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Anchor Small Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Small BeerAnchor Small Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
72
okay

435 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 435
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.11
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 17
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
"We believe you will find Anchor Small Beer delicious--similar to what modern brewers call a "bitter"--and we hope you will also enjoy the idea of reviving an ancient brewing tradition, which is something of great importance. "

"We make our Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale from the rich first runnings of an all-malt mash, and Anchor Small Beer is our attempt to duplicate the "small beers" of old by sparging that same mash: sprinkling warm water over the Old Foghorn mash after the first wort has run off, thereby creating a second, lighter brew from the resulting thinner wort. "

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 11-11-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Small Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 435 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bung
3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint 6 oz. pretty clear gold pour. Finger of white head. Not much lacing to speak of but retained ok.

Aroma, some musty tea and herbal hops, miniscule malt note. A tad light here.

Taste, a tad light here as well, mostly herbal hop tea. Reminds. E very much of a German macro.

Light bodied, nice tingly carbonation. The ultimate session beer I suppose, good flavor for being such a "small" beer.

Calling this an English bitter probably isn't a fair categorization. Doubt I would bother with again, but I applaud the unique effort.

Bung, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of TenHornsProud
2.6/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear copper with a fine white head the lingers.

Smells of slightly toasted malt with a hint of roasted character and some earthy/herbal hop.

Up front astringent and thin character gives way into just the slightest malt/bread backbone before ending on a more astringent note. Surprisingly unpleasant flavor given the appearance and aroma.

Thin body and low carbonation works OK.

What an astringent beer! Not particularly pleasant.

TenHornsProud, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of czfreeman
3.03/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anchor small.
From reading previous reviews I can understand the low reviews due to subdued flavor, however after having several conversations with the brewer at Social kitchen, where I am an assistant, he really has helped me to understand the versatility of English bitter.
Pours a light honey-amber tone, light lacing. Head dissipated quickly, medium carbonation.
Distinct grassy hops on the nose, nice maltiness in the back. Lemon, pepper, musty character as well.
Flavor light, biting and subdued.
Mouthfeel is light, spritz y and refreshing. A nice beer to begin the evening with or simply enjoy on a warm day.I have to say the local Magnolia brewery executes a much finer bitter, but this is a decent offering, and also a much better way to use the mash from Old Foghorn.

czfreeman, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of blakelive784
2.65/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a pilsner glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a nearly transparent orange/copper color with three fingers of surprisingly thick off-white head. Retention is solid, and the head leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S - Light cereal grains, sweet malts, and mild citric hops notes. Simple and mild, though somewhat appealing.

T - Simple malts and unrefined cereal grains lightly countered by bland hops. The hops are noticeably indistinct. Bland and boring. I understand this one's note supposed to be complex or a flavor powerhouse, but there really is nothing going on.

M - Thick, smooth,and wet. Not very supportive of the flavors. It's ok.

D - A definite disappointment from Anchor. I applaud the attempt at a "small" beer, though the final result is a failure.

blakelive784, May 31, 2012
Photo of demgoth
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

demgoth, May 09, 2012
Photo of Dunkelhund
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Dunkelhund, May 02, 2012
Photo of od_sf
3/5  rDev -3.5%

od_sf, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of Ryan1423
4/5  rDev +28.6%

Ryan1423, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of thatskinnytjkid
3/5  rDev -3.5%

thatskinnytjkid, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of zonker17
3/5  rDev -3.5%

zonker17, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
3/5  rDev -3.5%

MarkyMOD, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of jeanphony
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

jeanphony, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of theempire
3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

theempire, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of mdillon86
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

mdillon86, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of edwardkersh
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

edwardkersh, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of jimmah120
2.5/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle w/ no date

A: Translucent dark gold color with a great pillowy head, and spotty lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Not a lot to report here: a slight 'barnyard' smell and a tiny bit of hop presence. Smells like flavored water.

T/M: Tastes like water up front, definitely not a plus. It's like a watered down steam beer. A little malt, lemon zest, and grass. Delivers in the bitter category. Not full flavored, but not undrinkable. Mouthfeel is very watery, carbonation OK.

O: Not something I would seek out again.

jimmah120, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of slimntubbs
3/5  rDev -3.5%

slimntubbs, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of Archimedes
2/5  rDev -35.7%

Archimedes, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of PthPndr
3/5  rDev -3.5%

PthPndr, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of HoppedUp13
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

HoppedUp13, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of czar78
3/5  rDev -3.5%

czar78, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of taylocd
2.13/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 22 ounce bottle into tulip.

A - pale clear gold with continuous bubbling and great head retention from carbonation; very little lacing, though

S - aroma similar to that of soft rubber baby bottle nipples

T - odd plastic/resin flavor

M - nice zip from carbonation, medium 'feel' or body

O - the aroma and flavor are too much to overcome to make this worth a repeat try.

taylocd, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a mason jar in low altitude Palo Alto, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given its rating on the site. Served refrigerator cold and unpaired with food.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair thickness and cream, and abysmal retention. Colour is a clear light copper. Generally appealing.

Sm: Clean malt and barley is all me broken nose detects. All apologies, lads. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Clean malts with some light nuts on the climax. Simple and boring. Imbalanced.

Mf: Lumpy, sharp (overcarbonation?), smooth, and wet.

Dr: A boring sloppy seconds beer that is neither interesting nor worthwhile, this is best left on the shelf.

kojevergas, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This chubby bottle, that’s been in my fridge for at least a couple of years, poured into a tall glass, shows a bright, clear amber color and a substantial white head and lot’s of lacing. The aroma brings to mind yeasty pumpernickel bread with caramel malt undercurrents, crisp and a bit skunky like some pilsners. The taste brings on an interestingly peppery wheat with more yeasty bread and grassy edges. There is a subtle light fruit sweetness but generally this is more of a grain brew that’s a tad watery but has an effervescent feel with a light body. It’s interesting, kind of basic and not a bad refreshment.

Durge, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of mglaser37
3.48/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Head: Had little hold but was white and a bit fluffy at first.

Aroma: This beer has a hoppy/grassy smell to it.

Color: This is a light pale ale…has a light golden color.

Flavor: Was bitter/hoppy & nutty…bitter finish.

Mouth-feel: This was very watery…easy to drink. Body had a decent amount of carbonation but not to the tongue.

mglaser37, Feb 01, 2012
Anchor Small Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 435 ratings.