Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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2,009 Reviews
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

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Reviews: 2,009 | Ratings: 5,825
Photo of jsdunlop
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a disastrous bottle opening by my wife, I was left with roughly half of this great beer to savor....So, with what was left of the brew, it poured out a nice amber color, with a thick frothy and full white head with some pretty good lacing. It has a very unique aroma, a bit like seawater and malts mixed in with some grassy notes. Very crisp, refreshing taste as well, malty and sweet up front, sharp hop presence that hits the back of the palate, leaving just the right amount of bitterness on the tip of the tongue. With the medium-light body, low carbonation, and crisp characteristics of the beer, this is one easy drinking california common, my go to summer beer.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did a tour of the brewery last week and subsequently bought a pack of beer. Many reviews of this beer are posted, but might as well.
Pours a medium amber tone, nice bready quality to the brew. Has a creamy head, moderately thick. Head has good retention before dissipation.
Smell tannic,musty, sharp and bready. A great mix of bready malts meets well spiced hop profile and a prickling peppery finish.
Flavor is spot on.Light, yet full flavored. Bread, malt, pepper.nice lemony bitterness and slightly spicy finish.
Mouthfeel lighter side, pricking and very refreshing. A great year-round beer that really can be very versatile in food pairings, cooking, and a great go to in nearly every season of the year. Cheers, the tour is a must if you live in SF or visit the city.

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Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color that pproduced a fluffy white head that sticks to the glass and produces excellent lacing as I drink. Tastes of hop bitterness with a malty backround. Tastes somewhat caramely. This is a light bodied beer with outstanding taste. This is a prime example of a steam beer. Very good drinkability. Definatly drinking this alot more.

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Photo of PBBC
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a nice copper color, with a one finger creamy head, which disappears rather quickly.

The aroma is slightly spicy with an almost cider-like malt tang. However, the taste is extraordinarily well balanced, somehow, nothing stands out, but everything is there. The malt flavors are rich, but refreshing, the taste lingers on the tongue long enough to be recognize, but is swiftly moved away by the hop balance.

This beer is incredibly drinkable, giving smooth lagers everywhere something to aim for. Almost dangerously drinkable... a lager version of an english bitter... not too strong, but packed full of flavor, a great beer for all parts of the year, but I would recommend it for summer.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is perhaps the best Amber beer I have ever had the privelage to drink. This is kind of similar to yuenglings lager, but it is oh, so much better! This pours a wonderful amber colour and smells of malts and hops. This tastes like a wonderfully balance beer should. Although it is a little light on the hops for my tastes(although I do love the malts too!:-) This has a creamy and smooth mouthfeel and an almost unlimited drinkability making it a great choice for a session beer!

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Photo of Scooter77
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer from Anchor. Pours a nice amber/orange color with an average-sized white bubbly foam. Head fades down, leaving a thin lace on the glass. Scents of citrus fruit seem to blend very well with the hops and malt. The taste is equally as balanced as the aroma. Initial taste was of sweet malt, followed by a zing of citrus, finished off by a nice bitterness of hops. This is an exceptionally balanced and bold beer.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly off copper/amber color. With a nice sized off-white head that slowly dissolves towards the center leaving an interesting looking bit of foam floating on top of the beer.

It has an interesting smell, with yeast coming through pretty strong as well as some caramel and malts, and a faint bit of citrus.

The taste is smooth and refreshing. The yeast doesn't taste as strong as it smells, and actually you get a little bit of bitterness along with a slight citrus taste.

This beer has a pretty good mouthfeel, although the carbonation is just a touch more than what I usually prefer. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of DPMomutant
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours with a medium-sized creamy head. Pretty good retention there. Some lacing here. The body is a very nice copper color.

The smell is pretty simple to my nose. It's a nice, medium-toasty malty smell. I'm having a tought time getting anything else from it but I like it just the same.

The taste at the beginning is actually a tiny bit sweet. In the middle the malt comes out and I catch some wheat in there too. The end brings some balancing bitterness. A very unique taste, indeed.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick in the body, thicker than you might expect from looking at it. The carbonation is lively but balanced. Smooth finish.

This is easily a good beer for sessions, whether hanging around outside or inside watching the game.

Overall this is a very solid beer and the availability is a very good thing if you're stuck somewhere you can't get much else.

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Photo of njthebestofme
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

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Photo of Muddybuddy
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Honey colored beer with a good two finger head. Very clean and appealing to the eye. Head forms "islands" over a period of time but remains througout.

Aroma: Very floral and mild hops bitterness.

Taste: Brisk without being too hoppy, but definitely more than I expected. Mildly malty with a good balance to the hops. There is just a touch of biscuit to it as well. Overall it is a pleasing brew to me.

Mouthfeel: Kind of light on the tongue and slightly thin, but this is according to style and is actually quite quenching when paired with the lighter flavor of this beer.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first taste of this iconic brew from the legend that is Fitz Maytag and Anchor Brewery.

Pours a beautiful amber fluffy white head quickly diminishes. Slight lacing left.

Smell is sweet and slight citric. Smells like our basic american lager only better.

Taste of malt and lemon initially. Slight hops and spice break through.

Mouth feel is light and crisp. Carbonation is slightly lively and refreshing.

Very drinkable. Crisp clean and has some level of dimension to it.

This is your average American lager, only it does everything better than your average american lager.

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Photo of SassyBootblack
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in San Fransisco, for what that's worth.

Appearance: A nice, clear amber color. A finger of white head.

Smell: Clean malt. Not much in the way of hop aroma.

Taste: Malt, with some hops and a mineral water quality. Quite good and not over bearing. The hops aren't as "woody" as some imitators I've tasted and I mean that as a compliment.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean!

Overall: A delicious lager beer with enough character to be interesting.

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Photo of LiquidBreadMan
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is Anchor Brewing's second-best offering, in my opinion -- and it's a top-ten among American made microbrews.

Anchor Steam pours a deep copper with an average life off-white head. Its aroma is fruity: meyer lemon and grapefruit, with an essence of roasted malts and hops. The taste is a similarly complex balance of flavors with a quick bite of hops, sweet malts and a citrus finish. Mouthfeel is a little dry, which is good in my book. This beer's drinkability is better than most I've tried, regardless of style.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle with a batch # on the back poured into a Nonic.

A - Clear, well carbonated orange amber color with a huge, bone-colored head that was dense and lumpy. Good retention.

S - Malty sweet with a caramel aroma backbone and a very light hop aroma. Floral with just a touch of bitterness.

T - The sweet caramel malt backbone comes through in the flavor too with an overtone of slightly bitter and floral hops.

M - Smooth and creamy with a bit of a bitter dry hop finish that mellows out well.

D - Very nice drikability with a fantastic malty, hoppy balance that goes down very nicely.

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Photo of jrsqc7
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

like big cheeseburgers and good french fries this is a great staple summer winter fall spring, good for fishing good for kungfu shaw brother enter the 36th chambers marathon pretty stellar mouthiness on this it's the best thing about the beer allows you to really dig your shovel into those dirty malt flavors while that sun shiny hops burns your neck red

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ounce stubby poured into a pint glass yields a clear reddish-copper body with a steady stream of active carbonation crowned with two fingers of stubborn soft white foam that retains at a misshapen cloudlike structure and sticks in patches all over the glass.

Smells fruity with nice clean malts and grassy hops.

Tastes of light toasty caramel tempered by a wall of dry, hoppy bitterness that fills the mouth from start-to-finish; brown sugar, sweet grass and honey; minerally with a touch of tangy citrus and a little nutty, powdery dryness in the finish.

Silky smooth and substantial, excellent creamy character; well-balanced, wonderfully tasty, earthy, and perfectly refreshing. This is the prototype for the style for a's good.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle. Very big head, foamy noisey and lasted a long time. Clear with a copper colored amber. Surprisingly light nose, that was dominated by malt. Smooth malt character to the taste with sharp bitterness surrounding it. Finishes long and dry. Nice and full mouthfeel adds to the enjoyment. Feels like your really drinking something with some body, especially since it's not a stout or porter. This would be an easy beer in which to enjoy several.

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Photo of jimmah120
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz "pear-shaped" bottle. no date.

Amber color with bone-white two-finger head. Smell is fruity malt(?). Taste is banana, pine, pineapple, and toasty, roasted malt. A spicy aftertase and a finish that is crisp, clean and refreshing. Mouthfeel is a tad watery.

Great session brew.

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Photo of kboett77
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, what a beer. So different and interesting, and extremely drinkable. This is one of my top Session Beers. It is well structured in flavor, and drinkable with out being watery (aqueous?) or wimpy. I have difficulty describing the flavor, but I highly recommend you try it out right away.

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Photo of nova009
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass

A- pours a nice golden brown, a fluffy one finger head is produced and retains well

S- malty and fruity, some floral notes are also present

T- sweet and fruity, the fruitiness fades into an almost nutty flavor accompanied by slight hoppy notes, pretty nice combination of flavors

M- nice medium body, good balance of carbonation, smooth but coats the palate nicely

D- fairly easy to drink and has lots of flavor, I'm really surprised, the first anchor I had really turned me off but this one is definitely a winner

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has an enticing copper color and pours with a light beige head. There is not a huge amount of aroma to it, it smells clean, malty and a bit of floral grassiness to it. A light sweet/ malty taste up front that finishes with a good bitterness. This beer is about perfect balance between the hop and the malt. Just a wonderful beer that, because of its popularity/ availability, of the gets short shrift. In my mind this is one of the great everyday drinking beers.

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Photo of budgood1
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

can't believe i haven't reviewed this classic yet!

anchor steam pours out a hazy amber color. there was the slightest bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle that i made sure i swirled in. a foamy head dies to a fine lace. not much in the nose except some slight fruity maltiness and a bit of floral hops. tastes very fruity...maltiness evident and a slight stinging hop bite. a lot going on here. the creamy mouthfeel isn't really smooth, so to speak...adding to the unique and rough profile. alchohol is noticeable, and so is a slight sulphur note on the palate. seemingly full bodied; an enigmatic beer to say the least. finishes with a hop attitude which i found stimulating and pleasing to my taste buds. i can see why this is an all time classic. another brew i could easily drink many of!

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber color. Bubblegum in the nose and taste, with a nice malt presence and sweetness on the end. Very smooth medium bodied feel that leaves a very clean grain profile.

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Photo of fullsweep
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz./355 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Very thick head, upon a very slow pour. Beer is a deep amber/copper color, while the head follows suit but much lighter with a copper-tinged beige. Mouth-watering.

Smells rich and earthy.

Earthy taste with some bitterness, followed by a light honey (or perhaps caramel) sweetness. The bitterness dominates, but in a rich, earthy way.

Mouthfeel is also rich and syrupy, good carbonation but no bite per se.

High drinkability!

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Photo of jtingue
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After some decoding... Bottled on Febuary 1st 2012.

Appearance. Pours with a finger and a half of head, which dissipates to a ring of bubbles around the glass. Very clear red amber in color. Bubbles rise through the beer slowly.

Smell. A more pronounced version of the "lager smell". Predominantly fruity, but delicate, with a more pronounced dark berry and grape fruit aroma.

Taste. Starts out with the fruity grape like notes picked up in the nose. A grassy hop starts to fade in as the fruit fades out, and the bitterness comes to a climax with a slightly herbal quality to it. Next comes a full bready malt presence with a bit of the herbal quality remaining. The finish is dry, with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Moderate body broken up by dense and tight carbonation. I would describe it as very mousse like.

Really a new experience for me. It really does skirt the line between lager and west coast style ale... leaning more toward the lager profile, both flavor wise and smell wise.

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