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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
2,007 Reviews
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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:
2,007
Ratings:
5,817
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.82%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
1,153
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,007 | Ratings: 5,817
Photo of BeerBeing
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown glass generic "fatty" bottle, multicolored on yellow label

Appearance: copper color, large off-white head, average lacing

Smell: malt and some caramel

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, strong bitter hoppiness, toasted malt, citrus

Notes: good all around beer, can't go wrong with it

 323 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is readily available...time to review the legend.

Appearance: Pours a crystal orange with a sudsy ivory head. The head fades to an ivory film.

Smell: Dense grains and fresh vegetables. My nose is overwhelmed by those two characteristics. It's like no other beer I've smelled before. Kind of cool and very unique.

Taste: Starts off kind of citrusy and then fades to dark grains quickly. Finished with a wheatbread kind of aftertaste. A little bit of hop bitterness here and there and usually at the beginning of each taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch oily with a longer finish.

Drinkability: Easily poundable. Nothing exciting and nothing off either. I've never had a "steam beer" before. Tastes like a solid lager to me. Lagers aren't my favorite but I'm glad to have tried this once.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Steve's Liquor here in Madison. My first from Anchor and my first CA Common.

Pours a reddish/golden amber with a finger of khaki head and a bit of lacing. Smell is heavy on the toasted grain and caramel malts. Taste continues with the toasted barley malts, caramel, a sliver of citrus, and an elusive hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, medium bodied, and moderately crisp. Tastes like prototypical lager, a lot like Sprecher's lagers. Drinkable for days, but nothing too exciting. Never been much of a lager fan, but this was tasty enough I suppose. Enough character to keep me interested.

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

It's been nearly a decade since I've had Anchor Steam. I revisted the classic this evening. The Steam poured a nice copper-like color with a proud head that left decent lacing early on. Initial smell is malty with a slightly bitter tang in the front. Same carried over to the taste. This is a very nice, straightforward, and historic American brew. It's a must try.

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Photo of jaluria
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with soapy foam that leaves behind bits of lacing. I detect a roasted, toasty character in the aroma along with a hint of nutmeg. First taste is unique to say the least; very distinct. Roasted malt is upfront with a pepper spice aftertaste. My mouth is left dry and refreshed, but this brew is rather biting (i.e. powerful and flavorful). Some bitterness in the tate, but not on the magnitude of a pale ale or IPA. Overall, a very good beer with an interesting history. Worth of a few pints.

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Photo of Gusler
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown stubby bottle a crystal clear deep amber with a personable creamy light tan head that last for eons before dissolving leaving a fine coating of lace to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp, clean on the palate, start is lightly sweet with the malt pleasant and the top light to medium in feel, Finish has a pleasing acidity and the hops delightful in their spicy presence, dry aftertaste, a pleasant beer on a still hot Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great!!! looking beer wth a full head and a clear dark coppery color..The smell is ok,a pretty full spice and ale mix with a malt backbone.The taste is a little bitter with malt and citrus flavors. The flavors are very unique. A can see myself having more than one of these tailgating perhaps.This goes down so easy I think I'll have another. Cheers.

 360 characters

Photo of texashammer
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Comes out of the tap impressively smooth and creamy. Transluscent orange color. Body is lighter than I would like, medium to light. The head is so creamy, and the mouthfeel and finish are silky smooth.
Smell is light and clean and understated. Nutty malt. I taste it and it really strikes me as bland; no hops to speak of. It is a very pleasant texture but boring flavor.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darker than expected, coppery brown with a dense off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a few spots of lace that are quickly washed off.

Aroma is mild and malty, toasty nuts, caramel, floral, citrus, and bread.

Flavor reminds me of a brown ale/marzen hybrid. Smooth caramel, nuts, faint cocoa, with plenty of floral and citrus hops to back it up. Almost a nasty aftertaste detracts points.

Between light and medium in body, softly carbonated, and easy to drink. I'll stick with my ales thank you.

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

Beautiful copper colour, pours with just a finger of frothy head, carbonation not vicious, but very pretty. Smells hoppy sweet, caramel and citrus notes.

Taste is wonderfully hoppy, refreshingly bitter, and full of sour citrus, grapefruity...

Mouthfeel has a nice bite to it, sticks to the back of the throat. A very summery beer. This says "west coast" to me in a big way. Even though I haven't much experience with this style, I'm already a bit of a fan.

 464 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Classic old style label and the stubby bottle, Anchor Steam is a classic example of the style. It pours a dark coppery orange color, clear and clean, with a short but thick head of off white foam. The head does shrink away, and it is just a bit too thin to leave any lace. There is a strong barley malt aroma, with some earthy characteristics in the smell of caramel and nuts - similar to oa brown ale. Similar taste of malt and some clean hop bitterness. Rich and full bodied, but still quite refreshing - pleasantly ssuprised with this one.

 542 characters

Photo of AltBock
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Pokal.

It came out a light copper color with a nice size head of foam that left some lacing toward the bottom of the glass. Not much of a smell with this beer, except for some malts with a fruity background. Some smell is better than no smell. The taste you get is the the lager first than the ale second. It is a crisp, malted hops with a dry hop bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel was light without being a light beer and with some carbonation. This is a beer that everybody should try for themselves. It would also make a nice summer session beer.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really quite pretty for a lagery type animal. Pours a maple syrup, darker (but not dark) honey color with a light tan head that doesnt stay for too long but laces quite well.
Smells kinda like a brown ale and has quite a few brown ale characteristics in flavor. A malty, toasted sweetness in smell and taste. Plenty of dry hop bitterness in taste and mouthfeel... smells sweeter than it is. Mostly well balanced but hops wins out.
Strikes me as a hybrid between a lager and a dry brown ale.
I don't doubt this is spot on for the style. Not my favorite thing in the world but definitely has its place in the beer spectrum.

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Photo of Bleedingshrimp
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Head is moderate with O.K. retention and not much lacing. Color is just a deaper red than peach. Smell is faintly caramel. Taste is well carbonated, crisp and slightly sweet. Toast and caramel come to mind, light on the hops and fairly balanced. Refreshing and conducive to nice bouts of belching. Mouthfeel is just thick enough and pretty drinkable. Great example of an All-American lager type beer. Fits right in with lagers and pilsners on the drinkability factor. Definitely will revisit on many a warm summer night.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep burnt orange with a crystal clear body and a big creamy off-white head. A strong carbonation keeps the head big and rocky.

S-The smell of pale malt with some notes of toasted malt and some noble bitter hops lurk in the background.

T- A very smooth soft pale malt taste with some soft bite of hop bitterness finish this beer. The finish is not real dry but has a bit of a long finish with some malt and hop flavor.

M-A medium mouthfeel with some fizziness but no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer does have interesting qualities of both lagers and ales and is a very smooth beer. It doesn't have quite the complexity to hold my interest.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam is widely accepted as the classic example of a California Common. It features a atrong caramel malt aroma and flavor. A refreshing bitternes, but not too much. Steam is crystal clear, copper orange with some darker hues. Always and acceptable beer in my house.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty good beer, a definitely departure from the heavily malts and sweets of east coast PA’s. I found this beer to be extremely effervescent in terms of its pop and carbonation.

I could sense a vegetable like aftertaste that followed a slightly fruity beginning. A very good beer, but very expensive. Worth a try. The lingering aftertaste is a nice reminder.

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Photo of GnomeKing
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The taste of the lager yeast is very prominent, reminding me of Yuengling Lager, especially toward the end of the pint, when the taste became heavy, dominant, and overwhelming. This beer just doesn't do it for me. There were some hints of strawberries and a tinge of malty sweetness on a few swigs when the pint was half full (or half empty, since I'm giving a negative review), but that was a brief respite from the experience of swigging this beer. Steam (aka California Common) is a style unto itself. I don't have much interest in it, based on this beer. It tastes more or less like a generic lager. I'm not surprised there aren't many brewers working in this style.

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

HEAR THEE HEARTHEE, i'm drunk on this beer...

Most of these fellows don't even know what type of beer their reviewing.
This beer uses lager yeast and was brewed at ale temperatures! Unique genre! STEAM, not ale, not lager, but the best of both worlds. Flavorful and clean and refreshing. The only important atribute with this beer is its exquisite balance of hops and malt. This balance carries through to every facet of the tasting process. The end result is lots of flavor and lots of drinkability. A middle of the road beer that is sure to satisfy most who don't prefer one extreme or another. My personal review on the brand- Anchor owns the rights to the name "STEAM." This is like owning the word "ale." This is absurd and usually unnoticed, so if you can find a steam beer of equivelant quality, buy IT instead. I love this beer with all of my heart. Too bad it costs $8 a six!

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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 KarlHungus
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear pale red color with a creamy white head. The aroma is malty with hints of spices. The taste is sweet, but not too strong. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very smooth.. Overall, this is a great summer brew. It's easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of pootz
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have decided to delete my previous rating because I’m sure I got spoiled samples. The sample I am tasting now was bought from a hotel consignment. According to the date code this beer is 3 weeks old. This was fresh tasting beer. Poured a deep amber color with a nice fluffy 2 finger cap which retains a good lace on the glass. Medium carbonation. Aromas of sweet crystal/caramel malts and grassy hops..very pronounced aromas. Full bodied beer...chewy toasty malts with spicy hopping that goes slightly drying in the finish and lightly bitter in the after taste. All in all this a good session beer...well made, quaffable, full bodied and satisfying.

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Photo of Vancer
2.61/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The ol’ standard, eh? Well, it did have a nice pour- amber /orange with a foamy tan head. Only a slight malt aroma. But the taste, not good. Not much in the way of malts or hop. Just some earthy, slightly bitter flavor. Kinda flat in the mouth. Boy, overall a dull & boring lager. Wasn’t’ offensive, but didn’t do anything for me.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got a 20 ouncer of this on tap. This pours a really nice dark copper/amber color with a nice uneven off white head. The aroma is sort of caramely and malty. The taste is similar, with sweet but light brown sugar flavor. The taste is fruity but also contains some good hoppage. THe spicy hops balance out the malts nicely.

This is a unique and in my opinion an above average beer. Lots of character to it. The mouthfeel is moderate, almost creamy. I could have a good amount of this.

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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.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,007 ratings.
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