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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,127 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,127
Reviews: 1,896
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 145
Gots: 572 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,127 | Reviews: 1,896 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of riboflavin88
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottom line, this is a unique beer. It pours a nice amber color with a nice ivory head consisting of large bubbles and good carbonation. Its smell was malty and spicy with back notes of citrus. The beers' taste is smooth at first, primarily malt and smokey bread flavors. It finishes dry and the aftertaste is more malt, very bold. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable, crisp and easy to drink more than one. Definitely try this one!

Photo of youradhere
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure if I'm just not a fan of this beer, or steam beers in general. Bought this in a mix grab-six-pack from the food Co-op, drank this one first. Poured into a pint glass, darker than commercial lager; flavor was a little too sulphorous, but could taste a good malt profile behind that. A decent first steamer for me, however I don't think I'll go back and stick with ales or true lagers.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of burtonbe
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Wonderful deep amber in color. Crystal clear. Two-finger head, but dissipates rather quickly. Leaves a good lacing.

S - A solid malt aroma with general lager characteristics. Some hoppyness, but it is much less pronounced, very subtle.

T - What a tasty beer. I'm getting a fruity and malty profile. The hop bitterness and flavor is there, but the balance is towards the malt on this one. Some DMS is present, but it seems to really work in this beer.

M - Solid mouth-feel for this style. Carbonation is medium and it is smooth.

D - The drinkability is where this beer really shines. It is so flavorful, yet so very drinkable. I could drink this all day. Very Nice.

Overall, this is an awesome beer of an awesome style. Highly recommended.

Photo of charlzm
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 12/14/07.

Pours clear light copper with nice little off-white head that quickly dissipates. Toasty nose with notes of spicy hop. A little thin on the palate, but flavorful nonetheless.

Rich maltiness is quickly upstaged by bitterness, but the whole affair is rather milder than is typical of many west coast brews. A little of the Bass Ale type flavor is going on, and the clean finish with a hint of astringency reminds me a little of that British brew as well. A very easy drinking beer with some flavor.

Might be a good gateway beer to get from macrobrew lager swill to the good stuff.

Photo of ryrust5301
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a yellow label, blue cap, and anchor on the front.

Apperance - Poured a clear brownish gold. Looks a little lighter than I remembered. Head is a thick half finger puffy white.

Smell - malty aromas, slightly creamy. It almost has a caramel like scent. A little hoppy like an ale.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Once again malty and creamy. Set up nicely by the aroma. Hops and a little citrusy through the middle, following through to a crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability - A long time fav for me, and one I keep in my rotation for everyday drinking. This brew must be given respect for being an all time American classic.

Photo of unionturf
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Like said before, I too tried this before (a few years ago) and was not impressed. I guess with ago I now know better. :) I enjoyed a few tonight in a Sam Adams glass and was very impressed. at $10 a 6 pack it better be good and I will be adding this as a regular in my rotation!!

Photo of botham
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a rich amber color with a sizable light orange head that remains for a couple minutes.

aroma is malty, with potent caramel malts, and a base of sark fruit. almost earthy overall, with a bold character.

taste is of caramel malts mainly, with a dry and bitter finish and a subtle hop character. not much else here besides the caramel malts and dark fruit.

mouthfeel is light bodied, and a bit watery. this brew could use a bit more body for the flavors present.

drinkability is decent. this is a bitter brew without much hop character. the malts are well proportioned, but the body is not there to back them up.

Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short Version:
Interesting and complex beer. A bit dry and grainy/husky with an astringent, almost metallic, bitter tingle.

Details:
Wasn't sure what to think of this at first. My first impression was dry-bitter and mediocre. The more I sipped and the more it warmed though... I began to pick up nuances and got intrigued. Not my favorite style but I've found some respect for this one.

Poured a faintly cloudy amber orange color with a pillowy, rocky 1" white head.

Not picking up much on the nose but some malty sweetness. Faint smell.

First taste is dry and tingly. Almost like sitting an alkaseltzer on your tongue. There's an astringent bite to it that's bitter but not in the typical fashion. Interesting for sure and not one dimensional in this sense.

There's a grainy husk flavor to it and a miniscule amount of sweetness that helps offset that bitter dryness. Not by much though. Tangy-bitter is still dominant.

As it warms and the level drops I'm picking up more malt in the taste and some caramel in the smell. There's a solid medium body and I suspect there is an ample amount of malt in there. Balance gets better as it warms.

Finish is clean and bitter. Aftertaste lingers zippy and metallic for some time.

Drinkability isn't super high for me. I like bitter but not quite as much for this particular style. This is a dry metallic tangy bitter rather than an alum hoppy bitter that I prefer.

Photo of Squelch
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours brown with a large billowy off white head

Smell: Smells of malt mostly with a little bit of hop aroma

Taste: Mild aleish flavor. Bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation.

Drinkability: Not my favorite beer in the world but I wouldn't pass it up if offered.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with slight off-white head that subsides fairly fast, beer is a dark copperish color with slight carbonation.

Smell- Bitter yeasty smell, very much like bread.

Taste- Fairly medium bodied beer, some hints of lemon, salt, and theres a little bit of carbonated buzz on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Good palate coverage, good lingering on the tongue.

Drinkability- A very unique brew with some interesting flavors I cant quite place, an interesting beer, worth a try but not somthing for me for every day.

Photo of NYfold
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Pilsner glass.

Good looking beer, although a bit clear. Burnt sienna in color with hints of orange. Off white head leaves minimal lacing. Attractive bottle design should be noted.

The smell is nice, but not strong. Hops, and traces of oatmeal.

I find the taste is crisp, refreshing, and enjoyable with an oatmeal after-kick reminiscent of wood. The Unique after taste is my favorite note.

Mouthfeel is nothing special.

Pleasant to drink, but that is expectable considering the 4.9%abv.

Photo of Alexmc2
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer appears a slightly hazy orange/amber with smallish head that fades quickly but leaves good lacing. Smell is sharp and clean, but doesn't stand out. Initial taste is a pleasant bitter with sweet caramel notes at the end, very balanced. This beer is smooth, and it goes down easily. It makes a great session beer (and, as I found out, part of a decent sauce for chicken). If it wasn't so expensive around where I live it would be in my fridge all the time.

Photo of Greggy
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice light copper color with a 2 finger head that recedes down into a nice lace. A great clinging lace clings to the glass, even long after drank.

Smell: Light caramel smell with a some light lager notes

Taste: A very light caramel taste that is pale, yet has a nice lingering bitter.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, bitter and zesty

Drinkability: A great refreshing brew that at 4.9% ABV, makes a great sessionable brew.

Photo of cbleary
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a bottle into a pint glass.

This is extraordinary beer. I think the bottle I had may have been just a little old, but it didn't matter. It poured with a lovely golden amber color with a generous head that left copious lacing in the glass. Gorgeous. The smell was a very nice mix of sweet malts and hops. The taste was a similar balance with the sweetness of the beer kept in check by the bitter hops. It was very drinkable, and I would definitely have this again.

Photo of WaveRebel51
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of ballewblake
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this following a Pale Ale.

Smell was intense and vinergery, maybe sweetly yeasty, couldn't put my finger on the smell but it was almost off from what I remembered. Appearance was amber with a decent head. Taste was slightly hoppy and sweet, it really grew on me after a few sips. Easy to drink and not too strong.

Photo of cookin420
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into chalice.

A pale- ruby colored brew with a little haze. A stiff head with a thin lacing and little retention.

Smell is of malt, a bready and slightly sour yeast aroma and faint earthy hop flowers.

Lager-like in flavor and moderately citric bittering and flavor hop additions make this a very tasty beer. The malt is subtle but not lacking. Very good.

Heavier than most pales and bitters but lighter than many reds, it could be lighter bodied and still be very good but a healthy carbonation kicks everything up a step instead, while maintaining great balance.

Great as a session or for a quick few after a thirstifying day of work. Real drinkable.

Photo of BMan1113VR
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with small initial head, creamy with ever so slight off-white tinge. Mostly diminishes, but has good lacing. Very aromatic when poured. Citrus jumped out of the glass at me, a little yeast and very slight malt. Had a scent of sweet apples or cider. Very clear amber appearance. By the looks of things, actively carbonated. Taste, or lack of it, is a dissapointment. Medium duration with a mildly bitter finish, just a really watery taste (much more so than I remember, maybe I have been drinking too many taste-filled ales recently). The mouth is a creamy feel, soft but yet lively carbonation. Lack of taste is the biggest let down for this brew.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass producing an abundant off-white head with good retention and above average lacing. Color is a clear amber.

S: Nice light smell of malt with faint hints of floral hops.

T: Medium bodied caramel malt flavoring is foremost, but is quickly balanced by light bittering. The slightest hint of sweetness lingers after the swallow.

M&D: Great medium body and abundant carbonation. Very satisfying.

I really liked the Anchor Steam beer. The maltiness & bitterness seemed perfectly matched and balanced with everything else about this beer. The body and carbonation made this both lightly filling and highly enjoyable.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a fairly hazy amber color with a good head that retains nicely. Aroma is of grains, yeast, some fruitiness. Not too strong but pleasant. Taste is of more light graininess, yeast, light hop spice found in the finish. Mouthfeel is fair bodied, very crisp, and good carbonation. I could take a few of these down in succession but not an entire 6-pack.

Photo of MrIncognito
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip pilsner glass.

Appearance is amber with an orange/red hue. Translucent. Two-finger head after a very hard pour halfway through. Head retains for about 3 or 4 minutes then has nice lacing.

Smell is quite nice. Wheat with light citrus tinge.

Taste is pretty much the same as the smell. Not an overly flavorful beer, but very nice. The tastes that are there are smooth. I taste wheat more than anything, almost like a weak hefeweissen, but not quite. A taste or orange on the back of my tongue on the way down.

A very good beer really. Great to have on hand as most people enjoy it.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy, amber/copper color. Bubbly head.

S: Somewhat earthy, slightly sweet.

T: Complex flavors. Some hop bitterness at first, then a creamy toasty malt flavor. Dry and somewhat citrusy at the finish.

M: Creamy, tight carbonation. A bit dry.

D: A nice balance of flavors, complicated without being overwhelming. Very tasty.

Photo of avalon07
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one from a bottle to a pint glass. Had very little head that dissipated quickly. It had a light brown color that was slightly thin in consistency.

Had a malty smell with a hint of some citrus. Pleasant on the whole.

Had a tart taste, with hops and malt dominating the other elements. Didn't leave much of an aftertaste, which is always a plus.

Had a decent, but not overpowering amount of carbonation for a good mouthfeel.

Overall, this venerable old craft beer is a tasty drink. Not exactly the most complex taste I've ever experienced, but good nonetheless.

Photo of lionking
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of one of their big bottles into a pilsner glass. Nice copper color. You can smell and taste the sweet malt. A lot of lagers look and smell nice but I think what sets Anchor Steam apart is its taste and finish. No after taste. Well done. Should have bought two.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,127 ratings.