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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

2,846 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,846
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.05%
Wants: 66
Gots: 137 | FT: 0
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: 2,846 | Reviews: 1,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%

Funny how this is a common commodity in the market south of the border, a regular presence on most beer store shelves, been there, done that long ago, and much often looked over in the pursuit of something new and exciting. There is one store up in these parts that has finally recently started carrying this stuff, and without the bias of over-exposure, I've had the opportunity to sample it over and over the past little while. And hot damn, Anchor Liberty Ale has become one of my new favorites, and my standard go-to beer of the moment.

The first time I sampled this beer I immediately liked it. It had everything in all the right places, nothing overbearing, nor out of place, nicely balanced. No bottles have survived to review until I managed to use a little self-restraint for this one.

Poured out of it's Anchor style shaped bottle, a brown 650 ml one, abv listed as 5.9%. A chill-hazed deep apricot in colour, off-white head with decent retention, and a lattice-work of lacing. Pleasant grassy hops first on the nose, but with a balanced biscuity malt, and some fruit esters as well, most notably a peach character. In one word the flavour is crisp. Very clear. Difficult to break it down to it's seperate characteristics, the marriage of balance is done so well. Crisp grains a tad more notable at first, crisp grassy hops on the finish, with a touch of fruit sweetness in the middle when I really concentrate, but the moment I turn my head they all blend in with one another again, a manage a trois of harmony. One of the most satisfying, refreshing beers I have ever had. This beer has become my new best friend.

Perhaps taken for granted by those with easy, everyday access to it, and it's been around for quite some time, but I have to say this is one of the true exemplar standards of the American Pale Ale style, one that has held its own over the years, and deserves respect. My fridge should be full of this stuff. Anchor Liberty Ale, I salute you.

03-11-2005 18:42:55 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of brewQ


3.9/5  rDev 0%

Anchor is a most venerable Company.
(Even if I can't read the braille like codes on the back of the bottle).

The ale pours a honey gold with a slight haze. A 3/4" tight creamy tan head.

The nose was sweet and floral but did not grab me.
Well rounded blend of hops, malt and CO2 make this brew a solid tasting classic.

I have a lot of positive nostalgia for these guys- the rightful claim to craft beer's early crown- unlike the Boston Brewing crowd.

03-04-2005 03:29:40 | More by brewQ
Photo of blitz134


4/5  rDev +2.6%

Nice light yellow orange body with a white head on top which slowly disappeared to a thin layer of bubbles. Aroma is loaded with hops which range from grapefruit to a nice resin pine aroma. Overall very typical hop profile from a west coast pale ale. There is also a nice malty sweet balance. The flavor has less of the grapefruit flavors and more of the pine resin aspect. Finish is slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is medium, not as thick and oily as some, but definitely coats better than others. This is a typical session beer of mine so of course its highly drinkable. Definitely a classic.

03-02-2005 02:49:51 | More by blitz134
Photo of beertastegood


3.9/5  rDev 0%

Had this one out of the bottle.

Appearance is very pleasing, a beautiful orange/golden color with bubbles streaming upwards and a full white head that dissipated rather quickly. Smells of floral hops, a bit of citrus and also some malty sweetness.

Taste: Wow. This is one good beer. Initial flavor of malt, then the hops come right afterward, with a slight pine flavor that is not at all unpleasant. Towards the end, the malt flavor comes back to balance out the finish, which is floral and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: pretty heavy carbonation, goes well with the hop bite. Medium body, very pleasant feel.

Drinkability is medium with this one. Goes down pretty easily.

For someone who generally likes more malt than hop flavor in his brews, I really liked this beer. The Anchor Brewing Company has a winner in this beer.

02-23-2005 21:58:08 | More by beertastegood
Photo of allengarvin


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

Appearance: cloudy orange-amber color, with a large creamy head.

Aroma: Beautiful nose of very citrusy hops.

Taste: Highly bitter, full of citrus hop flavor, tending toward fresh lemon. Light but firm malt base. End is forcibly dry.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, well-carbonated.

One of the great beers from the early microbrew revolution in America, this is a real classic, and far better than Anchor's flagship Steam, in my opinion.

02-22-2005 15:53:53 | More by allengarvin
Photo of ski271


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

I guess I went in expecting too much. My friend used to drink this stuff all the time and raved about it. I wasn’t THAT impressed, but then again it was still good.

Appearance: Light brownish-orange with a frothy (almost creamy), slightly off-white, small, mostly-diminishing head. Heavily spotted lacing.

Smell: Non much, I think because it was way too cold, but it smelled a bit off, too. After it sat for five minutes, it smelled MUCH better. Cereal-like malts and spruce-like hops. A hint or pear, and a smell almost like coriander (had to pull out a bottle of coriander to compare, close... but not quite). Rather interesting.

Taste: Pleasantly hopped, malty but not too much. I guess I was expecting a bigger flavor, but instead this is a fairly mild, well-rounded taste.

Mouthfeel: A bit slick & oily. A nice lightly kicked-up bitterness on the finish gives it a nice crispness.

Drinkability: Like said, not as good as I expected, but I could definitely through down several of these while shooting some pool.

02-21-2005 21:41:43 | More by ski271
Photo of deejaydan


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%

Pours a hazy straw color. Good head and head retention on this. I was amazed by the lacing this beer left on the glass. There is a slight metallic aroma going on in this beer. This is an interesting take on the American Ale in the flavor department. It's bitter, with a hint of malt, but I don't get the overload of grapefruit/citrus that I get in other American Ales. Interesting. More malt should probably shine through in my book. Decent beer, a good solid standby.

02-19-2005 04:34:33 | More by deejaydan
Photo of KoG


4/5  rDev +2.6%

A very very nice APA on tap.

Brown orange liquid adorned with a frothy white cap. Head dissapates slowly and leavs a good lace trail.

Smell is floral hops and some citrus. Pretty inviting knowing that it shouldn't beat me over the head with hop flavor.

Taste is sweeter than others in the category. Sweet at the start, following to a slightly hoppy finish. Very tasty indeed.

At 6% it will catch up a bit quicker, but man it's pretty drinkable.

02-13-2005 00:22:18 | More by KoG
Photo of mmmbeer


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%

12 oz. bottle with a batch code on the back. Pours orange with a nice 2 finger head that leaves decent lacing. Smells like crisp floral/citric hops. Bitterness hits first with citric/pine/grassy/floral hops and malts in the back that contribute notes of bread and biscuits. Bitterness lingers. Malts are more pronounced near the end of the beer. Very prominent hops that coat the mouth well and the carbonation feels smooth. Last sips are heavenly. I could drink many of these. I just wish it were cheaper.

02-09-2005 22:57:13 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of GreenWBush


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Just an altogether sturdy, strong beer.

As jaded as our palates have seemingly become, its nice to have Anchor Liberty as an everyday "rock" in the beer universe.

On-tap (and presumably much fresher than in bottle in these parts) the beer is just a snappy, bitter refreshing beer. This is the type of beer that should be at the local tavern, flavorful and refreshingly hoppy, but not overwhelming, cloying, or really even too alcoholic for that matter. Just a damn fine quaffing brew that might have lost its place amongst other beer giants ... unrightfully so.

A beer that should be gone back to from time to time to see how far we've come ... and now NOT far we've come. 9/10 brewpubs couldn't make a beer that could stand up to this classic.

02-01-2005 14:34:08 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

I remember when this was considered an IPA...

Pours slightly hazy gold with a 1/2 inch ivory head, lots of chunky lace. Smells of floral hops, bitter and lightly cirusy.

Taste is floral bitter hops up front. Tea leaf flavors. Crisp, lightly sweet pale malt. The citrus has disappeared. Not much to it but well balanced and a nice crisp mouth. I wouldn't say it's light bodied but relatively light on the tongue but stil full flavored. A well crafted treat that "goes down easy". This beer is a nice gateway drug for introducing people to hoppy beers, not off-putting like some pale ales can be.

01-30-2005 14:10:16 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.33/5  rDev -14.6%

Pours a cloudy cold with a thin white head. Very floral aroma, but also with some fruit and honey in there as well. Bitter taste nicely rounded out with some malty sweetness. Finish is very dry. There's some yeast in the taste, too, with a very evenly carbonated mouthfeel. There's something a little off in the flavor, though; something just tastes a bit stale in it. Not bad, but I feel like there's better offerings in the style comparable prices.

01-21-2005 23:21:49 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of neonbrown82


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

For a pale ale, this poured slightly cloudy. The head retention was also quite minimal, but at least stayed to a centimeter. The smell was awesome, though: a bouquet of hops and citrus. The taste was good too, beginning with a slightly bitter hoppy taste, followed by a sweet malty middle, leaving a slightly alcoholic and mildly hoppy finish. I will probably drink another in the future, but probably not until it starts to warm up around here.

01-21-2005 00:40:49 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of bigbubba


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%

This is a straw colored, slightly cloudy beer with a decent white head that disapates quick buts leaves lots of lacing. There is not much of a smell, just a slightly metallic hoppiness. It has a very nice hoppy flavor with very little sweetness. The mouthfeel is pretty good. It is a very refreshing and easy to drink beer.

01-21-2005 00:28:45 | More by bigbubba
Photo of mynie


4.38/5  rDev +12.3%

PRETTY! Perfect head, sticks around. All bubbly like bubble juice.

Complex fruit hops all throughout the nose. Citrus and hops, but a bunch of different kinds of citrus and hops.

Oh my goodness is that a fine tasting ale. Hops and weeds and flowers and citrus fruit and there's actually some malt that comes in, in the middle, balancing everything out with a great dull sugary sweetness.

Great beer. Perfect, crisp carbonation makes for a great session ale, too.

01-14-2005 05:40:13 | More by mynie
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 CSimon


4.6/5  rDev +17.9%

Anchor Liberty is a great beer.

However, there is a catch.

While many IPA-style beers improve with age, I have found that the quality of Liberty tails offf fairly rapidly.

It is rare that I have ever had a bad Liberty on tap. Almost always it is lively hopped, a beautiful pour, unbelievably drinkable (great for long, late nights at a pub), and just plain damn good.

On the other hand, out of a bottle, 50% of the time it has been great, and the other 50% . . . .well, not great. Rotten weeds and next day frat-house keg beer come to mind. I don't know the reason for it, and have often wondered. But, if you get a stinker, Liberty can suck out of a bottle.

Of course, if you get a good one, it's nearly as good as on tap.

So seek it out on tap. And, if you buy it in a bottle from a source that you don't know well, you're rolling the dice. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing . . . .

01-13-2005 23:56:22 | More by CSimon
Photo of EagleTalon


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours to orange color and white head with a little lacing. Aroma is mostly malty. Flavor is a nice balance of malty sweetness and intense bitterness. Very easy to drink. Nothing spectacular, but a good choice if you like pale ales. Makes a good substitute for Boulevard Pale Ale.

12-23-2004 02:34:48 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%

Terrific appearance. Golden brown color with a nice head and great lacing on the glass all the way down. What an ale should look like! Nice hop bitterness that hides the malts. Nice taste as well, slight hop floralness aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good but could use a little less carbonation in my opinion. Goes down easy and would make an excellent session beer.

12-21-2004 21:26:00 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of FormatKid


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%

About time I saw this one around here, I’ve been waiting for it forever. I poured it out of it’s uniquely shaped anchor bottle into a standard pint glass. The body is perfectly translucent, a little paler than a lot of the other APA’s I’ve seen and visually nearly devoid of carbonation bubbles. The head is aggressive and eggshell colored, I couldn’t even pour the whole twelve ounce at once, when I finally get it poured it gives that domed “ice cream float” appearance that I so love. Bright white lacing literally sheets down the sides of the pint. This is definitely a great smelling APA, all the right piney and citrus notes on the nose backed by a candy sweet, bubble-gum/cotton candy malt smell with a little pepperiness hanging behind it. The flavor bears witness to the nose, up front is packed with candy sweet malt, which slowly lets the dense, flat bitterness come through, and then the citrus flavors of the hops…without ever truly letting go of it’s foothold. The mouthfeel is softly carbonated and lightly slick. From what I’d heard of this brew I was expecting hop-tea, but really it is more of a “barleywine-lite”, much more well-balanced than what I had expected and the malt flavor is superb (don’t forget the hops, they were great too!).

12-11-2004 02:23:19 | More by FormatKid
Photo of mattcrill


3.63/5  rDev -6.9%

Appearance: pours a cloudy amber with straw yellow edges. A thin white head that retains reasonably well and leaves some minor lacings throughout the session.

Smell: mild pine and citrus notes. There is some cider-like sweetness and malt presence that develops. A nicely balance smell. The citrus and the sweetness do not dominate or overpower.

Taste: A prickly, cider-like bite up front with pears and apples coming to mind. There is a mild pine presence at the beginning and the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel: light bodied and prickly due to the nice carbonation.

Drinkability: I think this would make a pretty good session. I can see doing one of these before a meal, having a nice chicken or steak dinner with the meal, and finishing off the meal with another one.

Notes: I felt it was my duty as a BA to try this American classic. It was nice but not over the top. Probably one of the most balanced brews I've had in a while. I think it's good to "reset the hard drive" with a beer like this every once in a while. After seeking out hops until my tongue explodes or imperial stouts that are over the top, it's nice to enjoy a balanced beer like this one.

Definitely recommended and may be a good one to convert a non-BA.

12-04-2004 14:11:06 | More by mattcrill
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


3.83/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours a light golden color with fine bubbles in a generous head. The smell is a very sweet hoppy smell.

This beer is exceptionally smooth. The flavor is bold and round - pulling together a good mix of hops and barley. Although it is very hoppy, it has more to offer than bitter in its taste. There is a richness when drinking it that I sense when eating thick desserts.

12-03-2004 21:08:33 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of meathookjones


4.45/5  rDev +14.1%

After passing this up on the shelf to many times to remember I finally decided to give it a shot. Body is a golden orange with a tall white head that almost overflowed. Great lace and head retention while I drank this. Aroma was heavily citric with a touch of floral and sweet malt. Taste was more citric hops, with a good backing of caramel malt. Very refreshing clean and crisp flavor. While the taste is lighter than others it still is quite flavorful and pleasing. Body is light to medium with definitely boosts the drinkability and doesn’t really hurt it any. This stuff couldn’t be more drinkable in my opinion. I am glad I finally picked this up. I will definitely be revisting this on in the future.

11-30-2004 13:57:14 | More by meathookjones
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev +2.6%

11/29/04- Purchased at the local Safeway in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Very nice light amber color with a small head and better than average lacing.

Smell- Heavy citrus scent. At first I thought lemons, but now I am thinking of a more sweeter fruit.

Taste- More hops than I was expecting. Nice malt flavor. Tastes like sweet honey and a kick of hops to go with it. A bit of a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation works well with this beer, thus it goes down very smooth.

Drinkability- Happy I finally tried this one. Have been an Anchor Steam man for a while, but never got around to tying the Liberty. Guess I'll hit the porter sometime soon. My second straight Anchor style 4's across the board review.

11-29-2004 22:50:45 | More by GClarkage
Photo of RushLimbmalt


4.58/5  rDev +17.4%

This is a very good pale ale. It is a light orange color and has a creamy white head that leaves tons of lace on my glass. It has a nice citrusy aroma and a ton of malt in the nose too. The flavor is very crisp and the floral hoppiness is nice and sharp, but does not linger long in the aftertaste. A very drinkable pale ale from a world class brewer.

11-15-2004 01:10:44 | More by RushLimbmalt
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,846 ratings.