Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,024 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,024
Ratings:
5,900
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.99%
 
 
Wants:
223
Gots:
1,221
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,024 | Ratings: 5,900
Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale, clear light coppery color with a medium sized cap of off-white dense smooth foam. Settles down slowly to a healthy slim skim and collaring. Drippy lace with some globs sticking.

Aroma is softly clean and grainy with a slight toastyness; creamy, earthy tones keep underneath with a great fresh breadiness displayed on the nose the whole time.

Great fresh flavors, lightly malty with a nudging sweetness always peeking through with what tends to be an always present, fine bready toastyness. Creamy and lightly earthy with a tender texture and easy going malt base. The grain flavors are nicely handled with an eager mildness that lasts a long time. Finishes earthy with a slight grassy edged hoppyness floating along the end of the bready stuff. A great Steam beer by the innovators of the style, Anchor.

Sessionable by the gallons!

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark orange/amber with a short-lived, light tan head that leaves a thin lace. Bready maltiness in the aroma and flavor, though the palate is a bit more complex: grain, caramel, a very mild roastiness, and some faint piney hops as well. The mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy with moderately active carbonation.

Not merely one of the best examples of the style, but arguably one of the best American beers on the market. I’ve said it before in various forum posts and I’ll say it again: this well-balanced, infinitely drinkable brew is THE perfect session beer. No one can claim to be a serious craft beer lover and never have tried this one! Highly, highly recommended!

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Photo of outdoorbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This old classic creates an aroma blend of toasted malts and springy hops to set you up for a slide down the tunnel of love.
San Francisco sent the dough and reminded me that soap can linger on the stach.
But hey full clarity under a diminishing head sure pulls the glass up
Flavor started off in the middle of bittersweet and ran down the stretch to finish on the longshot
She got a body that licks creamy and is no way flat

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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 dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, from an assorted selection of brews in dad's fridge

appearance:pours a watery caramel-copper color with a foamy beige head and moderate lacing

smell: sweet maltiness, some fruity hop action, lots of spicy aromas, some caramel, slightly nutty, earthy

taste: sweet malts are dominant, caramel in nature with some dry spice flavors, hops are bitter and lemony, grassy and earthy flavors are a major factor in the taste

mouthfeel: some hop bitterness, smooth bodied, spicy and dry finish

drinkability: pretty drinkable

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Photo of crwills
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer of this style, although I'm still not clear what the 'steam' in 'steam beer' adds to it. Not bad, though.

Poured from a big, fat 650 mL bottle into a standard pint glass (had to refill, since it didn't all fit). A nice clear orangy amber colour.

Smell is hoppy, with pepper, flowers, and citrus fairly evident. Flavour is somewhat bitter with some earthiness. Hints of citrus, particularly lemons, and apples as well. Very light and smooth on the palate, with a slight bitter or acidic aftertaste and moderate carbonation.

Overall OK, but nothing special, and not worth the price charged at the LCBO. If you can get it locally though, go for it.

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

There are times when Anchor Steam just seems like the right brew to purchase among a sea of other choices. This was one of the first craft brews we used to drink in the swill days to mix it up. An American classic that everyone should try, and everyone should return to now and again.
Appearance: light orange color and huge head as it pours into my mug. The head is very long lasting. This color seems rare in beers...it's not amber but not yellow...doesn't really look like a PA either. But it looks good
Smell: Smells like American beer! (been drinking a lot of European beers lately). Nice grains and malts. Smells like a classic beer.
taste: connects right with the smell. Has a real smooth, clean taste. Again the malts, but this time there is a mild bitterness to back them up. Perfectly balanced.
mouthfeel: a mix of lager and ales. Why more brewers haven't attempted this style is beyond me....perhaps it's hard to get done right as it is a delicate style. It drinks like a lager but feels like an ale. Hard to explain.
Drinkability: Really high. I spend a long time on this one and not get tired. All I have is a 22 oz. bottle at the moment. This is made to be an easy drinker. If I had a sixer right now, I would probably drink a whole bottle in one or two sips. But it still feels like it has some body too it...it's not a lager.
This beer went very well with Mexican Food, and I suspect it would go well with almost anything.
It's easy to forget about this one, but I make sure to get some every few months or so. My dad says he used to get this in the 70's (he still does.) Things weren't so bad in 70's for beer if this was around. A good beer to chose if you had to pick one to be stuck on a deserted Island.

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Photo of Gritsak
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- bright copper with an off white head. with an aggressive pour you will get a nice head that retains well. if you easy the pour you will get nothing.

S- sweet malty aroma.

T- nice clean taste with malt dominating. aftertaste has a bit of hop presence with honey sweetness mixed in.

M- medium body. mild carbonation. very smooth

D- extremely easy to drink.

overall- kinda reminds me of an oktoberfest with the malty backbone. pretty nice beer overall. Not a favorite but a really nice clean taste.

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Photo of davidchollar
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i haven't reviewed them yet, but the anchor porter and liberty ale have really impressed me. this is a good beer that i never noticed at the store when i was in seattle, but for some reason is available here at the local grocery store as the only american beer other than bud !!!
looks a dark bronze, almost brown but kind of red. the head is thick and not white, damn near gray, anyway it only sticks around for a minute.
smells a little better than average, not bad but not great. not very hoppy, kind of sweet. actually, unfortunately it smells like a japanese beer, really reminds me of asahi super dry ... scary
tastes much better. this is obviously a well-made brew. a little more bitter than i expected. quite drinkable, i could have a few of these.

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Photo of metallistout
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

People have always recommended this one and now I can finally get it. Good beer.
Pours a lovely amber color with a creamy white head. You can smell the hops from the moment the bottle opens and once poured it mixes with a sweet malty tone.
Hops a major flavor with a sweet caramel taste, also a fruity flavor and finishes a little dry. I like this beer. Now I know why people have recommended it over the years.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What is it about steam beers? Use lager yeast but ferment at normal temperatures more consistent with ales.

Anchor Steam, considered the granddaddy of steam beers pours a slight clear amber to off yellow shade with good head retention, nice carbonation and a slight lace to the glass. Do you think that Gottlieb Brekle imagine what he starte in 1854? The smell is stronger malt but limited hop and fruity esters are present.

The taste is a good combination of lighter malts with a full body flavor. Creamy almost but with a hint of caramel flavoring and then at the end a spicy kick. A small amount of floral is noticeable but you have to look for it. Anchor Steam is a nice summer beer and has a fantastic history. If you have the time I suggest to peak around their web site and check the history.

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Photo of ski271
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, medium copper with a small, off-white, foamy head that has very good retention. Some sparse, spotty lacing. The smell is of perfumy fruit and grain. The taste is rather mild and a bit sweet up front with a good balance and a pleasant fruity, lemony, light bitter finish. It has a thin-medium body, lightly dry texture, and moderate carbonation. There was a slight sourness in there that I didn’t care that much for, but otherwise this is a highly sessionable brew that I enjoyed.

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Photo of radshoesbro
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is the classic anchor beer. i've had it many times in the past, but i've never actually rated it.

a - pours a clear copper with a good head and fantastic lacing!

s - reminds me of a pilsner. has bits of yeast and no real noticable hops.

t - this is a very unique tasting brew. the taste has bits of caramel with mild hops that give a nice bitterness. at points this brings to mind a belgian trippel.

m - nice medium body that is slightly tannic.

d - i couldn't drink as many steam beers as i could drink their liberty ale, but i could definately go through a few of these and be quite happy that i did!

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours incredibly deep copper color with a finger of head taht falls slightly to a healthy foam over top. The nose is lightly grainy, light caramel. Overall, it is not an overly aromatic brew. Flavor is prominently grainy, with a light caramel. A light hop bitter hangs on the finish. Nothing really grabs me and keeps my interest, though this would be a good transition brew for those just fining craft beer. Feel is moderate with a very active bubble on my tongue. The beer is smooth and very easy to drink. I'm not the biggest fan of the grainy nature of it. There is nothing flawed in it, but I don't think I would buy this one again. It just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of whynot44
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, nice bronze color with an off white head.

Aroma is primarily grain, caramelized malt with just a bit of citrus and hops.

Taste is caramelly malt, citrus, pear, slightly sweet and earthy, with a nice citrus/hops finish.

Very smooth and drinkable. This would be an excellent "session" beer and should go well with almost any kind of food.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the tighter heads I've seen assembled. lacing was respectable. Beautiful shiney copper filtered appearance.

Bitter throughout. It's a light bitter though, lemon balanced with some sugar. Grassy, Earthy at points. Mouthfeel is intense carbonation, crisp, erratic. Its all over the place. Solid offering.

Anchor you son of a bitch you've done it again. Thanks.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a tawny light brown with a vague clarity. A dense two finger head has nice retention and average lacing. Spicy hop nose with hints of lightly toasted sweet malt. I'd like to say the assertive hop bitterness is well balanced with the mildy vinous citrus flavor, but I can't judge the style until I review more of the same. I can say that the light body and medium carbonation make up a mostly smooth mouthfeel, but the spice/hop bite lingers and dries the finish enough to make the average rating for drinkability generous.

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Photo of BeerBeing
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown glass generic "fatty" bottle, multicolored on yellow label

Appearance: copper color, large off-white head, average lacing

Smell: malt and some caramel

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, strong bitter hoppiness, toasted malt, citrus

Notes: good all around beer, can't go wrong with it

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Photo of mattcrill
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is readily available...time to review the legend.

Appearance: Pours a crystal orange with a sudsy ivory head. The head fades to an ivory film.

Smell: Dense grains and fresh vegetables. My nose is overwhelmed by those two characteristics. It's like no other beer I've smelled before. Kind of cool and very unique.

Taste: Starts off kind of citrusy and then fades to dark grains quickly. Finished with a wheatbread kind of aftertaste. A little bit of hop bitterness here and there and usually at the beginning of each taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch oily with a longer finish.

Drinkability: Easily poundable. Nothing exciting and nothing off either. I've never had a "steam beer" before. Tastes like a solid lager to me. Lagers aren't my favorite but I'm glad to have tried this once.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Steve's Liquor here in Madison. My first from Anchor and my first CA Common.

Pours a reddish/golden amber with a finger of khaki head and a bit of lacing. Smell is heavy on the toasted grain and caramel malts. Taste continues with the toasted barley malts, caramel, a sliver of citrus, and an elusive hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, medium bodied, and moderately crisp. Tastes like prototypical lager, a lot like Sprecher's lagers. Drinkable for days, but nothing too exciting. Never been much of a lager fan, but this was tasty enough I suppose. Enough character to keep me interested.

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

It's been nearly a decade since I've had Anchor Steam. I revisted the classic this evening. The Steam poured a nice copper-like color with a proud head that left decent lacing early on. Initial smell is malty with a slightly bitter tang in the front. Same carried over to the taste. This is a very nice, straightforward, and historic American brew. It's a must try.

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Photo of jaluria
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with soapy foam that leaves behind bits of lacing. I detect a roasted, toasty character in the aroma along with a hint of nutmeg. First taste is unique to say the least; very distinct. Roasted malt is upfront with a pepper spice aftertaste. My mouth is left dry and refreshed, but this brew is rather biting (i.e. powerful and flavorful). Some bitterness in the tate, but not on the magnitude of a pale ale or IPA. Overall, a very good beer with an interesting history. Worth of a few pints.

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Photo of Gusler
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown stubby bottle a crystal clear deep amber with a personable creamy light tan head that last for eons before dissolving leaving a fine coating of lace to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp, clean on the palate, start is lightly sweet with the malt pleasant and the top light to medium in feel, Finish has a pleasing acidity and the hops delightful in their spicy presence, dry aftertaste, a pleasant beer on a still hot Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great!!! looking beer wth a full head and a clear dark coppery color..The smell is ok,a pretty full spice and ale mix with a malt backbone.The taste is a little bitter with malt and citrus flavors. The flavors are very unique. A can see myself having more than one of these tailgating perhaps.This goes down so easy I think I'll have another. Cheers.

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Photo of texashammer
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Comes out of the tap impressively smooth and creamy. Transluscent orange color. Body is lighter than I would like, medium to light. The head is so creamy, and the mouthfeel and finish are silky smooth.
Smell is light and clean and understated. Nutty malt. I taste it and it really strikes me as bland; no hops to speak of. It is a very pleasant texture but boring flavor.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,900 ratings.
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