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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

1,943 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,943
Hads: 5,562
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 192
Gots: 957 | 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 (28) | 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: 1,943 | Hads: 5,562
Photo of becktone
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Anchor Steam pours a rich orange color. It is crystal clear and has an off white billowy head. Carbonation is visible, therefore bringing a lifelike appearance to the beer. First began with a two finger head, now down to about a finger and a half, somewhat good retention. The beer exhibits farily good lacing characteristics.

The nose of this beer is of strong sweet malts. Reminds me somewhat of candy,(however, not belgian candi sugar). Don't detect any hops in the aroma of this beer. The sweet malt smell is too upfront and in the face, I can't take much of it before I have to move the glass away from my nose, I think that it could be toned down a bit.

When it first hits the tongue bitterness if very evident, whether it was from hops or roasted grain I couldn't tell on the first taste, but it is very evident, right up there in the front car on a big rollercoaster. This beer is a big malt beer. While it is in balance between bitter and sweet, the main flavor profile is composed of sweet malts. Not much hop flavor in this brew. A little bit might be nice. Big on a darker caramel flavor.

The carbonation of this beer is forefront. It is highly carbonated. The carbonation can be felt up to the point where one swallows the beer. I'm not a big fan of that, seems to be a little too much if you ask me. This is a beer that I'll drink again, but I don't know how soon I'll be in the mood to drink this beer again. It is something unique, however, there are many unique beers that I have had that I might prefer over this one. It just doesn't seem to hit the spot, or any spot like a good beer (in my opinion) should.

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Photo of horshack7
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Out of a twelve ounce bottle with the big blue anchor on it. It pours a golden amber with a lacey thick head.

Aromas: Big malt aroma real sweet. Light hop nose along with slight fuit notes.

Taste: Very crisp mouthfeel a decent amount of sweetness from the malts yet slightly hoppy. The hops taste like saaz hops but I could be wrong.

Notes: This is quite a unique style nicely drinkable as well.Cheers

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Photo of SurgeonGeneral
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving temp: 45F Serving glass: Pint Glass

Aroma: Soft graniness, a light spicy hop aroma in there as well. Slight caramel/candyish sweetness as it warms.

Appearance: Clear amber with an aggressive pour yielding a large off white & rocky head. slight & attractive beading, little lace with such a large head.

Taste: Same soft graniness with a resttrained sweetness. A subdued bitterness which finishes with some astringency. Some odd fruity tastes detected similar to green apples, a very similar taste I get from their Liberty Ale.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, expected it to refresh but a "fluffly," airy texture makes it a bit difficult to quaff. Meh.

Drinkability: Like other Anchor brews, that unique airy mouthfeel dominated the experience for me, and I'm not very fond of it. It doesn't seem to blend well with the rest of this beer. An American classic to be sure, just not for me.

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Photo of kennyo
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

At one time this was probably one of the better beers available to beer drinkers. For what its worth, it really is a good drinking beer, goes good with food or not. I would choose this over pilsners/exports/canadians and of course, the BMC conglomerates. This is a very expensive session beer.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber orange with a huge amount of bubbles at the bottom of the glass.

Smell of citrus,lemons some sweet malts.

Tastes malty a bit sweet not a lot going on.

Mouth feel is quite dry and pretty well carbonated.

This is the first steam beer I've had,it was ok I'd say it was a slightly above average lager.

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Photo of danielharper
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

After reviewing the Flying Dog Old Scratch, I figured I might as well take the last of my current sixer of Anchor Steam and write up a review. I believe this was the first of the commerically-available American microbrews, and thus deserves a shot from the craft beer drinker just for historical interest.

Appearance is quite nice. A kind of "squat" brown bottle with a simply-designed but pleasant Anchor label on it. The label is unlaminated, without the glossy finish that most beers have -- gives the bottle an old-fashioned feel to it. Beer pours into a lager glass with a light amber color, and a large head that slowly dissipates. I've had this beer in a pilsener glass before, and the head seemed to stick around forever in that instance.

Smell is nice, if uncomplicated. Kinda hoppy, kinda spicy. I've been sniffing at this for a while, but have yet to get any noticeable fruit aroma from the glass.

Tasting the beer, ah, now there's the fruit I was missing. It tastes a lot like it smells, with the hoppy/spicy combination that works pretty well for this beer, but after washing away the dominant bitterness, some of the liquid flavors appear underneath. I like to wash my tongue through this to get all the flavors out of it.

Mouthfeel is nice. Carbonation is fairly high but not extreme, although the beer could use a bit more body. Works well as a lager to wash down food, although the spiciness in the brew might tend to overpower dishes that aren't strong enough to hold up to it.

For me, the drinkability is fairly low just because while I like the individual parts of the beer, and can respect it for what it is, I don't find myself wishing for another afterwards. Perhaps the bitterness and the spiciness just don't add together for a refreshing experience, but I find myself wanting something a bit smoother after finishing this beer. I usually have this beer first in the evening, while preparing food or eating it, and finish off the meal with a Hefe-Weiss or a Milk Stout.

Overall, a nice beer -- I'd recommend it to friends looking for a change of pace from a macro lager, but nothing that I'd put on my favorites list. I will certainly buy this again (and I'd love to try it on-tap), but I won't be pining for it in the meantime.

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Photo of Brewzzle
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of BCMan
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured up a deep copper color that was lighter around the edges. A big fluffy head was generated and faded slowly while lacing the glass. The aroma is very subtle. Flavor is crisp with nice hop character. Finish is dry and clean. Leaves your mouth watering until the next sip. It's no secret why Anchor is a strong player in the market they virtually created. It makes for a great session beer. Perfect for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass, clear copper to orange color. Frothy finger plus of head.
Lager yeast smell, borderline metallic.
Crisp and clean tasting. Dry bitter throughout. Some pear and green apple at the end.
Lighter body, moderate carbonation.
Interesting enough style, not my favorite though.

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Photo of Teeter
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12.oz into tulip glass.

A-Pours copper in color with a thick ivory head (about an inch and a half thich). Nice head retention and great clarity. I can't believe the texture for this clear of a beer, not at all what I expected.

S-malty, grainy, earthy, bready yet clean if that makes sense.

T-acidy and bitter with a little sweetness in the after taste.Floral hops and once again bready and earthy.

M-carbonation and a little tangy.

D-if it is given to me I would drink it, but won't be looking for it again myself. I guess I would put this in the take it or leave it pile.

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Photo of shamus
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had great expectations for this beer and it's legendary status which perhaps is why it turned out to be a disappointement. It's not a bad beer and is far better than a pale tasteless macro beer, but compared to what I expected it was bland. I wanted more perfume, more scent, more magic. What I got was fine.

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Photo of Leiermann
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer by any means. I just wish there were a better balance between the malt backbone and the hop flavor. Just seems to me the flavor is dominated by the roastyness and has no counterpart to balance the beer overall. I would drink this again, but I would chose other beers first.

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Photo of machalel
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Dark amber with a strong beige head that settles down to about 5mm and lingers for the whole glass. A small amount of thin lacing down the glass.

Aroma: The first thing that came to mind was pineapples and rockmelon, but this was followed by some malt and graininess.

Taste: Initially, I actually could taste pears, but this disappeared after a few sips. The rest of it was a bit citrusy (grapefruit & lemon rather than orange) and a bit sharp. Some wholemeal bread and black pepper in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body. A little sharp and 'zingy' on the middle of the tongue, but not in a bad way. Finish was a bit dry.

Drinkability: Well this was my first California Common, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Overall, I think that it is a nice drop, one that would go with a lot of different styles of cuisine, but I'm not sure if I would buy it to savour on its own merits.

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Photo of Brabander
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Traded this beer in the Craked Kettle shop in Amsterdam.

This is my first american beer for years. The beer has a rather pleasant smell after opening the bottle and pouring the beer in a (Bavaria) glass.

The beer has a copper color and the head sticks on the glass. First taste is a bit caramel or hop.

Enjoyed the beer really even when this is not my type of beer.

At the end the head began to taste a bit chemical. I have this same problem with Heineken.

Overall a nice and drinkable beer.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 40 degree bottle into pint glass.

Poured with white cap that quickly dissipated into a thin ring around the glass. Lacing quickly fell and all trace of head was gone before glass was empty. Color is pale amber with gold hue. Crystal clear and effervescent.

Aroma is faint and crisp – biscuit and caramel malt with very little detectable hops. Bits of fruity ester.

Mouthfeel is dry and thin. Heavy carbonation tingles and leaves a saltiness.

Taste is dry and caramel with raison notes. Finishes with noble-like alpha acid that lingers on back of tongue.

Overall: This is a crisp and refreshing beer that is definitely sessionable. Really stood out from the crowd of American Lagers during its time, but now is relatively non-distinct.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

A: very clear; bronze colored; 1 finger egg shell head that receded slowly to a thin cap; nice lacing;

S: nice balance between caramel malt and earthy hops;

T: follows the nose with moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; carbonation is slightly prickly;

O: nice beer; not something I would seek out;

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/1/08. On tap at the Colgate Inn. Pours a light amber with a small white head. Initially sweet malt with a bitter finish, but as it warmed, the bitterness faded and it became sweeter. A solid beer.
Aroma: 5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

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Photo of ryanocerus
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer poured amber with a thick creamy head and a slightly malty aroma. The first drink left nice lacing, but not a great flavor, in my opinion. I thought it tasted too bitter, which lasted for a while on the tongue. Not one I would seek out, but I would not turn it down either.

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Photo of LordofTime25
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer pours to a deep tan color with a thin head.

A light malt hop and malt aromma. More hops than malts present.

Has a hint of hops and some good flavor slighty above average.

Light and airy with little carbonation.

A pretty average beer in my book nothing special!

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Photo of foogerd
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- poured a light clear copper with a thick rich bubbly head
S- sweet and malty almost a quietly subdued hop aroma
T- sweet bready malts together with really light pleasant fruit notes, a slight bitterness to the taste nothing offsetting, a pleasant taste although nothing exceptional.
M- carbonation was done nicely here decently thick
D- easily drinkable can go through many of these not saying ill do it again though
I only bought this to try a steam beer cant say ill buy it again its a solid brew really no flaws to it but its really nothing to seek out.

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Photo of fostachild
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

best before 7 2012. beauty clear light copper colour. decent head that fades quick.

smell was heavy malt, with some citrus.

taste also malty, citrusy. slight bitterness. good carbonation but found this sort of dull as a whole - much like other times i've tried it. average drinkability.

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Photo of dustified1234567
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light brown with 3-4 fingers of he

S- Grainy and something else that I couldn't make out

T-A little tart for a beer. Also was harder to taste because of the carbonation.

M-Light not too smooth

D-A little tart and makes your mouth water and your cheeks pucker. Recomend it once

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Photo of sendsilk
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Decent Beer. I'm not going to bother with the long review as it is a commodity beer available everywhere that I know of.

Decent head, Nice color, smell and taste.

I wanted to hate this beer but found it's citrus and earthy tones are quite acceptable. Tastes like an Orval but easier to drink.

Not bad, a solid B rating from me.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of July 2013. ABV is stated as 4.8%. Picked up some time back from the York Wine & Beer shop. I had this ages ago and remember enjoying it; the story of 19th century West coast brewing that underpins this beer is colourful.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A deep orange-amber hue with faint haze and light carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of caramel malt with earthy yeast esters and stewed hops. Faintly sweet. A hint of cardboard/sherry in the background, along with an alcoholic note.

Tastes of caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of fruity, earthy yeast esters, stewed hops and a hint of solvent. Faint cardboard and sherry in the background. Dry, with a mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with good body. Could perhaps be a tad more carbonated. Aftertaste of caramel malt and stewed hops.

It's an OK beer, though not amazing. From the stale background notes I'm wondering if this is old, though it's well within date. Decent malt character with an unusual yeast presence (like an English ale). No aromatic hops to be discerned. Goes down easily enough but just isn't that interesting. I wanted to like this more - perhaps I'll have another, fresher one some time.

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Photo of MrDark
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a rusty, gold color with small champagne-like bubbles drifting to the top

No nose to start with, may have been served too cold. Has a thick creamy head that dissipates quickly.

The first thing that hits the tongue is a subtle sweetness, like caramel that just jumps up to do a quick jig on your tastebuds and quickly runs away, revealing a nice hoppy finish that lasts possibly a bit too long...like an in-law spending time at your house. you may like them, but there's a limit to how long you can stand them.

Mouthfeel is crisp, thin and biting and leaves a slightly dry feeling on your palate.

Special Note: do not drink this beer too cold. like many beers and wines, the flavors and aromas must be allowed to breathe. If you don't mind warm beer, this would probably be best at room temperature.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.