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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

432 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 320
rAvg: 3.11
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 16
Gots: 7 | 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)
View: Beers (24) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Small Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 320 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hogrider
hogrider

Florida

3/5  rDev -3.5%

10-16-2012 01:12:24 | More by hogrider
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

10-15-2012 01:38:56 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

3/5  rDev -3.5%

10-07-2012 00:10:52 | More by sprucetip
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 05:59:11 | More by harrymel
Photo of ScreamForMe
ScreamForMe

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

09-13-2012 16:46:27 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of Jsteez
Jsteez

China

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2012 03:49:35 | More by Jsteez
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2012 00:01:02 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 18:04:19 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of beerpadawan
beerpadawan

California

2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

08-25-2012 17:22:05 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of Falcone
Falcone

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

08-18-2012 23:29:30 | More by Falcone
Photo of harpus
harpus

Alabama

3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

08-17-2012 17:26:54 | More by harpus
Photo of KStark
KStark

British Columbia (Canada)

3/5  rDev -3.5%

08-14-2012 19:47:04 | More by KStark
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2012 00:27:09 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Nerudamann
Nerudamann

Oregon

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 05:52:51 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

07-28-2012 15:33:55 | More by nmann08
Photo of shelby415
shelby415

Oregon

3/5  rDev -3.5%

07-18-2012 05:34:35 | More by shelby415
Photo of MathNut
MathNut

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

07-14-2012 05:53:24 | More by MathNut
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

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

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2012 23:05:03 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of hanlonrn
hanlonrn


3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

07-10-2012 12:20:35 | More by hanlonrn
Photo of lmdengis
lmdengis

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -11.6%

07-09-2012 02:34:22 | More by lmdengis
Photo of Stirling
Stirling


3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

06-27-2012 19:13:27 | More by Stirling
Photo of hiphopj5
hiphopj5

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

06-21-2012 19:13:33 | More by hiphopj5
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 02:19:27 | More by Bung
Photo of TenHornsProud
TenHornsProud

Colorado

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2012 23:47:33 | More by TenHornsProud
Photo of czfreeman
czfreeman

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 20:28:37 | More by czfreeman
Anchor Small Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.