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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
6,011 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,011 |  Reviews: 2,055
Photo of ICTguy21
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of cacophonyofroaring
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of itsZachShaw
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Skabiski
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Celtics76
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hopdini
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's something about those open air fermenters.. unique delicious brew.

74 characters

Photo of ThePold
4.61/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed one of the first real beers I ever had. What can one say except thank you Fritz Maytag for making this. This is a classic beverage whose flavor sits alongside Sam Adams lager as the founding tastes of modern American beer.

 257 characters

Photo of Khaack
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dentist666
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with thick golden head, excellent retention.
Smell - malts, rice, bread, earthy hops.
Taste - follows the smell with pleasant and distinct bitter finish.
Light body, decent carbonation, true california and true common one.

 234 characters

2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Riff
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear, reddish brown color with a thick, off-white head about two fingers thick. Smells of caramels, malt, and a hint of hops. Taste is bready, a little bit of fruit, a hint of hop bitterness to it. Flavor lingers after the finish, medium-light body, goes down very easy. Quite refreshing.

 305 characters

Photo of GaryColeman
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of thommo_nk
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks awesome on the shelf, the label and bottle shape are cool. It's also nice to try a historic West Coast US brew.

Nice amber colour with medium carbonation. Thin bubbly head is present on pouring but not for long.

You get malt on the nose with a touch of burnt caramel.

Burnt malt flavours are present, with caramel and a touch of fruitiness.

Top quality brew, no wonder it has been around for so long.

 420 characters

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

Photo of cshaffer
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hasse67
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Pantalones
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last bottle from the six-pack I picked up semi-recently. Mysterious code on the back is "7A8," whatever that might indicate... I can only assume it's a coded bottled-on or best-by date, but I don't know how to decode it and I'm a little more concerned with drinking and reviewing the beer at the moment rather than looking up exactly how old it is!

Everything is really nice appearance-wise -- deep golden color, bordering on the lighter orange range, and very clear with streams of little bubbles rising from the bottom. Forms a decently-sized layer of slightly off-white foam when first poured, shrinking to a thin coating within a couple minutes but staying fairly solid even then (no holes forming in it or anything just yet.)

Every bottle of this beer so far has really struck me with how fresh-smelling it is, and this is no exception. It's mild, but what's there is just a really nice bready smell with a crispness/freshness to it that's unusually noticeable even when compared to other lighter-to-medium beers that you'd expect to have that sort of feature to them. There's a bit of a hoppy thing in the background but the bready malt is the most noticeable smell right away.

The taste is also nice and bready, with a bit of a yeastiness to it that pops in and reveals its identity as not quite your standard lager after all. Very crisp and refreshing, as you'd expect going by the smell. A bit of bitterness on the end, a bit of an almost European-ish but not quite hop flavor going on, but mostly what you taste is a nice bready malt and the yeastiness that I'm guessing comes from the use of a higher fermentation temperature. The yeastiness almost takes on a quality that's somewhere between doughy and banana-y after a while. It's not a super complex beer but it is a tasty one. I recall being reminded somewhat of celery seed when I first had this beer, but I'm not getting much of that this time around. It's still very nice either way.

The feel is light, crisp, noticeably carbonated, and quite dry. Goes down pretty easily but it's not a thin, watery "chug it!" sort of beer, more one that you can either take a sip or a gulp at a time depending on how thirsty you are at the moment. I imagine people back in the 1890s way out in California would lean toward big gulps -- I bet this would be one of those beers that would be really refreshing to have cold and drink fast right after coming in from being out in the summer heat for an hour or two.

Overall, a great beer and one that I'm glad I finally got a chance to try. Try it for the historical experience of a surviving beer from the California Gold Rush, for the novelty of getting to sample an oddball beer style that you don't see around often, because the label art is really neat, or even just because you want a beer -- but it's definitely one that you should try at some point, one way or the other.

 2,898 characters

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

Photo of G_Shoe
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of StormAles
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of trllte
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

oh yah, yum

11 characters

Photo of TommyCable
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jbehlar
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Coltron23
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,011 ratings
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