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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.
very good

4,526 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,526
Reviews: 1,837
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 121
Gots: 288 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,526 | Reviews: 1,837 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerguy101


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown color, medium head. A medium bodied beer. Mild malts and hops. Nice malt sweetness, balanced by a nice hop spiciness. Mild taste. Good flavor. Mouthfeel is very full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. A simple well made beer. Classic style.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2003 18:51:30 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Bierguy5


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a amber/copper color with a nice foamy white head. Decent lace sticking to the glass. Smells lightly hoppy. Carmel malt with a touch of hops with an earthy, grainy taste. Light to medium body. This is a good session beer. It also goes great with food. Anchor Steam is a great classic American microbrew. Any beer lover should certainly taste one. It is a great beer to revisit now and again.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2003 18:53:09 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of Stubbie1


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber in color and top off with a decent white head. The head gave way to a decent lace. The aroma is malt and musty yeast with a hint of hops. The taste matches the aroma with a nice hop finish at the end. I would call this a medium body and very easy to drink. Very nice!

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2003 05:45:33 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful clear, amber pour with a small foamy head. Very appetizing.

The nose was very dull with nothing distinct standing out in my mind. There was a touch of caramel but it seemed very lightly hopped.

The mouthfeel was pleasant and smooth if not creamy.The taste was light with some maltiness to give it body. And there was a touch of caramel on the fuzzy finish with just a hint of fruitiness.....possibly apricot (again, this was minimal).

For the most part a nice drinking experience but not one that i would call memorable.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2003 16:28:43 | More by Popsinc
Photo of kmo1030


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

golden red in color. there wasn't much of a head. I didn't notice much a smell to this beer, it may have been just that it was in a resturant and there was a lot food smells around, but this beer didn't have a very distinctive smell to it. The taste was a pleasant surprise after taking a whiff and not noticing much. it was well balanced with caramel malts and hops. I noticed it was also very spicey, i noticed cinnamon and other baking spices, kind of like pumpkin pie without the pumpkin. Its mouthfeel was surprisingly thin , but not badoverall a real nice beer, good flavor. got tastier as it warmed up.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2003 20:00:57 | More by kmo1030
Photo of marcobrau


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The big deal with this beer is that it brewed in a unique fashion (fermenting with a lager yeast at ale temps) but that it also was saved from extinction by Fritz Maytag in the 1970s. It's an interesting story but how about the beer?

It is a classic, but it is a classic that must be cared for properly, just like a lot of other good beers. When fresh Anchor Steam has an agressive bitterness that is tempered with a healthy dose of caramel malts. These malts add some sweetness and body and a little bit of a rustic character. If this beer isn't consumed when fresh it tends to be more balanced, and well, kind of boring. It's the fresh hop bitterness that can really grab the attention of your tastebuds. The unique esters obtained from the unique fermentation process are subtle and could be interpreted as faults. I do believe these mineral-like qualities created by the yeast are under-appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2003 20:06:52 | More by marcobrau
Photo of far333


2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light iced tea color with no head at all. Faint aroma of hop and florals. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly and tingly, with carbonation being on the high side. The flavor in general is weak. It consists of mild malt, but there is a distinct metallic undertone to it. A light hop bitterness lingers. I just don't see the attraction to this one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2003 02:36:35 | More by far333
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd had this in bottles before and thought it was just fine enough, but on first tasting it on draft, my eyes and tastebuds blew wide open, and were all the happier for it! WOW!, what a difference freshness makes!
Appearance: clear, bright amber hue, and a frothy, thick off-white head.
Aroma: soft and clean, with hints of fruit, bread, cream, nuts.
On the palate: smooth and fruity, with a small hop contingent, and very, very tasty. Body is light/ medium, texture is good, finish is long and friendly!
The fruity flavor stays on the palate for the greatest portion of this drink, and continues to reward it's consumption. With every sip, the flavor jumps aboard with zeal and vigor, fresh and ready for the task (of refreshment!). Tasty, and tangy, and, again, very giving.
A bright, beautiful hybrid beer that goes down smooth and easily, always accompanied by flavor. A great American brewing accomplishment, I always say! I'm forever glad there's always Anchor Steam around!

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2003 02:17:12 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of pezoids


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am partial to this beer. It has always been a favorite and one of the first "better" beers that I started drinking. The beer poured a bright amber/copper color and had a huge white and creamy head that clung nicely to the glass. Nice citrusy hop and bitter grainy aroma. Some floral and fresh grass there too. A light to medium bodied beer with a very clean and dry taste. Matched perfect with my Hamburger (well, just about any beer probably would). Finishes crisp and pleasantly bitter. A classic and a good one to revisit from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2003 17:39:22 | More by pezoids
Photo of beergeek279


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Burgh's in Bridgeville. The color was a dark amber. The smell was that of maltiness. The taste is fairly unique. It's much heavier than a lager, but not quite an ale.........quite a bit of malt in it. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth. As for drinkability, I think I could have a few of these. A unique taste, and as the last surviving example of an otherwise extinct style, and a good solid American beer!

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2003 21:07:48 | More by beergeek279
Photo of Darkale


3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, even, off-white and creamy head, over a very clear, bronze-orange body.

Aroma is mild, slightly medicinal, musty and hoppy. Good lacing. The head is very resilient and fades slowly to the rim of the glass.

Taste is dry, sour, a bit astringent. Puckering is the word that comes to mind. Mouthfeel is a bit creamy, which is unexpected because it's also raspy. A line of malt taste balances the beer.

It is very difficult to describe the taste of Anchor Steam! It is a kind of dull spice -- it's a pale ale with an aftertaste that is dry and musky. But, it's a pleasant ale to drink, and it's easy to drink many more than one.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2003 07:08:05 | More by Darkale
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unless the draught of this brew is that much better than the bottle, my taste buds have greatly changed. I remember not liking this beer too much before.
Pours to a deep copper with a pretty good sized white head. It dies a little quick, but leaves lace. Aroma is pleasantly hoppy with a sweetness in the backround.
A very nicely hopped brew with good balance. The flavor is all there. The body is medium and it is very smooth. A great drinker. I could session with this one anytime. I'll have to grab a few bottles and see if it is the same.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2003 14:39:30 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can honestly say that I have never been too fond of this beer in the bottle, maybe it's the trip across country it has to make to get here but there is always a funky grassy taste going on that does nothing for me. However on draught this beer pours a nice amber with a creamy off white head. Leaving a decent lace around the rim of my mug. The aroma is a sweet caramelly malty aroma with a nice solid back bone of hop aroma. The taste of this beer is unique due to the fact that when they orginally brewed this beer they had lager yeast, but no refrigeration to ferment it as a true lager. So, they fermented this beer at ale temperature using the lager yeast creating the California common or "steam" beer style. This beer has a wonderful hop bitterness with sweet apple tones and a nice full malt profile wonderful beer. The mouthfeel is mildly carbonated with a great smooth finish from this medium to light bodied beer. Incredilbly drinkable if obtained freshly.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2003 11:50:45 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of AtLagerHeads


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to force the issue of an unfrosted pint glass for this bottled version in a beer bar that does a great job with its draft versions. Having noted that, it was a surprise to me that I could barely raise a single finger of ivory head over the clear amber body on this beer. Perhaps it was just too cold overall. In any case, it did not keep even the minimal head nor did it do any lacing to speak of. It did, however, have a delightfully robust nose that spoke volumes of malt and hints of hops. The taste started full of the malt and sweetness, but finished surprisingly bitter. The aftertaste seemed to moderate the bitterness with a final dry sense. An enjoyable beer that I could enjoy more than one to a sitting. The final strong nose is caramel malt as the brew warmed.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2003 16:27:04 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of BierReise


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably one of my favorite american lagers along with Sam Adams. Nice color with slight cloudiness. Aroma is malty and a little hop fragrance. Very smooth on the palate unlike other lagers which have a little more effervescence to them. This was about the only beer on the menu tonight worth having. It's a shame restaurants don't give their beer selection half the attention their wine menus get.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2003 19:53:36 | More by BierReise
Photo of jreitman


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber in color with a lot of head that fades to a slight covering at the end. Incredibly easy drinking and in that respect quite dangerous :) Well balanced and complex to the point taht the hops and malt take turns coming through. A wonderful standby beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2003 14:51:27 | More by jreitman
Photo of dmarch


4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's hard to review a beer that was the first of it's style. It doesn't really matter if this is an ale or a lager because it's a flat out great beer. It's highly carbonated with a dark ruby color and a well retained head. The hops are noticable but don't take away from the sweetness of the malt. This beer certaintly deserves it's reputation.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2003 16:31:37 | More by dmarch
Photo of lipschitz

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours medium amber, with slight chill-haze & nice head with medium density.

Smell: Slight grains, touch of lemon/hops

Taste: Initial caramelized malt, which lingers to slightly bitter pear/apple with a kiss of sweetness. Pleasant hop-level cleans palate, leaving a trace of bitterness on the tongue. As you make your way through this beer, the bitter apple comes through more prominently…just nudging out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with medium carbonation

Notes: This is a delicious brew that I could drink all night long. While not overly robust, it is tremendously enjoyable. A wonderful ‘stepping stone’ beer. One that could be used to convert the un-beer-ducated over to the good side. Now that this is available in Canada, it could go a long way to change perceptions of what ‘mainstream’ American beer is. Plus, the pseudo-stubby bottle should prove to be a hit with Canadian drinkers that are feeling a little nostalgic.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2003 12:43:30 | More by lipschitz
Photo of cokes


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruby bronze with a thin layer of bone cream, disappears over the course of a few minutes.
Repressed nose of grain, carmalized sugar, lemon hops and pears.
Taste begins with a caramel candy-apple upon a base of grain husks. Still fruity, as the essence of pear and the ghost of sweet grapes enters. A touch earthy midway, prior to the loud arrival of steely, lemon rind hops. Nicely done.
A touch fuller than medium bodied.
Solid, interesting and quaffable. Worthy of its reputation.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2003 08:59:24 | More by cokes
Photo of Tballz420


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours out with a nice pillowey head, and bubbles all over in the beer. A darker orange color. Some lacing on the sides of the glass. Tastes pretty good, i cant think of anything ive had that has tasted like this. Its interesting and tastes good, id say give it a try

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2003 13:09:24 | More by Tballz420
Photo of scottum


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served a copper amber with a small head. A nice brew for sure. Hop bitter is there. Fruity is there with her friend toasty. This beer tastes like liquid pretzels. It took me a while to figure out what that taste was. This beer tastes like pretzels! Actually quite a complex brew and quite tasty. I could drink this all night.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2003 13:51:34 | More by scottum
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this in quite some time, and hadn't been overly impressed when I did. Upon further review, however, I find this to be quite a nice beer. This would be a good beer to use to try and win over a macro drinker, as it is not too bitter or strong, but miles above the "big three". Nice, malty flavor, smooth and a little creamy. Some hop bitterness, but not much (compared to a lot of micros). Pours a nice, amber color, some carbonation, but not too much. Slightly sweet, and I wouldn't drink too many because of that. Overall, a very well balanced and enjoyable beer, from a company that makes consistently terrific product.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2003 19:58:15 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of Scooter77


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer from Anchor. Pours a nice amber/orange color with an average-sized white bubbly foam. Head fades down, leaving a thin lace on the glass. Scents of citrus fruit seem to blend very well with the hops and malt. The taste is equally as balanced as the aroma. Initial taste was of sweet malt, followed by a zing of citrus, finished off by a nice bitterness of hops. This is an exceptionally balanced and bold beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2003 06:22:59 | More by Scooter77
Photo of goindownsouth


4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I have not had this one in a long time, until last night, that is. It is amazing how a steam beer can make this hop-head do cartwheels. A very attractive amber tapping brew, amber in color. The aroma offers just what the name gives you, a fantasticly grainy steamy type of aroma. A fantastic brew in bottle, but even better out of the tap.


Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2003 09:20:33 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of texascarl


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance = dark amber, thick off-white head. Good carbonation, nice lacing. Nice looking beer.

Nose = pleasant aroma, malt, light hops

Taste = bitter, but not 'hoppy' tasting. semi-creamy mouthfeel and a long finish

First time I've had this, not quite sure what I think of it yet. It's good but maybe not my cuppa. I'll wait & give it another try soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2003 19:21:13 | More by texascarl
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,526 ratings.