Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,109 | Ratings: 6,200
Photo of prc1966
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite of all beers brewed in the US. I used to live on the West Coast, where it's avaialble on draft as well as in bottles, and a draft Anchor Steam is my idea of Beervana. But the bottled version is excellent as well.

Hoppy, but not too hoppy, you can still also taste the malt. Bubbly but not over-carbonated, tart and tangy when you first sip it, mellow after taste. Medium full body, beautiful bronze color.

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Photo of gvickery
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish copper with a medium white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of burnt caramel, bread crust and brown bread. I can’t detect much of a smell from any hops. The taste is surprisingly balanced. I was expecting a syrupy malt bomb but a strong bittering hop bite is pronounced. The caramel malt comes through but instead of being overly sweet they used a high alpha bittering hop that really has a bite to it. I would say the mouthfeel is medium with a dry finish. Outstanding

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Photo of dtownbeerlover
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another classic beer. Goes fantastic with seafood, a burger, pizza or most comfort food. This is one of my favorite beers and to me what is most impressive is that it still tastes like the first one I had 30 years ago. This is a food beer and preferably you are sucking down a bunch of oysters or clams while enjoying. I wouldn't likely just grab one out of the fridge and sip on it but with food its hard to beat. Especially if you like classic styles of beer.

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Photo of Bito24
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty good stuff seeing it’s from the left coast. I rated smell low because with the exception of a some old jeans that had beer spilled on the a few days back, I don’t smell any fragrance from beer. Anyway, looks nice in a pint glass and tastes even better. Not something to make a regular in the rotation but not one that would be left out entirely. This kind of beer is similar to a handful of brews both domestic and foreign. One of the best American lagers I’ve had. It’s what Shriner Bock was trying to achieve but missed. Would buy again.

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Photo of scott451
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass. A clear brownish amber with a light tan, fine head. Good head retention and lacing.
Sweet malt smells
Malty. Caramel up front. Light hop finish
Very smooth with medium body
Very good overall. Very drinkable

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Photo of JonnyGoldsbrough
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

L3.75 Burnt Amber, almost irn bruv but with bidy. Excellent foamy head.
S2.5 strong sweet and sour
T3.5 ok, bit sour not my fav.
O3.5 Decent but not a big fan of the style

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Photo of KooVee
4.69/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

33cl bottle.

Brownish copper, dissipating foam but nice lace.

Nose is like a cross between a dubbel or a historical Mild (the syrup), de koninck (the yeasty grain) and faint fruitiness. Yummy.

Taste stays true to aroma with some spicy notes and just the right amount of bitterness in the tail. Malty type of sweet but balanced by the yeast-derived spice and hops. Very very drinkable. Mouthfeel and the basic purity is what indicates a lager. A fresh De Koninck with a bit less grain and a sugar element is how I would probably describe this in blind tasting.


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Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light amber color with good carbonation and a very frothy head when poured aggressively. Smell is typical of a amber or brown ale. Taste is crisp, somewhat nutty, brown ale flavor I'm use to. Very solid flavor for the style. Lacing is very good as well. The mouthfeel is thicker than I remember this style, but it's still a good solid that overall I enjoy and will always enjoy

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Photo of defunksta
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at 45 degrees,

Look: Pours a beautiful, clear dark amber color. A tall, pale-white, foam forward head.
Smell: Aroma of pale malts. Bread, biscuit, and mild toast. Caramel and sweeter bread comes through similar to munich malts as the beer warms. Smells like a caramel cinnamon roll topped with nuts and toffee. Little to no hop aroma.
Taste: Initial pale pilsner malt flavors. Bread, biscuit, light toast, but not roasted. Follows with a darker and richer caramely and toffee Munich malt flavor. Maybe a bit of banana. Finishes with a lightly hopped flavor of light minty flowers in a log cabin. Spicy and bitter finish with some lingering malt graininess.
Feel: Medium body and well-carbonated. Dry finish, but leaves an astrigent mouth-coating on the palate.

Overall: An absolutely beautiful beer. For 4.9% ABV this one has so much more rich flavors than your domestic American macrolager. I would classify it as an amber ale. Pale malt flavored, but dry. If one sentence could describe it I would say it tastes like a caramel cinnamon roll topped with nuts and toffee in a lightly pepperpmint spiced log cabin.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz bottle. Burnt orange color with a finger of tan head. Caramel malt smell. Medium, well carbonated feel. Caramel malt flavors with some floral/grassy hops and a dry finish.

A hard one to rate. Compared to all beers, it's well made and very drinkable but the flavors are fairly mild. On the other hand, this one really defines a style and has a cool history.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When you think of a California Common or a Steam Beer, if this isn't the first beer you think of, then the world is out of balance. This is it, the original, the one that started it all. Every beer of this style is, or at least should be designed around it. If that doesn't call for perfect marks, I don't know what does. Oh, and the real kicker... It's wonderful.

The color alone is special. Rusted copper, burnt orange, whatever you want to call it, it stands out amongst the masses. It's clean and refined looking, proudly wearing a cream colored foam cap that is fittingly creamy in it's own right. It looks refreshing and it looks delicious.

How this has such a low overall score is mind boggling. Clearly people have decided not to rate or review this beer to style because this beer IS the style. For years I've enjoyed Anchor Steam and many others of the Anchor family. But this one right here is a stranded on a desert island beer for me.


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Photo of Bird_Priest
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A classic and unique beer that has a rich history. Great for just having a light beverage with a lot of character at the end of a long day. Always handy to have around the kitchen as well, as it is a great cooking beer.

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Photo of Beck_Hardy_UK
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap. Golden in colour. Nice tanish head. Streaming bubbles. slight pine aroma. Taste is smooth. Mouthfeel medium, crisp, refreshing. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of Izzo
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

great mod+ body with some nice spicy and nutty characteristics, a classic, drink COLD, great winter beer, the history of "steam beer" is awesome and a big part of west coast brewing history

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Photo of BilltownBrewingCo
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

There's a slight fruitiness, but what little aroma that's present is malt forward. Virtually no hop present in the scent.

Lovely Crystal clear with a light Amber color, and beautiful off white head. A beautiful looking beer.

Dry, with moderate and appropriate carbonation.

A very slightly toasty malt that's highly attenuated, and therefore has very little if any sweetness. There is a faint yeast fruitiness that matches the aroma. It's quite understated and pleasant. All of this finishes out with a perfectly balanced amount of hop bitterness. There's also some earthy, grassy, lightly danky hop flavor typical of the northern brewer vertital.

Very solid beer, that would be easily sessioned. It isn't wildly flavorful or outstanding, but a well made, very balanced product. It's a classic to the American craft scene, and is a beer worthy of its legend.

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Photo of Bshaw22
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer still boggles my mind. It’s a it’s an ale.
What is it?!
Nevertheless it pours a little haze orange burnt amber
Smell is that of a little orange with some Bready malts
Taste is lager sweet up front but then finishes with a nice bitterness.
Great session beer. I get this on tap when I see it cause it’s rare these days

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Photo of cardfan212
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a shaker pint.

Look - Crisp clear dark amber orange with a tall white head. Looks nice and hearty without being intimidating.

Smell - Wet grass, caramel, a weird bit of funkiness. Not complex, but it's interesting.

Taste - Not nearly as funky as the smell made me expect. A little spicy but fruity, like a chili pepper or something. At the same time, it's light and refreshing, kinda like an AAL. Nothing really sticks out to me, but it's pleasant enough and well balanced.

Feel - The thin body matches with the taste, but the carbonation is a little high for me. Gives it a fizzy Pop Rocks mouthfeel.

Overall - A fine enough beer. I can't say I've really had anything like it before, but I also don't have much to say about it.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber, coppery coloration with a medium, frothy head. Smell is pretty subdued, with some faint doughy, caramel malt and a certain floral note coming through. Taste follows the nose, with a somewhat faint, but well balanced interplay of doughy, caramel, lightly toasted malt and grassy, floral, lightly herbal hops and mild notes of red berries. Finishes with a medium bitterness and some toasted grains lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation. This kind of reminds me of an Amber Ale Light and I quite like that in a way. It may lack a strong, assertive flavor profile, but has a very nice, subtle balance to it. Very nice in an old school kinda way.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the other first craft beers I have ever tasted, this just reminds me of another middle of the road. Fruity, very light even a little bit watery, dry with small bitterness but long and astringent a bit. Generally nice for hot day but nothing special for taste.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Fairly small tiny bubbled white head that settles to barely a film. Body is a slightly hazy gold light amber.

S: Light floral hops and a little pepper give way to a lot of toasted malts and breadiness. A very light caramel back.

T: Fairly Light lots of nice light toasted grains and malts finishes very clean.

M: Light crisp and good carbonation. Hardly any lingering after taste.

O: very nice beer easy to drink with a nice breadth toasted taste throughout.

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Photo of MichaelGennings
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer has a thick off-white head that is quite creamy looking. The beer itself is amber coloured with lots of small ascending bubbles.
Not much is going on in terms of smell, but overall it’s clean and inviting. The taste is toasted malt, some hop bitterness, and a slight sweetness. The beer is light to medium bodied and the finish is dry and refreshing. I quite enjoyed this beer. In some respects it reminds me of Sam Adams’ Boston Lager.

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Photo of EMH73
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep amber color with a one inch slightly off white head that is very well retained but leaves almost no lacing. Smells of roasted malts, caramel, light hop presence and bread. Tastes of lightly toasted bready malts, caramel, slightly bitter hop bite and an earthy presence. Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation smooth mouth feel.

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Photo of PlinyMeNow
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear amber with a very nice foamy head that slowly dissipates. Smells a little of sweet caramel, bread, some overripe fruit, some toasty quality. What strikes me first is the combination of creaminess with medium carbonation, very nice mouthfeel. Taste is of some caramel malts and pilsener type malts with mild hopping, kind of balanced, with an easy balanced finish.

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Photo of JFord96
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass Anchor Steam beer is a remarkably beautiful beer, Such clarity and with around a half inch of head that dissipates rather slowly. On the nose, I can detect some roasted malt character and a crisp, if rather neutral hop aroma. The roastyness comes through in the taste, in fact, it reminds me somewhat of a dunkel except fuller bodied(which is to say, I'd consider this beer medium bodied), with a good amount of carbonation, enough you can feel it but less than, IMO, a pilsner or something equally highly carbonated. This is followed by a crisp but short hop finish. Overall, I thought this was a good craft lager with a heavier body than found in most Lagers, which I like in this beer.

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Photo of ThemThangs
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just a good all around, balanced, easy drinking beer. The taste somewhat reminds me of some pilsners I've had, just a little bit. Good for summertime outdoor activities like barbecuing. Got this one in an Anchor variety pack, I thought I reviewed this one before but I guess not.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,200 ratings