Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
5,973 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:
5,973
Reviews:
2,044
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
12.69%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
1,253
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,973 |  Reviews: 2,044
Photo of Stevo614
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of swid
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of mthomp081
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of elricorico
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -4.4%
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.

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Photo of dougbassett
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -4.4%
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 -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bwbetts
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of duvel1979
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BranfordBound
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of uconnroller
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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 -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JonathanCrites
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this as part of a build your own six pack at the Krogers on W Gray in Houston.

A - Pours a bright amber into a pint glass with a tan head.

S - Lots of floral and grain aromas in the in the smell, also a sweet note like orange or lemon.

T - Taste follows from the smell, lots of grain with a variety of floral and herbaceous flavors. Delicious.

M - Light-medium mouthfeel, lots and lots of carbonation.

D - Low ABV, easy to drink outside of the heavy carbonation.

 476 characters

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden color with a thick head but falling head. The smell is slightly malty but not overpowering. The taste is sweet with a touch of spice and hops. It has a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full but not heavy – with a small carbonation bite. The drinkability of this beer is high as they tend to slide back easily without being too filling.

 365 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hoppy nose and taste. It has a decent golden amber color. and a moderate head that is short lived. Kind of has a stick to the roof of your mouth yet smooth texture in regards to mouthfeel. It has a very bitter finish that is a bit off and lacking balance. Overall a somewhat drinkable beer but not a great beer.

 311 characters

Photo of julian89
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle in crystal chalice on Mothers Day.

Appearance: Pours an pale amber/orange body with about an inch of head.

Smell: Bready maltiness with fruity notes. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: This is a light summer time beer. It light maltiness and subtle fruit taste are great. The alcohol is light in taste. The spice (mainly coriander and I get a little sweet spice as well) is a good add in this.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A much higher quality session beer. Light and best served very cold.

 543 characters

Photo of DaverCS
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours Amber in color with 1/2 finger of quick dissipating head.

Nose smells like a classic lager but with a bit more malt and some roasty notes.

Taste is unique. Starts like a pilsner with a breadiness, hay, slight iron note, and lemony citrus. Then the malt kicks in with some sweetness and a slight earthiness. Additionally it has only a mild amount of carbonation, less than normal for a pilsner but slightly above or equal to an amber ale.

Overall slightly strange combination. It's like a light amber ale or malty pilsner, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I'm slightly puzzled about this beer. I see it pairing well with San Fran oysters with mignonette sauce. It gets a 74/100.

 692 characters

Photo of Slynger
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed, lightly ambered orange color with a lid of fine off-white bubbles.

Comes through bready, with a light pale sweetness, and gentle fruity overtone. A touch of floral/earthy hops and lightly bitter in a dry finish. Medium bodied soft, fuzzy carb.

A nice beer, though this is my first of the style it's probably the best.

 342 characters

Photo of KevChiTown
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is just one of those beers your not allowed to hate. It's a classic and sometimes you just need a beer that taste like beer.

129 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 5,973 ratings.
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