Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
2,024 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: 2,024 | Ratings: 5,901
Photo of VikeMan
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Coppery amber color. 1/2 finger beige head, quickly dissolving into a thin film, then just a little fine lace around the edges, not very clingy.

Smell...nicely balanced yeast and malt, with a little bit of fruity hops.

Taste.. a bit hoppy, more so than in the aroma. Malty, slightly bitter...a good sort of bitter

Mouth feel.. medium carbonation. Thin to medium body.

This is a unique beer. I'm not much of a lager fan, but then other lagers are really nothing like this. This is very refreshing, and I plan to serve it soon at a barbeque, where I think it will go great with pork butt and hot weather.

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Photo of billez62
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorites and one of the first micros .
No wonder Fritz bought the company .
You can't go wrong with this beer .It is very drinkable with a full flavor not as much depth to to taste for some but it's classic .I have never had it on draft but I imagine it must make it even better.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- An aggressive pour yielded a 1/2" cream colored head, which slowly dissipated to reveal some little bits of edge lacing. The body is a bright orange-amber with some picturesque lazy bubble trains observed from the sides of the glass.

S- Crackerlike malt, ripe fruit (yellow raisin, banana, and gala apples), and some vinous notes appear on the nose... yet no detectable hop aroma...

T- Clean and crisp with moderate crackerlike malt flavor and some restrained fruitiness. The hops just *barely* emerge in the finish as a mild bitterness.

M- Medium body. Well attenuated, yet with a little viscocity to it. The carbonation is so soft it is almost impereceptible.

D- OH YEAH. Super drinkable... and as expected the "clean crispness" of a lager with the fruitiness of an ale. Just amazing... and it is also great to put an ultra classic like Anchor Steam to the lips... it's like drinking history!

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

I am currently drinking this beer from a glass while studying for my final exam in advanced analog circuits in a few days. One thing that I can say about this beer is that it is very balanced. The sweet malt and floral hop flavors complement each other very well. The smoothness of the beer is unparalleled among those I have tried. Considering that I am hard pressed to find any harsh or unpleasing flavors in the beer, I could drink this all night.

The only flaw with this beer is that it lacks any big flavors that immediately jump out. But I guess extreme drinkability is a double edged sword, and it is definitely a price worth paying for this extremely session-worthy beer.

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

The beer pours a reddish gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is of sweet malts and a mild hops; very aromatic. The taste is good. It is dry and malty. It has a bit of a watery finish, but all in all it's pretty good. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; an excellent sessions ale.

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

A: Pours a dark amber/copper color with a half finger white head that leaves minimal lace as it makes its way to the bottom.

S: Aromas of bready malt and grassy hops. Slight nuttiness in the malt flavor. Fresh and light.

T: Biscuit malt flavors are light but hold nicely as the grassy hop flavors finish off the beer. Very nicely balanced with a hint of citrus fruit in the hops of malt and caramel finishing a mild hoppy taste.

M & D: Mouthfeel is nice, not too bitter--has excellent balance. Drinkability is exceptionally good. I could have a bunch of these in a session as they are easy drinking and very tasty.

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

Crystal clear amber. Light, yet persistent carbonation. Greyish yellow foam cap. Yeasty bread dough and crisp astringent hop aromas. Angular maltiness with fruity-yeasty links to a citric bitter hop finish. Clean, crisp and juicy, and light in body. Out of this world drinkability, but I'm usually satisfied by just one. Props to the OG, Mr. Maytag.

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

A - Poured in a flute, light haze amber

S - Sweet and invitning with a hint of fruit

T - Caramel and malty, very balanced and full

M - Nice avarege carbonation, soft on palate

D - Suprinsingly adictive and very drinkable sweet tasing beer, instant favorite

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Photo of kegger22
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam Beer is amber in color with a half inch, off-white head that reduces to a collar.

The aroma is definitely caramel malt.

The taste is caramel malt again, but there are vaguely bitter hops lurking in the shadows waiting to strike at the after taste.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and well carbonated.

The drinkability is very good, this makes for a great session beer or just to enjoy one by itself.

The bar I was at on New Years Eve was out of my regular and I hadn't had Anchor Steam beer in something like thirty years. So I had three of these straight from the bottle. I loved it and decided to buy a couple of bottles to later sample and review. I have to admit I preferred it straight from the bottle on New Years, although there where no doubt other factors involved. One thing for sure, I won't let another thirty years go by before I enjoy this old friend again.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Very good and drinkable beer. Great session beer. While I prefer Anchor's Liberty Ale and their Porter, this is still a very good example of an interesting historical aberration.

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

After a disastrous bottle opening by my wife, I was left with roughly half of this great beer to savor....So, with what was left of the brew, it poured out a nice amber color, with a thick frothy and full white head with some pretty good lacing. It has a very unique aroma, a bit like seawater and malts mixed in with some grassy notes. Very crisp, refreshing taste as well, malty and sweet up front, sharp hop presence that hits the back of the palate, leaving just the right amount of bitterness on the tip of the tongue. With the medium-light body, low carbonation, and crisp characteristics of the beer, this is one easy drinking california common, my go to summer beer.

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

Did a tour of the brewery last week and subsequently bought a pack of beer. Many reviews of this beer are posted, but might as well.
Pours a medium amber tone, nice bready quality to the brew. Has a creamy head, moderately thick. Head has good retention before dissipation.
Smell tannic,musty, sharp and bready. A great mix of bready malts meets well spiced hop profile and a prickling peppery finish.
Flavor is spot on.Light, yet full flavored. Bread, malt, pepper.nice lemony bitterness and slightly spicy finish.
Mouthfeel lighter side, pricking and very refreshing. A great year-round beer that really can be very versatile in food pairings, cooking, and a great go to in nearly every season of the year. Cheers, the tour is a must if you live in SF or visit the city.

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

Pours a cloudy amber color that pproduced a fluffy white head that sticks to the glass and produces excellent lacing as I drink. Tastes of hop bitterness with a malty backround. Tastes somewhat caramely. This is a light bodied beer with outstanding taste. This is a prime example of a steam beer. Very good drinkability. Definatly drinking this alot more.

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

The beer pours a nice copper color, with a one finger creamy head, which disappears rather quickly.

The aroma is slightly spicy with an almost cider-like malt tang. However, the taste is extraordinarily well balanced, somehow, nothing stands out, but everything is there. The malt flavors are rich, but refreshing, the taste lingers on the tongue long enough to be recognize, but is swiftly moved away by the hop balance.

This beer is incredibly drinkable, giving smooth lagers everywhere something to aim for. Almost dangerously drinkable... a lager version of an english bitter... not too strong, but packed full of flavor, a great beer for all parts of the year, but I would recommend it for summer.

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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 Scooter77
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer from Anchor. Pours a nice amber/orange color with an average-sized white bubbly foam. Head fades down, leaving a thin lace on the glass. Scents of citrus fruit seem to blend very well with the hops and malt. The taste is equally as balanced as the aroma. Initial taste was of sweet malt, followed by a zing of citrus, finished off by a nice bitterness of hops. This is an exceptionally balanced and bold beer.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly off copper/amber color. With a nice sized off-white head that slowly dissolves towards the center leaving an interesting looking bit of foam floating on top of the beer.

It has an interesting smell, with yeast coming through pretty strong as well as some caramel and malts, and a faint bit of citrus.

The taste is smooth and refreshing. The yeast doesn't taste as strong as it smells, and actually you get a little bit of bitterness along with a slight citrus taste.

This beer has a pretty good mouthfeel, although the carbonation is just a touch more than what I usually prefer. A very drinkable beer.

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

Pours with a medium-sized creamy head. Pretty good retention there. Some lacing here. The body is a very nice copper color.

The smell is pretty simple to my nose. It's a nice, medium-toasty malty smell. I'm having a tought time getting anything else from it but I like it just the same.

The taste at the beginning is actually a tiny bit sweet. In the middle the malt comes out and I catch some wheat in there too. The end brings some balancing bitterness. A very unique taste, indeed.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick in the body, thicker than you might expect from looking at it. The carbonation is lively but balanced. Smooth finish.

This is easily a good beer for sessions, whether hanging around outside or inside watching the game.

Overall this is a very solid beer and the availability is a very good thing if you're stuck somewhere you can't get much else.

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

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

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

Appearance: Honey colored beer with a good two finger head. Very clean and appealing to the eye. Head forms "islands" over a period of time but remains througout.

Aroma: Very floral and mild hops bitterness.

Taste: Brisk without being too hoppy, but definitely more than I expected. Mildly malty with a good balance to the hops. There is just a touch of biscuit to it as well. Overall it is a pleasing brew to me.

Mouthfeel: Kind of light on the tongue and slightly thin, but this is according to style and is actually quite quenching when paired with the lighter flavor of this beer.

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

My first taste of this iconic brew from the legend that is Fitz Maytag and Anchor Brewery.

Pours a beautiful amber fluffy white head quickly diminishes. Slight lacing left.

Smell is sweet and slight citric. Smells like our basic american lager only better.

Taste of malt and lemon initially. Slight hops and spice break through.

Mouth feel is light and crisp. Carbonation is slightly lively and refreshing.

Very drinkable. Crisp clean and has some level of dimension to it.

This is your average American lager, only it does everything better than your average american lager.

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

On tap in San Fransisco, for what that's worth.

Appearance: A nice, clear amber color. A finger of white head.

Smell: Clean malt. Not much in the way of hop aroma.

Taste: Malt, with some hops and a mineral water quality. Quite good and not over bearing. The hops aren't as "woody" as some imitators I've tasted and I mean that as a compliment.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean!

Overall: A delicious lager beer with enough character to be interesting.

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

This is Anchor Brewing's second-best offering, in my opinion -- and it's a top-ten among American made microbrews.

Anchor Steam pours a deep copper with an average life off-white head. Its aroma is fruity: meyer lemon and grapefruit, with an essence of roasted malts and hops. The taste is a similarly complex balance of flavors with a quick bite of hops, sweet malts and a citrus finish. Mouthfeel is a little dry, which is good in my book. This beer's drinkability is better than most I've tried, regardless of style.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle with a batch # on the back poured into a Nonic.

A - Clear, well carbonated orange amber color with a huge, bone-colored head that was dense and lumpy. Good retention.

S - Malty sweet with a caramel aroma backbone and a very light hop aroma. Floral with just a touch of bitterness.

T - The sweet caramel malt backbone comes through in the flavor too with an overtone of slightly bitter and floral hops.

M - Smooth and creamy with a bit of a bitter dry hop finish that mellows out well.

D - Very nice drikability with a fantastic malty, hoppy balance that goes down very nicely.

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Photo of jrsqc7
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

like big cheeseburgers and good french fries this is a great staple summer winter fall spring, good for fishing good for kungfu shaw brother enter the 36th chambers marathon pretty stellar mouthiness on this it's the best thing about the beer allows you to really dig your shovel into those dirty malt flavors while that sun shiny hops burns your neck red

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,901 ratings.
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