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Anchor California Lager - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

835 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 835
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 20
Gots: 146 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: esdeebrew on 02-15-2013

In 1876, thanks to an ice pond in the mountains and a belief that anything is possible in the Golden State, a little brewery named Boca created California's first genuine lager. Anchor California Lager® is our re-creation of this historic beer. Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast, this all-malt brew is kräusened and lagered in our cellars. Its golden color, distinctive aroma, creamy head, balanced depth of flavor, and smooth finish make Anchor California Lager® a delicious celebration of California’s unique brewing heritage.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 835 | Reviews: 169
Photo of Straycorn
4.8/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

It's been awhile since I consumed a lager... I've been on quite an IPA and stout/porter kick for months. Don't miss this one. It's awesome all the way around. Hits all the best lager notes and then some!

Photo of Gajo74
4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden and very clear. Thin bubbly head and good lacing. Lots of aroma; malty sweetness with a buttery biscuit feel, a nice floral and perfume feel, yeast, hops and spices. As the drink warms, a fruity and honey essence takes over. Taste also has a lot to offer; toasted malts, bready, herbal and peppery. A hint of citric sourness. The hops and yeast balance it out and give a slightly dry bitter finish. Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Crisp, refreshing and extremely drinkable.
I really liked this one. A lager lots of flavor and complexity.

Photo of Nolo
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Probably best lager I've had

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color. Lager yeast and floral hops. The taste is hoppy, yet bready and clean. Slight bitterness on a bready, not even buttery but lively palate. Crisp, clean, faint citrus and husk grain. Medium bodied, well carbonated and crisp. This is a beer, and a good one.

Photo of SkipThrasher
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

American Lagers have not represented IMO. This one does. Reminds me of the old days IE Old Style in keg shaped bottles.

Photo of WholeLottaTricks
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try this one for a while. Very refreshing and a solid add to my mix a 6.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #80 (Sep 2013):

What we have here is some no-frills, American-brewed craft beer that pays homage to California’s first lager brewed during the gold rush of the late 1800s. Brewed with both malt and hops from California to keep with the true re-creation of this beer. Beers like this, without any crazy hopping, bugs or barrel aging, can still reach a level of greatness, and Anchor Brewing certainly has found it here.

STYLE: American Pale Lager
ABV: 4.9%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Epic froth, clear deep golden hue

SMELL: Fresh-cut grass, leafy, mildly citric, crackers, clean, faint lemon zest

TASTE: Perfect crispness, moderate-sized body, smooth, grassy, clean, peppery, ample hop bitterness, rustic bread, mild orange pith, slightly herbal, long grainy finish, ends dry

Photo of hardy008
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear gold with a bright white head, with good retention and lacing. Has a grassy and grainy aroma, with some bready malt.

The taste is much like the aroma. Grassy and grainy with bready malt, and hop bitterness at the end.

Light to medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Worth buying again.

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Perfect clarity, golden-yellow body with nice carbonation, rich white head that, sadly, fades to barely anything. Bottle shape, art/styling/colors, story, everything is beautiful.

S: Grain/corn, kinda sweet.

T: Sweet grain, but no off- or nasty residual flavors., no real bitterness. It's not much, but it's exactly what it should be.

M: Medium body, good carbonation.

O: An 'ancient ale' that isn't gimmicky, and pretty good despite it's rustic, limited roots.

Photo of charlzm
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Consumed on draft.

Beer started off cold, tasting and smelling as probably intended. As it warmed, the aroma became awful with cabbage-like DMS. Could barely finish the pint.

Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't a huge fan but worth trying. Sort of an OK but unremarkable lager, but with more hop character.

Photo of dukeandduke
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

3/6 (Bottle) - Pour a solid orange pour, minimal white head and nominal carbonation. Sweet orange, malt aroma, and a good texture. Taste was minimal, which was surprising based on the aroma. Lighter beer than I typically drink may have been a factor.

Photo of Bali_hi
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of california lager drank.

Photo of Johnroby
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Run of the mill lager with a small note of hops

Photo of Premo88
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can poured into pilsener

L: orange ... much darker than lager yellow, maybe even past gold ... a reddish gold -- beautiful; 1-inch head of foam is just a bit off white, almost beige, super sticky at the top; a tight column of bubbles is percolating hard in the brew, so much activity which is creating an almost full skin on top and a thick collar; lacing is cool -- this is a 5

S: sour grain and some citrus, orange-lemon ... hints of malt sweetness in there, just a little bread malt

T: cracker big time ... a little citrusy something, light lemon-orange, and the malt sweetness goes into the bready range, but the cracker for me is undeniable; some fantastic earthy hops are playing with the sweetness; damn is this good, very grounded with that cracker-malt foundation and the pinch of bitterness while the Cluster hops offer up a range of floral and citrus notes

F: fantastic midweight with good crispness ... again ... a 5

O: this beer is FANTASTIC! it's malty, it's hoppy, it's crisp, light, drinkable ... so much flavor, and the weird hint of orange something is a twist I've not tasted in any other brew -- it's hard for me to call it "orange" for it's a floral-orange-lemon thing bouncing off the malt that is truly unique. a beer I will buy over and over and over ...

Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new stand by for my fridge and collection. Into rotation. Goes right next to my NB Shift Pale Lager and Session Lager. Lucky to have this offering in my local Smith's grocery store. I like to pair this with meats and spicy dishes. Has a dry yet interesting finish. Feels like a Pilsner but not as grassy. Very refreshing and not boring. Sessionable and enjoyable. Well done Anchor. Quality shows.

Photo of Jerryodell
4.61/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just now getting back into lagers, this will probably end up being a favorite.

Photo of garymuchow
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pilsner glass.
Aroma is malty, a little aqueous, a bit of sulfur, and only hints of green
Good looking. Quite clear and golden. Smallish white cap but good density.
Smacks and bites with a crispness that moves to tart. Strong drying on the finish with a lingering soft but noticeable bitterness. Nice malt flavors with a traditional American hops flavor running through it. Clean but not strongly so as it carries a little heft and the strong drying diminishes it some too.
A solid good drinking everyday lager.

Photo of Beejay
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A clean yellow brown in color with a nice white head on top.

S: Grainy with a little bit of a pepper note. Slightly sweet.

T: Slightly bready, with a touch of bitterness, there is a little creamy thing going on as well as a bit more of peppery hint.

M: Medium light in feel, with very active carbonation, there is a little bit of a milky feel to the finish.

O: Overall pretty good, something a little more interesting that the typical lager, although not as amazing as some other lagers in the same vein.

Photo of ranger7
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not bad. Very refreshing. Crisp and clean, with a bit of a hop bite in the end.

Photo of leantom
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A classic beer. Here goes:

A: Just OK. Pours a clear orange, has plenty of carbonation. However, only pours a one-inch head - no lacing either.

S: Very grainy - lots of cereal grains. Some lager yeast, though, which is good.

T: Very nice and crispy, albeit simple. Can taste cereal grains, some lightly-kilned malt. However, that's it. Good for what it's supposed to be, though.

F: Beautifully crispy. Best thing about the beer.

O: Good, but very simple.

Photo of ShanePB
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The taste is something ridiculously close to an AAL. Not a fan at all.

Photo of JGam115
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright toasted gold, fine fluffy head. Lighter lager nose, light wheat, very subtle hop. Clean, crisp and bitter. Not bad.

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden with 1/2 finger of white head

Smell: Clean malt and biscuit aromas with slight floral hop smell

Taste: A nice hop bite of bitterness and finishes very clean

Mouthfeel: Well-carbonated and isn't thin

Overall: A solid lager

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Crystal clear, amber color. Had a thick, white, head that died to a fine rim around my Boston Lager glass. The etching produced lots of carbonation. Looks nice for a lager.

S- The beer uses an all malt recipe, and you can tell that in the smell. It's two- row pale malt to be exact. And that is the smell. You also also get a lightly roasted grain note with a touch of caramel. A bit grassy. Smells quite nice to be honest.

T- Smell and taste are identical. Sweet pale malts and a lightly roasted, gaininess. Grassy type hops, but the hop note is very light. There is a touch of spiciness from the hops too.

M- The beer is medium bodied, but on the light side of medium. It is very refreshing, clean crisp, and easy/soft on the palate. Drinkability is super high.

Overall, I highly recommend you check this beer out. If you like the Yuengling lager or even Anchor Stream beer, you'll like this beer. The major turnoff to this brew is it's $9.99 a 6 pack. I don't think for what you get it's worth that price on a consistent basis. I'll stick with Miller High Life consistently if I just want an easy drinking, cheap, but very well made American beer. But in general, this beer is worthy of your time!

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Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 835 ratings.