Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BA SCORE
3.85/5
5,999 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
Ranking:
#9,525
Reviews:
2,053
Ratings:
5,999
pDev:
12.73%
Bros Score:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
235
Gots:
1,269
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,999 |  Reviews: 2,053
Photo of albertjr21
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of jjanega08
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 886 characters

Photo of ski271
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -4.4%
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 -4.4%
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.

 284 characters

Photo of SysopChris
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of jharper2189
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of Stevo614
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Unique in its combination of appearance/taste/mouth feel combination.

 455 characters

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

Anchor Steam pours a light amber color into my pilsner glass. A 1/4" head forms, and slowly dissipates. Medium carbonation, little lacing. The aroma is fairly restrained; there's little here beyond some generalized malty sweetness and a mild floral/spice hop aroma.

Forunately, the taste is better than the smell. The malt and hops are nearly perfectly balanced; I can find caramel, chocolate, biscuity, floral, and spicy flavors. The mouthfeel is light, and slighty dry; finishes a combination of "sweet, crisp and slighty spicy". There's some unspecified harshness in the aftertaste that I can't quite pin down (which may be due to the age of this particular bottle).

Anchor Steam is a refreshing, enjoyable beer (and virtually the only example of its style on the market). It may be slightly overrated due to its "cult classic" status. On the other hand, it did single-handedly keep a style alive; overall, it's a good crossover craft beer.

 949 characters

Photo of mthomp081
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of elricorico
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear copper colour(how's that for alliteration?) with a touch of off-white head. It smells good, seems to me that it has a citrus smell, with a baked bread aroma and a sweetness not unlike brown sugar.

Has a fresh citrus taste to start and a mild hop finish. Hints of sweetness within the starting, but nothing overpowering.

Decent mouthfeel. without heavy carbonation. Has a little bit of body to it, it doesn't feel thin. This beer is quite drinkable, when finishing one it seems that another is a good idea.

 533 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an IPA glass.

Look: Slightly hazy amber body. Cream colored head. Film of retention. Light lines if lacing.

Aroma: Malty, spicy, fruity.

Taste: More of a woody, spicy opening. Good malt body. Dried fruit finish.

Mouthfeel: Very sharp, carbonated.

Overall: Really tasty! Mouthfeel was the weakest link, but this is a great session beer.

 353 characters

Photo of dougbassett
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of the "1001 Beers You Should Taste Before You Die" -- #27 of the ones I've reviewed here.

A pretty important beer for America, historically -- along with Sam Adams and a couple others it helped to kick off the microbrew revolution. Add to that on the East Coast it was never easy to get (it's not really *hard*, especially nowadays, but it's not omnipresent the way Sam Adams Boston Lager is) and it quickly developed a reputation (at least when it came out) as something extraordinary.

I like a lot of Anchor Brewing's beers, so I hope the Beer Gods don't curse me when I confess that I've never really been enthusiastic about their flagship beer. It's okay, but to my mind little more -- about on a par with Sam Adams Boston Lager, in fact. Pours a nice golden-caramel brown color but keeps no head, which may be part of the style (I don't know, actually) but is disappointing nonetheless. A mildly fruity nose which is pleasant. A very spritzy, effervescent mouthfeel, in fact I think that's probably the most notable thing about Anchor Steam, it has a consistency very different from most beers I know. The flavors are pleasant and well-balanced but nothing really extraordinary: some toast, some caramel, some hop bitterness, a rather nice, lingering finish that balances the malt and hops (the finish is very nice, actually).

It comes across as damning with faint praise, I know, but there you are. It's not a bad beer by any means, just to my mind rather overhyped (and overpriced, to be honest). What it really is, when all is said and done, is a solid session beer, not that far removed from Boston Lager. Folk who've drank a lot of Sam Adams and have never tried this really should, they'd probably like it a lot.

 1,734 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fresh bottle served in a pint glass.

Nice pale gold color with a 1 finger white head. Very clear. Bready malts in the nose with some hop character. Taste follows the nose but with some sweetness. A very refreshing brew. Delicious.

 232 characters

Photo of Eziel
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served to a pilsener glass.

A: Amber color with a slight touch of clarity. One finger of head perhaps a touch less. Moderate lacing.

S: Sweet malts some hops.

T: A nice caramel malt profile is present. Some what sweet initially but is backed by some nice subtle hops. Fairly clean in terms of esters and phenols but still some very slight fruitiness comes through which is somewhat unique in terms of what is typical in lagers.

M: Crisp and clean. Very refreshing.

O: Great beer and uniquely its own. Would be great with some grilled chicken or other light BBQ food.

 571 characters

Photo of TommyCable
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Copper or bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some malty aroma, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and semi-sweet flavors, that make for an interesting and very unique Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex Ale.

 583 characters

Photo of RichardARoss
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bb-magic
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of duvel1979
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BranfordBound
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of uconnroller
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with a thin semi-foamy transient lace head.

S: Lots of malty aromas mixed with hints slight hints of caramel.

T: Tastes the way it smells, it has a lots of sweet malts, hints of caramel and grains.

M: Light bodied, and easy to drink.

D: Very drinkable, easy to finish off a six-pack in one night.

 339 characters

Photo of gehille
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 5,999 ratings
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