photo of Swim424
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into hoegaargen mug from 12oz bottle.

A-Pours a nice clear caramel color. lots of bubbles flowing into a nice small creamy fluffy head.

S-smells crisp. A bit of yeast, sort of a malt scent. Maybe a tiny hint of hops. Nothing special here.

T-Very plain, malty flavor, a pleasant sweetness in the middle, with a touch of spicy hop on the finish. Seems very simple.

MF-medium body, A bit creamy, nicely carbonated.

O-This is a nice beer. Definitely a lager. Much better than any mass produced beer, Would love to sip on this on a hot day. Very refreshing, with a nice simple character to it. (605 characters)

Photo of joeskirkie
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear rich amber, BIG creamy head, nice.

It has a faint leafy woodsy hop aroma. Tastes creamy and light and finishes with this sorta sour (in a good way) bite. It's pretty well balanced, not "in your face" by any means.

It's smooth and slightly dry and just oh so easy to drink. This is a great gateway beer for friends and a wonderful session beer to have on hand. (379 characters)

Photo of gcarl
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into a pint glass with a nice clear tan color and a white wispy head.

Smell is a muddled hop and malt aroma.

Taste is dry with a sweet hop bite in the aftertaste.

A moderate brew, nothing too challenging. May be a nice crossover to a drinker that always reaches for that BMC

GC (287 characters)

Photo of klewis
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6MG

A: Pours a caramel color with a big bubbly head with good sustain.

S: Neutral hop aroma with a slight vegetal smell.

T: Sweet with buttery malt flavors and a touch of hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D: Nice for a session beer, but in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty average. (353 characters)

Photo of Vengeance526
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronze amber color with a frothy white head that retains well and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Aroma is a little sour but also malty and fruity.

Tastes strongly of caramel with some roasted malt, some citrus notes and a strange bite in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied and medium carbonation. An interesting beer to try but not as great as I was lead to believe. I'm not sure what it was but at times this tasted a little stale...it actually came in a plastic amber bottle so maybe that affected it in some way. I'll probably try this one again down the line to be sure. (584 characters)

Photo of TJ_B
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not a lager person in general and so It's not entirely fair for me to review this beer, but oh well. The beer has excellent dark amber color and has an excellent aroma. It is a somewhat thick lager so the mouth feel wasn't what I expected. I really don't like wheat beers and the taste, again it's a lager so maybe it's not ideal that I delve into this, was very wheat-like. The beer starts off decent, but through the heavy mouthfeel and thick grain taste I normally call it good after one. Most anyone else reviewing this beer raved about it so it's probably just me, but this isn't a "go to" beer for me, but I'll drink it if it's this or commercial beers available. (674 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thick fizzy white head. Aroma is earthy malt. Taste is sweet toasted malt with a slight hop bitterness. Overall, I think this is a pretty boring beer that is over-hyped in my opinion. I will probably not purchase this again. (258 characters)

Photo of miket163
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear copper with a small head and great lacing. Taste was a crackery, with a "hoppy" bitterness. Very smooth and quite refreshing. The mouthfell was good. I really liked the smell, like a cut lawn and slightly buttery.

Cheers! (245 characters)

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden copper brown. Some lacing left but not much. Sipping from a wine glass for some reason...

S: Not a whole lot going on in the nose here- some citrus is all I get.

T: That clean gun barrel smokiness, nice lager notes, good malt back, metallic notes, some grassy flavors, and a clean hop finish.

M: Heavier light bodied. A good aftertaste left over, which is surprising.

O: This is a lovely beer. It's an awesome and unique style first off, and Anchor does a good job at creating a balanced flavor. Will try again soon! (533 characters)

Photo of gkunkle
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent light brown to amber color with a dense 1" head. The head sticks around for a while until it recedes to a foam on top of the beer. Aroma consists mostly of malt, with a little bit of sweetness and a floral note in there. The taste is also heavy on the malt, there is a bit of a caramel malt flavor and there is a bit of a roasted taste to it. Also, has a fairly clean finish that I like. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer, the pinnacle of its style, but it isn't something that I enjoyed enough to seek out again. (572 characters)

Photo of Ac2013
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. Small, quickly receding head soon left after the pour. Initial smell is complex, but the combination of hops and floral tones makes it pleasant. The taste is sharp, but I think it lacks a full flavor. It is still very good though. A very sessionable beer as the palate is clean after drinking. A historic brew and certainly worth the try. (380 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cool, old school fatty bottle with a blue cap that offsets the label nicely. Poured into a pilsner glass, this beer achieves 2-finger high pillow of froth. The retention is maintained by tons of effervescence seen through a clear goldenrod colored lager. As a result there is thick lacing all the way down.

S- Not much in the nose. No hop presence. Just some grain. Your typical beer smell...

T- Smooth, crisp and grainy with a touch of tea. Nothing amazing but very well composed.

M- Sharp, crisp and highly carbonated.

D- Highly drinkable. This is a great alternative to all the macros out there.

This beer vindicates the reputation light lagers have. (663 characters)

Photo of burchetts
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep, gold amber. a great looking brew. my roommate even commented "beers have the best appearance of any drink". I agree.

S- not a whole lot going on here. little bit of hops.

T- a lightly flavored amber ale. I have certainly had better.

M- Great, natural carbonation. sometimes I feel that it overpowers the flavor, but I think that's just the lack of flavor.

D- you can certainly knock a few of these back. a pleasurable brew for sure.

overall- decent. I think its a mild-mannered beer that suffers from not being exciting or daring enough. this might have been a great beer 20 years ago, but with the myriad of beers to choose from, especially amber ales, its hard to choose this over others; particularly at $10 a six pack. (738 characters)

Photo of SFACRKnight
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep gold, bordering on amber. Creamy white head persists.
earthy hop aroma, hint of mint, some mineral scents as well. Cant discern much malt. No dms, no diacetyl.
Hop flavor in the forefront. Earthy, musty. Hops yield to subtle carmel malt flavor, touch of biscuit and malt sweetness. Aftertaste of minerals, hint of dms, no diacetyl.
medium bodied, good carbonation. Almost creamy. A bit astringent.
overall, refreshing beer, a bit sweet on the backside keeps it from being exceptionally drinkable, but a decent beer none the less. Would like to try the dryhopped version, I would like to see a bit more hops to balance out the sweetness of the malt. (661 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How on earth have I avoided reviewing this beer for so long? 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Color is fantastic, clearish honey and maple, but the head retention leaves something to be desired and this glass ain't dirty.

Aroma is muted, a bit nutty, kind of an English Pale Ale thing going on. Hop bitterness is really only apparent in the finish, flavors really don't exist in the traditional sense of the word, just more of an overall sort of feeling.

A true classic, a proto-craft beer if you will and really something worth revisiting after a long absence or a couple of times a week for sipping, either way you are in good company with this beer. (662 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this stuff before from a keg (didn't review) and remembered it being excellent. That being, said, I had high hopes for this beer but was kind of let down. Here we go.
Appears light applejuice color, very bubbly with a poofy little head that vanishes pretty quickly. I can barely smell this beer... perhaps a little fruity/grapey scent in there though. This beer tastes bitter at first, and has a unique flavor. Tastes and feels like champagne actually. Definately white grape flavor present. The drinkability is brought down a bit by the fact that the beer is so bubbly.
All in all this is fairly good beer. It's definately unique, which I really enjoy and respect in general, but maybe it's just not my style. (722 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Copper in color.... Nice big head that lasted about 5 mins. before dissipating to relatively thin amount that left lacing around the glass.

S: Smells very sweet and pleasant, I'm getting some malt, hops and a little citrus... Very crisp smelling, sort of metallic.... Maybe some yeast too.

T: Sweet malts, yeast, and hops come through. It is a little tart yet sweet.... Nicely balanced.

M: Highly carbonated, medium to light bodied, and pretty smooth upfront with a little hoppyness and bit at the end... the after taste is a little bitter but not bad.

D: Tastes good and goes down easy. It's also not too filling. Very good drinkability. (683 characters)

Photo of bryehn
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in Ottawa, Canada. Listed as 4.8% with a BB of March 2013.

Pours a pretty golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that doesn't leave any lace, but sticks around as a long-lasting film.

Sort of a fishy freshwater tone to the aroma at first. Tried in three glasses rinsed with different water to be sure. Once that wears off, there is a sweet malty aroma with a very subtle fruit backing and a dry grassiness to it. More honey-like sweetness comes through after warming.

Mostly sweet malts, then a well-balanced bitterness. Some raspberry-like fruity notes as it warms. Pretty mild, very stock ale-ish

Crisp but creamy on the tongue, but light-bodied overall. Slightly malty on the aftertaste, also has a mineral sharpness that reminds me of tonic water.

Love the look, description on the bottle and would love to try it fresh. However it's a bit too mild for my regular tastes, especially at the price in Ontario. (929 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the local pub. It pours a nice golden color with a medium head and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little hoppy, but the wheat is very prevalent in the nose. Nice aroma. The flavor is a littly malty, a little hoppy, and a little sweet. Great blend of tastes. It is very easy to drink and I think it is a great Summer beer. I've had this several times again and it hasn't disappointed. (423 characters)

Photo of birdyone
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks good when poured. Not much head, not much fizz, but a beautiful color. It's kinda like that stereotypical ale color. very clear. nice amber color.

mild smell. very normal, and typical to the breed. nothing special.

taste is good, but more on the average side. again nothing too special.

good mouthfeel. smooth. crisp. refreshing.

great drinkability. its strength come from it averageness. it doesn't overpower you. you can sip it or you can throw some back with friends. it's fairly common in stores, the price isn't really out of reach for most people. it's better than the macro brews, but not snobbish. you could give it to connoisseur and noob alike and both would be pleased. (691 characters)

Photo of rugerj
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a deep copper color with a good 2 finger head that dissipates over a couple minutes, not much lacing left in glass though. Smell is a malt and slight hop aroma. Taste is mildly bready, with a decent malt profile. Not much hops here but enough to provide a decent balance with the malt so that the beer is not too sweet. Mouth feel is smooth with decent carbonation.

A good beer although not a style that excites me too much. Nothing outstanding but a decent beer for what it is. (490 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is readily available...time to review the legend.

Appearance: Pours a crystal orange with a sudsy ivory head. The head fades to an ivory film.

Smell: Dense grains and fresh vegetables. My nose is overwhelmed by those two characteristics. It's like no other beer I've smelled before. Kind of cool and very unique.

Taste: Starts off kind of citrusy and then fades to dark grains quickly. Finished with a wheatbread kind of aftertaste. A little bit of hop bitterness here and there and usually at the beginning of each taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch oily with a longer finish.

Drinkability: Easily poundable. Nothing exciting and nothing off either. I've never had a "steam beer" before. Tastes like a solid lager to me. Lagers aren't my favorite but I'm glad to have tried this once. (814 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB July 2009, served lightly chilled in a pilsner glass.

A: pours an ultra-elegant bright blood-orangey tawny hue, on top of a fast dissipating white foam and lively (but not fierce) carbonation.
S: very malty and caramely upfront, with a sticky and raw-ish edge of plum jam as well as sugar-cane-like aroma. Not complex, a bit sweet on the balance.
T: the bitter-sweet caramalts and burned sugar-cane upfront are underlined by a touch of coconut-shaving, light prune-ish fruits and sweet herbs, leading fast towards an intensifying bitter aftertaste full of tea-leafy hops and chewy, powdery bitter elements. The finish is IMO the best moment of the tasting, that it's chewy, bitter, and yet free from any residual sugary mouthfeel.
M&D: compared with the draught version, the bottled one fares slightly lower due to the slightly more coarse fizziness and also a thinner body, but the trademark flavour profile stays intact. A bitter-sweet session beer designed to quaff! (973 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,913 ratings.