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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: 5,577
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 190
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: 1,947 | Hads: 5,577
Photo of codekiln
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, large head, ruby color, clear, decent lace

Metallic, slightly sweet, a little sour (like a midwestern silo)

Balanced, not too hoppy; berry notes, gentle, deliciously bitter finish

Bubbly and smooth


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Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale, clear light coppery color with a medium sized cap of off-white dense smooth foam. Settles down slowly to a healthy slim skim and collaring. Drippy lace with some globs sticking.

Aroma is softly clean and grainy with a slight toastyness; creamy, earthy tones keep underneath with a great fresh breadiness displayed on the nose the whole time.

Great fresh flavors, lightly malty with a nudging sweetness always peeking through with what tends to be an always present, fine bready toastyness. Creamy and lightly earthy with a tender texture and easy going malt base. The grain flavors are nicely handled with an eager mildness that lasts a long time. Finishes earthy with a slight grassy edged hoppyness floating along the end of the bready stuff. A great Steam beer by the innovators of the style, Anchor.

Sessionable by the gallons!

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Photo of avwrite
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice caramel look. A bit fizzy but also crisp.

S - Sweet smell. Smells are a mixture of molasses and honey.

T - Nice sweet. Surprisingly flavorful given. No bitterness detected.

M - Perfect for summer. Light feel.

O - A local favorite and the perfect beer for a hot day.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into mug.

A- Copper color with thick chunky head.
S- Malty aroma
T- Very bitter at first taste which was surprising. Faded into an easy malt sweeteness. Very well balanced.
M- Good carbonation and the flavor stays with you.
D- Could drink this all day long.

The best of the easy to find micros in my opinion. One of my favorites and it seems to be getting easier to find in Tennessee.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm very partial to Anchor Steam, but I'll try to be as objective as possible here.

Dark copper color with a 1 1/2" tan head. Good retention. The smell while it is cold is just a waft of a little malt and citrus aroma. But as it warms up a bit the malt aroma sweetens to almost an candyish degree. Either way the taste is clean with a short-medium finish. There is a mellow caramel apple flavor to it. The drinkability is exceptional and it would pair well with a wide range of foods.

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Photo of moocey
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

God Bless Fritz Maytag.

The commercial beer selection in Auburn, AL is dismal, if not abysmal compared to most anywhere else in America. (I say "commercial beer" because Auburn has a brewpub, of all things. And I homebrew.) Anyway, three quality microbrews make it to Auburn, and Anchor is one of them. Anchor steam can be found in just about every grocery store, amidst the pretend real beers such as Redhook and Flying Dog. If I'm out of my own stuff, and I want to have a good beer sitting at home after work - oftentimes it's Anchor Steam because Anchor Brewing and their 50 employess get beer from San Fran all the way to here.

Appearance - Just your average beautiful amber I'd expect from a beer like this. Good, but nothing special.

The smell is overwhemingly malty

As indicated by the smell, Big and malty up front. Is there something lemony/fruity there as well? Great dry grassy hop finish that balances out the malt perfectly. Mouthfeel is full and kinda creamy. This beer can be different from sip to sip. Lately when I have one of these the flavors all seem to run together rather, rather than having a beginning, middle, and end. Definately some lemony esters up front. One of my few fallbacks.

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Photo of fakedelight
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a light amber with a three-finger white fluffy head that lasted about half way. Tons of bubbles race to the top of the glass.

Smells of hops and sweet malt.

Tastes slightly grainy, slightly sweet with a touch of hop flavor and a little bitterness. The finish is a little more bitter. Extremely balanced.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick, but not syrupy. Very full, which is complimented by the high carbonation.

This is possibly the most balanced beer I have ever had. It is a great session beer, but is also satisfying enough to have just one.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Some light biscuit malts a very small tad of grain and a slight herbal/floral hop. Sweet bready/biscuit malts with an herbal/floral hop. It definitely seems like an old fashioned beer for lack of a better way to put it because it does have a bit of that grainy malt flavor but the richness of the malt and hop character definitely put it above your average macro. As the beer warms the biscuit sweet malt comes out and reminds me of a samuel adams lager. Very drinkable and a full body for only a 4.9 percent. Definitely an artfully crafted beer.

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Photo of elniko
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

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, only complaint is high cost of six pack here in Texas.

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Photo of jamiejohnson
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I genuinely love this beer. Super session craft brew that's smooth and super tasty. But to be honest I'm rating it so high because of the pioneer factor. I'm 55 yrs old and to anyone else who endured the fizzy 70's and 80's, especially in a rural area like where I grew up - you know what I mean. Fritz and Homebrew Charlie P saved the day and instigated the craft beer gold rush. Nowadays there's literally thousands of excellent brews out there. Thank you so much Anchor Brewing

Way back then
I drank pee
Anchor Steam
Set me free

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Photo of T100Mark
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - The classic 12 ounce brown bottle in a shaker pint glass (the bottle looks so cool).

Appearance - A perfect copper color. I wish the beer left a little more lace around the inside of the glass however.

Smell - Good.

Taste - Flavorful. The beer has a slight botanical flavor. The balance between malt and hops is ideal. Very drinkable!

Mouth - Tart yet clean.

Overall - This is the first micro brew I remember being aware of (as a young boy, I watched my father drink one at Fisherman's Wharf). Yes, I'm a little biased. I love this beer.

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Photo of Enrico_il_octovo
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good beer. The Quintessential California Beer. A tan to amber color with a good foamy head. Lots and lots of aroma and the taste is equally strong and fruity with caramel and coffee undertones. had it on tap and out of the bottle. It's a great beer. I first drank this beer in 1987 and it's still a great beer. If you're an Ale fan you'll like this gem from the city by the Bay.

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the most accessible beers around, I absolutely love it. Everytime someone comes over, it's served. I had to remember to hide a few, so that I could actually review it before having to satisfy grandpa's never ending thirst.

The color first off starts as a very deep ruby hue, but it reaches a nice clear bourbon once it touches light. Like little sea monkeys racing towards the surface, the carbonation never stops. A pasty head, & a twingle in my nose. Smells like stepping outside into a bushy backyard garden. Add in some granny smith apples, & maybe even some candied ginger with a bunch of extra crusty sugar.

The carbonation holds your tongue in place while everything works around. Pumpernickel is just everywhere. Spread along the top is some sweet butter. More of the fresh butter taste, & not the slick greasy feel, as this beer is nice & sharp. A little puckering sensation at the end. Nothing too intense or alienating. Very unique. Lovely.


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Photo of JimBird
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't reviewed in a while; this is a good one to get back into it with:

Poured a pale amber color, with a decent head. Bright, hoppy aroma hit my nostrils as soon as I had poured it, with a hint of sweetness.
The taste is amazingly caramel-like. It doesn't taste as hoppy as it smells, but the flavor is there. Very good balance.
Slightly fizzy mouthfeel that adds a little prick to the character; best served ice cold.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer suprisingly more than I thought I would. Thumbs up!

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Photo of jack11c
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours great!! beautiful light amber grain color. tiny bubbles

smells maltey. caramel. sweet and a lil pungent

tastes great. hops, grain, and a lil iron on the back of the tongue

drinks great. like a true American Original microbrewery

reminds me of summer :)

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Photo of semihobo
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice head over a light brown body. Classic good looks, only head retention could be better.

Smells of peppery hops and a mix of grains. Very clean.

Taste is a rich medley of grains, from start to finish, complemented by peppery hops. The finish is pleasantly crisp with a goodbye kiss from the hops that fades to a lingering starchiness. A rich nuttiness persists throughout.

Vigorous, peppy carbonation is suitable for the flavor. Brisk but not distracting or overpowering.

I've had Anchor Steam before and didn't find it that impressive... now I'm not sure how I missed it. Sit down with a pint and look closely. A gem. Incidentally, reminds me of several Saranac beers -- if you like those, check this out. Now to find another steam beer to compare...

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Photo of Wasatch
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. One of the first micro's I bought in CA. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a nice head, but does not last long, very light lacing if any at all. Nice malty scent with a great light taste. I really enjoy this beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Franziskaner, one of the bests readily available beers you can buy. Anchor Steam pours a very nice red amber color along with a off white head that sticks around till you finish your pint. That ante's up the respect right there! The smell is floral and has an awesomely balanced complexion of hoppy bitterness and malt. Reminds me a lot of a Sam Adams Boston Lager, but with more flavor and craft. The taste is orgasmic in words. Has a carmel-like initial flavor and then heeds way to the malt, which is quite sweet. The mouthfeel is nice and heavy, makes you think twice about it being a lager! Drinkability is that of a hefe in my opinion, very smooth and balanced. The steaming process leaves it wickedly smooth, and I love it! Anchor pretty much re-invented this style of beers from the grave, and it’s added quite a unique beer to the styles of beer from around the world. It has the character of a hefeweizen and Vienna lager, which is a good mix to go with! Very tasty indeed.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having this one at my bud Ralph's house out here in San Diego. Poured with a giant foamy, frothy, sudsy, cream colored head, that lasts a while, good lacing, and lots of big bubble trails. Color is a clear orange amber. Aroma is burnt sugar, caramel, malt, minerals, and hop with a bit of fruit. Flavor's the same way. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. First started drinking this in the early 80s and it doesn't seem to have changed a bit. Great beer! Session.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orangish amber body with tight, foamy-creamy (because it's kinda both), off-white head. Good retention. Carbonation looks pretty lively. Lookin forward to this one.

Smell: Mint, leafy hops, sweet wood (hickory?), and spice. Sweet malts throughout, but some nice, spicy, leafy hops level things out.

Taste: This is a new found love for me. I've had Anchor Steam many times in the past and never remeber it being this good. The same aromas detected in the nose come to life in the taste; mint leaves, grain, and spicy hops steal the show. Citrus can also be found, expecially toward the end. Delicious, balanced, and totally unique. This is a must try.

Mouthfeel: Genrously carbonated (as are most of Anchor's beers), very creamy, and uber smooth. A sturdy malt backbonve gives the imbiber something to chew on. Finishes crisp with some light bitterness.

Drinkability: I'll be buying this again, and again, and again. I feel like this deserves an even better grade than A, but I'll change it in the future if need be. This is a classic and a must try.

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Photo of airforbes1
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out a deep orange red and gives off a grassy aroma. The taste starts crisp, builds a slight apple-y taste, and finishes with some piney hops which linger on the tongue and strengthen as the beer warms. Even though the head quickly disappears, there's enough carbonation that leave me burping for a while. While this is not a particularly strong brew, it's more complex than one might suspect.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There is no beer in the world like Anchor Steam, and any attempt at making another steam beer has fallen well short of the high mark Anchor has set with this one. The California Common style is not one that will have any sort of worldwide presence, and you see on the style page how big of a gap there is in total reviews between Anchor Steam and whatever the #2 is. Anchor Steam is so unique and so good, that the style is basically named after it.

It's got a nice grainy smell. A powerful hop bitterness up front that mellows out with excellent malts and a mild fruitiness. That's the simplest way of explaining it, but really you won't have any idea what to expect. It's a beer in a league of its own. Maybe it's not for everyone, but everyone needs to try it.

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Photo of Arno
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Bright orange. Lovely sugary broken white foam with great lacing.

smell: I get dark honey / nectar. Sweet grains and malts. Surprisingly i'm not getting much hop smell from it.

taste: It has a grainy dark honey sugary base flavor with some bittering hops through it to balance it out. The hops mellow out during the finish, leaving the lovely sweet malts and nectar like texture.

mouthfeel: Brilliant. Nectar like velvet. Syrupy. Very smooth and round. With some medium carbonation to freshen it up.

overall: It's not a very complex beer, but it does everything right. It's somehow quite sugary in texture, yet the hops gives it a nice light bitter kick. It's just a joy to drink and not one to over think ;)

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Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my birthday presents was a six pack of Anchor Steam. Awesome present. Take note.

12 oz adorable stubby bottle into Sam Adams glass.

I don't really feel like talking about the individual qualities of this beer. It's a delicious beer of an authentic original American style. It's hoppy and satisfying, yet light and thirst quenching. Spicy and a little fruity, yet also clean and crisp. A classic, and something I can drink almost all the time. If you're reading this and haven't tried it yet, do it!

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Photo of jmbranum
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The numerical score above is from my most recent tasting.

January 28, 2013: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass as a very attractive clear copper color with a generous off-white rocky head.

Aroma is grain, dirt and hops.

Flavor is crisp and very dry. More hops than I remembered. Some wheat bread notes. A tiny bit of sweetness. Very well balanced.

Medium to full mouthfeel.

Review of 1-6-2008 : AP 4.0/ AR 4.5/ F 4.5 / MF 4/ OA 4.5
poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Lori's diner in ghiradelli's square in san francisco.

clear amber with fluffy head. nice malt rich aroma. flavor is extremely well-balanced bitter hops and malt. one of the most balanced beers of my recent recollection.

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