Anchor Humming Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
662 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 662 |  Reviews: 331
Photo of BeefyMee
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright golden amber. Good head and lacing.

S: The aromas they got out of the hops are amazing. Orange and grapefruit, spruce and pine, underscored by a subtle butteriness.

T: Big grapefruit hop punch. Slightly acrid. The other hop characteristics from the smell have taken a backseat here. A malt backbone is present but mostly dominated by the ruthless hops. Not necessarily a bad thing when you do it well, and they did.

M: Awesome.

D: Slightly hindered by the extreme hoppiness, but otherwise this is about as drinkable as it gets. Seems very light yet substantial and flavorful at the same time.

What a great beer. The perfect rival for SNPA.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rather light golden color, very thick head. Very decent lacing down the pint glass. The smell, though, is pretty off to me. My six-pack is fresh (thanks to BA for explaining Anchor's bizarre dating), but I just smell a skunky, stagnant odor that honestly reminds me of BO. This is my second from the pack, and both have been the same. I realize it doesn't mesh with what other reviewers said, but, personally, I really only care how a beer tastes.
This makes up for that there. Pretty crisp. The nelson sauvin hops it uses, which I've never had before, give it a somewhat citrus-y flavor that lacks really any sweetness. The skunkiness is still under there somewhere. Malts are there too, but they're minimal. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light, and it makes for a nice, crisp beer that's hoppy in not-the-usual ways. Maybe it's through their natural carbonation, but Anchor has a way of making their hoppy beers quite a bit different from the rest.
As is with their Liberty Ale, it's something I really enjoy drinking and highly recommend, but it's not a go-to beer always for me. Very easy to drink, though. But different.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness indication/info. Pours cloudy/hazed medium amber, off white head, shows decent retentive powers, and leaves a thicker film and minor spots of lace. Fruity and mild hop nose. Respectable little APA, respectable hop presence and balancing hops in place. Pleasant, highly drinkable, nothing amazing but certainty worth a try.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams from IMO one of the coolest bottle types out in the craft world.

A - Pours a very nice pure and solid bright golde color with some slight orange hints. A great 1.5 inch head pops up with some very nice densly packed bubbles intertwined with some medium sized bubbles as well. The head is white and has slight off-white hints.

S - Aroma starts off with a nice grain base with some nice strong earthy tones and slightly grassy notes as well. There is slight tangerine notes from some hops but the grain and earthy malt backbone takes the lead on this one. Nice grassy essence as well.

T & M - Smooth and crisp and clean. Earthiness all over the palette. Very delicious grainy and grassy tones form the malt. Slight cornhusk flavors are present as well. At the start and middle the grain seems to take the lead on this beer. As the beer moves down the palette there is a nice grassy hop presence with some nice bitterness and slight citrus character that balances the great grain flavors. I always enjoy Anchor beers simple, but good ingridients made well. They all taste great.

D - Very high drinkability. Session-like ABV and greta flavor.

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Photo of Stigs
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz pour, served in an English style pint glass

A - thin just off-white film, settles to a ring within a few minutes yet leaves a thin veil of lace around a good bit of the glass. the beer is light gold in color, very clear.

S - subtle piney hops, kissed with a bit of wet grass. crunchy crakcery malt touched with a small bit of honey.

T - spicy, earthy hops: pine and grass, also some "cat" (Simcoe-like but a tad sweeter). mildly bitter, follwoed by mostly mellow grainy malt.

M - a bit thin bodied and just barely lacking some carbonation. finishes clean and dry.

D - middle of the road, as expected from Anchor. felt like the Nelson could be used with a little more character - solid if not a little bland.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Mostly clear honey, good near white head, leaves quick to disk. Not much lace.

S - Has a celllar musky wet odor, along with malt and hops. Not bad, but strange.

T - Straight up light malt finished with appropriate hops. Pretty basice.

M - Good carb, good balance.

D - Really easy to drink. Middle of the road but tasty.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I saw this and was like, 'what the heck is this, I've never heard/seen this beer before.' A further pleasant surprise ensued.

Poured out a crystal clear auburn color, a little less head than hoped for, but a beauty nonetheless. Nelson's came out in the aroma.

Taste, man this was definitely hoppy for an Anchor brew, and an apa, and was sooo dry. Very light body, no aftertaste and a great hop mouthfeel. A very unique beer, I would love to see Anchor produce this in some quantity. A degree of hop spice and citrus to it, although faint with substantial bitterness. Really am a fan of everything with the nelson hop thus far.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottling code of Aug 11th. Was a very slightly hazy yellow color with plenty of carb streams. It had a large foamy white head that slowly settled down to a foam cap. Good slow sliding lace with a bit sticking.

This features the Nelson Sauvin hop and it shows. Great citric hop aroma with biscuity malt in the back. Really becoming a big fan of this hop after first trying it with Alpine Nelson late last year. The taste was excellent as well and a good showing of the Nelson hop. Good hop bite with very low bitterness. Sweet finish to set up for the next drink. A big hophead may find it a bit boring but I enjoy the good hop flavor without shredding my tongue (although there are plenty of days that I do want that). Mouthfeel towards full with lots of carbonation. Nice slightly sweet aftertaste right alongside the citric from the hop.

Overall, a really great beer. Not a hop bomb but delivers really good hop flavor. Highly recommend. Avail here in TX as a Aug-Nov seasonal. Rotation - oh yeah, this has a home in the rotation during the season. [R;Y]

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Photo of jkrich
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear, deep golden with a nice one inch white head.

There was a solid, very tropical fruity aroma upon opening the bottle. For an APA it smells quite a lot like an American IPA.

The flavor begins bitter with the typica, solid grapefruit bitterness and really does not showcase any other flavors. There is a very faint butterscotch taste but not a lot of malt. It is refreshing but hardly unique.

This ale is light bodied with a very crisp carbonation with a slick, somewhat bitter mouthfeel.

This one hits the spot on an early, warm autumn day, but I cannot say this is one I could enjoy in any quantity. The vague bitterness wears on the palate.

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Photo of swierczt
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was excited to see a new offering from Anchor - especially on the East Coast.

Appearance: Clear, straw yellow color. Fluffy white head races to the top of the glass, remains nearly 3 fingers thick for sometime prior to dissipating. Clings to the sides of the glass quite generously. Tiny bubbles steadily travel from the bottom of the glass up toward the head.

Smell: The aromas are subtle. Slight piney character, herbs, honey sweetness.

Taste: Light honey flavor up front (as detected in the nose) followed by a spicy bitterness (citrus like) then some piney notes. Bitterness of hops lingers for a bit before fading away completely. I get the taste of Anchor Liberty in the background incorporated with the addition of more hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a bit of tingle from the carbonation. Somewhat dry crisp finish on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Nice refreshing APA. Would recommend trying if you are already a fan of Anchor's other offerings. I hope that Anchor adds this to their lineup on a fairly regular basis!

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Photo of jlindros
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gigantic head rises up over 3 fingers and forces me to stop pouring early, and it fades at a decent pace, it's a super clear golden wheat honey colored. A slight messy lacing on the sides too.

The nose has some nice lighter hops, a little spicy, a little grassy and herbal, slight musty hop resin. behind that is just a hint of sweet malt, but not much.

The taste brings a nice light hop character, light spicy hops, herbal, grassy, and a light effervescent feel, as well as a little hop oil resin. It gets pretty bitter, but being an APA I guess it's supposed to. A very light sweet malt, almost non-existent. It finishes very dry with a light lingering hop flavor, some light herbal and grassy hops, with hints of spicy and hop resin tastes.

The mouth is medium bodied with a little hop oil feel, slightly grainy from the dryness and hop oils combined, and decent carbonation.

It has an OK drinkability, less than I thought it would be. The dryness is a good thing, but it almost goes a little too far here, and the bitterness just strikes strong, breaking what I thought would be a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- An ever so slightly hazy light orange liquid with a massive amount of streams of rising carbonation. The slightly off-white head is about one finger in thickness and has good retention.

S- Sweet caramel and orange rind. Rather simple and a bit heavy on the harsh orange peel aspect.

T- Orange peel and caramel.

M- A nice amount of carbonation but there is an odd finish.

D- An average take on the style. Not bad, but not a stand out. Drinks alright.

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Photo of mwa423
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear golden color with a huge frothy white head that left quite a lacing. A bit less head would have helped it, overall a solid appearance.

S - An interesting mix of steam beer and hops. The steam beer aroma is of honey, orange spice and a bit of lemon and yeast. The hops are great APA hops with some citrus and hemp ntoes.

T - This seems like the child of Anchor Steam and an IPA. It has a lot of citrus notes like the orange and lemon. There is also a honey like sweetness. The hops come through as more like dirt and weed flavor as opposed to a traditional hop profile.

M/D - Mouthfeel is full and pleasant. The aftertaste is interesting and doesn't exactly excite me about the beer but nor is it horrible. Reasonably drinkable, but at the same time a more traditional APA will suit most drinkers more.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
This beer is beautiful. Pours a clear golden-orange color with a cream-colored 1" frothy head, which settled down to about 1/4". Great head retention. Leaves thick lacing.
The smell is also amazing. Delicious orange and floral scent (I want to say orange blossoms but I have to confess I've never smelled an orange blossom), papaya, a hint of honey and grass. Reminds me of Bell's Two Hearted.
The taste comes on with a dry lemon zest and grassy note, some grapefruit and juicy tangerine. A touch of sweetness as it warms. Very crisp and well-balanced, hop forward but with enough malt backbone. Ends very clean with some lingering bitterness, though it softens as it warms a little.
Nicely textured, spot on carbonation, light-medium bodied. A little effervescent even. Works well with the dryness of the taste.
Smooth but engaging, very easy drinking. Equally suited for guzzling while watching TV or relaxing and enjoying slowly.
A very solid, well-made beer with some character. I would drink one of these any time.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard American pint glass.

Appearance: Poured out clear and golden yellow, producing nearly an inch of loose, white, froth. As the head slowly descends, it drags a thick blanket of lacing in its wake. Very mild (visible) carbonation does its best to hold the beer's head up, but eventually it settles as a mere film.

Smell: Bread crust, sweet and leafy hops, honey, lemon, and a touch of sea salt. Nicely put together, though it doesn't seem much different than Liberty Ale (I need to try these two side by side).

Taste: The taste is very similar to the smell. I get all of the same flavor components, though there are a couple of notable differences: the salt and lemon components are both stronger in the taste than the smell; the bread crust was the strongest aroma in the nose, but it's much milder in the taste. Moderate hop bitterness lingers deep into the aftertaste. Nicely put together. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with turbulent carbonation. Very active on the palate. Carbonation aside, this pale ale feels buttery (I found this out toward the end of the session). Anchor's beers are always over-carbonated in my opinion, and they're better off that way. I dig it.

Drinkability: An unremarkable but certainly sessionable pale ale from Anchor. Paired perfectly with Saints @ 49ers on MNF.

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Photo of atsprings
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wagenvolks for the extra! 12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp bubbly orange with a nice frothy meringue head. Aroma is crisp citrus hops and sweet biscuity malts. The taste is a very smooth balance of sweet biscuit malts and subdued but present citrus hops. The beer is quite light and smooth with nice carbonation. This is a very good example of what a pale ale should be.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sixer of these cause Anchor rarely steers me wrong. This is solid pale, a bigger hop presence than I was expecting (could almost count this sucker as an IPA). Color's your standard light copper with nice white lacing. Nose is mild, sweet, citrus fruit hops, with the flavor balancing it out with a nice malt backbone. Overall, a nice, near sessionable brew.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:
Look:Pours nice bright orange with gold highlights and about an inch and a half of nice white head. Nice head retention and decent, downward creeping lace.
Smell: Lot's of citrus, pale malts and a sweet toffee backing.
Taste: Lot's of grapefruit, lemon rind with a bread-like backing.
Mouth: A little thin with loads of carbonation.
Drink: Different from Liberty which was what I was hoping. Anchor still makes some good beer.

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Photo of Brent
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was a bit let-down by this beer. With Anchor's history as one of the flagships of the hoppy micro revival and their wonderfully wacky Our Special Ale, I thougth this anniversary ale woudl be somethign off the beaten track. My overall perception, however, was that this was a lot like Liberty Ale with a funky, off-putting aspect to the hops. Lots of malt, with a firm, sharp bittering taking hold up front, but then veering off the tracks with a musty, hay note at the finish.

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Photo of drtth
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The beer pours out a clear gold-apricot color with a pillowy 2" thick off-white head that is very persistent and leaves foam clinging to the sides of the glass as it recedes. There are patches and pillars of foam. Eventually there is a fluffy island of foam off to one side of the surface and sipping creates sheets and legs and speckles of foam.

Smell: The aromas are surprisingly complex for a single hop beer. There is some bright lemon zest, some grassy herbal touches and some piney character along with a pale malt backbone that has a nice light biscuity character and supports the rest.

Taste: Pretty much as expected from the nose, the complex blending of flavors contain a nice light biscuit like malt character along with a light touch of honey flavor. The restrained bitterness seems to contain lemon and orange zest, some grassy, almost minty character, and some faint hints of pine, all at the same time.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied with lots of prickly carbonation that makes it clean and crisp. The finish is relatively long and begins with some lemon zest that leads into a dry and bitter fade away.

Drinkability: This one gets top marks from me for drinkability. It is refreshing, flavorful and enjoyable. Before doing this review I've had several from the case I bought and enjoyed each of them. In addition my appreciation for the complexity of this beer has deepened with each bottle. With each beer each sip invited the next quite nicely and on nights when I had only one I found myself wanting to have a second. I'll certainly be looking forward to next year's release of this new Anchor seasonal. This is a beer to drink fresh and often.

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Photo of Morey
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This rare find (at least as far as Erie is concerned) pours copper orange in color and has a slight haziness to it. Anchor beers always seem to have a great head on them, and Humming is no exception.

Smells like a malt bomb with tons of bready and grain like aromas dominating the nose. Hops are detectable, but just barely.

Fortunately the hops come through more in the taste of this ale. They couple nicely with a slightly aggressive carbonation making for a nice bite up front. The malts are actually in the background at first, but they soon follow suit and pretty much dominate the back end. There is a slight lingering hop-bitterness though.

Medium to light mouthfeel. The carbonation could be toned down a bit in my opinion.

I could easily drink a few of these, but it's probably not the most drinkable pale being that the malts make for a somewhat thick pale ale.

Morey's Bottom Line: A good beer without doubt, but I'd like to see Anchor step up and do a big hoppy beer for all of us hopheads.

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Photo of carpezytha
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in pilsner flute.

A: Clear light golden body with dense, voluminous slightly off-white head with good retention and leaves nice braillework on the glass.
S: Nuts, damp wool, pine sap.
T: Nice creamy malt with hop snap. Grapefruit rinds,
M: Maybe a little more structure would be good- everything but the pine tends to fade on the finish.
D: Despite the flaw(s) listed above, this is a good daily drinker.

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Photo of JoePat
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a bright golden color with a thick white head that seems to linger forever.

The aroma is mostely of flowery freash/green hops. The closest I can get is a grapefruit/flower hypbrid. It has a slight aroma similar to summit but it is very faint.

The flavor has more of that summit flavor. Slight funyun, grapefruit, and flowery flavor. It has a very clean flavor with the malt perfectly balance and a more than drinkable beer.

The mouthfeel is one of the smoothest I have had. It coats the tongue but seems to roll off it as soon as it arrives.

Great drinkable beer I could easily enjoy several of theses in a single sitting.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a brewery known for often and new releases, it's refreshing to see what the Godfathers of brewing can do with all the new ingredients available at their disposal.

A bright golden-straw beer shows a mild haze, presumably from dry hopping. A creamy, light, but stubborn head forms on the beer and laces very well along the way.

Sharp, grassy, and weedy aromas stand out above the crisp light caramel malt-grain scent. A light spruce or gin-like aroma comes out as the beer warms. Not sure how much of this is estery, but it seems more hop driven than yeast character.

Crisp, cracker-like malts make minimal impact, providing just enough bread crust flavor to support the hops. Very herbal and complex, a lemon, lime, gin, mint, tin-ey, winey flavor comes out of the hops. Finishing with a grassy, weedy bitterness, these Nelson Salvin hops have an unusual flavor and bitterness- much more raw than the more succulent and citrus-focused typical American varieties.

Moderately creamy early on, the well-attenuated character of the beer ushers the mouthfeel into dryness, minty, and evaporative qualities quickly. The hops seem to have a thinning character with it's unusual bitterness and bite to finish out the beer.

The Nelson Salvin hops are known to give a wine-like impression to the beer, but it seems more spruce-gin-grassy than winey to me. But the clean and crisp nature of Anchor's beers are evident, they don't seem to ammount any outstanding qualities.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.96/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer pours a clear orange body with a billowy beige head and a few slow tiny bubbles gliding to the surface.
S- The aroma of green hops is slightly earthy but soft and turns into a new gym shoe aroma after a bit. As the beer opens up the hops take on a rubbery quality aswell.
T- The green hop bite has a bitter green grapefruit zest flavor that leads to a watery taste. There is a faint pale malt flavor that disappears as the hops grow. The pungent green hops bite lingers after the dry finish.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noticed.
D- The hops are pretty abrasive but not in a good way. They are all bitterness with some odd aromas and they don't have anything to support them. And for the record, a "Humming Ale" was a common name for a strong English ale, that made the head hum. This did not do that, nor did it make the tongue hum.

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Anchor Humming Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 662 ratings.
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