Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
2,014 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:
2,014
Ratings:
5,844
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.82%
 
 
Wants:
216
Gots:
1,171
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,014 | Ratings: 5,844
Photo of LordChesterfield
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HEAR THEE HEARTHEE, i'm drunk on this beer...

Most of these fellows don't even know what type of beer their reviewing.
This beer uses lager yeast and was brewed at ale temperatures! Unique genre! STEAM, not ale, not lager, but the best of both worlds. Flavorful and clean and refreshing. The only important atribute with this beer is its exquisite balance of hops and malt. This balance carries through to every facet of the tasting process. The end result is lots of flavor and lots of drinkability. A middle of the road beer that is sure to satisfy most who don't prefer one extreme or another. My personal review on the brand- Anchor owns the rights to the name "STEAM." This is like owning the word "ale." This is absurd and usually unnoticed, so if you can find a steam beer of equivelant quality, buy IT instead. I love this beer with all of my heart. Too bad it costs $8 a six!

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

Anchor Steam pours a light amber color into my pilsner glass. A 1/4" head forms, and slowly dissipates. Medium carbonation, little lacing. The aroma is fairly restrained; there's little here beyond some generalized malty sweetness and a mild floral/spice hop aroma.

Forunately, the taste is better than the smell. The malt and hops are nearly perfectly balanced; I can find caramel, chocolate, biscuity, floral, and spicy flavors. The mouthfeel is light, and slighty dry; finishes a combination of "sweet, crisp and slighty spicy". There's some unspecified harshness in the aftertaste that I can't quite pin down (which may be due to the age of this particular bottle).

Anchor Steam is a refreshing, enjoyable beer (and virtually the only example of its style on the market). It may be slightly overrated due to its "cult classic" status. On the other hand, it did single-handedly keep a style alive; overall, it's a good crossover craft beer.

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

Pours a semi-clear pale red color with a creamy white head. The aroma is malty with hints of spices. The taste is sweet, but not too strong. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very smooth.. Overall, this is a great summer brew. It's easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of pootz
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have decided to delete my previous rating because I’m sure I got spoiled samples. The sample I am tasting now was bought from a hotel consignment. According to the date code this beer is 3 weeks old. This was fresh tasting beer. Poured a deep amber color with a nice fluffy 2 finger cap which retains a good lace on the glass. Medium carbonation. Aromas of sweet crystal/caramel malts and grassy hops..very pronounced aromas. Full bodied beer...chewy toasty malts with spicy hopping that goes slightly drying in the finish and lightly bitter in the after taste. All in all this a good session beer...well made, quaffable, full bodied and satisfying.

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Photo of Vancer
2.61/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The ol’ standard, eh? Well, it did have a nice pour- amber /orange with a foamy tan head. Only a slight malt aroma. But the taste, not good. Not much in the way of malts or hop. Just some earthy, slightly bitter flavor. Kinda flat in the mouth. Boy, overall a dull & boring lager. Wasn’t’ offensive, but didn’t do anything for me.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got a 20 ouncer of this on tap. This pours a really nice dark copper/amber color with a nice uneven off white head. The aroma is sort of caramely and malty. The taste is similar, with sweet but light brown sugar flavor. The taste is fruity but also contains some good hoppage. THe spicy hops balance out the malts nicely.

This is a unique and in my opinion an above average beer. Lots of character to it. The mouthfeel is moderate, almost creamy. I could have a good amount of this.

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

12 oz. with no freshness date - served chilled in a pilsner glass. It is an orangey/caramel color with a 1/4" light tan head that dissipates to nothing. Smells earthy with caramel. It is crisp with a medium body that tastes earthy with caramel, toasty/biscuity malts, and floral/spicy hops that leave a mild bitterness.

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Photo of claytri
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a fine amber with an eggshell head. The aroma was a blast of malt and floral hops. The taste was of hoppy malt with many floral and fuit hints in the finish. the feel was a full bodied beer that was fairly oily with a well proportioned hop finish. This was a pleasant experience I enjoyed the beer and it went well with the meal providing a nice counterpart to calimari and fish giving a good cleansing.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. One of the first micro's I bought in CA. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a nice head, but does not last long, very light lacing if any at all. Nice malty scent with a great light taste. I really enjoy this beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of palliko
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is reddish brown with a beige head of thick foam that lasts and sticks to the glass. Aroma contains loam and malt and brown sugar. Initial taste is a smack-down of bitter hops and citrus. So much flavor! Followed by a complex and fairly bitter finish that lingers, reminding you that there was a barley and malt explosion on your tongue, but a merciful lemon to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somehow I have yet to try this beer. It seems to be pretty common around here.

App: Cloudy orange/brown/amber. Decent head retention with lacing that slides down the glass.

Smell: Fruity with a hint of metal. Sourness as well.

Taste: Fruity at first, then asprin-like hops kick in. Finish is burnt bitter. Aftertaste is buttery and burnt. Definately a different taste. Pretty good too.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin. The buttery aftertaste is a plus though.

Drinkability: Very good. Good taste without numbing the pallate. Good summer beer.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good and longlasting head and amber brown beer. Nose is maltysweet with caramellic hint. Spicy yeast carracter but also some banana.
Taste is full malty& just in biginning litle sweet going then into roasty before ending bitter and burnt. Overall dry caracter. Good beer, could have some more body though.
Not missed in mouthfeel though witch is fresh and bitter overal.
Easy drinkable if you like bitter and burnt.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a neat orange/amber, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smell is citrusy hops, smells crisp. Taste is deep and malty, with a nice hop bitterness and a dry finish. Good malty aftertaste. Taste is nice and crisp, smooth and easy drinking, tasty beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I started homebrewing, a lot of those first pale ales carried this same twangy yeast flavor that I chalked up to that "homebrew" taste. Mixed with the medium caramel flavor and fruity esters, I taste many of those same flavors in this classy ale.

Light copper and with orange highlights, this hybrid beer carries the appearance of creaminess, bright clarity, and decorative lace. Good retention and residual pockets of foam are fueled by steady streams of carbonation throughout.

Thin caramel, medium barley grains, bread crust, slight English-like fruitiness, and hop elements of woods and grasses give a richer sweet tea herbal scent to the appetizing nose. The aromas are not as pronounced as an American Pale Ale, but it's easy to draw come comparisons.

Caramel, light toast, softly kilned grains, and bread crust also show in a medium sweet flavor, and again with the added complexity of light yeasty fruits of apples and oranges. Earthy hop flavors of bark and leaf frame the balancing flavors at mid palate, while ushering in a clean and somewhat minty bitter taste in finish.

Creamy sweetness allows the early mouthfeel to be more pronounced due to an abundance of expansive carbonation to start. As the carbonation subsides, so does the sweetness. A mid palate of developing grassy, bitter, and resiny dryness starts to take hold and leads to a crisp and grainy-dry finish that is mostly clean even with the earthy hop elements and slight astringency of grain husks.

I keep finding flavors here that remind me of both Pale Ales and German-style Vienna lagers or richer Oktoberfestbiers. Very drinkable, enjoyable, and effortless in its session-ability. The rustic charm of grassy hops, strained yeast, and somewhat clumbsy brewing practices are also what gives this hybrid beer its charm.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color, medium head. A medium bodied beer. Mild malts and hops. Nice malt sweetness, balanced by a nice hop spiciness. Mild taste. Good flavor. Mouthfeel is very full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. A simple well made beer. Classic style. "

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Photo of battlekow
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this and Flying Dog's Old Scratch (Lager Amber Lager?) simultaneously to see how they match up. I originally tried Anchor Steam in San Diego a couple years ago, before I had any idea what I was doing, beer-wise, and didn't like it.

I have since seen the light. Anchor Steam is a wonderful beer. First of all, its bottle shape and label design are perfect, and once in the glass it looks about as beautiful as a beer can look. Perfect amber color, slightly cloudier than the Old Scratch, with a nice white head. It smells and tastes very creamy, feels full and soft, and is quite refreshing. Slight bitter aftertaste. I can see why this beer is a classic.

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Photo of toddw8
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, light amber with a small, but fluffy, white head. Head dissapates to a thin film and leaves patches of lace on the glass.

Smell: Aroma is dominated by caramel malts with a little bit of grassy hops in the background.

Taste: More of the same. Malty sweetness upfront followed by a little spicyness. Finishes with a slight, lingering bitterness. Overall very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium with assertive carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good. This would make a nice session beer.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in pint glass.

Clear, copper coloured. Thin off-white head.

Aroma is sweet and malty with touches of fruit and hops.

The words that come immediately to mind are: Bright, crisp, dry. Taste is bitter hop with undertones of fruity malt. The aftertaste is dry and hoppy and lingers for awhile, but not too long.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but very fizzy. Too much carbonation in my mind.

An interesting blend of hops and malt, but the hoppy-bitter bite is a little harsh for my liking. The first time I had this was at a fish and chips joint in Crescent City, CA and went really well with my meal, but I've had it a few times since and can't say I'd consider it much more than an average session beer.

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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.

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Photo of riversider76
2.43/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I know I'm in the minorty,but I just did not like this beer. For me, it was way to creamy tasting. I thought the head was never going to go away. There has been a lot of hype about this beer,and I guess is was expecting more. It was average at best.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes, with all the beers a BA tries, some just get lost in the shuffle. This one reminded me of how much I liked it the first time around. Pours a amber with gold streaks, the head is creamy and 2 inches thick. The aroma is of summer fruit and light barley, hints of floral lace the nose. The taste is classic session, the floral aroma blends well with the creamy buttered malt, this is the ultimate summer beverage.

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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...

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

one finger head grabs the side of the glass and hangs on respectably well. copper color. crisp fruity smell and taste. highly bittered dry finish. good stuff. i have tried with this one just sitting down with a beer and with several different types of food and this beer is much better with food.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this beer in probably 4 years and I forgot how refreshing it really can be. The first thing that became apparent is that the beer is a cross between an ale and a lager. The rounded fruity ale notes are complemented by the clean finish of the lager profiles. An American classic that is perfect for Summer.

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

Pours an apple juice color with an amber and copper hue, some carbonation, and an OK off white head.

Has a toasted caramel smell with a herbal spruce and citrus hops aroma.

Kind of a slight nutty toasted malt taste with a slight herbal orange and grapefruit hops flavor.

Medium bodied, sweet texture, soft carbonation, with the finish.

A very drinkable style.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 5,844 ratings.
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