Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,033 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:
2,033
Ratings:
5,920
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.73%
 
 
Wants:
223
Gots:
1,233
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,033 | Ratings: 5,920
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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Photo of sabinelr
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pioneer that helped to fire off the craft beer revolution. I used to buy this at the Food Giant in Wallingford, and always looked forward to the nice bitterness and flavor that put it in a different class from the commonly available beers. I haven't had any in years, so when I got a bottle as a gift, I was looking forward to a good nostalgic taste, and I am not disappointed. I could drink this all night while watching good movies or cartoons, and know that the evening was well spent. For you folks that want to look into the world of alternative beer, this is just about the best place to start. Decent bitterness without a strong skunky malt smell or flavor, and one swig leaves you wishing for another. Many thanks to the guy who got this distributed up here in the cloudy zone back in the 70's.

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

Pours a clear amber hue, with a thick and creamy head. Retention wasn't too great, but the lacing was nice.

Grainy, lager-like aromas with earthy, grassy hops.

Flavor is very nice. Bready, biscuity notes mix with a subtle toasty complexity. Hops are restrained, but definitely there: think earthy, clean bitterness. Probably in the 30 IBU range. This basically tastes like a pilsner with a slightly heavier, perhaps slightly ale-like, malt profile. In the end though, you can definitely taste the lager character, even though it's a warm-fermented lager. Medium-light body, with fine medium carbonation that adds some creaminess. I'm finding this very easy to drink, but also delicious at the same time. As the shining example of our only indigenous style, this beer might be the quintessential American craft session beer.

Anchor Steam is brewed with enough restraint (in both alcohol and flavor) and subtlety to be a highly quaffable beer. Also doesn't hurt to be an American classic.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jeez, took me about 20 years to revisit this. Great looking pour of chill-hazed copper with thin, though dense head. Aromas are excellent bready malt and caramel with a faint alcohol. All very complementary. Flavors are similar, thought the sweetness anticipated is subdued, and a clean/dry finish ensues. Slightly rough mouth-feel, but otherwise a winner. Wish I had more than one.

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Gorgeous translucent amber with 2 finger head which dissipated quick, little lacing.
S-Mildly roasted malt, slight floral & sweet fruit, as it warmed a distinct banana note appeared.
T-Slightly sweet mildly roasted malt with a hint of charcoal but not in a bad way, almost like
toasted marshmallow. At once followed by a big wonderful hop bitter that endures. Some banana notes
appear as it warms. It's quite complex!
M-Big creamy body that really surprised me. Nicely carbonated.
O-I'd never even heard of this beer before but I intend to have it again, very good! I was expecting
it to be like a lager but it's more like an awesome pale ale with super mouthfeel.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Not much head formation. Its a nice amber color with a little reddishness to it and a bit of cloudiness. The aroma is a nice, malty aroma with some woodiness (similar to a Scottish Ale). The taste is a little bitter up front and finishes very sweetly with a taste similar to the smell. Its pretty light in body and very drinkable and refreshing and would make a good session beer. Cheers.

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Photo of DEdesings57
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 30 days ago(Pretty damn fresh as far as NJ goes)

L: Poured out much more full bodied, heavier and darker than I imaged. I was expecting a yellow fisy lager or a pilsner like looking beer. I was presently surprised at its darkness. Looks like a Vienna Lager! Poured a large frothy white head, completely filtered. 5/5.

S: Wow, I smell citrsy hops, sweet beady malt, toasted brown bread, grains. Combine all those together and you have a light but very fruity aroma going on from the malts and hop(not hops - its singled hopped with Northern Brewer). Its almost smells like an American Pale Ale.

T: This is a lager? damn fine one. Taste like an American Pale ale with a well defined malt body. Champagne like carbonation, sweet beady malts in the background. The hops make this one finish dry and clean. I figured the IBUs on this one gotta be real close to SN Pale, and guess what they are 35 and SN Pale is 37. Like I said kinda taste like a pale ale. Really surprised me on the taste.

Feel: Its a little light on the body but then again its only 4.9%.

Overall: Amazing beer! classic brew! I cant believe that I have been drinking Craft beer for 10 years now and am just having this now.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep gold with excellent clarity. The creamy, low off-white head has a very decent retention period.

S: Moderate citrus hops aroma, mainly lemony and a peach and orange-like ester are prominent in the aroma. There is a light biscuty and toasted malt aroma i the background.

T: the flavor is dominated by a moderate hop bitterness and a citrus hops flavor which is again mainly lemon like. There is a decent support from a biscuit and toasty malt flavor with the balance being moderately toward the bitter side. The cirtus hops flavor and bitterness linger a little past the dry finish.

M: moderately-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a light astringency.

O: A crisp and refreshing, somewhat hoppy beer with a nice bit of fruity ester complexity.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An old friend, I first had this back in the 1980's and it was one of my first craft beers. I remember it being very strong, full bodied and hard to drink. Wow has my pallet evolved. It's now a medium body easy drinker. This is a true classic beer that all BAers should try it least once. 4.50

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes over the holidays
A - just slightly hazy copper, generous off white head
S - grainy and grassy, with some buttery and caramel hints
T - a sharp very toasted grainy malt flavour, a bitter grassy hint with buttery with a resiny and dry citrus finish, very interesting
M - medium refreshing carbonation kick, very clean and light, drying out on the finish
D - a complex and very drinkable brew, the flavour are interesting while being light and refreshing enough to be a great session option

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,920 ratings.
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