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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

4,770 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,770
Reviews: 1,856
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 377 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,770 | Reviews: 1,856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of davidchollar
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i haven't reviewed them yet, but the anchor porter and liberty ale have really impressed me. this is a good beer that i never noticed at the store when i was in seattle, but for some reason is available here at the local grocery store as the only american beer other than bud !!!
looks a dark bronze, almost brown but kind of red. the head is thick and not white, damn near gray, anyway it only sticks around for a minute.
smells a little better than average, not bad but not great. not very hoppy, kind of sweet. actually, unfortunately it smells like a japanese beer, really reminds me of asahi super dry ... scary
tastes much better. this is obviously a well-made brew. a little more bitter than i expected. quite drinkable, i could have a few of these.

davidchollar, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of metallistout
4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

People have always recommended this one and now I can finally get it. Good beer.
Pours a lovely amber color with a creamy white head. You can smell the hops from the moment the bottle opens and once poured it mixes with a sweet malty tone.
Hops a major flavor with a sweet caramel taste, also a fruity flavor and finishes a little dry. I like this beer. Now I know why people have recommended it over the years.

metallistout, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of Oxymoron
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What is it about steam beers? Use lager yeast but ferment at normal temperatures more consistent with ales.

Anchor Steam, considered the granddaddy of steam beers pours a slight clear amber to off yellow shade with good head retention, nice carbonation and a slight lace to the glass. Do you think that Gottlieb Brekle imagine what he starte in 1854? The smell is stronger malt but limited hop and fruity esters are present.

The taste is a good combination of lighter malts with a full body flavor. Creamy almost but with a hint of caramel flavoring and then at the end a spicy kick. A small amount of floral is noticeable but you have to look for it. Anchor Steam is a nice summer beer and has a fantastic history. If you have the time I suggest to peak around their web site and check the history.

Oxymoron, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of ski271
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, medium copper with a small, off-white, foamy head that has very good retention. Some sparse, spotty lacing. The smell is of perfumy fruit and grain. The taste is rather mild and a bit sweet up front with a good balance and a pleasant fruity, lemony, light bitter finish. It has a thin-medium body, lightly dry texture, and moderate carbonation. There was a slight sourness in there that I didn’t care that much for, but otherwise this is a highly sessionable brew that I enjoyed.

ski271, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of radshoesbro
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is the classic anchor beer. i've had it many times in the past, but i've never actually rated it.

a - pours a clear copper with a good head and fantastic lacing!

s - reminds me of a pilsner. has bits of yeast and no real noticable hops.

t - this is a very unique tasting brew. the taste has bits of caramel with mild hops that give a nice bitterness. at points this brings to mind a belgian trippel.

m - nice medium body that is slightly tannic.

d - i couldn't drink as many steam beers as i could drink their liberty ale, but i could definately go through a few of these and be quite happy that i did!

radshoesbro, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours incredibly deep copper color with a finger of head taht falls slightly to a healthy foam over top. The nose is lightly grainy, light caramel. Overall, it is not an overly aromatic brew. Flavor is prominently grainy, with a light caramel. A light hop bitter hangs on the finish. Nothing really grabs me and keeps my interest, though this would be a good transition brew for those just fining craft beer. Feel is moderate with a very active bubble on my tongue. The beer is smooth and very easy to drink. I'm not the biggest fan of the grainy nature of it. There is nothing flawed in it, but I don't think I would buy this one again. It just doesn't do it for me.

kmpitz2, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, nice bronze color with an off white head.

Aroma is primarily grain, caramelized malt with just a bit of citrus and hops.

Taste is caramelly malt, citrus, pear, slightly sweet and earthy, with a nice citrus/hops finish.

Very smooth and drinkable. This would be an excellent "session" beer and should go well with almost any kind of food.

whynot44, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the tighter heads I've seen assembled. lacing was respectable. Beautiful shiney copper filtered appearance.

Bitter throughout. It's a light bitter though, lemon balanced with some sugar. Grassy, Earthy at points. Mouthfeel is intense carbonation, crisp, erratic. Its all over the place. Solid offering.

Anchor you son of a bitch you've done it again. Thanks.

DogFood11, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a tawny light brown with a vague clarity. A dense two finger head has nice retention and average lacing. Spicy hop nose with hints of lightly toasted sweet malt. I'd like to say the assertive hop bitterness is well balanced with the mildy vinous citrus flavor, but I can't judge the style until I review more of the same. I can say that the light body and medium carbonation make up a mostly smooth mouthfeel, but the spice/hop bite lingers and dries the finish enough to make the average rating for drinkability generous.

PBRstreetgang, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of BeerBeing
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown glass generic "fatty" bottle, multicolored on yellow label

Appearance: copper color, large off-white head, average lacing

Smell: malt and some caramel

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, strong bitter hoppiness, toasted malt, citrus

Notes: good all around beer, can't go wrong with it

BeerBeing, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of mattcrill
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is readily available...time to review the legend.

Appearance: Pours a crystal orange with a sudsy ivory head. The head fades to an ivory film.

Smell: Dense grains and fresh vegetables. My nose is overwhelmed by those two characteristics. It's like no other beer I've smelled before. Kind of cool and very unique.

Taste: Starts off kind of citrusy and then fades to dark grains quickly. Finished with a wheatbread kind of aftertaste. A little bit of hop bitterness here and there and usually at the beginning of each taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch oily with a longer finish.

Drinkability: Easily poundable. Nothing exciting and nothing off either. I've never had a "steam beer" before. Tastes like a solid lager to me. Lagers aren't my favorite but I'm glad to have tried this once.

mattcrill, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Steve's Liquor here in Madison. My first from Anchor and my first CA Common.

Pours a reddish/golden amber with a finger of khaki head and a bit of lacing. Smell is heavy on the toasted grain and caramel malts. Taste continues with the toasted barley malts, caramel, a sliver of citrus, and an elusive hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, medium bodied, and moderately crisp. Tastes like prototypical lager, a lot like Sprecher's lagers. Drinkable for days, but nothing too exciting. Never been much of a lager fan, but this was tasty enough I suppose. Enough character to keep me interested.

Golden2wenty1, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of MrBen
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been nearly a decade since I've had Anchor Steam. I revisted the classic this evening. The Steam poured a nice copper-like color with a proud head that left decent lacing early on. Initial smell is malty with a slightly bitter tang in the front. Same carried over to the taste. This is a very nice, straightforward, and historic American brew. It's a must try.

MrBen, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of jaluria
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with soapy foam that leaves behind bits of lacing. I detect a roasted, toasty character in the aroma along with a hint of nutmeg. First taste is unique to say the least; very distinct. Roasted malt is upfront with a pepper spice aftertaste. My mouth is left dry and refreshed, but this brew is rather biting (i.e. powerful and flavorful). Some bitterness in the tate, but not on the magnitude of a pale ale or IPA. Overall, a very good beer with an interesting history. Worth of a few pints.

jaluria, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of Gusler
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown stubby bottle a crystal clear deep amber with a personable creamy light tan head that last for eons before dissolving leaving a fine coating of lace to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp, clean on the palate, start is lightly sweet with the malt pleasant and the top light to medium in feel, Finish has a pleasing acidity and the hops delightful in their spicy presence, dry aftertaste, a pleasant beer on a still hot Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.

Gusler, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great!!! looking beer wth a full head and a clear dark coppery color..The smell is ok,a pretty full spice and ale mix with a malt backbone.The taste is a little bitter with malt and citrus flavors. The flavors are very unique. A can see myself having more than one of these tailgating perhaps.This goes down so easy I think I'll have another. Cheers.

jmz62565, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of texashammer
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Comes out of the tap impressively smooth and creamy. Transluscent orange color. Body is lighter than I would like, medium to light. The head is so creamy, and the mouthfeel and finish are silky smooth.
Smell is light and clean and understated. Nutty malt. I taste it and it really strikes me as bland; no hops to speak of. It is a very pleasant texture but boring flavor.

texashammer, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darker than expected, coppery brown with a dense off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a few spots of lace that are quickly washed off.

Aroma is mild and malty, toasty nuts, caramel, floral, citrus, and bread.

Flavor reminds me of a brown ale/marzen hybrid. Smooth caramel, nuts, faint cocoa, with plenty of floral and citrus hops to back it up. Almost a nasty aftertaste detracts points.

Between light and medium in body, softly carbonated, and easy to drink. I'll stick with my ales thank you.

AlexJ, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of trevorwideman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful copper colour, pours with just a finger of frothy head, carbonation not vicious, but very pretty. Smells hoppy sweet, caramel and citrus notes.

Taste is wonderfully hoppy, refreshingly bitter, and full of sour citrus, grapefruity...

Mouthfeel has a nice bite to it, sticks to the back of the throat. A very summery beer. This says "west coast" to me in a big way. Even though I haven't much experience with this style, I'm already a bit of a fan.

trevorwideman, Sep 07, 2005
Photo of BigBry
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Classic old style label and the stubby bottle, Anchor Steam is a classic example of the style. It pours a dark coppery orange color, clear and clean, with a short but thick head of off white foam. The head does shrink away, and it is just a bit too thin to leave any lace. There is a strong barley malt aroma, with some earthy characteristics in the smell of caramel and nuts - similar to oa brown ale. Similar taste of malt and some clean hop bitterness. Rich and full bodied, but still quite refreshing - pleasantly ssuprised with this one.

BigBry, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of AltBock
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Pokal.

It came out a light copper color with a nice size head of foam that left some lacing toward the bottom of the glass. Not much of a smell with this beer, except for some malts with a fruity background. Some smell is better than no smell. The taste you get is the the lager first than the ale second. It is a crisp, malted hops with a dry hop bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel was light without being a light beer and with some carbonation. This is a beer that everybody should try for themselves. It would also make a nice summer session beer.

AltBock, Sep 04, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really quite pretty for a lagery type animal. Pours a maple syrup, darker (but not dark) honey color with a light tan head that doesnt stay for too long but laces quite well.
Smells kinda like a brown ale and has quite a few brown ale characteristics in flavor. A malty, toasted sweetness in smell and taste. Plenty of dry hop bitterness in taste and mouthfeel... smells sweeter than it is. Mostly well balanced but hops wins out.
Strikes me as a hybrid between a lager and a dry brown ale.
I don't doubt this is spot on for the style. Not my favorite thing in the world but definitely has its place in the beer spectrum.

ommegangpbr, Sep 03, 2005
Photo of Bleedingshrimp
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Head is moderate with O.K. retention and not much lacing. Color is just a deaper red than peach. Smell is faintly caramel. Taste is well carbonated, crisp and slightly sweet. Toast and caramel come to mind, light on the hops and fairly balanced. Refreshing and conducive to nice bouts of belching. Mouthfeel is just thick enough and pretty drinkable. Great example of an All-American lager type beer. Fits right in with lagers and pilsners on the drinkability factor. Definitely will revisit on many a warm summer night.

Bleedingshrimp, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep burnt orange with a crystal clear body and a big creamy off-white head. A strong carbonation keeps the head big and rocky.

S-The smell of pale malt with some notes of toasted malt and some noble bitter hops lurk in the background.

T- A very smooth soft pale malt taste with some soft bite of hop bitterness finish this beer. The finish is not real dry but has a bit of a long finish with some malt and hop flavor.

M-A medium mouthfeel with some fizziness but no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer does have interesting qualities of both lagers and ales and is a very smooth beer. It doesn't have quite the complexity to hold my interest.

rhoadsrage, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of tjthresh
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam is widely accepted as the classic example of a California Common. It features a atrong caramel malt aroma and flavor. A refreshing bitternes, but not too much. Steam is crystal clear, copper orange with some darker hues. Always and acceptable beer in my house.

tjthresh, Aug 27, 2005
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,770 ratings.