1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Anchor California Lager - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager

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

869 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 869
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 22
Gots: 158 | 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.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 869 | Reviews: 180
Photo of StoutHobbit
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear gold, white foam
S: Sweet, grassy, and a little oath
T: Fresh cut grass, wheat, and a kick of bitter on the back of the mouth
F: smooth, down pretty easy,
O: a good lager, love to have it around the house, it's a current staple

Photo of Edmond-Bird
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice, clean lager with distinctive Northern Californian traits. Beautiful golden color with good carbonation. Tastes upfront like a German pilsner but finishes with notes of sourdough bread and subtle, biting hoppiness.

Photo of 911CROFT
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a standard 2/3 pint glass. Paid £1.90 for a single bottle in a UK supermarket. (M&S)

This beer pours an impressive clear, bright amber coloured body with a tall, thin white head. Retention is ok and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Smell is mainly of malt and a slight floral note. Initial taste is again of simple malt and a small floral hint, but not much more. Small bubbles give a good carbonation and nice mouth feel. The finish is slightly bitter, dry hops linger a little in the mouth and give the beer a crisp, refreshing quality.

Overall this is a good beer. It is a step up from most other lagers readily available to me without having to take a specific trip to my local bottle shop and so for that reason I will definitely be trying it again. Would I go out of my way to drink it again? I am not sure.

Photo of JayQue
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer produces a big white frothy head with good retention and thick bands of lacing. Beautiful clear gold color. Aroma is fairly standard for a lager. Plenty of malt and a little grassy bitterness. Taste is more of the same. Mostly rich and malty with some balancing grassy hops bitterness.
Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Enough bitterness to call it "balanced". Not a bad summertime beer.

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Crisp golden streaming body with a good two finger foam head that has good retention and dies to a thick lace cover. This is a great looking lager but it does not leave much lace in the glass.

Smell - Floral and grassy. The malt front in this beer is sharp and crisp with a light sweetness that balances well with the more bitter hop. There is a slightly musty element to this beer but in on word I would have to call it balanced.

Taste - Nice and sweet, but mild, malty front that is grassy and and caramel like coupled with a more bitter and musty back this is beer is well balanced and tasty.

Mouth Feel - Full and creamy and yet bitter and fresh with a long drying linger.

Overall - This is beer is basically on point for all elements of its style and although it does have some minor elements to detract from it, it is damned tasty.

Photo of MikeMcCl
2.6/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Possibly been sitting too long, but smelled and tasted a bit stale to me. Bought as single bottle. Couldn't find any bottle date. I'd have to try again

Photo of Leeroi
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sounds good in Zan Fran

Photo of maedhros09
4.39/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear gold with abundant white head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing
Smell: floral and grassy
Taste: Lightly sweet floral maltiness with an assertive grassy hops finish. Great balance.
Feel: Light and nicely carbonated

Overall: This is a lager worthy of the Anchor name. For me it is an ideally balanced, with just a bit of sweetness but a nice dry bitter hops finish. This is basically what I look for in a light lager.

Photo of MikeDL
4.78/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

real good taste. outstanding in my opinion

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

This beer is an above average lager. It tastes fine, very smooth, with a 4.9 abv.

Photo of Brittney_Ouderkirk
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Golden with a foamy head. Smell: Bready and bright. Taste: Well balanced malt presence, biscuit, bread. Kind of husky, sunflower seeds. Slightly malty finish. Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, crisp, refreshing. Overall really enjoyable with a refreshing brightness.

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

to view more.
Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 869 ratings.