1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor California Lager - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

564 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 564
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 16
Gots: 44 | 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)
View: Beers (25) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor California Lager Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 564 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/26/13.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grass, and fruity flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but has a slightly better smell to me.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 00:35:34 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -18.5%

10-09-2013 23:26:59 | More by djrn2
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a small collar around the edge of the glass. The head eventually completely faded away.
S: Light aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of bready and caramel malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the malts are a little stronger and have flavors of biscuits, bread, caramel and crackers while the hops contribute a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and doesn't have very strong aromas or flavors so it seems like it would pair well with lighter fare meals.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 23:02:14 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a crystal clear golden color with a three-fingered head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Doughy with a hint of graham cracker; slightly grainy and grassy

Taste: Doughy and crackery, up front, with lemongrass flavors developing; grainy and grassy, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: I was expecting to be underwhelmed but this is actually rather good; a great crossover beer to bring to a BBQ

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2014 21:57:30 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2013 06:48:34 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

10-14-2013 19:55:56 | More by acurtis
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - 6-pack - $9.49 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a deep yellow, perfectly clear, with a smallish, lightly fizzy, white head.

Smell: Light, lightly malty notes of crustless white bread, crackers with a sliver of fruitiness, lemon, and grassy herbs.

Taste: Soft, bready barley, a bit crackery, with an ample cereal sweetness present. Scantly grainy. Lemon, herbal-toned hops, maybe a bit grassy. Further taste of sans salt saltines on the drying, nicely bitter finish a zip of suds.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation, a little lively.

Overall: Brisk, clean, refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 21:19:01 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3/5  rDev -18.5%

07-26-2014 02:14:38 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

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

North Carolina

3.7/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 21:21:16 | More by oberon
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale bright gold, racing streams of carbonation, long lasting head of foam and some random spotty lace around the edges. Surface coverage

Mild aroma, lager yeast, dry and bready.

Soft and supple feel, biscuity malt, light apple and a vague herbal bitterness in the aftertaste. Smooth and very drinkable, simple but still flavorful. Prototypical example of the APL style.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 23:15:16 | More by emerge077
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-20-2014 00:49:26 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of biboergosum
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 largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev +8.7%

05-08-2013 18:34:35 | More by largadeer
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

10-20-2013 20:30:03 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, light caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and grain. Then some citrus and malt sweetness comes in along with a mild hops presence. The malt character is hearty and there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid poundable beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 03:23:19 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

07-15-2014 19:33:06 | More by Jason
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2014 04:07:52 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 02:49:16 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

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

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

09-08-2013 14:56:43 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my SA PP glass right to the top exactly, head rises a little over the top, nice pillowy fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades at a med pace at first, then pretty much stops as the bubbles streaming up from the bottom balance the pot marked head fade. Crystal clear honey tan color.

Nose isn't bad, starting with some nice pilsner malts, a little straw like, some lager crispness, some fruity lager characters as well, a very light steam beer kinda soft lager malt characters, mild grassy Czech Saaz like noble style hops, hint of a grainy crackery aroma.

Taste starts light and refreshing, pretty crisp, with more straw toasty pilsner malts, into a mild sweet malt character and even slightly syrupy like, with more light crackery flavors. Hops are stronger than I expected, a little grassy and hint spicy, more Euro style hops with a little nobble grassy but also little earthy herbal, and fair bitterness. Hint of a sulfury lager note. Finish is not as crisp, little syrupy sticky and fairly bitter, bit more lager notes and grassy hops.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb, little syrupy for a lager.

Overall OK but not great, started OK but got a little syrupy sweet and not too crisp, hops are a little stronger than expected but not bad, so a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 02:46:13 | More by jlindros
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lots of lagers this month for me, and maybe none more satisfying than this one all things considered. I like anchor this fall, bottling (or at least distributing) a few new ones. this is a full bodied and full flavored lager, caramel in color and boasting almost an inch of just off white suds on top, airy but patient. it smells like it should, slightly rich, dry though, with a complex grain engine and delicate hop accents. the flavor is spot on, not sweet at all, not bitter, not thick not thin, not sharp and muted, but balanced in a sense of the term reserved for the best of the best. definitely malt forward, but there a lot of complex subtleties to this. heavier than some, I cant drink a sixer in a sitting, but I don't need to be able to in order to enjoy this one. a little filling, a lot flavorful, well done again by the brewery that can do no wrong. a lager worthy of repeating.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 04:32:41 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive golden color shading to the amber side. Foam lasts well. This really tastes like a Kolsch to me. It has that perfumey hop note that seeps into the flavor as well as the aroma. Very thin body with a sharp edge and crackle of carbonation. Crackery and grainy malt flavor. Rather bitter aftertaste. A little winey and acidic, but very light bodied.

Interesting and quite drinkable, but on the sharp and thin side. I like what they say is a historic use of Cluster hops. Maybe this is a good niche for Anchor-- interpreting classic brews from the past-- that don't involve Babylonian recipes. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 04:48:47 | More by mactrail
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden with a thin white head. Little lacing sticks.

The smell is of grain with a hint of metallic hops.

The taste is of mild, sweet grain with balancing hop bitterness in a crisp finish.

Smooth and easy to drink. It's a nice, basic American pale lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 22:31:01 | More by jwc215
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.