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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,088 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4088
Reviews: 1816
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 4,088 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Kemmerlin


4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2008 16:24:43 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of WaveRebel51


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many years ago, I sampled this and didn't think much of it. But proving that your palate improves with age, I tried this again and came away very impressed. Seems to be a nice hybrid of an ale and a lager -- has that crisp clean finish you find in lagers, but the taste of esters you find in ales.

On tap, the sweet malt taste seemed to be more prevalent, and the hop bitterness more prevalent out of the bottle. Either way, this is a very
easy drinking session-type beer. Has that "liquid bread" quality to it and being that its from 'Frisco, I can't wait to try it with some good sourdough bread.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2008 19:45:16 | More by WaveRebel51
Photo of JDV


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank this one in the dark in at the Almamo Drafthouse movie theatre, so I didn't see the color, but have had it on tap at Anchor's tour as well. Very nice and fragrant hoppiness, but not overly so. Taste is good, with a good bitter kick and hoppy floraly citrusy taste but with some definite maltiness in there too. I was expecting more hoppy bitterness from what I remember of the first time I had this beer, but was pleased at the amount it had, and the reasonable lasting hoppy aftertaste. I liked this beer, and especially the Anchor Porter these guys make, which is one of my favorites. I look forward to trying more from them.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 18:43:38 | More by JDV
Photo of Redrover


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap at the Reel Club a new high end seafood restaurant in Oak Brook, IL

Served in a modified pilsner glass (very wide), the beer is a clear bronze with a thickish creamy head. Not a ton of lacing.

The aroma is of floral hops, some malts and a cracker smell. Nice, fresh and nonassertive.

The taste is similar, slightly sweet, a little fruity and floral. Hints of nuts in the background with a bit of pear emerging late. Nothing overpowers you, but it is well put together.

The mouth is light and bright. This is a easy drinking beer. Would be easy to session of your not in the mood for a pallet burner. This beer is easy to pair with food, just avoid anything to spicy.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2008 02:06:19 | More by Redrover
Photo of elmore


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap and Cowboy Ciaos in Scottsdale, AZ. It was the only tap beer I saw in the establishment, as this is a wine bar. A very attractive beer. Nice amber color with a dense, pale 2 finger head and cascading carbonation. I couldn't distinguish this beer from a Sam Adam's Boston Lager on sight.

Smells of biscuity malt. Very slight floral hops aroma. Tastes of light malts with weak hops aftertaste that doesn't really linger.

Nice moderate carbonation. Light, effervescent, balanced, but kind of watery. Definitely a sessionable beer.

As this is among the first microbrews/craft beer, I have to think Sam Adam's was modeled after this beer, which the character of this beer reminds me of. A good sessionable beer that wouldn't be too offensive to a BMC drinker.

Just a solid beer. Nothing that really extreme, to impress me, but you really have to give this beer credit for starting the craftbeer/microbrew movement.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2008 06:06:21 | More by elmore
Photo of JamesS


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My new favorite lager. Anchor steam poured into the pint glass a great amber color, with some nice head and decent lacing. Very light scent, a nice mix of malts and hops, but not much there. Very good flavor, each taste seemed to bring out a hidden quality of the beer, with different swirls of hops or malts. Easily one of the smoothest beers I've ever had. (Have had it from the bottle, too, and not quite as smooth.) An excellent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2008 15:16:08 | More by JamesS
Photo of mltobin


3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at a bar in NYC.

A nice amber tone with a short head.
It had a pleasant smell, not overpowering.
The taste was clean can crisp, certainly not bitter.
A refreshing mouthfeel, no fowl aftertaste.
A higher than average drinkability, goes well with lighter dishes such as poultry and seafood.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2007 15:19:18 | More by mltobin
Photo of scout19d3


2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This draught beer was a mellow orange cloudy color upon arrival.

It smelled slightly sweet or faintly fruity.

The taste was better than I expected. A sweet and slightly sour presentation. Hard to place, but it improved sip after sip.

Drinkability will change dramatically, I suspect, to personal taste. I was satisfied by the time I finished the pint, but didn't feel the need to order it again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2007 02:01:18 | More by scout19d3
Photo of meechum


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured on tap at Taco-Mac into a pint tumbler. Poured amber with a nice off white head that fell quickly and left little lacing.

S - Not too much here a little hint of malt and hops but not very prominent

T - Good..a nice strong malty flavor with a good hop finish and a certain taste that I can only assume comes from the brewing as a steam beer..something I've never tasted before and quite frankly I guess just don't have the vocabulary for

M - Decent for a lager beer..nice carbonation

D - Overall a very drinkable beer..totally sessionable, I enjoyed it very much

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2007 03:19:48 | More by meechum
Photo of genog


3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Teds Montana Grill. I had a unique bison burger with guacamole and Jalapeno peppers on it. It was very good and interesting in flavor. I wish I could say the same about this beer on tap.

Poured a pale orange color with no head when this one was brought to the table. Smell is muted with some caramel malt and some faint honey scent. Taste is of sweet malt and very little bittering hops. Smooth carbonation, somewhat crisp.

I actually thought this beer was better in the bottle than on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2007 03:33:54 | More by genog
Photo of ryalmighty1


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer actually reminded me of a mild English Bitter almost. Had it at a local Ted's with a Bison Steak. Very good choice. On tap in an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Nice copper/caramel color to it. Small head that faded quickly. No lacing, but bubbly from good carbonation.

Smell: Earthy malts and wood notes, caramel. A little citrus, very fruity though.

Taste: Malty, but mostly a bitter, slighty citrus taste. Definitely could taste grapes in there for some reason.

Mouthfeel: Not really creamy, but smooth. High carbonation, very crisp. Good alternative to a macro brew.

Drinkability: Smooth enough to be enjoyable back to back, bitter enough to keep it from being a session beer for my tastes. I will definitely have this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2007 03:49:45 | More by ryalmighty1
Photo of Floydster


3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pint from Yard House in Newport Beach

Pour was a light brown color with a small silky white head

Smell was pretty strong and full of spice

Taste was a little too hoppy for what kind of beer it was, but smooth otherwise

Could drink a lot of these because of the low ABV and the lightness

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2007 02:36:01 | More by Floydster
Photo of YonderWanderer


3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear copper with a thin layer of head. Dissipates pretty quick and leaves little lacing.

S: Not much of an aroma. A slight hint of malt, but not much.

T: Decent - the malt hits you up front with a bit of sweetness. A slight hit of hops comes through near the end to leave a decent aftertaste. Well-balanced, but not anything spectacular.

M: A little thin, but not too bad overall. Decent carbonation.

D: This is definitely a session beer. Tastes good enough and low enough ABV that you could throw back a few of them. Not bad, but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2007 13:04:50 | More by YonderWanderer
Photo of cichief


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft, always a welcome favorite.

A- Pours a deep golden amber, with a nice tan head.

S- Scent of toasted malt and subtle hops.

T- Toasted barley, very biscuity, a very clean, balanced flavor.

M- Well carbonated, not too bubbly, thin to medium on the tongue.

D- A super beer to spend a session with, tasty, but not overly done.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2007 02:59:55 | More by cichief
Photo of jackorain


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Amber color and very clear. 1/2 inch off-white head (no lace) fell to thin ring in a few moments

S-Sweet carmel malt, faint spicy, green hops and lager yeast

T-Lager yeast, spicy hops with a mild bitterness that linger a few moments after the swallow.

M-Nice lager zingy carbonation. Light body a little fizzy

D-Very drinkable could easily be a session of not a lot else was available

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2007 20:58:48 | More by jackorain
Photo of BBM

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden yellow, with a thin white head. Aroma was slightly spicy, slightly grassy, but mostly malty.

This is the consummate pale lager. A wonderful balance between the sugary malt and the slightly spicy hops makes this a pleasure to drink. You can tell why this one kicked off a revolution. If you've never tried it, you're missing out. A dependable beer I could have anytime.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2007 16:08:26 | More by BBM
Photo of icemonkey908


4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented from the tap in a pint glass. Very clear with an amber hue and a couple fingers of head. The beer smells like bread with hints of fruit. Wow, the taste is very refreshing, clean, fresh, and crisp. This is a wonderfully drinkable beer. I don't know how I missed this one for so long!

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2007 02:15:32 | More by icemonkey908
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a beautiful dark brownish amber, while head is thin but fine. Aroma is weak but pleasant, decidedly malty. (However, my allergy was acting up some when I tried this.) Flavor is rich, malty and bitter with a snipped of fruit undertone. Jazzy, zingy, nice and rough, it is a pleasant and refreshing, if not spectacular, lager.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2007 20:29:51 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Illini5596


4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2007 04:28:05 | More by Illini5596
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance -Copper color, with a nice white head and lacing.

smell - Citrus smell to it. amd some malt.

taste - Has a fruit tate to it, little dry, and slight bitter at the end.
mouthfeel medium body

drinkability - Great beer, had this on tap at a new place that opened up. Nice beern selection too.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2007 17:28:08 | More by auxiliary
Photo of Dubbercody


3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's a good beer, yeah, time to review the stuff that usually gets passed over because it's good, solid brew, but not one that I would not normally pick up a sixer of, but you know it's on tap at my favorite BBQ restaurant.

Copper, white head,sightly tart first taste that pops out into a great malty. Easy to drink, tasty and like I said, a solid great brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2007 02:53:48 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange/yellow, with some haze and a fluffy white head. The head lingered for a while, but didn't last more than half the drinking time.
Smells of sweet malt, some citrus and a bit phenolic.
Tastes like a dry lager. Mostly malt and biscuit, yet a bit dry due to the hops. Some floral and diacetyl, but that may be due to the tap lines.
Crisp feel, especially if its colder. A nice low alcohol brew. Should try it again in the summer

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2007 04:16:53 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of zuggy9


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was recommended to me and I was quite happy about it. It pours a dark amber with a little head and some crowning after it thins. The smell is very woody with subtle malt and hops. The taste is rather light, but with some good hops and is quite dry. It's fairly medium-bodied and refreshing. Very drinkable and pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2007 04:18:23 | More by zuggy9
Photo of bacabuck


3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pilsner style glass. Clear dark amber in color. Minimal head with good lacing on glass as it is drank. Smell of malted barley and hops, trace of banana. Flavors of molasses and coffee. Good mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Definitely can drink more than a few of these without realizing it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2007 06:35:11 | More by bacabuck
Photo of micro108


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a mid-amber color, and has a firm, thick bubbly head. It is mildly-carbonatedand and has a pleasant citrusy hop smell. A quick sniff in the glass reveals a touch of grainy malt and a more floral character to the hops. In the mouth it is not too lively, with the flavor dominated by a firm bitterness, displaying the floral hop character noticed in the nose - the citrusy character is there too, but becomes more subdued as the beer warms in the glass. It is balanced by a dryish but rich malt body, with a caramelly, burnt touch. Finish is a bitter blend of burnt caramel and hops, leaving a lingering bitter and slightly cloying aftertaste on the tongue. A great beer - one of the better-known American craft brews, but deserving of its popularity.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2006 00:05:15 | More by micro108
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,088 ratings.