Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
2,009 Reviews
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,009
Ratings:
5,825
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.73%
 
 
Wants:
213
Gots:
1,158
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,009 | Ratings: 5,825
Reviews by Tupperwolf:
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have always wanted to try Steam Beer but never got around to it due to my prejudice against 6-packs (prefer something different with every beer I grab) until I found a store selling the larger bottles.

Pours out looking like an ale... This is a lager? Well, yes it is, but not like other lagers. It pours a near crystal-clear orange-brown with a frothy yellowish head that builds higher than I expected and hangs out in a fat layer a lot longer than I expected. It also leaves really great lacing for a lager. Very nice looking, simply pouring this puts me in a great mood and sets me up to experience Steam.

The smell is thin, there is a little bit of honey and lemon zest. Kind of hard to make anything out beyond that.

Mmmmm, yum. Way more interesting than most lagers. It is indeed crisp, clean, and smooth, but is pretty flavorful. There's a lot of lemony zest and malty flavors, with just the tiniest hint of hops that are metallic in a light aluminum way.

Watery and crisp like a lager should be; Carbonation's about right. A little bit of tartness, and finishes quite clean. It's very, very easy and nice to drink.

Overall, this is a great beer and I'm glad the opportunity popped up to give it a shot. I respect the makers of this beer and its bretheren going way back to the 1800s.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah ... an American micro-classic, and a most distinct and unique beer. Hazy medium-amber, creamy tight bubbled head. Fairly clean aroma with slight bubble-gum and sulfur notes. Very carbonated, creamy with a lot of complexities, raw feel, grain and hops tannin astringencies and background sulfur. Toasted malt flavours come thru with a touch of caramel and sugary flavour as the beer warms to room temperature. Definite fruity character. Hops are bitter, but soft on the palate. Flavours linger into a grain dry finish.

Simply an all around good beer, with decent balance and incredible character. Used to treat myself to this beer when I was cutting my teeth into the better beer world ages ago. Everyone should at least try this beer once.

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Photo of Jason
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 16oz brown "fatty" with the infamous anchor, hops and barley label. "Made in San Francisco since 1896" No freshness date.

Appearance: Hazy copper with a thick, off-white, rocky, bubbly, sticky, chunky head.

Smell: Earthy malt aromas with semi-caramel sweetness.

Taste: Immediately, the mouth is hit by a sharp bitterness, some salt and slight lemon from the hops. This is a beautiful thing, full of flavour and character. After, a mildly astringent, earthy, highly toasted malt guides you to a dry, grainy, residual citrus after-taste.

Notes: You don't find other beers like this, not even close in their mimics. This is truly a unique brew, and a classic; a legend in the hand-crafted/micro industry.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep gold with excellent clarity. The creamy, low off-white head has a very decent retention period.

S: Moderate citrus hops aroma, mainly lemony and a peach and orange-like ester are prominent in the aroma. There is a light biscuty and toasted malt aroma i the background.

T: the flavor is dominated by a moderate hop bitterness and a citrus hops flavor which is again mainly lemon like. There is a decent support from a biscuit and toasty malt flavor with the balance being moderately toward the bitter side. The cirtus hops flavor and bitterness linger a little past the dry finish.

M: moderately-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a light astringency.

O: A crisp and refreshing, somewhat hoppy beer with a nice bit of fruity ester complexity.

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Photo of chadski
2.97/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Might be the most over-rated beer I've had. Fairly ordinary ale with the usual malty aromas and bready flavors. Decent hoppy finish.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear orange body, white head, tight and short, but persistent. Extensive lacing.

S - Malty goodness, grains with a hint of honey and mild yeasty notes suggesting a roll. Pretty standard earthy hop notes, but mild. A bit of sourness in the trail.

T - Follows the nose, with a malt sweetness up front, grains in the form of cracked wheat, and a middle that suggests crackers and biscuits. The close is mildly bitter. Nothing exceptional, but quite drinkable.

M - Brisk, clean, with only the slightest drying on the close.

O - Very clean and in essence what a mass-produced lager could be, rather than what it typically is. I enjoy this and would pick it up again, but I can say I do not find the style to be as compelling as some. Nevertheless, this is an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of interzen
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

355ml bottle (BBE October 2016) poured into a Troubador tulip glass

Look: Coppery red, single fingers-width of off-white head - some lacing, nothing major.

Smell: Not a lot to it, really, even after letting it stand for a while at room temperature and a bit of additional in-the-glass agitation. Floral and grain notes, mainly.

Taste: Oddly light - the best word to describe it would be 'clean'. It's got a hoppy-malty-fruity taste and lacks the usual bitter aftertaste. If anything, the aftertaste is more fruity than anything. Nothing to shout about, but definitely refreshing.

Feel: Again, a fairly light feel to it - some carbonation but manages not to be excessively 'fizzy'. Would be an eminently drinkable 'summer' brew.

Overall: not a style of beer I'm overly familiar with - I can't think of anything comparable in the UK off the top of my head - it's not a bitter and it sure as hell isn't like a lager either. Either way, given a choice I'd definitely drink it again.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've had this numerous times, just never really got around to taking notes on it. Seems like they have this all over the place in downtown Detroit on tap. Had this particular one at Park Bar. Pours a muddled copper color with lighter hues around the edges, closer to a rustic amber; half clear and half hazy. Slightly gray-tinted head turns to a skin and leaves some small dripping of lace on its way down the glass.

The aroma is pretty bleak and mild; but relaxing and calm may be a more appropriate description. Musty hops, seemingly of the Noble variety (perhaps Saaz?) with a slight touch of leafiness to accompany the musk. Faint grains are the backdrop for the hop play, yet they remain fairly quiet and never interrupt. Very light citrus zest on the tail end. Warming doesn't reveal any more aromas; this beer is pretty simple and straightforward.

The taste begins with a small mouth washing of light biscuit malts and heavy grains; a substantial hop bitterness hits the palate quickly up front and fades away during the remainder of the sip. Citrus zest, lemongrass, and a faint herbal tea leaf flavor comprise a good majority of the rest of the flavor. The finish contains some heavier lager yeast, leaving a crisp and mouth-coating finish; light bitterness and an even lighter fruit zest. Thin bodied with a different mouth feel - borderline "creamy" considering the style and thin body. Lots of carbonation.

Easy drinker; relaxed, mild, and highly quaffable. Nothing tremendous in terms of flavor or aroma, but then again, nothing off-putting or offensive, either. I respect the originality of the style but I think I prefer "Steamy Windows" from Liberty Street over this one, despite its history as the precedent-setter.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A much more solid beer than I expected. I was ready for a dated and boring beer but it was surprisingly complex and enjoyable. Looks very nice, a transparent orange-ish amber with a bright white head about two fingers. The head lingers and leaves good lacing throughout the glass. Smells sweet, like lagers often do. A pretty subtle scent to it, but there's hints of caramely malts and some faint hop aroma. Taste is actually pretty layered. Starts out sweet and malty, with caramel breadiness and hints of things like licorice and raisins. As the beer travels across the palate, some floral hop flavors and subtle bitterness develops, finishing with a crisp and somewhat dry feel. Flavors are clean and bright. Feel is smooth and creamy. This is a great beer to dissect the subtleties of or to just drink casually.

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

Michael Jackson the beer hunter got it right when he rated this 4 out of 4 stars (World Classic) decades ago. Absolutely a classic and a unique beer. Defines "session" beer. Perfect at 4.9% for a long night. Beautiful bronze amber color, plenty of hops, though not an IPA, the Northern Brewers really feature well in this beer. A great intermediate transition beer for someone coming through the ranks of craft beer drinking in terms of hop hit. I remember my wife drinking these quite a bit after moving on from low hopped bears like Newcastle and then finally liking IPAs after these. Nutty, bready, some fruit with some of the dryness, sweetness of some lagers, some of the tartness of an ale it truly stands on it's own in style. 5s across for a world classic like this.

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

My first tasting of this style. Poured into a Nonic pint. Poured a clear Amber with a moderate head with little lacing. A pleasant aroma of malt was quite prominent. On the palate there was light carbonation and a pleasant hopiness without being overly bitter (I'm not a fan of hop forward beers such as IPA's or bitterness). While it didn't blow me away it was thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of DEdesings57
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 30 days ago(Pretty damn fresh as far as NJ goes)

L: Poured out much more full bodied, heavier and darker than I imaged. I was expecting a yellow fisy lager or a pilsner like looking beer. I was presently surprised at its darkness. Looks like a Vienna Lager! Poured a large frothy white head, completely filtered. 5/5.

S: Wow, I smell citrsy hops, sweet beady malt, toasted brown bread, grains. Combine all those together and you have a light but very fruity aroma going on from the malts and hop(not hops - its singled hopped with Northern Brewer). Its almost smells like an American Pale Ale.

T: This is a lager? damn fine one. Taste like an American Pale ale with a well defined malt body. Champagne like carbonation, sweet beady malts in the background. The hops make this one finish dry and clean. I figured the IBUs on this one gotta be real close to SN Pale, and guess what they are 35 and SN Pale is 37. Like I said kinda taste like a pale ale. Really surprised me on the taste.

Feel: Its a little light on the body but then again its only 4.9%.

Overall: Amazing beer! classic brew! I cant believe that I have been drinking Craft beer for 10 years now and am just having this now.

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Photo of mageek52
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this for a tasty refreshing something different.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a cold bottle with a frigid, ice-crusted beer mug. Once I let both warm for about 10 minutes, I was all set to pour beer into glass. Dark amber with a heavy dose of orange. The head was eggshell white and firm. It had decent staying power and left several thick rings of lace.

The smell was of earthy hops, not a bit floral or citrusy. The flavor was of earthy hops and grain. There was a mild-moderate amount of bitterness without much hop flavor, but it was still pretty good stuff.

The finish was long and bitter and the beer dried out a bit at the very end. The mouthfeel was firm, seamless and smooth. Anchor Steam is a true American classic.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never tried this on tap and its been awhile since I have had this period so I figured to give it a try yesterday and review it again this time on tap.Pours a deep copper color with light to medium head,a lighter aroma is sweet with a lingering hop presence.The taste is nice and balanced of sweet caramel malt and a dry fruity finish,a very sold American beer a real cant miss selection in my mind.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful clear, amber pour with a small foamy head. Very appetizing.

The nose was very dull with nothing distinct standing out in my mind. There was a touch of caramel but it seemed very lightly hopped.

The mouthfeel was pleasant and smooth if not creamy.The taste was light with some maltiness to give it body. And there was a touch of caramel on the fuzzy finish with just a hint of fruitiness.....possibly apricot (again, this was minimal).

For the most part a nice drinking experience but not one that i would call memorable.

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Photo of mojohawk21
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RoyalT
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Nice copper color with a full, lingering head that laces the glass quite nicely.

Smell – Very pleasant, light aroma of hops, fruits, and even some grain.

Taste – Interesting mix of malts and hops. There’s a touch of sweetness in there as well, especially at the finish. There’s also a sour shadow in the flavor that I can’t quite pick out that I find distracting. It tastes almost like I tossed a lemon in the glass, but I didn’t.

Mouthfeel – This beer has a great mouthfeel. It’s rightly carbonated, thirst-quenching, saliva-activating, and goes down smooth.

Drinkability – This one goes down fine and stands out from the rest of the crowd. It is my wife’s favorite beer to drink, especially in the summer months.

Comments – The sour twang keeps this one off of my, “favorites,” list, but it’s interesting and unique.

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Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of phimonkey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of cam477
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Turbo
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of ericstites
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,009 ratings.
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