Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
2,009 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:
2,009
Ratings:
5,825
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.73%
 
 
Wants:
213
Gots:
1,161
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,009 | Ratings: 5,825
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky duller orange color. Head is quite attractive. An explosion of bubbles. Head dies off a bit but remains relatively consistent. Laces well.

S-That Steam Beer aroma (which is quite yeasty) strikes first. Lightly floral and laced with honey. Light metallic aroma. Never brash or bold, but textbook and clean. Still, I don't love the nose.

T-Yeasty but the yeast is wearing a malty jacket. Sweet honey and uncooked dough. The hops are far from abrasive and stress a sublime array of flowers. Light metallic flavor puts an awkward tension on the entire taste.

M-Easy-going. Fuzzy carbonation. Sessionable. However, I feel that the body is considerably fuller than the ABV would suggest. A round feel.

O/D-How have I not rated this before? I am sure I have had it before but it slipped through the cracks. I truly am not a fan of the style. This is the Big Daddy of Common Beers. It still isn't my thing.

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Photo of barczar
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant golden copper with a dense light khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lines of lacing.

Toasted nutty malt and caramel are met with light fruity yeast esters. Earthy and floral hops are subtle. There's a metallic note present.

Flavor follows suit, with lightly fruity esters underlying a rich, nutty, toasted, slightly caramelly sweet backbone, which becomes bready and dry at the finish. There's a slight touch of earthy bitterness, with the metallic character lingering in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with a moderate, prickly carbonation.

The metallic note is offputting, and I know the esters are a byproduct of fermenting lager yeast at ale temperatures, but it's still a weird combo. Great malt backbone, and fairly refreshing.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours copper/amber with a half inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like caramel, bread/grain, toasted malt and some citrusy hops. Taste is same as the aroma, but it starts out hoppy, then comes the malty sweetness, and finally it leaves a bitter hoppy aftertaste. Pretty nice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it has a good amount of carbonation and is crisp. Drinkability is good, it goes down smooth and it's easy to drink. I think it's a good overall beer, a pretty decent choice as a session beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this in a mix and match six pack at my local beer shop.

A - Great amber color with at least 2 inches of head
S - Decent wheat smell and malt
T - Smooth malt flavor with bitter tones of hops.
M - Hops bite continues with smooth creamy taste.
D - Since this beer is not very common here I would try it again once sixers get more reasonable but until then drinkability is high.

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Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy deep amber colour topped by an off-white head. The rocky foam thinned to a decent lace after a few minutes, which stayed supported by moderate carbonation. Yeasty aroma is prominent to start, but becomes quite mild after breathing for a short while. Moderate maltiness supports a minty, earthy hop aroma and a light fruitiness. Nicely balanced flavour with malts and minty/lemony hop flavour to start leading into some drying bitterness towards the finish. Medium body and not as carbonated as I expected based on the appearance. Overall, the slight mintiness was a delightful surprise.

650 mL brown bottle with freshness code stamped on the rear label.

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Photo of bark
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The liquid is almost clear; the finger thick head is off white, compact and very smooth. The lacing is hardly noticeable.

The smell is yeasty/fruity/bitter/creamy with notes of honey, peaches, coffee toffee and some broth. It is a very inviting and quite complex smell.

The taste is complex and full of character, but it is neither heavy nor compact. Roasted creamy malt with a nutty-salty flavour, semi-sweet toffee (with a hint of cream sauce). The aftertaste got a slowly building bitterness, black coffee, mixed sweets, and fruits (peaches, pears) and a touch of roasted peanuts, caramel sauce and crisp bread.

The mouthfeel is creamy with lots of small refreshing bubbles.

Oh, I like this one. Better than last time I reviewed it, at least.

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Photo of avalon07
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one from a bottle to a pint glass. Had very little head that dissipated quickly. It had a light brown color that was slightly thin in consistency.

Had a malty smell with a hint of some citrus. Pleasant on the whole.

Had a tart taste, with hops and malt dominating the other elements. Didn't leave much of an aftertaste, which is always a plus.

Had a decent, but not overpowering amount of carbonation for a good mouthfeel.

Overall, this venerable old craft beer is a tasty drink. Not exactly the most complex taste I've ever experienced, but good nonetheless.

 576 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottled date except for a mish-mash of letters and numbers.

(A)- Pours a clear orange-ish amber color with a billowy off-white head that is sticking to every inch of the glass! Superb retention.

(S)- Flowery lemon with honeyed corn meal

(T)- Hoppy dryness with a considerable malt backbone of honeyed corn.

(M)- Solid carbonation with a superb balance of bitter/sweet influences.

(D)- A fine beer that I would gladly choose over M/C/B. Solid flavors with a good balance to it. 6 of these wouldnt be that hard to finish.

 570 characters

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

Pours a hazy copper color with a full frothy off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Smell is of fresh whole gain bread with a earthy and floral hop presence. Taste brings what the scent dictated with the multigrain bread and earthy and floral hops up front but with a presence of carmel and fruit in the background. The only knock is the presence of a faint metallic and sulfry taste on the finnish. Medium bodied, fully carbonated. Very unique beer, hard pressed to find a beer with this flavor profile.

 508 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper color. Aroma is somewhat malty. Taste is somewhat of a cross between a lager and an ale, as expected. Some fruitiness of an ale balanced with the smoothness of a lager. Interesting combination of styles. Apparently, Steam beer is a style that's not prdouced as often anymore.

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Photo of tigg924
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: huge head, high carbonation, copper, and clear

Smell: hops, small citrus fruit--very faint smell

Taste: small hops, small soap, light toffee--I personally would rank the bland taste a 2.5 independant of style, but I think it nails the style description

Mouthfeel: smooth, clean, dry, with a slightly bitter finish

Drinkability: I will not be having this one again..My ranking would be a lot lower if I were not ranking to style...I think this is great for the style but uneventful for a beer.

 508 characters

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

Pours a neat orange/amber, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smell is citrusy hops, smells crisp. Taste is deep and malty, with a nice hop bitterness and a dry finish. Good malty aftertaste. Taste is nice and crisp, smooth and easy drinking, tasty beer.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours light copper/dark gold with tons of carbonation. Nice two finger white head looks like it will stay around with it's small bubles. Bright.

S - Good hop dose with caramel there too. Slightly metallic and floral as well.

T - Slightly soapy and metallic. Hops and caramel are back but less present. Earthiness and vegetable-like characteristics I think. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Lot's of carbonation. Body is towards the heavier end of light.

D - I could definately session some of these. I could have gone for a deeper hop profile but this is a nice easy drinker.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is deep clear amber. Almost copper. Beautiful pillowy white head. I don't get a lot on the nose. Maybe some slight malt. Taste is nice. A nice bready yeast flavor is present. There's also a very slight fruitiness that accents nicely. Like apples and pears. Very clean taste. Easy drinking. Solid brew here.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a bright orange when held up to the light. Cap is slightly off-white and stood a fluffy, two-fingers high before subsiding slowly. Rings of lace leave their trail.

Smokey, earthy malts and a touch of caramel and toffee.

Full and rich of malt sweetness with a dose of bittering hops for a clean, crisp finish. Very earthy feel overall.

Medium bodied, crisp.

A very easily drinkable and readily available beer that I need to stop neglecting.

 481 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really cool clarity and amber pour with great lace retention. Minimal fruity aroma, no discernable specific fruit type (its the yeast I know).

Taste, like they advertise, its what, a lager yeast made in an ale or vice versa. Light body, ample hopping for a flagship brew from back in the day. Just the right amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel allows one to pick up some of the complexities and what sets this beer apart from a standard APA. Great summer beer, sometimes a little cost prohibitive, and a well known folklore regarding the dickness of those affiliated with the brewery prevent many from enjoying the finished product more often.

 639 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Robust bready malt aroma with some melanoidins. A hint of spicy hop. Interesting.

Clear copper colour with a big, fluffy off-white head. Good head retention.

Very malty running a good line between sweet and dry. Mildly bitter but overall an easy drinking beer.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Quite full in feel.

Tasty and worth a try. I'd like to try a fresher example toget more hop character.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having this one at my bud Ralph's house out here in San Diego. Poured with a giant foamy, frothy, sudsy, cream colored head, that lasts a while, good lacing, and lots of big bubble trails. Color is a clear orange amber. Aroma is burnt sugar, caramel, malt, minerals, and hop with a bit of fruit. Flavor's the same way. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. First started drinking this in the early 80s and it doesn't seem to have changed a bit. Great beer! Session.

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Photo of mltobin
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at a bar in NYC.

A nice amber tone with a short head.
It had a pleasant smell, not overpowering.
The taste was clean can crisp, certainly not bitter.
A refreshing mouthfeel, no fowl aftertaste.
A higher than average drinkability, goes well with lighter dishes such as poultry and seafood.

 304 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As the standard for California steam beer, it should get all 5's. But then any crappy beer would rate all 5's if it's unique enough to be a new class. So I factored in my tastes...

The liquid was copper orange, very clear. Thin head on top which lasted pretty long. Smelled and tasted malty, not any bitterness at all.

Pretty good, a perfect session beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, dated 5LO. I've only had this a couple of times and it has to be 6 or 7 years since I had it last. A friend of mine asked me to pick some up for him, so I got some for myself as well.
A - brilliant amber colored body with a frothy off-white head that holds excellent retention leaving thick lacing on the glass as it slowly fades down
S - very earthy; pale malt, and yeast in the nose as well
T - yeast, pale malt, earthy & spicy hops,
M - medium body, very creamy and smooth, finishes dry with moderate bitterness
O - an American classic, but I've never been that crazy over it. Good to come back to, but I bet it will be a long while before I come back to it again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in an American Pint at 53 degrees. Batch# 1YF indicated on the back label. Pours a translucent burnt-orange with a dense, 2.5 inch cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap, with some residual spots of lacing revealed as the brew recedes. Nose reveals noble hops aromatics and light, toasted malts. Taste follows nose - hops presence is not overpowering, but overwhelms the malt profile. There's also a faint citrus quality interspersed across the backbone and finish is not really bitter, but there is a slight floral/earthy character that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and just a kiss of acidity. I can't say that I've had many opportunities to try this style out, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I can see it pairing well with food, but there are other brews I would go to before seeking this one out again.

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Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a single from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger white head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells of a kind of sour, earthy malt - more earthy than sour - with citrus hop aromas that also are slightly sour.

Tastes of caramel malt joined by a very light sourness. Ends with a light amount of bitterness and the caramel malt flavors linger after the sip is over.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation and good thickness make this one go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I'm not sure how many of these I could have, but one went down just fine.

Overall this is an interesting beer that reminds me of another I've had that I can't put my finger on. The taste is very distinct and certainly worth a try if you haven't had it already.

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Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a straight up amber color that is transparent and has a one-two finger head that is just between creamy and fizzy, head retains for a bit and leaves no lacing, the only weak part of the appearance. Smell is the weakest aspect of this beer though, weak smell, can pick up malts, some hops and a pretty solid lager smell, nothing special but not bad in the least. Taste is good, great malt backbone to this one with a finish of some hoppy bitterness, overall a great lagery solid flavor. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit creamy, coats the mouth with a good aftertaste that leaves you wanting more. Drinkability is huge here, could get a keg of this and be very very happy, doesn't fill you up and the taste seems like it would not fade away after many of these.

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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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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,009 ratings.
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