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Anchor California Lager - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

681 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 16
Gots: 86 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 681 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
1.5/5  rDev -59%

ILikeGoodCider, May 31, 2013
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2/5  rDev -45.4%

sjrodriguez, Aug 24, 2014
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2/5  rDev -45.4%

sanitarium16, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of Veganjello
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%

Veganjello, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of wattoclone
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

wattoclone, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of Adkins1203
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Adkins1203, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of Chokobo
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Chokobo, May 24, 2013
Photo of Miami66
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Miami66, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of terence
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

terence, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of VeganUndead
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

VeganUndead, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of gnikola
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

gnikola, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of TheBigBoy
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

TheBigBoy, May 24, 2014
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2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Hellpop65, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of Dmbphoenix
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Dmbphoenix, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of baxter94
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

baxter94, Sunday at 05:29 PM
Photo of VonZipper
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

VonZipper, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of Chevelle66
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Chevelle66, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of RobertColianni
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

RobertColianni, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of Ajfinley
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Ajfinley, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of RMelyon
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

RMelyon, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Snatched this one up yesterday at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale. I'll try anything Anchor puts out out of respect for the brewery. Love the old school no-nonsense label, and Anchor's bottles are iconic at this point - distinctive and cute with the snub neck. Let's get into it, shall we?

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pry-off ("Use Opener") cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery's reputation and influence.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I can't corroborate the ABV; I don't see one listed on the label.

A: Pours a two finger wide light white-khaki colour head. Soft smooth complexion. Nicely frothy. Fair creaminess. No real lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty decent - probably 6 minutes - but that's not too impressive for the mild ABV.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper; vibrance is above average. Pretty standard fare for the style. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Not unique or special, but I don't notice any obvious flaws. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Two row malts; quite clean. Neutral efficient yeast; no spiciness or biscuity character here. Cream. Vague adjunct - corn maybe? Clean barley. Quite grainy; graininess is definitely dominant. Any hopping is largely unevocative; it's purely preservative. I suppose it's to style, but it does leave something to be desired. No alcohol is detectable. I'm optimistic given the brewery, but I can already tell it's not going to blow me away.

T: Clean. Grainy and malty. Hop character is unevocative, adding little. Clean barley and cereals. No yeast character comes through. No alcohol comes through. Some residual sugars on the back end leave it feeling sweet - almost like it was brewed with candi sugar. Weak, but I wouldn't call it bland. It's certainly boring, though. I do get some mineral notes - perhaps from the water. Light dough - especially on the climax. There's not much to say about it given its simplicity. No subtlety here, but decent balance. Flavour duration and intensity are average. It does feel a bit artificial, almost like adjunct was used.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Lightly crisp. Overcarbonated. Good presence on the palate. It's somewhat refreshing. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. A bit too thick. Not syrupy, viscous, harsh, gushing, or oily.

Dr: Drinkable but boring. I definitely wouldn't bother with this again. I do think it's necessary to point out that Anchor likely met their goals; I don't doubt this is an authentic recreation of the beer they based this on. I applaud the revere for brewing history, but frankly the resultant beer is just plain dull. Very pedestrian indeed. That said, this might be a great beer for easing macro-swill drinkers into craft/micros. It's easy sippin', but I wouldn't recommend it to friends. A dud from Anchor.

Low C

kojevergas, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of TheSSG
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a loud, soft, soapy, white head that collapses quickly. Soft, sweet malt backing floral hops. Crystal clear, golden hue. Starts bitter with a grainy hop flavor, builds into a low-medium hoppiness, a flash of grassy hops, and then the malt finally shows through. Lingering hop bitterness.

This is billed on the label as an "all-malt brew." It's billed also as having a "balanced depth of flavor" and "smooth finish."
No. None of these things is true.
It's not bad, but it's not the smooth lager it's building itself up to be. I was hoping for something a la "Totally Naked" by New Glarus, but I got a light pale ale. Considering Anchor's bock, they over-hop their lagers. Again, not a BAD brew, but not a very good lager (especially considering the billing).

TheSSG, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Clear golden body with lots of rising bubbles. Thick cream colored head that doesn't recede for quite some time. Decent lines of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Clean malts and grains, a hint of wood and spicy hops.

Taste: Dry and woody up front. A touch of malt sweetness, but otherwise bitter and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat creamy, dry.

Overall: Too thick, too dry, too hoppy. Not a fan.

JuicesFlowing, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of jose_alehouseSD
3/5  rDev -18%

jose_alehouseSD, Sep 09, 2014
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Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.