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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,914 | Hads: 5,421
Photo of ch473
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If I had to pick my favorite beer, Anchor Steam is it.

It pours a beautiful amber and maple syrup color. It almost glows. It's nearly transparent with a tall foamy head that quickly dissipates into thin lacing around the edges. Carbonations is light which makes this refreshing on the palate; very drinkable and smooth.

I get some nice malty sweetness in the smell and a little of the cascade hops. Some honey too.

The taste is wonderful. Well balanced with hops and grains. Going down it's smooth and refreshing with a solid body. It has a rich but not too sweet malty body with pleasant citrus and hop aftertaste.

I cannot wait to try Anchor Steam on draft but I've yet to find any in the midwest that offer it. (717 characters)

Photo of Flux
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

straight from fridge, poured into a pint glass.

A- Deep amber with no haze. White foamy head that eventually dissipates but lacing persists.

S- caramel malts and hops. Toasty. Mild bread smell.

T- Sweet malts are upfront and the bittering hops come through at the end. Notes of bread crust is detectable.

M- Medium to high carbonation, full bodied but still makes for an easy session beer.

Overall a really great flavorful beer. Don't have too much experience with a California Common style beer but this seems to really fit the bill. (539 characters)

Photo of JackTheRipper
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying that this is the first time I've tried this style, so my review may reflect a more subjective thought process.
A: Pours a nice amber color. Head was initially a big fluffy two inch deal. (I'm drinking it out of my fave beer glass, a Stella Artois glass I got at a bar). Head dissipated quickly, no lacing seen.
S: Heavy malty sweet aroma with some caramel hints. No hop aromas. Smell is quite unique and very pleasing.
T: Nice roasty malt taste right up front. There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear... This beer has a malty flavor I can recognize, but there's something else going on I don't know how to describe other than saying that it's damned tasty. Finish is a sharp sort of twang that doesn't last, there's virtually no aftertaste here.
M: Slick carbonation, medium bodied, with a nicely low ETOH level compared to some of the beers I've been drinking. Two of these won't have you giving your keys to a friend.
D&N: This a beer unlike any other. The taste is familiar, but with something extra that really makes this beer shine. I haven't finished a beer this quickly in a long time, but it's just so tasty that I "reviewed" it in about twenty minutes. Highly recommended. (1,248 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color woth slightly off white chunky head. Smell is a very enjoyable combination of malt with citrus notes. Taste follows through with a good malty character and a mild lemony note. Finishes with a good refreshing taste that is supremely enjoyable. Hard to believe I never had this beer before.I will definitely visit it again. (350 characters)

Photo of Midwestbrew18
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured and Amber/Copper color with around a finger of head, give or take a couple millimeters.

Aroma - Very rich malt smell, deep biscuit characteristics, ending with a slight trace of citrus fruits, maybe lemon or orange. A floral scent can be detected as well, coupled with the citrus.

Taste - Caramel notes coupled with traces of citrus initially. Towards the middle of taste the biscuit/malt tones come in gradually and eventually dominate at the end on the palate. The hops used balance well with the malt, not a hoppy beer, but that was not the intent behind it. Delicious and simple flavors that are perfect for a hot day; very session able.

Mouthfeel - Medium to High carbonation and smooth throughout. Incredibly easy to drink, while bringing out enough flavor to keep things interesting. Easy to down many of these if you would want to. An absolutely refreshing beer.

Overall - Would definitely consider this for a hot day, tailgate, session, you get the picture kind of beer. Easy to drink, doesn't taste like hell after it warms up; in fact maybe tastier after it gets a little warmer depending on your palate. A simple beer, balanced well that provides you with maximum enjoyment and drinkability. Will definitely have to buy this again sometime. Very affordable by the way. (1,305 characters)

Photo of ricke49
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the most satisfying (in terms of taste) under 5% ABV that I can recall drinking.

It is a great 'go-to' when your seeking interesting, complex flavors...as opposed to gettin' a buzz.

Predominate malt profile, but with enough hop finish to let you know you're consuming something special.

A great beer to sip on a warm Fall afternoon. (351 characters)

Photo of mghotbi
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber-red with short-lasting two finger head and moderate lacing with prominent carbonation.

Caramel malt nose with traces of vanilla and banana - very pleasant

Smooth on the palate. Carbonation is perfect.

Hop bitterness hits the tastebuds first, followed by wisps of banana, dates and trace of vanilla, then a more definite malt sweetness and emergence of crisp hop and citrus notes with a long spicy hop finish. This is a unique beer - a delicate blend of contrasting flavors in perfect balance.

This is the beer that changed my attitude about beer. Very drinkable, makes an excellent and refreshing session beer, but it's can be an acquired taste for some folks. Serving this beer too cold can make for a bitter experience. (754 characters)

Photo of bitzbach
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tangy and effervescent. A little cloudy in color and very refreshing with a little bitterness too boot. Used to see it regularly but not so much in my neck of the wood anymore. Gotta look for it. Makes the big houses taste like water by comparison. They make a great porter too! (278 characters)

Photo of Hops4Pops
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber Bottle. I had to try this because it was this beer that was the inspiration to Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing, for going into the beer brewing business. I have changed my rating to a higher level based on several things: 1. There was no refrigeration when this style was created and when this brewer went into business. 2. They actually created this style, Steam Beer, and were very creative at the time in making a lager work. 3. I have respect for elders and this company is one of the eldest. Forgive me Bros for having to go through the second act and letting it warm to room temperature to get the essence of this style and this beer.
A: Aggressive pour. Giant, slightly off-white head slowly receding into a cloud like formation and then slowly settling to a foam across the surface. Sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Reddish amber color.
S: Smells kind of fruity but not sure which fruit. Some hops. Some malt.
T: About the same.
M: The carbonation gives it a little bite and the rest is pretty smooth. Easy on the mouth.
O: I guess I am seeing the Bros rate it so highly due to the respect it deserves for longevity in the brewing industry and the true to style characteristics based on the fact that Anchor Brewing actually created the style. Its a very drinkable beer but not my favorite style in general. If you like this style, this beer pretty much defines it. While I tend to gravitate to stronger, more robust, modern styles, I can see however where 150 years ago, brewing this kind of beer was a most awesome achievement! Go Anchor!!! (1,565 characters)

Photo of mempath
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into 0.41 Warsteiner pilsner...deep copper with huge head that laces like san fran sourdough holes...cerealy/malty nose...a little yeastiness/sourness is unveiled...

i haven't had one of these in well over a decade.

whoa. after going through another obsessive hop phase, this is different. hops hit subliminally as an after-image...not complaining at all, but i feel like i am drinking a fresh Yuengling Lager...actually like some odd Ideal version of the Y lager and lager light (again, not a complaint or criticism!)...a third swallow doesn't change a thing. very good! almost sweet, almost sour!

quite crisp, fresh, doughy notes revealed as i inhale.

very refreshing, damn drinkable, a great flavor but compared to neoCraft flavor profiles all over the place, sure, this is truly mellow, but SOLID. jeez, this is still SO similar to a Yuengling...is it me? anyways, truly recommended to all who have not had it or have not had it in years, decades...

edit: revisited this 11 months later....just as good...no, it's better. (1,037 characters)

Photo of jp62099
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer I have seen on the shelves for a while but never have tried. I'm trying many different styles more often and never realized that this was in its on category. I would say as far as Steam Beer, it is not going to get any better than Anchor. Very surprised. Amber color, malt sweetness and lemon undertones, taste is malty, with a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy. This is a great session beer, drinkability off the charts. (461 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The thing I love about Anchor Steam is that it is crisp, has a little bit hop pop to it, and has a nice mouthfeel. What you get is a somewhat lighter feeling beer that has a very good punch to it in flavor. You get a good dose of hops, on the level of a pale ale even. But there is a little malt caramel background that sets it apart from west coast pales. A very good refreshing choice if you are in the mood for this type. (424 characters)

Photo of friesfox5
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light red brown, mild to medium head, good lacing.
S- Malty, mild fruitiness, hoppy, earthy.
M- Slightly thin, perfect carbonation. Makes you want another one.
T- Nice hop bitterness from start to finish but not overpowering.
D- Very unique GREAT tasting beer. Isn't like many other brews. Really stands out and is a joy to drink.

I will come back to this from time to time because it is so good and so unique. (414 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Figured it was time I tried this historic brew!

A - Nice clear amber/copper with a fluffy white two finger head that slowly disolved into nice healthy lacing.

S - Nice malts and just a bit of sweetness.

T - Lil malty, lil citrusy. Very nice and refreshing. Finish is nice and dry too. Really good.

M - Really solid carbonation and a great crispness.

D - Just great. The original steam beer sets the bar so dang high with this style nothing else really compairs. Wish a 6 pack was a bit cheaper than $10 so I could drink this all night long. (545 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz with no dates into a pint.

Medium amber with an off-white head of one finger that has decent retention with some lacing.

Smells of dry hops with a touch of salt. There's some malt underneath.

Tastes of dry hops with a slight maltiness. Dry, clean finish. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium-light with some carbonation tingles. Good session brew and/or dinner drink. (397 characters)

Photo of mbenthall
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky golden amber with nice thick head.

Smell: Nice malt smell with subtle notes of caramel.

Taste: Starts off enjoyably bitter with subtle tones of citrus, this is followed by earthy malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bold with a dry finish.

Drinkability: A great beer nothing very drinkable but unlike anything I know on the market. (341 characters)

Photo of eye2
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful orange to dark amber in color. You can tell that appearance was a quality built in to this beer.

S: Quality. Wonderful earthy scents. Wood, flowers, even a little bit smokey. It smells clean. It smells like something you want to taste.

T: Smooth, cultured, somewhat (but not overly complex). A few strong tones stand out amongst the many layers: Sweet and salty.

M: Smooth. A little creamy. A little crisp. This beer adapts to the mood and setting.

Overall: Perhaps one of the best easily obtainable beers. When it's time to splurge (money-wise) a little, Anchor Steam is always considered. Highly recommended. (628 characters)

Photo of Scipio
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the first non-Sam Adams craft beers I ever drank. A perennial favorite when I was attending college. This is one of the best-looking beers in the world. Like all California Common beers, it has a beautiful head and great effervescence. The aroma is unique, and the malt/hop balance may be perfect.

This beer is a testament to Anchor's dedication to quality. It's archetypal, like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Bell's Amber Ale. Few beers are as good, and even fewer are better. If you're looking for a gateway to craft beer, this is it. (540 characters)

Photo of tailleur
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tasted wonderful on one of the hottest days of the year. wonderful hoppy nose. The hops and malt are wonderfully balanced. I think something special happened when they decided to brew a lager at ale temps. The lager yeast is much cleaner than ale yeast. Just brewed a clone recipe of this. cant wait till it's ready. (316 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Dense, rocky, off-white head; clear, copper body. Aroma immediately gives off caramel with cool, earthy hops. Flavor is predominantly rich, toasted malt and hop bitterness with a lingering grainy malt quality in the finish. Medium body; crisp, substantial carbonation.

Crisp and refreshing with considerable bitterness complemented nicely by the malty sweetness. Alcohol flavor still comes through in the finish despite the 4.9% ABV. (436 characters)

Photo of furballkazoo
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer is Anchor Brewing's flagship brew for a reason. The original California Common Beer (in short a lager brewed with ale techniques and temperatures), it set the standard for amber lagers. (204 characters)

Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

I'm in love with California made beers.. perhaps I'm biased, as I'm from the great Golden State. ;) This beer is delicious, plain and simple. Has a good amount of bitterness to it, but it's a pleasant one. I like it straight out of the bottle, and I love supporting CA. :) (276 characters)

Photo of unclejimbay
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The original steam beer. Right on, textbook to style as hoped/expected.

Appearance is dark golden honey color, noticable clarity, excellent head/retention & lace.
Aroma is distinct. Noble/Euro hop spice.
Tastes as it smells on a semi sweet pale malt backbone.
Medium body, medium+ carbo.
Overall a very nice balanced brew, along with a sneaky hop bite. I like it. (364 characters)

Photo of badgustav
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - clear, crisp, lightly red in color. Not a lot of head
Aroma - toasted malt, light on the nose.
Taste - sharp, malty, underlying copper note of hop bitterness. Fascinating without being too complex
Feel - rich, slightly coating
Overall- a very nice and unique lager (272 characters)

Photo of edbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, the carbonation in this is amazing, like champagne. I had heard of this forever before I tried it and I wasn't disappointed.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice head creamy head. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Malty with some floral tones that I pick up, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer.

T & M: This is one fine brew, one of my faves that I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Taste is wonderfully balanced, malt up front with nice finish of slight bitterness and floral tones. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

D: Highly drinkable and sessionable. One
of my faves.

Serving type: bottle (612 characters)

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