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: 821 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,380 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of Beer_Loving_Brandon
2.47/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An average beer. Nothing special. Has a slight skunkish smell and taste to it. Lacks depth. Drinks smoothly with moderate/light carbonation. Aftertaste is not very pleasant, but not harsh.

Photo of avaulteriam
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Certainly not my style at all. Smells of some sweetness and soap? Very malty with weird lager-esque taste predominant. Similar to Kolsch styles. Contrary to some, I didn't think immediately of an ale. Definitely not the smoothest or most likable in my opinion

Photo of jar2574
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not impressed with the appearance. A tiny amount of head formed, and then disappeared quickly. What remains is a flat looking, orangish beer.

Metallic fruity smell.

Not a good beer. Malty, musty taste with a sickly aftertaste than just hangs on your tongue.

Better than a macro-brew, because at least it has a distinctive taste. But not better by much.

Photo of Anthony1
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass

This beer was also an upset. I have never had a steam beer before, so perhaps i am missing the point of the style. Pours a lighter amber color with a terrible head that quickly disappeared and left no signs for its existance. The aroma was very basic with no specific smells. The taste was similar. There were no distinct flavors, mild hoppiness and malt. Felt light but had no redeeming features. I didn't want to finish the beer, but i did in hopes it would get better toward the end... it didn't

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.51/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with an overabundance of white foam. The aroma is kinda hoppy but bland. The taste has a tartness that I don't find appealing, like it's meant to be acidic instead of build character. The finish is tart leaving a somewhat nasty aftertaste. No me gusta. Drain pour.

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours dark amber with a large white head.
Nose shows grainy malt, cardboard notes, soft spicy hops and a bit of wholegrain bread.
Slightly better flavours, more malt. Other than that, not much difference.
Body seems watery.
Not sold on this at all.

Photo of TheHammer
2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Given that Anchor was the original steam beer, I'm going to try to use as many sea and sailing comparisons as I can in this review.

Appearance: This Lager pours with a frothy white layer of sea foam, an eighth of a span high which sticks to the side of the of the glass like a few stray barnacles to a ship. It lingers decent enough, as ample carbonation arise from bronze depths, coloured as the sky at sunset. A bit more lacing and retention is needed though.

Smell: What a happy coincidence, as this smells like what I would expect spiced grog to smell like. A great deal of yeasty spice with a bit of orange scent (perhaps to fight the scurvy?) and a light toasted bread touch. It warms the heart, but it's about as tame as still water.

Taste: Argh...we're running aground here. It sets sail to a calm sweet malt with orange notes, with only but a mild touch of yeast to warn you of the storm ahead. The beer turns to overpowering dry yeast that kills your thirst as sea water would. It ends as all who visit Davy Jones's Locker, with a bitter end as dry musty hop taste that is accented with sulphur that sinks the ship.

Mouthfeel: Well, the carbonation is good and the aftertaste lingers as long as a small boat's wake, which is good. However it leaves you as dry as the bones of dead men, left to bleach in the sun. Transitioning is a bit too abrupt for my liking.

Drinkability: This beer is quite possibly the only beer I've had that leaves you thirstier then when you started drinking it! It's light bodied and easy to keep down which is good if you are getting your sea legs, but not if you want to drink something. Too dry and about as satisfying as having to walk the plank.

Final Thoughts: Well, if you are on a boat with this stuff, I would suggest you follow the beer's namesake and pitch it overboard. It's like you found a treasure map, were overjoyed to a calm sea journey, only to toil through storms & pirates at great cost only to find that the treasure you found, didn't even cover the cost of the journey. Disappointing, although not unexpected I'd have to say. I knew Steam Beer had weird yeast so maybe it's just not the style for me. In conclusion, it won't leave you shanghaied, but don't expect smooth sailing so you'll want to pass.

Photo of magictrokini
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a medium white head. Corny, bready aroma with a fair amount of malt. Astringent metal and bread dough taste that has been watered down. The hops don't do much in terms of adding or detreacting from the beer. Sorry, this one is overhyped and watery.

Photo of D11
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from bottle into tulip

A- amber orange color with a one finger head that doesnt last long.

S- mostly malt. some yeast. this smelled close to what a 'regular' beer smells like.

T- taste followed the smell. i was rather dissapointed in the taste. was mainly kind of malty but rather runny and not enough flavor for me. if i wanted to drink a 'regular' beer or a 'lite' beer , this is just a notch above.

M- mouthfeel was probably the best thing i liked about this beer.

O- i did not enjoy this beer. maybe because i was expecting something different. i doubt ill buy it again but there may be some that will like this style. tastes like all the other beers out there i used to drink before i got into craft brew. i kinda feel like i would of enjoyed it more from the bottle perhaps.

Photo of Alexrdvz
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Too bitter for my taste. I had high hopes for this beer when I went to California, but after trying it I was disappointed. Might be good for people with a different taste. Not my cup of "beer"

Photo of wagenvolks
2.59/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Color is a golden-copper-amber mix with a moderate amount of cream head. Aroma has some vanilla, wheat, rice, and sour metallic notes. Very faintly reminds me of a budweiser. (not a good thing)

Taste has some maltiness to it, with a sour, astringent grassy hop note and a metallic copper flavor. It's overly carbonated with an unpleasant tasting hop/metal aftertaste. Not especially tasty or easy to drink. It sure looked good, but damn, I just don't see what everyone is nutting over with this one...

Photo of SteveTheDog
2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a pilsner glass and it looked very enticing with a big head and a lot of bright orange bubbling action. The smell was a little citrusy and a hint of pepper but the taste reminded me of eating soap, as did the mouthfeel. Maybe I'm just not a steam beer kinda guy but be that as it may, I didn't like this beer.

Photo of DerBayer
2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - slightly cloudy amber colour with a dark tinge

S - Hops, bitter nothing special

T - Little comlexity, little depth, quite bitter but nothing special

M - Dry ver dry, not refreshing leaves a dry / furry moutrhfeel

D - Not very high wouldnt really want to drink it again

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
2.61/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pretty average tasting beer, glad I only bought a single.

Photo of Vancer
2.61/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The ol’ standard, eh? Well, it did have a nice pour- amber /orange with a foamy tan head. Only a slight malt aroma. But the taste, not good. Not much in the way of malts or hop. Just some earthy, slightly bitter flavor. Kinda flat in the mouth. Boy, overall a dull & boring lager. Wasn’t’ offensive, but didn’t do anything for me.

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.64/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 2/5/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours an amber red colored body, with a big white head, that is somewhat diminishing. An aroma of malts, with some hops, but not very much aroma overall. A bitter taste, maltiness, and some sourness. Not very fizzy. Eh. Though I would like to try a couple more in this style before I judge based on just this one beer.

Photo of jahsausage
2.66/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I suspect that I have got myself a skunked bottle or something here, its had to come a long way you understand. On first pour the beer looked beautiful with a nice coppery colour and decent head and smelt mildly of malt & yeast (it reminded me of homebrew). The taste itself I found quite subdued, perhaps what would be expected in a kiwi/uk style mild ale but the aftertaste was not to my taste. I found it not only lingering but astringent and sourish like nothing I have tasted before bar homebrewing disasters. I think I am going to have to reserve my judgement on this one until I can try a (hopefully) fresher bottle.

Photo of merryjoulton
2.67/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber with light head that retains well and does a bit of lacing down the glass. Smell is interesting, clean malty bready character along with a slight hint of hops... a tad citrusy. Taste is disappointing, there is a strong bite that is very unpleasant but I can't put my finger on it. Mouthfeel and drinkability are ok.

Photo of GnomeKing
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The taste of the lager yeast is very prominent, reminding me of Yuengling Lager, especially toward the end of the pint, when the taste became heavy, dominant, and overwhelming. This beer just doesn't do it for me. There were some hints of strawberries and a tinge of malty sweetness on a few swigs when the pint was half full (or half empty, since I'm giving a negative review), but that was a brief respite from the experience of swigging this beer. Steam (aka California Common) is a style unto itself. I don't have much interest in it, based on this beer. It tastes more or less like a generic lager. I'm not surprised there aren't many brewers working in this style.

Photo of WonderWoman
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this beer in a bottle and it came with a frosty mug. Once in the mug, the beer looked a light amber. At first it had a nice frothy head that soon dissipated to nothing. It smelled of a fresh cut lemon and a bitter hops with a few oats in the background. The taste reminded me of a watery red grapefruit with a metallic aftertaste that lingered far too long. Lacking carbonation, this beer had a very thin mouth feel to it. Over all, I thought I could do with out ever drinking an entire bottle again. However, I could take a swig here and there with out being totally offended.

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper color with an off-white head. In the aroma, a sweet malt characteristic, and the same for taste, but with a dryer end. A sweet dryness left in the mouth. A very easy going, smooth beer. Lots of repect to Anchor, it got my parents to understand craft beer!

Photo of NatetheGreat
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I feel bad that I am not able to give this beer a very good rating, since from all the data, its a very historic, landmark, and highly favored beer. But I just didn't enjoy it. I tried it on six seperate evenings, and while some were a bit better than others, I never really enjoyed it much.

A: nice copper color, sudsy head, not much retention in pint glass.

S: malty, some hops, not much complexity. very straightforward.

T: predominantly malty, with bitter hops in background. back and forth between the two. can't rate this higher because no layering of flavors detected. very bland (not in a macro-American-lager way - it's strong, but bland, almost a stale taste).

M: heavy, thick.

D: hard to get through even one for me, because the taste is so laboreous.

Photo of TheChauffeur1
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a red gold with some orange color good white head with a little lacing. Not much smell to speak of. I try not to review beer styles I do not like, but I should like this one. Some really like this beer. IMO it is just a run of the mill beer. Its ok, but lacks any depth or real taste to speak of. I have had many a bottle and this beer is better on tap. You can do much better than this one. Later

Photo of JesseP09
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It is a decent beer. Nothing spectacular. The flavor and aftertaste are total putoffs though. At first it doesn't taste too bad but once you swallow it the taste is really off. I'm not a big fan of some beer that is "beer snob approved" and this is one of those.

Photo of johnnyschools3
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

This beer had the look and smell but the taste didn't tie them together. Kinda disappointed from the brewery reputation, the mismatch of favors got me.

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