Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
5,981 Ratings
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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Ratings: 5,981 |  Reviews: 2,047
Photo of Graebner
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown-orange with a finger+ of white, meringue-like head that slowly diminshes, but never completely fades, and rejuvinates itself a little with each sip.

Smells like sourdough. Faint hints of spices and even fainter florals, and some smoky smells, but pretty much sourdough.

Tastes like peaches, rosewater, sourdough, and sports a very impressive hops presence. The hops are drying and bitter, yet quite pleasant.

The mouthfeel is also very pleasant. It starts out immediately sweet, but almost instantly the carbonation hits and tingles, and almost instantly afterwards the hops starts to dry out your tongue. Finishes nicely astringent, clean, and refreshing.

The drinkability would suffer a bit from the hops, which are somewhat out of balance, but you could sit down with a few of these. The price is what really does it $10.75, it's one of the most expensive sixers on the shelf, and by no means one of the best.

A very good beer overall. Certainly not worth the price, but very good.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring into a pint glass at about 50 degrees (F) it pours a deep amber color w/ 1 cm of frothy tan head w/ lots of cling to my glass. It also appears a little cloudy at first as well. Smell is of sweetness- cherries or raisins malts maybe. However, no hops or dark malts other than fruit, nothing too special. Smooth vanilla cherry flavors up front with some hops to it and then a little more hops on the finish; a little watery also and not too complex. However, this is a very decent beer to drink. Prickly carbonation that sticks to the tip of your tongue on the sip and then follows the contours of your tongue even after the swallow (lots of carb!). Light-medium bodied; mild and smooth and very easy to drink a whole lot of them!!

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Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with no freshness date on it. Color is a nice light orange/straw. Head is just a slight off white that keeps for a while. Nice lacing observed.

Smells very subtle, but of hints of honey. Taste is very clean. Not much going on, but very wonderful. I would note the small taste of fruit in this. Very good carbonation.

Overall, this is quite the beer. I have never had a steam beer, but I do like it. I am more of a dark beer drinker, but I could see this being a nice session beer.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a clean amber ale with afizzy white heat that disappears quickly. The beer has a light sweet malty aroma. The malt flavor promised in the aroma gives way to an assertive hop bitterness before giving a crisp clean finish. A tasty drink for when you're having more than one.

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Photo of Mtn
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first steam brew ever. It had a pleasing dark golden hue to it. The taste was clearly lagerish as it should be, but without a doubt had a leg up on your standard lager. It had a healthy kick of hops and finished rather clean. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Dark amber orange with pretty thick white head.

S: Thick malt, with baking bread, sugar cookies, maybe a bit of barnyard feel, interesting.

T: Maltiness, with that fruity ale yeast ester flavor due to high fermentation temperatures, steamy. A bit of sulfur carries the load, with a midly astringent taste, it's a difficult taste to describe.

M: Smooth, that steam beer lager character is there.

D: Very drinkable, not the best beer in the world by any stretch, but a very good one.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is like that of an unfiltered lager... bit on the amber side. mild head that seemed about right but not particularly impressive. nose of apricot citrus with a palate of a suprising amount of bitterness. interesting quality of malt and hops. quite herbal bitter with no quality of fruit outside of the nose.

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Photo of Kunsan90
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear amber/orange with a healthy off white head. As the head receded to shallow film, a little lace work was left behind.
It smelled of malt with a fruity/lemony hint. The taste matched the smell, malty with fruity aftertastes that finishes off with a slight hop bite.
It felt nice and somewhat full in the mouth and with an initial malty hit followed by the hit of hops.
This is a very drinkable beer that I had been looking forward to trying, and it did not let me down. Obviously against a macro there is no choice, but still this is a beer that I will buy again and offer to friends.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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 peensteen
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale copper colour, Light white head, no lacing to speak of here. Smell is malty, slight caramel and toffee, an earthy grainy note, slight hop bitterness in the nose. Taste is big malt, caramel, toffee, clean with a light bitter finish. Good mouthfeel, big carbonation but seems to not last on the palate, medium weight. Good overall brew, sessionable and nice for the season.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here we have a successful, unique brew. The fat bottle, the cute anchor and distinctive bottlecap, and amber look are all plusses. The extremely easy drink that still manages to hit you with spice and remind you that you're sipping a finely crafted beer not some alcoholic water. Multiple bottles don't numb the tongue to the wild work going on underneath here, but still the abv should be higher. Ahoy, steam boys!

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Photo of andrewdanks
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emsroth
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle. No freshness date.

App: Chunky 2 finger head that falls to a nice quarter inch cap. True amber in color with perfect clarity.

Smell: Mostly the sour scent from apples (think unripe granny smith) with hints of alcohol. Perhaps a touch of malt as well.

Taste: Light malt taste that is equal parts toasty and caramelly with notes of dark cookie. Simultaneously is a hop bitterness that is light but firm. Ends with a strong minerally taste with a bit of caramel and bitterness that lingers on the palette.

Very chewy mouthfeel. Low-medium carbonation.

Not a bad brew to go to if in need, but not something I would seek out. Especially at almost $3 a bottle.

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Photo of UnderStageMan
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Briant3113
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Crimkj
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that is semi readily available around here, and I got it as an extra from AgentZero, but hey, its an extra so I can't complain. In fact, I've had it before and think its a pretty good clean drinking ale, so here comes the review finally.

A: Nice frothy 2 finger head with some pot marks. Extremely brilliantly crystal clear with a very light amber color.

N: Some light toasty malts, amber ale malt aromas, and light earthy hops. Almost a slight banana aroma too, but that might be my imagination. Crisp aromas and pretty clean.

T: Pretty similar to what you would expect. Some nice toasty earthy malts, crystal malt flavors, some light caramel, earthy toasty malt flavors. The some light earthy hops that add a nice flavor. A slight malty sweetness and some very light fruity flavors.

M: Semi light, decent carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

F: Finishes semi bitter but pretty dry. Semi light but pretty crisp finishing flavors, reminiscent of a nice lager. A slight spice and some slight earthy flavors linger a bit. The nice malty flavor fades nicely but leaves the nice bitterness, which also doesn't hang out for long. Pretty crisp and refreshing.

 1,172 characters

Photo of rjplumer
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice deep amber color That starts with a nice foamy head about one fingers worth. Has a little or no aroma that I could detect. It does have bitter beginning but then finishes smooth. Judging from Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale, which I really like a lot, I was a bit let down by this one. It's still pretty good and I would never turn one away.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer that morphs complexity while warming.

A: Darkish amber hue, brown honey. Lots of carbonation rising rapidly from the bottom of the glass. Off-white, 2 finger, tightly packed head that seems relentless. Great lacing.

S: Sweet malts, biscuity. Vaguely astringent. Very, very slight hops detected.

T: Bitter malt, like rye bread without the rye (work with me here). As the beer warms, caramel notes appear. Hops appear near the middle of the palate, but act more as a garnish. As the beer gets warm, the hop presence becomes a bit more pronounced and allows the beer to remain crisp while warming.

M: Medium/light body. Prickly on the tongue due to the carbonation and hop bite combination.

D: Very drinkable.

Quickly becoming one of my standard go-to beers for consistent enjoyment, particularly in these warmer months. California Common beers are very unique to each brewer, enjoy tasting the differentiating qualities and nuances from one variant to the next. This beer also happens to be #7 on the list of most preppy beers according to Tipsy in Madras: The Essential Guide to 80's Preppy Drinking.

 1,126 characters

Photo of Greggy
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice light copper color with a 2 finger head that recedes down into a nice lace. A great clinging lace clings to the glass, even long after drank.

Smell: Light caramel smell with a some light lager notes

Taste: A very light caramel taste that is pale, yet has a nice lingering bitter.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, bitter and zesty

Drinkability: A great refreshing brew that at 4.9% ABV, makes a great sessionable brew.

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Photo of fsimcox
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent, amber color. Very little foam, that dissipates immediately. No lacing.

Smells of malt, and hops. Some hints of citrus and pine cones. Not overpowering, but fresh and crisp.

Taste is malt, hops, and citrus. A hop, grapefruit finish with a mild, but bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a smooth, crisp, with some carbonation. A nice dry finish.

A very nice lager, very drinkable. I will buy this beer again.

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Photo of John
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First had Anchor Steam at this hippie shrine kinda joint called Vesuvio in San Fran about ten years ago. I was thrilled at the time. Still pretty good stuff.

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Photo of ericj551
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam pours a bright copper with a nice but small white head. The aroma is light and slightly caramel malt, with a slight, fruity tinge. The flavor is nicely malty without being too sweet. There is a nice, bready, buscuity malt character. More caramel, and some slightly dark, raisiny fruitiness are balanced by a mild hop bitterness. Some mild herbal hops pop through in the finish. There is an odd, slightly sour, estery flavor in the finish.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper with some carbonation. Not much head.

S: It smelled really malty with not much else to it.

T: It was very malty at first with some undertones I couldn't pick up on. There was a bit of bitterness at the end which made the beer drinkable. All around it tasted like a high class lager; however, it's not what I dig

M: decent mouthfeel, slightly watery.

D: It's a lager, so it's very drinkable.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 5,981 ratings.
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