Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
2,029 Reviews
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Anchor Steam® Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavor to a historic brewing process like none other.

It is a process that combines deep respect for craft brewing tradition with many decades of evolution to arrive at a unique approach: a blend of pale and caramel malts, fermentation with lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in our cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

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Reviews: 2,029 | Ratings: 5,915
Photo of MoohMooh
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty amber body, two finger head. No lacing.

Smells of apple, caramel and bread. A kind of hay fragrance as well. Butter, grain. Kinda metallic.

Tastes of apple, bread, caramel. Some pepper. Slightly bitter in the aftertaste. Pretty sweet. Very grassy. Some kind of lemon taste as well.

Medium body and carbonation.

You know what? It may just be because I'm drinking this on a beautiful spring afternoon, but this beer made me feel really, really great. I'm so pumped right now! Great stuff, go try it, yadda yadda yadda.

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Photo of omahawk
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a well-made, brilliantly simple beer. No bells and whistles, just quality. Pours a clear, deep copper. Lacing and decent head. Great malty, slightly toasty and bready backbone supported by a firm bitterness and earthy hop character. This beer is as drinkable now as it was 20 years ago. A classic worth always having around.

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Photo of jamesroses
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle

appearance: clear orange with lively carbonation and a weak one finger head that dissapeared really fast.

smell: caramel malts and nothing else. Found this very similar to some belgian beers despitethe fact that is brewed with lager yeast. Nice aroma.

taste: pretty much the same as the aroma, with a nice bitterness bite in the end of the sip.

mouthfeel: a bit watery and soft. Slight bitter aftertaste.

overall: nice brew, although not one I'd choose as a session beer.

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Photo of puck1225
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites from the 1980's! Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. A clear golden Amber color with a nice beige head and great lacing. A malty nose with earthiness. Slightly sweet taste with a bit of banana and bread. Blast from the past and great fun!

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Photo of bbtkd
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Anchor Steam Beer, 4.9% ABV. Pours a nice brown with a one finger white head that left some foamy lacing. Nose is sweetness, bread, and a hint of alcohol. Taste is bready, with a slight bitter close. Good mouthfeel and overall excellent.

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Photo of banishjo
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very solid amber ale. Nice smooth caramel taste with hints of bread and citrus. It leaves a nice after taste as well, not bitter or alcoholic tasting. Drinking this with a seafood chowder served in a bread bowl at Fisherman's Wharf is a must! Easy drinking beer year round.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a bulbous pint glass has a clear amber body and fluffy whitish head. Nice, but random lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt with a hint of bitter hops.
Flavors include sweet malty goodness and a subtle reminder of grassy, hoppy, bitterness. Clean and refreshing mouthfeel.

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Photo of SpookyMulder99
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: nice Amber brown that is consistent throughout

Smell: Sweet malt

Taste: not heavy at all but also not to light, perfect balance for different times of the day

Feel: very smooth with lots of refreshing qualities. Not too gassy so it goes down easy.

Overall: very easy to drink, delicious malty flavor with a unique finish. A California classic

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into standard pint glass. No bottle/freshness date.

L: Clear Copper. Off-white finger head.

S: Bubblegum, Malts.

T: Lemon, grainy malt, astringency.

F: Light bodied, good carbonation.

O: Not my favorite beer but hard to deny the uniqueness of this brew, it is truly one of a kind and that makes it awesome. Give it a try.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer brewed by Anchor Brewing Company, with an ABV of 4.90% This California Common pours out deep golden amber color with a slight off white head. There is a decent amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. I really like the look of this brew. The smell of
Anchor Steam Beer, rich and Bold with grains and malts. There is also a mild bitterness of hops in the smell of this brew. There is alot going on in this brew so far. Now for the taste, it is Rich , And Bold with Flavors. You pick up on some nice grassy grains and malts, and a mild bitterness of hops. Really well balanced brew here. The body of this brew is really nice and heavy, not saying that is a bad thing. I like how smooth this brew goes down for how heavy it is. There is nothing overpowering about this brew. The mouth feel of Anchor Steam Beer is Bold, Heavy, Rich, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I'm giving Anchor Steam Beer a 4.50 out of 5 . I would definitely look this brew up again. This is a fine drinking brew. If you are looking for something to change it up look this brew up. Anchor Brewing Company did a super nice job with this brew.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: super-clear amber color with a little bit of a burnt caramel color. 1.5 finger tan head with some small bubbles on top. that fades to a thick film on top

s: smell is crisp sweet malt, also this has that distinct lager aroma that we all know. there is also a big bready/dry crackery aroma. finish has just a little bit of a nutty note

t: taste is just and clean and crisp as the aroma. light caramel, huge bready dough flavor in here as well. there is a faint touch of herbal bitterness on the backend to give this a nice crispness. very clean and crisp beer, finish is very smooth as well

m: lighter side of medium on the mouth, with a carbonation level that is quite substantial

o: for me this is a good example of a beer that is simple, yet effective. i believe the way this is brewed give this a flavor thats worth trying. this is smooth and easy to drink, something you can enjoy all year round no problem

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Photo of Gardendk
4.36/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Crisp amber. White head that disappeared quickly

S: Bread. Nutts. Simply but clear smell

T: Mild. Follows the smell. Some bitterness in the end. Very well balanced

M: Crispy. Mild carbonation. Easy to drink but not watery

O: I keep coming back to this beer. Solid and never lets me down. Feel of quality and very well balanced. A good beer for practically every moment.

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A translucent amber with bubbles rising from the base and lots of white head. Hops give a mild, bitter seedy flavor. Malts are smooth and have a bit of a scotch flavor that sticks in the aftertaste. There is a metallic, copper dimension to the flavor as well. Overall, a solid and distinct, yet drinkable beer.

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Photo of SamQ
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A top tier beer I'll never forget. Truly among the finest that I've ever indulged. Smooth, rich, creamy, aromatic, ethereal are just words to describe the joy of Anchor Steam. Even the design of the bottle is captivating. 5/5

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Photo of Caveworm
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head is three fingers thick and tawny, with webbed lacing, and a slightly murky brownish copper body.

I smell plenty of bread, or dare I say sourdough, malts alongside a slightly apple-y and copper scent near the end. Which I'll assume is accredited to the historical use of copper pipes at this brewery.

Tastes like pretty much the same components. Nothing bad, yet nothing outstanding either. Kinda just "meh".

The mouthfeel is medium light with mild carbonation. A clean and refreshing finish that I could see myself appreciating a lot more in the summer months.

Overall,I'll choose to rate Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company with a 4.25. I'm glad that I grew up drinking hard well water, otherwise I might have despised this beer. The copper taste is actually complimentary to the malts used here, IMO. Even if this might not be anyone's "whale", still grab this if available to learn some history and experience a part of bygone culture.

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Photo of Holderness
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L -- amber with a thick, tan head. Moderate lacing
S -- mild. Fruity lager
T -- caramel, brown butter, hops, slightly metallic finish (likely due to fermentation in copper vats)
F -- full bodied with a light mouthfeel, especially given the intense flavors
O -- it really *feels* like you're drinking America's oldest craft beer

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Photo of ChristianAlexander
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A beer that's named as a homage to past times where 19th century steel and cotton mill workers lined up for miles after their fifteen hour workdays to drink locally concocted beer. These breweries of a bygone era utilized pipes to transfer simmering hot wort from the kettle to a fermentation tank which resulted in steam rising to the ceiling thus giving the beer its nickname. With a light yet subtly heavy taste, this beer is great for many pedestrians making their first steps out from the pavement of watery piss onto the highway of quality beer. Whenever I pass through San Francisco I make it my mission to visit this brewery for a couple or several beer flights before hitting the road again. And really the ability to drink relatively large amounts of this tasty beer while staying cognizant enough to drive and text a friend where I had just been is one of the many great qualities of this beverage.

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Photo of Bob_G
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Unlike a lot of micros it isn’t an explosion of 1 single thing. I'm not loving the current fad of making beers that are a citrus-y explosion (can we cram even more hops into a glass of beer -- If I wanted grapefruit, I'd buy grapefruit juice, not beer).

Poured into a Pilsner glass, for me the immediate aroma is very yeasty – similar to the water/yeast mixture when I’m making home-made pizza dough. That quickly fades but it still smells nice without being overpowering. I find it to be very flavourful – almost bread-like. The hops and malt are almost perfectly balanced. Carbonation feels very light in the mouth. The bubbles are small but there are a lot of them. The carbonation leaves a mild sting in the mouth. Overall a delicious, satisfying beer.

I loved Anchor Steam when I first discovered it back in the early 90's. And today it's the brand I buy most of the time. It's nicely balanced and I respect that they're a smaller company and they just keep doing their thing without bending to any new "fad" in brewing. No disrespect to the IPAs and Double IPAs and whatnot, but those kinds of beer just aren't my thing. Anchor Steam is a "work horse" kind of beer. For what I'm looking for in a go-to beer, Anchor Steam is just about perfect.

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Photo of thebeers
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber bronze in color with a finger of dense off-white heady. Bready aroma. Slight sweetness to the taste from the same bready malts, with just a hint of very muted banana, and moderate hop bitterness. Medium bodied mouthfeel with good carbonation. Almost like an amber Oktoberfest. This beer's a classic for a reason. Always happy to have this one.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 335ml bottle, pours a hazey burnt Amber colour with a good off white coloured head.
Aroma caramel, toffee, nutty, biscuit.
Taste woody, caramel, nutty, toffee, malty.

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Photo of ABabbidge
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The OG microbrew. Had to try it after watching Michael Jackson on youtube. Pours a dark amber color with a thin lacing. Tastes like a more malt dominant pale ale. Not too shabby.

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

I drink this and I'm at a loss for words, it's that good. It's like the guru of brewing lagers came to San Francisco and this was his gift to the world. Great, great lager. Not good. Great.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I remember my parents drinking this on occasion when I was a kid (80's). I recall drinking it in my late teens as well, although at that time I drank for the sole purpose of getting drunk and never really payed much attention to taste. This being on the slightly more expensive end of the spectrum here I've passed it over alot in my adulthood. However I've recently picked it up a few times and im glad I did.

Alot of people say its got a unique taste.. but I think every beer worth its salt fits that category. This is simply a well balanced lager, perhaps on the heavier side (as lagers go) but that isn't rare among craft lagers. I suppose the brewing process does give it a slightly more fruity; ale like quality. Very slight however. It actually strikes me as a more raw Boston Lager if that makes any sense.

All that being said, its an excellent beer and is exactly the type of beer I enjoy. A full flavored, balanced lager, with subtleties and character. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rex_4539
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Slightly hazy amber color, one finger white head, superb lacing, lots of carbonation.

S: Smoked booze.

T: Slightly smokey, malty.

F: Light bodied, not much going on. Lots of burping due to high carbonation.

O: OK beer but nothing worthwhile.

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Photo of FBarber
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear crisp amber color. Thin spotty white head disappears rather quickly. Lack of almost any head is disappointing.

Smell is nutty and bready. Fresh baked dark bread aromas come through. Simple, but very nice.

Taste has flavors of bread, nuts, slight hoppy bitterness on the finish, but ever so mild. Mild sweetness throughout reminiscent of maple syrup. Very nice flavor profile, simple yet very well done.

Feel has medium carbonation, light, and drinkable.

Overall I am really impressed with this beer. Its just a simple lager, but its very drinkable and tasty. Nice example of the California Common a style that Anchor pioneered.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,915 ratings.
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