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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,039 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,039
Reviews: 1,492
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 75
Gots: 212 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-18-2000

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,039 | Reviews: 1,492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Marty
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber hue with a lively head -- well carbonated. Did not smell particularly exciting (perhaps a result of a recent but persistent case of sinusitus -- blech!!). The taste, however, was very pleasing. I could drink a lot of this beer. Hops are in the front row, but nicely balanced by a nutty maltiness. This beer might not have the claim to fame of Anchor's Steam beer, but it is a terrific beer in its own right.

Photo of blitz134
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mwbeerman
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear yellow with a good amount of carbonation and a single finger of silky white head. Lots of esther fruitiness in the aromas, along with sweet and bready malt and a citrus hop smell. Scents are not big, but they are pleasant when found. Hops are a lot more prominent in the taste than they were in the smell, bringing the bready malt flavor to the front. Lots of esthers make the beer sweet, but do not fully balance the bitters. Flavors are big and full, and the bitterness has a bite without being obscene. Btterness lingers into the aftertaste as a reminder of the style. This beer has a great amount of body for the style, making the flavors really rich and enjoyable. Carbonation keeps the hops at the forefront of the flavor profile. A great after work beer.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - fully murky dark orange, very generous head retained exceptionally well
S - sour fruit, perfume and herbs, leaves the nostrils with a tingle
T - strong mineral quality, with sour citrus, herbal hops, with a floral finish, definitely unique
M - medium weight with big carbonation, dry sour puckering finish
O - definitely a one of a kind APA, the mix of mineral, sour fruit, and floral is like nothing I've tried, would not want to session this but I could see this being a semi regular purchase

Photo of Padron4KM
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Years ago I used to treat myself to Anchor steam once in a while, that is until I went to see the Dead in SF in the early 90’s.

While we were there we hit up several grocery stores looking for "cheap" beer to take with us to the lot before the show. every place we hit only had anchor and bud in the cold box, everything else was in the isles, warm.

I haven’t touched it since so I guess subconsciously I was boycotting the brand. Tonight I ended the boycott.

Pours an orange sunset color with a big tanish head.

Aroma is citrus hops with a slight malt background.
flavor is lightly lemony, a little fruity and has a nice smooth round mouthfeel. finish was lightly grapefruity biter.

nice session beer

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a very light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that slowly died down.
S: There are aromas of citrus and floral hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors of citrus stand out in the taste, although they aren't that strong because they are balanced for the most part by the underlying malts. There is a bit of sweetness in the initial taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and is also very sessionable.

Photo of jbone78
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a ton of times, might be my favorite if the Anchors. Pours a hazy pale color with nice frothy head that leaves great lacing on the glass. Tastes slightly sweet up front and lingers into a tad bit of bitterness. No real aftertaste, but does have a nice malt finish.

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

Sampled 15 April 2007
12 oz bottle, poured into Sam Adams Glass (Thanks Bailey!)

Color & Head: Clear, honey-colored. Head was great, thick and long-lasting.

Aroma: Not overly hoped in aroma, which is nice.

Taste: Great. Just the right amount of hops, plenty of body to carry it, and stays with you after you swallow.

Notes: My new favorite year-round pale ale. Lazy Mag’s Lighthouse is simply outstanding, but this one is easy to find and available 12-months a year. Sierra Nevada PA was a “gateway beer” for me, but the other night I had one of each at the K&B and I was amazed at how much more flavorful and crisp the Anchor was. It’s one of my mainstays that I try to keep on hand.


Photo of berley31
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a large, frothy white head, with good lacing. Body was slightly hazy, and a dark-yellow color. Aroma was of average hops, with a light presence of alcohol as well. Mouthfeel was light-bodied and fairly thin, with a little oiliness to it. Soft carbonation and a bitter finish. Flavor was long-lasting of moderate bitterness and some nice citrus flavors, with a very dry finish. Slight taste of alcohol in there as well. Overall a very nice APA that is quite bitter, but enjoyable.

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

Pours quite beautifully qith a clear golden color with a nice well retained head. Very nice hop character with a mostly citrusy taste and aroma. It's very drinkable, it wasn't long before I was ready for my next bottle. Not much as far a mouthfeel, but the hoppy flavor is enough to satisfy me. Great beer for football games and picnics.

Photo of haz77
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Pours a clear coppery-orange with an inch of off-white head, which retains well. Moderate looking carbonation.

S – Big burst of citrus fruits and floral hops. Some breadyness and slight funk in there too.

T – Sweet honey malts at first. Some fruit and citrus then tea-like hoppiness and a dry, floral, perfumed aftertaste.

M – Medium body and carbonation

D – Solid and easy to drink beer. I look forward to having this many times in the future.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

This brew has class - neither overly hoppy nor overly sweet, it maintains a fairly dry taste and a fragrant aroma. The hops impart an almost citrus flavor. I admire the label almost as much as the color of the beer itself. The craftsmanship places this above the average microbrew. This beer is just elegant. It expresses such a balance of flavor that it's hard not to enjoy.

Photo of Steve188821
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Apperance is golden with a large head, plenty of lace.

S - The smell is citrus and malt.

T - Taste is bitter and very hoppy, the taste of citrus comes through along with esters.

M - Mouthfeel is very dry with good carbonation.

D - This ale goes down very easily, would be a good session beer.

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

From a bomber.

This beer looks nice, and pours with a billowy white head that sticks around. Eventually it seems to fade down to a thin lace with a little bit of stickage on the side. The color is a perfect amber, yellow with just a hint of reddish. Very pale for a pale ale, but not bad. Substantial carbonation. The aroma on this is pretty mild, nothing to get excited about. Mainly it smells lightly of hops at first, mostly citrus stuff. After awhile there is a faint malty scent, but it is hard for me to pick out. It also has a slight honey scent. The scent almost reminds me of the one Belgian ale I've ever had, although I don't know what the defining characteristics of that are.

Up front, the Liberty Ale offers a nice hoppy hit to the tounge, followed by a nice mellow taste. The middle of this beer has a slight taste of honey, which I find peculiar, but thats what I'm feeling. The finish is very mild as well, with some hoppy bitterness, but it isn't strong at all. The bottle claims Liberty Ale has "a distinctive bouquet and uncommon delicacy" and that certainly seems to be the case. I was originally going to rate this lower, but then I realized that just because I expected a strong hoppy taste and aggressive malts, didn't mean it wasn't a good beer because it didn't have them. In fact, in consideration, I like this quite a bit, precisely because it isn't overpowering at all. Very, very well balanced.

This stuff tastes and feels pretty good going down, and it has a nice sweetness that makes it a pleasure to drink without being soda pop. Can't fault the carbonation either, especially after it has wamred a little bit. This is definetly a nice beer to relax with, and drink without thinking about drinking.

Photo of TTAmod
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Don't know what I can say about this one that hasn't already been said. This is one of the original pale ales, along with Sierra Nevada.

12 oz. stubby bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a fairly thick off-white head. Even after a few minutes, there is still quite a bit of head left on the top with lots of lacing down the sides. Looks good.

S: The smell is amazing on this beer: a full hop bouquet that's filled with floral, herbal, and citrus accents. There's also a nice little spice and spurts of toffee and caramel from the malts.

T: Nice, floral hop taste. Raw hop resin, touch of grapefruit and orange. There's also a touch of mint along with a substantial malt base. Not bitter at all.

M: Body is pretty much perfect. Mid-light body...smooth...no fuss at all. There's a nice creaminess to this one that just begs you to take another sip.

O: Definitely one of the better pale ales out there...the epitome of balance that still has enough assertive hop flavors to remain relevant even nearly 40 years later. This particular bottle was brewed back in May, but the hop flavors were still strong.

I prefer Liberty Ale over SNPA, but both are amazing. This beer is like a rite of passage for beer enthusiasts...although I know a lot of people tend to overlook this one.

Photo of Monsta-beer-drinker
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich apricot color with about an inch of off white foam. The head settles to a thin layer within a few minutes leaving spotty lacing on my glass. Nose and flavor are of earthy, fruity hops, light peach, citrus, sweet bready malt. A bit more than medium bodied and amply carbonated for it's style. Crisp and quenching.

Photo of SeanRedd
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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 Spica66
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy deep yellow/light gold color. Good head formation and retention.

S: Malty with a slight lemon zest and hops.

T: Bready malt quickly giving way to a balanced bitterness. Medium-strong yeast on the finish.

M: Medium-light body and smooth. Good carbonation sparkling on the tongue.

D: Very balanced and easy to drink.

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

A: Nice frothy one full finger of initial head. Fairly clear orange/yellow coloration. Lots of visible carbonation. Retention is good, leaving plenty of lacing.

S: Citrus and pear (apricot?). Hints of bread with little hop presence.

T: Caramel and fruits (like the smell; citrus, pear, and apricot) hit initially. Definite bread tones as the yeast is pretty noticeable. Nicely complex flavor. Hops definitely finish this one out as the dry-hopping adds a nicely bitter touch to the palate. Still, very nicely balanced between hops and malts. Perhaps just a tad on the bitter side for a pale, which I like.

M: Nice medium body, but overly carbonated. Some yeast seems to linger on the palate for a bit too long dirtying the nicely bitter hop aftertaste.

D: Smooth and crisp and very drinkable at 6%ABV. The yeast and bitter finish are the only aspects of this beer that detract from its drinkability.

I don't know why I hadn't tried this until now. This is a great pale, possessing a uniqueness while maintaining the balance this style dictates. My only real complaint is that the yeast seems to be a bit overdone.

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

Pours a nice hazed gold color with a luxuriously creamy head that leaves a good deal of lace.

Fresh, potent hop aroma, underscored by a nutty malt sweetness, a malt character like Anchor Steam Beer.

Flavor follows the aroma well, but a more bracing hop bitterness than expected. Hops are a bit coarse until it warms up, when a deep sweetness arrives. All in all, yum, I can see how this is the hallmark APA.

Unobtrusive medium body and mellow carbonation. Absolutely sessionable.

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

The beer has a light amber hue with a big head. I almost overflowed my stein with the head on the first pour. It was unexpected but not unwelcome. A fair amount of bubbles remain once the head dissipates.

The smell is mostly citrusy hops with a little bit of floral freshness. It hints at the glory of freshly hopped California beers. The hops come through on the taste but just can't hold up to the complexity and freshness promised in the nose. Liberty makes up for this, to some extent, by providing a well-balanced bitter malt. I would give it a higher taste score if there weren't so many great pale ales on the market nowadays.

Like with other Anchor beers, Liberty Ale is the sort of beer that I wish mass market breweries made. It's simple, clean and well-balanced. You can understand how it helped popularize microbreweries in this country, and it tastes the way that I imagine good beer has always tasted. It's not "extreme" or exotic. It's just good beer in traditional styles. It's also very easy to drink.

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

I was in that mood for a solid bitter ale - something English. I decided to give Anchor a shot, and was pleasantly satisfied.

Pours a perfect gold with a foamy, tall head and layers of lacing. Aroma wafted a tad soapy with a lemon zest and malt sweetness.

The flavor is light and balanced, with just enough bitterness to give me that English bitter satisfaction. Not a particularly complex beer, notes a lemon hit at different moments, but overall a straight forward bitter ale. Liberty is lightly carbonated, making it easy drinking with a dry finish.

This beer is great if you want to taste English, but buy American.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,039 ratings.