Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,028 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:
2,028
Ratings:
5,914
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.73%
 
 
Wants:
223
Gots:
1,228
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,028 | Ratings: 5,914
Photo of Alexmc2
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer appears a slightly hazy orange/amber with smallish head that fades quickly but leaves good lacing. Smell is sharp and clean, but doesn't stand out. Initial taste is a pleasant bitter with sweet caramel notes at the end, very balanced. This beer is smooth, and it goes down easily. It makes a great session beer (and, as I found out, part of a decent sauce for chicken). If it wasn't so expensive around where I live it would be in my fridge all the time.

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Photo of copasetic
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange with a thin creamy head that forms a film on the surface that lasts for most of the beer. As I drink this, I realize that it's been a long time since I've enjoyed an Anchor Steam beer and wonder how this can be. The aroma is faint malt, just a little biscuity, with a hint of non-specific hops. From the first taste to the last, this is an nice middle-of-the road beer: smooth with just a little yeasty spicyness, a little hoppy but not particulary high in bitterness, and vaguely sweet and rich, but not too rich. I suppose this is homage to the idea of the California Common beer --nice qualities from both beer worlds.

I'm very happy that I decided to pick up a six pack after a long hiatus. This is an excellent beer. You can't drink just one.

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

Had this last night at a german-style restaurant. I got this kind of as an appitizer. Tasty. This was my first beer from Anchor. This is just overall a great beer, really for any occasion. It went down smoothly, and had an exceptional finish. The frothy head lasted all the way down and left a nice lace throughout.

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Photo of WonderWoman
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this beer in a bottle and it came with a frosty mug. Once in the mug, the beer looked a light amber. At first it had a nice frothy head that soon dissipated to nothing. It smelled of a fresh cut lemon and a bitter hops with a few oats in the background. The taste reminded me of a watery red grapefruit with a metallic aftertaste that lingered far too long. Lacking carbonation, this beer had a very thin mouth feel to it. Over all, I thought I could do with out ever drinking an entire bottle again. However, I could take a swig here and there with out being totally offended.

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

Got a golden colour with a low foam.

On the nose there is a slight maltdominated aroma, with a funky smell with bread and salt meat.

For the taste it`s rich with a mild bitternes, a hint of burnt malt but more towards caramelle malt. Yummy!

A new style of beer for me, hope I will drink many more!

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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 rjochman
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear organ/copper color with an inch and a half of orange tinted white head. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Has a good malt smell right off the bat. Taste goes right along with the smell: sweet malty and grain flavors Taste has a bitter feel to it that balances with the sweet malt flavors well.. Has a medium body and a medium/ balanced amount of carbonation. A good refreshing brew from the west coast.

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Photo of JoeBCBC
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice golden amber with a thick two finger white foamy head. Anxious to drink this.

S- Getting a lot of bready malt and the esters created by the lager yeast fermented at warm temps. Not too bad, but a little bland.

T- Tasting a lot of malt, the lager yeast, and a tinge of bitterness and herbal-ness from the hops that kind of seems out of place. Not too bad though.

M- The mouthfeel is definitely right. Perfect carbonation and body to this beer to make it enjoyable and very drinkable.

O- I know this beer is very popular, and being a brewer, it is interesting to read about the techniques used in making this beer. However, this one just doesn't do it for me. Not a bad beer, but not one I would go out of my way to have again. I haven't had many Cal. Commons before, but I am told this is a good representation of the style though.

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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 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 Claude-Irishman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has always bee one of my favorites. Some people find it not so good. The aftertaste is like really good french bread. This used to be an option before Sam Adams. If you wanted any other "craft brew" you had to make it. Wish the ABV was a bit higher, I never even knew until today.

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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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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,914 ratings.
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