1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

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

2,984 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,984
Reviews: 1,484
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 70
Gots: 175 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Liberty Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,984 | Reviews: 1,484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jizdepski
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nice coppery orange colored ale with a lovely white-capped head. slim amount of retention and lacing. dominant aromas are malty and hoppy, not much else on nose. the taste is outstanding! this is the best american pale i've ever tried....has a wonderful balance of piney hops and malts, neither being overly aggressive, and just a bit bready underneath. i'd say it toes the line between an english pale and a hoppier apa. mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied....well carbonated, nice bitterness from the hops on finish but not overwhelming and quite refreshing. drinkability is high...could drink several in a sitting. very satisfying...hard to ask more from a beer, it really nails the style right on the head.

jizdepski, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of mhatters
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a standard pint glass at the Anchor Bar at the SF airport

Pours a deep ambercopper color with a small white head

Malty, some citrus, some floral hops

Well balanced, the hops and lemon notes play well in the overall malt base. The finish is dry, crisp, and a bit bitter.

A quality, enjoyable beer that is perfect for everyday drinking

mhatters, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Light orange. Good head.

S: Pretty much all citrusy hop aroma.

T: Mostly piney grapefruity hop bitterness. Biscuity malt balances it out.

M: Not too heavy with enough carbonation.

D: A classic pale ale. If you like SNPA, you'll probably dig this as well.

BarrelO, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of Walker8810
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice tawny copper color with at least an inch of head. smells vaguely of bananas with a hint of floral hops. imparts a nice sweet taste at first, not too sweet, very pleasant with a bitter hop finish. mouthfeel is medium. goes down very smooth with a clean finish. overall a delicious ale that would make an excellent session beer.

Walker8810, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of atpben
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Anchor pint glass. Appears a light copper color with a medium white head. Aroma of citrus mixed with grass and light cedar - very pleasent. Very crisp in the taste with lots of citrus - grapefruit and pine dominate and finishes quite dry, which I loved. A great session beer for me. Another good beer from Anchor - a great session beer.

atpben, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of theghost3
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had Liberty Ale on July 4; perfect for Independence Day.

Pours a hazy orange with a 1-finger light yellow head, that quickly dissapates into a thin lace that stays throughout.

The smell is a nice combination of floral, slightly citrusy hops with a sweet bready malt aroma. The taste is herbal with some grapefruity hops; obvious addition of dry hops. The malts come in at the end, and tend to be bready & somewhat buttery. The mouthfeel is smooth, dry.

This is a very drinkable APA. I was surprised at how the malts almost outshine the hops. Very refreshing.

theghost3, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a hazy light orange/yellow. About two fingers of dense foam developed and dissipated slowly to leave a soapy lacing.

Smell: Invigorating grapefruit citrus, with touches of lemon. There was a slight hint of hops at the very beginning, but then I had to search for it later.

Taste: Smooth and tasty. It's very well balanced. The grapefruit citrus from the smell is present, and there is a more prominent hop presence, which is not overly bitter but does have adequate bite. There is also sweet candy caramel mixed in.

Drinkability: The drinkability is high. It's easy drinking and well crafted. What else can you expect from a native Iowan named Fritz?

TheQuietMan22, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of JamesP123
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A. Hazy light orange color. Poured semi-roughly into the glass produced a solid two fingers of barely off white head which left a small tuft of foam on top until the end, thick chuncky lacing. Appears heavily carbinated as the bubbles constantly pour up the glass.

S. Picking up the some hop aroma at first sniff. Followed with some sweetnes from the malt. Nothing overwhelming the senses.

T. Intense rush of hops up front followed by the sweet caramel flavor frmo the malt. Finished a bit sour and dry, wondering how old hte bottle is. Very crisp - getting a very slight metal taste.

M. Crisp carbination rushes across the tounge, a bit too much for the style. Very clean finish.

D. A beer that many could enjoy. Everything is in balance, nothing is over the top. Which can be good and bad, but overall this is a respectable pale ale.

JamesP123, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a transparent peach color that produces a nicely carbonated billowy head that retains slowly and leaves some decent lacing along the glass. Nice look for a pale ale, not exactly up to par with the best, but nice.

S: Wheat, floral hops, bitter hops, sweet malts, and a hint of caramel

T: Bitter hops are aggressive at first, then the floral hops produce a nice flavor, finally followed by the subtle sweet malts that hold the finish. The notes are piney hops and sweet malts.

MF/D: Nice carbonation, light in body, dry finish

Definitely a great session beer

scottyshades, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of JoshuaJ
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a mighty head and thick lacing all the way down. It's 86 degrees right now and this looks like just the kind of beer I want to be drinking.

Earthy, herbal hops and roasted malt on the nose. Nice.

Fuck me, this is good. The first thing to hit is the bitterness from the hops. A touch of lemony citrusy, most mostly herbal. The malts creep and stack up very well to the hops. Very well balanced. It's a bit sweet, maybe some esters, but the yeast comes in and makes sure things don't get out of hand.

And my, oh my, this is one crisp and refreshing beer. The carbonation is high, and it spreads the flavors around my mouth with it's tiny bubbles.

Like their Steam Beer, I can't seem to get in my body fast enough. I actually have to force myself to slow down and admire the simple beauty of this beer, it's that damn drinkable.

JoshuaJ, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of dismal
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass it pours a nice orange color with an almost copper hint to it. Has a one finger white head with some pretty decent retention. Leaves good lacing down the sides. Smells sweet, nothing to impressive but it's smells nice. Taste has a pretty apparent citrus taste to it, starts a little sweet and ends just barely bitter. Kind of has that typical Anchor taste to it but it's not as strong as some of their other beers. It's fairly hoppy, not crazy hoppy but it's nice, pretty balanced I guess. Pretty drinkable, not a high ABV and it's pretty good so I have no problem with this one. Not the best American Pale Ale I've had but it's still really good, I'd pick it up again.

dismal, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of BirdFlu
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much smell to pick up on at all from my experience.. the biggest thing I picked up on is a very strong pale malt character.. the hops are there as well in balance, but the pale malt seems to really stand out the most, and this prevented it from being anything unique or too great.. its ok, definitely not bad. The mouth is light, sort of empty feeling and the drinkability is a question of whether you consider the term to mean ability to drink a lot of it or desire to drink a lot of it. If its the latter, then it suffers a bit.

BirdFlu, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow, decent creamy head that dissipates leaving good lacing. Smells of grassy hops, some grapefruit, light bready malt. Tastes of light bready malt with a nice rounded citrus flavor, hints of lemon, grapefruit, orange. Some grassiness near the finish, nice bitter aftertaste with some grapefruit resin on the palate. Good moderate carbonation for the style, malt balances the hoppiness nicely.

A great pale ale, very hoppy, bordering on the IPA line. A nice citrus and grassiness aroma and taste complement the light bready malt. Very good session beer, similar to SNPA.

bum732, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of xhcadamx
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - medium honey with a with huge long lasting white head and lots of lacing.

S - Cascde hops and a background of grain

T - this is a true masterpiece. It has the base recipe that all Anchor beers have. This isn't a bad thing. Perfect balance between malt and hops.

M - all of their beers are krausened which gains so much respect from me. take the tour it will change your life.

D - Anchor is in the top five of my breweries ever for good reason all their beers are approachable but amazing.

xhcadamx, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of lackenhauser
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale coppery sort of color. Soft white head that leaves some decent lacing. Ok aroma-somewhat floral and earthy. Great hop flavor. Not overly bitter or astringent just a solid hop flavor upfront. Touch of malty sweetness. Mildly fruity. Slight lingering bitterness. Good body. A great beer drinkablility wise. The flavor more then makes up for any flaws in color or aroma. I have loved this one for years. Still do so it seems.

lackenhauser, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of jackofclubs
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from a bottle to a standard pint

A a golden maybe a little amber with a medium head that stays for a good amount of time

S hoppy and bright

T great balence of hops and malt

M good body with a nice hoppy bite

D a good beer like all anchor beers

not a pale to overlook

jackofclubs, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of bcm119
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straw colored with a beautiful, fine white head. Sharp, lemony, soapy hop aroma, with just a hint of toast. Bouncy carbonation; herbal/minty/lemony hops show, with a minerally--almost salty-- bite. Malt is dry, slightly toasted, and almost cracker-like. Long, refreshingly dry finish, with a soft green hop aftertaste.

Liberty ale, when very fresh, is one of my favorite session beers. It is perfectly integrated, with bright, fresh flavors, yet complex and refined, both in hop and malt character. A classic.

bcm119, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Stable. Nice light amber color. Not a large aroma coming off the glass but a light grassy hoppy flavor. The taste was slightly sweet at first but then the hops bit and all was well. Not big flavors going on here but a nice balance and a crisp easy to drink beer that went well with dinner.

Wheelinb, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear light orange color with 2 fingers of creamy white head that sticks around for some time and eventually leaves a fine layer around the glass. Aroma is very light grassy hops, caramel malt and some alcohol. The flavor is a good balance of malt and hops. Extremely light on the palate. The body is light and is almost a little too carbonated. This beer isn't one thing too fantastic about this beer. It's a decent beer.

DiabolikDUB, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of brandoneast
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Large bubbles sink quickly to the hazy copper brew, creating cratered thumbprints on the froth. The nose is reminiscent of fruity, multicolored Chiclets Tiny Size with a whiff of apricot and some faint hops. Maybe I bought a six pack that was a few month old, but where are my hops? This brew is sweeter flavor profile than most pale ales and it also has a slight graininess , which is good news for those of you who don't crave bitter brews.

Liberty Ale was first introduced on April 18th, 1975 to commemorate the bicentennial of the famous ride by Paul Revere. Celebrate craft beers and your independence from mass marketed brews. Quality not quantity.

brandoneast, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich apricot color with about an inch of off white foam. The head settles to a thin layer within a few minutes leaving spotty lacing on my glass. Nose and flavor are of earthy, fruity hops, light peach, citrus, sweet bready malt. A bit more than medium bodied and amply carbonated for it's style. Crisp and quenching.

ClockworkOrange, May 28, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange w/ one finger white head and some lace. A good aroma of citric hops and a mix of sweet and bready malts. Medium-bodied and smooth, passes over quite tasty from sweet malts and a good range of fruit flavors. The hops not only give it that fruity tasty but lend themselves to a dry finish, which is a great balance for this beer. An easy drinking ale that I could have anytime.

clayrock81, May 27, 2009
Photo of ghebel
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent pale ale with citrusy hop aroma and flavors. Also grassy, earthy flavors as well. Mild bitterness and plenty of carbonation bite. Sweet caramel malt dominates the malt profile. Overall - a better that average, drinkable pale ale that goes down smooth.

ghebel, May 27, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma - Citrus hops and a particularly sweet aroma

Appearance - Golden yellow thick white head with a decent amount of carbonation.

Taste - Light, crisp, and refreshing. Almost like a witbier with a little more hops. Not as hoppy as I'm sure most people like. A fruity light refreshing beer.

Notes - I'm sure people are a little put-off by the lack of hops. But to think this was first brewed in 1974 is pretty amazing.

jwhawkins81, May 27, 2009
Photo of JAStheAce
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light head (larger bubbles), very foamy, lasted for a bit thin dissipated evenly, gold in color
Smell - overwhelming citrus aroma
Taste - as it went down I detected a hoppy aftertaste evoking the traditional bitterness you associate with hops but after a few more sips this bitterness became mellowed like a cool San Francisco breeze you get by sitting at a park bench looking at the "Full House" house, balanced, faint taste of alcohol, if any, citrus bouquet hits the palate quite nicely - lemon, orange
Mouthfeel - very balanced and light
Drinkability - light, crisp, refreshing, great session beer for the hot Miami summers.

An refreshing take on the American Pale Ale from these master brewers in San Fran. Wish I had visited the brewery when I was there a few summers back on vacation.

JAStheAce, May 24, 2009
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,984 ratings.