Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BA SCORE
69%
Liked This Beer
3.85 w/ 5,992 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:
#9,297
Reviews:
2,049
Ratings:
5,992
Liked:
4,137
Avg:
3.85/5
pDev:
12.73%
Alströms:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
237
Gots:
1,265
Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,992 |  Reviews: 2,049
Photo of tailleur
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tasted wonderful on one of the hottest days of the year. wonderful hoppy nose. The hops and malt are wonderfully balanced. I think something special happened when they decided to brew a lager at ale temps. The lager yeast is much cleaner than ale yeast. Just brewed a clone recipe of this. cant wait till it's ready.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz served into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Clear coppery-orange. Very little white head on top of the beer as it was delivered, and this died down. Very faint lacing initially but that went away as well. Maybe it was the glass, but the lacing and foam was not existent by halfway through the beer. While it has a nice color I'm not impressed with the head.

Smell: Mild toasted malts with a hint of citrus hops. Very balanced.

Taste: Again, very balanced here. Toasted malt up front blending nicely into a citrus like hop finish. Malts are maybe a little bit ahead here on the balance, but overall the combination is quite nice. Nothing exotic, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with mild carbonation. Good thickness - does not linger on the teeth, and the carbonation does not get in the way of the flavor of the beer.

Drinkability: Despite the lack of foam and lacing (which again may be the glass - no way of knowing) I think I like this beer better on tap than in a bottle. Went very well with crab cakes, and I could easily put back another 16oz. A very drinkable and all-around good beer.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. About time I review some Anchor Steam. The first time I tried it, was many years ago and it was tasty. Hopefully those old memories are still here since I occasionally have it.

Anchor Steam pours a nice off white head of a very large four fingers. It has a gorgeous clear color of dark to brown copper. Wonderful ice cream cone retention on the head as well, looks like a root beer float. Some small carbonation from the bottom. Some stickyness and lacing. She looks good in the pint!

A very faint airy malt aroma, but a very nice one. Small grain in the nose kind of lingers after you pull the beer away. Some very faint hops.

On taste it's at first a sweet grain, then gives way to a subtle hop finish. Fells a little carbonated in the mouth and wet but the body doesn't feel like complete water. Quite solid and good nothing fancy, just simple.

Anchor steam is still solid just as I remember it. Inexpensive to boot too and easy drinking. Not the most knockout beer I've had, but certainly one that is worth its price and then some and easily available.

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

355ml bottle, consumed Jan 2011, BBE Sep 2012

A - Amber body with decent head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a moderate amount of lacing that clings to the glass.

S - Very delicate aromas, mainly malts with a little hops.

T - Sweet malty opener, with a hoppy bitterness in the middle. Finishes delicately, slightly dry with some light lingering bitterness.

M - Very smooth, medium body, light carbonation.

D - A very drinkable beer, would definitely work well as a session drink.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep yellow with amber/orange tint. delicious 2 finger head, good lacing.

S: nice grain, malt, mild sweet aroma.

T: sweet malt upfront, mild bitter finish.

M: medium/light body, decent carbonation, dry finish.

D: Nice session beer. If you want to go for taste but watch the ABV or calories (lol), this may be a good standard brew. Fine gateway beer for newbies.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

#74. Somewhat keen on discovering how this beer differs from a traditional lager. It can be found in better beer selection supermarkets, which is where I found this in a mix-your-own-six variety pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Whoops. I poured this beer pretty aggressively! Beer yields at least a 4 finger depth, thick dense fluffy foamy creamy head that retains like a champ, trickling downward at a very slow pace and slowing from depreciating more once at a modest 1.5 depth. Some light lacing is present as the head recedes, but it has no staying power and is gone by the end of the drink. Color is amongst the purest of deep oranges with deep amber shades included. Looks almost like a late sunset. Clarity is absolute with this beer. Carbonation is a sporadic arrangement of tiny active bubbles. Acts and looks promising. 4

(Smell) An earthy hop and faintly breaded caramel malt blend are subtle and the beer smells very fair and balanced. The caramel tones round out the aroma to balance the beer's bitter and sweet notes. Very light and fair on the nose, but the balance is spot on. Aroma better emphasizes the beer's sweet side. It could be far more potent but its appealing in smell nonetheless. 4

(Taste) First impressions gather a wonderful exchange of sweet and bitter tastes, with sweet dominating the first half and a bitter finish rounding out the end product. Some clean caramel malts are easiest to pick out through the entire experience, but the subtlety is outstanding, avoiding masking the equally impressive bitter characteristics of the earthy, faintly citrus-like hopped finale. Simply easy to drink for a variety of reasons; there's nothing here that slows down the pace. Really a good choice for people entering the beer craft world from both macros and common micros. Reminds me of some of good Samuel Adams lager brews. 4

(Mouthfeel) Incredibly smooth and creamy texture. Beyond the first moments the rest of the beer is thin and glides past the palate without any resistance or extra texture. On the thin side of things but without being watery or bland. This beer has a light-medium body and a decent dose of sweet character up front and a bitter profile in back. Dry, but wonderfully dry. 4

(Drinkability) Outstandingly drinkable. This beer has an amazing balance of favorable flavors without omitting a single necessity for a damn tasty beer. Drinks smooth, tastes balanced and enjoyable, and no flavors wear down on the drinker. For a very simple beer, this hits all the right chords. One six pack to myself would be a fantastic choice. 5

Verdict: If you've ever thought about trying a "steam" beer, this one is a definite good starter choice. Very drinkable and delicious, two of the most important characteristics of the perfect beer. If you find it, you should get it. A- (4.2)

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Photo of marty21
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep golden colour with a large white creamy head. Settles to a solid cap and left decent lacing for the most part.

S: Malty that blends nicely with a hoppy aroma. A little citrus in there as well.

T: Malty with that finishes with some hops. At times I can feel a lemony pepper taste building up but it never fully comes together. It keeps me coming back to try and acquire that taste.

M: Lighter carbonation with a medium body. Very drinkable.

D: A very different beer unlike any I've had before but it was quite enjoyable. It isn't too complex but that's what makes it so great. I could see myself easily picking up a 6-pack after trying this beer. It would be a great session beer.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - bit of a dark amber in color, clear, with about a finger's worth of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly. Good carbonation.

Smell - definitely has a malty/hoppy mix. Slight floral hints. Maybe some maple sugar?

Taste and Mouthfeel - definitely a unique and different taste. Bitterness from the hops is present. Balanced out slightly by the malts. Definitely tastes like a beer that's gone through a different fermentation process than the norm. Texture is well-balanced.

Drinkability - not extremely complex in taste but definitely unique. Definitely worth a six-pack to acclimate yourself to the taste.

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Photo of JonathanCrites
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this as part of a build your own six pack at the Krogers on W Gray in Houston.

A - Pours a bright amber into a pint glass with a tan head.

S - Lots of floral and grain aromas in the in the smell, also a sweet note like orange or lemon.

T - Taste follows from the smell, lots of grain with a variety of floral and herbaceous flavors. Delicious.

M - Light-medium mouthfeel, lots and lots of carbonation.

D - Low ABV, easy to drink outside of the heavy carbonation.

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Photo of SnowGoon99
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a dark straw or "dirty blonde" if you will. Nice thick head to start with but dissipates quickly. Aromas include a little sulfur with some earthiness and hints of caramel. Definitely more lager-like than ale-like which i guess is the point.

Flavors include the earthiness again from the hops and the slight caramel from the malt. A good balance here. It is carbonated a little more than your typical beer but right on for a lager beer. Was wishing for a little bit more body but the carbonation does help with the drinkability a lot. Very easy drinking.

Overall a nice beer. It is pretty much the quintessential California Common beer as it was pretty much the original. It is the style. But slowly forms of it are starting to emerge which is good. It's not an exceptional beer but it certainly is easy-drinking and when your looking for a couple lagers to drink one night or looking to get friends into craft beer, this may be the beer for you.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was imported from out west, obviously, and had probably been sitting on the shelf for some time. Possibility of light exposure very possible.

Pours amber with hints of copper with a head that quickly dissipates even though active carbonation is present. Lacing is fine but lasting. Sweet malts pierce the nostrils with a healthy amount of caramelization. Buttery and creamy smelling but not of a diacetyl nature. The yeast seems to be doing something a bit funky with fruity undertones; perhaps a bit skunky/light-struck.

The flavor is very malt forward with just a touch of green apple (cidery) taste that's quite bothersome. Yeasty and tart in the aftertaste that is reminiscent of a homebrew that was over primed with sugar. The hop notes that are able to squeeze through are very earthy in nature. The taste of this beer, however, is off-putting.

All in all, I believe that I received an inferior example of this style due to storage and shipping. I'd love to try this beer fresh on tap in California as I've heard wonderful things. Highly sessionable, this brew probably could have been a winner.

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

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

Appearance: Anchor Steam pours a dark orange color, cloudy with large bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass before their inevitable ascent to maintain the head on top. Although a modest foamy white head is initially visible, it fades to a film with a pronounced ring.

Smell: Light toasted malt, long-lasting earthy hops.

Taste: A bit of caramel sneaks through, but the flavor here is mostly a modest level bitterness, with just a dash of tart lemon. The malt back is reminiscent of a toasted biscuit, but the earthy hop flavors step in front. The finish stays bitter.

Mouthfeel: Briskly carbonated, as was apparent from the appearance. Slightly dry, more so at the finish. Grainy and slightly astringent with a light to medium body.

Drinkability: This is definitely a beer worth trying. It is Anchor's flagship beer and has by far the most reviews of any Steam beer. There is a fair amount going on here, especially for an American Lager at 4.9%.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear orange amber. An average pour lead to ~2 fingers of super creamy head.

S - Light malt, touch of white bread. Fairly mild.

T - Bready caramel, French bead. Light, slightly waxy bitterness. Pleasant cumquat citrus character from the mid to the backend of the profile.

M - Refreshingly effervescent. Medium-light body. Bready sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. A refreshing beer with a great taste.

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Photo of Lillenk
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a very nice clear yet brownish color.

Smell was sort of lacking. Not much there at all.

Taste was pretty ok. Not a whole lot happening. A lot lighter body and flavor than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel was nice and because it was way lighter than expected, it was very easy to drink.

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Photo of MadCat
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice brownish color, small head that disappears quickly

Smell: Malty, almost fruity smell

Taste: Malty, slightly fruity, slightly hoppy and bitter

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard, carbonation makes it feel crisp

Drinkability: Very average for me. Nothing about it makes me want to go for another one, but I have no issues finishing the bottle.

Overall, good, but not outstanding.

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

A- Copper amber color. Nice white fluffy head with bubbles

S- Malty fresh crisp smell

T- The malty goodness oozes from this. The beer has a slight hop finish, just to remind you it's there.

M- light bodied and crisp bubbly feel.

D- Pretty solid. Not going to say no to it and wouldn't say no to more than one or three.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes over the holidays
A - just slightly hazy copper, generous off white head
S - grainy and grassy, with some buttery and caramel hints
T - a sharp very toasted grainy malt flavour, a bitter grassy hint with buttery with a resiny and dry citrus finish, very interesting
M - medium refreshing carbonation kick, very clean and light, drying out on the finish
D - a complex and very drinkable brew, the flavour are interesting while being light and refreshing enough to be a great session option

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Photo of scubasteve04
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured aggressively into a standard pint glass, apparently too aggressively as indicated by the 5 inches of foam in my glass. I let it settle for a minute and then poured the remainder of the bottle in. Took my first drink just below 45 degrees F, I'd guess.

A: Really classic, awesome looking brew. A not quite white, spongy head on top of the coppery, bubbly beer with a nice touch of red color in the right light.

S: Smell is pretty mild. Earthy, malty, and maybe just a bit of bitter hops. So fresh and so clean, clean.

T: You get a nice malty sweetness right up front, then a mix of hop bitterness and astringency with a really nice, clean, crisp finish. Perhaps just a trace of citrusy sour/bitterness left in the mouth, but not much.

M: Very light, bubbly, yet still very smooth and not watery. Surprised me, pleasantly.

D: Drinkable as hell. This would be a great go-to superbowl or "insert sporting event here" beer to drink all day with some good company. If it were not close to my bedtime I would have kept going.

I got this six-pack as a Christmas gift this year, and had not heard of it until then, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Turned out to be a great gift. Thanks, Tony.

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Photo of heavy216
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: small 12oz bottle, huge fist of head which would no die, good/average amount of lacing, amber/gold in color, medium carbonation

S: very fruity smell

T/M: good mouthfeel, refreshing....taste average nothing special slightly fruity like the smell

D: little to no alcohol flavor....very enjoyable on nice day

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Photo of e11iott
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: 12oz, must have poured this wrong, fist full of head, medium lacing, light amber color.

S: Faint smell of fruit and citrus.

T/M: Over all smooth beer, very easy to drink, surpirsed not a light beer. Carbonation was average but in a good way.

D: Enjoyable as it got warmer, cant taste the alcohol at all.

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Photo of BB1313
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a beautiful rich golden color with a great white fluffy head and nice lacing. Great looking beer! There's a strong breadiness to this one with a slight amount of hops. Very grainy and metallic. I'm picking up some sweet fruits in a subtle way. Mouthfeel is nice, well carbonated, smooth. Drinkability is pretty good due to low abv. Great for casual drinking.

This is definitely a real beer, a man's beer. A great beer for warm weather.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A=Light orange/amber with good head, lasting several minutes, leaving a amount of good sticky lacing.

S&T=Malted barley, some grains/fruit,maybe some nuts with a slight hop note/character in the background.

M=Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Easy to drink a lot of, not bloating, very smooth and pleasant. I like it. An excellent fallback/session brew, or if you're just looking for something more casual/refined.

Looking forward to having again sometime.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of Kyle's bounty given to me.

Pours a near amber color with some foam upon pouring. A ring of bubbles exists throughout with some bubbles sticking to the glass to form lacing.

The smell is odd, butter, green grapes, and apple provide an almost champagne like smell.

I would say that this is better tasting than what I was expecting. There is a firm maltiness to it with subtle hops. The balance is nice with a very clean aftertaste.

Light to medium in the mouth, as I mentioned above, the aftertaste is clean. A small bit of bitterness adds some zing to the aftertaste.

I would describe this as a very drinkable beer which is session worthy. A tasty brew this is...

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Photo of birdyone
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks good when poured. Not much head, not much fizz, but a beautiful color. It's kinda like that stereotypical ale color. very clear. nice amber color.

mild smell. very normal, and typical to the breed. nothing special.

taste is good, but more on the average side. again nothing too special.

good mouthfeel. smooth. crisp. refreshing.

great drinkability. its strength come from it averageness. it doesn't overpower you. you can sip it or you can throw some back with friends. it's fairly common in stores, the price isn't really out of reach for most people. it's better than the macro brews, but not snobbish. you could give it to connoisseur and noob alike and both would be pleased.

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Photo of BFrost
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. The color is a transparent amber with a slightly off-white head that appears to have nice density, but it fades quickly, though a decent lace is left after the head does fade.

The smell is initially faint, but eventually light malt, barley, and hops are noticed. A favorable bitterness is also present in the nose.

The barley, malt, and hops are present on the tongue as well, but it does not taste quite as bitter as it smells. The carbonation is light on the tongue, then it is smooth as it goes down.

Notes: This is my first encounter with a beer of this style. it is easy to drink, enjoyable, and would not be a poor choice on a night out with friends. It looks and tastes like a typical American Amber. I'd probably have mistaken it for one if I hadn't any knowledge of it being something else. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I wouldn't mind having another.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 69% out of 100 with 5,992 ratings
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