Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,027 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:
2,027
Ratings:
5,912
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.99%
 
 
Wants:
223
Gots:
1,228
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,027 | Ratings: 5,912
Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear beer that is a deep bronze color.

Smell is mostly of hop perfume. There is also malt, grain and toffee smells here.

Taste is of malt balanced by hops, it is a little sweet but then the hops dry the flavor out without being bitter. Mild caramel and citrus are in here. Many ghostly flavors to this, you taste it and then it changes or hides. Succeeds in being flavorful without being harsh in any respect, an excellent brew to convert the Budweiser drinkers of the world.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Super drinkable, mild yet flavorful.

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

On tap at the Detroit airport yesterday. Have had this beer many, many times... high time I reviewed it.

The beer pours the expected light amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of malt and hops (it's been my experience that most airports tend to serve their beer excessively cold and with too much CO2, which I'm sure affects the aroma). On the palate, the famous anchor steam flavor. There is nothing else quite like it. The beer has a fascinating malty flavor, but with a huge presence of drying hoppiness. There is almost a peppery finish on the palate, and somehow this beer manages to taste a bit sweet and malty, yet dry and bitter, at the same time. Mouthfeel is pretty light, but the amount of flavor in this low abv. beer is nothing short of astounding.

Truly a classic. Nothing else quite like it. As excellent and intriguing today as it was 30 some years ago when I first tried it.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Dark amber orange with pretty thick white head.

S: Thick malt, with baking bread, sugar cookies, maybe a bit of barnyard feel, interesting.

T: Maltiness, with that fruity ale yeast ester flavor due to high fermentation temperatures, steamy. A bit of sulfur carries the load, with a midly astringent taste, it's a difficult taste to describe.

M: Smooth, that steam beer lager character is there.

D: Very drinkable, not the best beer in the world by any stretch, but a very good one.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle marked 1SL. Sampled on Christmas Day 2011. It pours a medium amber with a small head that becomes a ring while leaving a decent lacing. The aroma is of barley, biscuit, and sweetness with a nice hoppy balance. The body falls into the medium range. The taste has a moderate bitterness and a clean finish.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 355ml bottle, best before Oct 2008, drank Apr 2007.

Poured into a Corsendonk Tulip glass, dull copper, hazy more than cloudy. A good white head and carbonisation rising through the beer to replenish the head as it shrank away.

Aroma of malt biscuits and some caramel.

Unremarkable taste, barley malts and not a lot of anything.

A slight bitterness does linger in the aftertaste, but there is no great body to this beer, it isn't watery by any means, but there just isn't much too it either.

A little disappointed with this one really, was expecting more flavour and a better mouthfeel from a beer most beer lovers in the UK have at least heard of, if not tried.

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

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Earthy-mineral & floral hops with a slight caramel aroma.

T: Earthy-mineral, caramel, orange zest, slight hint of fruity esters. There's a slight nutshell-like bitterness that I'm not fond of.

M: Moderate body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Personally I'm not fond of that nutshell flavour.

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

A: A copper (light amber) beer with a great creamy white head.

S: Malty - it smells like (rye-)bread, fruity (I can sense apples and something else), floralhops.

T: Bready malt. A beer that tastes a lot. Floralhops as well as bitterhops. Fruity (apple & citrus). Dry in the aftertaste, but still sweet. A well balanced taste and aftertaste - a nice mix of malt and hops.

M: A nice tingle at first - great carbonation. Medium bodied. A bit creamy. Smooth.

D: Great beer to go with sturdy home cooking. Over all a great beer. I pity those who havn't tried this one yet.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark gold body with some decent head and lacings. A rather simple smell, dry and hoppy with some airiness to it. A smooth, medium bodied brew with a hop kick to it, but also some roasted malts and sweetness to it. The malts and sweetness (caramel/honey?) dominate the tongue and the hops hit for a dryer, but not overpowering backbite. Simplistic, maybe, but still a nice beer to relax with while sitting at a bar on the beach.

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Photo of rudzud
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Figured it was time I tried this historic brew!

A - Nice clear amber/copper with a fluffy white two finger head that slowly disolved into nice healthy lacing.

S - Nice malts and just a bit of sweetness.

T - Lil malty, lil citrusy. Very nice and refreshing. Finish is nice and dry too. Really good.

M - Really solid carbonation and a great crispness.

D - Just great. The original steam beer sets the bar so dang high with this style nothing else really compairs. Wish a 6 pack was a bit cheaper than $10 so I could drink this all night long.

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

Clear golden orange pour with a one finger head and medium carbonation. Malt upfront is muted by a really nice hop presence. Complex taste that has a bit of pine, nut and biscuit.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.19/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five finger white head that fades very slowly, leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor is more hops than malt but has some sweetness. Smooth. Light bitter finish. $2.15 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of weeare138
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've never reviewed this. This is the one that started the craft brew craze many, many years ago...
On tap at Maggiano's KOP.
Appears a copper toned gold with a small, fizzy white head that slowly fades into a gentle floating cap.
Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of biscuit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a balanced flavor of caramel and light hops the meld together nicely.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly carbonated, balanced, a tiny bit sweet, and very drinkable.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thick fizzy white head. Aroma is earthy malt. Taste is sweet toasted malt with a slight hop bitterness. Overall, I think this is a pretty boring beer that is over-hyped in my opinion. I will probably not purchase this again.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber colour with a massive frothy and soapy off white head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing, and there is some amazing lacing sticking all over the inside of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - sweet caramel and hops, and lots of toasted malts.

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has a fair amount of carbonation on the tongue, which is surprising due to its appearance. It comes across as slightly watery, but not my much. AT first I can taste light hops, followed by a big burst of roasted malts and some toffee/caramel. It finishes with a nice roasted and sweet aftertaste. I can even pick up on a slight smokiness.

Drink - This is an excellent beer that is highly sessionable. Worth a try if you see it at the store/bar.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a ruby-orange with a sticky white head that left a very good lacing.

S: some fresh bread, grains, and sweet caramel with a nice hoppiness.

T: The initial flavor was light sweet toasted malt, light dried citrus with a good floral hop bitterness. A little hop bite in the finish, with some light citrus notes.

M: a little thin but had a good flavor with a light smooth texture.

D: Overall some smooth toasted caramel malting but more of a tweener. Good for one or two but fails to satisfy in numbers.

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

Purchased at Bi-Rite in Casper.

This pours from 12oz bottle a clear amber gold with a nice medium sized head of foam that sticks around for the entire session and it has good lacing.

The smell is pretty delicate but I get some hop bitterness and some roasted malt.

The taste is very good and flavourful. Roasted malt and grain that's semi sweet hits me first and then some caramel malt provides some sweetness and that's backed up by a good hop profile that adds some nice bitterness. It has a very good mouthfeel and has medium carbonation. The finish is all nice and bitter and it leaves a short but pleasing aftertaste. This is a *very* solid brew that I need to visit more often. I heartily recommend it!

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

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this back from the States for me.

Nice dark orange, tending-to-amber body with a tightly packed head of off-white foam. Lots of streaming carbonation. Excellent lacing. Nice looking beer.

Odd toffee characters on the nose, hints of grain bread and molasses. Even an odd tang reminiscent of sea-water. Or am I imagining that from the Anchor imagery?

On the palate, it's quite unlike anything I've tried. The taste profile's just warped. Light, frothy kind of bitterness first up, then a subtle, smooth, vaguely sweet honey character, and finally, a grassy fresh fragrant flavour. Finish is quite dry and with a residual pleasant bitterness. Really even a vague seafood character lurking at the back, which I swear I'm not making up, like fresh mussels or pipis. It's quite unlike anything I've had before, but it's the sort of beer I can imagine starting to crave after a while, just because it's so unique.

Really pleasant, very drinkable beer. It's the sort of beer that makes its way by pure quality, not by being something extreme. Next time I myself am in San Francisco I'll be picking up a couple more of these for sure...

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Photo of corby112
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with floral, piny hops, sweet malt and light fruit. Hints of caramel, toffee and nut.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Crisp floral hop presence up front that's only faintly dry and bitter. This is countered by the sweet malt and light fruit notes. Hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee, hazelnut and apricot. Well balanced and easy to drink. There is nothing outstanding about this beer but it's well crafted and sessionable.

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

A: Clear copper color. Poured a 2 finger rocky tan head with good retention. Decanted lazily. Laced in wavy rings.

S: Slightly sweet bready malt with some caramel. Light fruitiness in the background along with some cut grass

T: Much like the nose with bready malt up front and subtle light fruits in the middle. Strong bitter for a dry finish.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate to ample carbonation; a little prickly and crisp on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable. Smooth, flavorful and balanced. Sessionable ABV.

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

Poured a clear, light copper color with a nice tan head. Nose was moderately hoppy with some caramel in the background. Taste is malts and hops and sugary and bready too. Mouthfeel was lively though a bit thin. Drinkability was good but I dont see myself drinking to many of these at once. One and I am pretty much ready to move on.

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Photo of wl0307
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB July 2009, served lightly chilled in a pilsner glass.

A: pours an ultra-elegant bright blood-orangey tawny hue, on top of a fast dissipating white foam and lively (but not fierce) carbonation.
S: very malty and caramely upfront, with a sticky and raw-ish edge of plum jam as well as sugar-cane-like aroma. Not complex, a bit sweet on the balance.
T: the bitter-sweet caramalts and burned sugar-cane upfront are underlined by a touch of coconut-shaving, light prune-ish fruits and sweet herbs, leading fast towards an intensifying bitter aftertaste full of tea-leafy hops and chewy, powdery bitter elements. The finish is IMO the best moment of the tasting, that it's chewy, bitter, and yet free from any residual sugary mouthfeel.
M&D: compared with the draught version, the bottled one fares slightly lower due to the slightly more coarse fizziness and also a thinner body, but the trademark flavour profile stays intact. A bitter-sweet session beer designed to quaff!

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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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drops substantial clarity into a light amber liquid, forms a nice 1/2" head, uniform lace, after deft retention. Aroma was kicking that cool lager/ale hybrid yeast fruitiness.

More of that yeast driven flavor, its light, there is a mild carbonation and hop kick to it. Sweetness dialed in. Always enjoyable when on tap at Pizza Barn in Fallon, NV.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep burnt orange with a crystal clear body and a big creamy off-white head. A strong carbonation keeps the head big and rocky.

S-The smell of pale malt with some notes of toasted malt and some noble bitter hops lurk in the background.

T- A very smooth soft pale malt taste with some soft bite of hop bitterness finish this beer. The finish is not real dry but has a bit of a long finish with some malt and hop flavor.

M-A medium mouthfeel with some fizziness but no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer does have interesting qualities of both lagers and ales and is a very smooth beer. It doesn't have quite the complexity to hold my interest.

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

I am drinking a 12 oz bottle poured into an Ommegang Witte glass. I opened the beer at the start of the Sopranos (1 hour ago) and am getting to it now, so it has warmed considerably.

Appearance: The lager as an amber color, almost bordering on maraschino cherry red. It poured with a vigourous 2 finger head that left a small band of lace on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells like a cookie. The malts impart a sweet biscuitiness that are offset by a subdued hop nose.

Taste: The beer tastes like a rich, yeasty biscuit. The notes are subtle and sweet, leaving the faintest flavor in the mouth. The is a small hop presence that compliments the malt without detracting too significantly.

Mouthfeel: The lager is smooth with a dominating malty sweetness, very pleasing in the mouth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Grab yourself a six pack enjoy the day.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,912 ratings.
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