Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
5,972 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
Ratings:
5,972
Reviews:
2,044
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
12.69%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
1,253
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,972 |  Reviews: 2,044
Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of jerbear3
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: rich amber color with clean appearance. Solid head after pour.
S: smells delicious with floral hints and a caramel suttleness.
T: rich in flavor of toasted caramel with a hit of citrus notes.
M: moist on the pallet without a overpowering feel.
O: solid beer great for any occasion. Cheers!

 293 characters

Photo of ZBerkeleyan
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of JSchock7
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of BertLoveIII
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Bagoosh
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of rickyleepotts
2.39/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

We only have a few more of these "boring" beers in the fridge… and then it's time to go shopping! That is my favorite part, buying new bottles to have in the fridge. Gives me something to look forward to. I like to let Sheryl pick a number to determine the beer we are going to drink. Let me tell you… the beer selection process is pretty crazy!

Anyway, tonight we are drinking a bottle of Anchor Steam Beer from the Anchor Brewing Company. Until tonight, I didn't realize that Anchor owned the trademark on the word "steam". I wonder how that works… I wonder what it costs to buy a trademark. Maybe I should trademark the word "beer"… I'd make millions! Come on people, let's drink.

In the Glass: It has a nice copper color in the glass. It makes me think of those giant cider stills you see in breweries. I call them cider stills because I don't know the correct name for them… but they use them to make cider, I know that much. This beer also provides little head, and a weak lace.

Nose: The nose is pretty boring. Smells like a typical American lager, really. I wonder what makes this a "steam beer"… I mean, I know what makes it a steam beer, but I have never heard of this style before. Maybe because Anchor owns the trademark to the word "steam".

Flavor: The flavor is unexpected. It has some subtle sweetness to it, but then the malts really hit. In the tasting notes they call the mouthfeel "spritzy"… I call it carbonated. It's not overwhelming, though. Provides an easy drinking sensation that reminds me of a polished session beer.

Mouthfeel: There are a lot of bubbles going on here. Not too much, but enough that from my first drink I remember the carbonation.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste, what little aftertaste there is, has a certain malty sweetness to it. The tasting notes said it was lingering… but it's not. It's there and gone again. However, the sweetness stick around and begs for another sip.

Regardless of how they make this beer, I wouldn't consider buying this on a regular basis. I would simply grab a case on the way to the ballgame or pass it around in the parking lot while we tailgate. It's nothing to write home about. I will say, after sparking up a conversation with Anchor Brewing on Twitter, that their porter is one of the best porters on the market. But out of all the Anchor beers I have tried, most of them are middle of the road. Good thing they have that porter to keep me buying their product! Bottoms up, people.

Anchor Steam Beer - The bottle says: "Anchor Steam brand beer is virtually handmade with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. The deep amber color, thick creamy head, and the rich flavor all testify to our traditional brewing methods. Anchor Steam Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when "steam" seems to have been a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of American under primitive conditions and without ice. The word "steam" may have referred to the pressure of nature carbonation developing in the beers. Today the brewing methods of those days are a mystery, and for many decades Anchor alone has used the quaint name "steam" for its unique beer. Today Anchor is one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. San Francisco's famous Anchor Steam brand beer is unique, for our brewing process has evolved over many decades and is like no other in the world."

 3,408 characters

Photo of Thacook
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mttdls
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of abex44
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Mathews
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mgironta
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body is a clear amber color with mild visible carbonation. The nose is really muted. And I mean muted to the point that I was sticking my face in the glass and couldn’t get much. I was really searching and got a slight hint of hops. The taste was boring at best. There was a crispness to it, which was the good part. Otherwise, I got some malt on it with a hint of hops. Wow this is just bland. It goes down easily but I think my qualm is more with the style. It’s just very boring to me. I could easily put a few back, but I really wouldn’t want to. Finish is quick and unremarkable. This one just wasn’t my cup of tea.

 734 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of July 2013. ABV is stated as 4.8%. Picked up some time back from the York Wine & Beer shop. I had this ages ago and remember enjoying it; the story of 19th century West coast brewing that underpins this beer is colourful.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A deep orange-amber hue with faint haze and light carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of caramel malt with earthy yeast esters and stewed hops. Faintly sweet. A hint of cardboard/sherry in the background, along with an alcoholic note.

Tastes of caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of fruity, earthy yeast esters, stewed hops and a hint of solvent. Faint cardboard and sherry in the background. Dry, with a mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with good body. Could perhaps be a tad more carbonated. Aftertaste of caramel malt and stewed hops.

It's an OK beer, though not amazing. From the stale background notes I'm wondering if this is old, though it's well within date. Decent malt character with an unusual yeast presence (like an English ale). No aromatic hops to be discerned. Goes down easily enough but just isn't that interesting. I wanted to like this more - perhaps I'll have another, fresher one some time.

 1,320 characters

Photo of kgmm77
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of jasewaaang
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of ScottWaltz
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of CoCambria
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of JJFordick
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of wendylg
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of ChanChan
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of wattoclone
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of Scott1970
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of yossarian14
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 5,972 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.