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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

2,974 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,974
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 70
Gots: 172 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,974 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

SocalKicks, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden/amber color with a nice fruffy head,the aroma is somewhat dry and hoppy with some slight sweetness in the background.The flavor is zesty and citruis-like with a malty sweet lingering backbone but the hop profile is the main taste I got from this brew.A pretty darn good ale even better if your a hophead.

oberon, Aug 09, 2003
Photo of largadeer
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber in appearance with an unfiltered haze and a sticky cap of foam. Honey-like sweetness and bitter citrus make up the nose. Herbal and citric hops (lots of grapefruit) balance with bready malts to make up the foundation of this beer. It finishes dry and slow. This is pretty rich and complex for a pale ale - not exactly a session beer, it feels too heavy to drink a lot of, but it's exceptionally flavorful. A great pale ale.

largadeer, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20 oz. draft at the Anchor Brewing Bar in SFO, review from written notes.

Hazy brassy golden orange, with a thin layer of white foam that has a creamy surface texture. Spotty lace sticks to one side, as it is sipped there's a collared edge to the edge ring and a thin unbroken skim across the surface. Good retention on display.

Aromas of softly sweet shortbread, citrus rind, pale malt.

Flavors are similar, pale malt, mild citrus, lightly floral. Shortbread sweetness at first, with an easygoing bitterness in the finish. A little bit of herbal hop spice and fruity apple from the yeast. Overall easy drinking, simple and flavorful.

emerge077, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.8%

JAHMUR, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml squat bottle, a pleasant enough surprise find at a friend's moving day after-party.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, glassy medium orange-amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and kind of creamy off-white head, which leaves some broadly scattered swaths of fuzzy cloud lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of multi-toned citrus hops - orange, grapefruit, and lemon - some musty pine resin, and a decent offset of fruity, honeyed pale malt. The taste starts again with the orange and lemon citrus astringency, with a close-following grainy, biscuity pale malt caramel sweetness, and a hint of further leafy, spicy, and perfumed hops.

The carbonation is rather moderate, and hard to discern at times, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready caramel malt well in balance with the now waning hop contingent.

A fairly well rendered, and tasty brew - maybe not the headiest of IPAs from their native turf, but quite drinkable all the same. I could see going with this as a party sixer for slow sippin' all night, with the aim of keeping my palate intact for other pursuits.

biboergosum, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured out an orange/amber color with a pillowy, off-white, two-finger head. Left some lace.

S - It smelled of grasses, citrus and some malt.

T - It tasted of toasted malt, good spicy hops and a hint of coriander or orange.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A nice APA. Good blend of flavors.

zeff80, May 23, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i dont care what anyone says about anchor, they still make some wonderful beers, and liberty ale is at the head of that list, with its rich red malt base, glowing amber in the glass, and its huge hop palate, shocking to the masses no doubt when it was released, but not fitting rightly into the ipa category range. i like the fusion here, its got an english type ale yeast that imparts a lot of flavor, along with great dryness of feel, but its also hopped like a west coast ipa, a cool blend of traditions and entirely its own. i like the amber malt base, it isnt the least bit sweet, but its a different launching point than we usually see for the cascade hops, which are everything they usually are, bold and bitter, fresh and dramatic. the grain does balance that all the way through, and the english yeast is a great touch. carbonation is soft and not aggressive, but it is prominent and more than enough. the body is medium but filling as it warms, and the finish is long and bitter and distinct to this particular beer, ipa may have evolved beyond this in some ways, or at least the american beer geeks palate has, but this stands as a baseline for what good american hoppy beer should taste like, and it always makes me happy to go back to this one. a staple in the american craft scene for me, for some reason always better on draft.

StonedTrippin, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A classic! It's slightly hazy (bottle-conditioned) golden-amber body is topped by a frothy white head that holds really well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. Dry-hopped Cascades saturate the nose - perfumey, floral, lemony, and pine-like over some lightly caramel-tinged grainy malt. The hops are 'softer' from the dry-hopping, however, and not as 'sharp' as if they'd been added to the kettle. It's luxurious! The body is medium; and it's lightly crisp and then smooth and creamy in the mouth due in part to a very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. Cascades carry over into the flavor in a big way; wrapped in sweet, caramelish malt and backed by a firm bitterness. It's very well-rounded and nicely balanced, without the aggressive edge that many beers like this have. Absolutely worth seeking out!

NeroFiddled, Mar 29, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pasty of white lace, hazed unfiltered orange colour. Earthy yeast, citrusy-minty hop, fruity esters, raw honey-like and biscuity malt sweetness make up the aroma.

Well rounded bitterness is the first to be noticed, smooth malt sweetness lines the palate with tones of biscuits and raw honey. Hops are very flavourful ranging form coarse bitterness to citrus, mildly minty to raw herbal. Touch of yeast and fruity esters show its ale prowess.

Fresh and in your face, a real American ale to be had here and one that I will happily make space in my beer fridge for.

Jason, Oct 11, 2002
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Brewing delivers quite a beer here. A wonderful representation of an American Pale Ale. Pours a amber light copper orangish hue with a full heaping white head. A great amount of fruit aroma that is unbelieveable. Within in the first sip, the sweetness of the malts dominates the flavor, but a great taste of citrus hop flavor fills the senses balancing this beer perfectly to the likings of my taste buds. I will put it like this, this beer is so fine if it were a woman, I would drink it's bathwater. An great classic taste that is amazingly drinkable.

WVbeergeek, Jan 17, 2003
Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a lightly hazy, copper colored body. The foam recedes slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - Aromas of spicy hops with some grapefruit. Some toasted malt in the background with a hint of caramel.

T - Spicy hops and dry caramel up front with some lightly fruity yeast. The hop flavor becomes more fruity in the middle with notes of grapefruit and orange. The beer finishes with lots of dry toffee flavored malt and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - A nice combination of dry malt and spicy hops with some fruity notes that come out in the finish. The malt is well balanced with enough sweetness to keep the toasted notes from becoming unpleasant. Moderate, herbal bitterness rounds things out. This isn't as pungent or pine oriented as many modern pale ales, but after 35 years it is still a good pale ale and an interesting glimpse into the early years of American craft brewing.

nickfl, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle dated 10/27/06 into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of mild hops, citrus and some caramelized malt.

T: The taste starts off with a flavor of pale hops, then the malt character kicks in with flavors of citrus and caramel. There's also a hint of smokiness in there. The hops presence seems toned down for the style but it comes out a bit more in the grassy after-taste.

M: Crisp, but I didn't find it very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Not quite the tastiest beer I've had, goes down easy enough and it isn't very filling. It's not a bad beer, but there are definitely many others within the style that I would choose first.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery gold, with several fingers of billowy bright-white head. This retains with about a foamy ½ finger, soaping the sides of the glass with heavy lacing. The aroma is grassy and spicy smelling in the nose, with a bold citrus character that blends with the sweetness of the grains, imparting a strong earthy tang.

Green citric bitterness gives the taste a refreshing bite, which is balanced by a solid graininess, extra sweet fruitiness, and a gentle herbal feel that runs throughout the profile. A dry pithy and spicy feel lingers in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness which matches that hop bite but then gets much more smooth and slick towards the back of the swallow.

This is another winner from Anchor, with a crisp and refreshing air (and overall drinkibility about it) that belies its 6% ABV. Hoppy yet approachable is the name of the game with this one.

Kegatron, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with just a little head. Nose is slightly citrus-esqe with obvious hop influence. Flavor is not what I had expected. Starts off with a deep but not overdone hop flavor. Moves to a slight citrus accent. Then to a smoothly bitter tone. Then you are left with a clean hop flavor on your tongue. High marks for such a ride through the flavors. Mouthfeel is thick with a good carbonation. Very drinkable.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Al's of Hampden as part of a mix-a-six. Poured chilled from the stubby brown 12oz into a willybecker.

The color is like an arnold palmer both golden and amber w/ a quick to settle white cap of tiny condensed beads - lace is spotty and carbonation slowly rises in the liquid. The smell is a blend of fruit aromas, lots of orange and slightly lemony noble type hop scent. There is a mild malt essence in the nose w/ light sweetness compimenting the bitter citrus odors. The feel is good with lots of tangy fruity tangy-ness wiht slight spice and hints of mild malt backing with subtle dry and bitter finish.

lemony hop flavors with tangy elelments of orange rind and slightly bitter taste of herbs with a slightly apple-jack type quality. The overall hoppiness is not over the top assertive but it has a nice clean bitterness with lots of hop flavor and only a mild amount of citrus zest astringency. The light floral hop elements are great adding to the complexity of the flavor while the malt is sturdy but not very forward either. A really great Pale, plenty of hop taste with mild malt gives light fruitiness of the yeast an effortless yet delectable balance for the beer as a whole. I think Anchor Liberty is highly drinkable, a quenching satisfying and well made ale.

Slatetank, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A: Huge bubbly head almost 3 fingers, slightly clear golden orange color

N: Nose is pretty close to amber ale with some hints of lighter hops, some light malts, a slight pine, and touch of sugar, it has an interesting malt quality to it that I wish I could pick out the exact malt

T: Taste has a very light ale malt base with some slight spices, its pretty clean drinking, not a huge flavor

M: Pretty light on the mouth with some frothy carbonation

F: Finish has some more bitter hops that fade pretty quick, its semi sweet and light, finishes pretty clean

Final thoughts: Its a very light, clean, and easy drinking lightly hoped ale. It doesn't have much body or hop base, but its got a decent malt and enough hops. It doesn't try to do anything special, just a nice session beer. Its very crisp and refreshing. I would like something like this as a summer beer more than many summer style hefes (since IMO most American Hefes don't do it right).

jlindros, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

russpowell, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -10%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in an Anchor Liberty Ale glass because of my family's undying love of this brewery I have a glass for every beer they produce. And if you had one, you'd use it when you finally got around to reviewing this particular beer. At the time of this review, this is the #32 American Pale Ale on the beeradvocate best of lists.

Beer is yellow to amber with some haze, a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing, heavy carbonation, nice retention, looks good.

Aroma is malty, like a red ale might smell, I like the aroma, mild hops, like a shadow of hops.

Can you taste the freedom? It is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, the overall beer is nice, good malt character a mild, probably about 20 IBU bitterness on the finish. The overall beer is quite drinkable. I guess it tastes good, but just isn't special to me. I would have it again if I found myself at a party with someone who thought they knew what good beer was or if I went to some ridiculous event that served this or BMC. I enjoyed it, I just wasn't blown away.

drabmuh, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'd seriously underestimated this beer in the past, for my enthusiasm was markedly greater when I sat down to study it, smell it, and appreciate it's complexities. I'll bet I was drinking it out of a bottle in a noisy, smoky bar.
Thick white head, settles soon. Pale orange color. Fresh aroma, incredible fruit! Peaches, apricots, citrus, with perfect integration--nothing stands over or above anything else. Quite mellow and smooth, this is an ideal session beer, not too powerful in hops or alcohol, but one that rewards the attentive. Fritz Maytag and the boys at Anchor are the ultimate craftsmen and this is a perfect product. Everything is so well-formed and pure, it's amazing. Great balance, flavor, everything!

feloniousmonk, Dec 10, 2002
Photo of Rifugium
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: pitcher shared by the folks from Anchor, at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a clearish pale copper color with a thin wispy white head. Very little detectable in the nose, mild citrusy hops and grainy malts. Taste was similarly muted, especially for an IPA, especially for an IPA being showcased by the brewer himself. Very light flavor, pale biscuity malts underneath a citrusy but subdued hop presence. Body is light, the beer, while lacking in flavor overall, is smooth and quite drinkable, but just too bland and thin compared to what I like in my AIPAs.

Rifugium, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

MarkyMOD, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a solid malty scent with hops sneaking in behind it. The taste is good. I has a creamy malt palate with mild flavor hops. It goes down easy and finishes smooth. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a real good drinker; a fine brew for any day.

WesWes, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 20, 2014
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,974 ratings.