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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,854 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,854
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 67
Gots: 143 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
The champagne-like bubbles, distinctive hop bouquet, and balanced character of Liberty Ale® revives centuries-old ale brewing traditions that are now more relevant than ever. First introduced in 1975, Liberty Ale® is brewed strictly according to traditional craft brewing methods, and uses only natural ingredients — pale malted barley, fresh whole-cone Cascade hops and a special top-fermenting yeast, and water.

The yeast used during fermentation produces many of Liberty Ale's subtle flavors and characteristics. A natural process called "bunging" creates gentle carbonation, and the practice of dry hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during aging), revived by Anchor, creates its unique aroma.

Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. As the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale, Anchor’s Liberty Ale® is the original craft brewed ale and the historic beer that started a revolution.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-18-2000)
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Ratings: 2,854 | Reviews: 1,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ADZA


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

This brew pours an impressive clear golden hue almost pilsner looking with really decent carbonation that leaves a smoggy three finger head that slowly recedes to two and leaves heaps of frothy sticky lacing,the smell of this brew is very herbal with alot of spicy,apricot hops and a light caramel malty background,it has an above average mouthfeel that feels very sessionable while still being able to leak its true tastes with a rather smooth caramel/toffee malty start that finishes with a hint of passionfruit hoppy bitterness but the bitterness is not much for a hophead like me and to be honest makes it a very easy brew to session on and would drink again if i saw.

05-24-2010 12:48:18 | More by ADZA
Photo of Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours a nice amber color with plenty of sticky white head. Head leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

This is fairly floral. I started picking up scents right from the open bottle a foot away. Some nice floral and slightly citrusy hops, and some mild malt flavoring.

Slightly sweet, honeyish malt flavor at the front, that evolves into floral hop flavor and some bitterness at the end. Bitterness stays around a bit for the aftertaste.

Nice, light, an excellent session APA.

07-04-2011 22:13:07 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of Running4beer


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours an orange haze with a white thick head but quickly thins out. Strong floral hops aroma. Light carbonation with a good mouthfeel. Tastes of floral hops, malt and some citrus fruit specifically orange at least thats what I taste. This beer goes down nice and smooth which is nice to have on a hot summer day while relaxing next to a pool or at the beach.

03-19-2003 14:18:36 | More by Running4beer
Photo of Bighuge


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

The beer is a hazy golden with fine sediment floating around. Rocky white head. There's some big grapefruit on the nose. Very piney on the palate. Spicy. And oily. A little resin kick adds some ooomph. I don't get a lot of bitterness though. Light to medium in body. Malt character is sufficient and slightly caramelly and bready. Solid IPA.

05-20-2002 21:55:14 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Nice dark, golden color and a nice creamy head. Great (!) floral hop nose! Medium body and tongue-smoothness. Easy-drinking smooth floral hoppiness...mmm! Nice bier!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


02-16-2002 19:51:33 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Haybeerman


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

A: Slightly hazy gold/amber color. Poured a 2 finger foamy white head with good retention. Decanted lightly. Laced in wavy rings.

S: Citrus and floral hops; lemon zest most prominent. Crackery malt in the background.

T: Crackery malt more up front than the nose. Good balance with flavoring hops transitioning to bitter in the finish. A few yeast notes for character.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth with a light resiny coating. Nice and bitter in the finish.

D: Very drinkable. Flavorful and balanced. Sessionable ABV.

12-20-2010 23:32:13 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of billshmeinke


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Golden/orange hue with a rocky three finger head. Retention is great, chunky layer of foam on top that lasts all the way through.

Herbal, earthy, and just a touch of citrusy notes as well as biscuity malt and a dab of honey.

A nice balance between biscuit and honey malts and herbaceous, citrusy, and a touch minty hops. The finish is bitter and clean.

The, mouthfeel is clean, crisp, refreshing, and sports a bit of acidity as well.

One of the classic APA's. Hoppy, refreshing, a perfect choice for a hop lover looking for something lighter than an IPA especially on a hot day.

05-02-2011 20:03:18 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of macpapi


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Finally decided to review this classic. Pours a light amber color with a small white head. Somewhat hazy. Smell is an even mix of malt and hops. There is a nice citrus pull also--grapefruit and orange--along with fruity apricot. Very nice. Tastes full of malt with a nice hop bitterness. A bit of smoky flavor goes well with the citrussy finish. Well balanced. In the mouth Anchor Liberty Ale is full, bitter and has little carbonation. Pleasant on the palate. On the whole, this is a very good and sessionable (despite the 6% abv) beer. It is very tasty, balanced and enjoyable to drink. Deserving of its respected status.

05-08-2006 14:55:13 | More by macpapi
Photo of brewdoc75


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

One of my all time favorite pale ales.

Poured into a glass from the bottle.

Pours a nice, smooth head that simmers down to a beautiful white layer. LIvely carbonation. Lovely golden color. The aroma is solid as well w/ a good hop presence. Great citrusy aromas, followed by a strong fruitiness. This aroma lives on in the flavor with a strong hoppy bitterness initially w/ flavors of grapefruit and lemon peel. This is backed up by an excellent fruity flavor from the esters. Finishes crisp and clean. Light bodied and smooth. Overall, an excellent example of an APA. Delightfully crisp and clean citrus flavors, with a bit more fruitiness than most APAs I've had. Highly recommended.

12-19-2007 01:52:31 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of leantom


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Love the Steam Beer so decided to give this one a shot. Here goes:

A: Clear copper color that pours a massive head. Although the head's massiveness dissipates quickly, an inch of it lingers on for a long time. Leaves a ton of lacing, too. Amazing. 5/5

S: Not as robust as I would've liked. No grapefruit (which I like), but lots of soapy lemon and spicy yeast. However, I must mention again that these smells are rather muted. 3.5/5.0

T: I'm conflicted. The taste is not as robust as I would've liked, but I don't think this is what the brewers were going for. They weren't trying to make the beer a hop bomb with tons of intricate flavors, but a well-balanced, sessionable brew. And I think they succeeded marvelously. While I prefer the hop-bombs, this beer is still very elegant in its simplicity. Lemony hops with lighter spices imparted from the yeast. Grainy malt, but its simple texture is a perfect balance that compliments the simplicities of the hops and yeast. Overall, good. 4/5

M: Very clean, smooth, and crisp. 4.5/5.0

O: Not what I'm used to in a WC IPA, but I still appreciate what Anchor brewing has done with this beer. Good. 4.1/5

08-22-2014 21:56:29 | More by leantom
Photo of dblinkhorn


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from a 1 pt bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - The head is of average size, and is near perfect white. It is very silky from top to bottom, consisting of very tiny bubbles. The brew's color is a nice straw-orange.

Smell - It's been a while since I've had a good old-fashioned American micro-brewed beer as I've been on a Belgian trip lately. The smell is very crips, with citrusy clean hops up front. In the background is a very rich scent of cooked, bready malts. Also, there are notes of grapefruit in the smell as well.

Taste - The extra bitter, yet clean, crisp, and citrusy, hops hit you first, followed closely by rich malt flavor. The malt in this brew tastes especially rich to me. There is a slight earthy flavor present as well. Grapefruit is also present. In fact, this stuff is really reminding me of a "light" version of Arrogant Bastard.

Mouthfeel - Superb mouthfeel. The carbonation is done perfectly, it is medium- to light-bodied and is very, very smooth.

Drinkability - About the norm for this style. Quite high.

Overall, this is a very quality ale. Again, it reminds me a lot of Arrogant Bastard, but not quite as...arrogant. Thus, the drinkability is higher, but the flavor is lacking (only slightly, though). This is a very great brew, altogether. Highly recommended.

08-19-2006 22:52:18 | More by dblinkhorn
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

This is my favourite beer from this brewery.

A: Pours golden-amber. A big, chunky beige head, with good lacing and retention.

S: Aroma is fruit and honey, and biscuits. Hints of grass and citrus.

T: Initially bitter hops, followed by a smooth, malty sweetness. The hoppyness is fruity with honey and lemon. Yeast is apparent as well, with a small piney/herbal, dry finish.

M: Fresh tasting beer, with a good dry finish on the palate. Carbonation is soft and subtle.

D: Great APA if you ask me, extremely drinkable. Not too complex but great balance and interesting enough to really appreciate the character of this beer.

10-15-2008 03:45:41 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of DovaliHops


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours an almost-clear, golden-orange color with a nice large white head that goes down slowly. Aroma is quite lovely on this beer. I get some English malt notes with a strong floral background. Some subtle hoppiness is present throughout. A lot of floral notes though. Taste is either English hops or English malt...I'm really not that skilled when it comes to distinguishing. All I know is there are some nice malt and hop notes in here, and one of em aint American! Strange, considering it's called Liberty Ale. This beer is very well-balanced and somewhat complex. I'm diggin it. Mouthfeel is very full-bodied and almost creamy. Not watery at all. Drinkability is high. I can't believe it took me so long to try this beer. I see it all the time, but never grabbed it. I'm glad I did.

03-07-2011 07:47:10 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of yemenmocha


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

"Bomber" sized bottling.

Pours hazy gold color with thin white head that remains thin for awhile.

Nose is very lemony citrus and somewhat metallic.

On the palate, razor sharp bitterness cuts in right away, soft malt with more lemony citrus come through nicely. Medium bodied, soft and creamy as such. Finish is rather tart.

07-26-2008 19:46:36 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of meeekyh


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

One of my favorite beer sellers recently got this brewery's wares back in, so I thought I would try it. There is every chance I have had this in the past but it illustrates the reason I started this beer reviewing in the first place, I don't remember.

I poured this golden honey colored elixir into my Fin Du Monde tulip. The head is tall off-white and thick with nice lacing. Much lighter color than I expected and quite pretty.

Smell is hoppy, not piny or citrus but hoppy with a healthy dose of grain and a bit of floral niceness. This beer smells like beer, and that is a good thing.

Taste is a lightly hopped full grain experience with nice citrus and the round hops from the nose. The grain bill must be large as the beer holds a lot of flavor in spite of the relatively light color. The hops are a nice accent and a bitterness is there but light and balanced as opposed to being a star player.

Mouthfeel is medium with nice, natural carbonation and a refreshing dry finish. I think the drinkability of this beer would stack against most any. Its yummieness and 6% ABV make it just sessionable enough.

All around this is a solid ale. Full of flavor and representing both the hops and the grain that make beer the joy it is. I will be buying more of this fine American ale and enjoying it as I quaff the recently sold brewery's beer. I pray the quality remains high.


05-15-2010 01:22:46 | More by meeekyh
Photo of rrg1gb


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Golden hue with a thick, well retained head, almost looks like a snowcone.

S - Full floral aroma, hint of pine needles due to Pacific Northwest hops.

T - Tangy yet bitter taste that reminds me of grapefruit.

M - Well-balanced, not too heavy nor too light. A little coarse, but it is definitely thirst-quenching enough to make one take another sip!

D- This is a good APA, but it tastes a little mainstream (I guess that's a good thing?) Still, I have to give Anchor credit for making a good product and being able to sell it on a large scale. That's a tough thing to do these days.

10-02-2006 18:18:38 | More by rrg1gb
Photo of phishgator


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

What can you say about an American institution. This is the true craft brew for American pale ales. The hop bitterness should put it into the IPA style. A hop bitterness explosion that after a session leaves you tasteless. The body is full and the golden hue with its big head is stunning to look at! A great brew for any occasion, but a true session APA for all seasons.

07-06-2005 02:46:28 | More by phishgator
Photo of Beersignal

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Served in a 650 ml bottle... absolutely love the label artwork on this beer.

The pour yields a deep amber liquid with copper/caramel highlights that is covered with a huge off white and billowy cap of foam that lasts and clings like a defector to liberty.

The bouquet is redolent of fresh cascade hops and notes of citrus fruits. Hints of pepper and malt manifest their presence in mid to late aroma and leave behind traces of oak.

The carbonation is nearly perfect. Firm and full mouthfeel leads in for flavours of hops to dominate the profile. Soft hints of malt surface but are soon buried by a long and biting hoppy finish.

This is a remarkably clean yet wonderful session ale that would also fit into the IPA category IMHO. The freshness and bitterness of the hops dominates this beer from start to finish without being overdone. I buy this whenever I'm in Ontario... Québec will not import this beer.

01-14-2005 02:17:43 | More by Beersignal
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Gold with red hints. Smells of citrus, lavender and a bit of sulfur. Very hoppy in flavor, with white grapefruit and some white grape flavors. Not much caramel malt flavor at all, but that's not such a bad thing in this case. Good carbonation helps to give it a nice refreshing quality. Hides the alcohol very well. Long and pleasently bitter finish as well. I would definitely buy this again.

09-16-2005 20:45:10 | More by fisherman34
Photo of McStagger


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

A: Trained pour leads to two and a half fingers slight off white head. Head dissipates at a moderate rate. Moderate to lively carbonation, with large bubbles forming and flowing to the crown of the beer with determined efficiency. Pale, slightly hazy straw color. Good retention.

S: Floral and soapy notes with of honey and cereal sweetness. Touch of apple and other stone fruit.

T: Not nearly as sweet as the nose implies. Malts lead into a floral bitterness with a hint of fruity sweetness peaking in and around. Caramel, a touch of the same honey and apple all mingle in with this same floral/perfumy bitterness. Quite unexpected given how sweet the beer smells.

M: Ample carbonation keeps this one balanced. Lively and invigorating, without being thin or seltzer like.

O: Solid, solid brew. Not quite on the level with their Steam or Porter (IMHO), but nonetheless a great effort. Love it.

04-24-2012 06:42:36 | More by McStagger
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

A: This pours a medium gold with very good clarity. The persistent off-white head of rocky bubble falls to a 1/4 of an inch but is easily roused.

S: Moderate citrus hops and a grassy dry hopped aroma along with a floral alcohol note dominate the aroma. There is a moderately-low biscuity malt aroma with a light note of caramel. There is also a yeast ester of oranges that start very low bt becomes more apparent as it warms.

T: A moderate flavor of citrus hops with a moderate hops bitterness dominate the flavor. The moderately-low malt sweetness has a light caramel flavor. The balance is mostly bitter with a dry finish and a lingering aftertaste of hop bitterness.

M: This is a medium-light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. There is no warmth and a little dry hopped astringency.

O: This is an IPA with American hops with excellent balance of flavor. I generally seek out hoppy IPA but still enjoy this beer from time to time. It's a great example of the style but most would think it's more of an English IPA with American hops.

08-29-2012 01:37:44 | More by MadScientist
Photo of watermelonman


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

This stuff looks really nice. It poured with a nice little head that lasted well and left a good lace behind as well. It sits with a good light copper color.

The smell and up front taste both share a large amount of malt, but that disappears in the finish. Hops take over but maintain balance. Nice.

The most direct comparison has got to be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Given that they're both in bottles, I'd prefer one of these.

06-17-2004 06:30:40 | More by watermelonman
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

Mmmm. I've had this before, but this time I bought this in NH at a Shaws grocery store for the great low price of $6.99. Good deal.

I love the color of this beer. A topaz/amber fog fills the glass and is topped off with a creamy white colored head, and some partly sticky lace. The head has never been that large in most of my pours for this beer. The scents are very nice. Various light smells include earthy citrus, floral, some pine, a tiny bit of spice, a hidden maltiness, and a surrounding light mintiness, not to be confused with strong breath mints. There is a lot to the smell but everything comes together ultra smoothly. Taste is like the aroma. I get everything I mentioned above however the surrounding mintiness is much more subdued by or covered with malts. There are a good deal of hops that flood the mouth, though more like a hoppy pale ale than an IPA. Very nice mouthfeel. Real smooth and quite drinkable.

Real good, if you like beer and feel like a smooth, lightly complex and tasty brew, there's little reason to not get this occasionally or frequently.

09-02-2005 23:12:51 | More by tastybeer
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours with a 2 finger white head that leaves crazy lacing all the way down the glass, the body is a pale golden color thats crystal clear. The smell is raw, herbal/medicinal hops with a mildy sweet, honey-like malt backbone. The taste is quite complex (as expected from anchor) starts with an earthy hoppy flavor that coast the mouth with a resiny hop oil, and continues with sweet honey like malt taste. The malt taste is almost like doughnuts, and ends with a bitter, grassy and floral hops finish that lingers on your tongue briefly, you really get some complex hop flavors here with a spicy flavor that follows a fruity citrus like taste. The hops definately outshine the malt here but what did you expect from an APA, from the west coast no less. The mouthfeel is smooth and light with moderate carbonation. An excellent APA, really showcases that western hops flavor well without overdoing it. Could be a great session brew as the alcohol hides itself fairly well.

04-28-2005 02:00:53 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of russpowell


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours golden/bronze witha 3 fingers offwhite head. Good lacing & head retention

Smell: Floral hops & malt

Taste: big floral hop presence followed by fruityness. Finishes dry & hoppy (piney)

MF: Thin to medium body with pretty good carbonation & great balance

Drinks pretty easy will work as session beer for me, not in the upper echelon of APA's but nothing to pass by either. I remember whein it was just this , SNPA & Ballards for this style. Tried & true

06-20-2006 04:27:29 | More by russpowell
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,854 ratings.