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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

3,007 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,007
Reviews: 1,484
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 71
Gots: 180 | 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: 3,007 | Reviews: 1,484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange amber in color with large sticky marshmallow head. A pleasing aroma of grains, citrus fruits, wet greens, hops. Flavors of light floral, greens, cereal (quaker oats, plain, aisle 7 in the market) and some sour notes that mingle with the hop bitter finish. Light in body and refreshing on a sunny day. A higher alcohol session for afternoons.

Photo of LittleDon
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass.

Golden with a healthy amount of carbonation, off-white head (thick, but not dense as I'd like), and a tad hazy. Under-emphasized barley aroma, nothing interesting here. Clean and well balanced, with the right amount of hopping. A slightly bitter finish. It is reminiscent of a German lager. Medium-light bodied but with enough oomph to stand out. I also detect a bit of spice in the nose This would make a very good beer for warmer weather for those who aren't into wheat beers. It would also work well with Thai or Indian food.

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and golden with thick white head, decent retention and lacing. Smell was slightly hoppy but a strong biscuity malt as well, almost "bock-ish" at first. Taste was slightly hoppier (piney hops) with a strong malt balance. The malt here seemed to be a dryer, bready malt which I'm not a huge fan of. Mouthfeel was fine, not light but not too heavy and it was easily drinkable. I think I'd take a SNPA over this though.

Photo of dankbrew21
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Orange hue. Large creamy white head.

S- Orange smell too! And other citrusy flavors. Sweet malts and light hops.

T- Smooth and light. Creamy, sweet, slightly bitter. I think I'd like another!

D- Very drinkable.. Wonderful session beer.

NOTES: Good quality session beer. I highly recommend trying it.

Photo of youngblood
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a nice frothy white head. Scents of honey, flowers, citrus, and bread are coming from this. When taking my first sip, I got alot of biscuit first then some of the hops. Semi-citrusy, well balanced with the malt. Leaves a faint sweetness on the tongue. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of Bung
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Fairly golden pour, small bright white head. Floral citrus aromas. Taste is just a hint of malt, mostly citrus fruits, a little yellow raisin and piney hops. Would have liked some more grain or biscuit or something. Very clean light body. Good drinkability. Great refreshment on a warm day. Somewhere between a pale and an IPA, and pretty darn good.

Photo of jbertsch
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a vibrant orangy-gold, with a faint haze, into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. I got a frothy and attractive two-finger head that laced well. But, after the first couple sips, the head became more soapy/bubbly than frothy.

There's an orange zest that sits on top of a good hop aroma and a trace of sweet malt.

Refreshing, a bit citrusy. It comes across as a summer beer. I'd like to drink this at the ballpark with a bratwurst. There's a bitter aftertaste thanks to the hops, but not an unenjoyable one.

I expected more carbonation since I see great bubbling action, but there's still enough. It's thirst-quenching, albeit bitter, but I didn't get the dry finish so much that other's on here say.

Thumbs up. Easy to have multiple as long as you have some food or munchies with it. Or else, the bitterness may become unwelcome on the tongue after a few.

The only other brew I've had from Anchor Brewing is, as one might guess, Anchor Steam. Although Anchor Steam is good, it's funny how it's far more popular and accessible (at least here on the east coast it is), because I think this Liberty Ale is slightly more enjoyable for the masses.

Photo of neenerzig
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into my pint glass. This beer pours a clear, medium golden color. The white fluffy head is initially huge, well over 2 inches thick before settling to a good 1/3 inch about 10 minutes after being poured, and eventually to a solid surface coating maybe 1/8 of an inch thick after a few sips. Very nice lacing. Has a nice malty, slightly spicy aroma upfront along with a hop presence. Has a nice sweet, slightly toasted caramel malt and sort of spicy flavor upfront along, with a nice citrus hop presence. Has a crisp, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink in a good way. Pretty tasty.


Photo of SomeLady
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been enjoying Anchor Porter and Anchor Steam for years now; this is my first go with their Liberty Ale.

Pours that gorgeous, perfectly golden hue that we all know and love. Very little head, and even less lacing.

Smells of lovely mellow hops, with maybe a touch of honey sweetness... very appetizing.

And the taste? Liberty Ale has got, in my mind, the perfect balance of a light, cereal maltiness with a respectable hoppy presence that a good, refreshing ale calls for.

With a smooth, yet lively carbonation, this beer is light on the tongue and leaves a deliciously bitter aftertaste.

Highly drinkable - a good thirst quencher, with flavor in spades.

This is what I want to have in my hand as the days grow warmer. It may not be ground-breaking or especially distinctive, but for me, this is like the Mona Lisa of "Beer Brand beer". I love it.

Photo of Morey
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer with a medium aggressive pour and it yielded an impressive 2 finger head that took some time to settle. Very fluffy cloud like appearance to the foam.

Smell is malty yet flowery with subtle hints of alcohol.

Taste is a nice balance of hops and malts with a somewhat aggressive carbonation.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, making this a pretty good choice to a session beer.

Again, a great choice for a session...especially in the warmer months.

Morey's Bottom Line: This may not be as hoppy as some people like their beers (including me), that being said...this is a well crafted beer with some definite hop character.

Photo of Kromes
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slighty cloudy orange golden color with thick head. Smells hoppy, spicy and fruity. A floral hoppy flavor with sweet malts and a little bite and bitterness in the finish. The carbonation is apparent and provides a spicy tingle on the tongue. I really enjoyed this beer, would definitely have another.

Photo of PaleAlien2
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange with stark-white head. Thick white lacing is prevalent.

Crisp hops and fruit in the nose. Smells awesome.

Crisp, coarse, prickly hops are prevalent. Very dry. Notes of yeast and citrus.

I love the carbonation in this beer. The label says they use "natural carbonation." I don't know exactly what that means, but whatever they're doing it's good.

Love this beer. Quintessential American Ale, indeed.

Photo of Shadman
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy aprocot color, impressive 2 inch head, tons of lacing. So far so good. Lot's of grassy + citrus hop. Picked up a bit of peach fruituness as well. Very crisp, loads of hop, but there is a malt backbone there that tries to balance things out somewhat by slipping in and out of the citrus hop tsunami. A bit too sharp on the tongue to rate it higher in the mouthfeel dept. A very good example of the style.

Photo of SeanRedd
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

America...Fuck Yea, back at it bitch, the red white and blue delivers the goods in true English style. A scientific approach to balancing hops and malt. The aroma was faint but compensated with clear, healthy body, lacing, and head. Apricot malt base to bitter tea hop bite. Excellent collaboration by both competing parties to create a light body ESB? An English mild on steroids? Who cares, a perfect example of what is possible if the foundation for a marriage is grounded. This couple of hops and malt are in it for the long run, with the malt being a bit of the bitch in this case. Refreshing, sessionable, braggable. What, what?!

Photo of Brewsmith
2.33/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 22 oz bottle purchased locally. Aroma is citrusy lemon/orange. Orange gold in color with a one-inch white head. Flavor is lemony and a little oxidized. Malt is a little one-dimentional amd a little cardboard in there. Flat body and lacks richness. This is a bad bottle. I've had this beer before and I know it's much better.

Photo of Tilley4
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I actually liked this one much better out of the bottle... This had a slight hoppiness to the aroma that seemed well balanced with the malts... The taste got old fairly quickly on this one. It could have been old or something... Sorta middle of the road brew for me on tap... I loved this in the bottle...

Photo of BeenJammin
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is pale/golden in color with a nice creamy head. Smells a lot like floral and herbal hops. The taste has a lot of citrus hops and some nice sweet caramel and fruity malts. It has real nice balance. Good medium body and mouth feel. It is very drinkable.

Photo of abar22
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass

The Liberty Ale poured a slightly cloudy amber and gold color with a 2 finger head. The head, white and billowy, settled into a nice cap that left a small amount of lacing.
Grassy, citrus hops dominate the smell. The smell isn't the standout here. While it is perfectly pleasant it doesn't come out quite how I'd like it to.
The taste is hop forward. Malt sweetness barely peaks it's head out before the hops kick in. The body is made up of citrus hops while the ending is grassy, bitter, and dry.
Mouthfeel is right where it should be. All things combined makes this a very good beer. I could drink quite a few of these in one sitting.

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A distant yellow daisy that, thanks to a fuzzing haze, appears to be falling out of focus. The constant flurry of bubbles doesn't help to sharpen the image, instead it makes the focal point more dizzying. Still, the beer emits a healthy glow when up to the light and its head is ultra creamy, resilient and sticky. Fluffy blanket and soapy drapes make nice decor for any beer.

The aroma is infinitely one thing: hoppy. The vibrant, floral note of green hop combs perfumes the room like a budding summer garden or an enchanted fairy-tale forest. The fragrance doesn't perspire bitter resins or acidic citrus piths like the more modern examples; this is a bouquet redolent of mother nature in her most straightforward and pristine.

The pleasant, perfumed aura of hops is noticeably present in taste as well. This doesn't stem from an overly copious addition but rather from a simple and bare malt bill. The use of pale malt, plain and hardly toasted, leaves a flavour bare of any caramelization, any graininess, any abundance of sweetness. As result, it is a canvas left open for only hops to paint.

I can't say the bitterness isn't assertive but I maintain it's nature to be quite docile. It won't conclude your sips early nor will it linger in the aftertaste. It is just enough to assert quench. The carbonation is considerably low, which veers the beer away from the quaffing category and nearer to that of slow-paced appreciative sips. Actually, I think it bridges the two.

Although perhaps not by today's standards, this is an incredibly hoppy beer. For a time, it was one of the only hoppy beers and is arguably responsible for gearing people's tastes towards that style. I don't think it would be wrong to consider all definably aggressively hopped beers (DIPA's definitely included) to be descendants of Anchor's Liberty Ale.

The connection is greater than that these styles originated around that area of the country. The idea of upping the alcohol and cramming pale ales with gluttonous amounts of hops (in essence making the beer 'bigger, stronger, better') is undeniably reflective of an American mentality. As its name would suggest, there's nothing more American than a Liberty Ale.

Photo of CityBoy1986
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. The bottle date is 6 Jan. 2009.

The pour is golden with a tall white head. Retention and lacing are nice.

The nose is citrus (especially orange and apple) with some bready notes. The taste is more of the same with just a mild bitterness toward the finish. Some spices are also in there.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high; I could have a few.

This is a very nice example of the style, and I will definitely enjoy it again.

Photo of Rainne
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've actually had anchor steam more but this one's great too. I like to keep my notes handy so I can see the difference between tap and bottle.

A- Golden brown color with a pretty frothy head and lacing is really nice. Looks great.

S- Simple but complex. Hops, malt, light sweetness and earth.

T- More complex with stronger hops up from and lingering sweetness in the finish. Nice complexity and balance all around.

M- Nice carbonation maybe medium bodied. A little more body than some APA's. Carbonation is higher than some but not too high.

D- I was kind of surprised by this one. Really good and easy to put back a few at a time.

Photo of goblet
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

popped the top and poured this away into my goblet from a 12 ounce bottle with a cool label.

A,right after the pour i got a nice white froth that went away to a thin spoty head.it`s an orange amber color ,foggy with some yeast floaties, light carbonation.

S,let it warm and inhaled deeply through the nose and got a slight fruit scent of citus, apple some nice hops mild malt it`s fresh and clean .

T, took a mouthful and gulped it down .what i got out of this is a lite citrus tangelo and cream, tasty hops a bit of malt sweetness.

D,this is a wonderful APA ,i drink this beer as often as i can .it`s very good, if you never had it go get this beer and make it a regular .

Photo of TheBear11D
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark yellow to light orange color with a foamy off-white long lasting head.

Strong citrus hop aroma consisting of apple, orange and grapefruit. Also carries the scent of freshly baked bread.

Fairly mellow. The citrus hops are noticeable but not over punctuated. The bread flavor comes through well. The hops bitterness is brief in the aftertaste.

Medium mouth feel. Very smooth with plenty of active carbonation.

Pretty good flavor though not too strong. Easy to drink.

Photo of mempath
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

truly american and truly pale. i swear, it looks more like a rich lager...compared to what i've been drinking and reviewing. i haven't seen this old standby in many years. good to return to it with a renewed appreciation. first, it pours intensely carbonated, thick, congealed-like foam does a semi-guinness thang underneath...head stays thick for several minutes whie lusciously lacing. amazing and nice to be entertained by the looks of it. this is really 'old-school' micro/craft APA. preHip HOP...

smell is more malt than anything. if anything, i catch some kind of candied, dried fruit. it's subtle and mysterious enough to be well above average. good!

dang, what a classic. no no it's no hophead delight, something that i spend 90% of my obsession on...but this has something other 'tame' APAs don't have...again, it's the fruit but layered very nicely with the hops who just stay laid back in a california (1980s...) kind of way! not a bit of bitterness. but then, that doesn't mean sweetness either. smooth, but satisfying in a deep sense. this is, somewhat (to me), the west coast Sam Adams.

nice carbonation on sight translates, even after settling, well into the mouth. there's a well balanced liquidity and creaminess. it was aptly engineered for human mouths...

really, a drinkability heaven for sure. true, i would take a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale over this anyday because it is what it IS, but dang, yeah, this is a lazy day session beer in early spring, somewhere in new castle DE, on the delaware river, watching the tankers float by and go under the DE Mem. Bridge....i can feel the breeze, close my eyes and almost find myself back in the SF bay....waiting for a bread bowl of chowder to arrive.

what a great classic ale! more than recommended. anytime of the year.

post-review note:
as it warms, the hops pop out. yes, compared to the hophead tsunami out there, this is 'tame'...but tame is another benchmark of the high art. in other words, it isn't tame. it's refined and will still very likely kick any unsuspecting, disrespectful brewheads' *&%$##^* ! ;)

Photo of MaduroMike
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy gold/light amber, frothy white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Very fragrant with floral, citrusy hops. Hints of peach/pears/apricot.

T - Bitterness of the hops balanced well with the grain. Light malty flavor follows the hops. Not very sweet.

M - Light to medium body, Fairly smooth, but a little dry on the tongue, good amount of carbonation.

D - I could drink this all day. Pleasing aroma and tastes makes me want more.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 3,007 ratings.