Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

5,380 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,380
Reviews: 1,962
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 173
Gots: 822 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,380 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of Kemmerlin
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an amber resin color with a decent sticky head providing some good lacing.

S: Had some bread yeast aromas with dark rum spices.

T: Interestingly tasted like milk, grass, and slight taste of floral hops. Well rounded hoppy after taste.

M/D: Thick mouth feel like drinking a glass of milk. It is very drinkable and can really see why it is so popular.

Photo of PerroGrande
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Anchor steam pours to a beautiful deep golden color with prodigious, rich foam. The head endures nicely adhering nicely to the sides of the glass.

Smell: I picked up some nice malt and caramel overtones, along with some hops. There were some citrus hints hanging around ever so slightly on the periphery, but I couldn't isolate what they were.

Taste: Anchor Steam is on the bitter side of center, but certainly isn't off-putting to one who isn't a big hops or IPA fan. It represents a nice compromise point in a number of ways. The opening is mildly bitter with hops overtones, but follows with an interesting malty, caramel taste with hints of sweetness in the background. The finish is long and pleasing with a nice mix of hops and malt hanging around for a long time. I find the taste and finish of this beer very pleasing.

Mouthfeel: Less creamy than the glorious foam would indicate, but certainly acceptable.

Drinkability: Outstanding. Very refreshing. Would be a nice session beer, good in both cold and warm weather, and a complement to numerous foods.

Until tonight, it had been a few years since I had an Anchor Steam, and I'm reminded again of how much I enjoy this beer. I need to work it back in to my regular beer "rotation".

Photo of pmsawyer
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in 22 ounce bottle.

A - Medium amber clear. Good off white head that lasted well.

F - Moderate malt with a strong hop bitterness. Moderately high hop flavor Finish was dry and crisp, lingering hop bitterness and had a solid malt flavor.

T - Medium bodied higher than average carbonation.

Excellent refreshing brew.

Photo of sabinelr
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pioneer that helped to fire off the craft beer revolution. I used to buy this at the Food Giant in Wallingford, and always looked forward to the nice bitterness and flavor that put it in a different class from the commonly available beers. I haven't had any in years, so when I got a bottle as a gift, I was looking forward to a good nostalgic taste, and I am not disappointed. I could drink this all night while watching good movies or cartoons, and know that the evening was well spent. For you folks that want to look into the world of alternative beer, this is just about the best place to start. Decent bitterness without a strong skunky malt smell or flavor, and one swig leaves you wishing for another. Many thanks to the guy who got this distributed up here in the cloudy zone back in the 70's.

Photo of dasenebler
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear amber hue, with a thick and creamy head. Retention wasn't too great, but the lacing was nice.

Grainy, lager-like aromas with earthy, grassy hops.

Flavor is very nice. Bready, biscuity notes mix with a subtle toasty complexity. Hops are restrained, but definitely there: think earthy, clean bitterness. Probably in the 30 IBU range. This basically tastes like a pilsner with a slightly heavier, perhaps slightly ale-like, malt profile. In the end though, you can definitely taste the lager character, even though it's a warm-fermented lager. Medium-light body, with fine medium carbonation that adds some creaminess. I'm finding this very easy to drink, but also delicious at the same time. As the shining example of our only indigenous style, this beer might be the quintessential American craft session beer.

Anchor Steam is brewed with enough restraint (in both alcohol and flavor) and subtlety to be a highly quaffable beer. Also doesn't hurt to be an American classic.

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Not much head formation. Its a nice amber color with a little reddishness to it and a bit of cloudiness. The aroma is a nice, malty aroma with some woodiness (similar to a Scottish Ale). The taste is a little bitter up front and finishes very sweetly with a taste similar to the smell. Its pretty light in body and very drinkable and refreshing and would make a good session beer. Cheers.

Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep gold with excellent clarity. The creamy, low off-white head has a very decent retention period.

S: Moderate citrus hops aroma, mainly lemony and a peach and orange-like ester are prominent in the aroma. There is a light biscuty and toasted malt aroma i the background.

T: the flavor is dominated by a moderate hop bitterness and a citrus hops flavor which is again mainly lemon like. There is a decent support from a biscuit and toasty malt flavor with the balance being moderately toward the bitter side. The cirtus hops flavor and bitterness linger a little past the dry finish.

M: moderately-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a light astringency.

O: A crisp and refreshing, somewhat hoppy beer with a nice bit of fruity ester complexity.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes over the holidays
A - just slightly hazy copper, generous off white head
S - grainy and grassy, with some buttery and caramel hints
T - a sharp very toasted grainy malt flavour, a bitter grassy hint with buttery with a resiny and dry citrus finish, very interesting
M - medium refreshing carbonation kick, very clean and light, drying out on the finish
D - a complex and very drinkable brew, the flavour are interesting while being light and refreshing enough to be a great session option

Photo of KTCamm
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Turns out I like this beer much more than I remembered.

Pours light copper amber with one finger white creamy foam. Good lacing.

Predominantly malty smell with some citrus.

Taste is a dry hop with a little lemon, mixed with a sweet tnged malt tone. Light hop noted in the finish, but very little bitter.

Solid carbonation buzz, strong in the mouth. Very drinkable, great beer.

Photo of diabecktic
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
A lovely pour. Thick, creamy head (~2 fingers) forms slowly and stays in place - lacing is excellent. The beer is a very light shade of amber and orange; there is plenty of visible, rising carbonation.

Smell:
The aroma is composed mainly of hop and grain tones, but there is a subtle underlying sweetness. I can't quite describe it accurately, but it seems to be something of a mix between caramel and citrus tones with a hint of bubblegum. It's a very sharp scent.

Taste:
The first thing I noticed was the extreme bitterness. Hop and grain character are immense in the first portion of the tasting; the caramel tone acts as a bridge to the citrusy aftertaste. I would say that the taste matches the nose fairly well. As the beer warms, the balance between hoppiness and maltiness becomes a bit more distinct. When cooler, the malt tends to be masked.

Mouthfeel:
I would rate the body as medium. It's a little heavier than I would have thought, but it's just right. For all of its bitterness, it's really not too sharp on the palate.

Drinkability:
This is a very "lively" beer, but it's pretty smooth overall. I think this would make an excellent session beer. It tastes great and goes down well regardless of how it's served. Just don't drink it too quickly because you will miss out on an other-wordly experience.

Summary:
I'm suprised that this wasn't my first choice when I first looked to try an Anchor beer (I had the Liberty Ale in Denver last summer). This is truly a unique beer in nearly every facet subjected to this review. The balance and quality of flavor are unlike many other beers that I have sampled and it's easy to drink; this beer is put together very well. If you haven't tried this before, please do yourself a favor and get a 6-pack as soon as you can.

Photo of wedge
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with a frothy, chunky off-white head. Aroma is toasted caramel malts - creamy, nutty, and bready with a soft sweetness. Malty flavor with an earthy, almost minty hop bitterness. There's definately a solid toasted grain presence...a very rustic and leafy character overall that balances out quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium-light and moderately dry.

Firm maltiness and delicious earthy hop flavors blend together cleanly to make a pleasant and highly drinkable lager. High on my list of all-purpose session beers.

Photo of kpoole25
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle to glass. Pours a light amber, pretty dark for a lager. Smells like typical lager / Bud smell. On taste, really like the balance...full flavored, a bit like a Marzen or Oktoberfest. Carbonation was moderate, where I like it. Overall a really good, drinkable beer. All the Anchor's I've had I really enjoyed.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a small head that settles to a thin lace.

Aroma is of grains,fruits/citrus notes and caramel malts.
The taste is of malts,caramel,fruits,hops and bitter-sweet notes.
The overall feel is dry finish with a lemon/fruit aftertaste.

Notes: It's late and I have had enough of this beer to let you know that it is not only above average,but well worth the time and money. A session beer and a delight on any day regardless of the temperature. So well balanced and nice bitter finish that goes so well with the caramel notes. Go out and try one.

Photo of Ranchito
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. it was one of the best beers back in the 70's and is still one of the best. Kudos to Anchor for keeping the same great taste. It pours well, a nice clear amber with a nice creamy head. The aroma is sweet and hoppy. with a light to medium body. very crisp dry flavor. This beer never disappoints.

Photo of number1bum
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours out a light amber, slightly orangeish color, with a an off-white inch of head. Retains a nice thin lace, especially around the rim.

Smells of lightly toasted malt and light caramel sweetness, with some light citrus and floral hop aromas. The smell is pleasant and balanced, but light (have I said that enough?)

Tastes a lot like the smell, with toasted malt and a mild sweetness dominating along with just a bit of hop bitterness and citrusy hop flavor. Very well balanced and very refreshing. Crisp carbonation and a nice medium body, yet light on the palate. I could drink this beer all night, a great session beer.

Photo of ZeroSignal
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber with a frothy, thick head

S - Grainy, some citric bitterness, lemon, toasted malts

T&M - Bitterness is right up front and stronger then expected from the nose. Toasted malt follows immediately behind. The citrus notes of lemon and orange zest dance around with the graininess and malt backbone. Very dynamic and wonderfully balanced. Smooth finish with citrus and malt flavors lightly lingering.

D - Had 22oz at the hotel bar and enjoyed every last sip. If I didn't have to be somewhere I would have had another. Very enjoyable and glad that I finally got to give this one a try in it's home state.

Photo of flowerysong
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy light copper with lots of bubbles.

Smell: Mild breadiness, earthy malt, and faint caramel notes.

Taste: Begins with a sharp citrus hop bitterness, which gradually falls away leaving an intensely malty finish. Some fruitiness in the middle.

Mouthfeel: Mildly drying finish, full body, lively carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavourful and full of character, nice crisp taste and very pleasant to drink.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Part five in the Unorganized Invitation brings us to Anchor Steam Beer. Time to try to out:

In color, the beer is amber in color with a soild, desne head. The flavor is dominated by toasty malts, and it's damn tasty. A little fruity underneath the toasty flavor, creamy, and thick. Yum. I've found another option for a session brew.

I had hopes for this beer, and boy it did it hit the spot. It just took the lead in the Unorganized Invitational from it's brother Anchor Bock. It'll have to hold off New Belgium's 1554 to secure the title.

Photo of tubacharlie
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly nutty malt aroma is detected when poured, as a generous head develops. The off-white head recedes a bit, then floats at an even keel while consumed as it is replenished by constant streams of small bubbles rising from the depths of the hazy amber brew.

The taste is bright and malty, with overtones of lightly browned toast and salty sea air enveloped in a well-carbonated mouth feel that sails over the pallet, with soft hop bitterness lingering on the tip of the tongue.

Always a dependable selection for a day at sea, or just sitting around pool side with your first mate (or second). The historic popularity of this beer is easily fathomed. Anchor's away!

Photo of Drew966
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. At first the aroma is fruity, then caramel malt becomes apparent. Caramel malt and a nice hop presence make for a classic beer. Sessionable and recommended.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber color with white head that is very thin

Smells of earthy tones with very little hop character and spices. Very very malty to the nose soothing as well. Nutty character.

Taste is excellent very full bodied with a nice crisp start a nice nutty and earthy middle and a sharp but sweet finish.

the mouthfeel is very full perfect balance of carbonation. At the same time refreshing very attractive overall

Drinkability is very big. You can have many pints of this and not feel full. Goes down smooth.

Photo of Japerrault
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy golden amber with a white head that dissipates to a nice skim.

S: Caramel, toasted malts, sweet fruits

T: Nicely balanced toasted caramely malt flavors. Biscuit mixed with a hint of spicey hops. Very light bitterness in the finish. Not sweet, but mostly dry.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Excellent balance of malt and hops, not overpowering in any one flavor. Crisp and refreshing easy drinking beer.

Photo of Ugarte_CP
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried this beer at Lombard's Restaurant at Universal Studios Florida. Was very pleasantly surprised to enjoy a good micro-brew at the theme park. Great taste with no bitterness. Paired it with the Turkey burger and calamari appetizer. I will have to find this one again.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has been awhile since I have had this beer. I forgot how good it really is.

A: A nice copper color with a wonderful white head. Good lacing on the glass.

S: I little hop aroma that blends nicely with the malt aroma.

T: Restrained bitter hops and sweet pale malts. Great balance between the two. Kinda salty. It's like and IPA and a lager at the same time.

M: Very creamy in mouthfeel, more than you would expect given the color. Quite smooth, to boot.

D: A session beer that could satisfy a hophead, a maltoid, and a new convert to good beer. It has something for the first two to like, and won't scare the newbie.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a translucent amber-red with a thin off-white head. Smells malty, with nuttiness, fruitiness, and caramel. Tastes sweet and fruity, with caramel, biscuit, nut. Somewhat aqueous with effervescent carbonation making this one a super-drinkable refreshing beer. A classic for sure and for good reason. Unfortunately, at the current price on the other side of the country from the brewery, this will only be an occasional treat.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,380 ratings.