Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
2,004 Reviews
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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:
2,004
Ratings:
5,813
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.82%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
1,152
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,004 | Ratings: 5,813
Photo of DeepBrew
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear copper-amber color with medium white foam. Foam recedes rather quickly and leaves spotty lacing behind. Large bubbles at the bottom of the glass break down into smaller ones with every sip.

S: Inviting smell of malts and yeast.

T: Malt sweetness and hops bitter hit at once, well balanced. Leaves behind some sticky bitterness, although not an overwhelming one.

M: Medium-low mouthfeel with some light chewiness.

O: Solid, easily drinkable beer.

 500 characters

Photo of colingaiser
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

L: A hazy amber verging on orange with a creamy, three-finger head leaving delicate lacing. Good start.

S: A little metallic (like a rusty anchor), with notes of honey and perfume, and an uninviting macro lager musk.

T: Fortunately it tastes much better than it smells. It's fruity like a tart and refreshing Granny Smith, with some underlying floral (perhaps lavender) notes, while the malt is reminiscent of honey and biscuit. There's a nice mouth-coating bitterness, but the finish is light on taste and high on tannins.

F: The mouthfeel is like a flat soda -- a medium body that leaves me craving more carbonation. It goes easily enough, but the feel doesn't do the beer's fruity notes any favors.

O: Anchor Steam is pleasant enough, but if this is the prime example of a California Common, there's nothing about it that makes me want to explore this style any further.

 920 characters

Photo of tony12hd
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had better porter, but not bad overall quality. This is a beer you have once in a while, in between heavier beers while out bar hopping. It has plenty calories to keep you going.

 183 characters

Photo of johnnyschools3
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

This beer had the look and smell but the taste didn't tie them together. Kinda disappointed from the brewery reputation, the mismatch of favors got me.

 151 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear orange body, white head, tight and short, but persistent. Extensive lacing.

S - Malty goodness, grains with a hint of honey and mild yeasty notes suggesting a roll. Pretty standard earthy hop notes, but mild. A bit of sourness in the trail.

T - Follows the nose, with a malt sweetness up front, grains in the form of cracked wheat, and a middle that suggests crackers and biscuits. The close is mildly bitter. Nothing exceptional, but quite drinkable.

M - Brisk, clean, with only the slightest drying on the close.

O - Very clean and in essence what a mass-produced lager could be, rather than what it typically is. I enjoy this and would pick it up again, but I can say I do not find the style to be as compelling as some. Nevertheless, this is an excellent example of the style.

 801 characters

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

January 20, 2015

12 oz bottle, nonic pint

A – Deep gold and mostly clear, about an inch of bubbly thick white head, moderately low retention.

S – Low caramel, fresh bread, grainy sweetness with fruity esters, apples and apricot. Hops are herbal and slightly resiny, with a touch of fresh mint.

T – Light caramel and minty hops, some low fruity esters and grainy malt. A touch sweet and then hop bitterness follows.

M – A touch of sweetness from the malt and then moderate bitterness to the finish. High carbonation, a bit sudsy. Aftertaste is bittersweet, following a moderately dry finish.

O – Similar to a lager in its smooth drinkability and accented bitterness, with the juicy, fruity character of an ale. Very distinctive.

 748 characters

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

Very solid Amber and extremely drink-able... This is what I consider a nice "baseline" beer, and then you start getting adventurous with hops/malt/spices/etc. as a brewer to build upon it. I prefer a little more bitter profile, but I would never turn this one down. Goes perfectly with seafood as it is often served with in SF...

 331 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An American classic that is really delicious. It is malty sweet with grassy/earthy hops and a clean feel. A steam beer that every BA should eventually try.

 155 characters

Photo of HoosierCountry
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my absolute favorites. Brilliant blend of malt and hops. Combines the clean crisp characteristics of a lager with the flavorful, bold tastes of an ale.

 160 characters

Photo of JGam115
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluffy head with tanned straw color. Smell reminiscent of English pubs with a flavor profile to match. Served a bit too cold, but a quaffable brew nonetheless.

 159 characters

Photo of HoppitySam
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled yesterday (12/30/14).

Poured from bottle into rock glass, 42F.

Nice tasty non-traditional lager with barley forward, slight hop finish. Easy to drink, not too heavy. No CO2 carbonation, only natural carbonation and traditional brewing methods. A real pleasure to enjoy and one of my favorite lagers.

 311 characters

Photo of timontheroad
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9-17-14, poured into a shaker pint glass. Clear reddish gold color, one finger white thick head, pretty good retention and nice lace. Aroma is malty, with some light grassy notes. Taste was malty, like the aroma, with some peppery flavors and just a touch of bitterness. Mouthfeel was fairly light, but very crisp, almost dry. Overall, this is a pretty nice beer, quenched my thirst very nicely.

 406 characters

Photo of bmeehan
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'd like to go back and try this again, because I remember it being just okay and want to give it another chance. It tastes more like a lager than it does like an ale, but given how uncommon the style (steam beer) is now, it very well could have different tastes based on that.

 277 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a copper color, nice thick foamy head and good lace retention.
Aroma is hard to decipher at first but becomes apparent as drink warms. At first a fruity, strawberry like essence. I also smell the malts as well as a slight floral aroma. Towards the end, a citrus aroma takes over.
Hoppy bitter taste predominates but the malt backbone is there. Also there is a fruity grapefruit like finish. Although it has a low ABV, the mouthfeel is medium and slick.

 458 characters

Photo of interzen
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

355ml bottle (BBE October 2016) poured into a Troubador tulip glass

Look: Coppery red, single fingers-width of off-white head - some lacing, nothing major.

Smell: Not a lot to it, really, even after letting it stand for a while at room temperature and a bit of additional in-the-glass agitation. Floral and grain notes, mainly.

Taste: Oddly light - the best word to describe it would be 'clean'. It's got a hoppy-malty-fruity taste and lacks the usual bitter aftertaste. If anything, the aftertaste is more fruity than anything. Nothing to shout about, but definitely refreshing.

Feel: Again, a fairly light feel to it - some carbonation but manages not to be excessively 'fizzy'. Would be an eminently drinkable 'summer' brew.

Overall: not a style of beer I'm overly familiar with - I can't think of anything comparable in the UK off the top of my head - it's not a bitter and it sure as hell isn't like a lager either. Either way, given a choice I'd definitely drink it again.

 983 characters

Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Appearance: Amber. Leaves little lace.
Smell: Honey, floral.
Taste: Bitter, malt, citrus.

This is excellent. Very dry. Has a nice bitter bite to it. Very unique. I will certainly get it again.

 193 characters

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

12 oz. bottle, bottling code ILH on the back label, whatever that means. Acquired a single bottle of this stuff from the local Binny's as part of a mixed six pack. My first time trying this supposed classic beer from Anchor Brewing Company.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a coppery golden orange body, not unlike that of an IPA really, with about two fingers of creamy off-white head. Leaves behind moderate thick lacing on the glass. Looks pretty nice.

S - A somewhat light yet pleasant aroma. Creamy yeast esters, toasted grains, & some light herbal / fruity hop qualities in the form of an appley / cidery sort of aroma.

T - Taste follows the nose - toasty grains, brown bread, mustiness, yeastiness, creaminess, some fruity apple-ish cider flavors, lightly herbal, and with a slight metallic note on the finish. Very tasty; simple, yet refined.

M - The feel is crisp & clean, with a residual bitterness / dryness on the palate. Light-bodied with good carbonation; very easy drinking.

Overall, an exceptional take on the Callifornia common / Steam beer style from Anchor Brewing. Definitely a beer I would be interested in having more of. Very recommended, especially for the style.

Anchor Steam Beer -----4/5.

 1,241 characters

Photo of UnicornProfessor
1/5  rDev -74%

The only beer I didn't finish on my Old Chicago World Beer Tour. I tried it about 2 years later, thinking it might have been a bad batch...it wasn't. My taste buds flip inside out to avoid the taste of Anchor Steam. Yecch!

 222 characters

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.

 365 characters

Photo of WillWillows
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured a dark golden color, generous head, nose smell was the good beer smell. The head stayed right with it while I drank. Mouth feels good, not bitter aftertaste. Nice hop taste, smooth and tasty. Good beer. Drink quite a few of these.

 242 characters

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

A- Anchor Steam pours a very thick white head. Nice lacing. It is dark orange/copper. There are tiny, if any at all, particles floating around. But mostly a light haze to the look.

S- I get a big spicy note out of this beer. A little bit of caramel. Brown bread crust and an underlying grainy scent (not adjunct in nature).

T- Big spicy flavor. Light caramel. Grains, but clean tasting. No adjuncts here in taste or brewing process. Hops are there for sure. Lightly floral. There is some kind of undertone of some funkyness or bitterness there too. That aspect is hard to describe in words. It's got ale and lager type tastes. It's like a sophisticated Yuengling. If you like that beer, this one is right up your alley.

M- Light to medium. Crisp, clean, and refreshing for sure. Pretty dry finishing beer. Carbonation plays well with the hop spice if that makes sense. Also has a good clean water taste.

*Overall this is a pretty unique tasting beer and style. Never had anything like it. It's like an ale, but it's a lager in style and taste as well. Some of the flavors are hard to describe without sitting down with a glass of Anchor Steam and figuring it out on your own. But that makes reviewing and tasting beer fun. It would be great with hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, barbeque, or any grilled meats. Solid beer all around!

 1,335 characters

Photo of dcscientist
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

When in SF, you pretty much have to have an Anchor Steam. It's available everywhere, and it's what the locals drink. Goes great with seafood, as you would expect. Nice dark beer, and the style is better than that of a generic brown as far as I'm concerned. At some point I should try some other Anchor beers too.

 316 characters

Photo of JLSIV
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, a golden bright copper color with a full finger of white head that dissipated quickly, leaving a thin lacing of foam.

Aroma: Nice toasted malt, with some toffee, black pepper.

Taste: Malty, and pretty spicy, slightly sweet and just a little hops, hint of black pepper.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied Moderate carbonation.

Overall, always wanted to try it, Nice historic beer that seems to stay within its style. It is a little middle of the road for me, but I wanted to experience this style. I would like to try it with seafood, perhaps a Cioppino, or crabs. Cheers!

 623 characters

Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

I'm in love with California made beers.. perhaps I'm biased, as I'm from the great Golden State. ;) This beer is delicious, plain and simple. Has a good amount of bitterness to it, but it's a pleasant one. I like it straight out of the bottle, and I love supporting CA. :)

 276 characters

Photo of Forgottensaints
3/5  rDev -22.1%

It's ok it's pretty damn pricy here in NYC. I've only had this when friends had it in there fridge. I would never buy it. Give me a lagonitas IPA instead.

 154 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,004 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe