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
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,972 |  Reviews: 2,044
Photo of WoodBrew
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been a while since I drank an Anchor Steam...I forgot how good it is! The color is a rich amber and clear. Decent white head that laced pretty well. There was not much to smell other than hints of malt and bread. The taste was good....definite malt base that was balanced neatly with hops. The beer had some body but was still light on the pallet. Mouthfeel was great...very easy to drink and had anice clean finish.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in an American Pint at 53 degrees. Batch# 1YF indicated on the back label. Pours a translucent burnt-orange with a dense, 2.5 inch cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap, with some residual spots of lacing revealed as the brew recedes. Nose reveals noble hops aromatics and light, toasted malts. Taste follows nose - hops presence is not overpowering, but overwhelms the malt profile. There's also a faint citrus quality interspersed across the backbone and finish is not really bitter, but there is a slight floral/earthy character that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and just a kiss of acidity. I can't say that I've had many opportunities to try this style out, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I can see it pairing well with food, but there are other brews I would go to before seeking this one out again.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Handed off to me with a nice 1/2 inch, cream-colored head with decent cling as it falls. A very clear medium copper-amber without much noticeable carbonation. A malty nose, with some burnt notes coming through, along with a bit of sourness and faint iron. Not a strong smell at all. The taste is very smooth and creamy at the fore, with malts mingling with some bright hop notes. Very balanced. The close is punctuated by hop bitterness that lingers for just the right amount of time. With that acidity, if finishes much crisper than it begins. The feel is, again, creamy and medium-bodied, with very pleasant zest at the close. Nice complexity and balance here.

This is just a very drinkable beer. There aren't a lot of prominent flavors that confront the palate, but it goes down so nicely. Smooth when it should be smooth, and crisp when it should be crisp. Just wish it wasn't so cost prohibitive for me to enjoy it regularly around here.

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Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark copper color with a nice head and some lacing.

S: Aroma is a pleasant roasted malt with traces of sice and citrus mixed in.

T: Nice mild malt flavor with a sort of earthiness. A bit of sweetness and herbs seem to round it out. Just a touch of bitterness and a dry finish.

F: fairly medium body, crisp and clean. Very well balanced.

O: Smooth drinker that goes down easy. Great example of the style, an American original. This is a must try beer.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly dark golden color with one finger of white head into a New Belgium snifter. Decent lacing.

Smell is whole grain bread and cracker with a hint of pear.

Taste is a clean breadiness with an earthy hop presence on this finish. Smooth flavor profile.

Slightly more heavy than I was expecting with moderate carbonation. Reasonably dry.

Solid lager here. Clean and crisp yet substantial taste profile. I guess this is a craft beer legend for a reason.

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Photo of fx20736
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a thin offwhite head. Beer is a beautiful coppery red. Aroma is very bready malt with a tea like herbal hoppiness. Taste, starts out malty and quickly changes to a herbal, slightly astringent bitterness which then fades and finishes clean. This is a very well balanced beer where Malt & Hops each do their part.

Wow, what a great beer! Not at all what I was expecting. Reminds me of an English Pale Ale and looks like an Irish Red Ale. The clean finish is what gets me. This beer is favorful without being overpowering, smooth and refreshing. Drinking it, in some ways feels like quaffing some Sun-brewed Iced-Tea. This could definitely be added to the Summer Pantheon with the Pilseners, Hefes, Helles, APA's and Kolsches.

Note: After further reading I see that ASB is technically a Lager. It is a Lager that tastes alot like an Ale, much like Kolsch is an Ale that tastes alot like a Lager. This fact only accentuates the unique greatness of this beer.

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Photo of gatorguy
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers, and a classic example of the California common style. Pours a deep amber/orange color and gives a nice white two finger head that slowly fades to some excellent lacing. Smell is of yeast, citrus, and a hint of earthy wood. Hoppy character is the nose for sure. Taste follows suit with some earthy hops, malts, and some citrus. Somewhat bitter aftertaste, in a good way. Mouthfeel is a little heavy, but not too much. This is an excellent brew, and a great way to get into the California common style.

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose hop soft and warm, a little wood mint too. The taste is hoppy but not excessively. It contains malt and slightly sweet, which gives an almost imperceptible hint of caramel. Beer pleasant, easy drinking and should deploy its full power enjoyed on a long beach in the state of California.

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

A- Deep amber/orange, egg-shell colored head, very bubbly.

S- Strong malty lager yeast hits first followed by some citrus aromas. Smells like a very robust pilsner with a hint of Pacific ocean fog rolling into the bay.

T- Complex malt composition, you can really taste the lager and ale tastes fighting it out. Yeasty with a subtle sweetness. Notes of spices, cloves and maybe coriander. Supportive hops hold it all together. Alcohol and yeast give the aftertaste a bit of a kick.

MF- Rich and thick, just as bubbly as it looks. Really fills the mouth.

D- Lighter than it should be given everything that's going on, but still quite a body. A real beer drinker's experience. Nicely balanced, very unique.

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Photo of corby112
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
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 airforbes1
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out a deep orange red and gives off a grassy aroma. The taste starts crisp, builds a slight apple-y taste, and finishes with some piney hops which linger on the tongue and strengthen as the beer warms. Even though the head quickly disappears, there's enough carbonation that leave me burping for a while. While this is not a particularly strong brew, it's more complex than one might suspect.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from August 2010 notes. I think it was at Parker Pie Co.

A- Clear gold with a bit of a copper glow to it. Fine white foam covers the liquid throughout and leaves some great looking layered lacing.

S- Hard for me topick up anything here. Light grain with a slight caramel feel to it. Very lightly hopped.

T- The smell led me in the right direction but the taste is less boring. Some sourness, a bit of boiled veggies. I thought this would be more special. Very little after-taste. Not offensive though. Very little after-taste with a bit more of that sourness. A bit watery.

M- Fuller than the relatively thin taste. Low carbonation. Dry.

D- Very easy to drink.

Won't be buying this again in stores but since tonight is 2$ draft night, I might spend another 6 bucks.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is a deep golden color with definite tendencies towards amber. Head mellows down to a thin coating on the surface, and is unapologetically white.

Smell: It's pretty malty, with a gentle sweetness accented by slight lemon-like tones. Very crisp in the nose.

Taste: For some reason, it reminds me of sepia-toned photographs. Beer is pretty generous with the malt, and there's a very earthy hop bitterness that follows soon afterward. Aftertaste is a good mix of both. Lots of wood.

Mouthfeel: Enters crisply, unfolds with moderately heavy carbonation into a palate pleaser, and rinses mostly dry.

Overall: Good, all the way around. I've never tried a California Common, but it's not a style I will shy away from in the future. Very nice.

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Photo of rawfish
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber into a shaker glass with a eggshell head reaching three fingers in height slightly over the brim of the glass. Excellent retention that folds in on itself into a dome cap though not much lacing.

Light biscuit maltiness with a touch of grain and hay on the back end. Low key spice notes lightly flowery.

Biscuits with a slight touch of spice and brown sugar sweetness up front, balanced by some grassy hop profile. Finishes crisp. Warming causes the beer to add a bit more adjunct lager corn flavors in the after taste.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Finishes crisp and cleanly, smooth on the palate.

Standard for the California common, smooth and sessionable, but has much in common with any other amber lager. Its appearance stands out, never had such an impressive head on a lager before. There are other beers I'd rather session but if anyone asks for the style, this is the way to go.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint. Code of 1AV translates to a bottling date of 2011 April 22.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with one finger of off-white head. Strong retention and lace, nice, vigorous carbonation as well.

S: Light fruits and a bit of hay.

T: Sweet hay up front gradually transitions to a slightly dry, hoppy grapefruit finish. There is some light, dry biscuit present as well as some soft minerals. The beer sweetens a bit overall through the course of the glass, but just a bit.

M: Light and refreshing with both soda and creamy aspects.

O: I like this beer. It is uncomplicated and straightforward, a little understated, and very refreshing. Every bit as good as I remember it from decades ago. I hope the new owners can keep it this way for years to come.

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Photo of Phelps
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Robbie Fox’s.

Deep amber with perfect clarity. The one-finger head of off-white is frothy and highly retentive, hanging out for a good ten minutes only to become a very thick, sticky top layer.

Not much to the nose. Sourish grain, hints of biscuits and freeze-dried apples.

The flavor expands on the aroma with lightly toasted biscuits, sweet red apple, apricot, lager-like yeast, some tangy grain and lightly earthy hops. The clean finish is surprising. Very nice.

Smooth, almost creamy medium light body with lightly massaging carbonation and soft fizziness. A slight bitterness lingers between sips.

I may have found a new favorite session beer; this was brilliant. Smooth, drinkable and surprisingly complex for what it is. There’s a reason they named the style after Anchor Steam.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy, golden orange color with a finger of creamy tan head.

S- Loads of bready, semi-sweet malts and grain, some floral hops.

T- A great combination of floral, slightly citric and spicy hops and bready, semi-sweet, delicious malts. Great balance and flavor.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy feel, semi-dry finish.

O- A great beer, definitely session worthy.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Clear caramel with a thick, off white head. Thick lacing left behind on the glass. 4/5

Smell- Bready with a bit of a crisp, spicy hop "bite" to it. 4/5

Taste- Spicy up front then evens out with a bready malt flavor. It ends on the spicy side again. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Nice even mouthfeel. A little on the thinner side of medium. 4/5

Overall- Even though I have had many, many beers this is the first time I have had this one. Impressions are that this is an easy drinking beer if you want to have something in between boring and crazy. This would seem to me as a great beer to pair with any type of dinner. 4/5

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Photo of bamojr
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange amber with a thin white head. Mostly some light malts in the nose and I didn't detect much else going on. Flavors had a lot of malt and some orange citrus flavors. Crisp and bitter to the taste. some other rather fruity and nutty notes that I can't quite detect exactly what they are. A bit bubbly but not in a bad way.

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Photo of orangesol
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the The Batdorf into a standard pint.

A - Pours orange-ish yellow with a small one finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted sweet buiscuity malt, earthy hops, and a touch of spice toward the end. Simple yet enjoyable.

T - The taste is pretty similar to the nose. Hints of sweet caramel malt, earthy hops, light spice, and the ever present buiscuity feel. The flavors are simple yet enjoyable. It goes down easy and often.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Light body with some lingering buiscuity sweetness in the finish.

O - This is my favorite Cali common. The flavors are simple and it is extremely easy drinking. I am glad we are finally starting to see more Anchor products in our area.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet glass.

Pours a hazy brown with a decent head.

Good smell of hops and sweet freshness.

Hops try to dominate the taste, with a lemon zing but fail (thankfully) balanced out by some bitterness, though still a nice presence. Finishes with a crisp, citrus hit.

Nice beer, will have to get again.

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Photo of Jazzcrop
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes are bitter caramel, crusts, salt, finishing hops, sogginess, bread, pistachios, cornbread and yeast. Smells of caramel bitterness, more hops, stringy barley and weirdly enough, I know, brandy-esque booze. Available anywhere. One reason I rated this guy!

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.04/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Look: It poured a transparent orange-brown colour with a thin tannish head that did not disappear
Smell: Exceptional. It smells delicious. A little sour with some sweetness in there. I'm looking forward to this beer.
Taste: The taste is surprisingly astringent. It's got some fantastic malt flavours to balance it out, though. I wouldn't say it's quite balanced, but it's not bad. Too many hops, though. The astringency lingers. I'm not a fan of that.
Mouthfeel: It feels thicker than I expected from the appearance. It's a perfectly good mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is average. I don't think I'll buy it again. It's too sour/astringent.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a tight white head that leaves rings of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and earthy hops.

Tastes of earthy hops upfront followed by rich malts. Hops have an earthy and herbs. Bitterness is low. Malts add a bit of bread and fruit with a small amount of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a beer that is the classic example of the style, but is not the end all.

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Photo of samie85
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 5/29/11.

A-Served in a pint glass with a robust, clear, amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

S-Fruity ale esters with caramel malt and light clean hops.

T-Crisp, fruity notes with a dry bitterness and caramel malt base.

M-Moderate carbonation with a medium body and a pretty dry feel.

D-Very drinkable and my introduction to the style; a light but complex beer.

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