Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
5,973 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:
5,973
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: 5,973 |  Reviews: 2,044
Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper-amber hue with a thin, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass.

S: Bread and biscuit aroma that is slightly sweet with hints of caramel.

T: Flavors of Caramel, breads, and hops. Finishes a little sweet and dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Great beer – well balanced, smooth, and unique.

 444 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color with a 1" head. Only a wisp of lace develops. The aroma was of bread and malt. The flavor was a well balanced and simple blend of caramel, bread, fruit, and mild bitterness. Definitely a bit on the sweeter side.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start with a crisp, slightly dry finish. Extremely drinkable, and a perfect brew to enjoy with a pizza.

 364 characters

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

Pours a deep amber color with a thick fluffy head that sticks around forever. Smells of earthy hops, a bit of toffee, and sweet grainy malt. The taste follows the aroma. Earthy hops and sweet malt with a long lingering mild hop bitterness in the finish. Medium body, creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. I drank a lot of this beer in the mid nineties it was somewhat of a gateway beer for me. Delicious in its simplicity, yet interesting enough for my ever changing palette. Great session beer!

 494 characters

Photo of craigbelly
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A- A clear orange liquid with numerous streams of carbonation making their way to a thick and creamy bone white head. The head eventually falls to a creamy thin covering.

S- Apples, pears, and caramel. A little simple but fragrant enough and enjoyable.

T- Caramel, apples, and pears. There is a distinct hop bitterness at the end.

M- The bitterness has a nice, crisp bite to it and leaves a lasting dryness.

D- A great, drinkable session beer. Not as sweet as expected- which is a good thing. A great beer to keep around.

 526 characters

Photo of Duhast500
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

The color is a brownish amber with a thin white head. No lacing

The smell is sweet, somewhat sugary flavor. Also has a bit of a grainy or bread feel.

The taste is a bit malty as first some dry hop flavor. There is some earthy feel to this beer as well, some floral hops and slight fruitiness as well.

This is one pleasant beer. Crisp and clean, with a light drinkable feel and no aftertaste detectable. A great year round beer.

 477 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. Foggy orange pour with a quarter inch foam cover that settles to a steady thin surface film. Lacing is minimal.

Smell is faint spice, must, and yeast.

Skinned fleshy apples with a moderate and pleasant hop bite and sweet floral kiss on the finish. Not overly complex, but really clean and rounded.

Medium bodies and very lush and creamy. The highlight of this beer for sure. A real pleasure to drink.

This beer just hit all the right buttons for me tonight. Having previously enjoyed this on many occasions, I have tended to overlook this as it's readily available in a world of the elusive hunt and desire to seek out more limited or exciting beers. Not really overly complicated or vivid, but really well executed.

 748 characters

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

Poured into Sam Adams boston lager glass

A: pours amber orange with a frothy white 2 finger head that is falling slowly as i type.
S: malty, with a light almost banana, with a citrus background.
T: toasted malt, light hop bitterness, slightly sweet aftertaste.
M: medium carbonation, kind of chewy.
D: very, would be great pizza beer, just need some pizza. glad i bought in a six pack and not a single.

 406 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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 beachbum1975
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one draft at Sabella & La Torre's in fisherman's Wharf, San Fransisco on Sat, May 8th.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've had this beer even thought it's readily available to me in Cincinnati.

It was poured a clear, dark tan with red highlights. The head was nice and stuck around during the duration of the drink.

Mild hoppiness with a moderate amount of malts were on the forefront with this one. A light yeast presence was detected, as well.

Very nice & easy to drink.

 497 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer under the fierce recommendation of my brother who loves this brew, because of the unique way that it is fermented in a shallow steam bath. It sports plenty of flavor yet a low 4.9% ABV.

Look-This one pours a clear mahogany amber color with thick bubbles of carbonation clinging to the glass as the head settles from thick to a thin layer. It glints a reddish-orange in the light.

Smell-The smell is simple yet satisfying. I smell English yeast and malts as well as a hint of grape skins at the end.

Taste-It’s heavier than a pilsner and richer than a lager. I can taste some West coast style hops amidst the malt-forward components of this beer. It has a rich biscuit taste with a dry hopped finish, but is not bitter. The caramel malts run rampant until the hops build on the tongue. There is a slight sweetness that is perfectly balanced by a tinge of hops.

Mouthfeel-It is a medium/light bodied brew, ample carbonation, and with a lingering toasty or oily aftertaste.

Overall- It is a very pleasant and unique beer that I was glad to try. It drinks like a 6% brew, but has a variety of attributes that are unlike most beers. Cheers!

 1,160 characters

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

A - Big off white head after an aggressive pour. Couldn't pour the entire bottle, had to wait for the head to settle before emptying the rest of the bottle. Deep amber in colour.

S - Malty aroma that is, at first, hard to detect. Beyond that some very light notes of honey, apple, and apricot.

T & M - This opens smooth and malty with a very slight hint of honey followed by a hoppy bitterness in the finish that lingers briefly. This is not a rich tasting beer but the flavor is not thin either. Medium bodied with a persistent carbonation that bristles against the tongue.

 576 characters

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

This beer poured a nice copper/amber color and formed a nice off-white head, that left some nice lace. The aroma was of malt and some hops. The flavor was of malt and hops with a slight citrus aspect. The finish was a touch astrigent, giving it a slight bitter aftertaste. A good beer

 289 characters

Photo of RCLOHR267
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zakery
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 571 characters

Photo of Monsta-beer-drinker
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

A - crystal clear, deep amber with a red hue, creamy thick off white head. Sheets of lace down the glass.

S - herbal hops, gentle malt sweetness with a hint of breadiness

T - get a lot more of the woody/rustic hop notes in the flavour, nicely matched by the bready malt. Sweetness is low, and virtually no fruity character. Finish is dry and bitter, with lingering woody hops.

M - light bodied, refreshing. Medium carbonation. Very smooth. Extremely easy to drink.

D - damn tasty and refreshing. very unique session beer.

My first venture into Steam Beer (I don't count the Sleemans Steam I tried 10 years ago). The aroma reminds me somewhat of pilsener, but the taste itself is unique and comes across as rustic. The overall effect is somewhere between a pilsener and an english bitter. I'm gonna have to get off my butt and brew one of these.

Thanks to Mattt for the bottle!

 882 characters

Photo of Tjquality
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EmeraldMist
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Look - Pours a clear light amber color, a short off white head, a few spots of lacing.
Aroma - Pilsner-like. Grainy, faint earthy hops, nutty.
Taste - Biscuity malt up front, not very sweet, toasted grain, zesty earthy hop balances the malt with a hint of bitterness. Finish is dry and very lager-like.
Feel - Light to medium body, smooth, crisp, dry.

Overall - Great choice when the weather starts getting warmer. Paired great with fish and chips.

 450 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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 Risenhower
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of colts9016
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Kinda cloudy with a copper amber hue. The head is very small and slightly off white.
Smell: floral and toasted malt and a hint of citrus.
Taste: Toasted malt with a dusty floral hops and a hint of citrus.
Mouthfeel: is slightly astringent but overall a good mouth coating.
Drinkability: I would drink it again.
Overall it was a different style of beer and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I ended up enjoying this beer.

 442 characters

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

on tap at the yankee pier restaurant at san franscisco int'l airport.

served in tall pilsner glass with some hourglass curves.

clear gem-like amber, good head that lasts throughout. thin but constant lacing

biscuity malt aroma with grassy notes of slightly herbal hops. some estery fruitiness, almost like dried apricots.

flavor is malty and caramelized, with a bold but smooth hop bitterness which glides into finish.

still slightly thinner than i'd hoped, but manages to have some texture. lively carbonation.

great on tap. had this with oysters.

 554 characters

Photo of Valmor88
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A bright golden appearance in the glass. Two to three fingers of white head that reduces quickly. Very nice lacing left over.

S: Bready-sweet malts are the first thing I notice, with some spices and fruity aromas as well. Hops are detectable, but don't run the show like the malts.

T: Big flavor, there is a lot going on here. The bready malts come in first again, leading way to some fruity essences. There is some roasted toffee flavor that hits right before the finish, which was nice and bitter.

M: Medium-light bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Definitely a good beer. There is a lot going on with it. This is one of the first beers to which I introduce my non-beer-loving friends.

 695 characters

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

Presentation: 12 oz uniquely shaped anchor bottle

Appearance: Nice 2 finger head which dissipates into a very soapy lacing. Color is amber. The beer is clear and the bubbles would suggest it is full of carbonation. Lacing clings to glass wonderfully.

Smell: Big malt character can be smelled from affair, when your nose zooms in you also get citrusy and floral hop that combined with the malt create a fresh and clean aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A big malty character balanced a very floral and dark fruit taste. A bit of a citrus twang from the hops, that allows for a slightly but dry finnish. A tiny bit of bitterness from the hops but nothing overwhelming. A medium body and is a very filling beer.

Drinkability: a good clean all rounded lager. Very drinkable, its a very malty beer but avoids tasting cereal. Provides a good contrast with Dark fruit & citrus flavors and aromas. One of the most flavorful lagers I've had.

 930 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 5,973 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.