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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

558 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 558
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 16
Gots: 43 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 558 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I was surprised when I saw this in the cooler at Monde Market in PHL on Thursday. "When did Anchor begin making lagers?" I wondered to myself. This has been a recent West Coast trend in response to many East Coast (read PA) brewers taking medals for Lager-style beers at GABF and jealousy will get you nowhere. My analogy is that of a stick shift driver to an automatic driver: if you can drive stick, you can drive anything. If you only know automatic and somebody puts you behind the wheel of a stick, you are going to grind a lot of coffee before you are done. If you can brew with lager yeast, you can brew anything, although some stalwarts don't even want to bother. If you only know ale yeast and suddenly decide to brew lagers, you are going to produce some evil stuff before you are through. Capice?

From the bottle: "Anchor Steam's roots go back to the Gold Rush, long before icehouses and modern refrigeration made traditional lagers a viable California option. in 1876, thanks to an ice pond found 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 Claifornia 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 krausened 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."

California Lager?!? It seems like a contradiction on terms to me, but I promise to give it a fair shake, as I do for every beer. This is a very carbonated beer, so even a gentle pour seems to create a lot of dense, pillowy, French-vanilla colored head which also gives the beer a pseudo-cascading effect as it settles. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity and once more, Croesus and King Midas were fighting over it, now joined in the fray by Mammon. I have no time for their antics, so I leaned in for a sniff. The nose was clean, very much a lager, with a grainy maltiness and a grassy hoppiness that put me in mind of a German Pils. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was soft, I mean like as in soft water and the taste was very grassy, very much Noble hops, although I was not getting the malt the way that I did on the nose. Finish was dry and refreshing, but I kept thinking that I wished that they had allowed the malt to play better with the grassy hops. Not bad, but I know several PA breweries that make lagers that I will stick with/to, at least for the time being.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 02:42:12 | More by woodychandler
Photo of EastBay_Nick
EastBay_Nick

California

3/5  rDev -18.5%

07-13-2013 21:21:51 | More by EastBay_Nick
Photo of wattoclone
wattoclone

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 17:40:42 | More by wattoclone
Photo of TheSSG
TheSSG

Illinois

2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
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).

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 01:05:23 | More by TheSSG
Photo of Phillyz
Phillyz

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

07-11-2013 00:56:20 | More by Phillyz
Photo of mufc
mufc

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

07-07-2013 20:44:48 | More by mufc
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

07-07-2013 14:26:03 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, brilliantly golden with a creamy, white head that holds decent retention and leaves a little lace. Aromas are typical for the style - lager yeast, grassy hops, biscuity grain. Tastes are fresh & crisp, grassy hops, yeast, easy drinking. Creamy, lighter body, moderate carbonation. Overall, nothing wrong with this one - good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 03:40:27 | More by barnzy78
Photo of gshackles
gshackles

New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

07-03-2013 06:05:15 | More by gshackles
Photo of Dools9
Dools9

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

07-02-2013 03:10:40 | More by Dools9
Photo of codynevels
codynevels

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

06-30-2013 18:27:38 | More by codynevels
Photo of mc4z
mc4z

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

06-30-2013 05:26:53 | More by mc4z
Photo of jkrich
jkrich

Indiana

3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a code dated 12 oz. bottle: bright, shiny and clear golden hue with a sustained, foamy white-head that very slowly recedes leaving nice lacing on the glass.
The weakest point for this lager: very light and subtle hop aroma with little of the spiciness one would expect from an all-malt lager.
This is definitely a step above an "American style lager" in flavor profile. There is a soft, mellow flavor similar to a German helles. Only the steely hop bitterness reminds you that this is American. The Anchor website states this is a single hop lager. I think the very good flavor of this lager could be improved with an additional hop variety.
The mouth feel has a very nice, creamy and smooth profile with a slight and pleasant lingering vanilla on the palate.
It is good to see a world class brewery presenting a standard and flavorful lager. I will probably have this one again this summer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 23:27:19 | More by jkrich
Photo of enelson
enelson

Illinois

4/5  rDev +8.7%

06-29-2013 01:09:44 | More by enelson
Photo of kaelingirl
kaelingirl

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-27-2013 20:35:09 | More by kaelingirl
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Anchor California Lager
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a Pilsner glass

Pours a golden color with an orange tint. Champagne bubbles race to the top of the beer. The head is fluffy and bone white. I'm most impressed with the trails of sticky lace on this offering.

A rather clean nose with whiffs of grains or cereals.

Toasted grain malt backbone with a really clean profile. Hints of grass, cereal gain and a touch of citrus (lemon). I detect that classic Anchor yeast in here too. Super drinkable, almost off the charts in terms of sheer drinkability.

A refreshing and simple (in a good way) way lager that is true to the style. Could be an excellent crossover beer for someone.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 22:40:43 | More by Hibernator
Photo of Zachtheporter
Zachtheporter

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

06-26-2013 04:58:42 | More by Zachtheporter
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

06-25-2013 23:28:37 | More by mscudder
Photo of Celtics76
Celtics76

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-25-2013 15:34:23 | More by Celtics76
Photo of Wally1912
Wally1912

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

06-25-2013 03:50:09 | More by Wally1912
Photo of reverbking
reverbking

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

06-25-2013 03:16:35 | More by reverbking
Photo of Guinnsslvr
Guinnsslvr

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

06-23-2013 01:21:46 | More by Guinnsslvr
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear medium orange with a nice foamy white head that lasts and sticks to the glass.

Pale malt nose, some hop leaf, some mineral.

Nice malt profile up front. Dries out nicely with some malt and then some decent clean bitterness. Long bitter finish.

Medium Body, good carbonation.

Nice structure with this beer. Nothing fancy, but a nice clean lager. A little on the bitter side, and that can work well with food. These guys found a nice summer beer here.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 18:46:20 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of WizzardOfHops
WizzardOfHops

California

4/5  rDev +8.7%

06-19-2013 23:53:16 | More by WizzardOfHops
Photo of Larrydoherty
Larrydoherty

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -18.5%

06-17-2013 21:28:43 | More by Larrydoherty
Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.