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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

1,530 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,530
Hads: 3,271
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 93
Gots: 349 | 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.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,530 | Hads: 3,271
Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

A: Golden and light. White head.

S: Fresh hops.

T: Wet hops and citrus. Also nice maltiness and caramel. Unique almost like the steam but more hops.

M: Light and crisp.

O: Always a good classic.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i dont care what anyone says about anchor, they still make some wonderful beers, and liberty ale is at the head of that list, with its rich red malt base, glowing amber in the glass, and its huge hop palate, shocking to the masses no doubt when it was released, but not fitting rightly into the ipa category range. i like the fusion here, its got an english type ale yeast that imparts a lot of flavor, along with great dryness of feel, but its also hopped like a west coast ipa, a cool blend of traditions and entirely its own. i like the amber malt base, it isnt the least bit sweet, but its a different launching point than we usually see for the cascade hops, which are everything they usually are, bold and bitter, fresh and dramatic. the grain does balance that all the way through, and the english yeast is a great touch. carbonation is soft and not aggressive, but it is prominent and more than enough. the body is medium but filling as it warms, and the finish is long and bitter and distinct to this particular beer, ipa may have evolved beyond this in some ways, or at least the american beer geeks palate has, but this stands as a baseline for what good american hoppy beer should taste like, and it always makes me happy to go back to this one. a staple in the american craft scene for me, for some reason always better on draft.

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Photo of scotorum
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Unibroue stemmed tulip.

a: Nearly clear dark gold with a finger thick white head which receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s; Slight light fruit.

t; Lightly fruity over biscuit malt and light hop bite. Mostly dry finish. Hop bitterness actually increases somewhat later.

m: Light to medium with good carbonation tingle.

o: A good dinner beer or summer sipper with ok flavor but perhaps relatively unremarkable now given the nature and amount of competition. A little reminiscent of a mild Belgian golden ale because of the initial fruitiness.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 05.09.14.

A: 1 finger head with an aggressive pour. Crystal clear orange.

S: Biscuity malt, citrus.

T: Caramel is first, then sweet citrus. Bitterness on the back end, then lingering sweetness again.

M: Crisp.

O: This one is a classic. It's not at all hop heavy in comparison to the IPAs of today. It's simply subtle and refreshing. The malt seemed more dominant than the hops, which is weird now, but it comes from a different time. It was a great gateway into IPAs for me.

Rating: A-

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is fragrant but soft with some pine, tangerine-like fruitiness, and graham cracker sweetness. The head is thick and frothy, and the body is clear and bright copper. In the first sip, dry alcohol and bitter grapefruit are apparent, but the flavor soon smooths out as some light malt sweetness comes through. Grapefruit continues to be present but more softly, and the fruitiness becomes more rounded, nicely supported by the toasty, nutty malt. The body is somewhat light with a good bite from the lively carbonation; the hop bitterness and alcohol dryness linger in the finish.

Complex and balanced, tasty and refreshing. The bitterness in particular is prominent but avoids the grassy, acidic quality so often imparted by dry hopping. The hop qualities are also well supported by the clearly present malt.

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Photo of titvs
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 14B). Bottle 355 ml - Batch unknown. AROMA: floral and citrusy hop and esters aromas reminescent of grapes, oranges and some piny and resinous character. some sweet malt background. APPEARANCE: medium gold color and clear. nice moussy head of a slight ivory colour that persists. TASTE: citrusy and piny flavours more faint than the aromas. sweet malt background. medium-high bitterness that lingers into a dry finish. PALATE: medium-light body with medium-low carbonation. OVERALL: a nice APA that promisses in the aromas but doesnt deliver much in the flavours.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Nose spicy citrus with some grapefruit, light grains
Brilliant copper amber with a 2: finely bubbled off white foam cap.
Palate: citrus, apricot to peach, caramel and malt, assertive grapefruit rind finish.
Medium body, very rich and creamy medium carbonation.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +1.8%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, golden/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department at all. I get some faint notes, I mean really faint notes, of toasted malt, but nothing else at all.

Taste: What the beer lacks in aroma, it more than makes up for in flavor. There’s lots of toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuits, oyster crackers and sourdough bread, followed by some pronounced flavors of black pepper, a touch of coriander, and some caramel-like sweetness. Finally, the beer finishes with some nicely balanced, piney, hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium and a little effervescent, as there is some decent carbonation. With an ABV of 5.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a good beer. Nice flavors of toasted malt, black pepper, coriander, caramel-like sweetness all nicely balanced with some piney, hoppy, bitterness. While I like Anchor’s Steam beer the best of the offerings I’ve had from Anchor, I like this one quite a bit too. Recommende

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Photo of ordybill
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a strong hop and grain aroma.
Appearance- A dark golden pour with a white head.
Taste- A well balanced beer that has a nice hop flavor with a subtle grain background.
Palate- A full bodied beer with a creamy feel that lingers in your mouth.
Overall- Another great brew from Anchor Brewing. Cannot go wrong trying this one.

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Photo of kevinlater
4/5  rDev +1.8%

355ml bottle into nonic pint. best before june 2016, enjoyed on august 26, 2014 after a boring day at work

a: a clear golden apricot-peach hue with just under two fingers of off-white head

s: mild grapefruit and orange, apricot, pear, floral, and lager-like grassy, malty notes. hints of peach/nectarine. what an excellent aroma

t: follows the nose. somewhat bright citrus fruit presence (grapefruit, orange, lemon), apricot, peach/nectarine, and pear up front. mid-palate is malt, grass, and some kind of floral presence. a moderate but very appropriate bitterness closes out the tasting. some spice on the back end too. great stuff

m: medium and creamy with moderate carbonation

o: liberty ale is nothing like the ultra citrusy/tropical fruit explosion modern IPAs, but this is still a very lovable ale. cascade hops are quite delicious

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Photo of samtrillo
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

It's interesting to me that Liberty has such a higher rating than Anchor IPA. I don't think a lot of people realize Liberty is listed as an American IPA. However, based on the ratings I guess people understand the difference between these two. Liberty being a recipe from the 70s the light hop profile is understandable. This is an IPA when you're looking for something more subtle. Anchor IPA is much more akin to what modern western IPAs have evolved into. It tastes a lot like Torpedo. I guess I get the love for Liberty, it's like Steam was hopped a bit. But I still don't understand the non love for Anchor IPA, sure the market is saturated but it's good. Whatever.

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Photo of bebbcorp
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours a soft yellow with a twinge of orange, Small flecks of sediment are now swirling in my Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip. Poured from a bottle aromas of leather, cedar, and lemony citrus waft up to my nose. Nice and natural head float on the beer and cling to the side of the beer. Tastes of lemon zest, and light caramel are followed by a creamy yeasty flavor with a carbonation that is neither to much nor to little, but just right. I guess this time it was just the beer I was looking for,

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Photo of leantom
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%

Love the Steam Beer so decided to give this one a shot. Here goes:

A: Clear copper color that pours a massive head. Although the head's massiveness dissipates quickly, an inch of it lingers on for a long time. Leaves a ton of lacing, too. Amazing. 5/5

S: Not as robust as I would've liked. No grapefruit (which I like), but lots of soapy lemon and spicy yeast. However, I must mention again that these smells are rather muted. 3.5/5.0

T: I'm conflicted. The taste is not as robust as I would've liked, but I don't think this is what the brewers were going for. They weren't trying to make the beer a hop bomb with tons of intricate flavors, but a well-balanced, sessionable brew. And I think they succeeded marvelously. While I prefer the hop-bombs, this beer is still very elegant in its simplicity. Lemony hops with lighter spices imparted from the yeast. Grainy malt, but its simple texture is a perfect balance that compliments the simplicities of the hops and yeast. Overall, good. 4/5

M: Very clean, smooth, and crisp. 4.5/5.0

O: Not what I'm used to in a WC IPA, but I still appreciate what Anchor brewing has done with this beer. Good. 4.1/5

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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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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,530 ratings.