Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
6,119 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

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,119 |  Reviews: 2,087
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of jgiordano88
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of NeilSilber1
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden amber with Lacey head. Solid drinking Ipa-like amber.

67 characters

Photo of casualbeerman
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This is the godfather of American craft brews, you could get Steam Beer from Anchor brewery as far back as 1971 (yes the brewery has been in operation since the 1890's and Steam beer as a style goes back even further but the current recipe was re-introduced in 1971). This predates Yuengling (1987 and no I wouldn't call that a craft brew but the beer most Americans drank and brewed was so bad back then that I'd argue it did quaify then, it did help raise the bar for us), Sam Adams (1985), and even Sierra Nevada (1980). That was really the reason why I bought myself a sixpack for the Fourth of July. Turns out this is a sturdy, tasty brew. I 'd also argue its fairly unremarkable. The look is fairly attractive to me. I'm primarily an American Amber beer guy. Even though Anchor says they use a combination of pale and caramel malts, the color leans towards the caramel malt side. Plus it has a very nice, prominent, stable, well-formed head, so of course I'm a fan. The smell is fine, though unremarkable. It smells more or less like beer, malty, a bit hoppy a bit yeasty. The taste: sturdy, simple, enjoyable. though unremarkable. There is a strong (and fairly sweet) malt character balanced by hop bitterness that definitely is not excessive, though also not overly complex. They use cascade hops, but it is not hopped with anywhere near the complexity or intensity of Sierra Nevada. This is not the most interesting beer in the world, (in fact I'd rate it a bit less interesting than any of the other 3 "craft brews" I mentioned that followed it), but this is still as solid brew. Mouthfeel, I rate highly because overall this has enough oomph to let you know you are drinking beer rather than water, but its still definitely sessionable. It even though it has far more flavor and character than your typical pale macro lager, I do not think I'd have any problem knocking these back all day. It also does not get any harder to drink as it warms. Overall, I gave this a 3.75. It's good and its uniquely American, and in the dark days of mass-produced domestic garbage, Anchor were arguably the first to show us that there was a better way. If I was around to drink in the 70's its possible that I'd drink pretty much nothing but Anchor Steam Beer. But in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, a lot of other brewers and beer drinkers have learned from these pioneers. We have a ton of alternatives, many more interesting, some cheaper, some both. I could happily drink this any time, and I'll probably get it again at some point. But my 6pack was $10. Granted they do use all 2 row barley, but stil, Yuengling Traditional brewed with some barley and some corn is better imo and costs $6, and if I want to spend $10 I can get stuff like Troegs Perpetual IPA. So while I think this is a solid beer, I don't think its the best pick around for the money. I agree everyone should try it at least once though.

 2,912 characters

Photo of LarrysDeerGut
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sulty
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of npfreeman
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brendanjames
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Categart
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of matodowd
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Kwright
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Nice amber color, with adequate foamy head. Rich flavor and nice finish. I had always heard about Anchor Steam during the days when American macro-brews ruled, now I know why! A reputation well deserved

 202 characters

Photo of Mespi49
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of scottvanbelois
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mmva321
4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Clear and clean looking amber body with a constant stream of bubbles floating up. I got about a finger of white head that leaves the faintest of lacing along the glass.

S: Simple but wonderful. Strong hop bitterness and a citrus aroma that cuts through perfectly.

T: Simple but even more wonderful. Crisp and clean hops and a beautiful grapefruit tartness. What a surprise!

F: Clean with enough heft to the body to make it feel consequential. Wonderful carbonation is active on the tongue. Wonderfully refreshing with a dryness afterwards.

O: This one shocked me. I don't have much to say, because it's not much more than a simple lager, but if this isn't one of the best crafted and tasting in the style. This going to become a go-to for me.

 750 characters

Photo of lloyddas
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber color. Very clear. 1/2 inch head with staying power fed by sparkling beads. Yeasty floral smell. Citrusy hopping predominantly grapefruit and floral notes . Mildly bitter with dry finish. Thin mouthfeel.

 220 characters

Photo of Vader444
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Beavertown schooner. Pours an attractive amber colour. Plenty of carbonation in evidence. Lightly malty on the nose and palate. Enjoyable if unspectacular beer. I can see why it is held up as a classic of the craft beer world but there’s nothing here to blow me away.

 288 characters

Photo of beersampler6
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice easy-to-drink lager but a little disappointing considering the hype. Nice amber color with thick white foamy head, some nice lingering lacing. Smells faintly of malt and grain, tastes similarly although there is a hint of bitterness at the finish. Mild thin mouthfeel, slight lingering bitterness. Decent amount of carbonation.

 332 characters

Photo of Rubezahl
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A long time favorite

20 characters

Photo of Antyk
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of eluvah
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Draft into a tall Pilsner glass.

Pour: rich golden color with some amber tones. Nice 1-2 finger head that dissipates to a slight ring. No lacing to speak of.

Nose: some malt sweetness but fairly benign.

Taste: caramel, bready malt. Followed by some hop bitterness. Clean, crisp, refreshing.

Mouthfeel: fairly high carbonation that pleasantly stings the tongue. More substance than most lagers, but still very crisp almost like a Pilsner.

Overall: like everyone says: it’s a classic that stillbrates well. Drinkable anytime and with nearly any food. Refreshing but not watery. Full bodied but not heavy.

 613 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,119 ratings