Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Anchor Humming Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Anchor Humming AleAnchor Humming Ale
662 Ratings
Anchor Humming AleAnchor Humming Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Offa on 11-04-2009

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 662 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of biegaman
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer's golden body shimmers in the light like freshly polished brass. A normal pour produced two fingers of extra-durable, cottony head. Bubbles drift like a swarm of insects and initially whirled around like a tornado. Literally. I had yet to ever witness that before; the bubbles were entwined like blankets knotted after a restless night's sleep and spun in a tight, vigorous circle. It was like watching something from National Geographic.

To commemorate an old anniversary, Anchor decided to use a relatively new hop: Nelson Sauvin. This rare and unusual variety, although native to New Zealand, smells an awful lot like something made just up the coast from the brewery - blindfolded, and excusing a breath of biscuity maltiness, this could easily be mistaken for a Napa Sauvignon Blanc. It is an oily and very weedy smell but has undertones of citrus and turnip. Good choice, Anchor!

This may be the brewery's newest offering but its taste is timeless, and awfully reminiscent of a lot of Anchor's classics. A passive, faintly-sweet maltiness, offering hints of honey and biscuit and nothing else, is engulfed in a very floral and weedy hoppiness with notes of muscat grapes, green apple, citrus and root vegetables. And lots and lots of gooseberry.

The hoppiness, as stated enough already, has a distinctly weedy and earthy character, something like fresh cut grass. It also has a vague vegetal quality and oily waxiness, not unlike green beans. Together, the similarity to a Sauvignon Blanc notwithstanding, they make for a wonderfully textured beer. Some credit is also due to its malts which, like any good friend, are very supportive but without being too vocal.

Anchor Humming Ale is a real, honest-to-goodness humdinger. I wish I had bought a whole six-pack (Lord knows I could have carelessly enjoyed another five or so after this one). I've never heard anybody be able to even make up something bad about Anchor Brewing and their products and it's befitting that this special release be every bit as amicable, classical and yet somewhat vanguard as the brewery itself.

 2,096 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm blown away by the look. Beautiful bone-white head, frothy and tall, with near-cragginess in the off-balanced descent. Nose is pretty light, fairly fruity, with some notes of pepper and wine (Nelson Sauvin it turns out is on the hop bill.) Somewhat yeasty note as well.

On the palate, notes of pale malt sweetness, an herbal grassiness, and the white wine of the Sauvin hops are the most noticeable. Body is right down the middle, finishing with a biscuity dryness that's perfect for taking down a Pale Ale or two. Hops are pretty assertive for the light malt body, not that I mind.

Apparently this was a summer release. I hadn't seen a bottle until a week ago, when I scooped this one. This would absolutely hit the spot on a warm day, as it has enough assertive hops to make a beer-drinker happy while also being light and frisky enough with the bubbles to keep things moving along. Fantastic beer.

 906 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous golden amber with a billowing crown of albaster colored whipped cream that overflowed the pint glass thanks to an overly vigorous pour. A gentle rockiness during descent, along with abundant and attractive lace, puts this APA smack dab in the good looking category.

The nose is fruity, but isn't tropical fruity in the manner of Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, et al. Nelson Sauvin hops were a good choice to distinguish this new Anchor brew from Liberty Ale and from legions of other American pales. Bolder would have been better. Note: bolder makes a belated appearance once warming has occurred.

Bolder would have been better on the taste buds too. Okay, so it's mostly (entirely?) my fault for not drinking this bottle of Humming Ale immediately after it was purchased. It's good to know that it's still tasty and drinkable even though nearly two seasons have passed since the summertime release.

It tastes like 100% pale malt is present, which allows the distinctive earthy-herbal, white grape-like flavor of NS hops to shine. Sometimes simple is best, especially in beer of this style. A gentle biscuity sweetness underlies a decently firm countering bitterness that takes over at the midway point of the mouthful. This is lip-smackingly good beer.

The mouthfeel is rock-solid as well, which is no surprise when a quality outfit like Anchor is involved. It's easily big enough and has just the right combination of smooth silkiness and lightly tingly bubbles.

Anchor Liberty Ale is a classic, all-American, red-white-and-blue APA. Humming Ale might be just as good, which makes its summer seasonal status hard to take. Then again, AHA gives me even more reason to want the next several months of snowstorms and frigid temperatures to come to an end.

 1,766 characters

Photo of nasty15108
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured a slightly cloudy golden color. The pour porduced a thick rocky head of white foam and tons of sudsy lacing.

S - A nice balance of malt and citric hoppiness. The aroma of biscuits mixed with lemon and pine dominate.

T - Slightly malty up front, but followed by a slightly soapy and metalic bitterness. Big citric flavors in the finish.

MF&D - Starts off dry but finishes off with the oilyness of the hops. Crisp, medium bodied and flavorful.

 502 characters

Photo of mrgrinch
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pale golden yellow, active carbonation, thick and frothy head that lasts and lasts. Sudsy. Mostly cloudy. The bubbles look refreshing.

Smell - Sweet and yeasty.

Taste - I have no idea what an American Pale Ale should taste like, but this one tastes very good. It has a nice flavor. Yeasty with a subtle zing in the finish. Grapefruit?

Mouthfeel - Smooth but not watery texture.

Drinkability - I enjoyed this beer and would have it again. I really love the carbonation and head. It is a beer that has substance but isn't too overwhelming. More refreshing than ass-kicking like some IPAs.

 604 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden / yellow with a nice lasting head and nice lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops, some lemon light malt. Taste is citrusy hops, some lemon grapefruit notes and a light grassiness. Palate is good med body with good carbonation and nice crisp mouthfeel. Finish is citrusy hops, some light lemon and grapefruit and a kind of nutty lingering aftretaste. Overall a nice drinkable brew.

 392 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My notes are about a month old, but thorough as always.

This is a mildly hazy yellow-gold in color. A white head forms, fluffy and dense, at just over one finger. It's not huge, but it retains itself very well and leaves evidence by way of fairly thick patches of lacing in moderation.
Aromas are grassy, earthy and herbal, and this is a pretty well hopped. There's a light backing of dryish malts. The aroma is a bit resinous with a spruce character. It's a pretty simple aroma that implies a dry beer to come if I read it correctly.
Hops are up front, but initially the dry, crackery malt is right up there with it before not fading but more leaning back to let hops take charge and sticking around in the background. There's a bit more in here, with a lemony presence coming out and bringing some very light mint and white grape with it. The hops never lose their presence as the backbone. This is a dry one, very grassy, herbal and earthy.
There's a bit of crispness to this one, and enough of a creamy smoothness to balance what's ultimately a very dry feel. A lingering hops finish carries this one well beyond the sip. There's light carbonation makes in a medium body.
This is a very drinkable beer, and the only thing keeping this from being absolutely and perfectly drinkable is that I eventually want to move on from the dryness to either something with a citrus hop character or on the other side to something dark and malty.

 1,437 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, pale malt scent along with a mildly bitter, citrus hop nose. It does jump out at you, but it's balanced and inviting. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth pale malt flavor along with a mild citrus hop character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking pale ale. It's balanced and flavorful; a fine session ale.

 508 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light hazy golden color with a medium sized fluffy white head that hangs around for a while and leaves some lacing.

Simple but pleasing aroma of grapefruit and lemon upfront.

Taste is very citrusy with strong notes of grapefruit throughout along with lighter notes of lemon and orange and hints of pineapple in the background. No real malt presence.

Light to medium body with medium carbonation. A fairly basic APA overall, but not bad and for me, probably a step or two above their Liberty Ale, with a more prevalent citrus presence.

 545 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw colored ale with a thick white head. Good retention and frothy lace. Good clarity and bubbles as well.

Spicy hop aromas dominate the smell ranging from lemon to pine to grapefruit.

Lots of assertive hop bitterness in the flavor also, specific flavors follow the smell. Bitter and drying. Just a touch of honey sweetness. Not very balanced. Pure hop domination. I would appreciate a little more malt character.

Lighter bodied and plenty of lively bubbles. Dry finish.

Its a descent pale ale. There are better examples out there though.

 544 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Idle Rich in Dallas.

A - A light golden with a slight haze and a small white head. Good lacing as the glass empties.

S - Citrusy and fruity.

T - A light, crisp taste with a sensible hop flavor and a firm bitterness that seems to increase over time.

M - A moderate consistency and carbonation.

D - Very refreshing and one you could easily stick with all night.

 386 characters

Photo of Keffa
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Unibroue Tulip.

A: Bright golden yellow/copper mix, nice 2 finger white head that recedes into a cap about 1/8" thick, leaves nice lacing. Pretty beer.

S: Skunk, and I'm not talking the animal. Dank weed, some pineapple, lemon, and a little bit of sweet dough. But mainly weed. I like the aroma. Maybe it's the former pothead coming out of me. What can I say? I grew up :P

T: Fruity. White grape, pineapple, orange, lemon, then turns into pine and herbal hop, with a good dose of bitterness. Malt is pretty tame, the hops are head honcho here.

M: Lightish body and well carbonated, kinda slick. Meh, not bad, nothing special. Finishes cleanly though with a little hoppiness holding over to the next sip.

D: Not bad. I've had better for the style, but this one isn't bad. Average sounds bad, but that's what it is. Not great, but certainly better than some of the beers I've had so far.

Not shabby. Been seeing it for a while now, and I'm glad I tried it. I'd really love to have the chance to try it on tap.

 1,028 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor is bringing o the hops! From a 12 oucne bottle, on to the beer:

We're looking at a light orange colored beer with a sunshine yellow hue at the bottom of the glass. The head retention is impressive, and it leaves gloppy lacing on the glass as the beer is consumed. Aroma is more conservative than expected. In fact, it seems more old-school with some diacetyl and a little lemon and bitter citrus.

Good, unique flavor. It's not like Liberty Ale, this is a very fruity tasting beer. Take a generous dose of skins from assorted mixed fruits and then add a pinch of sourdough. It dries quick on the palate and a little bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Light medium bodied, and easy to quaff while still being agreeable.

 730 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours straw yellow with a huge chunky pillowy head that left lacing all down the glass

smells like anchor beer bready with lots of fruit apples and pears

taste is solid much better then the liberty ale - bitter sweet pineapple upfront and other citrus fruit then the bready cereal grains - there is some corn alcohol flavors so some pts are taken off

mouthfeel light medium with lots of carbonation to give it a very crisp feel

drinkability is ok - overall i think anchor beers are overpriced given they have no complexity - but it is a refreshing APA - (i would not buy it again)

 584 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice looking beer. Anchor seems to have a lock on whipped egg white bright white head with great structure. This head does eventually settle out to a thin foam. Some sticky lacing remains. Light amber color bordering on gold. The slightest haze to it. No visible carbonation.

Aroma is doughy and slightly fruity. A touch of yeast to it as well.

At first I really liked it, but as I drank it, the more I realized it was just good. Not very good. There is a strange vegetal almost green bean after taste. Fairly nice balance between the light cracker malt flavor and a subtle hop bitterness. That vegetal flavor takes over and leaves you looking to rid yourself of the flavor...

Fairly light body with an almost tinny feel in your mouth.

Ehh, it's ok... Had high hopes after pouring into my glass.

 799 characters

Photo of memory
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle the initial smell was grapefruit followed by metallic. Appeared med/light copper with an 1/8th inch head settling down. Not tasting too much aroma hops, more pronounced bitter hops but it opens up after a while to more complex flavors. Somewhat grassy aroma coming thru after a few minutes. After thinking about it seems to balance thru after a few minutes. For some reason I think it would be a good beer for an ocean fishing or boating trip as the salty air would be a nice complement to round out the slight bitterness.
I think they should of named it Old Salt Ale if it's available.

 607 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy gold. Big white head.

Smells like grainy malt with a hint of bitter grass.

Taste is overwhelmingly grain alcohol (WTF? It's only 5.9%???) with a bit of pine, a splash of random vegetable bitterness, and a weird metallic aftertaste.

Pretty sub-par effort. Whatever hop profile they went with should be retired. Weird grass/pine metal/earth/grain alcohol flavoring not the best.

 392 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was quite excellent. I hope this is part of their regular lineup now. All in all, this drinks like a hoppy version of their steam beer. Amber hue with a dependably voluminous head - proper lacing. Outdoorsy hoppy and fruity in the nose. The fruitiness ends up being quite apple in the flavor - moderate malt character and awesome smoothness - the hops are light-ish, springtime-fresh-growth shrubby. What a damn delicious brew. Wish I had got a six-pack of it instead of the single. Haven't seen it sixed-up in a few weeks now. Oh well. Anchor rocks!

 555 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle without a decipherable freshness date. Pours a clear, light gold color with a gorgeous cap of dirty-white head. Retention is awesome and leaves some nice lacing. Great looking brew.

Nose is very clean. Earthily citric hops and a lightly toasted malt base. This is a pleasant beer to sniff upon.

Taste has lots of hop flavor and a modest bitterness that lingers awhile after each sip. Malts lay down a nice biscuity foundation and the overall flavor of the beer lends an earthy tone. Pretty tasty beverage here. Mouthfeel is pretty full for the style with a prickly carbonation.

 592 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint glass. dating code 0gk translates to 2010 august 11.

pours out a very slightly cloudy golden color, with hues of orange in the light. big 3 fingers of frothy, rocky white head. great retention with lots of thick sticky lace. looks like an ideal pale ale.

lots of big citrus hops in the aroma. lemony citrus, dank resinous unboiled pellet hops, and tropical fruits. hardly any malt detectable in the aroma.

wow, very hoppy, drinks more like an ipa. lots of dank resins and lots of bitterness. not a whole lot of malt detectable besides a mild residual pale sweetness. lots of lemony citrus hops followed by pellet hops and tropical fruits. very nice hop profile but because it feels more like an ipa and there is a lack of malt which i feel a pale ale should atleast have a little, im giving a 4 rather than a 4.5 on taste.

medium bodied, carbonation feels spot on. hops are felt on the palate lingering after each sip.

very nice drinkability, a great session pale ale for hop heads. each sip leaves you wanting more. ill be sure to revisit this.

this is a very nice addition to the anchor line of beers. i felt that they always lacked a good hoppy beer for awhile and theyve finally answered that call.

 1,271 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden yellow with a giant white frothy head. A large head that leaves great lacing makes this a real nice looking beer. The smell is strong with floral aromas,malt,and citrus. The taste is crisp with a strong citrus hop flavor with bread yeast,floral hints,and sweet malt. A tasty sweet beer. The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing very well. A very good beer with all the qualities you look for in a well built brew.

 438 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Humming Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Freshness date notched for OSX
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a light golden orange with a nice fluffy head on top. Lacings that stick and cling to the side of the glass.

Pleasant aroma with whiffs of cereal grains, sweetness and melon.

I like the soft mouthfeel, it could be attributed to that signature Anchor yeast. Grainy and malty with corn flake flavors.

Fruity with apples, pears and honey melon sweetness. Assertive hop snap on the finish. Drinkable and smooth with a really nice hop profile. Well balanced.

 563 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a faint orange and dark yellow. massive foamy head that takes forever to disappear. nice thick lacing.

lots of bread and malt with a floral zest. very crisp.

heavy malty body with tons of bread and biscuit. zesty floral hoppiness then kicks in. slightly bitter aftertaste.

nice full body, light carbonation.

lots of flavor. nice nelson hops. wish this had a bit more kick.

 382 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Bottled on August 11 2010 according to the code (0GK).

Appearance: A hazy orange-amber beer that pours a dense 1/8" persistent off white head with a hard pour. Lots of lacing - thick walls, strands and islands of the stuff. Very persistent lacing. Good looking beer.

Smell: Hoppy citrus (mostly lemon) is all I get on a deep inhale. Very singular smell with this beer.

Taste: A very hop forward, but bitter profile beer. Citrus (lemon and a hint of sour orange), bergamot, and hop bitterness dominate. There is an attempt for the malt to come through in the middle, but it gets slapped back down by the bitter finish. It's tasty, but you need to a fan of bitter hops for this one.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but not so much that it's spicy on the tongue. Very smooth beer - just right thickness. Not too thick, not too watery.

Drinkability: Due to the bitterness I can only have one of these at a time, but, this beer does grow on me and it's a nice change from the lagers I've been having. Definitely a good beer if you're a hophead, and while I'm not, it's a good beer. Went quite well with a garlic and lime fajita, and I think I could slowly work on one of these alone without food.

 1,242 characters

Photo of Kromes
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice crystal clear golden color with a thick and dense white head. Some lacing left on the glass.

S: Very clean aroma, like an ocean breeze. There is a floral, grassy hop aroma with some grainy malt.

T: The initial taste is sweet. You get the malt and then some grassy hop dominates the flavor. The flavor is good, and the sweetness and bitterness is perfectly balanced.

M: The finish isn't too bitter, it doesn't dry out your mouth. The feel is a little watery at first and then the carbonation kicks in and fills it out to a nice velvet smooth feel.

D: A good solid pale ale. Definitely worth a try. Easy drinking and tasty.

 635 characters

Anchor Humming Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 662 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.