Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
6,037 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

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,037 |  Reviews: 2,061
Photo of SpookyMulder99
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: nice Amber brown that is consistent throughout

Smell: Sweet malt

Taste: not heavy at all but also not to light, perfect balance for different times of the day

Feel: very smooth with lots of refreshing qualities. Not too gassy so it goes down easy.

Overall: very easy to drink, delicious malty flavor with a unique finish. A California classic

 353 characters

Photo of Kovaks
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of reebtaerG
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of langcpa
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wheat beer glass, nice foamy offwhite head that lasted until the final sip, nice lacing. clear amber color with little earthy but no other noticable smells, the taste was mostly malt at the begining with a slightly hoppy wet finish, the mouthfeel is medium body with slight carbonation, a very smooth drinkable beer that is one I could have several of and not feel like I just had a meal.

 402 characters

Photo of Swedes21
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - beer pours a deep copper colour, very clear. there is a good amount of carbonation, head is off-white, foamy with some good air pockets. some good lacing happening already.

Smell - there is a slight malt smell, tied into some grassy/earthy tones. I can pick up a sweet caramel smell as well.

Taste - nice balanced tasting beer. I can pick up the malts and grassy tones right off the bat then the sweetness comes near the end with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - added carbonation brings this beer to life in my mouth! What a great tasting beer, dances on my tongue.

Drinkability - well balanced and fantastic tasting beer, wish i had more. will seek again and stock for future needs!

 729 characters

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

Pours out a light copper with an off-white head. It built a good head readily, and eventually settled to about a 1/4 inch thick... still hasn't totally disappeared. Smells somewhat of sweet malt and fruity esters. Better smell than most beers I've reviewed so far. Tastes great! Immediate bitterness, balanced by smooth malt and fruity flavors. Finishes dry with a lingering bitterness...not too much, but enough to let you remember you've had a great beer. Mouthfeel also very good. Just enough carbonation to keep it light, but still feels substantial enough for my dark beer tastes. This is definitely a beer I can drink over and over again... a wonderful offering!

 668 characters

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

This one was on tap so I thought I should review again for a second opionion. The appearance, as good as you get from a bottle, was even better on tap, but that's about the only difference.

The color is a hazy dark amber/near-copper. The head is nice...thick, creamy, foamy with pretty nice retention.
The smell is both earthy and sweet with a malty tone. Citrus and hops detectable.
Taste is true to smell with perhaps a slightly stronger malt. Hops bitterness is present but the balance makes it work as with all good brews. A pretty complex mix of flavors and feel. Slight astringency doesn't take much away.
The finish is crisp and clean with a sharp hops tone left on the back of the tongue. It's clean, and the mouthfeel is nice; well-carbonated with a dry, slick finish.
This is a good one. Try it.

 806 characters

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

A: Pours a clear copper color with a very foamy three finger head upon pouring. Great retention, slowly reducing to one finger for the majority of the time drinking, leaving behind thick lacing down the sides. Lots of bubbles released from the bottom.

S: Very biscuity. There is a strong malt sweetness and a light amount of hops and bit of spice. Upon warming a bit of grainy malt begins to come forward.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma, rather biscuity mixed with some sweetness. There is some light fruit and a little bit of spice and a slightly bittersweet finish.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down very easy.

O: An extremely drinkable beer, the classic in its style. I don't drink it often, but when I want it, its always there.

 777 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a lightly hazy amberish copper color. Two finger off white colored head shows medium retention. Web style lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Citrus style hops are the first thing in the aroma. Caramel malts show up as well with a hint of piney hops in the background. Nothing over the top but smells like some have said to a pale ale....and I agree.

T- Light citrus hops upfront with a hint of caramel malts. The middle of the flavor has some bready malt backbone that shines with a light sweetness. The ending of the flavor has piney hop bite to it with light caramel malts. The alcohol bite to this comes in very lightly and exits just as quickly.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Flavors left on the palate include caramel malts and light piney hops. Aftertaste includes light alcohol, bready malts, and yet again the piney hops. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were well balanced and no off flavors overall in the beer.

D- This was a good beer that I didn't mind at all. In fact I thought it was a lot better than what I figured it was going to be. Anchor which is the grandfather of craft beer seems to still be in the game with this one. The ABV is low enough to kill a sixer of this and still be good.

 1,295 characters

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

A: Nice reddish, copper color! Good carbonation!

S: Good malty, sweet aroma with a prominent lager or steam beer yeast character!

T: A malty taste with nice steam beer yeast character as an aftertaste! Medium body and good mouthfeel!

O: a very neutral flavourfull beer, good for any ocasion! Cheers

 303 characters

Photo of Jim67
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Webby64
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper, amber color with a slight haze and a good head which stuck around fer awhile. Smell was malty and touch of carmel, very nice. Taste was complex, lil bit of bite (hops) but malt and other well established but simple tastes are present. It is obvious that this beer has been around awhile. I am not too wordy today. I will say, this is very fine beer and I will definately get it again!


 406 characters

Photo of gatorguy
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 526 characters

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

Poured from a 50 cl bottle into a nucleated pint glass.

A - poured a nice amber with a thick cream head that dissipated quickly with no lacing.

S - smells of barley and slightly of hops. Similar to a bock in my opinion.

T - a little bitter, a hint of caramel with a dry finish.

M - medium body, light carbonation and somewhat creamy.

D - goes down very nicely. Could easily drink a couple.

 397 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at my favorite watering hole. It was quite tasty and refreshing, but I couldn't imagine drinking this for too long because of the overbearing sweetness. Nonethess, it was delicious. I might have to pick up a bomber in the near future.

The beer was an amber color with a generous frothy white head that stayed to at least a quarter inch through the pint. The smell was quite fruity and malty. I couldn't quite place the taste, but it was almost tropical. Like I said, quite delicious and refreshing at first, but towards the bottom of the pint it is damn nigh too much. I will probably drink more in the future, but I definitely couldn't foresee this being a session brew even though it is under 5% ABV.

 721 characters

Photo of aufie
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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.

 323 characters

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

Into a pint glass, a nice clear copper with a good half inch white head, a little bit of lacing. Aroma is a bit faint, but a full maltiness with some fruits, some citrus in the hopping, its decent. Taste is classic, as good as a lager will get for me (because it kind of isn't). Nice medium body and good carbonation, its an extremely drinkable beer, balanced, clean, crisp, they really have it just right, it enjoys popularity for a reason.

 441 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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 +4.7%
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 +4.7%
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 +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gordavidson
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,037 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded 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.