Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
5,982 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
Ratings:
5,982
Reviews:
2,048
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
12.69%
 
 
Wants:
235
Gots:
1,259
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,982 |  Reviews: 2,048
Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden/orange color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast cleanliness, some hops, and some slight euro malt. Fits the style of a California Common / Steam Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of some pale malt up front, then yeast cleanliness, a very slight hop background, and a hint of a light citrus flavor. Overall, a decent example of a Steam Beer from my previous examples, but still nothing to go out of your way for.

 532 characters

Photo of malfunxion
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of BEER88
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerOps
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd had this in bottles before and thought it was just fine enough, but on first tasting it on draft, my eyes and tastebuds blew wide open, and were all the happier for it! WOW!, what a difference freshness makes!
Appearance: clear, bright amber hue, and a frothy, thick off-white head.
Aroma: soft and clean, with hints of fruit, bread, cream, nuts.
On the palate: smooth and fruity, with a small hop contingent, and very, very tasty. Body is light/ medium, texture is good, finish is long and friendly!
The fruity flavor stays on the palate for the greatest portion of this drink, and continues to reward it's consumption. With every sip, the flavor jumps aboard with zeal and vigor, fresh and ready for the task (of refreshment!). Tasty, and tangy, and, again, very giving.
A bright, beautiful hybrid beer that goes down smooth and easily, always accompanied by flavor. A great American brewing accomplishment, I always say! I'm forever glad there's always Anchor Steam around!

 985 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased and drank at Aladdin's in Rochester, NY.

Pours a clear amber color, with a half inch head, and a small amount of lacing.

Smells include sweet grains, caramel, and grassy hops.

The taste is similar. Subdued and classy all around, a good amount of grassy and slightly fruity hops, with some mild sweet malt and grain flavor.

Light to medium bodied, high carbonation, crisp and very drinkable.

An original American lager, one that will be always be pretty tasty.

 481 characters

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Dicers
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of MasterSki
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen this beer around quite a bit in Chicago, but I've never bothered to pick it up. A friend brought over a few bottles so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Not sure how old this bottle is - it has 8LW punched in the back.

A - Very handsome beer with a rich amber color. Tons of head and carbonation - it's hypnotic watching all the bubbles.

S - Fairly understated smell - mostly malt, with some some hoppy bitterness.

T - Tastes like it smells, but with more presence. Hits you with some malty biscuit flavor at first, but leaves you with a citrus aftertaste.

M - Creamy and just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down easy.

D - I could definitely put back a few of these on a hot summer day.

This is a solid, but largely unexceptional brew. I might pick up a sixer if it was on sale, but there are a ton of equally priced brews that I like more.

 860 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of GClarkage
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004. Purchased at the local Safeway. Pours with a deep copper/amber color. I very nice head, which some was still remaining after it was gone. Very little lace, but not expected either. Smells of hops, malt, maybe a bit of citrus. A very unique beer in my opinion. Has that lager taste, but also has that IPA taste to it. Even has a bit of citrus taste in the mix. It goes down very smooth. A very easy beer to go through a six pack and still want more. Possibly my favorite session beer, or at least for a nice hot day after working or playing hard. This was the first beer I was introduced to while growing up. I remember swimming in Eagle Lake (Northern California) and doing a little snorkling and finding a bottle cap from an Anchor Steam bottle. I must have smelled it for days. It was such a facsinating smell to me. This was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Ahhhh, good old memories. Too bad it took me almost 20 years from then to try my first.

 976 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Do any of you know what's so great about this beer? Some may call it "trash" because it lacks aroma, flavor and body, but when I look at this beer's attributes and think about days after fishing, playing adult league softball, and lawnmowing, this one does what one wants it to. No ifs, ands or buts, but most people in their right minds know the refreshing qualities this beer brings out. And I rarely find any beer ""refreshing," but that's often a matter of opinion.

The fact that this beer found it's way into ballparks nationwide and being able to go to many ballparks around the US and I still see this beer alongside some newer craft beer trends tells me that this beer itself will stand the test of time.
And just think you're not supporting a commercial brewer by drinking this beer. It may not be the next Heady Topper but at least most beer historians know enough to say "Thank you Fritz Maytag!"

 908 characters

Photo of IPAchris
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of aasher
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a burnt orange in color with a billowing and soapy off white head. It's pretty translucent and is light bodied. The smell is lightly malty with little else, other than some slight sweetness to it. The taste is pretty solid. It's very malty and has some light caramel accent to it. It drinks pretty smoothly and is pretty light and well carbonated. The bubbling stayed active the entire time. It's pretty drinkable but I can't compare it to anything else from the style. I liked it for being a lighter beer but wouldn't necessarily go back.

 555 characters

Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange amber with nice carbonation, a small white head and lacing. Nice aroma of sweet wheat, lemon and earthy malt. Taste is sweet malt with a dry hoppy bitterness; finish is dry and hoppy. Light flavor, not all that complex. Skirts on the edge of tasting like adjunct ingredients, but overall nicely made if a bit simple. Carbonation and flavors combine pleasantly.

 381 characters

Photo of a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a nice yellow color, nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, yeasty. The taste is hoppy, malty, kinda yeasty. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

 290 characters

Photo of tone77
2.94/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1 1/2 inch head. Smell is, well there really is no smell. Taste a tad malty and fairly bitter, I bit to bitter for my taste. Feels medium bodied and bitter in the mouth. Drinkability is o.k. I suppose. Overall this is a fairly mediocre offering.

 311 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color with a 1" head. Only a wisp of lace develops. The aroma was of bread and malt. The flavor was a well balanced and simple blend of caramel, bread, fruit, and mild bitterness. Definitely a bit on the sweeter side.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start with a crisp, slightly dry finish. Extremely drinkable, and a perfect brew to enjoy with a pizza.

 364 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor steam is an interesting beer. People should check this out if for no other reason that there are so few steam beers and they are a truly American addition to the beer vocabulary. Poured from a bottle into an Anchor Steam pint glass, copper in color, nice head, falls away rather quickly with steady carbonation. Aroma is a mixture of malt and a lagerish odor. beer is easy to drink and tastes wonderful. This is one of my standby beers, I order when I see it at an average bar. Its a great beer "brewed in San Fran since 1896"

 533 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left great sticky lacing on the glass.

S: there was a big sweet caramel malt aroma along with various grains very slight citrus, and hints of wheat as well.

T: like the nose the sweet caramel malt was also dominate on the palate but the grains meshed really well with the malts and did add some depth. As far as the citrus it was very mild but did add a little bitterness along side the hops that were very faint.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a sweet malt crisp and creamy finish.

D: it drank very good and went well with cajun calamari and some cajun gumbo; pretty decent.

 703 characters

Photo of Sweffin
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 5,982 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.