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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,196 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,196
Reviews: 1,916
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 156
Gots: 643 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,196 | Reviews: 1,916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chugmonkey
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amazing how some beers can differentiate themselves from the pack. This is one of them. Lovely off white head on top of copper color, nice strong carbonation to zing that hop aroma up at you.

Has a great hop aroma. This is key component to a really good craft beer IMO. A really unique rustic flavor that I can't describe but makes this beer unforgettable. Oh yeah, it has a certain rough crispness in the finish that's hard to explain also.

Just a great stlye of beer and this is the flagship brew for the style. Amazing how it continues to set itself apart from the massive pantheon of craft beers these days. A classic.

Photo of animal69
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i hadn't had one of these in years, pours a clear med. copper color w/ a thin white head which dissipated quickly leaving little lacing in my chalice ; not a strong smell, steely malts, some hints of caramel, a bit of floral hops and vinous, fruity alcohol present as well ; a crisp, malty flavor, cereal grains and toasty caramel well balanced w/ hop bitterness, some nuts, dark fruits and metal/mineral in the mix ; a rather rich feeling light-med body for such a small beer, coupled w/ the decent amount of co2 makes for a creamy texture ; a very tasty and drinkable beer here, i'm surprised the style is not more popular...

Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Snagged a few of these as I love Anchor's Porter and wanted to see what else they had to offer.

Poured a clear, crisp, orangy amber with about a finger of cream head. Head minimized to a thin layer along the top after a minute or so.

Smells pretty malty with a faint scent of something very sweet and a bit of hop.

Taste is complex. The first taste I get is crisp, with a mild presence of malt and the smooth refreshing taste of clean water. After a second the flavor morphs into a mildly bitter hop with some saltiness and finishes with a citrus sweetness.

This beer has a very nice balance between weight and flavor. Aftertaste can leave your mouth feeling a bit syrupy but the mouthfeel here is just about perfect.

In my opinion, this is an amazing beer, but drinkability for me is dependent on season. I would drink this all summer long, and although Anchor has a summer beer, this is much better, and should be considered highly. I'll be buying alot more.

Photo of phantomwyse
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer that morphs complexity while warming.

A: Darkish amber hue, brown honey. Lots of carbonation rising rapidly from the bottom of the glass. Off-white, 2 finger, tightly packed head that seems relentless. Great lacing.

S: Sweet malts, biscuity. Vaguely astringent. Very, very slight hops detected.

T: Bitter malt, like rye bread without the rye (work with me here). As the beer warms, caramel notes appear. Hops appear near the middle of the palate, but act more as a garnish. As the beer gets warm, the hop presence becomes a bit more pronounced and allows the beer to remain crisp while warming.

M: Medium/light body. Prickly on the tongue due to the carbonation and hop bite combination.

D: Very drinkable.

Quickly becoming one of my standard go-to beers for consistent enjoyment, particularly in these warmer months. California Common beers are very unique to each brewer, enjoy tasting the differentiating qualities and nuances from one variant to the next. This beer also happens to be #7 on the list of most preppy beers according to Tipsy in Madras: The Essential Guide to 80's Preppy Drinking.

Photo of drinkininthewood
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 355ml brown bottle into a pint glass. BB2010Apr.

A- Clear nice copper/orange color with decent off white head and great lacing as well.

S- Sweet malt, caramel, some grains, and some nice grassy hops are very noticeable in the nose as well.

T- Some great tasty caramel malt up front. Some nice cookie dough/bread flavors. The hops balance the nice malt sweetness so perfectly, they're neither citrus nor floral but give a nice grassy bitterness in the end. Crisp clean tasting beer with some mineral water characteristics noticed, almost that of a pilsner.

M- smooth and creamy yet very light in body with nice carbonation.

D- Quite possibly the most sessionable brew I have had.

Overall what a brew. Wickedly drinkable, and totally worth checking out. Recommended for sure.

Photo of armock
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a light amber color with a white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of sweet malt with some hop backing

T - Is the opposite of the smell the hops come out first followed by the sweet malt

M - This beer has a light body with a lot of carbonation to it

D - This is a very good beer that I could session it has a good taste thats pretty light worth trying

Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually had not had one of these in at least five years, so when I was in the store the other day, I just had to pick one up and give it a try. I had always had fond memories of it, and this was going to be no exception. I poured the twelve ounce bottle out into a pint glass and served it right out of the fridge.

Appearance - The pour was very nice with a rich golden amber. Very clear with a shimmering light passing through it. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaking up toward the surface. A very nice three inch high head of white foam then came over the top and settled down gracefully leaving behind copious side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was very earthy with a good amount of hoppiness to it. Some nice hints of caramel and grass, with touches of wet hay and a nice bit of grain. Very nice and airy aroma, mixed nicely in with a touch of orange and tangerine.

Taste - The flavor was outstanding on this one. Started out with a nice light caramel malt. Not overly sweet, but rather very nicely balanced with a light grain base and a touch of some nice little bit of herbs in there. A light and balanced floral hoppiness then came over it. Really well placed with some nice orange notes. The finish was crisp and clean. Drying out very quickly and leaving you looking for another sip rather quickly.

Mouthfeel - A very nice medium bodied feel, it was a bit fuller then I thought it would be to be honest. I really enjoyed how well it was put together, with a light and airy feel to it. A good carbonation profile then followed and kept the whole thing together really quite well.

Drinkability - This had everything going for it. Low ABV, nice carbonation, good body to it. A nice light, and flavorful profile that really had a good pop to it. What more could you ask for.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. Really a great session beer and the epitome of the style. You really cannot get better then this, it really has a world of good coming out of that bottle, and there is really just no way you can go wrong wit this one in any way!

Photo of nighthawk
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep orange colour with some fluffy, sticky head off-white in colour. Smells of sweet caramel, earth, grains, with some light citrus odours. Taste is creamy caramel mixing into bitter citrus, grains, grass. Slightly drying finish. Carbonation fizzes in the mouth, with some bitter tingling to finish. Nice feel in the mouth, medium bodied. Tasty, refreshing, and I definitely want another.

Photo of markaberrant
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - crystal clear, deep amber with a red hue, creamy thick off white head. Sheets of lace down the glass.

S - herbal hops, gentle malt sweetness with a hint of breadiness

T - get a lot more of the woody/rustic hop notes in the flavour, nicely matched by the bready malt. Sweetness is low, and virtually no fruity character. Finish is dry and bitter, with lingering woody hops.

M - light bodied, refreshing. Medium carbonation. Very smooth. Extremely easy to drink.

D - damn tasty and refreshing. very unique session beer.

My first venture into Steam Beer (I don't count the Sleemans Steam I tried 10 years ago). The aroma reminds me somewhat of pilsener, but the taste itself is unique and comes across as rustic. The overall effect is somewhere between a pilsener and an english bitter. I'm gonna have to get off my butt and brew one of these.

Thanks to Mattt for the bottle!

Photo of aubuc1
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in to a pint glass.

It is a carbonated amber with little head (could have been the half ass bar tender's pour).

Smells of light hop and malt.

Has a hoppy taste, but not aeromatic hops.

Carbonated mouthfeel and easy to drink.

Very boring beer from a great brewery.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: a very small amount of off-white head on top of an amber/red/orange body with just a teeny bit-of foam sticking to the side of the glass

s: light hops and raw grain with both caramel and fruity sweet malts

t: nice hoppy citrus; some caramel malts; and raw wheat; a good blend of citrusy hop sharpness and caramel warmth

m: light and very carbonated

d: a decent beer and one that you end up having a lot if you live in the bay area; good on a warm san fran summer day (which there aren't really that many of unfortunately

Photo of cvstrickland
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ounce stubby poured into a pint glass yields a clear reddish-copper body with a steady stream of active carbonation crowned with two fingers of stubborn soft white foam that retains at a misshapen cloudlike structure and sticks in patches all over the glass.

Smells fruity with nice clean malts and grassy hops.

Tastes of light toasty caramel tempered by a wall of dry, hoppy bitterness that fills the mouth from start-to-finish; brown sugar, sweet grass and honey; minerally with a touch of tangy citrus and a little nutty, powdery dryness in the finish.

Silky smooth and substantial, excellent creamy character; well-balanced, wonderfully tasty, earthy, and perfectly refreshing. This is the prototype for the style for a reason...it's good.

Photo of Antilochus
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apparently the definitive Steam Beer. 4.80% abv, 355mL bottle. From a sixpack from a London, ON LCBO. Poured into a 'shiraz' Riedel wine tumbler.

Perfect amber/orange/red body. But no head! Barely a cloud. Quickly to nothing, just this richly coloured syrup. If I shake it I can get a small offwhite head but there is little to no retention.

Weird aromas. Candy corn, noble hop spice, sweet citrus notes, yeast. Very malty though, and rather sweetish.

Palate is too sweet for my taste. Thankfully it is malty sweetness, not artificial in any sense.Tons of residual sugar here. Feel is nice and full too, which is a bit of an intense combination for a lager. Moderate carbonation. Finish is remarkably astringent, earthy notes and a bit of citrus hops clean it up. Chalky, bready. A bit salty too. Overall not bad, but not great.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam pours a bright copper color. Nice lacing and pretty good retention.

Smells of pale malts, a bit of sweetness, faint spicy hops and caramel.

A good crisp, clean beer. Tastes of fruits, hop bitterness and lightly roasted malts. Another great beer from Anchor.

Photo of hwwty4
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay goblet. This beer pours a deep reddish amber with a big 2 inch head that melted into a thin layer on the surface of the beer. Anchor Steam also left just a slight lacing down the sides of the glass. On first aroma, roasted malts and caramel come out. Then hints of biscuits and just a smidge of hops come out in the finish. The taste is toffee up front with slight notes of roasted coffee beans and the finish is just a slight hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is interesting. Its really carbonated, but has a very clean and dry finish. This is a great session beer when you want something a little fuller than things that are fizzy and yellow.

Photo of bobsy
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from the lcbo.

Shining copper body. What I really like about the appearance is the wonderful head, which looks imperceptibly smooth, and is reminiscent of the fine foam on top of a cappuccino. It just screams steamed to me. Good retention and excellent lacing round things off. Crisp earthy aroma with light caramel notes. Nice astringent bitterness doesn't overwhelm the flavour, but compliments the earthiness and metallic hints very well. A very interesting blend of lager and ale characteristics. The flavour doesn't overwhelm the senses, but this helps to give it superb drinkability and decent body.

There's something about Anchor Steam that makes me view it as the working man's craft beer. Its certainly the type of drink I want on hand after a hard day, because its clean, refreshing and unchallenging. The flavours will certainly not blow people away, but its the kind of sessionable beer I think we need a lot more of.

Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my birthday presents was a six pack of Anchor Steam. Awesome present. Take note.

12 oz adorable stubby bottle into Sam Adams glass.

I don't really feel like talking about the individual qualities of this beer. It's a delicious beer of an authentic original American style. It's hoppy and satisfying, yet light and thirst quenching. Spicy and a little fruity, yet also clean and crisp. A classic, and something I can drink almost all the time. If you're reading this and haven't tried it yet, do it!

Photo of lackenhauser
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat muted coppery color. Always a decent head on top. Nice, moderate amount of hop aroma. Has that certain "bite" to it. Crisp flavor with a good bit of hop bitterness. Some residual malty sweetness. Great body-very full. The full flavor somewhat lends itself to the body. Very drinkable and always enjoyable. One of the first craft beers I ever got into. Get it fresh. I have had some that has been laying around and it isnt pretty. American classic for sure.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a small head that settles to a thin lace.

Aroma is of grains,fruits/citrus notes and caramel malts.
The taste is of malts,caramel,fruits,hops and bitter-sweet notes.
The overall feel is dry finish with a lemon/fruit aftertaste.

Notes: It's late and I have had enough of this beer to let you know that it is not only above average,but well worth the time and money. A session beer and a delight on any day regardless of the temperature. So well balanced and nice bitter finish that goes so well with the caramel notes. Go out and try one.

Photo of avaulteriam
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Certainly not my style at all. Smells of some sweetness and soap? Very malty with weird lager-esque taste predominant. Similar to Kolsch styles. Contrary to some, I didn't think immediately of an ale. Definitely not the smoothest or most likable in my opinion

Photo of BDIMike
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a thin white head that dissipates immediately.
Nice hop smell. Hints of nice caramel malts.
Taste has a very nice balance. Good roasted malt and also dry hops.
Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth with a good amount of carbonation.
Drinkability is great on this beer. The balance between the malts and hops is almost perfect and the smooth mouthfeel makes it go right down.

Photo of cyrenaica
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355ml bottle
4.9% ABV

I tried this beer on May 23, 2008 at "The Beer Bistro" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a translucent medium reddish-brown with a thin off-white head. The aroma was citrusy hops, and some sweetish malt. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied, and well carbonated. The flavour was very hoppy, leaving a bitterness on the tongue, as well as a little sour apple taste.

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

Served in a small nonic glass, around 10 celcius.

Pours a gorgeous deep medium cooper, a generous head that retires down to a thin film that keeps around for a good while. Very little lacing, but the glass was not rinsed so this may be why there was no lacing.

Aroma of english crital malts and herbal hops, a little esters and a very slight note of sulfur. Flavor is of deep doughy and biscuity malt and tightly bittering high alfa-acid hop.

Interesting and flavorful.

Photo of kzoobrew
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first taste of this iconic brew from the legend that is Fitz Maytag and Anchor Brewery.

Pours a beautiful amber fluffy white head quickly diminishes. Slight lacing left.

Smell is sweet and slight citric. Smells like our basic american lager only better.

Taste of malt and lemon initially. Slight hops and spice break through.

Mouth feel is light and crisp. Carbonation is slightly lively and refreshing.

Very drinkable. Crisp clean and has some level of dimension to it.

This is your average American lager, only it does everything better than your average american lager.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear copper with large 2-3 finger head that lasted quite a while. Fell to decent white cap and had solid lacing.

S - Great nose on this one. Sweet, caramel/vanilla malt aroma with some fruit behind it, something like peach or golden apples. No hop presence which is surprising...

T - The semi-sweet malt starts off, but degenerates into a bland sourness. Earthy/floral hop character briefly kicks in late palate leading to a dry and mineral-like bitterness. Not a huge fan of the taste, but the malt works really well and I feel the hops ruin the taste.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The beer has a sort of silkiness.

D - I might have a few of these, but the only memorable aspect of this beer is it's aroma. The taste isn't all that interesting, and for the price I definitely wouldn't choose this as a session beer; it's not *that* good.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,196 ratings.