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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 marcpal
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

How have I not reviewed this before- a tremendous standy beer. One that led me to the craft brew scene on tap in SF many years back.

A: Darck gold with active carbonation and a fluffy white head.

N: Loads of dough, caramel and cheerios.

T: A nice spice up front with the sweet sugary caramel quickly following. You catch the hop presence that rounds this out to near perfection. Crap, this is good. Nice pine flavor.

M: Full and chewy, bready and the spices are constant.

D: Ultimate drinkability- not like the BMC commercials claim. This is a beautifully crafted beer and perfect for summer and a long session.

An absolute fridge staple.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
4.71/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have discovered a new session beer...

Beautiful amber...

Slight, ever so slight hoppy aroma, very clean...

Nice...I like the way the hop flavors express themselves after the clean, ever so smooth bubble gummy mildly malty taste!...Whatever hops were used are excellent and the recipe is divine! One can easily tell this is a session beer crafted with love!

Great medium bodied brew that goes down easy! So easy in fact this beer is now the offical "Pizza Beer" at my castle! Many many times macros have had to suffice at semi-fabulous pizzaria's across the kingdom. Not anymore, wifey's homemade canadian bacon and pineapple pizza and this beer now reign supreme! All hail the "Pizza King"!

Anytime is the right time for Anchor Steam! I love opening the fridge and seeing this beer! Went to the website just to see those big ol' copper kettles...reminiscent of the handcraftedness and integrity one observes when a pizza is baked in a real stone brick oven!

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam Beer!!

Appearance- a beautiful orange/ copper with a nice thick light tan head. Lacing down the glass that marks every sip you took!
Smell- earthy hops, wood, a hint of citrus.
Taste- oh soo good! Malty with a strong yet smooth hop flavor a hint of bitterness that makes you take another sip and another...
Mouthfeel- crisp with a faint bitterness. Goes down too easy!

Overall, quite frankly 1 of the best beers ever!!! A beer that yo can slowly savor or drink several of hanging out. A beer that you can always rely on!!!

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Photo of SteveMcQueen36
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer in Big Sur for the first time and enjoyed it at the River Inn. Near a pretty decent river. I loved it. It tasted like how perfect that environment sounds. Look it up if you don't believe me. It's worth a vacation. Anyway, This beer is rich and strong. It's a powerful beer from a powerful state. Enjoy.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a pale amber with a fluffy, flimsy head. The aroma is classic malt sweetness with a touch of tropical fruit and and little earthy quality. The mildly bitter tropical hop flavor is present at the start of the sip, supported by a semi-sweet malt backbone. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. This is a classic beer. I often pass it over in the store, but I should give it more attention. Great in all seasons, awesome with a wide variety of dishes, this is a pure, everyday table beer.

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Photo of acevenom
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated May 31.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours clear copper with a tall, biege head that dissipates slowly. Some lacing is left behind on the glass. The aroma is of barley malt and some hops. There is a nice malty component to this beer in the taste. There is sweet up front with breadiness hitting at the middle. There is some hop bitterness on the back end with some aftertaste. The flavors are well-balanced. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is smooth and dry. The drinkability is very high. This is an excellent beer. I have to agree with a previous reviewer that this beer does remind me of an ESB.

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Photo of sjambok1
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

My first review and for an excellent beer.

A: Amber and dark with a good, thick head

S-Smelt of hops and caramel. Soothing and not too strong.

T-An excellent taste. Very hopy and somewhat sweet at the beginnign.

MF-Very carbonated, good, and smooth

D-Something I could drink plenty of and not have a problem.

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Photo of cbleary
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a bottle into a pint glass.

This is extraordinary beer. I think the bottle I had may have been just a little old, but it didn't matter. It poured with a lovely golden amber color with a generous head that left copious lacing in the glass. Gorgeous. The smell was a very nice mix of sweet malts and hops. The taste was a similar balance with the sweetness of the beer kept in check by the bitter hops. It was very drinkable, and I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of Umbra
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Burnt amber brew with a thick two fingered head. Decent retention and lacing. Aroma of bread and slight hops.
Flavor changes and is more complex than I remember. Initially hoppy in an English bitter sort of way. That changes towards the middle and end of the brew, where it becomes more caramel with a chalky, dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium and more hearty than expected. However, it's dryness and complexity would lead one to call this an excellent session.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into my Guinness tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber color with a beautiful foamy head.

Smell: A toasty smell with an almost buttery hint about it. Slight spicy hoppiness about it. Very pleasing aroma, but might take a couple tries to sense it well.

Taste: A toasty flavor and a buttery finish- expected from the smell. A nice hop bitterness about it that balances things out very well.

Mouthfeel: Good body, not too thick or thin. Carbonation is hard to detect right off, but it is definitely not flat.

Drinkability: If I was told that this is the only beer I would be allowed to drink for the rest of my life, I think I would be ok with that.

This is a beer I had been looking for for a while now and I happened to stumble upon it at a Kroger in Roanoke, VA. I picked it up and it was better than I expected- without a doubt one of my favorite brews. This could be enjoyed by both beer geeks and newbies alike.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorite beers. If you have never been to San Francisco to Pier 39, its worth the trip just to go to the Anchor Steam brewery. This is some of the best American beer on the market and criminally underrated. The smell, taste, and drinkability are second to none, and this is an enjoyable drinking beer, perfect for just about any occasion. Well rounded and not lacking. Very very close to brew perfection!

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Photo of Jason
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 16oz brown "fatty" with the infamous anchor, hops and barley label. "Made in San Francisco since 1896" No freshness date.

Appearance: Hazy copper with a thick, off-white, rocky, bubbly, sticky, chunky head.

Smell: Earthy malt aromas with semi-caramel sweetness.

Taste: Immediately, the mouth is hit by a sharp bitterness, some salt and slight lemon from the hops. This is a beautiful thing, full of flavour and character. After, a mildly astringent, earthy, highly toasted malt guides you to a dry, grainy, residual citrus after-taste.

Notes: You don't find other beers like this, not even close in their mimics. This is truly a unique brew, and a classic; a legend in the hand-crafted/micro industry.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark orange/amber with a short-lived, light tan head that leaves a thin lace. Bready maltiness in the aroma and flavor, though the palate is a bit more complex: grain, caramel, a very mild roastiness, and some faint piney hops as well. The mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy with moderately active carbonation.

Not merely one of the best examples of the style, but arguably one of the best American beers on the market. I’ve said it before in various forum posts and I’ll say it again: this well-balanced, infinitely drinkable brew is THE perfect session beer. No one can claim to be a serious craft beer lover and never have tried this one! Highly, highly recommended!

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Photo of Mark
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had a renewed love affair with Anchor the last month or so. Since returning to my "roots" I thought I should re review this classic that is responsible for the micro revolution, it also started me in to the world of quality beer. This beer is a medium amber, head retention and lacing are excellent. Fresh malty and grainy aroma is prominent. Smooth, rounded, refreshing and a tad dry. Some caramel notes, Good hoppy bite. A totally drinkable beer, good year round.

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Photo of nighthawk
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep orange colour with some fluffy, sticky head off-white in colour. Smells of sweet caramel, earth, grains, with some light citrus odours. Taste is creamy caramel mixing into bitter citrus, grains, grass. Slightly drying finish. Carbonation fizzes in the mouth, with some bitter tingling to finish. Nice feel in the mouth, medium bodied. Tasty, refreshing, and I definitely want another.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Upfront: My review "MAY" be biased. This was my first craft brew, and it was love at first sip. If anything that should be a statement to its quality. Its fun because its steam beer, not a lager, not an ale...its steam beer.

A: This beer is probably my favortie to look at. It pours a great amber color. The head is sort of a tan/offwhite color that pours thick but then drops to form a nice lasting thin veil. Beautiful.

S: I was suprised that a beer style labeled steam was so fragrant. I later learned where the "steam" term came from and realized my earlier thought was foolish...any way when you pop the cap and get a whiff its just good.There is some malty aromas but overall its just a reat smell that makes me want to start drinking.

T: This is where all beers make their moeny, and this anchor steam is "my" favorite, Its a beer that no matter what mood, what meal, what occasion, ill know id love to have one. there is a malty grain taste, with bitterness as well. The flavours like the aromas meld so well, and are balanced so well its hard to describe seperate flavours.

M: Extremel smooth, not sure how else to say ityou wash it around your mouth and is just tastes great and goes down so easily.

D: Highly drinkable, my all time session beer. If i had to drink only one beer forever (right now) this would be it. extremely pleasant experience.

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Photo of cracgor
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

You ever say to yourself, I just want something that tastes like beer? That is the place this beer has in my heart. It pours out with a tiny white head. The body is an amber color with a decent amount of carbonation. Nothing like the streams in a belgian, but nice, and well beer like. It has a very clean beer smell. A light melon like hop and a tiny bit of malt. This beer never ceases to amaze me with flavor. Delicious hint of fruit, but mostly a perfectly balanced beer. The hops have a couple of layers. The first flavor I taste is very fruity, but it opens into a peppery flavor as it goes down, and just after, the flavor comes out as a piney/citrusy flavor. Very fun to drink and easy to drink. This is the jack of all trades of beers....you could drink it as a lawnmower gusler or a sipping evening beer. Goes great with food too.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful copper body. Rocky, fluffy just slightly off-white head. Excellent lacing. Wonderful mix of floral and citrus hops in aroma. Superb hop and malt balance. This beer could be drank all night. Paired with any food. Clean. Truly does exhibit ale and lager characteristics. Too often overlooked, an America Classic.

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Photo of Illini5596
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Revisiting this beer to give a more full review. When I first cut my teeth on this beer in 2005, I was just getting into the world of real craft beers. Prior to that I only had experience with a handful of craft beers and while a bit of a beer snob, I was not the connoisseur I am today.

Head is rather impressive and very foamy with some lingering lace, easily an inch and a half of head after the pour. The head has a creamy texture, which isn't very sticky at all, even the lace is frothy and foamy in comparison to other beers. Color is a beautiful amber, and crystal clear.

The smell is full of grains, hops, and a fresh cleanness that I associate with steam beer in general.

This is still one of my favorite "every day" beers. It isn't too strong, yet has a lot of character. The taste begins sweep and slightly sharp, hints of citrus and hops, then smooths out to a nice biscuit creamy full flavor that leaves you with a refreshing after taste.

Mouthfeel is very soft, velvety and satisfying.

Still one of the most drinkable beers around. I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone.

====Old Review is below====

I've had Anchor Steam in both the bottle and on tap, it's an excellent experience either way. It has become my defacto beer of choice when I can find nothing else on the menu. I'm not saying it is strictly a fall back beer, it's pretty much my ale of choice all things being equal, and it is a right enjoyable brew. It just tends to show up as one of the few good beers on some of lists in town, when I'm not at a true beer drinker's bar.

While not as excellent as some beers, don't be surprised when this one turns out to be one of your favorites. It's good old reliable, good to the core, and a good beer to start out any night.

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Photo of Offa
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great, reliable, tasty, highly drinkable beer and one that is fairly unique in character.

Dark copper, it has a fairly big, off-white, head that lasts fairly long and makes good lace.

The aroma is pleasant and fairly full-bodied, if a tad muted. It's somewhat fruity with a sdtrong maltiness of toasted, yeasty bread, a caramel, and citrus.

The taste is similar, being restrained but flavourful and fairly full-bodied. It's well balanced and has lightly sweet caramel, toasted grain, balanced with mild, citrusy-leafy hop bitterness with lemon and bitter leaves. it's full-bodied yet light, crisp, and asy to drink.

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Photo of adkirkish
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured clear amber with a frothy off-white head that persisted throughout.

Aroma: Sweet caramel / toasty and roasty malts, but the hops are most prominent in the aroma, no esthers, no diacetyl. (Guidelines for style note a rustic, woody or minty quality for hops - I could see how the mint is slightly apparent - menthe like, but very subtle).

Flavor: Hop bitterness is forefront - Floral, Bittering, and the menthe on the finish. The malt profile is spot on w/ majority of roasted flavor w/ slight caramel notes. Balance is toward the hop bitterness. Finish is lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium throughout (Body, Carbonation, Mouthfeel), no astringency / warmth.

Overall: This beer is legendary, and arguably noted as being the beer that saved craft beer in America. Personally I find it hard to compare to others in the style (Because I haven't had any yet). Will need to do more research on the hop notes as they are the qualities that separate this beer from being a Pale Ale. This beer reminds me of drinking a Pale Ale.

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is good, clear with a nice colour but slightly thin head.
Malty caramel aroma with some hop presence and a little alcohol. Pleasing grainy malt flavour backed with a good hop flavour, almost wood-like. Medium body and carbonation, with a faint alcohol warmth. Very refreshing and drinkable for a beer with this much flavour.

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Photo of JoshuaJ
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper with a creamy, off-white head. Head quickly dissipates, and there is virtually no lacing.

Smells like clean, carmelly malts. Herbal hops. Maybe picking up a bit of raisin.

Tastes nothing like it smells. Lemony hops hit you up front, grains take you to the finish. Very crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is high. Not a complex beer, but not every beer needs to be.

Overall drinkibility is good. It goes down easy, and I'd say it's a medium bodied brew, so it's not very heavy. A great session beer.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a good beer that is fanatastic on tap. I had thiss baby on tap last night and it was the bee's knees. The flavor is tighter and cleaner and it finishes much drier. The taste of this brew is dense, complex and easy drinking. I could have drank ten in a row.

Awesome. Drink, Drink. Cheers!

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Photo of Backer2004
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best all around domestics around. Glad to see it at a cafe for $2.50 a bottle. Usually one of the more expensive six packs at the local grocery store. After reading the review by Michael Jackson 6 months ago, I knew I needed to try this famed steam beer. Loved it then and my feelings haven't changed now. Cannot compare to another steam beer, but the appreance is above average, nice head and carbonation (but seen better). Balanced taste just perfect. Would love to convert others that stick to their Coors, Bud Light and Miller Light. Try one today.

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