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Anchor California Lager - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

406 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 406
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.41%

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:
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.

(Beer added by: esdeebrew on 02-15-2013)
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Ratings: 406 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by boilermakerbrew:
Photo of boilermakerbrew


3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light, clear, pure golden color. Clarity is high, like that of a lighter style lager. Small, 1 finger head that doesn't stick around long at all and leaves a light trail of lace down the sides of the glass.

S- Starts with a very light, almost fruity, malt presence. Slight grainy scent intermingles and reminds me of corn adjunct in some other beers. Stays light throughout the entire smell before displaying the slightest bit of hops flourish at the end.

T- Starts light and floral in taste before moving toward a more traditional, light malt flavor. Middle and end of the drink is all light malts and some light, grainy flavors. Ends with a crisp, light malt bite that doesn't linger.

M- Light and high in carbonation. Very easy to drink, being light in body and having low levels of hops. This feels like a classic lager.

Overall, this is a craft version of a macro style lager even more than the steam beer is. Good flavors, but nothing special as far as a breakout from the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 03:17:11 | More by boilermakerbrew
More User Reviews:
Photo of rudabegga9


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-18-2014 20:28:43 | More by rudabegga9
Photo of ZionNation


5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am someone who loves all types of beers and have been into craft beer for decades. in general I believe that lager beers don't get the respect they deserve where some of the best beers on planet earth are lagers, dark lagers, light lagers, bocks, doube bocks, pilsners, etc. etc. anyway, I love a hoppy pilsner and have tried them all but this Anchor Lager, not exactly a pilsner, but simply the best hoppy lager I have ever tried. this beats Victory or Firestone Walker by a mile. I can't get enough of this beer. I have gone through like three cases and the beer stores in AZ are running out. please brew more and ship to Arizona.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 04:25:02 | More by ZionNation
Photo of VeganUndead


2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

04-17-2014 18:52:38 | More by VeganUndead
Photo of karlt


4/5  rDev +8.7%

04-16-2014 18:35:17 | More by karlt
Photo of JoeLacy


4/5  rDev +8.7%

04-16-2014 02:42:21 | More by JoeLacy
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
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 well 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, yeast, and dry 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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 03:16:06 | More by biboergosum
Photo of smithj4

New York

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-15-2014 01:08:23 | More by smithj4
Photo of thatoneguymike


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-14-2014 21:49:35 | More by thatoneguymike
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I wish this particular beer was more readily available in my region. We seem to get a rather limited subset of the Anchor lineup to date. I had yet to see this one here in Alberta at all until today, on tap at Beer Revolution and going in 12 oz. tulip glasses. Coolness. You know a brewery is shooting for historical accuracy when they single-hop a beer with Cluster, which is surprisingly still grown in this era during which Cascade is now considered old-fashioned by some. Somewhat unusual color for the style, a golden apple juice hue that is just darkening into a coppery bronze, with maybe an inch of white bubbles on top. Aroma is rather vinous and citric, evoking white wine, lemon zest, fresh grass, and subdued doughy malt. Tingles the nose. Taste includes these elements as well, with extremely crisp and dry middle and end sections. Some faint grass and green tea notes accompany something else that evokes sour fruit and tannins (think quinine from tonic water, perhaps), with a hint of butter (diacetyl?). The total package is just a hair thicker than the usual aggressively carbonated lager. Leaves a nice sheetweb lacing on the glass. If this could be found in bottles here I'd gladly pony up the extra dough the next time I need a 6-pack of yard beer. Like an AAL crafted to have more floral, spicy hop notes and none of that cloying artificial sweetener character. You'll obviously be able to find more aggressively hopped lagers if you are so inclined, but this take on an American classic hits crisp and refreshing clear out of the ballpark despite a slightly thicker mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2014 01:01:38 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

04-12-2014 18:28:24 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of Aash


4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

04-12-2014 13:35:38 | More by Aash
Photo of Kegatron


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

04-08-2014 22:49:51 | More by Kegatron
Photo of BrewClint


3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

04-08-2014 14:21:44 | More by BrewClint
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-07-2014 17:47:44 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Gregvg

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

04-06-2014 23:49:41 | More by Gregvg
Photo of Spider889


4/5  rDev +8.7%

04-06-2014 21:47:02 | More by Spider889
Photo of datalager


4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure why I seem to like this beer so much more than the average vote. Perhaps I got a strange "magic" batch. Maybe people are rating the beer against IPA's??? For the intended style this beer is very good, in my opinion, and attractive in that it looks like a beer without apologizing. No, there's no "peaked egg white" in the head. No, it's not ruby red or opaque black. It's an American lager. Rich amber body and medium bubbles in a whitish froth.

Profile is quite similar to Sam's ubiquitous Boston Lager. There was just a touch more nut on the nose, and slightly less malt in the finish in comparison. Good bready notes ground the experience. The beer was extremely easy going in and going down. No need to be fancy here. Just a flavorful beer.

Overall, for the style, I'd say this is an excellent American lager and certainly worth having in the fridge. I only had one of these in my recent mixed case from Craft Beer Cellar. I'll have to see if I can get a six pack locally.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 16:31:32 | More by datalager
Photo of kylehay2004


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

04-06-2014 13:24:17 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little surprised to see this today at the COOP... Picked up a few bottles and am getting to one while taking care of some business for tomorrow...

Poured into my thin tulip.. clear golden.. small bubble white head rises up and drops pretty quickly but the cap leaves nice drapes of lacing.

Nose shows clean pale malt with just enough hoppiness to balance.. smells fantastic.

Good balanced bitterness that just allows a subtle pale malt sweetness to get interesting... Hop flavors are sorta grassy and inviting.. This is a really well done brew.. Perfect for an evening barbecue..

Light/medium body ... good bubble.. nicely drinkable..


Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 06:36:09 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Nagol

New York

3/5  rDev -18.5%

04-06-2014 01:22:56 | More by Nagol
Photo of SonictheBeerhog

New York

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

04-06-2014 01:21:09 | More by SonictheBeerhog
Photo of jkeefe1800


3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

04-05-2014 05:22:23 | More by jkeefe1800
Photo of SkinniePost


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

04-05-2014 04:35:53 | More by SkinniePost
Photo of WDJersey


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-05-2014 04:33:02 | More by WDJersey
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Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.