Anchor California Lager - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager

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

895 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 895
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 26
Gots: 170 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 895 | Reviews: 191
Reviews by DaftPatrick:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picking up what they could, westward travelers made beer from all kinds of things as they attempted to make beers traveling toward the promise of gold. Where the California Common ale is well documented, it makes sense that the more tried-and-true Lagers would have also been part of the early settler's beer drinking diet.

Like any well made lager would, Anchor's pours with a medium gold color and bright clarity. Building a creamy ivory-white foam, its head character is long lasting and proud with lacing collars as the beer fades. It's a rather fantastic looking Lager!

Grainy-sweet aromas of raw barley, supple bready sweetness and a richer bread crust rise to the nose for a crisp and pleasantly light scent. Floral hops give a slight perfume character that's similar to honey suckle. Light apple and sulfur lurk in the background and help to round the scent but careful not to make too meaningful of an impact.

To taste, the ale fares similarly- part-malt and part-grain to start, its sweetness is light and is of fresh baking bread, light dough and yeast. But its cracker-like taste reels in the slight fruitiness of honey, apples, and slim citrus. What's floral in aroma provides a soft flowery herb taste before developing a spicy and earthy bitterness that overrides the malts and ensures a crisp and clean finish.

Light bodied, the ale's elegant sweetness might imply more weight, but its bolsterous carbonation lightens the body and floats the lager over the middle to arrive in a finish of lemongrass bite, herbal warmth and pepper.

The lager is surprisingly crisp, clean and refreshing as it shows no apparent off flavors and keeps its balance well in tact. Its a fabulous beer that is sure to fare exquisitely with sushi and Cobb salad.

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!

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 oberon
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured one and a half bottles into a 1/2 liter stein with a clear golden color with a frothy one finger white top.Aromas of toasted grain and minerla mainly,a tinge of caramel sweetness.A nice flavor profile that mildly sweet,lightly toasted grain along with some honey and sweetish pizza dough.A pretty damn solid American lager,will be good to throw back while smoking some sausage and shoulders this spring.

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 generallee
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tall pilsner glass.

Appearance: It has a light golden body with some visible carbonation and a small white head that just hangs on to a thin layer of foam. Lacing is minimal.

Smell: There are some light biscuity maltiness and some mild grassy hop notes.

Taste / Palate: I am picking up the same biscuity and white bready maltiness. It’s dry overall and finishes with some mild grassy/herbal/botanical hop bitterness. The palate is light with a well carbonated feel.

Photo of wattoclone
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

As a fan of Anchor Porter and lagers in general, when I saw this recently I had to pick up a six pack. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this one. It smells and tastes like an IPA, not a lager. The grassy hops pervade the nose and leave a lingering potent bitterness that only IPA lovers would enjoy. Yes, there is substantial maltiness up front, but it is quickly overcome by the strong hops. If the hops were cut to about a quarter of the current level this would be an outstanding lager.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Earthy spicy hops joined by light, grainy malt on the nose.
Brilliant gold, 1” off white head quickly dissipates to thick film.
Clean malt flavors suggestive of light graham cracker, traces of citrusy fruit, spicy, with a bitter hop accent of the finish.
Medium light body, medium to medium high carbonation.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Aug 2015. Picked up a little while back from Trembling Madness in York. Described as a recreation of California's first true lager - originally brewed in 1876 by the Boca brewery and lagered in an ice pond. The state bear stalks the label.

Poured into a stemmed pilsner glass. A bright golden-amber hue with faint haze and good carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding. Aroma of light malt with hints of grain, grass/hay, mild floral hops and subtle fruity yeast esters. Not dissimilar to the famous Steam beer.

Tastes of light malt with a mild, dry finish. Notes of grain, fruity yeast esters, grass/hay, a touch of stewed hops and subtle earthiness. Well-attenuated. A twinge of harsh cardboard in the background, followed by a delicate bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with pleasant carbonation and good body for the style. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of grainy malt, mild fruity yeast and faint stewed hops.

Pretty good - a nicely crafted lager. The yeast profile is reminiscent of Anchor's Steam Beer; I presume the same strain was used for this. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour are light and vaguely fruity. A faint harshness in the background detracts from the flavour. Decent body. Goes down easily enough, and has spades more character than a typical American macro. Worth sampling if you come across it.

Photo of Libationguy
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light gold color with a brilliant appearance. Rich, full white head with medium retention. Well carbonated. Lacing in the glass is prominent.

Bready and biscuit dough. Toasted bread and a faint lemon and orange zest quality. The yeasty notes on the nose give it a good deal of richness for the style.

Bread and biscuit and backed up with some tastiness. A little bit of Marzipan and grapefruit peel.

Medium bodied and slightly watery around the edges. The beer is well attenuated and cleans up on the palate. There is a nice aftertaste that carries the beer through the palate to a solid finish.

Really nicely done for the style. If you're a Budweiser or Coors drinker, you could do worse than to give this beer a try.

Photo of moundbz
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Initially tasty and refreshing, don't really like the after taste

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appears a bright pale golden hue with a bright white head pillow like and thick.

Aroma has ripened citrus zest, dank floral, and marijuana notes a touch of sulfur on the nose as well.

Flavor super rich golden malts balance out earthy zest ridden earthy hops that a dug into each sip that crosses the palate.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with even sturdy carbonation that really brings out the aggressive nature of this pale lager.

Overall it’s easy to drink and quite pleasurable to consume I recommend at least a six pack to absorb it all in.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled October 11, 2013.

A: Pours a clear amber gold with a nice white head sitting on top. Leaves lacing all down the sides of the glass. Just a touch of visible carbonation in this one.

S: Very mild aroma with a sweet malty character. Hints of bready and toastiness. The sweet malts seem to be most prevalent.

T: As with the aroma this lager is on the sweeter side of things. I believe it is the barley coming through that makes this brew balance out nicely. Hops do mellow it out some but the grainy malt sweetness comes back for the aftertaste. T

M: Light to medium body with a well rounded creamy character. Clean finish that keeps this one sessionable.

Overall this is an enjoyable lager showing there was much better beer around pre-prohibition than there was in the 80's. Worth a try if you like lagers.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

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

Aroma: Lots of floral aroma! Piney hops, clover, cilantro, lavender, rosemary, thyme with touches of lemony citrus and finally, toasted malt.

Taste: Pretty nice. Strong flavors of toasted malt up front, imparting flavors of whole wheat crackers and freshly baked French baguettes. There is quite a bit of black pepper, some caramel-like sweetness, and finally, the beer finishes with quite a bit of floral, piney, hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and pretty smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 4.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer. Nice flavors of toasted malt and caramel-like sweetness. The only knock I have against it is that, to my taste, there’s a touch too much hops. I much prefer Anchor’s Steam beer over this one. Hop heads should really like this one, though.

Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

355ml bottle, thanks to United Distributors rep Susie for the sample - see, I remembered your name (even if I didn't spell it correctly)!

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow hue, with four brash fingers of puffy, foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves some decent broken webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of musty, almost meaty bready pale malt, yeasty muscat white wine and rising dough that's been left on the counter too long unfortunately providing a more focused olfactory sense, along with some meek and muted citrus and leafy hops notes. The taste is more of the same - yeasty, somewhat crackery pale malt, vinous fruit, some rather overripe lemon, and, well 'organic'-seeming grassy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, in a tightly frothy sense, the body an agreeable medium weight for the already sort of subverted style, and smooth, but with that weird house yeast caveat. It finishes pretty dry, the crackery, bready, yeasty, and brut white wine esters as strong as ever were.

At first glug, all I could think of was how much this resembles Anchor's purportedly (and thankfully) distinct steam beer (trademark duly omitted) - that weird yeastiness, bordering on some sort of unwelcome bacterial action, and an everyman pale maltiness. Colour me still uninterested, yet at the same time thankful for the freebie, in the sense that I didn't blow north of 15 bucks on a wasted (in the entirely wrong sense of word) sixer.

Photo of Drew03cmc
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This lager hits on all of the good notes for a lager. The taste is fantastic, feel, look and smell are very good and it is a solid beer.

Photo of dertyd
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass

A:a nice golden yellow color with about a 1 finger head that fades away and leaves a nice thin lace that slowly trickls down the glass its so beautyfull lol

S:toasted grains,fresh grass and some citrus fruits a lot of smells going on for a lager

T:wow!!!! I love anchor brewing all there brews are great and this one is so good at first taste you get that american lager taste like grains,cereal,toasted corn but on the finnish you get that trade mark anchor bitterness wich is so so so good

M:crisp,smooth and dry

Overall: what a damn good beer I love it.its cool because I am from california and this is like takeing it back old school this is my new sesion beer can put theese away all day good job anchor and r.I.p boca brewing your lager lives on

Live life drink beer!!!:-)

Photo of secondtooth
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A recreation of one of America's first "craft beers", this historic lager pours a clean golden-amber, with a luxurious head of white bubbles. Sparse, but tall spokes of lace.

Nose is crisp lager grains and malts. I get toasted barley. Perfect lager aroma.

Flavor is subtle -- heavy on the grains and malts up front, with niche touches of citrus hops and a tingle of bitter under the tongue near the finish.

Overall, a superlative and flavorful lager.

Photo of tempest
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let this one warm up, the pale malts are lovely and complemented by the spicy Cluster hops. The barley is doughy and bready with a little toasty note. Very drinkable and fun for beer geeks. Give it a shot.

Photo of ordybill
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 OZ. bottle into a tulip glass.
Aroma- has a strong sweet aroma with a backdrop of grass and hops
Appearance- pours a golden orange color with a thick white head.
Taste- Crisp barley flavored beer with some spice thrown in.
Palate- a dry beer with that is medium bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall- a really good beer from Anchor, not as good as their Anchor Steam or Porter offerings but worth a try.

Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent bronze with 2 fingers of pearl colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Musty grain, crackery notes, plus a bit of perfumy hops

T: Some pear notes, leafy hops & some crackery notes up front. More pear & even a bit of green apple, plus leafy hops & mineral dryness. Leafy hops, dryness & muted pear in the finish

MF: Medium bodied, assertive carbonation, decent balance

I could do one or two of these, then it would be time to move on to something with a more agreeable flavor profile, was hoping for more from these guys

Photo of hophugger
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice color, good head. Nice clean hop flavor and a slightly caramel flavor. A good beer if drinking just a few, but may get a little heavy after several...just sayin". Anchor beers are dependably consistent and this one does not let you down. Also, a touch of bread/yeast???. Head maintains and dissipates slowly...

Photo of Kinsman
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden effervescent body with a frothy white head resting nicely on top. Greet the nose with the slightly sweet note of cereal grain and biscuit. Earthy and herbal hop notes make themselves present as well.

A nicely balanced, clean and crisp lager on the palate with a bready malt flavor and a floral hop note coming along as well. A light touch of bitterness before it goes down oh so smooth. Medium-bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, an excellent go-to beer that shows that yellow and fizzy pale lagers CAN be good!

Photo of SFNC
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold pour with 2 inch white head. Smell is light, but hints of biscuit and sweet malt are present. A bit grassy. The taste is clean, sweet on the front end with a light malt presence, then slightly bitter on the back end with the hops rising to the occasion. The feel is clean with moderate carbonation. A slightly dry finish for a lager. Overall, a very good American lager, crisp, clean and refreshing.

Photo of KYGunner
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When you read this is a lager your expectation is a Pale yellow straw color but instead this has a medium dark golden appearance. It's capped by a bright white dense foam.

For the most part the nose is spot on the style with expected cracker, bread, dough and grassy or grainy scents. I do, however, smell faint whiffs of lemon sweetness and herbal hops.

The flavor is very well crafted and brings me to think this one of the better lagers I've ever had. Strong bready, cracker like malt flavor arrives assertive with mild barley, grain and nut. Some dry toast is then followed by a hint of hops and lemon.

The feel is ultra crisp and satisfying but doesn't depend on carbonation to achieve that.

Well done!

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.