Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
5,973 Ratings
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Ratings: 5,973 |  Reviews: 2,044
Photo of sweisel80
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Fugazme
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Deep amber and brown. Copper. 1/4" white head with great lacing. I've always loved the look of this beer. Maybe it's memories of sessions with Anchor Steam or it just looks good... doesn't really matter, I love the look of it.

Aroma is malty/grainy/slightly hopped. Some hints of caramel and brown sugar... wheat.

Slightly bitter on the swallow. Smooth mouthfeel. Definite malt characters.

Easily a session beer of great weight. I'll drink it again for sure.

 477 characters

Photo of mlazzaro
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I always ignore anchorsteam but it is actually very nice beer.

I believe the "steambeer" A.K.A. a "common" beer, is the only American named beer style (aside from the arguable American I.P.A.) It is a Lager yeast strain that is able to ferment in warmer ale temperatures of 60+ degrees.

Appears a clear amber with healthy looking white head. Great head retention with a lacing ring of head for every sip. Exceptional looking beer.

Smells good, but not very strong. Malty-sweet, slight floral notes.

Tastes of light caramel and malty goodness. Crisp like a lager, but has some characteristics of ale flavors as well. Cream head has a nice mouthfeel. Suiting bitterness at the end. Zero offensive flavors/ holes and spikes in the sip.

On a side note, I like using anchor brewing co. bottles for homebrewing, they have unique nice looking bottles.

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Photo of output01x
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A slow pour yields a 2-finger cream-colored head. It recedes after a few minutes to a good covering. The body is a clear golden orange with a good number or rising carbonation bubbles. Decent lacing lines the sides of the glass nicely.

Dark fruits and sugary sweet malt aromas combine with floral and citrus hops.

A bready, earthy maltiness starts each sip. Grapefruit and spicy hops finish. There is a great balance between the malt and the hops as neither seems to dominate especially, though it does have a dry finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is easily drinkable but not watery.

 669 characters

Photo of mcaulifww
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of 99bottles
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a pint of this last night and I was a little taken aback. I've had this in a bottle before, but I decided to try it on tap (especially after trying the Anchor Steam Xmas brew--excellent!!) This beer pours a medium orange-brown and had a faint musty smell. The taste was different. Certainly not what I remembered. I sort of think I had some pulled from a really old keg, because it just felt flat, and had macro-like thinness. I know this isn't a thick beer, and I noted light citrus notes of orange or something, but again it just felt 'off'. There were very faint hops, and decent malt, but again, not what I wanted. I'll try to re-review with a well kept bottle, but as it stands, I would not order this on tap again (at least not where I got it last time)

 765 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a big off white head.
Spicy sweet , grainy yeasty smell, like a nice german Lagar.
Light-medium bodied with light carbonation.
Nice malty grain flavor with spicy yeast.
Finishes with a medium bitter taste on the tongue.

One of the first micros I quaffed back at the start of the micro revolution.
Still pretty tasty today.

 372 characters

Photo of Mit
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber colour. Nice head lingers for a little while.

Malty notes with some slight citrus hop characteristic. very pleasant.

Bitter notes both hoppy and possible from any roasted malts...very nice finish...I remember trying this years ago and thinking it was a hop bomb...oh how the palate has changed.

solid for the 4.5 abv.

Overall a very nice beer and def one of the beers that got me into craft beer. I def have a soft spot for this one.

 463 characters

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer bottled by Anchor brewing Co.
4.9% alcohol. Old' school steam beer can't go wrong with that.

A- Pours a near perfect orangish brown fluid that produces nice fluffy White head that leaves an excellent frothy top decent lacing.
Nice clarity.

S- Rich toasted malts slight citrusy hop presence as well.

T-M- Taste is of rich malted barley, citrusy bite of hops with a grainy touch at the end. Bitterness from the hop upfront gives the malt a playground for flavors only found is this type of beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with light carbonation to roll it over the tongue nicely.

D- Drinkable as a amber beer gets with all to many reasons why its a good choice.

 687 characters

Photo of Bill69
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of JHB-510
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Wrex68
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of Noooddle
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fuzzbalz
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rudedude985
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of planbee
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of DerBayer
2.6/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - slightly cloudy amber colour with a dark tinge

S - Hops, bitter nothing special

T - Little comlexity, little depth, quite bitter but nothing special

M - Dry ver dry, not refreshing leaves a dry / furry moutrhfeel

D - Not very high wouldnt really want to drink it again

 276 characters

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served to a pilsener glass.

A: Amber color with a slight touch of clarity. One finger of head perhaps a touch less. Moderate lacing.

S: Sweet malts some hops.

T: A nice caramel malt profile is present. Some what sweet initially but is backed by some nice subtle hops. Fairly clean in terms of esters and phenols but still some very slight fruitiness comes through which is somewhat unique in terms of what is typical in lagers.

M: Crisp and clean. Very refreshing.

O: Great beer and uniquely its own. Would be great with some grilled chicken or other light BBQ food.

 571 characters

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper with some carbonation. Not much head.

S: It smelled really malty with not much else to it.

T: It was very malty at first with some undertones I couldn't pick up on. There was a bit of bitterness at the end which made the beer drinkable. All around it tasted like a high class lager; however, it's not what I dig

M: decent mouthfeel, slightly watery.

D: It's a lager, so it's very drinkable.

 409 characters

Photo of sjccmd
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clean lager-like yeast aroma but with some mild fruitiness, on the side of apricot. Woody/minty hops with caramel malt. Graham cracker and biscuits. Very balanced, flavors mingle quite well together.

Pours brilliantly clear. Amber/bronze with large off white, almost light tan head. Great lacing and head retention.

Caramel malts in the flavor with clean lager yeast profile again with some fruit character. Apricot and strawberry. Biscuit, toasty malt. Firm hop bitterness, woody and slightly fruity. Some nice spices too.

Medium light body with medium carbonation. Smooth on the palate. Lingering finish with hop bitterness. Very dry.

I hadn't had this beer in quite a while and kind of wrote it off as an acceptable standard. Having been enjoying German beers recently, this one hit me quite nicely. A lot of American beers seem to lack the balance and subtlety that German beers have. I think this beer gets passed over because it's not sour, overly hoppy, or high ABV. I like all of those things, but I do wish there were more American breweries trying something like this out.

 1,086 characters

Photo of jkeefe1800
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of nstroup
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of GlendonTT
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of doppelmeup
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear amber with a thin layer of foam that leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas are not strong, nothing to really grab you but nothing bad either.

Taste is very crisp and pure. A slight hoppy bitterness shows itself as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Dry, crisp, with slight carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

This is one of the most drinkable beers I've had! I could drink these all evening long, and at just 4.9% that would be a great option! Anchor Steam has always been one of my favorite beers, and I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to review it!

 605 characters

Photo of r0nyn
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my trusty Troegs pint glass.

Pours a pretty dark apricot color that's pretty clear. Lines of bubbles rise up from the bottom towards the off-white head that's about two inches thick before lowering down to a thin cap. Substantial amount of lacing. A very clean looking brew. Smell is full of malt and wheat, almost like a sweeter smelling lager. Just a bit of citrus at the end.

Malty sweetness kicks things off, with hints of fruits and a little bit of caramel. Towards the back end there's some mild hop bittering and astringency that lingers a few moments before disappearing.. Not too much of an aftertaste and it finishes clean and dry. An even balance between malts and hops throughout the flavor profile make for a simple, yet wholly pleasing tasting. Mouthfeel is good for a lager beer, with a good bit of carbonation and a medium body.

This brew is very easy to quaff and is probably the best new lager style I've tried in a long time. The taste crisp, clean and well done and coupled with a solid mouthfeel, come together to create a pleasing beer. I don't know if all California Commons are like this, but Anchor Steam Beer has definitely set the bar high.

 1,196 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 5,973 ratings.
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