Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BA SCORE
3.85/5
Very Good
6,018 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
Ranking:
#10,080
Reviews:
2,057
Ratings:
6,018
pDev:
12.73%
Bros Score:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
236
Gots:
1,283
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,018 |  Reviews: 2,057
Photo of suspect
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Crystal clear, pure orange, slightly light amber in color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a huge fluffy 3 finger, super creamy head that disappears in under a minute. Lacing is spotty but present and sticks to the glass.

S: Citrus forward (lemony), the yeast is ultra present as well. Malt backend is present, yet subdued.

T: Unlike the smell, it's malt-forward as opposed to citrusy-hop forward. However, the hops are definitely present here. Lager-yeast is present on the backend.

M: Creamy, medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. Sticky mouthfeel.

O: What can I say? It's Anchor Steam. It's phenomenally unique. This is one of my go-to beers pretty much anytime.

 738 characters

Photo of PDXHops
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Pale see-thru amber with a quickly reducing head, but a skim hangs on tenaciously.

Smells bready, metallic and a bit earthy. Flavor profile starts there, only more intense. Bitter to near astringency, which contributes to a bone dry finish. Raw and spicy. Ample carbonation fluffs it up to a fuller feel than anticipated. Mildly sweet, moderately toasty, exceedingly grainy. Nothing wrong with revisiting a classic now and then, nope.

 479 characters

Photo of jadpsu
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchsed on visit to Laurel MS. Purchased at Corner Market.
Pours hazy orange with a full off white head with very good retention and side glass lacing.
Aroma: Earthy malts, with a tinge of yeasty breads. Some citrus / lemon hops.
Nothing dominates, well balanced.
Taste is a little sweet to start, then you get a dry bitter bite for an enjoyable finish.
Very drinkable, would like to do a full session with these.

 414 characters

Photo of vrushing88
2.33/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer on tap last night.

It presented with a dark golden color, with a quickly dissipating head.

I could smell mostly yeast in this beer.

The taste was somewhere between an amber lager and an amber ale, which I suppose was fitting for what they wanted.

No real feel to this. It was extremely light, and airy, almost as if it were floating in my mouth.

Overall I am not a fan nor am I impressed. I am not saying this is a bad beer. It just is not something I care for. Being on the east coast, I suppose I'm judging harshly as this is my first steam beer. I do plan to revisit.

I recommend this beer to anyone who would like to try steam-beer.

 659 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear amber orange with lots of bubbles. Big white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Grains and yeast with caramel malts and some earthy hops. Hop scent is fairly subdued.

Taste: Lots of caramel malts and grains up front with hints of citrus. Finishes with a mild hop bitterness. Tastes like a spring bock that has a more full malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation. Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

Overall: A very tasty and rich brew.

 566 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass at the Nob Hill Cafe in San Francisco

A- Poured a clear amber brown color with a two finger fluffy head that left lots of lacing

S- Floral hops, earthy aroma, barley, and caramel

T- Tastes like it smells, floral and earthy notes, barley, and caramel. Has a nice hop bitterness to it.

M- Very smooth, medium body beer

O- A classic craft beer. I wish more craft breweries would make a California Common beer for me to compare this to, but a very smooth drinking lager.

 516 characters

Photo of eclaycamp
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a 10 ounce glass. It's been years - perhaps a decade even - since I last had the famous Anchor Steam Beer. Pouring it again, for the first time, and I'm struck by the loads upon loads of carbonation in the brew. The bubbles just go on for days. Upon further inspection, this beer is brilliantly clear, as you can easily read the label from behind the glass. A big frothy head bursts to the top of the brew, but recedes just as quickly. Color is darker than gold but not quite amber, settling in at a rusty orange. Smells of a light grain, almost like a pilsner. First taste is sweet, almost fruity, with a very sweet malt finish. This - this is not like I remember at all! Moderate bitterness in the finish, but not overpowering at all. Slightly sticky and relatively thick mouth feel, though the heavy carbonation helps to scrub the taste off your tongue as you drink it. As you continue to taste the malt becomes more and more pronounced, and it works in context with the yeast profile to create almost a jam and bread flavor. An underrated gem.

 1,082 characters

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At at bar with a lack of beer and kinda bored soooo..

A - amber, copper, rust, a little head that vanished after a couple minutes. It looks alright.

S - umm nothing? Maybe it's the glass but it just kinda smells like sweet and stale beer... probably the glass. A tiny bit piney and fruity but just ever so slightly.

T - malty, earthly, mildly bitter. Nothing serious which is why I can see this beer being so widley distributed. it's handleable if ur not looking for a mouthful of hops when in search of an ale or an ipa.

M - again pretty tame. medium carbonation level but a bit of a bite although still pretty light.

O - if there is no other game in town then go for it but I probably would been better off with just a water.

 732 characters

Photo of nickhiller
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear amber colored, low visible carbonation, a few bubbles here and there about the rim.

S: yeasty, earthy, malty.

T: bitter lemon and earth, it tastes a little bit like a cup of iced tea that has been steeped just a little too long.

M: light bodied, sharp on the tongue with a bone dry finish.

O: I'm a huge fan of this beer, it's one of the beers that prompted me to start exploring in my early days. It's kind of strange to come back to it, I think my palate has been irreversibly changed by the beers that I drank in the intervening years, but in many ways it's just as good as I remember.

 609 characters

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

Pale copper colour, Light white head, no lacing to speak of here. Smell is malty, slight caramel and toffee, an earthy grainy note, slight hop bitterness in the nose. Taste is big malt, caramel, toffee, clean with a light bitter finish. Good mouthfeel, big carbonation but seems to not last on the palate, medium weight. Good overall brew, sessionable and nice for the season.

 376 characters

Photo of keeganfrank
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a big, foamy head. Tons of suds. The beer itself is tea-colored with yellow highlights. Crisp, grassy aroma with some citrus undertones. Fresh grain mixed with creamy berry and citrus flavors, yeasty, with some slight hop bitterness. This is one complex beer.

 270 characters

Photo of SassyBootblack
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in San Fransisco, for what that's worth.

Appearance: A nice, clear amber color. A finger of white head.

Smell: Clean malt. Not much in the way of hop aroma.

Taste: Malt, with some hops and a mineral water quality. Quite good and not over bearing. The hops aren't as "woody" as some imitators I've tasted and I mean that as a compliment.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean!

Overall: A delicious lager beer with enough character to be interesting.

 449 characters

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

Poured a dark amber color from a stubby 12 oz bottle with a nice, foamy one finger head. Good head retention and carbonation.
Aroma is typical of a lager, with the malt dominating. The malt is evident in the taste too, with hints of hop bitterness in the finish.
Crisp, refreshing beer that is perfect for a hot, sunny day and is one of the perfect session beers around.
A fine beer from Anchor Brewing and is definitely worth a try.

 433 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty orange/brown color, white head starts huge and retains well at a finger leaving some lacing.

Starts out with American lager scent all the way, grainy/cereal-y, improves wholly with warmth with nice earthy and grassy hop notes and faint caramel malt.

Earthy and light fruit hop bitterness up-front with nice pale and toasty malts, a bit macro-y on the finish giving off a more grainy vibe, warm bread taste lingers afterwords. Light crisp mouthfeel, a bit overcarbonated.

A classic, a big stepping stone in the craft beer world. Definitely has more going for it than your average American lager but not something I'd feel the need to pick up often.

 664 characters

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

On tap. Pours a translucent mahogany color with a thin layer of head. Virtually no lacing. Aroma is of toasted malts, bread and slightly sweet. Taste is sweet toasted malts, and a slight hop bitterness. Has kind of a cereal taste to it. Thin and watery mouthfeel but its a crisp and refreshing easy drinking beer. Overall, this is one of the better warm weather beers and worth having often.

 391 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: light amber color with a fluffy white head that dies to a small ring of bubbles. clear allowing plenty of carbonation to be seen.

S: a light toasted grain. similar to cheerios. a woody presence as well from the hops.

T: a minty, sharp bitterness is first and foremost. the malt is brushed aside by this hoppy body, much opposite the nose.

M: a light body with medium/hard carbonation.

D: an american craft classic that is super drinkable and showcases an american hop that isn't dominated by citrus.

 507 characters

Photo of Mit
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber colour. Nice head lingers for a little while.

Malty notes with some slight citrus hop characteristic. very pleasant.

Bitter notes both hoppy and possible from any roasted malts...very nice finish...I remember trying this years ago and thinking it was a hop bomb...oh how the palate has changed.

solid for the 4.5 abv.

Overall a very nice beer and def one of the beers that got me into craft beer. I def have a soft spot for this one.

 463 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (bottled 12/16/10) poured into a pint glass

A: Regular pour leads to a 3-finger, off-white foamy head with lots of bubble action and is fairly quick to evaporate. Somewhat cloudy, gold copper color that almost like a really light rust (not in a bad way).

S: Lightly toasted malts, a little floral hop character, a little lemon citrus, toffee.

T: Right up front you get that nice floral hop character, almost seems a mix between english style and german style hops. Floral with a little lemon citrus; very clean, earthy, and a little bitterness. The malts come in right behind it, slightly toasted with a 'heaviness' and flavor that seems almost like a brown ale. Fairly long middle with the toasted grains, actually there's a good bit of depth too, almost like a somewhat dark multi-grain bread. There's some toffee-like sweetness, just enough to clean out the hops and grains, seems like the perfect balance. The citrus and floral hops come back again in the finish to give it just a tiny bite and slight bittering finish, though it's still clean and crisp.

M: Lots of lively carbonation that lasts a long time on the palate. Medium body, akin to a good brown ale. Crisp and refreshing.

O: A good, solid beer that is tasty, balanced, and refreshing. I feel like this will make a fantastic summer beer and a nice break from over-the-top IPAs.

 1,360 characters

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

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2-3 thick fingers of off-white head. This settles down into about a solid finger’s worth, leaving back a creamy latticework of foamy lacing. The aroma is thick in the nose, with a mix of fruit, caramel, and bread, which is then softened on the edges somewhat by notes of leafy earth and a light spicy feel.

The taste has a crisp bitter bite to it, which snaps across the tongue. This is well balanced by a strong backbone of caramel sweetness, which has some sturdy toasted edges to it. The finish is dry and lightly spicy, with some lingering notes of bitter fruit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively and crisp feel that dances around in the mouth, before smoothing out into an easy creaminess across the back.

This is the beer that started the craft beer revolution in this country and it’s still going strong all of these years later. I hadn’t had this in a while and sitting down with a 22 oz helped me realize again how flavorful and just plain drinkable this can be when you sit down with it. 40 years later and still going strong, this beer is a winner.

 1,150 characters

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

appearance - warm amber, slight orange-red tinge. one finger of white, creamy head.

smell - faint earthy hops...a little malty. complex. kind of musky.

taste - citrus bitterness. i didn't believe that it would taste salty...but it kind of really does. dry, toasty grain.

mouthfeel - medium body with a lighter finish. carbonation is decent.

overall - i can see myself taking this one to every barbeque from now on. awesome stuff. seems quite sessionable.

 461 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good consistant brew. The pour is golden in color with a nice solid white head on top that beer a good lacing down the glass. The taste of this beer is pretty standard but yet has enough flavor to keep it interesting. Mostly hops and malts on the tongue. The smell is basically the same. Mouthfeel is easy going. A good social beer. I wise choice of the the main stream beers out there.

 396 characters

Photo of SamN
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a tumbler.

Mmmm, nice frothy head here. Pretty thick and fluffy. Spotty like an IPAs, thick like a porters. Leaving a nice sheet of lacing already. Color is decent, if not a little flat. Copper and brownish, with amber highlights. Smell is of sweet smokey caramel, tinny adjuncts. Honestly, not too impressed by the aroma. However, the taste is a different matter! I had no idea this style of beer was so flavorful! Lots of full, malty tastes of wood, grain and grass and balanced with a fruity/flowery hops bite. The hops bitterness swells but never really crests in a buzzsaw of sticky pine resin; instead it strikes a nice balanced chord of taste. Unlike any lager I've ever had before, really a unique brew. Has a mild sweetness in the background. Glossy, polished tastes. Exceptionally clear flavors! Decently bodied lager, more character and a bit more body than most American lags.

Despite it's mediocre aroma, this beer really came out and shone for me. A classic American craft beer, the West Coast is proud.

 1,024 characters

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

Pours a clear organ/copper color with an inch and a half of orange tinted white head. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Has a good malt smell right off the bat. Taste goes right along with the smell: sweet malty and grain flavors Taste has a bitter feel to it that balances with the sweet malt flavors well.. Has a medium body and a medium/ balanced amount of carbonation. A good refreshing brew from the west coast.

 436 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear and light orangish copper with a little bid of head that quickly dissipates. Leaves lacing behind.

Smell: Yeast with hints of light citrus hops. Nothing but simplicity at its finest.

Taste: Yeasty with light citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation with a smooth finish.

Overall: I think this is actually a pretty good session beer. Simple in pretty much everything, which works really well. I think Anchor does the style more than justice and might actually pick up a six pack in the future.

 517 characters

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

Bottled Jan 8 2011

A - Crystal clear light orange/copper body, small white head.

S - Light fruity dryness, some hoppy character. Light smells, not very complex, but not bad.

T - Dry-ish, crisp light malt, hint of citrusy hops. Lightly roasted malts even it out.

M - smooth, medium body. Surprisingly not very drying compared to taste.

O - Very drinkable, pretty tasty, nothing bad, just not something that will be my go-to.

 428 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,018 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.