Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,022 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,022
Ratings:
5,885
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.99%
 
 
Wants:
221
Gots:
1,209
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,022 | Ratings: 5,885
Photo of Daredevil
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thirst quenching like a lager, fruity like an ale ...
lovely caramel bronce color, with a firm head
malty and nutty aromas in the nose
taste is lightly sour with more malt and light fruit in the mouth finally a long finish in which the hops slowly dominate
This is a very interesting brew, not comparable to any standard beer ... guess this is hardly a love at first sight, but once you start liking it ...

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wait, what, huh, I've never said anything ever about this?
No time like the right time for this.
Every time, I've ever had it, always the pint glass.
The appearance was a blissfully yellow transparency. Carbonation always feeds the head at a moderate pace. The head dissipates within/about less than a minute. Lacing speckles and slides into the beer.
The smell is crisp sweet grains, light sweet corn, and sweet biscuits.
The taste is basically the same. There's a sweet bready aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is light bodied and speckles my tongue with sweetness from the corn and bread.
Overall, hey, what's not to love! Its pure baseball park beer that has nothing obscure about it. To all of the bullshitters who say, its bland because it doesn't have the "complexities" of Alesmith's Speedway Stout or something else of that nature, ask yourselves this, why in the hell are we comparing apples to oranges. Praise to Fritz Maytag for creating a style that hasn't gone the way of the buffalo and when I wanna drink light, this is what I go for. There's nothing off in this one, its in your heads.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

#74. Somewhat keen on discovering how this beer differs from a traditional lager. It can be found in better beer selection supermarkets, which is where I found this in a mix-your-own-six variety pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Whoops. I poured this beer pretty aggressively! Beer yields at least a 4 finger depth, thick dense fluffy foamy creamy head that retains like a champ, trickling downward at a very slow pace and slowing from depreciating more once at a modest 1.5 depth. Some light lacing is present as the head recedes, but it has no staying power and is gone by the end of the drink. Color is amongst the purest of deep oranges with deep amber shades included. Looks almost like a late sunset. Clarity is absolute with this beer. Carbonation is a sporadic arrangement of tiny active bubbles. Acts and looks promising. 4

(Smell) An earthy hop and faintly breaded caramel malt blend are subtle and the beer smells very fair and balanced. The caramel tones round out the aroma to balance the beer's bitter and sweet notes. Very light and fair on the nose, but the balance is spot on. Aroma better emphasizes the beer's sweet side. It could be far more potent but its appealing in smell nonetheless. 4

(Taste) First impressions gather a wonderful exchange of sweet and bitter tastes, with sweet dominating the first half and a bitter finish rounding out the end product. Some clean caramel malts are easiest to pick out through the entire experience, but the subtlety is outstanding, avoiding masking the equally impressive bitter characteristics of the earthy, faintly citrus-like hopped finale. Simply easy to drink for a variety of reasons; there's nothing here that slows down the pace. Really a good choice for people entering the beer craft world from both macros and common micros. Reminds me of some of good Samuel Adams lager brews. 4

(Mouthfeel) Incredibly smooth and creamy texture. Beyond the first moments the rest of the beer is thin and glides past the palate without any resistance or extra texture. On the thin side of things but without being watery or bland. This beer has a light-medium body and a decent dose of sweet character up front and a bitter profile in back. Dry, but wonderfully dry. 4

(Drinkability) Outstandingly drinkable. This beer has an amazing balance of favorable flavors without omitting a single necessity for a damn tasty beer. Drinks smooth, tastes balanced and enjoyable, and no flavors wear down on the drinker. For a very simple beer, this hits all the right chords. One six pack to myself would be a fantastic choice. 5

Verdict: If you've ever thought about trying a "steam" beer, this one is a definite good starter choice. Very drinkable and delicious, two of the most important characteristics of the perfect beer. If you find it, you should get it. A- (4.2)

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Translucent amber with generous white head. Nose is hop citrus (lemon), and very metallic. Overall, a malt focus on the palate, with caramel, very smooth body, and the hops have a dry, grass/earth character that is what reminds me of this beer every time. Finish is dry, crisp, refreshing. Drinkability is over the top!

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Photo of riboflavin88
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottom line, this is a unique beer. It pours a nice amber color with a nice ivory head consisting of large bubbles and good carbonation. Its smell was malty and spicy with back notes of citrus. The beers' taste is smooth at first, primarily malt and smokey bread flavors. It finishes dry and the aftertaste is more malt, very bold. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable, crisp and easy to drink more than one. Definitely try this one!

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Photo of maedhros09
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Clear Amber-Gold with nice foamy white head that leaves some lacing
Smell: Light caramel and grassy aromas
Taste: I like the complexity and subtlety of the steam beer. It has some of the fruity and floral aspects I like about ales but it has a cleanness and dryness that I like about lagers. it has that characteristic floral aroma of Anchor beers and a mild herbal grassy hoppiness.
Feel: Smooth with perfect carbonation, light to medium body.

Overall: Steam Beer is a great session beer. Despite the overall lightness and low ABV there is subtlety to its flavor. A characteristic Anchor fruity and floral aroma serves as a backdrop for the otherwise fairly clean and dry balance between malt and light herbal/grassy hops. I still prefer the Liberty Ale but the Steam Beer is a great standby.

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Photo of bradford
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bought a sixpack at Cost Plus for $6.99.
Poured a hazy dark blonde with a solid whit head
Smelled very good. Lots of something I can't put my finger on. Not spicy or yeasty, but pleasant and crisp.
Tasted very nice. Crisp, clean, refreshing, hoppy, delicious.
Mouthfeel was pretty good, a bit bitter from the hops, but nice.
Drinkability is absolutely perfect. This is THE example of the style. If Steam Beer isn't named after this, it should be. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Badger6
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, did not see the bottle, poured in a restaurant.

A: Copper, with a slight haze int he body; thick, off-white, creamy chunky head. Good retention, and lots of lace.

S: Earthy malts, with semi-caramel sweetness. Hints of hops.

T: Begins bitter, slight citrusy notes, gives way quickly to a toasted earthy malt sweetness, that finishes cleanly with a mild citrusy aftertaste.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Feels very smooth, dry on the palate.

O: With each aspect of the brew, it just got better and better to behold... It takes me back to one of the first craft/micro-brews I enjoyed as I reformed my pale American adjunct grain lager ways. After all of those years, I have come to realize just how unique, and special this brew is. A truly classic micro-brew, and one of the originals as free Americans rose up in protest to the swill the big breweries fooled us into drinking.

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Photo of BREWS4LA
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug..Nice color great smell. Nose.. .some citrus and good roasted malty and caramel scents,

I was surprised by taste more malty than hoppy and just a little bitter on the finish but very nice. Good balance and very drinkable. I would dare to say maybe an entry level into an IPA style. Would be a great starter/move up beer for someone used to the macro lagers. I will definitely be getting more next visit to trader joes.

I guess when you make a product for more than 100 years you do it right.

Cheers.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly orange golden hue with a thin beige head that retains its shape well. Fast carbonation. Like, it's FAST. Decent, but not mind-blowing.

Interesting nose. I can't quite put my finger on it. There's a sweetness, kind of a sweet pastry smell to it. It's subtle and underplayed and yet full-bodied. There's quite a pleasant, almost buttery character on the nose. Almost some kind of deep plummy jam as well? Wow, it's certainly unique.

That sweetness continues on the palate and has a back palate similar to a mild English ale but it's sweet and almost like a waffle or something. Maybe it's because I'd always imagined a steam beer would taste like a waffle for some reason. The palate kind of folds over and well, I don't know. It's unique. Lots to like though, and yeah, I quite enjoy drinking this. Pleasant and unique. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

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Photo of delta490
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear amber with creamy white head. Great retention and lacing. Visible carbonation aids

S- a very pleasant caramel with a light hops background

T- nice caramel malt foreground with mild earthy hops background

M-thinner but right to style

O- the granddaddy of craft does not disappoint

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,885 ratings.
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