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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

2,979 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,979
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 70
Gots: 173 | 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: 2,979 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arizcards
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack on sale at AJ's recently. Poured a beautiful frothy head that is maintaining quite well down my pint. Nice golden color to this brew. Smells a tad bit bready. Taste is very good, finishing with a nicely balanced dry hop finish. This brew is a tad more suttler than the big hopped beers I am fond of but very agreeable with my palate. The mouthfeel is quite full for a pale, very interesting. Overall frinkability is very good. I am liking it better the 2nd time around, nice brew!

arizcards, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of chriscolby
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 1 pint 6 oz. "bomber" bottle.

Light amber, very clear with a nice head. Distinctive, appealing, aroma of Cascade hops without a lot of crystal malt notes. The malt/hop balance is shifted slightly towards the hop side in the flavor. As with the aroma, the malt flavor does not have a thick caramel flavor from lots of medium crystal malt (30-60 °L). Instead, it shows a nice graininess from the base malt and a little sweetness from CaraPils or light crystal. Liberty has a nice semi-dry mouthfeel that fits the light hand with the crystal malt to a "T."

This is, plain and simple, a great beer. Drinkable without being insipid, Liberty was -- along with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- an early example of the American pale ale that many breweries have subsequently tried to duplicate or improve on. The fact that this beer hasn't been crowded from the shelf on the beer aisle shows that few have succeeded in even coming close. Anchor should release two companion ales to Liberty called Life and The Pursuit of Happiness because this sh*t is awesome.

chriscolby, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of TheOtherMike
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Currently my favorite beer that I can (usually) get.

Appearance is a nice rich copper color but not entirely clear. But that's ok - I'm drinking it to satisfy the other 6 senses.

Smell and taste are perfect - hoppy, malty, even slightly fruity. Perfectly balanced.

I always get at least a 6-pack when I find it.

TheOtherMike, Jun 07, 2004
Photo of badbonez
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me start this by saying I don't like the large American beers, Mexican beers, Italian beers, French beers or Belgian beers of any type. If you like these types of beer you probably will not like Liberty. But if you think that good beer is a balance of ingredients leading to a balance of flavors, read on.

Alright, I'm a new member but I have to write about my favorite beer in the entire world (and I've travelled many places). I don't even know where to start to describe perfection: The appearance is usually a dark golden color but I have come across chill haze (at least I think it's chill haze). but the taste and aroma are what it's all about. This has a perfect blend of hops and malty sweetness. It's not like English ales which isn't enough hops, two perfectly combine and make you realize why beer makers started using hops in the first place. In addition there is a feel to the beer that belies the malts. It's not as heavy going down the palate as you would expect for a beer with this sweetness. This beer not only tastes good but it is refreshing and to me seems to be what beer was meant to be.

I've given this beer to friends visiting from England who immediatley say that they hate American "crap" beers. But once they taste it they are usually hooked. Not saying that the English are the end all of beer knowledge, but they do have a history of beer that we in the states don't have. I've always wondered what a German would think.

I rated this beer this highly because I have not had, and probably will never have, it's equal. I've stopped trying really. If Liberty's on tap I shout "Liberty, or death" to the bar keep. I don't bother looking at the other tap handles.

That must be 250 words.

badbonez, May 27, 2004
Photo of Reidrover
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK cant believe I havent tried this beer yet. Bought in the 22 oz Anchor bowling pin brown bottle!.
To be honest after a furious pour ( not my fault honest!)..its a pretty average looking ale pale amber , large frothy white head.
smell however is quite refreshing,,nice fresh hop zestiness and smooth malts.
Very balanced taste, smooth and creamy with sweet hints of malts..then a short and plesant lenony hop bitterness..nice aftertaste.
Very smooth and nice on the tongue..great mouthfeel.
Very drinkable indeed..this is still a nice ale..but in 1975 this must have been a revelation..the first blast of the trumpets for the macro revolution.

Reidrover, May 25, 2004
Photo of kegerator
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured out a nice light orange/amber color with a big beautiful head that dwindled at a medium ot slow pace. very nice.
smelled of some hops and some caramel notes.
taste was hoppy but not so bitter and some of the sweetness came thru. It came off a little watered down in my opinion.
its very drinkable but I will probably not buy this one again

kegerator, May 06, 2004
Photo of necoadam
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah, Liberty Ale. Poured out a golden color with a decent amount of carbonation in this beer. Left a lot of lacing around the pint glass as well. Smell consisted of various things. Hops are detected, along with some floral aroma and some lemon. Quite nice. Taste was all hops basically. Starts out light in the beginning but gets strong towards the middle and end. In the middle it blends in with some citric flavors along with some herbal plants. Almost minty I might add. Quite smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation also. I like what they did with this beer. They're not trying to go crazy with a pale ale, but on the other hand they made a very decent ale with all the items that should be in a pale ale. Damn good beer.

necoadam, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A strong fragrance leaps out on the pour, high-pitched with a sour note. The pillowy white head swiftly subsides to a film over a watery, pale, brassy yellow. All down the glass, I continue to smell sourness. It gets a half-point for persistence, but I don't care for it.

Amid the sharp and fizzy carbonation, I find it hard to taste much of anything. Between the bit of cooked corn, the slight mustiness, and the sour finish, I find it generally unpleasant.

It's better when I stop paying attention, and let the offtastes fade away, so I can enjoy the quiet toasty malt.

gentlebubbles, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of ism
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass at room temperature.

Foamy head forms and recedes, leaving virtually no lace and a clear, coppery color. Hops and a piney scent are evident. The hops stake a claim, but do not exclaim, just enough to be pronounced over the malt. Tickly carbonation with the balanced palate create a nice feel in the mouth. Finishes with a quick, slightly bitter aftertaste, and cleanly. Not overly impressed, as it doesn't do anything to stand out, but a good session beer.

ism, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of Bierguy5
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper/orange cloudy liquid with a white foamy head. The head did not stay around long. There was no lacing on the glass as this beer disappeared. Smells somewhat floral, grassy and herbal. Taste is slightly sweet with a touch of flowery hops, and a slight orange peel taste. Seemed to be a higher level of carbonation, as this seemed a bit fizzy to me. The hops are not overwhelming, but make their presence known. Medium body. I find this to be drinkable. I would have another (and did). This is a classic American Pale Ale. I often revisit this beer when I want hops, but want a bit more balance. Good session beer.

Bierguy5, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel like I am a better man just for drinking this beer. I have heard nothing but good things and now I know that everything is true. I love the taste. Fruity and sweet. Citrus with grapefruit and lemon. Caramel malts make it even better. It goes down so smooth that I couldn't drink enough of it. Great beer.

CBFanWish, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of daledeee
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice yellow beer with a decent white head that leaves a nice lace. Hops, grain, yeast nose. Taste is a fine balance of hops and citrus(mainly grapefruit). High carbonation gives this beer a high refresher score. Very fresh tasting with a nice medium mouthfeel.

daledeee, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber color with a nice head, lasts a good while.

Nice fulll, crisp hop aroma, slightest touch of sweetness.

Nice full body, very smooth, good level of carbonation. Very crisp flavor, nice touch of sweetness with a very light bitterness. Somewhat dry finish.

Definitely a very good ale that I could drink several of and will definitely keep a couple of around.

Southernbrew, Mar 03, 2004
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 RootedFool
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy copper from a stubby 12 ounce bottle (purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California), with a quick head that rose about half an inch and fell leaving a creamy, very thin band of lace.

The smell is a very colorful bouquet of fruits -- strawberries, apples, raisins -- and a lingering sizzle of hops in the background.

Ah. Taste opens with the bright fruitiness I picked up on right away in the nose and it levels out into a short stretch of creamy malt sweetness, followed quickly by a snap of hop bitterness. That bitterness lingers to the finish, and as it closes a citrusy edge comes through. Mouthfeel is spritzy and refreshing -- lots of carbonation -- and ends dry.

Overall, a refreshing yet complex and very flavorful beer.

RootedFool, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of jimdkc
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly hazy light amber with a smallish soft white head. Smell was not much... some hints of floral hops. To me, the taste was strong on hop bitterness... but somewhat lacking in hop flavor. Mouthfeel was average, unremarkable. Frankly, I was somewhat disappointed in this. I always look forward to tasting beers rated in the 4's, but I thought this was more deserving of mid-3 status!

jimdkc, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very slightly hazey golden sunset with a tight cropped creamy head thats leaves an amazing lace. nice! right off the bat you notice the hop aroma, piney and mouth watering...also a nice dose of grain and malt show up. first off, this beer is smooth. damn smooth. in the mouth it shows a healthy lightly sweet malt body (honey) matched up against a nice dose of citrus/pine like hops. great match. one of the most balanced beer ive encountered. semi sweet, lightly bitter, a touch grainy...just raw. in a good way. like "damn now this is a real beer". creamy in the mouth and finishes with a dry little bite. this is a winner, a masterpiece and session brew all the way.

DESTRO, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale clear golden color with a frothy white head fed by lively streamers of carbonation. The head is fairly short lived, and the beer fizzes out leaving a film of soapy bubbles on the surface. Floral hop aroma with a hint of spice and grassiness, bready malt is also apparent on the nose. Taste is dominantly bright grainy malt with only a touch of earthy hop bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel with apparent esters and a butterscotch like aftertaste. The body is much too delicate to hide the alcohol content, and as a result the beer ends up being a bit one dimensional.

rajendra82, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very light amber. The soft and fluffy head is the best part.

Smell: Nothing remotely strong here. A small dose of hops and a dry, extremely subtle hint of maltiness.

Taste: Rather subdued again. Faint hops. Very crisp and clean.

Mouthfeel: Okay but uninspiring. Seems to be the MO of this beer.

Drinkability: Sure. Not great, but I could kill a sixer easily.

Beef Notes: Many BA's love this beer. I don't understand. Are they drinking the same thing that I just had? With all the great pale ales out there, this one fails to climb out of mediocrity.

BeefyMee, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of stewart124
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden color with a quick fizzy head. Smells of tangy hops and slight floral notes. NIce taste of bitter hops and earthy malts. There is a tangy sweet bite. The bitterness is not overpowering and blends well with the other flavors of honey and citrus. Nice aftertaste of bittering hops but it doesn't last long. Medium body and a quality pale ale with an earthy bitterness.

stewart124, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy goldenrod. The head is large after an aggressive pour, is cream in color and looks soft and pillowy. It leaves an average amount of lace in partial rings as it settles to an uneven film on top of the beer.

One sniff of the hoppy aroma is all it takes to tell me that Anchor Liberty Ale will be good beer. Citrusy and floral elements dominate. The hops don't make as much of a splash on the palate as they do in the nose, but this is still damn tasty beer. The malt provides the needed support as the bitterness weaves in and out.

Liberty tastes slightly sweeter than most pale ales and is a little more fruity as well. Some graininess peeks through, but it's easily ignored. The finish is medium in length and is both softly bitter and lingeringly sweet. The mouthfeel is on the substantial side for the style, which is a definite plus.

Anchor Liberty Ale doesn't appear to have any weak spots. There's no question that it's one of the better pale ales that I've had yet. Best of all, since it's readily available at my local grocery, I'll be coming back to it fairly often.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of filabrazilia
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale gold with a small white head. Cumulus like lace forms to the glass like a growing storm front.

There is a deep hop aroma that is fruity, floral and awesome.

The taste is hoppy and malty with hints of chocolate and carmel in the mouth. The balance of sweet and sharp is spot on.

This beer is creamy and smooth--more than I would expect from a Pale Ale. There is a sharp dry finish that complements the fullness of the beer.

I really enjoyed this beer and could drink it all the time.

filabrazilia, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of Stimack
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brews pours to a hazy orange color with a nice creamy tan head that has good retention. The brew breaks down to nice lacing that clings to the side of the brew with great carbonation.

The smell of this brew has a number of things going on as I notice floral/fruity hops that are wonderful with a nice sweet malt aroma. Very aromatic brew!

The tastes seem to explode in the mouth with the mix of Hop and Malt. First notice a sweet malt taste followed by a hop flavor that seems to be more citrus than floral.

Over all this is a fantastic brew that I can enjoy through out the year, a fantastic pale!

Stimack, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy orange beer.

Smell is very fruity and citrus, faint grain and malt smells.

Taste is mildly sweet and very malty. Nice crisp bitterness and multiple dimensions to the hops. A superior pale ale.

Mouthfeel is very good; the carbonation level is quite high and makes it seem thicker than it really is.

Really drinkable, this is a very well balanced beer. Much better than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Zorro, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of goindownsouth
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very fine brew, indeed. This one was a shot in the dark, but a good one indeed. The bottle poured out a fantastic and brilliant color, and the lace seemed to have some rigidity to it. The aroma was very appealing, slightly offering something of exotic fruits and some maltiness. This beer had a great flavor, adding some bready, almost biscuity charachter to the aforementioned fruit.

This one is a keeper. If you can get your hands on it, do so. It is well worth the price of admission.


goindownsouth, Feb 17, 2004
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,979 ratings.