Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,914 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,914
Hads: 5,421
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 176
Gots: 850 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,914 | Hads: 5,421
Photo of longbongsilver
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In between home-brews at the moment and got curious about this style, having never had a steam beer before. Figure the most known would be a reasonable introduction. Pours a highly effervescent clear color somewhere between burnt orange and a very-very light brown-red, huge head pulls away from the mug to practically float in the beer. Last couple mm of the head are stubborn in an amusing way.

Clove-ish sting on the nose, with some bread, but otherwise very clean. Can't tell the hop character from smell alone. Let's swig...

Clove from the nose inches towards cinnamon on the taste, and the bready bit I assume from the yeast sticks up just a tad more than it suggested, though it doesn't show aggression in particular on any one component. A nutty character comes up as it warms. Odd as it sounds, I get a dryness in it I'd usually associate with cheap malt liquor, yet somehow here without the strength or the adjunct negatives.

Goes down simple and clean, no aftertaste. This is a chugger and quite proud of it.

On merits standing alone, it makes a nice utilitarian intro. On its tastes v. my usual tastes it diverges quite a bit, but man can't live on double stouts alone. I don't love it, but I understand it.

Now to attempt to make an imperial version... (1,271 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very clear light copper with a whitish head with impressive creaminess and retention. A bright sting of hops, but surprisingly not cascades in this californian brew. It smells like a German variety along with bready buttery malt. Flavor is a nice fight between the hops and caramel malt - the hop flavor and bitterness rides all the way through, although I find the finish is slightly harsh. The body is too heavy to be a session brew of mine, and the tingly carbonation is not that great. Despite the rich history, I find this brew to be pretty forgetable. Good hop flavors accompany a decent caramel malt body with a subpar feel. An average beer. (650 characters)

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The highlight of the beer. Amber in color, nice fluffy white head with decent retention and a little lacing.

S: Sweet bready malts. Very light though.

T: Watered down sweet bready malts, with a soapy metallic finish. Bleh.

M: Light to medium body, with some prickly carb and a tinny finish.

I really don't get why this beer is hyped. Every time I come back to it, I'm left underwhelmed. (395 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky duller orange color. Head is quite attractive. An explosion of bubbles. Head dies off a bit but remains relatively consistent. Laces well.

S-That Steam Beer aroma (which is quite yeasty) strikes first. Lightly floral and laced with honey. Light metallic aroma. Never brash or bold, but textbook and clean. Still, I don't love the nose.

T-Yeasty but the yeast is wearing a malty jacket. Sweet honey and uncooked dough. The hops are far from abrasive and stress a sublime array of flowers. Light metallic flavor puts an awkward tension on the entire taste.

M-Easy-going. Fuzzy carbonation. Sessionable. However, I feel that the body is considerably fuller than the ABV would suggest. A round feel.

O/D-How have I not rated this before? I am sure I have had it before but it slipped through the cracks. I truly am not a fan of the style. This is the Big Daddy of Common Beers. It still isn't my thing. (918 characters)

Photo of wsouloa
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer and perhaps my rating is a bit lower than it would have been if I hadn't heard so many good things about this beer. I tried this beer for the first time in Northern California. It pours a very nice orangish-red type of color. The smell isn't very overpowering. The taste initially is very good but then it gives a bit of a dry aftertaste to which I wasn't a fan of. Its a better beer than most of the things you will find in most local bars. I would try this again but not anywhere where they have a good selection of beers. (539 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, light caramel-amber in color with a decent beige head and excellent retention atop medium bubbles and moderately-strong carbonation. Lacing is adequate. Aroma is grainy, husky, lightly caramel, yeasty with some "primary dredge" characteristics. Hops are not very abundant in aroma. Mouthfeel is initially fizzy with a medium body. Taste starts with a fizzy, clean amber malt profile, some mild, gritty, earthy flavor hops, penetrated by some mild yeasty fusels and sulfur midway through, then ending in a pleasant, lingering grainy sweetness balanced by smooth, earthy hops. Everything simmers and becomes more round after warming. An American classic in it's own right...a good alternative to ESB's, but it just doesn't do much for me. (751 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darker than expected, coppery brown with a dense off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a few spots of lace that are quickly washed off.

Aroma is mild and malty, toasty nuts, caramel, floral, citrus, and bread.

Flavor reminds me of a brown ale/marzen hybrid. Smooth caramel, nuts, faint cocoa, with plenty of floral and citrus hops to back it up. Almost a nasty aftertaste detracts points.

Between light and medium in body, softly carbonated, and easy to drink. I'll stick with my ales thank you. (518 characters)

Photo of mzingie
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After reading the first few chapters of "The Audacity of Hope" I was very excited to try this beer. Overall I think it's a pretty average beer, a little too much carbonation for my tastes and I'm not the biggest fan of the pokey hop profile that seems a bit unfounded. Mouthfeel is about what youd expect. Not a bad beer for casual drinking but certainly not the best. (368 characters)

Photo of ElCommodoro
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Look: It poured a transparent orange-brown colour with a thin tannish head that did not disappear
Smell: Exceptional. It smells delicious. A little sour with some sweetness in there. I'm looking forward to this beer.
Taste: The taste is surprisingly astringent. It's got some fantastic malt flavours to balance it out, though. I wouldn't say it's quite balanced, but it's not bad. Too many hops, though. The astringency lingers. I'm not a fan of that.
Mouthfeel: It feels thicker than I expected from the appearance. It's a perfectly good mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is average. I don't think I'll buy it again. It's too sour/astringent. (640 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 355ml bottle, best before Oct 2008, drank Apr 2007.

Poured into a Corsendonk Tulip glass, dull copper, hazy more than cloudy. A good white head and carbonisation rising through the beer to replenish the head as it shrank away.

Aroma of malt biscuits and some caramel.

Unremarkable taste, barley malts and not a lot of anything.

A slight bitterness does linger in the aftertaste, but there is no great body to this beer, it isn't watery by any means, but there just isn't much too it either.

A little disappointed with this one really, was expecting more flavour and a better mouthfeel from a beer most beer lovers in the UK have at least heard of, if not tried. (682 characters)

Photo of t3hcho53non3
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Orangish hazy color with almost no head, but good lacing

S: Caramel, bready, some fruitiness

T: Earthy, bready malt that is semi sweet but at the same time somewhat bitter at the end. Malts vs. hops is clearly seperated.

M: Light body, medium/highly carbonated. Very dry finish

D: Not something that I would have on a regular basis. Not very complex and after one you have this style down. (396 characters)

Photo of PhxHorn
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to like this beer, but I bought a bottle yesterday and it didn't impress. Color was a weak copper, with no head, no lacing. Smelled mildly of malt, and taste was the problem. Malt, a bit of caramel, and a trace of vinegary aftertaste that ruined the whole experience. I made it through the glass, but really didn't enjoy it. (331 characters)

Photo of Jangles
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Double Deuce into a standard US pint glass (what a disgrace).

Not going to do the whole rundown on this one. Sorry, just an adequate but unimpressive beer that gets lost among the array of far superior choices at Hi-Time or BevMo. Boring. Pour me a proper pint, e.g., a Fuller's 1845, any day of the week. (306 characters)

Photo of jayrod20
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy, dark amber out of a stubby. A finger of head that dissipated in a flash. Smelled of subtle hops and a sweet malt -- think Pilsner at a bakery. Rotund sweet taste -- chewy and thick. Finished with a very bitter, lip-smacking citrus bite. A bit dry for my taste, and the flavors lingered about a second longer than the head. (339 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which dissipated quickly. Slightly orange-yellow in color. Fairly mild and generic to me, pretty much a standard American. A hint of caramel, some bitterness.

I had fond memories of this from about 20 years ago when I first set out from home. But the truth is afte comparison to the many other choices out there this beer just isn't special to me anymore. Sorry, just telling the truth. (404 characters)

Photo of RickS95
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure what steam beer is supposed to look like, so I don't know what to compare it to. Regardless, I like dark cloudy beer, and this is a darkish amber and translucent. There is a head of tiny bubbles, but there is little retention.

There's not much smell. Maybe some cut grass or straw, but little else.

It tastes like a pilsner, meaning there's little there but a peppery bitter taste.

It's a crisp refreshing drink. It doesn't have much body and is just an ordinary beer to me, but it is a palate cleanser and would be something worthwhile in the hotter months.

It's refreshing, doesn't taste 'bad' and is of average alcohol. Depending on what you're doing, you could have several of these in a sitting and not feel to bad about things. There are other beers I'd rather have, but these would do in a pinch. (821 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I originally sampled this beer on 17 May 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: This pours a clear amber color with a small head.
Flavor: it tastes crisp clean flavor. Nothing spectacular, but not bad. I'm sure that before the growth of microbrews that this beer really stood out. Now, it's pretty middle of the road. (339 characters)

Photo of Vendetta
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
July 26, 2008

Solid but unspectacular beer. Good nose, mouthfeel is good, flavor is a bit bland but crisp and refreshing without tasting too watery. Some citric notes with a little bit of bitterness. Slight soapy taste, which is odd. Balanced beer, but I probably won't try it again. (306 characters)

Photo of YonderWanderer
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear copper with a thin layer of head. Dissipates pretty quick and leaves little lacing.

S: Not much of an aroma. A slight hint of malt, but not much.

T: Decent - the malt hits you up front with a bit of sweetness. A slight hit of hops comes through near the end to leave a decent aftertaste. Well-balanced, but not anything spectacular.

M: A little thin, but not too bad overall. Decent carbonation.

D: This is definitely a session beer. Tastes good enough and low enough ABV that you could throw back a few of them. Not bad, but not great. (567 characters)

Photo of FlyingBull
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: About 1 finger of head, medium carbonation

S: Malty aroma with an underlying slight floral and fruity aroma

T: tastes malty and similar to a lager on the front end; slightly bitter finish.

M: medium bodied

O: I seem to remeber this as a much more flavorful hoppy beer. All in all, this was a very average beer, but I appreciate the backstory of steam beers/California common beers. (388 characters)

Photo of Forgottensaints
3/5  rDev -22.1%

It's ok it's pretty damn pricy here in NYC. I've only had this when friends had it in there fridge. I would never buy it. Give me a lagonitas IPA instead. (154 characters)

Photo of jonb5
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle, poured into tall tulip.

A: Didn’t look overly lively, golden, small head, poor retention, barely any lacing, slightly hazy.

S: Very malty, also had some Saaz style floral aroma.

T: Bitter Malts and charcoal.

M: Sticky texture, minimal carbonation, coarse edge from the bitterness.

O: A bit like a Franconian Kellerbier, not bad but not great either. (375 characters)

Photo of ipazilla
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a six on sale for $8 So i figured why not.
Appearance : amber
Smell: Malty with a slight hop aroma
Taste: Malty dry and very little hop in the background, but overall a solid flavor.
Feel: Very smooth not too carbonated
Drinkability: I'm more of an IPA fan so this was a little to big in the malts to takedown but I could have one or two with a meal (359 characters)

Photo of B0BZ1LLA
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: little to no head with a soda-like carbonation

S: floral and fruity aroma

T: tastes like a lager on the front end, and finishes up with a warm alcohol flavor

M: medium bodied

O: To me this is a very average beer, but I appreciate the backstory of steam beers/California common beers. (290 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short-lived head and average color. Crisp and not overly bitter, but not much to the finish. Slightly better-than-ordinary overall. It is really a good beer to break out of the macro mold with, as it it not too hard to find. (224 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,914 ratings.