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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
2,007 Reviews
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
2,007
Ratings:
5,816
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.73%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
1,153
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,007 | Ratings: 5,816
Photo of badgustav
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - clear, crisp, lightly red in color. Not a lot of head
Aroma - toasted malt, light on the nose.
Taste - sharp, malty, underlying copper note of hop bitterness. Fascinating without being too complex
Feel - rich, slightly coating
Overall- a very nice and unique lager

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Photo of ronjohn
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very well balanced malt, caramel, hops. Somewhat rare for me to enjoy a beer like this w/ lower carbonation and served a little warmer than usual. I've drank this delight for years and I'm always a little disappointed not to find it on tap... If you like Sam Adams Boston Lager, you'll probably love this.

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Photo of edbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, the carbonation in this is amazing, like champagne. I had heard of this forever before I tried it and I wasn't disappointed.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice head creamy head. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Malty with some floral tones that I pick up, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer.

T & M: This is one fine brew, one of my faves that I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Taste is wonderfully balanced, malt up front with nice finish of slight bitterness and floral tones. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

D: Highly drinkable and sessionable. One
of my faves.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of MVotter
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a crystal-clear amber into a chalice; thin cream colored head ... bubbles rising like a champagne pour.

S - Oh man, wonderful, rich, sweet malt and caramel aromas!

T - Delicious bready malt flavors abound; smooth, faint sweetish malt finish. I was expecting a sweeter malt taste, to follow the caramel nose. But, this was a combination of some bitter and sweet notes; more roasted malt flavor.

M - Creamy effervescence.

D - This may be the perfect session brew; a terrific blend of malt flavors ... some dry, some sweet. Superbly crafted brew.

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Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out perfect amber, clear with moderate carbonation bubbles racing towards the top. The head is a fluffy two finger to three fingers high (depending of glass size.) that retains great. Sticks all around the glass. Off white is color.

The aroma is a balance between the clean toasted malt and the mild spice from the hop.

The taste is well crafted. A perfect toasted caramel malt flavor blended with a slightly bitter citrus hop.

Easy to drink medium body with some mild carbonation.

This is hands down one of the best crafted lager on the market, well worth the extra dollar. I can enjoy this brew any time.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz with no dates into a pint.

Medium amber with an off-white head of one finger that has decent retention with some lacing.

Smells of dry hops with a touch of salt. There's some malt underneath.

Tastes of dry hops with a slight maltiness. Dry, clean finish. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium-light with some carbonation tingles. Good session brew and/or dinner drink.

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Photo of mempath
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into 0.41 Warsteiner pilsner...deep copper with huge head that laces like san fran sourdough holes...cerealy/malty nose...a little yeastiness/sourness is unveiled...

i haven't had one of these in well over a decade.

whoa. after going through another obsessive hop phase, this is different. hops hit subliminally as an after-image...not complaining at all, but i feel like i am drinking a fresh Yuengling Lager...actually like some odd Ideal version of the Y lager and lager light (again, not a complaint or criticism!)...a third swallow doesn't change a thing. very good! almost sweet, almost sour!

quite crisp, fresh, doughy notes revealed as i inhale.

very refreshing, damn drinkable, a great flavor but compared to neoCraft flavor profiles all over the place, sure, this is truly mellow, but SOLID. jeez, this is still SO similar to a Yuengling...is it me? anyways, truly recommended to all who have not had it or have not had it in years, decades...

edit: revisited this 11 months later....just as good...no, it's better.

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Photo of jp62099
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer I have seen on the shelves for a while but never have tried. I'm trying many different styles more often and never realized that this was in its on category. I would say as far as Steam Beer, it is not going to get any better than Anchor. Very surprised. Amber color, malt sweetness and lemon undertones, taste is malty, with a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy. This is a great session beer, drinkability off the charts.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The thing I love about Anchor Steam is that it is crisp, has a little bit hop pop to it, and has a nice mouthfeel. What you get is a somewhat lighter feeling beer that has a very good punch to it in flavor. You get a good dose of hops, on the level of a pale ale even. But there is a little malt caramel background that sets it apart from west coast pales. A very good refreshing choice if you are in the mood for this type.

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Photo of friesfox5
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light red brown, mild to medium head, good lacing.
S- Malty, mild fruitiness, hoppy, earthy.
M- Slightly thin, perfect carbonation. Makes you want another one.
T- Nice hop bitterness from start to finish but not overpowering.
D- Very unique GREAT tasting beer. Isn't like many other brews. Really stands out and is a joy to drink.

I will come back to this from time to time because it is so good and so unique.

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Photo of rudzud
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Figured it was time I tried this historic brew!

A - Nice clear amber/copper with a fluffy white two finger head that slowly disolved into nice healthy lacing.

S - Nice malts and just a bit of sweetness.

T - Lil malty, lil citrusy. Very nice and refreshing. Finish is nice and dry too. Really good.

M - Really solid carbonation and a great crispness.

D - Just great. The original steam beer sets the bar so dang high with this style nothing else really compairs. Wish a 6 pack was a bit cheaper than $10 so I could drink this all night long.

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Photo of edchicma
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good coppery color...Nice head that dissipates quickly. Smell was a nice malty aroma. Taste was excellent..a bit of sweetness followed by the the right amount of hops.. a nice balance. Mouthfeel was solid with a smooth feel, but still robust enough. Drinkability was excellent...extremely smooth going down...almost too easy to finish this 22 oz. offering.

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Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

code on the bottle 917

pours clear copper orange with a big 2+ finger head that leaves lacing down the glass

smells of malt and fresh fruit pears and apples

taste is very good - great balance of carmel malts along side fresh fruit apples and pears with a good bitter bite on the end

mouthfeel light/medium with good carbonation that gives it the beer both a smooth creamy feel but nice crisp as well

drinkability of this beer was great - by far the best anchor beer i have had

overall i was very suprised - i have many anchor steams through out the years and was never impressed but this bottle was great and kind of wish i would have bought a 6er instead of a single

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Photo of ch473
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If I had to pick my favorite beer, Anchor Steam is it.

It pours a beautiful amber and maple syrup color. It almost glows. It's nearly transparent with a tall foamy head that quickly dissipates into thin lacing around the edges. Carbonations is light which makes this refreshing on the palate; very drinkable and smooth.

I get some nice malty sweetness in the smell and a little of the cascade hops. Some honey too.

The taste is wonderful. Well balanced with hops and grains. Going down it's smooth and refreshing with a solid body. It has a rich but not too sweet malty body with pleasant citrus and hop aftertaste.

I cannot wait to try Anchor Steam on draft but I've yet to find any in the midwest that offer it.

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Photo of Flux
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

straight from fridge, poured into a pint glass.

A- Deep amber with no haze. White foamy head that eventually dissipates but lacing persists.

S- caramel malts and hops. Toasty. Mild bread smell.

T- Sweet malts are upfront and the bittering hops come through at the end. Notes of bread crust is detectable.

M- Medium to high carbonation, full bodied but still makes for an easy session beer.

Overall a really great flavorful beer. Don't have too much experience with a California Common style beer but this seems to really fit the bill.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying that this is the first time I've tried this style, so my review may reflect a more subjective thought process.
A: Pours a nice amber color. Head was initially a big fluffy two inch deal. (I'm drinking it out of my fave beer glass, a Stella Artois glass I got at a bar). Head dissipated quickly, no lacing seen.
S: Heavy malty sweet aroma with some caramel hints. No hop aromas. Smell is quite unique and very pleasing.
T: Nice roasty malt taste right up front. There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear... This beer has a malty flavor I can recognize, but there's something else going on I don't know how to describe other than saying that it's damned tasty. Finish is a sharp sort of twang that doesn't last, there's virtually no aftertaste here.
M: Slick carbonation, medium bodied, with a nicely low ETOH level compared to some of the beers I've been drinking. Two of these won't have you giving your keys to a friend.
D&N: This a beer unlike any other. The taste is familiar, but with something extra that really makes this beer shine. I haven't finished a beer this quickly in a long time, but it's just so tasty that I "reviewed" it in about twenty minutes. Highly recommended.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color woth slightly off white chunky head. Smell is a very enjoyable combination of malt with citrus notes. Taste follows through with a good malty character and a mild lemony note. Finishes with a good refreshing taste that is supremely enjoyable. Hard to believe I never had this beer before.I will definitely visit it again.

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Photo of Midwestbrew18
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured and Amber/Copper color with around a finger of head, give or take a couple millimeters.

Aroma - Very rich malt smell, deep biscuit characteristics, ending with a slight trace of citrus fruits, maybe lemon or orange. A floral scent can be detected as well, coupled with the citrus.

Taste - Caramel notes coupled with traces of citrus initially. Towards the middle of taste the biscuit/malt tones come in gradually and eventually dominate at the end on the palate. The hops used balance well with the malt, not a hoppy beer, but that was not the intent behind it. Delicious and simple flavors that are perfect for a hot day; very session able.

Mouthfeel - Medium to High carbonation and smooth throughout. Incredibly easy to drink, while bringing out enough flavor to keep things interesting. Easy to down many of these if you would want to. An absolutely refreshing beer.

Overall - Would definitely consider this for a hot day, tailgate, session, you get the picture kind of beer. Easy to drink, doesn't taste like hell after it warms up; in fact maybe tastier after it gets a little warmer depending on your palate. A simple beer, balanced well that provides you with maximum enjoyment and drinkability. Will definitely have to buy this again sometime. Very affordable by the way.

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Photo of ricke49
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the most satisfying (in terms of taste) under 5% ABV that I can recall drinking.

It is a great 'go-to' when your seeking interesting, complex flavors...as opposed to gettin' a buzz.

Predominate malt profile, but with enough hop finish to let you know you're consuming something special.

A great beer to sip on a warm Fall afternoon.

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Photo of mghotbi
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber-red with short-lasting two finger head and moderate lacing with prominent carbonation.

Caramel malt nose with traces of vanilla and banana - very pleasant

Smooth on the palate. Carbonation is perfect.

Hop bitterness hits the tastebuds first, followed by wisps of banana, dates and trace of vanilla, then a more definite malt sweetness and emergence of crisp hop and citrus notes with a long spicy hop finish. This is a unique beer - a delicate blend of contrasting flavors in perfect balance.

This is the beer that changed my attitude about beer. Very drinkable, makes an excellent and refreshing session beer, but it's can be an acquired taste for some folks. Serving this beer too cold can make for a bitter experience.

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Photo of bitzbach
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tangy and effervescent. A little cloudy in color and very refreshing with a little bitterness too boot. Used to see it regularly but not so much in my neck of the wood anymore. Gotta look for it. Makes the big houses taste like water by comparison. They make a great porter too!

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber Bottle. I had to try this because it was this beer that was the inspiration to Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing, for going into the beer brewing business. I have changed my rating to a higher level based on several things: 1. There was no refrigeration when this style was created and when this brewer went into business. 2. They actually created this style, Steam Beer, and were very creative at the time in making a lager work. 3. I have respect for elders and this company is one of the eldest. Forgive me Bros for having to go through the second act and letting it warm to room temperature to get the essence of this style and this beer.
A: Aggressive pour. Giant, slightly off-white head slowly receding into a cloud like formation and then slowly settling to a foam across the surface. Sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Reddish amber color.
S: Smells kind of fruity but not sure which fruit. Some hops. Some malt.
T: About the same.
M: The carbonation gives it a little bite and the rest is pretty smooth. Easy on the mouth.
O: I guess I am seeing the Bros rate it so highly due to the respect it deserves for longevity in the brewing industry and the true to style characteristics based on the fact that Anchor Brewing actually created the style. Its a very drinkable beer but not my favorite style in general. If you like this style, this beer pretty much defines it. While I tend to gravitate to stronger, more robust, modern styles, I can see however where 150 years ago, brewing this kind of beer was a most awesome achievement! Go Anchor!!!

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Photo of jmbranum
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The numerical score above is from my most recent tasting.

January 28, 2013: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass as a very attractive clear copper color with a generous off-white rocky head.

Aroma is grain, dirt and hops.

Flavor is crisp and very dry. More hops than I remembered. Some wheat bread notes. A tiny bit of sweetness. Very well balanced.

Medium to full mouthfeel.

Review of 1-6-2008 : AP 4.0/ AR 4.5/ F 4.5 / MF 4/ OA 4.5
poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Lori's diner in ghiradelli's square in san francisco.

clear amber with fluffy head. nice malt rich aroma. flavor is extremely well-balanced bitter hops and malt. one of the most balanced beers of my recent recollection.

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

A- Deep amber/orange, egg-shell colored head, very bubbly.

S- Strong malty lager yeast hits first followed by some citrus aromas. Smells like a very robust pilsner with a hint of Pacific ocean fog rolling into the bay.

T- Complex malt composition, you can really taste the lager and ale tastes fighting it out. Yeasty with a subtle sweetness. Notes of spices, cloves and maybe coriander. Supportive hops hold it all together. Alcohol and yeast give the aftertaste a bit of a kick.

MF- Rich and thick, just as bubbly as it looks. Really fills the mouth.

D- Lighter than it should be given everything that's going on, but still quite a body. A real beer drinker's experience. Nicely balanced, very unique.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Medium amber color with a 4-finger frothy, rocky, cream-colored head. Really nice retention and some awesome lacing. Clear with only a few bubbles.

S – Caramel and toasted malts with earthy, woody hops. Plain and simple.

T – Starts off sweet with caramel malt and somewhat of a brown sugar taste. Toasted malt comes in next followed closely by a bitter blast of very earthy, oaky, and maple-y hops.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a crisp, creamy, and slightly sticky mouthfeel, and a slightly bitter and very dry finish. Bitter and dry woody hop flavors linger for a bit.

O – This is a nice, tasty, drinkable, and refreshing beer. It’s the example that all other members of this style are based on. Nothing more needs to be said.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,007 ratings.
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