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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
2,004 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:
2,004
Ratings:
5,813
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.82%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
1,152
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,004 | Ratings: 5,813
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper in color with a foamy off-white head and obvious, brisk but fine carbonation. The aroma is of a clean, rich malt and light fruitiness with some hops. A full body combined with the zesty carbonation gives a distinct mouthfeel. The flavor starts with creamy, lightly caramel malt and leads into a vast hop character of flavor and crisp bitterness as it crosses the palate. The finish is dry and lasting. The classic of the style.

 441 characters

Photo of TheDTrain
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A legend of the craft beer industry from the label to the smooth drinkability. Golden light orange pour leaves an appealing white lace on the glass. Well balanced with crisp hops, earthy tones, lemon, orange, and mild caramel notes and dry hoppy finish. Very pleasant and pure.

Iconic.

 286 characters

Photo of BrewChatKen
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A classic! Pours deep amber with a white head. Aroma is big time caramel and sweet. Light bodied, well carbed and easy drinking. That sweet caramel carries through very well to the palate with a bit of earthy hop character and a clean finish. Could be a great session beer, I don't think there's ever a bad time to crack one of these. This is a very well made beer.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a pint glass to a rich, frothy, off white head. It is dark amber in color. It smells sweet and malty. I taste caramel malt but it finishes with just enough hop bite to balance it out. I really enjoy the balance of this beer. I haven't had one of these in years and I am glad for the opportunity to try it again. It would make a great session beer.

Cheers!

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. Learned today that this beer is the only lager that Anchor makes. Also learned the various reasons this beer is called a steam beer and that nobody knows the truth for sure. Scoring bonus points for history, normally wouldn't do that but in some subconcious way, you can taste the history in the glass. A classic.

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Photo of travduke
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Light golden amber, one finger head. Retention and lacing are both spot on.

Aroma: Mostly malty, and grainy. Mild hops.

Taste: Toasty malts. Grainy and again, mild hops. Interesting beer, I dig it.

Feel/Drink: Light crisp mouthfeel. You can drink these guys all day.

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Photo of xzqrut
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice orangish gold color, with decent head, decent retention, good lacing. Smell was light, with classic malt, seemed like some sweet tones as well. Mouthfeel was creamy, light, and crisp. The Steam Beer had a great crisp taste, light and refreshing, with its sweet and bitter flavors in excellent balance. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

My first of this variety so not sure how it compares. Other than that, it's ok, nothing remarkable. I don't think I would buy again but would drink if offered one.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My second brew from Anchor, and I am still very impressed... really liked their anniversary ale, and this steam beer was certainly good... pours a copper color with a modest frothy head... smell is good, very nutty and bready.. taste is very slick and full of bready and slightly caramel-vanilla flavors... Mouthfeel is super and the drinkability is really exceptional... goes down like water without any bitter aftertones what-so-ever... Really enjoyed drinking this brew, and with a modest alcohol content, could easily down a few of these in a single setting... copped a single 12 oz size from Wine and More in West Orange for about $1.50... Recommended...

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has always bee one of my favorites. Some people find it not so good. The aftertaste is like really good french bread. This used to be an option before Sam Adams. If you wanted any other "craft brew" you had to make it. Wish the ABV was a bit higher, I never even knew until today.

 285 characters

Photo of moistnugget
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an ale glass (yeah, yeah, yeah, it was sitting at my desk already,) developed a rich amber color, very clear, very small head. Nose is nice; rye, fruit, though hard to say what, maybe peach and lemon, a little fresh oregano, and yeast. Taste is fresh and bright, citrus notes (without the hop explosion that I've come to associate with it.) Finish is zesty, with lemon grass and fresh herbs riding it out. Mouthfeel is perfectly matched to the taste, light, spritzy, and bitter. The flavor and feel race across your tongue and disappear, enticing you to sip again. Overall, a well put together beer, and American styles are not usually my favorite territory. 4.25/5

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Photo of jerbear3
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: rich amber color with clean appearance. Solid head after pour.
S: smells delicious with floral hints and a caramel suttleness.
T: rich in flavor of toasted caramel with a hit of citrus notes.
M: moist on the pallet without a overpowering feel.
O: solid beer great for any occasion. Cheers!

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Photo of JTuomi
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

355 ml bottle (bb 1 2016) into a pilsner pokal. Clear pale amber color, three finger white foamy head with good retention and really nice spiral lacing.

Sweet malty smell. Soft and clean taste of grainy malt with a fruity note on the background, dry finish with a slight hop bitterness to balance the taste, moderately bitter hoppy aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation, soft and creamy mouthfeel, drinkable.

I happened to watch the episode of Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter about this brewery, having this beer in my fridge. The program gave a pleasant image about the brewer and I think that made this beer taste even better when I had it on the next evening. Good beer that tastes like a beer should. Nice looking bottle and label.

 739 characters

Photo of suspect
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Crystal clear, pure orange, slightly light amber in color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a huge fluffy 3 finger, super creamy head that disappears in under a minute. Lacing is spotty but present and sticks to the glass.

S: Citrus forward (lemony), the yeast is ultra present as well. Malt backend is present, yet subdued.

T: Unlike the smell, it's malt-forward as opposed to citrusy-hop forward. However, the hops are definitely present here. Lager-yeast is present on the backend.

M: Creamy, medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. Sticky mouthfeel.

O: What can I say? It's Anchor Steam. It's phenomenally unique. This is one of my go-to beers pretty much anytime.

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Photo of tigerdoc
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours what I would consider to be the definition of copper colored. Off white rocky head that remaines sticky but does dissapate after a few sips. Aroma is quite unique several things going on citrus and earthy notes from the hops, caramel and some grainy notes, the yeast gives interesting esters as well as a sulfer character. The initial sip is impacted by a sharp crisp bitterness and carbonation that relinquishes to more caramel and ceral flavors from the malt. To me the malt, hops, and esters from the yeast are in very nice balance. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As the standard for California steam beer, it should get all 5's. But then any crappy beer would rate all 5's if it's unique enough to be a new class. So I factored in my tastes...

The liquid was copper orange, very clear. Thin head on top which lasted pretty long. Smelled and tasted malty, not any bitterness at all.

Pretty good, a perfect session beer.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I have not had this one in a long time, until last night, that is. It is amazing how a steam beer can make this hop-head do cartwheels. A very attractive amber tapping brew, amber in color. The aroma offers just what the name gives you, a fantasticly grainy steamy type of aroma. A fantastic brew in bottle, but even better out of the tap.

Prost!

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Photo of coalcracker
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a mildy cloudy golden color with a good deal of carbonation.
Smell: Rather floral aroma with a lighter malty base. Aroma transitions more to the malty side as the beer warms.
Taste: A little bitter but pleasant sensation at the onset. This leads to a little more hop flavor in the form of citrus, notably lemon. Toasted malts appear towards the middle and lingers through the end.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied feel that feels a little dry in the finish.
Drinkability: Very drinkable in terms of both ABV and taste.

Overall: Very interesting beer in terms of how the taste profiles transition and mesh together. Will definitely have again.

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Photo of SargeC
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Copper color with a tan-white head and medium carbonation.

Smell: Light hops and malt.

Taste: Sweet malt flavors wrapped with hints of citrus finished by a clean hop flavor. They flavors in this beer come in layers that seem to change with each taste.

Mouthfeel: Solid. Carbonation enhances the fullness of this brew. Light yet satisfying.

Drinkability: This is a refreshing and classic brew. Each bottle I have had over the years has had its own character.

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Photo of McStagger
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Re review of a beer I've become more fond of over the past few months.

A: Pours a rust orange with excellent transparency. Carbonation is moderate to lively, with large bubbles racing to the surface. Two fingers light beige head. While not rocky, there is moderate to heavy lacing on the glass. Sounds fizzy.

S: Malt syrup, stone fruit, honey suckle and a sweet doughy biscuit like quality.

T: Rush of malt in the front, along with same biscuit like doughy characteristics. Tart fruit, touch of all spice, maybe a hint of raw tobacco, and heather honey. The bittering aspect is almost medicinal. I've heard the Alstrom Brothers use aspirin before. This seems to fit the bill. The beer bitters and dries while still maintaining a small line of floral sweetness. Finishes fairly dry.

M: Truly awesome mouthfeel. Carbonation is lively enough to keep things interesting. Great balance.

O: The microbrew industry has exploded in the past 15 years. And yet this consistently grabs my attention more than anything else on the market. So easy, so flavorful, so drinkable. I've drank this beer on the beach and paired it with Christmas cuisine. Not many beers can stand up to the task of being so delicious and so multi faceted. Love this stuff.

 1,246 characters

Photo of MostlyNorwegian
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice round nose with a balance of fruit from either the yeast or grain, caramel with a kiss of pine from the hops. With very slight haze in the glass, there's quite a bit going on for what is a basic everyday drinker.
But, it's also quite balanced and brings it all together very nicely. Some bitterness. That fruit and biscuit caramel maltiness come in to play with some astringency and a slight touch of sulfur around the edges on into the center of the palate. Lovely beer with medium amount of carbonation, and a head which lingers.
This is a quiet unassuming classic that has a lot happening underneath it.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A=Light orange/amber with good head, lasting several minutes, leaving a amount of good sticky lacing.

S&T=Malted barley, some grains/fruit,maybe some nuts with a slight hop note/character in the background.

M=Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Easy to drink a lot of, not bloating, very smooth and pleasant. I like it. An excellent fallback/session brew, or if you're just looking for something more casual/refined.

Looking forward to having again sometime.

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Photo of gks5004
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fluffy white head that does not quickly dissipate. deep copper color.

S: clear malt smell with light citrus and floral hops.

T: clean hops, nice malt backbone, sweet yeasty flavors reminiscent of an ale.

M: Light body, great balance, not overly carbonated.

Very nice beer, hops are light but present as to not overpower the distinct 'steam' taste of the beer, nice malt backbone but once again is well balanced to bring out the fruity yeast flavors not normally found in a lager beer

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Photo of sammy44
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Love the shape of the bottle also.

Poured a really nice copper color that seemed to have a chill haze on it. The head poured up real nice and fell to about a 1/4 inch with a good creamy texture.

Smelled of citrus hops and some toasty malt. Taste was really good as you were hit up front with some hop bitterness and then you got some malty sweetness and finished up dry and puckery. Excellent flavor.

What I really loved was the mouthfeel. The head was creamy and the body of the beer was full and heavy. Very good for a lager style beer.

I could have several of these and they might have to become a go to beer for the summer.

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Photo of HoppitySam
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled yesterday (12/30/14).

Poured from bottle into rock glass, 42F.

Nice tasty non-traditional lager with barley forward, slight hop finish. Easy to drink, not too heavy. No CO2 carbonation, only natural carbonation and traditional brewing methods. A real pleasure to enjoy and one of my favorite lagers.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,004 ratings.
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