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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.

683 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 683
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor California Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 683 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tykechandler
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

tykechandler, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of RMelyon
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

RMelyon, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of Feel_the_Darkness
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Feel_the_Darkness, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of rcatalano
4/5  rDev +9.3%

rcatalano, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of RHB33
4/5  rDev +9.3%

RHB33, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of DoubleJ
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor attempts to take up back to history, even before the brewery itself was established. It's said to be based off the first lager to be brewed in the state of California. From a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

Soapy with the head, yet sticky and retaining very well. Underneath is a bright golden colored beer with marvelous peppy bubbles running from bottom to top. The city which Anchor resides in is known for its sourdough bread. The aroma hints some of that sourdough goodness. Vague malt hits the nose too. Minerals and a twang of citrus come and go.

Simple lager with a wrinkle of fruitiness. The beer starts with a flavor of sweet grain with a hint of citrus. There's a pleasant fruity ester taste which I have come to expect from an amber lager, not a golden one. There's something in that yeast, me thinks. A light bitterness dries the beer out in the aftertaste.

A little different from other good lagers. Not necessarily better, but different.

DoubleJ, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

ToMakeEndsMeet, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Sam-VW
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Golden with a medium white head that dissipates to a thin cap. Bubbles rise slowly the whole time.

S - Lager malt, piny hops, slight toffee

T - Sweet malt followed by a long piney hop. Leaving a bitter grassy aftertaste

M - Great amount of carbonation to this style. Goes down well and one of the only lagers you can drink slowly and enjoy.

Sam-VW, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of JamesQuaff
4.48/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Pours a deep golden color with a bit of an orange-copper cast. Head is a dense, foamy 2 finger cap of white that has good retention and leaves a thick coating of lacing. Lots of bubble action. Excellent looking pale lager.

A generous aroma for the style. Nice hop notes, fresh baked bread, a bit of funky umami. Very agreeable.

Also a generous dose of flavor for the style. Slightly sweet malts, generous hop bite, long crackery finish with the hop bitterness holding on right along with it. Great balance. Very tasty.

Crisp and light bodied, but not thin or watery. Carbonation doesn't have as much bite as the bubble show led me to expect. Eminently drinkable.

Overall this is an excellent example of an all-malt American pale lager, maybe one of the best I've had. Price is a tad steep for what it is, but it delivers a level of flavor and aroma that few others I've tried within the style can match. I've been experiencing a bit of a personal DIPA backlash recently, having had a few examples that just did not impress. Simplicity, balance and drinkability have been doing it for me more and more lately. This beer will be making appearances in my fridge this summer for sure.

EDIT 6/10/14 - I've been spending a lot more time with this beer and have upped my ratings a bit. I now consider this my personal favorite lager produced in the US. It possesses all the cleanliness, crispness and breadth/depth of flavor of the finest German lagers but is quintessentially 100% American. I will usually have 6 or 8 different brands and styles of craft beer in my fridge, all great brews, but when the CA Lager is amongst them, I almost always find myself instinctively reaching for just another one of them until they're gone. An absolute gem of a lager that stands up to anything produced in the world today.

JamesQuaff, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Janeinma, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Hairrrrrrrr, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of tedho21
4/5  rDev +9.3%

tedho21, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of JohnK17
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

JohnK17, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of mikeg67
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours golden with tall, long lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of piney hops and biscuit malt. Body is medium and crisp. Good amount of herbal hops balanced by biscuit malt on the palate. Finish is long and herbal. Nice summer brew.

mikeg67, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of sculls65
4/5  rDev +9.3%

sculls65, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of Kinsman
3.66/5  rDev 0%
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!

Kinsman, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of VDSM
4/5  rDev +9.3%

VDSM, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of ariceclemson
4/5  rDev +9.3%

ariceclemson, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of Ristaccia
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Ristaccia, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a mini snifter.

A: Honey copper color with a generous pillowy white head. Lacing is nice and sticky.

S: Honey graham crackers, crisp malts, minor citrus notes.

T: Honey soaked oats, graham crackers, minor lemony note.

M: Effervescent, light, and refreshing. Slight prickly hoppy aftertaste. Very clean!

O: This is an above average lager that's definitely refreshing after a long day of work. Paired well with my expertly cooked turkey burger. I can see this being a great summer lager. I only picked up a single, but I'm definitely going to grab a six pack of it. Nothing mind blowing, but it's one of the better lagers I've had lately.

Lordquackingstic, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of CHickman
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold color with a ton of bubbles racing up it to a 1 finger snow white head that faded and left minimal lacing and a thin layer on top; typical boring lager looks. Smells of malt, grains, light caramel and faint floral hops; smells like a sweet bready lager with a hint of fruit – pretty cut and dry nose with no exciting aspects. Tastes like malt, grains, wheat bread crust, caramel, light floral hops, herbs and pear with a little hoppy bitterness. The finish is malty with a lemon zest zing that trails off dry. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with light carbonation, a very light body and a slightly bitter malty finish on the dry side. An above average malty lager, but not one I’d run out to get again anytime soon.

CHickman, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +9.3%

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

gnikola, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

wrightst, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of allengarvin
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

New Anchor, at least in Texas. It forms a pale gold beer in the glass with a dense though small head. The nose offers mostly grainy malt, though with a nice floral hop underpinning. The taste is decent for a session lager: some nice initial bitterness up front, light hop flavor, and clean malt that's only slightly grainy. Though fairly generic, it is pretty drinkable.

allengarvin, Jun 02, 2014
Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.