Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
5,947 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

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Ratings: 5,947 |  Reviews: 2,039
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a cold bottle with a frigid, ice-crusted beer mug. Once I let both warm for about 10 minutes, I was all set to pour beer into glass. Dark amber with a heavy dose of orange. The head was eggshell white and firm. It had decent staying power and left several thick rings of lace.

The smell was of earthy hops, not a bit floral or citrusy. The flavor was of earthy hops and grain. There was a mild-moderate amount of bitterness without much hop flavor, but it was still pretty good stuff.

The finish was long and bitter and the beer dried out a bit at the very end. The mouthfeel was firm, seamless and smooth. Anchor Steam is a true American classic.

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Photo of peensteen
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale copper colour, Light white head, no lacing to speak of here. Smell is malty, slight caramel and toffee, an earthy grainy note, slight hop bitterness in the nose. Taste is big malt, caramel, toffee, clean with a light bitter finish. Good mouthfeel, big carbonation but seems to not last on the palate, medium weight. Good overall brew, sessionable and nice for the season.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here we have a successful, unique brew. The fat bottle, the cute anchor and distinctive bottlecap, and amber look are all plusses. The extremely easy drink that still manages to hit you with spice and remind you that you're sipping a finely crafted beer not some alcoholic water. Multiple bottles don't numb the tongue to the wild work going on underneath here, but still the abv should be higher. Ahoy, steam boys!

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Photo of andrewdanks
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emsroth
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle. No freshness date.

App: Chunky 2 finger head that falls to a nice quarter inch cap. True amber in color with perfect clarity.

Smell: Mostly the sour scent from apples (think unripe granny smith) with hints of alcohol. Perhaps a touch of malt as well.

Taste: Light malt taste that is equal parts toasty and caramelly with notes of dark cookie. Simultaneously is a hop bitterness that is light but firm. Ends with a strong minerally taste with a bit of caramel and bitterness that lingers on the palette.

Very chewy mouthfeel. Low-medium carbonation.

Not a bad brew to go to if in need, but not something I would seek out. Especially at almost $3 a bottle.

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Photo of UnderStageMan
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Briant3113
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Crimkj
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that is semi readily available around here, and I got it as an extra from AgentZero, but hey, its an extra so I can't complain. In fact, I've had it before and think its a pretty good clean drinking ale, so here comes the review finally.

A: Nice frothy 2 finger head with some pot marks. Extremely brilliantly crystal clear with a very light amber color.

N: Some light toasty malts, amber ale malt aromas, and light earthy hops. Almost a slight banana aroma too, but that might be my imagination. Crisp aromas and pretty clean.

T: Pretty similar to what you would expect. Some nice toasty earthy malts, crystal malt flavors, some light caramel, earthy toasty malt flavors. The some light earthy hops that add a nice flavor. A slight malty sweetness and some very light fruity flavors.

M: Semi light, decent carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

F: Finishes semi bitter but pretty dry. Semi light but pretty crisp finishing flavors, reminiscent of a nice lager. A slight spice and some slight earthy flavors linger a bit. The nice malty flavor fades nicely but leaves the nice bitterness, which also doesn't hang out for long. Pretty crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of rjplumer
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice deep amber color That starts with a nice foamy head about one fingers worth. Has a little or no aroma that I could detect. It does have bitter beginning but then finishes smooth. Judging from Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale, which I really like a lot, I was a bit let down by this one. It's still pretty good and I would never turn one away.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer that morphs complexity while warming.

A: Darkish amber hue, brown honey. Lots of carbonation rising rapidly from the bottom of the glass. Off-white, 2 finger, tightly packed head that seems relentless. Great lacing.

S: Sweet malts, biscuity. Vaguely astringent. Very, very slight hops detected.

T: Bitter malt, like rye bread without the rye (work with me here). As the beer warms, caramel notes appear. Hops appear near the middle of the palate, but act more as a garnish. As the beer gets warm, the hop presence becomes a bit more pronounced and allows the beer to remain crisp while warming.

M: Medium/light body. Prickly on the tongue due to the carbonation and hop bite combination.

D: Very drinkable.

Quickly becoming one of my standard go-to beers for consistent enjoyment, particularly in these warmer months. California Common beers are very unique to each brewer, enjoy tasting the differentiating qualities and nuances from one variant to the next. This beer also happens to be #7 on the list of most preppy beers according to Tipsy in Madras: The Essential Guide to 80's Preppy Drinking.

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Photo of Greggy
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice light copper color with a 2 finger head that recedes down into a nice lace. A great clinging lace clings to the glass, even long after drank.

Smell: Light caramel smell with a some light lager notes

Taste: A very light caramel taste that is pale, yet has a nice lingering bitter.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, bitter and zesty

Drinkability: A great refreshing brew that at 4.9% ABV, makes a great sessionable brew.

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Photo of fsimcox
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent, amber color. Very little foam, that dissipates immediately. No lacing.

Smells of malt, and hops. Some hints of citrus and pine cones. Not overpowering, but fresh and crisp.

Taste is malt, hops, and citrus. A hop, grapefruit finish with a mild, but bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a smooth, crisp, with some carbonation. A nice dry finish.

A very nice lager, very drinkable. I will buy this beer again.

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Photo of John
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First had Anchor Steam at this hippie shrine kinda joint called Vesuvio in San Fran about ten years ago. I was thrilled at the time. Still pretty good stuff.

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Photo of ericj551
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam pours a bright copper with a nice but small white head. The aroma is light and slightly caramel malt, with a slight, fruity tinge. The flavor is nicely malty without being too sweet. There is a nice, bready, buscuity malt character. More caramel, and some slightly dark, raisiny fruitiness are balanced by a mild hop bitterness. Some mild herbal hops pop through in the finish. There is an odd, slightly sour, estery flavor in the finish.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper with some carbonation. Not much head.

S: It smelled really malty with not much else to it.

T: It was very malty at first with some undertones I couldn't pick up on. There was a bit of bitterness at the end which made the beer drinkable. All around it tasted like a high class lager; however, it's not what I dig

M: decent mouthfeel, slightly watery.

D: It's a lager, so it's very drinkable.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Steam Beer pours a light honey brown with a tan creamy head. Plenty of gobs of lacing down the glass.

Smells lightly of syrup and honey with fruity and floral undertones. A gentle scent with no aspect overwhelming another.

More of the same as the nose with a stronger honey and fruit scent. Again, soft flickers of flavor that are enjoyable, but faint. The finish is underwhelming and lacks definition as the flavor just thins out and drifts away. Hop bitterness doesn't provide the proper leverage to balance this one out.

Mouthfeel is medium with an ample dose of carbonation. Very drinkable beer that I could find myself enjoying several. Great segueway into the fall as it is a slightly sweeter tasting beer, but doesn't hit as hard as some of the malt bombs that come with the fall.

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Photo of Hunter
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've always liked the distinctive pot-bellied bottle, label, and blue cap.

Beer pours a nice tan head with good retention. Beer itself is a deep copperry color. Thin traces of carbonation throughout.

Sweet malt, light hops in the nose. As the beer warms it seems to go through a brief phase if unpleasantness before settling into a much nicer hop/spice note.

Hops are more prevalent in the taste but not by much; malt still dominates here. Finishes nicely. And yes, you'll have another.

This is a good one for those new to the microbrew scene to cut their teeth on.

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Photo of kasper
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, semi-translucent amber. Huge billowing banana cream-colored foamy head that leaves thick walls of lacing on the way down.

S: Odd aroma that must be common amongst steam beers. Smells like wet grains with a tad of sweet malt. There's also this wet, steamy, metallic scent that reminds me of a gym steam room.

T: Fairly malty taste, bit of tangy fruit. Finish is slightly bitter and grainy from the touch of hops. This taste lingers afterwards.

D: Malty-thick medium body with moderate amounts of carbonation.

M: Not one of the more popular styles, but I picked up a 6-pack because my entire beer cellar consists of mostly heavy, high octane beers. I was searching for something lighter and different and this does the trick.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap served in a pint glass. Copper hue, slim head of white foam, good carbonation present. The aroma was quite faint with a light maltiness. The taste is nice, not particularly sweet, but somewhat nutty and semi-bitter. Alcohol does not appear strong. Crisp mouthfeel and finish, light bodied, but not watery, it goes down easy. This has always been a very reliable session beer, especially when there isn't much else to choose from. A classic...

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Photo of kmoen
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle says: 3L9. So if Raul can compute his shiz, this thang is about 6 months old. Although Raul digresses, he can move on.

Light like my baby mama in a corset, and a bit sweet like my baby mama's mama when she cooks Raul cookies for Columbus Day.

Make Raul want to set sail in search for new lands? Anchor does not. But take a lil hottie down to my docked Santa Maria and tip a few back? Yes, yes Raul would.


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Photo of chrhowe
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Has a copper, milky look with a generous head that has a medium lace. Caramel and nuts come out in the smell with some hops and a bit of bread too. I tasted the bread first followed by the caramel and nuts. Finishes up with the hops, you can tell they are there for sure. It's strong in the mouth, but enjoyable. Definitely a drinkable beer. One for the future sipping.

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Photo of BBelch
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rdub
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my snifter. For some reason I snifter beers on occasion. The neck funneled the unique aroma. Golden/amber color. Go some citrus in the smell. The taste was as unique as the reviews say it is. I got some citrus and most of all a nice balance. Mouthfeel was nice and had some small bubbles. The drinkability was good and would be worthy of downing a few.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,947 ratings.
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