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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

4,424 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,424
Reviews: 1,834
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 116
Gots: 252 | 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: 4,424 | Reviews: 1,834 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear beer that is a deep bronze color.

Smell is mostly of hop perfume. There is also malt, grain and toffee smells here.

Taste is of malt balanced by hops, it is a little sweet but then the hops dry the flavor out without being bitter. Mild caramel and citrus are in here. Many ghostly flavors to this, you taste it and then it changes or hides. Succeeds in being flavorful without being harsh in any respect, an excellent brew to convert the Budweiser drinkers of the world.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Super drinkable, mild yet flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2004 03:01:48 | More by Zorro
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thin layer of bubbles across the entire top of the beer, though slightly thicker around the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Aromas are predominantly pale + caramel malts with a slight hint of lemon and hops.

T: The flavor is extremely malty with hints of caramel sweetness. There is a small amount of bitterness from the hops.

M: Light to medium bodied with significant amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Pretty easy to drink and probably the best known beer in the style - I probably had my first one of these about 15 years ago. There is a nice complexity to the flavor and the beer is quite easy to drink. Makes me think of being in San Fran.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 02:06:57 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

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

Part five in the Unorganized Invitation brings us to Anchor Steam Beer. Time to try to out:

In color, the beer is amber in color with a soild, desne head. The flavor is dominated by toasty malts, and it's damn tasty. A little fruity underneath the toasty flavor, creamy, and thick. Yum. I've found another option for a session brew.

I had hopes for this beer, and boy it did it hit the spot. It just took the lead in the Unorganized Invitational from it's brother Anchor Bock. It'll have to hold off New Belgium's 1554 to secure the title.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 04:00:19 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

04-04-2013 03:27:17 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a tan head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is mostly of malt- fairly light, and pleasing.

The taste is balanced, a little spicy, followed by some hop bitterness, followed by a lager aftertaste and some malt on the finish. Very bready tasting.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and fairly highly carbonated.

Quite drinkable- has enough interesting flavors to hold your interest, but also is crisp and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 01:22:18 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. One of the first micro's I bought in CA. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a nice head, but does not last long, very light lacing if any at all. Nice malty scent with a great light taste. I really enjoy this beer, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 01:00:35 | More by Wasatch
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

03-05-2014 04:21:04 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with no freshness date on it. Color is a nice light orange/straw. Head is just a slight off white that keeps for a while. Nice lacing observed.

Smells very subtle, but of hints of honey. Taste is very clean. Not much going on, but very wonderful. I would note the small taste of fruit in this. Very good carbonation.

Overall, this is quite the beer. I have never had a steam beer, but I do like it. I am more of a dark beer drinker, but I could see this being a nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 01:02:33 | More by mothman
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -22.3%

12-25-2012 23:05:14 | More by ejimhof
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

10-21-2013 00:21:40 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Copper tinted gold with the a very toasty complexion. Despite a deep set haze the beer is transparent, dotted only with steady paced streams of ascending carbonation. Its topping is thick and creamy, persistent and adhering. Its markings appear like some ancient scripture.

Steam beer (or 'California Common' as other examples must legally be referred as) is slightly more distinctive than other styles of standard ales. It smells no more exciting but it's an aroma specific to the style. It's a very earthy, pungently hoppy smell with an unexpected lack of caramel given the deep hue in its colour.

The flavour also makes explicit that you aren't drinking a typical ale. It's distinctive without anything obviously distinct about it. The flavour is quite toasty. I taste a bit of toffee and light apple. The character is quite grainy and dry. The hops again have a pronounced character and linger along with the crisp malty flavor.

This method of fermentation uses a significant strain of lager yeast, one that developed over the years in the cool, ambient temperatures of the San Francisco Bay area. It's a lager yeast fermented at typically ale temperatures - no wonder the beer is so distinctive!

The most common explanation for where Anchor Steam took its name is said to come from the steam that would rise from the large, shallow open 'coolships' that were traditionally used in the American West before the introduction of refrigeration.

San Fransisco is an amazing place. It's home to a founding brewery of the American craft beer movement as well as one of the world's most reputable and highly revered beer bars. If you do visit the city (which you should) and wish to visit the Anchor brewery (which you should) than I recommend that you make reservations way ahead of time; it's a popular spot.

I'm not sure if Americans cherish Anchor Brewing as much as I do. I am certain, however, that I can't be speaking solely for myself when I say that finding Anchor beer on the shelves was one of the pivotal turning points in my beer drinking life.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 00:47:27 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A legend in the craft beer industry, I'm enjoying this refreshing brew on a rainy autumn afternoon.

A: Sunburst orange to golden in color, this beer has a massive, thick head like a cumulus cloud floating on a golden river. As the head recedes, it leaves a noticeable residue on around the circumference of the glass.

S: Malt, lager scents. Rather simple and inviting.

T: A really refreshing beer with a clean and easy taste, I find this to be rather enjoyable. There is a nice maltiness throughout, with a subtle hop bitterness near the back. There are delicate hints of fruit in there, as well. Overall, a very solid brew.

M: Medium bodied, and thicker than your average >5% beer. Again, a very pleasant beer to drink.

D: Very sessionable and enjoyable. Absolutely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 18:36:02 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Detroit airport yesterday. Have had this beer many, many times... high time I reviewed it.

The beer pours the expected light amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of malt and hops (it's been my experience that most airports tend to serve their beer excessively cold and with too much CO2, which I'm sure affects the aroma). On the palate, the famous anchor steam flavor. There is nothing else quite like it. The beer has a fascinating malty flavor, but with a huge presence of drying hoppiness. There is almost a peppery finish on the palate, and somehow this beer manages to taste a bit sweet and malty, yet dry and bitter, at the same time. Mouthfeel is pretty light, but the amount of flavor in this low abv. beer is nothing short of astounding.

Truly a classic. Nothing else quite like it. As excellent and intriguing today as it was 30 some years ago when I first tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2008 13:29:21 | More by John_M
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

11-22-2011 21:44:53 | More by brandoman63
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

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

12 ounce bottle into pilsener glass, bottled 1/11/2012. Pours slightly cloudy golden copper color with a very nice 3 finger dense off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of bready grains, grass, floral hops, herbal spiciness, caramel, and a bit of light fruitiness. Some nice and well balanced aromas; but are a bit muted. Taste of bready grain, floral, grass, pepper, caramel, herbal, and light apricot. A decent amount of peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of bread, pepper, herbal, floral, and light fruit on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a smooth and crisp mouthfeel as expected. No alcohol noticeable at all as expected for 4.9%. Overall this is a very nice brew from Anchor. Very crisp with a nice flavor profile; and easily drinkable. Definitely a great session beer contender.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 01:27:21 | More by superspak
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

11-20-2011 03:06:16 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Finley's in Huntington.

Poured a slightly hazy medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a subtle fruity hop and a soft sweetness.

The taste consisted of a balanced clean grainand grassy hop. Slight esters detected as well.

The mouthfeel was average for the style (it is the style).

Overall a tasty and easy drinking beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2009 23:10:03 | More by plaid75
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a ruby-orange with a sticky white head that left a very good lacing.

S: some fresh bread, grains, and sweet caramel with a nice hoppiness.

T: The initial flavor was light sweet toasted malt, light dried citrus with a good floral hop bitterness. A little hop bite in the finish, with some light citrus notes.

M: a little thin but had a good flavor with a light smooth texture.

D: Overall some smooth toasted caramel malting but more of a tweener. Good for one or two but fails to satisfy in numbers.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 23:10:14 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Pours a neat orange/amber, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smell is citrusy hops, smells crisp. Taste is deep and malty, with a nice hop bitterness and a dry finish. Good malty aftertaste. Taste is nice and crisp, smooth and easy drinking, tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2005 00:35:16 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color with a very foamy three finger head upon pouring. Great retention, slowly reducing to one finger for the majority of the time drinking, leaving behind thick lacing down the sides. Lots of bubbles released from the bottom.

S: Very biscuity. There is a strong malt sweetness and a light amount of hops and bit of spice. Upon warming a bit of grainy malt begins to come forward.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma, rather biscuity mixed with some sweetness. There is some light fruit and a little bit of spice and a slightly bittersweet finish.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down very easy.

O: An extremely drinkable beer, the classic in its style. I don't drink it often, but when I want it, its always there.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 23:50:50 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is deep clear amber. Almost copper. Beautiful pillowy white head. I don't get a lot on the nose. Maybe some slight malt. Taste is nice. A nice bready yeast flavor is present. There's also a very slight fruitiness that accents nicely. Like apples and pears. Very clean taste. Easy drinking. Solid brew here.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2002 21:46:10 | More by Bighuge
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. About time I review some Anchor Steam. The first time I tried it, was many years ago and it was tasty. Hopefully those old memories are still here since I occasionally have it.

Anchor Steam pours a nice off white head of a very large four fingers. It has a gorgeous clear color of dark to brown copper. Wonderful ice cream cone retention on the head as well, looks like a root beer float. Some small carbonation from the bottom. Some stickyness and lacing. She looks good in the pint!

A very faint airy malt aroma, but a very nice one. Small grain in the nose kind of lingers after you pull the beer away. Some very faint hops.

On taste it's at first a sweet grain, then gives way to a subtle hop finish. Fells a little carbonated in the mouth and wet but the body doesn't feel like complete water. Quite solid and good nothing fancy, just simple.

Anchor steam is still solid just as I remember it. Inexpensive to boot too and easy drinking. Not the most knockout beer I've had, but certainly one that is worth its price and then some and easily available.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 20:43:14 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really cool clarity and amber pour with great lace retention. Minimal fruity aroma, no discernable specific fruit type (its the yeast I know).

Taste, like they advertise, its what, a lager yeast made in an ale or vice versa. Light body, ample hopping for a flagship brew from back in the day. Just the right amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel allows one to pick up some of the complexities and what sets this beer apart from a standard APA. Great summer beer, sometimes a little cost prohibitive, and a well known folklore regarding the dickness of those affiliated with the brewery prevent many from enjoying the finished product more often.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2010 19:41:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

05-26-2014 13:02:17 | More by Latarnik
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy deep amber colour topped by an off-white head. The rocky foam thinned to a decent lace after a few minutes, which stayed supported by moderate carbonation. Yeasty aroma is prominent to start, but becomes quite mild after breathing for a short while. Moderate maltiness supports a minty, earthy hop aroma and a light fruitiness. Nicely balanced flavour with malts and minty/lemony hop flavour to start leading into some drying bitterness towards the finish. Medium body and not as carbonated as I expected based on the appearance. Overall, the slight mintiness was a delightful surprise.

650 mL brown bottle with freshness code stamped on the rear label.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2005 01:06:00 | More by DrJay
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,424 ratings.