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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BA SCORE
3.85/5
Very Good
6,018 Ratings
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

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
Ranking:
#10,072
Reviews:
2,057
Ratings:
6,018
pDev:
12.73%
Bros Score:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
236
Gots:
1,283
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,018 |  Reviews: 2,057
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have always wanted to try Steam Beer but never got around to it due to my prejudice against 6-packs (prefer something different with every beer I grab) until I found a store selling the larger bottles.

Pours out looking like an ale... This is a lager? Well, yes it is, but not like other lagers. It pours a near crystal-clear orange-brown with a frothy yellowish head that builds higher than I expected and hangs out in a fat layer a lot longer than I expected. It also leaves really great lacing for a lager. Very nice looking, simply pouring this puts me in a great mood and sets me up to experience Steam.

The smell is thin, there is a little bit of honey and lemon zest. Kind of hard to make anything out beyond that.

Mmmmm, yum. Way more interesting than most lagers. It is indeed crisp, clean, and smooth, but is pretty flavorful. There's a lot of lemony zest and malty flavors, with just the tiniest hint of hops that are metallic in a light aluminum way.

Watery and crisp like a lager should be; Carbonation's about right. A little bit of tartness, and finishes quite clean. It's very, very easy and nice to drink.

Overall, this is a great beer and I'm glad the opportunity popped up to give it a shot. I respect the makers of this beer and its bretheren going way back to the 1800s.

 1,308 characters

Photo of John1985
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my Pig's Eye Pub glass.

A: Pours a clear, light copper-orange with a very small head that quickly turns to lace. Carbonation is fairly decent.

S: Smells, ironically, a bit like steam. A little fruity hop on the nose.

T: Taste is well balanced between fruity hops and a little sweet roasted malt. There is a lingering malt flavor that satisfies, while the hop leaves a resin in it's wake.

M: Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, not too heavy, and a little sharp on the tongue.

D: Because of lower ABV and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel and flavor, this is a very drinkable beer. There's an element, maybe its lingering sweetness, that would make me choose a different session beer, but I'd sit through 2-3 of these easily.

Anchor seems to have cornered the market on steam beer, but readers beware, Flying Dog puts out a very nice California Common called "Old Scratch" that gives this brew a run for its money, if not surpassing it in taste.

 981 characters

Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of silverbullet361
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of bobbyc881
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of a squat little bottle with a big tan head that lingers for a good while. Very fluffy. Copper/redish in color, light carbonation and very clear.

Smell is mostly of sweet grain. Nothing special.

Taste is outstanding. Big bold, creamy flavor. Nice hop bitterness balanced with some subtle fruit flavors and grain.

Feels nice -- goes down smooth, highly drinkable.

 383 characters

Photo of troutmask96
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice session brew here. Pours a light amber with very light head. Taste is of currants and hops. You gotta love the tradition of this beer, being one of the first craft brews in the U.S. Rich in tradition and smooth taste, and possibly the best label of any beer, this one's a definite keeper...

 300 characters

Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

amber/golden hue-hazy, malty, creamy mouthfeel. tastes like if newcastle was a lager.

85 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Plano Gingerman.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with some grapes and caramel malt. The flavor is toffee, grassy hops, grain and some metallic notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good for the style, but this is a style I am not much of a fan of.

 329 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Summit Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with relatively thin head but expansive lacing.

Smell: Caramel, biscuit, toast and some earthiness.

Taste: Earthy, toasty malt that has a semi-sweet caramel middle before ending with a strong earthy bitterness that is almost too much for this particular beer. Somehow it doesn't come together as well as it should in terms of malts vs. hops.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation (almost fizzy), medium body, dry finish.

Drinkability: Obviously a very important beer in craft beer history that is quite good but is ultimately more relevant for its history. Nice to have every once in a while.

 675 characters

Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a single from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger white head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells of a kind of sour, earthy malt - more earthy than sour - with citrus hop aromas that also are slightly sour.

Tastes of caramel malt joined by a very light sourness. Ends with a light amount of bitterness and the caramel malt flavors linger after the sip is over.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation and good thickness make this one go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I'm not sure how many of these I could have, but one went down just fine.

Overall this is an interesting beer that reminds me of another I've had that I can't put my finger on. The taste is very distinct and certainly worth a try if you haven't had it already.

 908 characters

Photo of watermelonman
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured with lots of carbonation and a nice white head. It sits in the glass with a dark gold color. It looks crisp and clean. It's tastes good, too. The carbonation makes it feel very light on the tongue, but the flavor is still substantial.

If any beer was ever properly described by the word "suds", this is it. It's a great standby to have waiting in the refrigerator.

 384 characters

Photo of zachthelaxer93
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of wilsonbaron
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of goldbot
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper with lots of visible carbonation and thick, off-white head.

Mostly malt aroma of biscuit and grain with a lingering astringent smell. Some hop presence with pine and floral aromas. Nice malty flavor of biscuit and a touch of caramel. Quite dry with pleasant bitterness. Leaves a lingering nutty, malty aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with a slightly chewy, crisp mouthfeel.

 391 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice clear copper amber hue with a creamy two-finger head that has fair retention and leaves fairly decent lacing down the glass.

smells of grain, maltiness, floral hops, a bit of straw, and grassiness dance cleanly across the surface with hints of vanilla and honey. Subtle and subdued, but clean and definitely appealing.

Taste is clean and equally pleasing but in a different direction. Malty and sweet up front, with some caramel and honey notes quickly giving way to a pleasant neutral green bitterness that stays through the finish. Bitterness is almost a bit much at times for the flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, nicely carbonated and all around a solid feel.

Definitely a good go-to beer. Nothing astounding, but always solid with a great flavor profile and it looks like a solid brew. Can't really knock it. An all-around a-ok beer.

 871 characters

Photo of jpkoch1962
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many years ago - about 20 - my father brought this now famous beer back from a trip to the West Coast. Like other people, I fell in love with Anchor Steam from the get go. The beer hasn't changed, but I have.

Served from a bottle at 40 Deg. The color is a deep amber. My pint glass overflowed with a highly carbonated head that left faint lacing.I could detect the Northern Brewer Hop aroma, along with some grainy malt. The front end was a bit rough as this highly hopped beer is dominated by floral citrusy hops. The mouth feel was warm and smooth, but the malts struggled to get through. The middle mellowed some, but the hops had the last say. The finish was dry, crisp and bitter.

Anchor's flagship beer is still good, but I suppose my tastes have changed. I also wonder, if Anchor increased the hop bill a bit since the mid 80s, as I don't remember this beer being quite so hoppy.

 892 characters

Photo of teemoney
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of climax
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a nice amber/orange with a tremendous foamy rocky head.

Nose was smooth and balanced well. The sweet malt was toasty and caramel well matched by citrusy and earthy hops. Light ripened fruit and some metallic (maybe the anchor?) notes later emerged.

Taste was bitter, mostly toasty malt, caramel, diacetyl and some fruitiness with a hop sharpness.

Body was good, creamy and smooth. Feel was dry and almost gritty, nice light fizzy feeling rather than sharp carbonation

Not an expert on "steam" beers, but it was unique, bitter, and interesting. I liked it.

 575 characters

Photo of Chinaskifan1
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of artoolemomo
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head with minimal retention. Some lacing is left behind. The body is off white with hints of yellow while the body is a little hazy with an almost medium amber/honey hue that glows orange when held up to the light.

Nose- Fairly subdued- takes a quite a bit of probing around and swirling to get something more than the sweet malt and stereotypical beer aroma. Grain, sweet malt, and a slight hint of sour spice are the dominant aspects but hints of caramel do come out later. Some fruity esters come out as well- some faint peach, apricot. Some complexity but very subtle.

Taste- Initially, citrus notes followed by woody bitterness with some resin. The bitterness is well rounded and is never overpowering. I had never noticed it before, the Northern Brewer hops do give a mild minty flavor which hangs around the wood of the profile. The hops also have a herbal/floral spiciness to them as well. Some biscuit, some grain but the caramel (like on the nose) is pretty tucked away. The dual use hops really stave of the possibility of any of the malts taking over the palate. Not the most complex beer but it is a very solid and well balanced one.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Lots of carbonation but the zip is welcome.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. Crisp and refreshing. Perfect for a summer day. A classic for a reason.

Overall- Solid beer. I've been drinking Anchor's products for years but I haven't reviewed many of them.

 1,489 characters

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried this one several times and keep going back to it as it is a good session beer. Pours a medium to dark amber color with a creamy off white head about two fingers wide. The head leaves beautiful, sticky lace all over the glass. There is a great deal of carbonation as witnessed by the numerous bubbles rising to the surface.

The aroma is kind of nutty with a sweet smell in there. The taste is nutty and slightly malty, but only a trace of a hop prescence. Mouthfeel is good and smooth, almost too smooth, though. Overall, a good beer to enjoy anytime.

 567 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from the bottle and now sampled on draft 5/9/08. Good beer, I like it better now than I did when I first sampled it. Amber colored with a nice khaki head which leaves some nice lacing. Some sweet caramel malts in the aroma with some fruity spice. The flavor starts off with carmel malts but it is also nicely hopped making it pretty well balanced. I'd get it again.

 384 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a beautiful crystal clear copper with a fizzy soda like head of white bubbles which evaporated quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Medium strength aroma of biscuit malt, caramel, and yeast. Some faint fruity (I got orange) esters.

T - Extremely well balanced mix of toasty malt and fruity hops. Caramel sweetness upfront and bitter grains in the finish. Finshes very dry. A slight "pasty" taste in the back of finish, which is not unpleasant. Tasty.

M - Medium-light bodied with prickly almost fizzy carbonation. Clean finish.

O - I really enjoyed this. A simple beer thats full of flavor with high drinkability. Sometimes I want a beer that tastes like just malt and hops, and this is as good as any for that. Balanced and delicious.

 783 characters

Photo of jaredschnabel
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,018 ratings
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