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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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2,014 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,014 | Ratings: 5,850
Photo of afogg0855
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I usually skip over this beer when I'm at the liquor store due to the vast over-usage of nautical terms to try and sell beer. (SeaDog, Shipyard, Harpoon, etc.) It's nothing against the beer itself, just parody in general.

It pours a huge creamy head you could float a golf ball on. Very light smell of sweet malts, sorta like corn pops lol.

Theres more alcohol taste than you would expect with a sub 5% abv. A slight bitterness to balance the sweet taste of apple and wheat makes this beer great. I'll definitely buy it again!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Extremely nice clear reddish/amber colour with a white head that disapear not too quickly. I can smell some spice. Taste is bitter with some roastiness. I was little bit surprise considering the colour of the beer but I enjoyed it very much. I can't wait to try other Anchor products!

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into glass mug. Appearance: poured a beautiful, honey gold w/ many rising bubbles. Smell: pleasantly bready w/ touch of hops. Taste: cant pick out specific flavors but very good taste and just a small touch of hops in the finish. Mouthfeel: medium slightly creamy just to my liking. Drinkability: enjoyed it w/ chunks of smoked swiss for a great combo. Could drink 2 or 3 at a time, would be full after that. Very happy with this beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Anchor pint glass at ChurchKey.

It's been some time since Chumley's Passport thing introduced me to the Steam, so I figured I'd give it another go while CK is celebrating Fritz's wonderland of brewy goodness. It pours a clear copper-amber with a thumb of light off-white foam on top. The nose is primarily a humid melange of citrus and floral hoppy goodness, though a bit of medicinal/soapy notes stagnate in the background. Interestingly, the taste runs along these same lines, though the soap is gone, and there is an increased influence coming from the flowery and cirtusy hop elements and a very light twinge of caramel. The body is light, with active carbonation and a crsip, dry finish. It's all pretty straightforward, but nothing all that desirable. Can't fault the drinkability, though, as this guy is light and refreshing enough to warrant constant returns to the Steam room.

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Photo of rosmhuire
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap throughout my brief 2-day trip to SanFran.

A: Amber coloring, significant lacing, decent-sized head.

S: Not all that much on the nose for me.

T: Nice balance of hops and malt.

M: Nice carbonation.

D: Good - goes down easy, but not too easy.

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Photo of BVukelich
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the stubby 22 into glass. It created a light tan, 1-finger head. A little darker head and color than I remembered. It's been a long time since I've had this one. The creamy head lingers nicely and leaves very decent lace. I honestly didn't pick up much on the aroma, slight hops. The beer is very dry, skews malty but leaves a pronounced bitterness. Clean finish. It is busy in the mouth and appears very lively in the glass with its active carbonation.

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Photo of DragonzBreath
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam Beer, while choosing this beer a got a little history on the beer.
link below)

This beer poured orange crisp and a bit cloudy.
Lots of bubbles...a bit right up front..malt and citrus fight in this beer.
a good beer.
I would like to enjoy this at the brewery.
Abv 4.9

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

Pours a clear amber color with a white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Aroma of malt and earthy hops. The taste has caramel malt and some nice hoppy bitterness to it. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. Drinkability is ok but this not something I'd drink too many of at once. Overall it's a decent beer, but nothing amazing.

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Photo of Lnc3
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a slightly cloudy amber colored beer. The head is off-white that holds decently. Smells slightly like caramel with hints of bread and grains. Tastes similar to the aroma tasting very bready and grainy. A very balanced beer with earthy qualities.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with vibrant clarity and lots of visible carbonation. Shallow off white head. Lots of caramel malt on the nose with subtle notes of biscuit and grain. Some earthy scents with a subtle hop presence. Medium to big in body with a good malt foundation. Lots of carbonation dry bready characteristics up front with touches of caramel sweetness balanced by a crisp finish. Definately tasty and more than drinkable. Slight floral presence. Big for a small beer that holds up really well. I love the unique twist of this beer being a lager fermented at warmer temperatures. I dont get a lot of fruit but you definately get that ale/lager hybrid feel.

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

Purchased at the LCBO as a single. Served at 5deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens ok. Pours a good 1" head that stays for a bit

S- Malt and yeast. Pretty smooth on the nose. Hint of grapefruit

T- Malty good. Not too roasted at all but lots of it. Touch of hops that are overpowered by the aforementioned malt!

M- Dry and crisp

- Ok. Nothing special and will not buy again. Don't get me wrong it's not bad, just nothing special that's all

Food Pairing

This ok beer went well with... Hamburgers. I don't use a lot of toppings so for me it's meat and bun off the BBQ


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

From the funky shaped 22oz. brown bottle pours a deep, honey-amber, slightly hazy brew with a foamy inch+ of off-white head. After a couple minutes the head subsides leaving some nice lace on the glass.

Nice barley malt nose, kinda earthy and toast like with notes of yeast, wheat, faint tobacco and hops. The hops smell a bit grassy.

The taste is much like the smell with some black tea, more tobacco and a matallic twang in the finish. Pretty tasty stuff, not too sweet at all, very well balanced with a crisp, clean finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Medium body, good carbonation give a nice smooth, cream like mouthfeel, then a bitter dry ending as it disappears.

Very drinkable, worth a try.

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

Pours a clear red-orange beer with a fingerthick foam and some carbonation.

Smell is malty, somewhat flowery with oranges to aid it. Some fizzy carbonation goes in there to, mainly fresh and nice though.

Taste is at first malt. Citric hops goes together with a somewhat bitter tone to create a nice feel. Somewhat bready and alcoholic, and it finishes with citrus and a long rough bitterness with some spices.

A nice brew by a great brewer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a a light amber color with a relatively thick head that fairly quickly becomes a thin lace. There is quite a bit of carbonation at first. But that too disspipates after a brief time.
The smell is light. After smelling it, I wasn't sure what to expect, maybe a hint of caramel flavor. Nothing special, but nothing offensive.
The taste is thick but without much of a distinct flavor, except a bit of refreshing sweetness. Tastes good but nothing special.
It does leave a refreshing feel in the mouth, as there is nothing offensive, while nothing special about it either.
Overall, it is a decent session beer.

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

Aroma is of caramel malt and a bit of hops. Pretty strong smell.

Taste has a fair amount of sweet caramel malt at first with a small note of toasted grain there as well in the background. At the backend, there's a small bitterness that rounds the beer out but doesn't come close to the maltiness. I seem to remember this as a more hoppy beer than this, but as it is it seemed more like an EPA than anything to be quite honest. Interesting. I'll have to have it again sometime.

Tasty, though. Very easy to put down.

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

A solid "above average brew." The beer pours a medium golden with a good creamy head. Aromas of malt dominate as they do in the mouth. The texture is fine with a round medium bodied feel. The taste is pleasantly malty, and almost a tad sweet. A little fruitiness can be found as well. A nice tuesday night beer that happens to work better as a food beer than a sipper to me. I served this with halibut in parchment paper using lots of vegetables an Asian flavors. Delicious, and the beer was just right. This is a solid workhorse beer that is priced right and delivers nicely.

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Photo of rtorres80
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam Beer is a good beer. It's a little bitter than I would like. A cloudy Ale but that could be because it's steamed? I would recommend Anchor Steam Beer to my friends but I wouldn't buy it for a party or a get-together. Anyone who tries it wont be disappointed.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in pint glass.

Clear, copper coloured. Thin off-white head.

Aroma is sweet and malty with touches of fruit and hops.

The words that come immediately to mind are: Bright, crisp, dry. Taste is bitter hop with undertones of fruity malt. The aftertaste is dry and hoppy and lingers for awhile, but not too long.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but very fizzy. Too much carbonation in my mind.

An interesting blend of hops and malt, but the hoppy-bitter bite is a little harsh for my liking. The first time I had this was at a fish and chips joint in Crescent City, CA and went really well with my meal, but I've had it a few times since and can't say I'd consider it much more than an average session beer.

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

My first steam beer, poured into a half pint glass

A: Copper body with 2-3 finger head, produces great lacing throughout.

S: I can get some pear, mint a marinara herby tomato sauce smell ( yes i know thats weird, but i reckon i smell that in Paulaner Munich Helles aswell - must be the malt)

T: Pretty bland, a nice hop bite in the end, not a lot of malty profile in this one,

M: medium carbonation, a little thin.

D: A very drinkable session beer, that has little character in my opinion, just something to pour down your neck. However, does beat macro in appearance and smell, not too sure about taste tho. Glad i tried it once.

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

Appearance: Amber; medium head; good lacing

Aroma: Light malt; light grassy aroma; light citrus

Taste: Juicy malt on start with a quick, light hit of hops; light citrus in the mid; finishes a little tart, bitter, dry and crisp; pretty refreshing and sessionable, but not complex

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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

pours a hazy copper color with large head and lacing with lively carbonation. light hoppy bitter taste. good smooth beer but not much else to it. light body and thin texture. short flavor duration. nothing special, pretty average but a decent easy to attain beer.

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Photo of DrewsBrews450
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Copper color with a head that died to a thin ring.. spotty lace.. the smell is fruit, pear, clean malt sweetness.. tatse is the same fruit mostly a pear, tartness, yeast, very slight caramel.. thin lager body.. its decent for what it is.. would probably rate it lower if not rating for style.. just not a huge fan of the past 3 anchor beers i tryed.

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

appearance - copper/dark amber colored, crystal clear

smell- nice smell of hops, with alcohol and faint malt smell.

taste- nice mixture of malt with a finish on the hoppy side

mouthfeel- malty mouthfeel that lingers in your mouth

overall- Great beer but tastes like an Ale, This isn't the old Anchor Steam, Recently the brewers have added alot more color to this beer along with more hops. The old Anchor was much ligher in color with a lower hop level and a yeasty character. Is it better? I'm not so sure, this beer kind of tastes like a hopped up amber ale without that character. I like the older Anchor

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

Reviewed January 19, 2006 in a pint glass from a bottle.

This is a great steam beer. One of the original of its kind. It is well worth every penny of it. In fact, while out in SF, try to go to the brewery there, this is surely a great beer and visit. A must have.

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

Pours a clear golden color with a 1/2 inch, cream colored head comprised of really large bubbles, that dissipates relatively quickly, leaving a lot of foam where it had existed.

Not a whole lot of aromas, but those detected are predominately sweet malt, caramel, with an earthy quality to it.

A lot of grains coming through, very multi-grain-like in flavor, despite that there is a prominent bitterness in the beer, which actually took me off guard. Leaves a sweet flavor on the tongue, yet a lot of residual bitterness as well. Quite unique.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,850 ratings.
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