Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
6,060 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: 6,060 |  Reviews: 2,068
Photo of chrhowe
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Has a copper, milky look with a generous head that has a medium lace. Caramel and nuts come out in the smell with some hops and a bit of bread too. I tasted the bread first followed by the caramel and nuts. Finishes up with the hops, you can tell they are there for sure. It's strong in the mouth, but enjoyable. Definitely a drinkable beer. One for the future sipping.

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Photo of BBelch
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rdub
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my snifter. For some reason I snifter beers on occasion. The neck funneled the unique aroma. Golden/amber color. Go some citrus in the smell. The taste was as unique as the reviews say it is. I got some citrus and most of all a nice balance. Mouthfeel was nice and had some small bubbles. The drinkability was good and would be worthy of downing a few.

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Photo of beerdrinker123
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden orange color with a small amount of foamy white head that leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell wise its got a sweet caramelly start with a bready malt finish no hops at all.

Flavor wise its a little more of the same, the semi sweet toffee/caramel notes are a nice foundation, not hoppy at all, not much malt character either though.

Its got a little more carbonation that I like, just the right viscosity. Definitely a session beer, could easily put a couple of these down without getting tired of them.

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Photo of Nesued
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured nice into a open glass. Slight head formed with no lasting presence. A bit of lace but none to speak of. Amber color, clear.

Smell - Malty and hoppy (with malt in the forefront).

Taste - Nice heavy feel to bring me into the fall time of the year. I've been drinking far too many hefe's (as mentioned by a previous reviewer) and this was a nice change. A very nice malty taste with only a very slight bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice body with a full feel. Good american lager taste with a dense presence.

Drinkability - Sure, I'll have another. A lot smoother than many lagers that try too hard to be too much.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 330 ml bottle to a pint glass.

This beer poured a deep golden/honey color with a moderate two finger head that was decent in retention. As the head broke it gave way to some nice lacing and wisps of foam. The smell was malt heavy and the taste was similar with a hops finish. The feel was medium body and somewhat thin.

This would be a good summer dock beer. And I could see myself grabbing a few for the cottage. However, outside of that, it is not something that I would charge the bar for. A good beer, but not great.

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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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Photo of John1985
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my Pig's Eye Pub glass.

A: Pours a clear, light copper-orange with a very small head that quickly turns to lace. Carbonation is fairly decent.

S: Smells, ironically, a bit like steam. A little fruity hop on the nose.

T: Taste is well balanced between fruity hops and a little sweet roasted malt. There is a lingering malt flavor that satisfies, while the hop leaves a resin in it's wake.

M: Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, not too heavy, and a little sharp on the tongue.

D: Because of lower ABV and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel and flavor, this is a very drinkable beer. There's an element, maybe its lingering sweetness, that would make me choose a different session beer, but I'd sit through 2-3 of these easily.

Anchor seems to have cornered the market on steam beer, but readers beware, Flying Dog puts out a very nice California Common called "Old Scratch" that gives this brew a run for its money, if not surpassing it in taste.

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Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of silverbullet361
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of bobbyc881
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of a squat little bottle with a big tan head that lingers for a good while. Very fluffy. Copper/redish in color, light carbonation and very clear.

Smell is mostly of sweet grain. Nothing special.

Taste is outstanding. Big bold, creamy flavor. Nice hop bitterness balanced with some subtle fruit flavors and grain.

Feels nice -- goes down smooth, highly drinkable.

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Photo of troutmask96
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice session brew here. Pours a light amber with very light head. Taste is of currants and hops. You gotta love the tradition of this beer, being one of the first craft brews in the U.S. Rich in tradition and smooth taste, and possibly the best label of any beer, this one's a definite keeper...

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

amber/golden hue-hazy, malty, creamy mouthfeel. tastes like if newcastle was a lager.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Plano Gingerman.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with some grapes and caramel malt. The flavor is toffee, grassy hops, grain and some metallic notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good for the style, but this is a style I am not much of a fan of.

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Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Summit Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with relatively thin head but expansive lacing.

Smell: Caramel, biscuit, toast and some earthiness.

Taste: Earthy, toasty malt that has a semi-sweet caramel middle before ending with a strong earthy bitterness that is almost too much for this particular beer. Somehow it doesn't come together as well as it should in terms of malts vs. hops.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation (almost fizzy), medium body, dry finish.

Drinkability: Obviously a very important beer in craft beer history that is quite good but is ultimately more relevant for its history. Nice to have every once in a while.

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Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a single from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger white head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells of a kind of sour, earthy malt - more earthy than sour - with citrus hop aromas that also are slightly sour.

Tastes of caramel malt joined by a very light sourness. Ends with a light amount of bitterness and the caramel malt flavors linger after the sip is over.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation and good thickness make this one go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I'm not sure how many of these I could have, but one went down just fine.

Overall this is an interesting beer that reminds me of another I've had that I can't put my finger on. The taste is very distinct and certainly worth a try if you haven't had it already.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured with lots of carbonation and a nice white head. It sits in the glass with a dark gold color. It looks crisp and clean. It's tastes good, too. The carbonation makes it feel very light on the tongue, but the flavor is still substantial.

If any beer was ever properly described by the word "suds", this is it. It's a great standby to have waiting in the refrigerator.

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Photo of zachthelaxer93
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of wilsonbaron
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of goldbot
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper with lots of visible carbonation and thick, off-white head.

Mostly malt aroma of biscuit and grain with a lingering astringent smell. Some hop presence with pine and floral aromas. Nice malty flavor of biscuit and a touch of caramel. Quite dry with pleasant bitterness. Leaves a lingering nutty, malty aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with a slightly chewy, crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice clear copper amber hue with a creamy two-finger head that has fair retention and leaves fairly decent lacing down the glass.

smells of grain, maltiness, floral hops, a bit of straw, and grassiness dance cleanly across the surface with hints of vanilla and honey. Subtle and subdued, but clean and definitely appealing.

Taste is clean and equally pleasing but in a different direction. Malty and sweet up front, with some caramel and honey notes quickly giving way to a pleasant neutral green bitterness that stays through the finish. Bitterness is almost a bit much at times for the flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, nicely carbonated and all around a solid feel.

Definitely a good go-to beer. Nothing astounding, but always solid with a great flavor profile and it looks like a solid brew. Can't really knock it. An all-around a-ok beer.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many years ago - about 20 - my father brought this now famous beer back from a trip to the West Coast. Like other people, I fell in love with Anchor Steam from the get go. The beer hasn't changed, but I have.

Served from a bottle at 40 Deg. The color is a deep amber. My pint glass overflowed with a highly carbonated head that left faint lacing.I could detect the Northern Brewer Hop aroma, along with some grainy malt. The front end was a bit rough as this highly hopped beer is dominated by floral citrusy hops. The mouth feel was warm and smooth, but the malts struggled to get through. The middle mellowed some, but the hops had the last say. The finish was dry, crisp and bitter.

Anchor's flagship beer is still good, but I suppose my tastes have changed. I also wonder, if Anchor increased the hop bill a bit since the mid 80s, as I don't remember this beer being quite so hoppy.

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Photo of teemoney
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of climax
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a nice amber/orange with a tremendous foamy rocky head.

Nose was smooth and balanced well. The sweet malt was toasty and caramel well matched by citrusy and earthy hops. Light ripened fruit and some metallic (maybe the anchor?) notes later emerged.

Taste was bitter, mostly toasty malt, caramel, diacetyl and some fruitiness with a hop sharpness.

Body was good, creamy and smooth. Feel was dry and almost gritty, nice light fizzy feeling rather than sharp carbonation

Not an expert on "steam" beers, but it was unique, bitter, and interesting. I liked it.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,060 ratings