Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
5,981 Ratings
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

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
Ratings:
5,981
Reviews:
2,047
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
12.69%
 
 
Wants:
235
Gots:
1,257
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,981 |  Reviews: 2,047
Photo of zachthelaxer93
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of wilsonbaron
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of goldbot
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 391 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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 -4.7%
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.

 892 characters

Photo of teemoney
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of climax
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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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Photo of Chinaskifan1
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of artoolemomo
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head with minimal retention. Some lacing is left behind. The body is off white with hints of yellow while the body is a little hazy with an almost medium amber/honey hue that glows orange when held up to the light.

Nose- Fairly subdued- takes a quite a bit of probing around and swirling to get something more than the sweet malt and stereotypical beer aroma. Grain, sweet malt, and a slight hint of sour spice are the dominant aspects but hints of caramel do come out later. Some fruity esters come out as well- some faint peach, apricot. Some complexity but very subtle.

Taste- Initially, citrus notes followed by woody bitterness with some resin. The bitterness is well rounded and is never overpowering. I had never noticed it before, the Northern Brewer hops do give a mild minty flavor which hangs around the wood of the profile. The hops also have a herbal/floral spiciness to them as well. Some biscuit, some grain but the caramel (like on the nose) is pretty tucked away. The dual use hops really stave of the possibility of any of the malts taking over the palate. Not the most complex beer but it is a very solid and well balanced one.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Lots of carbonation but the zip is welcome.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. Crisp and refreshing. Perfect for a summer day. A classic for a reason.

Overall- Solid beer. I've been drinking Anchor's products for years but I haven't reviewed many of them.

 1,489 characters

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried this one several times and keep going back to it as it is a good session beer. Pours a medium to dark amber color with a creamy off white head about two fingers wide. The head leaves beautiful, sticky lace all over the glass. There is a great deal of carbonation as witnessed by the numerous bubbles rising to the surface.

The aroma is kind of nutty with a sweet smell in there. The taste is nutty and slightly malty, but only a trace of a hop prescence. Mouthfeel is good and smooth, almost too smooth, though. Overall, a good beer to enjoy anytime.

 567 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from the bottle and now sampled on draft 5/9/08. Good beer, I like it better now than I did when I first sampled it. Amber colored with a nice khaki head which leaves some nice lacing. Some sweet caramel malts in the aroma with some fruity spice. The flavor starts off with carmel malts but it is also nicely hopped making it pretty well balanced. I'd get it again.

 384 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a beautiful crystal clear copper with a fizzy soda like head of white bubbles which evaporated quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Medium strength aroma of biscuit malt, caramel, and yeast. Some faint fruity (I got orange) esters.

T - Extremely well balanced mix of toasty malt and fruity hops. Caramel sweetness upfront and bitter grains in the finish. Finshes very dry. A slight "pasty" taste in the back of finish, which is not unpleasant. Tasty.

M - Medium-light bodied with prickly almost fizzy carbonation. Clean finish.

O - I really enjoyed this. A simple beer thats full of flavor with high drinkability. Sometimes I want a beer that tastes like just malt and hops, and this is as good as any for that. Balanced and delicious.

 783 characters

Photo of jaredschnabel
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mithrascruor
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle in a glass at a restaurant.

Pours a slightly hazy amber color -- not too dark, and with a fair amount of visible carbonation. Smells of malts, grains, and some hops. Taste is similar, but with a bit of added florals. Mildly bitter aftertaste. Feels fairly smooth, but there's way too much carbonation. Overall, a decent, better-than-average beer with a nice taste, but it's nothing special. I'd probably get it at a restaurant again, but it seems a bit expensive for what it is in the store.

 508 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 4 - pours a darker amber color with an attractive head
S - 3.5 - smells of malts and bready/biscuity
T - 3.5 - malty and bready/biscuity, with an interesting bitterness to it. A bit more bitter than I was initially expecting, but it worked well.
M - nice mouthfeel to it
D - 4 - this is a good session beer, one to enjoy many through the course of a night with friends.

 373 characters

Photo of rye726
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice looking copper color with a tan head. Nice candy malts and some faint hops. Taste has soem good citrus hops up front with a malty finish. Nothing special, but good for the style. Nice crisp medium body creates a nice palate. A drinkable beer, but a bit over priced out here in Colorado. I'm sure its more reasonable back in Cali. Nice job Anchor.

 353 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good consistant brew. The pour is golden in color with a nice solid white head on top that beer a good lacing down the glass. The taste of this beer is pretty standard but yet has enough flavor to keep it interesting. Mostly hops and malts on the tongue. The smell is basically the same. Mouthfeel is easy going. A good social beer. I wise choice of the the main stream beers out there.

 396 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother has always raved about this brew. Spying that it was on sale for $6.29 at Albertsons recently (And normally in the $8-$9 range), I thought I would pick up some for the Cardinals-Saints pre-game tailgate.
Poured as an amber color with a nice head that lasted awhile. My nose detected a hint of floral hops, otherwise there was nothing notable. Taste was nicely balanced between a hint of caramel with a light dry hop finish. Mouthfeel resulted in a nice clean finish. This is an extremely drinkable beer but one that is unremarkable in my book and not worth the normal high price tag commanded by this "macro micro".

 627 characters

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark clear amber with a bit of white head.

Smell is heavy on the malt side with a touch of fruitiness. Grains and cereal come through with a little sweetness.

Taste follows the nose with layers of malt fading into a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard and well carbonated.

Overall this is a decent flagship beer from Anchor. I'm anxious to see what else they have.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with a 1/4" head of small off-white bubbles on top. The head fell slowly and ended up as a ring around the top of the beer within a minute or so. There are quite a few bubbles rising that keep the layer of bubbles on top of the beer for quite some time. There is quite a bit of Belgian Lace left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma reminds me of light caramel and bread first off. There is a very distinct buttery quality to the malt. I do get some hops, but this is a subtle piney aroma deep in there somewhere.

Taste: The flavor also has that sweet caramel buttery malt thing going on. The hops are more pronounced in the flavor as compared to the aroma. The malt coexists with a noticeable metallic note...all the while this metallic has a slightly chalky undertone to it. The finish is pretty balanced with the malt being pretty much in charge, but it is challenged by the bittering hops and the water profile. Late in the finish, there is a defined fruity note taking over to linger. There is no alcohol noticeable.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, and the beer that defines this style. How can I take points off of it, because it is the style? Hmmm. Well, I will grade it based more on my interpretation of the melding of the flavors rather than how it fits the category. I like it, but wish that the whole water hop balance made it easier to drink. To my recollection, this beer tastes a lot better in San Francisco, so I would like to try it again there.

 1,524 characters

Photo of albertjr21
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Clear mild-caramel amber color under a foamy off white head.

S: A great even balance of malt, yeast, and hops as far as I could tell. A significant smokey note.

M/T: Moderately bitter crisp feel upfront with a solidly carbonated, metallic noted center. A dry resinous "smoked" caramel follow through.

D: Great palate cleansing scrubbing power due to a generous carbonation proved a great partner to a fully loaded mushroom cheeseburger.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= took me too long to try this beer given that it is sort of the orgin of craft beer. Pours a nice amber color with a nice two finger perfect head. The head is a nice off color with awesome retention and lacing. Actually a really nice looking beer.

S= Smells like I would expect. Really nothing amazing about this at all but still somewhat comforting. The smell is a lot of sweet malts in it. The hops aren't as strong as I expected however sort of muted.

T= The taste is similar to the smell. I wanna say it's a little estery without being on the Belgian level. There is a nice sweet malt character to it as well as a small hop finish.

M= Good and crisp in the mouth. Nice carbonation to it.

D= Well Anchor got sold today so I decided to crack this one open... Pretty good beer. Nothing spectacular and amazing but it's the orgin of craft beer. Worth trying for the novelty alone.

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Photo of ski271
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, medium copper with a small, off-white, foamy head that has very good retention. Some sparse, spotty lacing. The smell is of perfumy fruit and grain. The taste is rather mild and a bit sweet up front with a good balance and a pleasant fruity, lemony, light bitter finish. It has a thin-medium body, lightly dry texture, and moderate carbonation. There was a slight sourness in there that I didn’t care that much for, but otherwise this is a highly sessionable brew that I enjoyed.

 495 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. with no freshness date - served chilled in a pilsner glass. It is an orangey/caramel color with a 1/4" light tan head that dissipates to nothing. Smells earthy with caramel. It is crisp with a medium body that tastes earthy with caramel, toasty/biscuity malts, and floral/spicy hops that leave a mild bitterness.

 319 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle on 03/01/2005.

Poured a dark reddish color with medium frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Aroma has malt and sweet tone. Medium balanced flavor is much the same as the aroma with medium sweet and hop finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met.

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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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