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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,085 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4085
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: 4,085 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ilikebeer03
ilikebeer03

Texas

3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a nice burnt orange. About a finger of head which has nice retention. Lacing is nothing special, but solid retention, like I said. Nice crist, clear appearance. Nose and mouth are very similary. very malty, earthy, biscuity, bready upfront. a slight hop presence. Very crisp. Pretty good mouth feel. the bready - biscuity taste lingers for awhile. Overall, pretty good. This was one of the very first craft beers that I ever had and I distinctly remember disliking it. That was at least 5 or 6 years ago. Anyway, suprised to find myself enjoying now the second time around.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 22:15:00 | More by ilikebeer03
Photo of Hops4Pops
Hops4Pops

Texas

4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 00:04:20 | More by Hops4Pops
Photo of JeremyAnaya
JeremyAnaya

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a delicious piece of history.

All beer lovers out there should pick up "The Audacity of Hops" by Tom Acitelli. A wonderful story of the trips and triumph of craft beer in America. You'll also learn a lot about Anchor, one of our nations oldest and boldest breweries.

Anyways...

Find it, Drink it, Love it

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 04:27:33 | More by JeremyAnaya
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear amber with creamy white head. Great retention and lacing. Visible carbonation aids

S- a very pleasant caramel with a light hops background

T- nice caramel malt foreground with mild earthy hops background

M-thinner but right to style

O- the granddaddy of craft does not disappoint

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 21:06:08 | More by delta490
Photo of BVukelich
BVukelich

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the stubby 22 into glass. It created a light tan, 1-finger head. A little darker head and color than I remembered. It's been a long time since I've had this one. The creamy head lingers nicely and leaves very decent lace. I honestly didn't pick up much on the aroma, slight hops. The beer is very dry, skews malty but leaves a pronounced bitterness. Clean finish. It is busy in the mouth and appears very lively in the glass with its active carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 01:56:26 | More by BVukelich
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant golden copper with a dense light khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lines of lacing.

Toasted nutty malt and caramel are met with light fruity yeast esters. Earthy and floral hops are subtle. There's a metallic note present.

Flavor follows suit, with lightly fruity esters underlying a rich, nutty, toasted, slightly caramelly sweet backbone, which becomes bready and dry at the finish. There's a slight touch of earthy bitterness, with the metallic character lingering in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with a moderate, prickly carbonation.

The metallic note is offputting, and I know the esters are a byproduct of fermenting lager yeast at ale temperatures, but it's still a weird combo. Great malt backbone, and fairly refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 00:35:09 | More by barczar
Photo of BoldRulerVermont
BoldRulerVermont

Vermont

3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a snifter.
A nice light amber color with moderate bubbly head.
Smells are light malts and light caramels.
Tastes is malt forward and refreshing. Classic, crisp malt forward taste.
Mouthfeel is clean and crisp.
Overall, this is a unique and distinct brew. Tastes like a classic with good flavor and mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 13:45:40 | More by BoldRulerVermont
Photo of JeanDuteau
JeanDuteau

Alberta (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've been drinking Anchor Steam Beer for awhile as my "what is that beer?" of choice, i.e. the ones that get my friends talking when I pull it out.

Upon pouring, it has a nice Amber colour with a decent head. There is not a lot of carbonation bubbles but it still has some kick when drinking it. It smells quite crisp and has a little bitterness to it. You can taste some of the hops, but it is not overpowering. There is a bit of an aftertaste but nothing bad. You can feel the beer on the front and back of the mouth.

I would suggest this as a nice beer to try if you want some hops but don't want to go all crazy with an American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 21:23:06 | More by JeanDuteau
Photo of admiral
admiral

Australia

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

A solid beer with a rich taste and look - recommended as a session beer

aroma: fruity caramel sums it up

taste: a rich taste with grapefruit, spice, pepper, plum, white wine and slight citrus, slight banana with some nice malt to balance it out

a nice beer but nothing that makes it outstanding - solid and tasty

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 06:40:36 | More by admiral
Photo of Aaron_Ramson
Aaron_Ramson

California

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Small head that dissipated quickly and an amber body with excellent clarity. Nose to the bottle, smells like grain husk, cereal, a slightly medicinal, rubbing-alcohol scent detected. Taste is extremely clean; caramel and toasted grains up front with a slightly herbal bitterness at the end. Highly carbonated with a medium thin mouthfeel. Well balanced, tasty and extremely satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 20:34:17 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of Petey_Ruggs465
Petey_Ruggs465

Michigan

4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Had an orange/amber color to it with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: A good balance of some hops and malt, other than that, there wasn't a whole lot.

Taste: A nice malt backbone that is complemented nicely with a little hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, smooth, and drinkable

Overall: A great lager. I would have no problem buying a six pack of this when I come across it. I definitely recommend this beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 20:14:55 | More by Petey_Ruggs465
Photo of Maninthearena
Maninthearena

Minnesota

3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Effervescent with a foamy head as advertised. Bronze translucent color with fine rising carbonation.

Nose- Pale and biscuity malts float over the top, malt drink like. Some pale floral elements.

Taste- A little toastedness and some more malt, but not too sweet. A good balance of mellow hop flavor throughout the sip. A pithy/earthy bitterness. Some spice and pepper components in the mix. Some caramel malt blends nicely with the hop oils.

Mouthfeel- Probably my favorite component of this brew, great texture and drinkability. Crisp while maintaining a smooth quality. Creamy without feeling heavy, surprising given the fine carbonation.

Overall- My first steam beer, so nothing really to compare it too. Although compared to other lagers, it is a very natural feeling beer. Not too many crazy flavors, just a good clean well crafted lager.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 03:11:52 | More by Maninthearena
Photo of Scipio
Scipio

Mississippi

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 16:13:14 | More by Scipio
Photo of tmm313
tmm313

Georgia

3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a bright transparent amber with 1/2 finger head. Dissipates pretty quickly. Good lacing.

Smell: Was not expecting this in the least. Pear, apple, caramel, slight citrus hops and sweet spiciness. Just a touch of booze. It reminds me of a sweet white wine.

Taste: Bready with slight caramel malt. Finish is a rush of sweet pear, apple juice, piney hops, and soft pepper.

Mouthfeel: Super light and refreshing with crisp carbonation. Dry finish with bready, fruity and peppery aftertaste.

Overall: This one caught me completely off guard. I was expecting a lager and got something more similar to a fruit beer. And a pretty good one, too. Hot summer days beg for this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 23:48:45 | More by tmm313
Photo of MrBoz21
MrBoz21

Colorado

3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 40 degree bottle into pint glass.

Poured with white cap that quickly dissipated into a thin ring around the glass. Lacing quickly fell and all trace of head was gone before glass was empty. Color is pale amber with gold hue. Crystal clear and effervescent.

Aroma is faint and crisp – biscuit and caramel malt with very little detectable hops. Bits of fruity ester.

Mouthfeel is dry and thin. Heavy carbonation tingles and leaves a saltiness.

Taste is dry and caramel with raison notes. Finishes with noble-like alpha acid that lingers on back of tongue.

Overall: This is a crisp and refreshing beer that is definitely sessionable. Really stood out from the crowd of American Lagers during its time, but now is relatively non-distinct.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 01:06:30 | More by MrBoz21
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle says: 3L9. So if Raul can compute his shiz, this thang is about 6 months old. Although Raul digresses, he can move on.

Light like my baby mama in a corset, and a bit sweet like my baby mama's mama when she cooks Raul cookies for Columbus Day.

Make Raul want to set sail in search for new lands? Anchor does not. But take a lil hottie down to my docked Santa Maria and tip a few back? Yes, yes Raul would.

Peace!

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 02:59:45 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of TJ_B
TJ_B

Iowa

3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not a lager person in general and so It's not entirely fair for me to review this beer, but oh well. The beer has excellent dark amber color and has an excellent aroma. It is a somewhat thick lager so the mouth feel wasn't what I expected. I really don't like wheat beers and the taste, again it's a lager so maybe it's not ideal that I delve into this, was very wheat-like. The beer starts off decent, but through the heavy mouthfeel and thick grain taste I normally call it good after one. Most anyone else reviewing this beer raved about it so it's probably just me, but this isn't a "go to" beer for me, but I'll drink it if it's this or commercial beers available.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 04:17:54 | More by TJ_B
Photo of Huffs
Huffs

New York

3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a sam adams glass, a nice, off white, head developed with mild retention and lacing. Appearance was clear with a golden / orange color. Nice fruity aroma with spice notes. Tasted hoppy and light up front with floral and fruity notes, light caramel on the back. Medium mouthfeel with a light, dry aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 21:35:20 | More by Huffs
Photo of MistahBeah
MistahBeah

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear amber with some mild carbonation. Fluffy cream white head. Thick retention around the rim. Some sudsy lacing

Smells of grains, yeast, some semi-sweet fruits. Bready. Floral and grassy hops. Metallic

Taste is very bready. Fresh white bread so thick you can chew it. Caramel malts then spicy grains and yeast to balance. Hops presence is of wet grass. Some metallic notes here as well

Feels creamy and smooth. Dry. Full

Overall an interesting beer. Not usually one for lagers but I'll give everything a shot. Would get again if the mood struck me

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 06:30:36 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head Glass

A - medium gold pour with a dense two finger off white head, great retention, and an average amount of lacing left behind.

S - nose is pine, fruit, and spicy hops.

T - fairly dry taste, a little yeasty with some metallic notes, and a spicy hop finish

M - good carbonation with a bit of an aftertaste

O - classic beer, okay but I don't consider it a treat.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 02:41:46 | More by Mojo
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (code says 3G9) into a nonic glass.

A-A normal pour produces about two fingers of dense, off-white foam. Retention is decent and little flowers of head remain on the top of the beer for more than two minutes. Not much lacing left on the glass, however. There are a few chunky bubbles visible in the mostly-clear orange/tawny liquid.

S-The smell is a bit earthy with mildly sharp, grassy hops and bread-crust and cracker flavors verging into semi-caramel and fruit. The aroma is nothing special, but not bad for the style.

T-The taste is a bit grainy and the light-caramel malts carry through from the nose to the palate. There is also a bit of light fruit sweetness. Hops are mild, and of the grassy, earthy variety.

M-The brew is wonderfully drinkable. Heft is light to moderate with crisp, bubbly, chunky carbonation that never feels fizzy or soda-like.

O-I'm glad I finally got around to reviewing this classic. It is lighter and more quaffable than I remember, but a a great example of this style nonetheless. At times, it reminded me of an English mild and other times of a German Pilsner. The whole package is a bit rustic, but the easy drinking nature of this brew would make a great session/football watching beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 03:12:25 | More by spoony
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into tulip from bottle a beautiful clear copper with small white head. Aroma of sweet mild malt, pears, some florals. Flavor is admittedly mild but definitely session able. Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Sweet malts and light fruits with a slightly unpleasant finish. Finally tried this and it is not too bad. Better sessionable brews though.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 22:50:26 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice amber-copper color with a big billowy just off white head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, very slowly fading over about a 5-10 min time period to leave a light level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is mainly a mix of some more grainy smells mixed with a caramel sweetness. Along with these aromas there are some lighter hop smells of an earthy nature and a bit of grass.

Taste – The taste begins with a dry bready and grainy flavor with a bit of an earthy taste. There is a light caramel sweetness throughout the taste that is most intense at the beginning (although still very light) which almost disappears toward the end of the taste. While the taste has a hop bit at the start with the earthy tastes, more hop of a grassy and light citrus nature come to the tongue bittering the taste as it moves on. Some woody flavors come to the tongue more toward the end of the taste, with the combination of flavors leaving a rather dry, malty and decently bitter flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is average to just above average. Both the moderate body and carbonation are rather good for the mix of dry and bitter flavors, making it a good easier drinking brew.

Overall – A nice dry tasting steam beer that is very easy to drink. A good go too for something on the lighter side.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 00:33:33 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of beyah
beyah

Maine

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a Belgian goblet.

A- Deep copper color, head lasted only a few minutes with a little lacing.

S-Has a smell reminiscent of east coast ales of old.

T- Bittering Hops show right out front and followed by some malt sweetness, but somehow finishes dry.

M- Has a smooth mouthfeel, carbonation does not get in the way.

Overall- Good beer for watching a ballgame, with lots of hop and malt character. Best with strong flavor foods.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 23:44:19 | More by beyah
Photo of Ac2013
Ac2013

Virginia

3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. Small, quickly receding head soon left after the pour. Initial smell is complex, but the combination of hops and floral tones makes it pleasant. The taste is sharp, but I think it lacks a full flavor. It is still very good though. A very sessionable beer as the palate is clean after drinking. A historic brew and certainly worth the try.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 23:30:00 | More by Ac2013
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,085 ratings.