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Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,544 Reviews
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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

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.

Added by kbub6f on 11-18-2000

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Reviews: 1,544 | Ratings: 3,333
Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some moderate golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a medium sized two finger thick cap in the center surrounded by a very thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/lemon zest and floral hops over the top of a pale + grainy malt body.

T: Upfront there is an initial sweetness from the grainy and pale malts along with a touch of biscuit malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/lemon zest and floral hops with just a hint of spicy hops. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness is present.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and pretty enjoyable though I wonder how much better this would be fresh on the west coast vs. on the east coast (there is a slight hint of fading hops in my opinion). Could put down a couple of these though with the 5.9% ABV it is probably a touch strong for a session beer. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of TheCondor
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Picked up as part of a mix and match sixer. The last time I drank an Anchor product I was not impressed, but I wanted to give the brewery another shot, so I grabbed a couple of their products. Side poured with standard vigor into a Sam Adams glass

Appearance - Just like you would expect a traditional IPA to pour. Golden color yields a big, dominant two-three finger foamy head that lasts for more than half of the beer and leaves ridiculous, crazy lacing. Looks like some kid went apeshit with glue inside your glass. Cool packaging as well, which you can always count on Anchor for.

Smell - Fruity bouquet highlights the nose, letting you know this is a hop forward brew. A slight malty backbone rounds out the nose, which is very good. Not too strong, but you can identify the beer style without seeing the bottle.

Taste - Very well balanced and solid. While one can certainly taste the citrus and lemon hops and their bitterness, there is a malt backbone to support them. Some bready crackers also make an appearance, making for a well-rounded AIPA.

Mouthfeel - Finishes crisp, clean, and smooth, with just a hint of spice bitterness at the end. Well carbonated, light body

Overall - A very good example of an AIPA, one that a non-hop head can easily tolerate. Well balanced, well done b y Anchor, my faith in this brewery is restored. I really enjoyed this beer. Condor recommended and approved.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A classic beer from Anchor brewing. Pours with a thick sudsy foam that leaves a nice foam lacing clinging to the side of the glass. A light amber in color with sweet hops and sweet malts on the nose. Taste of light caramel and biting bittering hops with an acidic yet somewhat creamy taste. Lot's of hop bitterness on the aftertaste, more caramel sweet notes as it warms. A very good ipa style beer, and an excellent session beer for the hop head. It is a treasure for it's longevity in the brewing world from a solid brewery that still makes steam beer as well as a multitude of other styles. Cheers.

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Photo of ANIMOUL
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

While advertised as an IPA, tastes more like a straight 'pale ale'... sans 'india'. That said (written?) can see how it goes inbetween

Has a sweet smell that is quickly coupled with a sweet taste. While not particularly a fan of Anchor's steam processing - I feel like I can taste the steam with every sip of their flagship beer - this one is a great alternative.

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Photo of TangTKE402
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Beautifully clear, straw yellow with an orange core and a perfectly frothy 2-finger ecru head that lingers and leaves some handsome lacing. This beer has my idea of the perfect look.

S: Light aroma with bitter hops being the predominant smell followed by a lightly malty backbone. Notes of orange peel, rye bread, wet basement, and grass clippings.

T: Light, crisp, refreshing. Light on flavor, with a faintly malty in-mouth feel and a dry finish and linger. Fresh biscuits, toast, light citrus juice, and a distinctly bone-dry hoppy aftertaste. It goes down easy, but doesn't stand out terribly much in it's flavor profile.

M: Clean feel with a chewy and tannic afterfeel. It's present in-mouth, but not overly assertive or bold. The afterfeel really settles in your jaw, though not in an entirely unpleasant way.

O: This is a nice beer. It doesn't try to do too much, and it is clearly well-crafted, however it can leave the seeker of bigger beers wanting something more. Good balance, light overall flavor and feel. It definitely belongs in San Francisco, where it can go down easy in sun, fog, rain, or everything in-between.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally I get to review Anchor Brewing's Liberty Ale [bias alert: I like everything about this beer from the classic label and tear drop bottle through to the aroma/taste/mouthfeel, etc... so be prepared for a hefty amount of superlative and a touch of hyperbole]. Anchor itself is one of the original brewers of Steam beer (a Californian Ale made in the style of a Lager) which I will indeed be reviewing in the near future.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: The fine ale presents well with a cloudy orange body and cream coloured head, that is well - there's no other way to say it: it has a mega 1.5 inch head, I may have poured it too hard, my bad.

S: Stonefruit and citrus feature well in the aroma, hints of bread yeast, a nice biscuit malt base and some pear esters also add to the overall fruitiness of this ale.

T: Flavour is as expected with a big pear and grapefruit punch from the hops. What a delightful and tasty brew this is. Everything works in harmony from the hops to the malt to the yeast, the nuances of this ale are numerous. I am indeed impressed.

M: Medium bodied with an almost flat carbonation; the weakest part of this brew would be the lacklustre carbonation then.

D: Well it's officially a new favourite beer for me. What is it that draws me into this ale so much? I think it may be the fact that there is something old school about this brew, the balance is well done and it's not overtly laced with hops like most modern American IPA's. I love it because it's not trying too hard, it's not vying for my attention like a Gen Y pop-star, it's more like a 70's prog-rock band; easy to listen to but with many layers of complexity. A tasty easy-drinking ale. Kudos Anchor, kudos.

Food match: This brew is right in the sweet spot for a curry, in fact I just polished up a vege Korma before beginning this review, it really hit the spot.

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Photo of ArchaeoFiero_TheDelorean
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

For me, Anchor Liberty represents the perfection of Anchor Steam. I find the original Anchor Steam to be pleasant but a little bland and far too citrusy.

Anchor Liberty borrows the yeast profile and depth of Anchor Steam but reduces the citrus and hops things up. It is nowhere near as sweet and sour as AS, and it really makes for a wonderful IPA. The result is a malty American IPA that is very different from the standard west-coast IPA offerings, which are so dear to our hearts. I agree with other reviewers, that it comes across as more of an APA than an IPA.

A real gem of an American beer. If you love or once loved Anchor Steam, then you've got to track down Anchor Liberty.

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Photo of Dna_Infinity
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to glass

Appearance - Hazy yellowish, golden colour with a white head

Smell - Citrus heavy, malts also come through, some grassy notes as well

Taste - Citrus taste that is really well balanced with the malts. Hops are not in you're face at all

Overall - I would consider more an APA than an IPA but it is a great beer

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Photo of JTuomi
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle (bb 11 2015) into a tulip. Clear golden, tiny head, little lacing. Fresh smell has malts and fruity hops with a hint of grass. Crisp malty taste is followed by fruity hops, dry fruity aftertaste with mild bitterness. Medium body, pleasant smooth carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Overall a fresh and pleasant ale. Would have again.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: nice rich golden color, nice head, not too thick
Smell: nice biscuit malt and light hops
Taste: perfection of light hops with nice malt backbone
Overall: love how Anchor balances their beers. This is a perfect balance of light hops with solid malt base. Perfection in beer! Nice to know that an IPA does not have to be in your face over the top hops.

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Photo of Bone53
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance: A hazy golden orange color with two finger off white head. Looks phenomenal in the glass

Smell: Citrus, grassy, with a balance of bready and caramel malts

Taste: Citrusy (grapefruit, lemon zest, oranges) and grassy balanced extremely well with sweet, toasted malts. Though balanced, the flavors are quite subdued than what I'm used to

Mouthfeel: Light body; Goes down smooth and crisp with a nice dry finish

Overall: Definitely on the English side of things. This one reminds me of the SouthHampton IPA I had a while ago. Although not great in todays craft world, I reckon this was mind blowing back in 1975. Something I will consider grabbing again if Im in the mood for a english style pale ale/IPA. In fact, having had their porter as well, I think Anchor does English style beers justice. The price is right, too.

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Photo of hophugger
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pleasantly surprised. Wasn't expected exactly what I received, but it was good. A little grassy but ok with a hint of citrus to balance it. A well done ale that balances itself well and leaves a good taste in the mouth. Anchor brewing has always pleased me. Only point I would make is that with a little more attention, they could take all of their beers to the world class level or pretty darn close. Nice !!!

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Photo of jmbranum
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I passed on this one many times in the past but it was in the bargain bin at my local liquor store in OKC, so I gave it a try.

Pours a very pretty crystal-clear golden liquid with a giant white head. Very attractive.

Slightly malty aroma.

Flavor is crisp. It reminds me of something in between a Pale Ale and a Pilsner. Some herbal notes. Fairly dry.

Medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

Very good beer. It is hard for me to categorize. I'm not sure I agree with the Beeradvocate website in labeling it an "American IPA" but I might call it a American Pale Ale.

It also reminds me of a dryer version of Fat Tire.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy yellow-orange with a one-finger head that compacts to a 1/2" layer of bubbly foam that slowly fades away to some lacing around the top of the glass.
The smell may be the best part of this ale. Bread and citrus, maybe a little grassy and maybe a little peach.
The first taste comes on as a mild bitter. If I let it linger on the tongue, I even get a bit of burnt toast but mostly a pleasant, mild, and lingering bitterness. Also a little citrus. As it warms, I taste a bit more of the sweet malt but that mild bitter really hangs on. It is not unpleasant.

The mouthfeel is a fairly bubbly and thin.

Overall, a tasty and different IPA. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle purchased from the singles bin at the LCBO for $2 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - clear golden color with copper hues. A finger of white head sticks around for a few minutes before leaving wispy foam on top of the beer. A steady stream of bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell - hoppy citrus aromas with a big dose of bubblegum. Also tropical overripe fruits. Don't know if the bubblegum is supposed be there and struck me as a bit odd, but melds well with the tropical fruits so maybe that was the intention. Nevertheless inviting.

Taste - hop pier and more bitter than expected on the nose, but that transitions to a serious malt bomb in the middle and to the aftertaste. Some faint fruitiness throughout but it's hard to pick it out since there are so many aromas and flavours flying around.

Mouthfeel - smooth, medium carbonation and moderately dry finish. Really good crisp feel to this beer.

Overall - a bit disappointed since there wasn't more harmony between the nose and the taste of this beer but in all it was quite tasty and worth trying again.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a pale yellow with a persistent thick head and significant lacing.

S - Very fruity with just a hint of malt.

T - Hop fruitiness with a malt finish.

M - Rich with good carbonation.

O - Although listed as an IPA, I would consider this an IPA for people who really don't like IPA's. It is a good beer that I will have again, but it just doesn't seem to have the hop profile that I expect in an IPA.

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Photo of Foyle
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: 2"+ off-white fluffy head slowly recedes and leaves significant lacing. Color is a somewhat cloudy light copper with moderate carbonation.
Aroma: citrus and pine hops dominant the smell. There is some sweet malt and yeasty bread dough in the background.
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied, has the ’fluffiness’ of an ale with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: more balanced than the aroma. The hops are still dominant with the citrus and pine leading the way but the sweetness of the malt and the yeasty backbone even this beer out nicely. Overall: Liberty Ale is a fine representation of the style.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Anchor Brewing Company can trace its history all the way back to the California gold rush of 1849, when German brewer Gottlieb Brekle arrived in San Francisco with his family. Brekle later bought an old beer and billiards saloon on Pacific Street near Russian Hill for $3,500, transforming it into the brewery that, in 1871, would be renamed Anchor.Today, Anchor is located at 1705 Mariposa Street in San Francisco, California.

On this occasion, Bucky sample Anchor's Liberty Ale, first introduced in 1975 and brewed according to traditional brewing methods using only natural ingredients - pale malted barley, whole-cone Cascade hops, a special top-fermenting yeast, and water. Liberty Ale was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere's historic ride, an episode during that war in which our misguided American cousins broke away from the loving embrace of the Empire. Bucky found Liberty Ale ("Liberty") on the shelves of his local LCBO in a brown, 355 ml bottle with a best before date of July 2014 printed on the rear label. Liberty was 5.9% alcohol by volume.

Liberty poured a slightly hazy yellow/gold colour, with plenty of fine, fast rising bubbles visible despite the haze. Pouring produced about 1/2" of white head which lasted for about 2 minutes, leaving some modest spotting and lacing down the glass. The beer's aroma was primarily of grapefruit, with some other unidentified tropical fruits present...a bit subdued but nice all the same. Its taste was again dominated by the grapefruit, but with an increasingly noticeable orange flavour as the beer warmed...much more enjoyable through the second half of the bottle with a better balance between the bitterness of the grapefruit and sweetness of the orange. Liberty had a dry, bitter finish and the bitter grapefruit lingered for several seconds as an aftertaste. The carbonation was perhaps a bit prickly in the back of the throat to begin with, but mellowed as the beer warmed. I would describe Liberty as light bodied, and at $2.00 per 355 ml is quite reasonably priced. A refreshing beer that I would go to again, but next time I'll let is sit for 10-15 minutes after I take it out of the fridge.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice american IPA of a golden color and a nice foam that grows everytime you shake the glass a bit.
Smell is the highlight here; really hopped and citric, some orange and grapefruit notes; an interesting thing I realized with a friend of mine is that there's a "sea aroma" present in this beer... awesome!
Taste is similar.. of a delightfull bitterness and deliciously citric.
Mouthfeel is similar to a good IPA, with medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of MarkoNm
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy orangey-golden color, topped with a nice and generous white foamy head.
The pleasant aroma of citrusy hops is easily picked up.
The taste is bittery, not too much, and finishes with a slight fruity feel. The aftertaste is lasting with slight and immediate metalic feel.
Very nice ale, drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Lacing is good, thick cream coloured head.

Very hoppy and citrus smell.

Great balance of malt and hop. Not as hoppy as you would expect but in this case it is very refreshing.

Quite a lot of carbonation but great mouthfeel with a touch if dryness to finish.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an IPA glass.

Presentation: Fluffy foam head collapses and leaves a good amount of sticky lacing. Crystal clear body. Golden with the slightest tint of amber in color.

Smell: Sweet citrus. Floral esters. Minor presence of grains.

Taste: Good hit of the malts up front: floral notes, bitter citrus - somewhere between grapefruit and lime. The flavorful hops sit on a decent malt body: crackers and grains.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Medium-light body.

Overall: Anchor nailed this one. It is simple, tastes great, and is pretty friendly on the wallet.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Cloudy golden yellow pour with a large head and lots of carbonation. Nice hoppy/citrus flavor. Can taste a bit of lemon zest. Finishes with a nice bitterness.

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Photo of oCervejalista
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark golden colour with white and persistent head;

Smell: citrusy and grassy with some malt on the background;

Taste: well balanced between the hops and malt. Not so heavy on the hops side, as you usually expect in this style;

Mouthfeel: medium to light body with high carbonation and a little bitterness at the end;

Overall: a nice beer, well balanced, refreshing. Drinkability is very strong with this beer.

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Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

O = I like this ale, and although it's not as malty as I like my ales, it's got a tolerable level of hops that makes it very drinkable and delicious. I would pair this with a variety of hearty meals, and definitely would drink again.

A = a lovely burnt amber, not cloudy, with a nice amount of lacing left after the short-lived head dissipates.
S = slightly hoppy, fresh, with a tinge of grapefruit.
T = some malt, but my palate finished with an almost smokey hop quality.
M = Medium bodied and refreshing. Would not say silky, though. The alcohol level is quite balanced.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,544 ratings.