Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
6,139 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

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Ratings: 6,139 |  Reviews: 2,090
Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hoppy nose and taste. It has a decent golden amber color. and a moderate head that is short lived. Kind of has a stick to the roof of your mouth yet smooth texture in regards to mouthfeel. It has a very bitter finish that is a bit off and lacking balance. Overall a somewhat drinkable beer but not a great beer.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, opaque copper/red color. Decent head, with the tiniest micro-bubbles, which turn into elegant lace. I like this beer because it has character, but is unobtrusive. It is yummy and interesting, yet it does not get in the way of dinner. It has a malty flavor on a medium body, with light hop bitterness. The high carbonation further enhances this beer’s “with food” profile for me.

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Photo of Realale
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish copper color. Pours with a nice tight 1/2 inch head, that settles slowly, becoming lacy along the way. A very appetizing pint!

Nose is caramel malt, with some fruity notes. There is a mineral quality there as well - a bit like wet concrete, actually.

Very well balanced on the palate. There is a lot of malt, with a substantial crystal component, but there is plenty of bitterness there to counter it, as well as some nice hop flavor.

A bit over-carbonated, but that's the fault of the bar, not Anchor, I hope. The over-carb decreases my drinkability - this is dehydration city waiting to happen.

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

Appearance: Pours an amber-red color with copper edges. The head was huge to start with, because I poured down the center of the glass, but shrank to a solid, 3/4' cap with good lacing.

Smell: Lots of esters and fruitiness balanced with a good dose of hops.

Taste: Carrys over that balance of sweet malt and fruit and hop bitterness from the nose. The hop flavor is a bit on the coarse side...I like that. Finishes more to the bitter side.

Mouthfeel: Fairly medium bodied with a mouthfeel that bounces back and forth from oily and juicy, to dry and crisp.

Drinkability: Very good. It's modest alcohol, lighter body, and fairly simple flavor profile make this an easy choice.

While it may not be on anybody's 'Best of' list, it's a rock-solid and dependable brew that never fails to please. The granddaddy and precursor of all American micros.

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

This is perhaps the best Amber beer I have ever had the privelage to drink. This is kind of similar to yuenglings lager, but it is oh, so much better! This pours a wonderful amber colour and smells of malts and hops. This tastes like a wonderfully balance beer should. Although it is a little light on the hops for my tastes(although I do love the malts too!:-) This has a creamy and smooth mouthfeel and an almost unlimited drinkability making it a great choice for a session beer!

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

Pours a pale copper color with very little head, that leaves a sexy lace behind. Earthy notes in the smell of the malt is very nice. The hops flavor is strong yet nice with that musty note. This is a great steam beer.

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Photo of Brewzzle
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As the only commercially available Steam style beer I have found I am not sure if it is good or bad example, I can say though that it left a bad taste in my mouth.

It pours to a nice amber color with a head that disappears quickly. Just after pouring there is a slight citrus hint on the nose, as the beer warms a little there is a slightly stale/yeast aroma.

The initial mouthfeel is pleasing, a medium body, rolls around the mouth nicely, however this is where the nicer qualities stop. There is a strong yeast taste, almost like a bread yeast (perhaps something to do with a high fermentation temp?). A subtle hop bitterness at first which lingers and accentuates as an unpleasant `tea' like bitterness as an aftertaste.

Overall, it pretty much met my expectation of a beer style that originated as a crudely made beer, made under hot and trying conditions. Not for me, but a unique beer and probably enjoyed by many.

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

This is a real winner if you like amber beers. Has a nice wheaty taste, with some faint fruit flavors. Not much of a head to it, but that is to be expected. Also, there was a tinge of hops, but it was balanced well enough for me. "Goes down smooth and never lets you down". Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of johnrobe
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the classics. Highly quaffable and a fantastic session brew, this is also what I would call a very food-friendly beer. I was first introduced to this beer in an excellent San Francisco seafood restaurant, Rocco's, where it paired very well with an italian shellfish/pasta dish.
It pours a light amber in the glass with an off-white head that shrinks to a cap. The smell is of bready malt, some grain, light caramel tones and herbal hops. Carbonation is crisp and tightly knit. Tea-like hops dominate, providing a signature bitter bite, with grain and some caramel malt coming up for support. A light-medium bodied brew.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darker than anticipated and cloudy. Minimum head and certainly full bodied but somewhat bitter with an after taste that will not leave you a very positive way...Not a good brew for dinning as to its weight...but certainly a session beer...

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Photo of Jarod
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours into the glass a clear dark gold/copper caramel color. The head is not too thick but large. The lace on the sides is quiet evident to the end of the glass. The aroma is of malt, caramel, hops, floral and some spices. The taste in the beginning has hints of caramel (slightly sweet) then hoppy. Followed by some citrus and a little bitter. It then goes slightly sweet again before it finishes somewhat dry. The flavor stays with you a little while after. Not what it used to be, but it is still a good starter beer.

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

Here's a hopped-up lager typical of a west coast brewery. You certainly won't hear me complaining. Pours a pristine copper color with a thick, foamy head. Looks pretty good at first, and the smell is inviting, too. Notes of sweet malt and maybe a bit of spicy hops are evident. Taste is diverse with notes of the sweet malts at first, countered by the spicy hops toward mid-glass. Mouthfeel is rather grainy, which may take away from the drinkability a bit. Overall, though, this is a classic brew and one I've been fond of for quite some time.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inviting copper color with a thin white lace on top. Some malt and a bit of spice show up in the aroma. Mouthfeel has some stronger carbonation than I expected, but the taste is rather crisp and pleasantly bitter. This is a good lager with some surprising hop flavor. I enjoyed it!

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A truly good beer! Pours a very clear light caramel color with a medium off-white head that leaves a lace down the glass. The smell is that of a non-complex, yet inviting caramel and malt. This is one "hopped-up" lager with tastes of a repeat of the aromas along with a crisp hop bite. It is light bodied and very well balanced. Maybe not totally true to the style in the hops category, who cares...this one is very good and has character to be remembered! Cheers!

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Photo of zerk
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very unique beer... copper / amber with a thin white head... leaves a good lace on the glass. Malta aroma, some caramel and spice. Upfront, the flavor has a grainy charateristic, then bitter hops, followed by a slight sweetness. Has a rough mouthfeel, and a meduim body. It's been years since I tried this one... and this was probably one of the first micros I can remember truely enjoing. A classic.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Although it pours a nice clear yellow, I think don't think that it's an exceptional beer to be rated above average. It is better than your big brewery beers, but an average beer! Tried it about two years ago and thought it tasted better. Will try again later!

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes like no other amber I have ever had before. Floral taste with a crisp hoppy-bitter aftertaste. After a few sips it became one of my favorite beers. Has an awesome color too it, good all the way around...not very scented though but that to me is by far the least important qualty of a beer.

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Photo of Lupe
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a amber-copper color nice, thick and chunky head (that dissipates quick) that leaves nice lace. Great apperance, makes your mouth water just looking at it. Not much to the smell, some malt and floral hop aroma, but what it lacks in smell it makes up for in taste. Medium bodied with a nice mouthfeel, especially for a lager. Starts with light caramel malt taste which then leads the way toward the hops. Some citrus flavor and a crisp bitterness lead to a dry finish and a lasting aftertaste. Very good.

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

My first taste of a microbrew was this beer. My friend used to steal it from his fathers package store. A clean taste, slightly sweet with a good balance of hops, it seemed exotic at the time, but now just tastes great. I definitely recommend this all.

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

A fine beer. On-tap this tastes crisper than out of the bottle. A fine bronze color in the glass with enough malt to let you know its there. The hops hit the palate which grabs you due to the fact its a lager and you may not be ready for a hops from a lager. Very drinkable.

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Photo of zakery
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A decent white head on a clear and light amber body.

Smell: Some very shy caramel-malt aromas are peeking out. They become a little more noticable as the beer warms up; don't serve this one too cold.

Taste: Hop bitterness comes first, then the maltier tastes. The hop aromas are mostly noticable in the after-taste before the hop bitterness takes over again in a long dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

It's nice whenever you come across a beer that is not afraid to show some bitter hop character and not only hop aromas.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first ever US Beer that I tried when I lived in England, I immediately fell in love with it then, and I still love it today - many, many years later. Lovely deep amber / light copper colored beer that pours with a good head that soon dissipates (as with all bottled Anchor Beers I find). Not much nose, but what it lacks in smell, it makes up for in taste. Lovely mild bitterness with a dryish finish that begs the next mouthfull. Just right for the times when you fancy "a few" beers. Lovely supremely balanced Session Beer that I personally find very Quaffable. First time I found it in England, it was described as Americas only indeginous beer style. Hard to believe this Brewery nearly bit the dust. I raise a Steam-er to Fritz Maytag, I think we all owe him a few beers !!!.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650mL bottle. has a nice amber/copper colour, with a decent head that fades to a thin lace. I liked this beer, it had a pleasantly bitter taste, along with a dryish finish. It's definitely something that can be considered a session beer, which is something I've been trying to find lately.

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Photo of aaronh
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was not impressed by this beer. It exhibited nice grassy aromas and had a more robust color than I was expecting, but the flavors were disappointing. The beer was very light tasting with little malt sweetness or bitterness. I guess you could call it a well balanced flavor, but it seemed rather un-inspiring.

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Photo of JeffreyG
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the first time about two months ago. I found that after couple of weeks of having this beer (I had had just one) I was seriously craving it. It has a great deep amber color to it with a foamy head. It's taste is a great balance of malty richness followed by just the right amount of hop finish. This has quickly become one of my favorites. And I love the unique bottle shape as well.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,139 ratings