Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
2,009 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:
2,009
Ratings:
5,825
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.73%
 
 
Wants:
213
Gots:
1,158
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,009 | Ratings: 5,825
Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Gorgeous translucent amber with 2 finger head which dissipated quick, little lacing.
S-Mildly roasted malt, slight floral & sweet fruit, as it warmed a distinct banana note appeared.
T-Slightly sweet mildly roasted malt with a hint of charcoal but not in a bad way, almost like
toasted marshmallow. At once followed by a big wonderful hop bitter that endures. Some banana notes
appear as it warms. It's quite complex!
M-Big creamy body that really surprised me. Nicely carbonated.
O-I'd never even heard of this beer before but I intend to have it again, very good! I was expecting
it to be like a lager but it's more like an awesome pale ale with super mouthfeel.

 700 characters

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Not much head formation. Its a nice amber color with a little reddishness to it and a bit of cloudiness. The aroma is a nice, malty aroma with some woodiness (similar to a Scottish Ale). The taste is a little bitter up front and finishes very sweetly with a taste similar to the smell. Its pretty light in body and very drinkable and refreshing and would make a good session beer. Cheers.

 424 characters

Photo of DEdesings57
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 30 days ago(Pretty damn fresh as far as NJ goes)

L: Poured out much more full bodied, heavier and darker than I imaged. I was expecting a yellow fisy lager or a pilsner like looking beer. I was presently surprised at its darkness. Looks like a Vienna Lager! Poured a large frothy white head, completely filtered. 5/5.

S: Wow, I smell citrsy hops, sweet beady malt, toasted brown bread, grains. Combine all those together and you have a light but very fruity aroma going on from the malts and hop(not hops - its singled hopped with Northern Brewer). Its almost smells like an American Pale Ale.

T: This is a lager? damn fine one. Taste like an American Pale ale with a well defined malt body. Champagne like carbonation, sweet beady malts in the background. The hops make this one finish dry and clean. I figured the IBUs on this one gotta be real close to SN Pale, and guess what they are 35 and SN Pale is 37. Like I said kinda taste like a pale ale. Really surprised me on the taste.

Feel: Its a little light on the body but then again its only 4.9%.

Overall: Amazing beer! classic brew! I cant believe that I have been drinking Craft beer for 10 years now and am just having this now.

 1,203 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep gold with excellent clarity. The creamy, low off-white head has a very decent retention period.

S: Moderate citrus hops aroma, mainly lemony and a peach and orange-like ester are prominent in the aroma. There is a light biscuty and toasted malt aroma i the background.

T: the flavor is dominated by a moderate hop bitterness and a citrus hops flavor which is again mainly lemon like. There is a decent support from a biscuit and toasty malt flavor with the balance being moderately toward the bitter side. The cirtus hops flavor and bitterness linger a little past the dry finish.

M: moderately-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a light astringency.

O: A crisp and refreshing, somewhat hoppy beer with a nice bit of fruity ester complexity.

 767 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An old friend, I first had this back in the 1980's and it was one of my first craft beers. I remember it being very strong, full bodied and hard to drink. Wow has my pallet evolved. It's now a medium body easy drinker. This is a true classic beer that all BAers should try it least once. 4.50

 292 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes over the holidays
A - just slightly hazy copper, generous off white head
S - grainy and grassy, with some buttery and caramel hints
T - a sharp very toasted grainy malt flavour, a bitter grassy hint with buttery with a resiny and dry citrus finish, very interesting
M - medium refreshing carbonation kick, very clean and light, drying out on the finish
D - a complex and very drinkable brew, the flavour are interesting while being light and refreshing enough to be a great session option

 499 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Turns out I like this beer much more than I remembered.

Pours light copper amber with one finger white creamy foam. Good lacing.

Predominantly malty smell with some citrus.

Taste is a dry hop with a little lemon, mixed with a sweet tnged malt tone. Light hop noted in the finish, but very little bitter.

Solid carbonation buzz, strong in the mouth. Very drinkable, great beer.

 421 characters

Photo of diabecktic
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
A lovely pour. Thick, creamy head (~2 fingers) forms slowly and stays in place - lacing is excellent. The beer is a very light shade of amber and orange; there is plenty of visible, rising carbonation.

Smell:
The aroma is composed mainly of hop and grain tones, but there is a subtle underlying sweetness. I can't quite describe it accurately, but it seems to be something of a mix between caramel and citrus tones with a hint of bubblegum. It's a very sharp scent.

Taste:
The first thing I noticed was the extreme bitterness. Hop and grain character are immense in the first portion of the tasting; the caramel tone acts as a bridge to the citrusy aftertaste. I would say that the taste matches the nose fairly well. As the beer warms, the balance between hoppiness and maltiness becomes a bit more distinct. When cooler, the malt tends to be masked.

Mouthfeel:
I would rate the body as medium. It's a little heavier than I would have thought, but it's just right. For all of its bitterness, it's really not too sharp on the palate.

Drinkability:
This is a very "lively" beer, but it's pretty smooth overall. I think this would make an excellent session beer. It tastes great and goes down well regardless of how it's served. Just don't drink it too quickly because you will miss out on an other-wordly experience.

Summary:
I'm suprised that this wasn't my first choice when I first looked to try an Anchor beer (I had the Liberty Ale in Denver last summer). This is truly a unique beer in nearly every facet subjected to this review. The balance and quality of flavor are unlike many other beers that I have sampled and it's easy to drink; this beer is put together very well. If you haven't tried this before, please do yourself a favor and get a 6-pack as soon as you can.

 1,793 characters

Photo of wedge
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with a frothy, chunky off-white head. Aroma is toasted caramel malts - creamy, nutty, and bready with a soft sweetness. Malty flavor with an earthy, almost minty hop bitterness. There's definately a solid toasted grain presence...a very rustic and leafy character overall that balances out quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium-light and moderately dry.

Firm maltiness and delicious earthy hop flavors blend together cleanly to make a pleasant and highly drinkable lager. High on my list of all-purpose session beers.

 529 characters

Photo of kpoole25
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle to glass. Pours a light amber, pretty dark for a lager. Smells like typical lager / Bud smell. On taste, really like the balance...full flavored, a bit like a Marzen or Oktoberfest. Carbonation was moderate, where I like it. Overall a really good, drinkable beer. All the Anchor's I've had I really enjoyed.

 320 characters

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a small head that settles to a thin lace.

Aroma is of grains,fruits/citrus notes and caramel malts.
The taste is of malts,caramel,fruits,hops and bitter-sweet notes.
The overall feel is dry finish with a lemon/fruit aftertaste.

Notes: It's late and I have had enough of this beer to let you know that it is not only above average,but well worth the time and money. A session beer and a delight on any day regardless of the temperature. So well balanced and nice bitter finish that goes so well with the caramel notes. Go out and try one.

 565 characters

Photo of Ranchito
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. it was one of the best beers back in the 70's and is still one of the best. Kudos to Anchor for keeping the same great taste. It pours well, a nice clear amber with a nice creamy head. The aroma is sweet and hoppy. with a light to medium body. very crisp dry flavor. This beer never disappoints.

 317 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours out a light amber, slightly orangeish color, with a an off-white inch of head. Retains a nice thin lace, especially around the rim.

Smells of lightly toasted malt and light caramel sweetness, with some light citrus and floral hop aromas. The smell is pleasant and balanced, but light (have I said that enough?)

Tastes a lot like the smell, with toasted malt and a mild sweetness dominating along with just a bit of hop bitterness and citrusy hop flavor. Very well balanced and very refreshing. Crisp carbonation and a nice medium body, yet light on the palate. I could drink this beer all night, a great session beer.

 634 characters

Photo of ZeroSignal
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber with a frothy, thick head

S - Grainy, some citric bitterness, lemon, toasted malts

T&M - Bitterness is right up front and stronger then expected from the nose. Toasted malt follows immediately behind. The citrus notes of lemon and orange zest dance around with the graininess and malt backbone. Very dynamic and wonderfully balanced. Smooth finish with citrus and malt flavors lightly lingering.

D - Had 22oz at the hotel bar and enjoyed every last sip. If I didn't have to be somewhere I would have had another. Very enjoyable and glad that I finally got to give this one a try in it's home state.

 611 characters

Photo of flowerysong
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy light copper with lots of bubbles.

Smell: Mild breadiness, earthy malt, and faint caramel notes.

Taste: Begins with a sharp citrus hop bitterness, which gradually falls away leaving an intensely malty finish. Some fruitiness in the middle.

Mouthfeel: Mildly drying finish, full body, lively carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavourful and full of character, nice crisp taste and very pleasant to drink.

 426 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Part five in the Unorganized Invitation brings us to Anchor Steam Beer. Time to try to out:

In color, the beer is amber in color with a soild, desne head. The flavor is dominated by toasty malts, and it's damn tasty. A little fruity underneath the toasty flavor, creamy, and thick. Yum. I've found another option for a session brew.

I had hopes for this beer, and boy it did it hit the spot. It just took the lead in the Unorganized Invitational from it's brother Anchor Bock. It'll have to hold off New Belgium's 1554 to secure the title.

 546 characters

Photo of Kelz87
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From bomber into pub pint, not my typical style of beer, but figured I'd give it a shot due to the big name/heritage.

A- pours a clear dark red/ copper color with about a 2 finger head that quickly dissipated leaving some good lacing.

S- nice sweet bready aroma, maybe some caramel malts and few fruity notes

T- very smooth malty taste, not overly sweet which I hate in my beers and not very bitter, a very good balance actually. Bread and some caramel seem to be the main flavor here. Bitterness seems to increase as the beer warms up

M- average to high carbo, medium mouthfeel, leaving a mild burn feeling

O- I grabbed this beer thinking I wasn't going to like it, but it's actually a very solid beer, seems like a great Bbq or just drinking beer with your non-craft friends. Not my usual IPA that I would pick, but just a smooth easy drinking beer.

 858 characters

Photo of tubacharlie
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly nutty malt aroma is detected when poured, as a generous head develops. The off-white head recedes a bit, then floats at an even keel while consumed as it is replenished by constant streams of small bubbles rising from the depths of the hazy amber brew.

The taste is bright and malty, with overtones of lightly browned toast and salty sea air enveloped in a well-carbonated mouth feel that sails over the pallet, with soft hop bitterness lingering on the tip of the tongue.

Always a dependable selection for a day at sea, or just sitting around pool side with your first mate (or second). The historic popularity of this beer is easily fathomed. Anchor's away!

 673 characters

Photo of Drew966
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. At first the aroma is fruity, then caramel malt becomes apparent. Caramel malt and a nice hop presence make for a classic beer. Sessionable and recommended.

 253 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber color with white head that is very thin

Smells of earthy tones with very little hop character and spices. Very very malty to the nose soothing as well. Nutty character.

Taste is excellent very full bodied with a nice crisp start a nice nutty and earthy middle and a sharp but sweet finish.

the mouthfeel is very full perfect balance of carbonation. At the same time refreshing very attractive overall

Drinkability is very big. You can have many pints of this and not feel full. Goes down smooth.

 505 characters

Photo of Japerrault
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy golden amber with a white head that dissipates to a nice skim.

S: Caramel, toasted malts, sweet fruits

T: Nicely balanced toasted caramely malt flavors. Biscuit mixed with a hint of spicey hops. Very light bitterness in the finish. Not sweet, but mostly dry.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Excellent balance of malt and hops, not overpowering in any one flavor. Crisp and refreshing easy drinking beer.

 433 characters

Photo of Ugarte_CP
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried this beer at Lombard's Restaurant at Universal Studios Florida. Was very pleasantly surprised to enjoy a good micro-brew at the theme park. Great taste with no bitterness. Paired it with the Turkey burger and calamari appetizer. I will have to find this one again.

 270 characters

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has been awhile since I have had this beer. I forgot how good it really is.

A: A nice copper color with a wonderful white head. Good lacing on the glass.

S: I little hop aroma that blends nicely with the malt aroma.

T: Restrained bitter hops and sweet pale malts. Great balance between the two. Kinda salty. It's like and IPA and a lager at the same time.

M: Very creamy in mouthfeel, more than you would expect given the color. Quite smooth, to boot.

D: A session beer that could satisfy a hophead, a maltoid, and a new convert to good beer. It has something for the first two to like, and won't scare the newbie.

 627 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a translucent amber-red with a thin off-white head. Smells malty, with nuttiness, fruitiness, and caramel. Tastes sweet and fruity, with caramel, biscuit, nut. Somewhat aqueous with effervescent carbonation making this one a super-drinkable refreshing beer. A classic for sure and for good reason. Unfortunately, at the current price on the other side of the country from the brewery, this will only be an occasional treat.

 482 characters

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my favorite beer drinking glass.

Poured a nice orange golden hue - one finger head and nice lace that seemed to linger.

Smell was decent - nice clean with hints pf citrus .

Taste was very good hints of citrus -

A very drinkable brew - I would buy it again -

 292 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,009 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe