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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

436 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 436
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.11
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 19
Gots: 12 | 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: 436 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bensbeers
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Love that this is a sort of "second generation" beer. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Has a light fluffy 1.5 finger head. Color is a pale amber.

Surprisingly complex scent - lots of toasty malts, bitterness of coffee grinds, and roasted nuts. Slight fruitiness comes through when tasting - bitter citrus peels.

Taste is certainly bitter - but not the same sought-after bitterness that hop heads enjoy. More a stale bitterness. Reminds me a lot of my Budweiser-drinking days but definitely more enjoyable. Good sessionable beer.

Mouthfeel was really great. Light on the tongue, quenches your thirst. Extremely effervescent.

Great session beer. Don't dive into this looking for a complex game-changer, but it'll do the trick if you want something to enjoy during the game or after working hard. Cheers!

bensbeers, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Chugs13
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Chugs13, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

sendbeer, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone gargoyle pint. Pours a light copper amber with a nice two finger yellowish white head with good retention and lacing. Light aroma of sweet malt with slight toastiness, lightly spicy. Flavor is light malt, slightly nutty, finishing malty and dry with bittering hops, slightly astringent. It does give the impression of a more flavorful malty beer that has been watered down, but it is being presented as a remake of the traditional small beers that were widely drunk and made from spent malt. From that point of view, the flavor is very pleasant for the very low ABV and second malt run. It was enjoyable trying this classic style and I'm glad Anchor makes it. It probably would be a good idea to make a category for this style, since it is traditional and was widely drunk at one time. I'm rating it as a small beer, not an English bitter (although it doesn't miss that mark by much).

LiquidAmber, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of hogrider
3/5  rDev -3.5%

hogrider, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

RblWthACoz, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of sprucetip
3/5  rDev -3.5%

sprucetip, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of harrymel
2.28/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle code: 2LI

Pours a nice light amber with a solid sheet of loose whites. Smells of peanuts, light grain, sweet toffee (faintly), some hints of grass. Flavor is bitter up front, some of the peanut flavor comes through, a good dose of cardboard (candy box style) some bits of metals. Medium bodied with much too much carbonation and a wettish finish. Not very impressive, but I can see how on a sunny summer day, with sweat dripping down my face this would satisfy. Maybe if this wasn't listed as a bitter.

harrymel, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of ScreamForMe
3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

ScreamForMe, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of Jsteez
3.45/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a pint 6 oz. brown bottle into a dimpled mug.

A-Not too special: a translucent golden-yellow with a touch of light orange and visible lager-esque carbonation. It poured a nice white head that dissipated after 20 seconds. The head pretty much disappeared and left little traces of lace on the glass and around the sides.

S-Toasty malt and grainy. A little skunky right after pour. I sensed some sweet malt and maybe some bread.

T-Wet, dry, and a bitter aftertaste. It is similar to an English Bitter. However, I think it reminded me of an Australian Bitter. Toasty malt and bitter hops were the prevailing tastes overall.

M-Bitter and dry. Quite wet and carbonated.

Overall-It is an okay beer if you don't want to drink a heavier beer and you don't want to drink a Bud. I would buy it again when in the mood, but I wouldn't seek it out. I have had better bitter beers. Overall, for a lighter beer it is good to drink any time of year when in the mood.

Jsteez, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the bomber and into a pint glass:

A: very light golden colored body yielding a one finger white foamy head that dies to a film after thirty seconds and then lasts for an extra minute. Despite the very light body, no carbonation is seen rising. Some light spider web lacing is seen speckling the sides of the glass.

S: sour graininess, nothing else is really noticed.

T: roasty/toasty, very dry and bitter

M: very light; dry, bland aftertaste. With the ABV where it is, this is an extremely sessionable beer.

O: despite the bittering being a bit more present than other English bitters and barely any malt present, I'd say this is a decent beer. For the style, its about right there. For me, I'm not sure if I would seek this out again, depends...but the price is definitely there.

BeerKangaroo, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There's a place in the world for beer's that don't overwhelm the palate, that remain flavorful without weight, that are satisfying at low alcohol. Anchor shows a breadth of taste that can be achieved in lighter, session ales.

With its bright copper body and lively carbonation, the beer's first glance won't deviate from the common appearances of pale ales. But its understated head character starts to fall apart rather soon and results in a still appearance midway through the session. But with light carbonation and head character, the beer seems to lace with rings and specks nicely.

Fruity-sweet aromas cross the nose with moderate intensity and delivers grain sweetness of sorghum and thin molasses with dates, prunes, and fig fruit support. Herbal hops contribute tea-like and tobacco aromas particularly as the beer warms.

Grainy sweetness starts the flavor profile with the same sorghum and toffeeish notes found in the aroma. Weaving into the fruit esters of dried and pitted fruits, the combined effect gives a richer taste to start. Earthy hop flavors rise with a quick middle palate and take form of muddled tea leaves and freshly cut tobacco. Hops develop from the fruit and herb taste and toward a broad and earthen bitterness, similar to damp soil and tree bark.

Medium-light bodied early, but as the carbonation recedes, it takes with it the slim malty sweetness and leaves a mild grain-derived astringency to accompany hop bitterness. The beer seems to skip right to the finish to avoid a thin and watery mid palate.

The remnants from Old Foghorn leaves a shadow taste of its big brother but sheds its almost oily viscosity and alcohol complexities for refreshment and drinkability. The beer that emerges retains glimpses into the fruity esters and malt firmness that we've come to love about that barleywine.

BEERchitect, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of beerpadawan
2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

beerpadawan, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of Falcone
2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Falcone, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

harpus, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of KStark
3/5  rDev -3.5%

KStark, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter glass.

A very lager like appearance, crystal clear and clean with a very pale amber gold, simple white collar presented with some pretty good lacing also.

Nose is toasty but also quite a bit grainy, nearly sour. However, it's arid and dry quality seems to make up for it.

Taste is quite toasty, with a huge toasty finish particularly on the palate. A real nice lingering hop bitterness too on the drink and dry matching a light and very crisp body.

Excellent session brew. Small beer with big taste indeed, can see myself enjoying many of these at a time if needed.

smakawhat, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of Nerudamann
3.55/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look – light amber color, a little hazy, with about half a finger’s worth of slightly frothy off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – not too strong of a smell. It has a general ale type of smell, but with a twisted type of grain..or at least what smells like one. It smells like there might be an alternative being used. Not sorghum, but something close to that.

Taste – very interesting taste. It still tastes like the smell, in that it tastes like there’s an alternative being used for the grain. It almost has an effervescent type of quality. Pretty bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel – pretty well-balanced, but leans a little more toward the creamy side.

Overall – probably not going to be a favorite of mine, but interesting enough in the taste.

Nerudamann, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

nmann08, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -3.5%

shelby415, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of MathNut
3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

MathNut, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.68/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Small Beer has a very thick, fluffy, off-white head and a cloudy, bubbly amber appearance, with minimal lacing. The aroma is faint, but one can, with deep inhalation, pick up barley malt, caramel, tea, and sweetness. Taste is of bitterness across the sip, and one detects tea, light malt, and even some light lemony aspects. Mouthfeel is pretty watery, and Anchor Small Beer finishes mellow and dry. Overall, this is an interesting one to try. It’s unlike anything I’ve had before.

RJT

RonaldTheriot, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of hanlonrn
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

hanlonrn, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of lmdengis
2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

lmdengis, Jul 09, 2012
Photo of Stirling
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

Stirling, Jun 27, 2012
Anchor Small Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.