Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,020 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:
2,020
Ratings:
5,879
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.99%
 
 
Wants:
221
Gots:
1,209
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,020 | Ratings: 5,879
Photo of AEArider
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear amber/copper with a tightly knit head that dissipates quickly and doesn't leave the inside of the glass a ton of love. Smell is very lager-esque, grainy but simultaneously complex and very much inviting. Taste is refreshingly hoppy but not overbearing, and of lightly toasted malt. Feel is refreshingly crisp, but overall comes off a bit thin; however, definitely something to enjoy in sequence. Overall a great brew. . . got into the whole "steam" scene while on a trip to the Bay area, and this certainly exemplifies it.

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Photo of D11
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from bottle into tulip

A- amber orange color with a one finger head that doesnt last long.

S- mostly malt. some yeast. this smelled close to what a 'regular' beer smells like.

T- taste followed the smell. i was rather dissapointed in the taste. was mainly kind of malty but rather runny and not enough flavor for me. if i wanted to drink a 'regular' beer or a 'lite' beer , this is just a notch above.

M- mouthfeel was probably the best thing i liked about this beer.

O- i did not enjoy this beer. maybe because i was expecting something different. i doubt ill buy it again but there may be some that will like this style. tastes like all the other beers out there i used to drink before i got into craft brew. i kinda feel like i would of enjoyed it more from the bottle perhaps.

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Photo of CDAtkinson
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured an autumnal orange-golden hue. Less than a finger of a head but the carbonation was lively and discreetly sent bubbles up the glass the whole drink time.

S: Apricot, pine, barley (?)

T: This is such a well balanced beer. Bit of fruit (again, apricot) at the beginning with a palate cleansing dash of bitterness at the finish. It's well-hopped, but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Clean, crisp, medium to light bodied.

O: Anchor Steam has not failed to deliver on any of their beers I've had so far and this is no exception. Excellent pairer with medium to lighter fare (I had it with rice and chicken just fine) or on its own as a refreshing drink.

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Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drink this and I'm at a loss for words, it's that good. It's like the guru of brewing lagers came to San Francisco and this was his gift to the world. Great, great lager. Not good. Great.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I remember my parents drinking this on occasion when I was a kid (80's). I recall drinking it in my late teens as well, although at that time I drank for the sole purpose of getting drunk and never really payed much attention to taste. This being on the slightly more expensive end of the spectrum here I've passed it over alot in my adulthood. However I've recently picked it up a few times and im glad I did.

Alot of people say its got a unique taste.. but I think every beer worth its salt fits that category. This is simply a well balanced lager, perhaps on the heavier side (as lagers go) but that isn't rare among craft lagers. I suppose the brewing process does give it a slightly more fruity; ale like quality. Very slight however. It actually strikes me as a more raw Boston Lager if that makes any sense.

All that being said, its an excellent beer and is exactly the type of beer I enjoy. A full flavored, balanced lager, with subtleties and character. Highly recommended.

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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 wanker
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle.

Nice light amber color; poured with a 1 finger head. Very easy on the palate. Had a slightly sweet note but not cloying. Very pleasant, non-assertive flavor. Mouthfeel a bit better than average, but nothing remarkable.

Super drinkable, perhaps the perfect session brew.

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

This beer pours what I would consider to be the definition of copper colored. Off white rocky head that remaines sticky but does dissapate after a few sips. Aroma is quite unique several things going on citrus and earthy notes from the hops, caramel and some grainy notes, the yeast gives interesting esters as well as a sulfer character. The initial sip is impacted by a sharp crisp bitterness and carbonation that relinquishes to more caramel and ceral flavors from the malt. To me the malt, hops, and esters from the yeast are in very nice balance. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of tosshin
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: crystal clear. amber. perfect fluffy white head
s: barley, slight citrus, earthy. makes me want to drink more of them! slight hint of caramel?
t: well balanced. caramelly malt and the perfect amount of hoppy bitterness at the end. I barely tasted the alcohol
m: medium body, slightly carbonated. really not much to say here
d: I have no idea what the ABV on this beer is, but I know that this is a beer that I wish was commonly on tap at my local bars!

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Photo of jkbusman
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - beautiful copper color with a short head that quickly dissipates

S - crisp, hoppy aroma with hints of citrus

T - all the crisp hoppiness of a pale ale, with the malty sweetness and round body of a lager

M - medium bodied with an initially smooth mouthfeel; finishes crisp with a slight hoppy bitterness

D - absolutely one of my favorite session beers; unlike anything else on the market and worth every penny

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

Appearance: Amber coloured, moderate head that reduces to a smooth creamy thin layer.

Smell: Malty, perhaps yeasty, definately a beer LOL

Taste: Subtle with a distinct bitter taste. Not very interesting, but certainly unoffensive.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation, not sure if its too much?

Drinkabilty: Taste light and refreshing, so quite drinkable. Certainly one I would choose if I saw it in a pub and I was in the mood for something light.

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Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big off white head after an aggressive pour. Couldn't pour the entire bottle, had to wait for the head to settle before emptying the rest of the bottle. Deep amber in colour.

S - Malty aroma that is, at first, hard to detect. Beyond that some very light notes of honey, apple, and apricot.

T & M - This opens smooth and malty with a very slight hint of honey followed by a hoppy bitterness in the finish that lingers briefly. This is not a rich tasting beer but the flavor is not thin either. Medium bodied with a persistent carbonation that bristles against the tongue.

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Photo of e11iott
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: 12oz, must have poured this wrong, fist full of head, medium lacing, light amber color.

S: Faint smell of fruit and citrus.

T/M: Over all smooth beer, very easy to drink, surpirsed not a light beer. Carbonation was average but in a good way.

D: Enjoyable as it got warmer, cant taste the alcohol at all.

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Photo of GNWBC
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

honestly i felt that while this beer was good it lacked any defining characteristics. the nose is kind of flat but the malt and hop balance is spot on, not to bitter not to malty or sweet. This is a good session beer because it does not leave any lingering taste but at the same time i feel that its constitution is fairly week. not bad but not great. pretty middle of the road.

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Photo of ritwingr
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper pour with a Mideast head that leaves substantial pretty lacing.

Smell is malt dominant. Taste is a very clean malty one with hops only very slightly discernible in the finish. Very nice. Subtle. Below average carbonation. Nothing overpowers but the pleasant malt dominance makes for an enjoyable quaff.

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Photo of awillick
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam is a great go-to when your other options are bad or unknown. It has a classic, clean taste with no frills and a simple finish. You really can't go wrong.

Also, I know it's kind of superficial, but the bottle shape and label design are pretty unique and aesthetically well-conceived.

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Photo of gcarl
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into a pint glass with a nice clear tan color and a white wispy head.

Smell is a muddled hop and malt aroma.

Taste is dry with a sweet hop bite in the aftertaste.

A moderate brew, nothing too challenging. May be a nice crossover to a drinker that always reaches for that BMC

GC

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Photo of Hendy011
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice head of foam lasts 5 minutes, leaves lacing on the glass.

S - Straight hops smell, barley, little bit of roasted smell.

T - Comparable to Lionshead, but much more full. Tastes like pancakes. Bitter aftertaste with taste of alcohol.

F - Feel is great, very little carbonation.

O - Pretty good. Similar to a light lager, ale. Nothing too notable about this beer.

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Photo of BrewChatKen
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A classic! Pours deep amber with a white head. Aroma is big time caramel and sweet. Light bodied, well carbed and easy drinking. That sweet caramel carries through very well to the palate with a bit of earthy hop character and a clean finish. Could be a great session beer, I don't think there's ever a bad time to crack one of these. This is a very well made beer.

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

L - The color of honey. Poured with a tall thin head which dissipated to essentially nothing in seconds.

S - Smells light and a little hoppy.

T - Delighted with very strong toast, caramel, and yeast-imparted flavors. The hops provide a bitter tease in the aftertaste that contrasts very well with bread yeast dominant flavors. It's really good!

F - Crisp. Lightly carbonated.

O - I was quite blown away by this beer. It is really good! I had been putting off trying this one for a while because a coworker said she wasn't a fan of it, so I assumed it wasn't good. As a matter of fact, this is a very enjoyable beer. If you are into bread-dominant flavors, this one will sing to you. Couldn't see myself drinking this one frequently, but I'm sure it'd pair well with a plate of fish and chips, or crab cioppino. It probably would be an excellent choice for cooking with.

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Photo of codekiln
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look--
Beautiful, large head, ruby color, clear, decent lace

Smell--
Metallic, slightly sweet, a little sour (like a midwestern silo)

Taste--
Balanced, not too hoppy; berry notes, gentle, deliciously bitter finish

Mouthfeel--
Bubbly and smooth

Overall--
Thirst-quenching

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Photo of JamesBerry
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color, with a great head. Smells simultaneously fruity, tangy and malty. This possesses a bitter taste, though deep and malty, and with an aftertaste that is even more bitter. Not surprisingly, this was rather complex, and an impressive example of a truly unique style.

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Photo of birdyone
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks good when poured. Not much head, not much fizz, but a beautiful color. It's kinda like that stereotypical ale color. very clear. nice amber color.

mild smell. very normal, and typical to the breed. nothing special.

taste is good, but more on the average side. again nothing too special.

good mouthfeel. smooth. crisp. refreshing.

great drinkability. its strength come from it averageness. it doesn't overpower you. you can sip it or you can throw some back with friends. it's fairly common in stores, the price isn't really out of reach for most people. it's better than the macro brews, but not snobbish. you could give it to connoisseur and noob alike and both would be pleased.

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Photo of ssam
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very nice, rich amber. very frothy 2in head. left rings as i drank it.

S- a smooth, comforting aroma. you can smell the sweet hints of malt

T- taste is pleasant and unobtrusive. little caramel flavor. some citrus aftertaste.

M- excellent mouthfeel. near perfect carbonation and texture.

D- very good drinkability

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

A- Deep amber/orange, egg-shell colored head, very bubbly.

S- Strong malty lager yeast hits first followed by some citrus aromas. Smells like a very robust pilsner with a hint of Pacific ocean fog rolling into the bay.

T- Complex malt composition, you can really taste the lager and ale tastes fighting it out. Yeasty with a subtle sweetness. Notes of spices, cloves and maybe coriander. Supportive hops hold it all together. Alcohol and yeast give the aftertaste a bit of a kick.

MF- Rich and thick, just as bubbly as it looks. Really fills the mouth.

D- Lighter than it should be given everything that's going on, but still quite a body. A real beer drinker's experience. Nicely balanced, very unique.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,879 ratings.
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