Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BA SCORE
3.85/5
5,999 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#9,471
Reviews:
2,053
Ratings:
5,999
pDev:
12.73%
Bros Score:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
235
Gots:
1,269
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,999 |  Reviews: 2,053
Photo of zeff80
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an orange/amber color with a one finger head. Not much lacing.

S - Smelled malty and grassy.

T - Malt, grain and clove are the dominant flavors. Also, a citrusy kick.

M - It is crisp and light to medium-bodied.

D - A nice brew. I always enjoy picking one up but the price always seems to be a bit much for the quality.

 336 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Extremely nice clear reddish/amber colour with a white head that disapear not too quickly. I can smell some spice. Taste is bitter with some roastiness. I was little bit surprise considering the colour of the beer but I enjoyed it very much. I can't wait to try other Anchor products!

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Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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

Appearance: Pours a pale clear amber with a sticky, frothy white head that retains nicely.

Smell: Biscuit-like malt, toast and a hint of earth. Fresh citrusy/herbal hops.

Taste: Dry and bready, malty sweetness is present but subtle. Light-bodied. Crisp biscuit-like flavors lead into a dry, mildly bitter and metallic finish.

Notes: A classic west coast session beer. Great stuff.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pilsener glass, bottled 1/11/2012. Pours slightly cloudy golden copper color with a very nice 3 finger dense off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of bready grains, grass, floral hops, herbal spiciness, caramel, and a bit of light fruitiness. Some nice and well balanced aromas; but are a bit muted. Taste of bready grain, floral, grass, pepper, caramel, herbal, and light apricot. A decent amount of peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of bread, pepper, herbal, floral, and light fruit on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a smooth and crisp mouthfeel as expected. No alcohol noticeable at all as expected for 4.9%. Overall this is a very nice brew from Anchor. Very crisp with a nice flavor profile; and easily drinkable. Definitely a great session beer contender.

 991 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with no freshness date on it. Color is a nice light orange/straw. Head is just a slight off white that keeps for a while. Nice lacing observed.

Smells very subtle, but of hints of honey. Taste is very clean. Not much going on, but very wonderful. I would note the small taste of fruit in this. Very good carbonation.

Overall, this is quite the beer. I have never had a steam beer, but I do like it. I am more of a dark beer drinker, but I could see this being a nice session beer.

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

Bright copper in color with a foamy off-white head and obvious, brisk but fine carbonation. The aroma is of a clean, rich malt and light fruitiness with some hops. A full body combined with the zesty carbonation gives a distinct mouthfeel. The flavor starts with creamy, lightly caramel malt and leads into a vast hop character of flavor and crisp bitterness as it crosses the palate. The finish is dry and lasting. The classic of the style.

 441 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with an average white head that soon reduces to a lasting ring and leaves a modicum of lacing.

The light, earthy aroma is pleasing, but it is too mild to be very enticing.

The flavor (4.2) starts with a good hit of earthy/spicy hops, with the malt component becoming more apparent mid-taste. The hops are present all the way through, making this steam beer seeming to build in intensity through the finish. Great hops/malt balance leaves both bitter/sweet and other flavor components in exemplary balance. Excellent roster of malts.

Anchor Steam has a medium body; excellent carbonation, and a refreshing crispness.

O: excellent choice as a session beer or replacement for one of any light or macro-adjunct beer. Slightly milder than an average APA, but with as much flavor. Should work well with many lighter-flavored foods.

 891 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thin layer of bubbles across the entire top of the beer, though slightly thicker around the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Aromas are predominantly pale + caramel malts with a slight hint of lemon and hops.

T: The flavor is extremely malty with hints of caramel sweetness. There is a small amount of bitterness from the hops.

M: Light to medium bodied with significant amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Pretty easy to drink and probably the best known beer in the style - I probably had my first one of these about 15 years ago. There is a nice complexity to the flavor and the beer is quite easy to drink. Makes me think of being in San Fran.

 820 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that is semi readily available around here, and I got it as an extra from AgentZero, but hey, its an extra so I can't complain. In fact, I've had it before and think its a pretty good clean drinking ale, so here comes the review finally.

A: Nice frothy 2 finger head with some pot marks. Extremely brilliantly crystal clear with a very light amber color.

N: Some light toasty malts, amber ale malt aromas, and light earthy hops. Almost a slight banana aroma too, but that might be my imagination. Crisp aromas and pretty clean.

T: Pretty similar to what you would expect. Some nice toasty earthy malts, crystal malt flavors, some light caramel, earthy toasty malt flavors. The some light earthy hops that add a nice flavor. A slight malty sweetness and some very light fruity flavors.

M: Semi light, decent carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

F: Finishes semi bitter but pretty dry. Semi light but pretty crisp finishing flavors, reminiscent of a nice lager. A slight spice and some slight earthy flavors linger a bit. The nice malty flavor fades nicely but leaves the nice bitterness, which also doesn't hang out for long. Pretty crisp and refreshing.

 1,172 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright golden brown color with a medium dense white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt and a little bit of spice, fruit and hops.

T: The taste is fruity, spicy and malty, with flavors of caramel & citrus. A strong but complimentary hops presence comes in quickly and provides a very good balance without being over-powering. Once the hops flavor fades a bit, there’s a nice bready taste that remains with a mild sweetness.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, this is good beer to stick with for an evening if you want something a lot of substance that isn’t going try to knock you over. I liked this beer and thought it was very good.

 874 characters

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never tried this on tap and its been awhile since I have had this period so I figured to give it a try yesterday and review it again this time on tap.Pours a deep copper color with light to medium head,a lighter aroma is sweet with a lingering hop presence.The taste is nice and balanced of sweet caramel malt and a dry fruity finish,a very sold American beer a real cant miss selection in my mind.

 405 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark and amber with a white head and good lacing.

S: Malt definitely comes through more than the hops. There is some fruitiness here, but it mostly sticks to the style that it's made famous.

T: In addition to what was in the nose, some bready flavors.

M: Good creaminess and medium body. Moderate carbonation.

D: All around, this is a great example of the style, and the definition of a good sessionable beer.

 446 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Small, off white head with good retention and lace. The body is copper colored, with good clarity.

S - Malty with biscuit and caramel aromas. There is a slight, spicy hop note and some honey lingering in the background.

T - Malty flavors up front with some toasted malt notes. Moderate hop flavor compliments the malt and sharp, assertive bitterness dominates the finish.

M - Creamy body with moderate carbonation and a dry, slightly astringent finish.

D - Very drinkable. Truly a classic American beer with a pleasant malt character and enough hops to balance.

 569 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is the classic dark amber in the mug with a modest head and a little fizz in the mouth. Slight grainy nose. Thin, dirty caramel is the main taste. Overall this is malty, tart, and somewhat murky. It's reminiscent of a Belgian minus the yeast. A touch of hops. Sort of earthy with bitter tones.

On tap at Comstock Saloon in North Beach. I've had it in the bottle in San Francisco as well and I just find this to be uninspired and not very drinkable, regardless of it's glorious history. It was more respected in the 70s when there were so few interesting beers to compare it to.

 588 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to try Anchor Steam since it is one of the few American classics. Appearance is a dark copper with medium-sized, creamy head. Smell is clean, slightly hoppy, with a note of sweetness. Taste is nicely balanced. Mild malts and hops combine for a fairly complex taste. Slight citrus taste is noted on the edges of the sip. Thankfully, Anchor Steam is a full-flavored brew that doesn't feel too heavy for high drinkability. Overall, I really liked this beer, but didn't find it to be the most exciting style around. Anchor Steam is a must-try though, it's not often you find the originator of a style of beer.

 611 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Finnegan's Wake third floor bar, Philly, PA

A: Clear copper, with a light white head, some lacing.

S: Crisp and clean with some citrus notes.

T: Clean mixture of malts and semi-citrusy hops.

M: Light body with some carbonation.

D: Good drinkability, but not something I have too often.

 312 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2-3 thick fingers of off-white head. This settles down into about a solid finger’s worth, leaving back a creamy latticework of foamy lacing. The aroma is thick in the nose, with a mix of fruit, caramel, and bread, which is then softened on the edges somewhat by notes of leafy earth and a light spicy feel.

The taste has a crisp bitter bite to it, which snaps across the tongue. This is well balanced by a strong backbone of caramel sweetness, which has some sturdy toasted edges to it. The finish is dry and lightly spicy, with some lingering notes of bitter fruit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively and crisp feel that dances around in the mouth, before smoothing out into an easy creaminess across the back.

This is the beer that started the craft beer revolution in this country and it’s still going strong all of these years later. I hadn’t had this in a while and sitting down with a 22 oz helped me realize again how flavorful and just plain drinkable this can be when you sit down with it. 40 years later and still going strong, this beer is a winner.

 1,150 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 5,999 ratings
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