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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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2,014 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,014 | Ratings: 5,852
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.

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

My pops picked up a sixer of this and I decided to have a few. Harkening back to my old college days!! I used to have this on draft all the time when we went out. A real classic. Look is amber, head is fantastic and lingers long. Smell: Bready, sweet and a touch of bitterness. Roasted malts. Taste: I can't believe this beer is sub-5% alcohol. Tastes terrific for such an offering. Roasted and semisweet malts, a bit of toastiness, bitter hops at the finish. I appreciate this beer so much more now that I've been around the good-beer block. This one is a winner. Cheers to the real San Francisco treat.

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

A nice nutty, orange color with a slightly tannish head. Smells of candy, bubble-gum, and fruit leather. Fair lacing.

This beer is delicious. Bready notes with caramel hints that finish softly on the palate. Fully flavored, medium bodied. Semi-creamy, nutty character in the mouthfeel. Malty and clean. Slight lemony flavors and a subtle orange peel hop finish to compliment. The hops give the utmost, pleasantly dry finish. This beer has style.

What a beautiful thing. A real treat for any beer lover. I'm gonna try cooking with it.

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Photo of nasty15108
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured an orange/amber color with a fluffy head of white foam. Good carbonation and lacing.

S - Malty with slightly floral with hints of butterscotch.

T - Malty and buttery with a slightly bitter hop finish.

MF&D - Medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthful. Excellent seession beer.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a yellow label, blue cap, and anchor on the front.

Apperance - Poured a clear brownish gold. Looks a little lighter than I remembered. Head is a thick half finger puffy white.

Smell - malty aromas, slightly creamy. It almost has a caramel like scent. A little hoppy like an ale.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Once again malty and creamy. Set up nicely by the aroma. Hops and a little citrusy through the middle, following through to a crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability - A long time fav for me, and one I keep in my rotation for everyday drinking. This brew must be given respect for being an all time American classic.

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

Ah, good old Anchor Steam. When I first put down my watered down sissy beers and started moving into craft brewed beers, this was the first one I tried. It is a tribute to a time where craft brewing was just starting.

From the open to the poor, Anchor Steam has a good amber, copper color with a nice, creamy head. The hops are the shining jewel in this beer. With those good old Cascade hops you get that beautiful bouquet and that subtle, almost hidden in the background citrus bite. You try a sip and once you appreciate the complex, mellow goodness in your glass and you want more.

Anchor Steam as I have been told, holds the patent on the Steam name, meaning all other beers of this style must go by the "California Common" label. The owner of Anchor, Fritz Maytag, is a legend in the brewing world and this beer stands as a "gateway" for many craft beer drinkers and will so for many years.

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

consumed 04-19-2010, 12oz bottle into pint glass

poured a dark orange/amber color. decent 2 finger powdery head...slowly goes down but looks nice..carbonation is visible..

smells close to an amber lager...sweet malt up front..light to medium hop presence..has kind of an ocean vibe to it to me..very earthy as well...lots going on here..salt water taffy??

first sip im hit with a big but not overpowering hop presence..it quickly mellows out for other flavors to come in...salt water, bubble gum, sweetness from the malt, lemon zest, almost minty, some sort of sugar sweetness i cant yet detect, a lot going on, very complex and unique.. leaves a hoppy feeling in your mouth but not offensive, it flows so great in your mouth...also some toasty notes.
mouthfeel has i'd say a medium carbonation but it feels right..semi dry finish...

this stuff is very drinkable and sessionable as well..

a classic!

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

A: Moderate caramel , toasty malts – quite clean with some hops in the background.

A: Copper color, totally clear with a moderate head.

T: Caramel and toasty malts with low hop flavor and a lingering hop bitterness. The finish is dry and crisp.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A Classic. Anchor’s caramel/toasty malt flavor is delicious when fresh! The beer is very well attenuated and sessionable.

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

Served from a 355ml brown bottle into a pint glass. BB2010Apr.

A- Clear nice copper/orange color with decent off white head and great lacing as well.

S- Sweet malt, caramel, some grains, and some nice grassy hops are very noticeable in the nose as well.

T- Some great tasty caramel malt up front. Some nice cookie dough/bread flavors. The hops balance the nice malt sweetness so perfectly, they're neither citrus nor floral but give a nice grassy bitterness in the end. Crisp clean tasting beer with some mineral water characteristics noticed, almost that of a pilsner.

M- smooth and creamy yet very light in body with nice carbonation.

D- Quite possibly the most sessionable brew I have had.

Overall what a brew. Wickedly drinkable, and totally worth checking out. Recommended for sure.

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Photo of capnamerica
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Anchor Steam

A: This was the most disappointing aspect of this beer. Great copper/rust color but little to no head.

S: Very malty with some slight caramel in there as well.

T: Amazing taste. A great balance of combining both salty and sweet flavors. Let the beer sit and warm just a bit and these flavors increase quite a bit,

M: Sticky and medium bodied.

O: Highly recommended. Definitely a great find if you can catch it on tap.

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

Pours a light amber with a three-finger white fluffy head.

Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of fresh biscuit.

Clean and crisp with moderate crackerlike malt flavor with a nice hop bit. A very tasty beer.

Medium bodied, fully carbonated. Very unique beer, can't say I've had a beer quite like this before.

A very well balanced beer with a flavor that has you looking for more. I could drink these all night.

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Photo of Bamabrew22
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying the beer I've heard so much about. Must admit, it did not disappoint.

Appearance: Coppery yet clear color with a 2-fingered head count at the beginning. Good looking brew.

Smell: Nice overall aroma. Hoppy aroma with almost a leathery scent to it.

Taste: Slighty hop tang, which I thoroughly enjoyed, followed by a dried fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Slight to weak overall mouthfeel. Easygoing beer.

Drinkability: Overall, this was a nice beer. Easy on the eyes and easy going down. A great session beer. I feel like I could drink several of these and not be disappointed.

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Photo of aquaphiliac
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a mild amber color with a nice 2 inch head. There's great retention on the side of the glass and the head sustains for the duration of the glass.
There's some general bitterness in the nose that comes together as a distinct hop note as you drink it. Some faint sweetness detected in the smell as well.
The taste is rich for a lager; some malt flavor upfront with a nice dosage of piney hops on the back end. Overall a very "clean" taste but definitely more bold than your average lager.
Not a whole lot of carbonation in this one. Doesn't feel heavy on the palate but more substantial than expected.
I drank this a lot faster than I drink most 12oz beers; the bold feeling experienced does not in any way make you slow down and savor it.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. I've seen it around for $9.99 + tax for a 6-pack so it's a good value for a very good lager.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've seen Anchor Steam on the shelves for a while now and been curious. Maybe even tried one a while back, but finally saw it on sale and got a sixer to give it a full try. I will be honest, the standard price point here in Portland is a bit higher than I prefer to pay.

Wow, great looks. Beautiful amber luster, with a fluffy pastel orange-white head that lasts and lasts, leaving lots of lacing.

Lots of good aromas going on. Floral, grassy hops, and substantial malts in the vein of caramel and buttered biscuits. Maybe even a bit of yeasty fruit.

Flavors are also ample and complex. Great malt profile that builds on the aromas that is expertly balanced by grassy hops. Nice adequate bittering. Definitely enough hops to let you know they're there, but not enough to drown out the other players. The long finish trades back and forth between bready malts and bitter hops. I love the complex, long lasting flavors. More than I expected in this beer that I see everywhere. Mouthfeel is velvety and medium-full bodied, complimenting the mouthfilling flavors well.

This is a great beer! It will probably not be long before I pick up more. Its balanced flavors make it very versatile when pairing it with food. I enjoyed it thoroughly with Lebanese food, aged white cheddar mac and cheese and more. My drinkability score is hurt a bit by its usual price of nearly ten bucks a sixer around here. When it's on sale, it's a great bargain for a fabulous beer. Plus, it's a lager! Props to Anchor for crafting a classic, out of the box brew.

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Photo of krunchie
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've actually had several Anchor Steam before, but this time I was totally shocked by the extraordinary taste. It's the first time I'm reviewing it, so I probably focus more this time.

Served in a pint glass at 53,4°F.

A: Golden yellow/orange, clear beer. A LOT of CO2! Many fine little bubbles in there, one of the best carbonated beers I've seen. Fluffy head (yellowish), which seems to stay in there quite ok, but the head on mine was gone by the end of the review.

S: A little honeyish. Some light malts too, not very much hops. Sweet, a bit citrusy

T: Mmm! Sweet and lovely CO2. A little caramelly. Very fruity, mango, cantaloupe and pear comes to mind. Perfectly balanced bitterness, not much hops here either (but it's there). Very unique flavor, it's lovely! I'm really fascinated by the sweet fruitiness of this beer.

M: Thick and fluffy, yet smooth and light on the throat. Too bad the head didn't stay airy and bubbly for that long

D: Very drinkable, thanks to the perfect bitterness and the amount of CO2. The fruity flavors are absolutely stunning, making you crave for more!

Conclusion: Nice bitterness and CO2. Citrusy and malty nose. Very fruity flavor with hints of mango, cantaloupe and pear. Fluffy head which doesn't stay airy for too long, but definitely drinkable with a thick, smooth mouthfeel. Very satisfying and doesn't demand much from the drinker. Absolutely brilliant

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Photo of JMad
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

1. Beer poured a light copper amber color, 1 finger head that shrunk into a thin ring after a few sips. left a little lacing on glass.

2. The smell was pleasant. Faint hops and malt scent but nothing stood out much, slightly fruity.

3. This beer has a unique taste, kind of fruity. I can taste some apricot, and a small amount of bitterness lingers after a gulp.

4. Carbonation is not too strong. The beer feels bubbly and light for the flavor.

5. Very drinkable. Almost finished this beer before I even got to the drinkability. It goes down easy, has a great unique flavor.

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this beer, but I am impressed. I would drink this over and over again. Now I'm gonna go pour two of these bad boys in my mug.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Gift single from my girlfriend. Anchor Steam Beer is something I have often seen but never purchased. I should have tried this one sooner.
Poured into a frozen pint glass.

A: Amber brown color, awesome head with retention throughout the consumption. Nice lace around the head.

S: Very light wheaty, grassy, fragrant goodness with a little hint of hops in there.

T: Nothing too complex here. The hops is excellent, not too bitter. Getting something green in the finish and the aftertaste is awesome.

Drinkability: A solid, smooth drinking beer. Definitely get a sixer.

Value: You can buy a six of draff for about three bucks less, or ante up the extra few bucks for some excellent beer and get Anchor Steam. I know what I'd choose...

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an amber resin color with a decent sticky head providing some good lacing.

S: Had some bread yeast aromas with dark rum spices.

T: Interestingly tasted like milk, grass, and slight taste of floral hops. Well rounded hoppy after taste.

M/D: Thick mouth feel like drinking a glass of milk. It is very drinkable and can really see why it is so popular.

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Photo of PerroGrande
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Anchor steam pours to a beautiful deep golden color with prodigious, rich foam. The head endures nicely adhering nicely to the sides of the glass.

Smell: I picked up some nice malt and caramel overtones, along with some hops. There were some citrus hints hanging around ever so slightly on the periphery, but I couldn't isolate what they were.

Taste: Anchor Steam is on the bitter side of center, but certainly isn't off-putting to one who isn't a big hops or IPA fan. It represents a nice compromise point in a number of ways. The opening is mildly bitter with hops overtones, but follows with an interesting malty, caramel taste with hints of sweetness in the background. The finish is long and pleasing with a nice mix of hops and malt hanging around for a long time. I find the taste and finish of this beer very pleasing.

Mouthfeel: Less creamy than the glorious foam would indicate, but certainly acceptable.

Drinkability: Outstanding. Very refreshing. Would be a nice session beer, good in both cold and warm weather, and a complement to numerous foods.

Until tonight, it had been a few years since I had an Anchor Steam, and I'm reminded again of how much I enjoy this beer. I need to work it back in to my regular beer "rotation".

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Photo of pmsawyer
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in 22 ounce bottle.

A - Medium amber clear. Good off white head that lasted well.

F - Moderate malt with a strong hop bitterness. Moderately high hop flavor Finish was dry and crisp, lingering hop bitterness and had a solid malt flavor.

T - Medium bodied higher than average carbonation.

Excellent refreshing brew.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,852 ratings.
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