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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,591 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2591
Reviews: 1447
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.02%

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-18-2000)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,591 | Reviews: 1,447 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A pretty gorgeous hazy yellow. Looks like someone took about 1/2" of the unfiltered nature of a Hefeweizen and left the rest. The pour was nice, leaving about a 1/2" head that slowly crackles away, leaving some spidery lacing on the glass.

Smell: An assault of quality ingredients, at least from what I can tell. Great bittering hops, more citrusy than piney, along with a lot of fruit from the malt, with some berries, strawberries, lemon, and cherry. Lots of stuff going on here.

Taste: Extremely tasty and complex. The mix of fruitiness and sour and bitter hops is pretty incredible. The backbone is the finish, which is long and leaves, again, some sourness, the lingering fruit tastes, and some hops to kick it up a notch. A bit more hops and I could see this getting out of control, but as it is it's balanced extremely well and is very delicious.

Mouthfeel: A nice crispness and lip-smacking tartness with a medium body. Everything comes together very well.

Drinkability: I think Anchor Steam's a little overrated, but I'm a huge advocate for Anchor Liberty, and it makes one hell of a session beer too.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2006 20:58:48 | More by asabreed
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale ale? Well this beer has some potential but isn't so much a pale ale...

Pours cloudy light amber with good carbonation but not much head. Spicy, floral nose (hops), pretty clean. Taste is pretty punchy with a good bit of hops, slight citrus, and a bit more complexity than you expect from a pale ale. Mouthfeel is very lingery though, was expecting a cleaner finish. Altogether, a decent beer for eating a bunch of heavy greasy stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2006 01:33:33 | More by aquatonex
Photo of cubedbee


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light yellow-amber with a thin finger of white head that subsides quickly to a thin cap, which then leave behind a moderate amount of scattered lacing. Nose is a moderate dose of piney hops, with some faints note of caramel and apple and pear. Taste is more of the same, a nice full pale malt with a hint of caramel, giving way to a slightly fruity and nicely hopped finish. Medium bodied, moderate carbontion, slightly dry. This is a solid pale ale, but nothing really stands out about it, and the fact that there are readily available local substitutes usually keeps me away from this one. However, it's a very good beer, just like any other Anchor produces.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2006 20:17:08 | More by cubedbee
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This really is an American classic in that it really helped introduce hops in the pale ale. Mid gold with a worthy head this beer is redolent of hops and malt. When you get a few sips in you notice the real balance and complexity of this beer. Like Sam Adams Lager or SNPA this beer defines drinkability combined with a sense of care and attention. This is a go to beer for many including myself when I can get my hands on some.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2005 05:26:00 | More by canucklehead
Photo of KoG


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 . . . .

Serving type: on-tap

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

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Semi-opaque, dark gold color body, still in the glass. Thin color of foam and film of haze. Little lacing. Nose is mild, sweetish hops.

Taste is mild, too, of fruity hops, quite sweet. I wondered...is this too sweet? Definitely shocks of tang and shocks of salt, which made me wonder...is this too rough? Yet somehow it overall mild, and refined. A pretty hoppy ale by all means, yet a refined hoppy ale.

Excellent mouthfeel and medium body.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2004 00:21:25 | More by donnebaby
Photo of Ricochet


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I ordered this one to finish my day sampling micros and expected a good beer. (Regular Anchor is not my fave but thier porter was very good, so I thought I'd give this one a go. )

Light, fruity, hoppy aroma and a light cloudy amber color. First taste was well rounded, with fruity flavors/hoppiness taking control. It finished leaving a fruity note, and was a delight to drink.

Most amazing? Usually when I sample a "guest" beer at a microbrew, it lacks the freshness element of beers brewed on premises. Not this beer. It was just as fresh as others probably because of the extra life the hops instill in this ale. Outstanding beer from Anchor.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2004 04:15:26 | More by Ricochet
Photo of badbonez


4.97/5  rDev +27.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2004 22:50:53 | More by badbonez
Photo of ngandhi


4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Crane Alley in Urbana, IL. 3.50/pint.

Rounded fruit with some supportive, but never intrusive, bittering. Anchor Liberty is a lighter form (in terms of flavor) of the prototypical west coast pales. Rich with grapefruit and mangoes, this beer is much calmer than something like Sierra Nevada Pale. One hell of a session beer. Maybe a touch thin on the finish, but still to style.

Relax, relax.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2004 17:19:41 | More by ngandhi
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Offered on-tap at the Yard House in Pasadena. Sitting in it's generic pint glass, Liberty Ale had a clear pale yellow color and a bubbly ½" white head that deposited little streaks of lace on the glass walls.
The nose was quite sweet and fruity, with some grainy malt and tropical fruit notes. Much floral hops in the nose, also. The taste was also very fruit-laden up front, packed solid with peach, nectarine, and apricot flavor. Quite different. A decent amount of clean maltiness worked toward off-setting the sweetness and the mildly citric hops in the finish resulted in a smooth, clean, well balanced brew.
All in all, a pretty nice brew. The hops weren't quite as assertive as I was anticipating but Liberty Ale could make for a nice session brew and summer refresher.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2004 18:08:42 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of PatandDavid


3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Redbones. Pour when served was a clear golden, clean aroma, no head. I found the taste rather biscuity, and not very hoppy at all. This was a pleasant beer that is easy to drink and a good solid craft beer. At that abv, almost a session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2004 17:28:30 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of IceAce


4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'Twas New Years eve day and the holiday included a visit to an old friend in the town pub. I hadn't seen my friend at the pub in quite some time, so I was caught slightly off-guard by her appearance.

The gleaming new 'Liberty' tap replaced the recently departed OSA and we just had to spend some time together getting re-acquainted. The first pint was delivered in short order and sure looked inviting.

Liberty has always had the ability to make even the most bland of pint glasses (straight-sided Libby) look attractive, and today's version was no different. The deep bronze color was topped off with a 1" coller of rocky head...not quite white, not quite carmel, but somewhere in between.

With a clean palate the tongue is awash with flavor...malt first and hops after the finish. The complex malty flavor seems to satisfy and not overwhelm...also a just description for the hops. If only one word were allowed for descriptive terms, it would be 'balance'.

While I have many new friends behind the bar now, it's always great to run in to the one that turned me on first...

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2004 09:12:31 | More by IceAce
Photo of HochFliegen


3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great beer. Pours a nice amberish color and a good head that slowly dissapates. The smell strong and of a bouquet of flowers very pleasant. The taste is very well balanced between hop bitterness and maltiness with a crisp aftertaste. I really The mouthfeel was just right for this style of beer. I really enjoyed this one. Wish I could find it in Utah.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2004 01:21:35 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of ManekiNeko


4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Blind Tiger.

Appearance: Burnished golden yellow. Clear with a nice frothy head. Decent lacing as this heavenly brew was quaffed.

Smell: Great hop profiles on this one. Anchor used more of the floral/fruity aromatic hops than the ones with piney/bitter notes. Slight lemon/citrus scent.

Taste: Floral/citrusy hop flavors balanced nigh-perfectly with the pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, good drying sensation on the palate. Great medium body.

Drinkability: This has got to be one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I had forgotten how truly great some of Anchor's products are as it had been awhile. This will definitely become a staple in my fridge.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2003 19:16:14 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of UnionMade


4.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a burnished copper color, with a sticky, lasting head. Great lacing, trailing like a cobweb down the glass.
Aroma is a balance between rich pale maltiness and agressive northwest hopping. Pronounced citric cascade aroma, with some estery floral quality to the malt. Not terribly complex, but simplicity lies within perfection.
Flavor is hoppy and tangy, with outspoken hopping and perfect malt presence to back it up. Hints of pear and mango, with a grassy floral hop flavor throughout the sip. Mild unassuming carbonation. Medium bodied. Moderately bitter finish, with sharp hopping, the bottled version seems a bit weaker. Aftertaste is slightly tart bitterness.
An excellent beer from a true american original. Accept no imitations.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2003 04:52:37 | More by UnionMade
Photo of longpondbeerman


4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew, I was told, is a classic, the prototype for the so-called west coast IPA's, and from what I can tell it is an apt description. It pours a light amber with a modest off-white head that recedes quickly. The smell is, of course, hoppy, but not nearly as bold as some of its west coast descendants. The taste is light and hoppy--not much in the way of complexity, but extremely drinkable, especially listening to a Thelonius Monk CD on a late summer vacation evening.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2003 21:54:11 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of jcalabre


3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rerate: 24 May 2003. This beer is HUGELY different on draught versus in the bottle. The previous rating is for the bottle. I had it on draught today, it has a nice hoppy nose, w/ a flavor that started out creamy & finished hoppy. My rating reflects my original 'bottle' tasting b/c that's more widely available. However, if you can get it on draught, it's far superior... This is a *nice* IPA but nothing compared to the other IPA's available in California. It's readily available, so that's a plus.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2003 02:02:08 | More by jcalabre
Photo of drewbage


4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Judged at the 2003 Lucky Baldwin's IPA Festival. (Blind Taste)

Beer pours a pale gold orange with a light hop haze.

Nose is slight vingery with a citrus hop note with a biscuity malt underpinning it all.

Flavor is citrus and grass hop bitterness towards the front with a biscuit malt that is quickly surmounted by a crystal malt and a bubblegum note shortly before a final hop blast to finish.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2003 23:31:12 | More by drewbage
Photo of far333


2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale golden color, bright white head that disappears too quickly. Very light aroma, so light that I can't really detect any discernable smells. It feels highly carbonated, which maybe contributes to the weak flavor across the tongue. There is a slight hop flavor, but no malt or other accents that come to mind. This one didn't really do it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2003 03:49:50 | More by far333
Photo of scottum


3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sunset Cantina.

Nice orange amber with a big white head. I had to get this one topped off. Nice tastey hop flavors. Not a huge bitter, but enough to make a hophead smile. Smooth. A bit of a fruity flavor in there with the grainy flavors. Good balance. A good pale ale, almost an IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2003 07:37:19 | More by scottum
Photo of aracauna


3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice crisp toasty malt character. It also has good hoppiness. The citric hops are not overpowering but they are noticable. Well balanced beer that I really enjoy. A bit of soapiness to the flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2002 11:19:07 | More by aracauna
Photo of boblinneman


4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loved this beer on draught. Funny thing, I was at a beer fest (mirobrews&blues) and my buddy said try the anchor steam lager. It was the best I ever had, but the lines to the kegs were switched, I was drinking the ale. I told the rep. that I think his lines were wrong and they were. That mistake turned out great for me. recently I tryed Liberty out of a bottle, it was good, but not as good as draught. If you never tried Liberty Ale dont wait, or this time it will be your mistake.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2002 12:24:21 | More by boblinneman
Photo of BillyBrew


4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brews made better by finding it on tap! Beautiful, slighty hazey, glowing orange colour with a super cream head that stands tall and sticks all over. Strong, biting raw-hop nose with slight huskiness. Biting, raw hops that are bitter and citrusy. Slight malt sweetness fills the medium-light body.

Flavorful and biting mediumish body. Damn fine. A must find. I cannot belive I drank Liberty out of the bottle for so long. Now I know the meaning of beer. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2002 13:40:14 | More by BillyBrew
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,591 ratings.