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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

1,947 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,947
Hads: 5,578
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 190
Gots: 958 | 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: 1,947 | Hads: 5,578
Photo of pmcadamis
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I only wrote a few lines on a napkin for this one since I was at a wine bar in Galena IL, and didn't want to get all beer-geeky since I was with my girlfriend for a romantic evening out.

A - Red amber in color with a nice solid one finger tan head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Unique and sweet. Caramel and sugar cookies. A bit of hops in the background.

T - Sweet and tasty chewy caramel candy. Thin hop profile is thankfully unintrusive. A very malt-forward caramel brew with some pale ale like qualities.

M - Medium bodied. Slightly dry finish. Very fine carbonation feels smooth on the tongue.

D - Pretty decent. I could drink these all night.

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Photo of colingaiser
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

L: A hazy amber verging on orange with a creamy, three-finger head leaving delicate lacing. Good start.

S: A little metallic (like a rusty anchor), with notes of honey and perfume, and an uninviting macro lager musk.

T: Fortunately it tastes much better than it smells. It's fruity like a tart and refreshing Granny Smith, with some underlying floral (perhaps lavender) notes, while the malt is reminiscent of honey and biscuit. There's a nice mouth-coating bitterness, but the finish is light on taste and high on tannins.

F: The mouthfeel is like a flat soda -- a medium body that leaves me craving more carbonation. It goes easily enough, but the feel doesn't do the beer's fruity notes any favors.

O: Anchor Steam is pleasant enough, but if this is the prime example of a California Common, there's nothing about it that makes me want to explore this style any further.

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Photo of foobeer
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was a clean copper color with a 1in thin, white head. The head slowly dissipated leaving a nice thin lacing throughout. The taste has a good level of carbonation and a malt flavor with some apple fruity flavors. I was not a huge fan of the lingering aftertaste which made it become a little tedious to drink towards the end.

I have no other experiences with Steam / California Common style beers, so my preferences may just be not geared towards the style rather than the Anchor Steam itself.

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Photo of Jamey61
3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Served in a bottle poured into pint glass.

App- light caramel in color with a small head which dis not hang around long.

Smell- maybe it was because I am stuffy right now but I did not get much in the way of aroma on this one. Gonna try a few other beers tonight so I will know if I can or can't smell later.

Taste/mouthfeel- I was a little disappointed after first taste. However after sitting here sipping I am beginning to be able to taste it a little better. Again maybe to to stuffy head. Slightly bitter with a little sour mixed in. Enjoying the malty finish with a taste/feel of a cream ale.

I don't think I would go out and pick up a case of this but would be ok with downing a few from time to time.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer settled with a murky amber appearance and a generally thin, but creamy head. I sensed a slice spice ingredient to the beer but generally had fruity and hoppy characteristics. Taste had a mostly bitter punch to it with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Not enough to call it a balanced bitter-sweetness. I enjoyed the carbonation the most as the mouthfeel made this really refreshing and light. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass:

A - Pours a tawny/burnt orange color with a creamy 3 finger head. Retention is solid and there's a fair amount of lacing.

S - Citrus hops balanced by a sweet, clean malty aroma. Quite mild.

T - Rather muddy. Tangy citrus notes and subtle bread notes. Disappointing, really.

M - Dry and highly carbonated. Doesn't do any flavors justice either.

D - As the prototype common/steam beer, I was pretty disappointed. Not a bad beer, but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this after hearing so many rave reviews on BA and from friends. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a fairly reddish copper color, almost amber but not quite. A little bit of lacing after one finger head faded. Smell was mostly malty, bready. Taste was a lot of bread and grain. Slight sweet maltiness, and even slighter hop aftertate. Overall, though ,the grainer texture and taste dominates, with a more standard lager flavor following up. Feel is fairly thin bodied, with that grainy texture and medium carbonation. Um...I dunno. I feel like I'm supposed to like this beer - it's unique and...fairly acclaimed - but I didn't. It's definitely better than your standard macro-lagers, or even most lagers overall. I guess it'd be sessionable if I was forced to drink lagers, but it's just not great.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3.5 A love the bottle shape. light ruddy brown brew.
3 S not much, but that faint bitterness is pleasant enough
3 T bitter, not much to note. clean and simple. but too clean.
3 M fairly watery, carbonation can lend creaminess if swished across tongue
3.5 D simple and weak, bitterness a bit unbalanced, but maybe good for tossing back quickly.
had another one this year and body was a bit thicker than recalled, taste a little sweeter.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a cloudy brown color and a thin tan head that does not last long. The aroma is minimal with nothiong impressive besides the malty smell. Flavor consists of light roasted malts, breadiness, and a touch of non-distinct hops. It also ends with a bit of sourness. Overall this beer has nothing too distinct about it. It beats macro swill, but not by much.

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Photo of iSip
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam Beer: A dark honey color beer with a good head. Lots of malt throughout, and tempered by some bitterness in the finish. Wet and dry at the same time. The finish is definitely unique. Worth a try if you have never sampled a steam beer. Better than most beers you find on tap at your average well. Still, I was not wowed enough to make it part of my standard favorite rotation beers.

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Photo of MichPaul
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Doesn't seem fair to review a beer in a style that I have never tried, so take it as what it's worth.
Anyway, I didn't really care for this beer. After trying quite a few craft beers in my first year, drinking this seems to take me back to the taste of typical BMC tastes.
This pours a light yellow color, with a thin head. Not much lacing at all remaining down the glass. Carbonation/mouthfeel is one highlight of this otherwise forgettable beer for me at least.
The smell also reminded me of my BMC days, and the bitterness was light.
Don't think I will revisit this one...

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Photo of BFrost
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. The color is a transparent amber with a slightly off-white head that appears to have nice density, but it fades quickly, though a decent lace is left after the head does fade.

The smell is initially faint, but eventually light malt, barley, and hops are noticed. A favorable bitterness is also present in the nose.

The barley, malt, and hops are present on the tongue as well, but it does not taste quite as bitter as it smells. The carbonation is light on the tongue, then it is smooth as it goes down.

Notes: This is my first encounter with a beer of this style. it is easy to drink, enjoyable, and would not be a poor choice on a night out with friends. It looks and tastes like a typical American Amber. I'd probably have mistaken it for one if I hadn't any knowledge of it being something else. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I wouldn't mind having another.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a clear copper with a decent sized white head. No lacing, and little carbonation.

Smell: The smell is a very earthy malt smell. The hops back it up nicely and the yeast is also very present in the nose.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is mainly of malts, and not ones that are all that flavorful or complex. The hops barely make a statement in the mouth. The flavor is bland and uninviting. The mouthfeel is thin but smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Again, Anchor has left me down. First the OSA 04, and now this. I have yet to try their Bigfoot barelywine, but I have one waiting for me in the cellar. Hopefully it's better than this bland beer.

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Photo of Brad007
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper color. Aroma is somewhat malty. Taste is somewhat of a cross between a lager and an ale, as expected. Some fruitiness of an ale balanced with the smoothness of a lager. Interesting combination of styles. Apparently, Steam beer is a style that's not prdouced as often anymore.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.12/5  rDev -19%

Bottle dated 4UZ at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma very faint hoppyness
Head average (4 cm), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing
Lacing OK – broken rings and a few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor begins bitter, quickly becomes slightly malty: no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Not to my taste but pretty much meets the style guidelines.
Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3.25. Overall: 3.12

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Photo of negroobserver
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - served chilled in a glass

APPREARANCE: Pours an coppery amber color. Crystal clear filteration. Starts with a one and half inch of head, which dissipates in about 2 minutes and leaves behind light lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Sweet scent with hints of citrus & a strong presence of malts. Roasty nutty tones.

TASTE: Tastes like a brown ale. Starts with a mild sweetness which turns into a really nutty brown ale flavor. Finishes with medium bitterness, which does not linger too long.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice smooth texture which is a little heavy/rich.

DRINKABILITY: The nutty flavor is becoming a little overwhelming by the end. Couldn't drink more than one in a row.


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Photo of Derek
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Earthy-mineral & floral hops with a slight caramel aroma.

T: Earthy-mineral, caramel, orange zest, slight hint of fruity esters. There's a slight nutshell-like bitterness that I'm not fond of.

M: Moderate body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Personally I'm not fond of that nutshell flavour.

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Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is the classic dark amber in the mug with a modest head and a little fizz in the mouth. Slight grainy nose. Thin, dirty caramel is the main taste. Overall this is malty, tart, and somewhat murky. It's reminiscent of a Belgian minus the yeast. A touch of hops. Sort of earthy with bitter tones.

On tap at Comstock Saloon in North Beach. I've had it in the bottle in San Francisco as well and I just find this to be uninspired and not very drinkable, regardless of it's glorious history. It was more respected in the 70s when there were so few interesting beers to compare it to.

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Photo of genog
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Teds Montana Grill. I had a unique bison burger with guacamole and Jalapeno peppers on it. It was very good and interesting in flavor. I wish I could say the same about this beer on tap.

Poured a pale orange color with no head when this one was brought to the table. Smell is muted with some caramel malt and some faint honey scent. Taste is of sweet malt and very little bittering hops. Smooth carbonation, somewhat crisp.

I actually thought this beer was better in the bottle than on tap.

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Photo of Chizoad
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pint of this guy was actually quite pretty, with a dark amber color and nice layer of froth hanging out on top. The smell coming out was nothing special, just a vague hop/malt odor that didn't promise too much.

The taste is interesting. For one, I really like the hops in this beer. Not floral or piney, more just a mild bitterness that usually offsets the rest of the beer well. The problem though is the rest of the beer. There's a cloying sweetness that is balanced only on random sips by the hops. Also, and I don't know if they use adjuncts or not, but I also would occasionally pick up a kind of nasty corn flavor. Thankfully not on every sip!

Decent mouthfeel with medium body and good carbonation. Ok drinkability, but the sweetness got to me after a while. Perhaps bottles are better?

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber hue, thin bubbly white head. Weak aroma of hops, malts, barely noticeable. Creamy, sweet, sweet malts off the bat, backed by somewhat of a light grainy touch. Hops dominated palate; medium bodied. Dry finish, little aftertaste going on here. Perhaps a yeasty end, again hops-dominated palate. Not as good as I remember, somewhat subdued flavorings, nothing to really get your attention. Average across the board.

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Photo of WJVII
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a clear amber color with minimal head. No lacing and medium carbonation. The aroma is lacking anything profound. There is some graininess to the initial taste. with a precenance of hopps that controls the taste. There is nothing special about this brew, but it is at least worth a try.

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Photo of e11iott
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: 12oz, must have poured this wrong, fist full of head, medium lacing, light amber color.

S: Faint smell of fruit and citrus.

T/M: Over all smooth beer, very easy to drink, surpirsed not a light beer. Carbonation was average but in a good way.

D: Enjoyable as it got warmer, cant taste the alcohol at all.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into tulip from bottle a beautiful clear copper with small white head. Aroma of sweet mild malt, pears, some florals. Flavor is admittedly mild but definitely session able. Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Sweet malts and light fruits with a slightly unpleasant finish. Finally tried this and it is not too bad. Better sessionable brews though.

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Photo of TheEremite
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to really love this beer. I remember it being very full bodied and having way more hops. This is one of those beers that makes me wonder if I've changed or if the beer has chaged. Probably both.

Poors amber/red. Smells of grain husk and some earthy spiciness. Fairly clean though. Tastes very crisp. Clean, and somewhat refreshing. Nothing spectacular, but easy to drink. I'll happily have another.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.