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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

2,887 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,887
Reviews: 1,472
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 68
Gots: 146 | 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: 2,887 | Reviews: 1,472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to drrink this long ago and realized I had not only not reviewed it, I hadn't even drank any in a long time, so I decided to get a six pack of it. Pours dark golden with a big white head that fades to a cap. The smell is all piney and citrusy hops. There is a light malt profile lurking in the background. The taste leans to the piney side, but with a grapefruit peel backbite. Mouthfeel is clean and a bit on the thin side like some of the other classic West Coast IPAs. Drinks well with its refreshingly bitter bite and huge pine aftertaste. It is essential to drink this beer fresh to really experience its glory- I'd forgotten just how good this stuff can be. I think I'm going to add itt back into my IPA rotation.

Georgiabeer, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Draft at the Brewery in SF. Bright fresh hops aroma and a touch of honey like sweetness as it warms. Near perfect smell. Medium gold colored pour with a little head. Very Drinkable for an American Pale Ale, bitterness-wise, to me at least. Noticeable bitter bite, but not over the top, with a clean finish. Very nice for the style and a good all around beer as well.

Rerate in bottle back in Tx, left me with a much diminished impression of the beer. Below average with a strange eggy flavor ala the Anchor Summer beer. Didn't care for it 2nd time around...

JDV, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottling code printed on the back of the label. Served in a nonic.

Pours a medium amber with a slight orange tint, with a large, foamy, white head. Clarity is moderately hazy with some modest carbonation rising up through this somewhat dense looking brew. The head hangs around most of the way and leaves impressive lacing. At first whiff, I am picking up a good balance of aromas. There are hop scents ranging from citrus to floral to grassy, with malt smells from lightly toasted to grainy to bready. The hops take center stage in the flavor. A solid bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit and lemon peel is accompanied by more grassy notes and a sturdy malt backbone. Hints of honey in there as well. There is a lingering bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a coarse texture and adequate carbonation. Finishes mildly chalky.

This is a very well balanced, wonderfully crafted beer that is a credit to the style. The malts hold their own, but it is the hops that steal the show here. I like the depth of flavor and the overall ease of consumption. I find myself becoming a big fan of the Anchor Brewing Co. I have really enjoyed everything that I have tried from them and the Liberty Ale is a winner for sure. I look forward to trying more of their offerings.

littleshamrocks, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of albern
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice, dry, flavorful beer that is good, but isn't my favorite pale. It pours a rather light orange yellow with a white thin head, some retention, little lacing. The smell is yeasty bite and prickly carbonated hop essence. The hops here are aged rather than freshly ripe and dripping with ester and oil. The taste is strongly tilted toward the hop. It is a dry, very dry beer, with some maltishness in the finish. I'm detecting some complexity in the malt, perhaps some citrus, some herbal tea like flavors. The hops do overpower a bit. This is a lightish consistency beer, but there is some creaminess to it as well, and it does get better as it settles. The mouthfeel begins rather prickly but smoothes out. The aftertaste is a bit acerbic. It's a refreshing beer. I'm definitely getting more acerbic tea like flavors in the finish as I'm nearing the bottom of the glass. I just had a Smuttynose pale just prior, and I think I will give that one the nod over the Liberty.

albern, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
2.33/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz from liquor store.

A - Golden-orange in color, nice off-white foam, protein clumps present in head, foam is very firm.

S - Light, earthy hops, tones of malt, and slight alcohol presence in the nose.

T - Crisp malts, lightly malty, and bitter. Batch may have been wet-hopped in excess.

M - Lightly spicy w/ a moist finish.

D - Nothing really sets this beer apart from other ales. Probably would not seek this one out in the future.

MisterClean, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of mobud
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into SA glass.

A- Straw with little head retention, but very active carbonation.

S- Malty smooth with a nice hoppy backround.

T- The malty sweetness really stands out for me. the hops are there, but not to the point of stepping on the malt.

M- Light to medium.

D- Ok. Have been a Anchor fan for a long time, but this is the first try of this beer. Would like to try fresh on tap to see if it opens up more.

mobud, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of IceEyes
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first thing I like, and have always liked, is the bottle. The Anchor bottles are very distinctive and classy. I know that doesn't effect the beer, but I think at some level is does increase enjoyment of the overall experience.

Liberty is a clean, crisp pale ale. I'd call it a golden ale, but it almost touched upon being a lager for its dry clean taste. The body is gently clouded with a good cap of white foam. Drinkability is high because it's clean and satisfying. A good all around beer for any occassion.

IceEyes, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of pittvkyle7
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- plae amber, small white head

S- lemon, yeast, kind of smells like a wheat beer to me.

T- again the lemon is strong, mild hops bitterness, the malts are slightly nutty and woody. Warming alcohol. The alcohol is not hidden at all and seems strong for just 6%. The finsh is bitter and dry.

M- crisp carbonation, medium light body, warming alcohol.

D- Crisp and dry, it makes you want more.

alot going on in the taste category. A historic brewery and a must try brew.

pittvkyle7, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Antilochus
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650mL bottle purchased at an LCBO into a tall lager glass (I was so interested by the aromas I poured it into a whisky glass).

Tried again on March 15 2008.

Tried again on April 1 2008. Noted more banana in the nose this time. Always a classic.

Appearance is clear rust orange-amber with lots of streaming bubbles. Substantial off white head with good retention.

Quite complex. Aromas of red grapefruit, malty biscuit, fruity esters, congealed honey, raw floral Cascades, acetic sourness. Some yeast. Metallic rust. Unripe pears. Passion fruit. Sour milk.

Carbonated mouthfeel, moderate body. Low malt sweetness, lots of dryness with some bitter notes. Citrus rind, apricot. Fuzzy peaches. Yum. Lots of grapefruit in the long finish. I love the raw hop freshness - almost oily. Fairly crisp.

One of my favourite APAs.

Antilochus, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of bobsy
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle it pours a light copper, with a degree of cloudiness, and a quickly diminishing white rocky head. The aroma is fresh and and full of hops and a hint of grapefruit. The initial creaminess in flavour is replaced by a crispy fruity taste with the grapefruit coming through somewhat. Bitter finish, and nicely refreshing. Medium-light body and medium carbonation.

bobsy, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Hoppington
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice light copper pour with an astringent hop nose. Had me worried after smelling it, but the taste is surprising. Red grapefruit, bread and muted florals. A nice balance and a fairly refreshing APA despite coming in at 6% ABV. Hard to believe that Anchor is connected to the Maytag family - best known for appliances and blue cheese.

I think Anchor makes some solid stuff but I would like to see something more extreme come out from them in the future. This beer is good, but it is kind of the Mr. Rogers of Pale Ales. It's nice, smart, and wearing a cardigan!

Guess I am going to have to try the bottle...

Hoppington, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of mattster
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into a Nonic Glass.

Head was about 3/4". Died down to light lace across top of nice light amber brew. Mostly clear with some small bubbles.

Smell is not real strong, but a little hoppy, nothing amazing. Taste brings more hoppy, pleasantly bitter, but finishes smooth. Nothing overly special about this one, instead they've produced a quality pale ale that taste as it should.

Excellent brew. I wish I had more.

mattster, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on October 11, 2007.

a: Yellow gold, like a glass of apple juice. Ample white head, great lacing and retention.

s: Pale malt, lemon and earthy hops.

t: Pale malt with some biscuity character, but mostly hops. The hop flavor displays earthy, herbal notes and maybe a touch of citrus. Not complex, its earthy hops in a bottle.

m: Farely light bodied. Typical carbonation.

d: Drinkability is very good. Its pretty staightforward, earthy hops, not much balance to it. An enjoyable beer, I think I appreciated it more before I got into IPAs, now it doesn't stand out as much, but its still solid.

BradLikesBrew, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright and hazy toasted orange color with a small creamy egg-shell head that dissipated into a sudsy looking cap. The smell is of pale malt, lemon, and a slight earthy yeast/hop combination. The brew starts off bitter but not in a citrus hop sort of way. The initial bitterness is followed by a bready pale malt and lemon twang. A tin like metallic bitterness shows in the finish. The feel is light and very fizzy, it kind of numbs the tongue. The finish for the most part is neutral but does have an odd metallic bitterness. A different sort of APA that is uniquely bitter with a lemon twang. Definitely not my favoriate APA, I think I'm not a fan of the hops that Anchor uses.

Gmann, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of stephendr
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. glass bottle- color of medium honey, with a nice off white head - nose of red fruit, light hops, and some light citrus – taste of light hops, light red fruit, and citrus - body is medium, dry, and with medium high carbonation – dry aftertaste of light hops, light red fruit, and citrus

stephendr, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of jar2574
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nice big frothy head made up of averaged sized bubbles. Lacing is nice on the way down, and clings to the sides of the glass.

Smells hoppy, but not overpowering. Nice. Refreshing. A hint of lemon or citrus of some sort. Kind of reminds me of summer, and it's freezing outside, so that's good.

Whew. An interesting concoction. Very smooth upfront. Inviting and hoppy. Then malts and bananas as it goes down. Pretty cool, complex beer, with a unique mouthfeel.

I will definately enjoy the six-pack.

jar2574, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a short fat 12 oz bottle copped singly from total wine and more in union. Pours an amber gold color with a decent head. Smell is very bready with a slight caramel aroma. Flavor compliments the smell with a noticible vanilla aftertaste. Slight bread and biscuit flavor with a clean, clear crisp finish witch gives way to a slightly bitter aftertaste that goes down smooth and clean. Easy drinkability, very refreshing. My favorite brew from anchor. Def Recommended.

dsa7783, Jan 01, 2008
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 scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a mild to medium pale amber, but with a lot of bubbling and a little lacing. The aroma is a little skunky, but maybe in a hoppy way, I'm not sure. Very light malt in the nose. The taste is a lillt e unky, but still mildly malty and strongly hopy. Dried hop taste with some stl bread mixed in. Not bad, just not as sessionale as I thought it would be.

scruffwhor, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of beeroclock
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden clear liquid with a small white head. Little lacing, good carbonation present. Smells of hops and grain, some citrus hints. Tastes of citrus and grassy hops, good bitter aftertaste and holds the tongue well. I enjoyed this brew and cannot believe I haven't picked it up before as I've seen it for years.

beeroclock, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of brewdoc75
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

brewdoc75, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of ndekke39
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank a bottle of this with the Anchor code "7SZ," meaning it was bottled on September 26, 2007. Poured a clear golden yellow into a pint glass, with a small white head. Little retention on the head. Smells of honey, orange, and mellow malts. Tastes of orange, citrus, crisp malts, with a light, hoppy finish. It drank like a crisp lager. Light-to-medium mouthfeel. This is an excellently drinkable beer, a fine example of the American Pale Ale. I will always refer to this as a very strong stand-by.

ndekke39, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of NCBeernut
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 finger foamy head quickly drops to a thin layer, but sticks around, leaving plenty of lacing. Very mild aroma, but it smells pretty balanced between malts and hops. Pretty tasty. The key here is balance. Citrus and pineapple flavors burst from the hops, and with backbone malts there to balance. Very drinkable and refreshing. Actually tastes kind of similar to the Brooklyn lager with more of a pale ale kick.

NCBeernut, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out with a murky gold appearance with a thin head. The aroma is full of hops with some malt smells. It had a good, but a bit mediocre citrus flavor. The drink had an average carbonation that did make it refreshing. This was, overall, a pretty balanced pale ale

fitzy84, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for around $1.50... poured into a standard shaker pint still listening to Digweed's Transitions V.3.

Big Big head that towered close to an inch out of the glass while never leaving a dribble trickle down the side of the glass... very gradually leaving behind a very sticky lacing that clings to the entire glass. Slightly hazy but still with a nice polished gold color.

Citrus and floral hop notes dominate the aroma... fruity yeasty malt follows.

Very good bitterness with the perfect amount of malty sweetness to balanced... there is still a slight yeasty fruitiness mid palate that cuts to a subtle earthiness.. everything is balanced very well by a toasty caramel maltiness.... finishes with a fresh citrus blast. Great body... with a classic dialed in creaminess.... I love this beer... a true pioneer in the craft beer movement... A big cheers to Fritz.

This is another of the APA's I should always have on hand, but others cloud up my purchasing judgement.... No doubt a session APA, but be careful.. the drinkability could leave a mark.

When I have this beer, I always think about what others thought when it first came out 30+ years ago... I bet many thought the hops were going to strip the enamel off their teeth... leaving them in pain and with no useable taste buds... Ahhh! How times have changed?

Edit... intitially reviewed this as an AIPA, changed my review for the better to a APA.

JohnGalt1, Dec 03, 2007
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,887 ratings.