Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
2,010 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:
2,010
Ratings:
5,828
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.82%
 
 
Wants:
213
Gots:
1,163
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,010 | Ratings: 5,828
Photo of ch473
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If I had to pick my favorite beer, Anchor Steam is it.

It pours a beautiful amber and maple syrup color. It almost glows. It's nearly transparent with a tall foamy head that quickly dissipates into thin lacing around the edges. Carbonations is light which makes this refreshing on the palate; very drinkable and smooth.

I get some nice malty sweetness in the smell and a little of the cascade hops. Some honey too.

The taste is wonderful. Well balanced with hops and grains. Going down it's smooth and refreshing with a solid body. It has a rich but not too sweet malty body with pleasant citrus and hop aftertaste.

I cannot wait to try Anchor Steam on draft but I've yet to find any in the midwest that offer it.

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Photo of CNeilP09
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm actually surprised at myself for waiting so long to review this beer, as I've always been a fan of anchor. Anyhow, the good stuff: nice copper/red hue. hefty body on the lager. good carbonation. soft fruity cereal notes on the nose. medium viscosity for a lager, a bit heavier on the palate than one would expect (on first try). a spiked dry creaminess on the finish. good beer.

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Photo of GeneralZod
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE
A brownish gold clear color. Has good head retention.

SMELL
Smells appetizing. Has a hoppy fragrance.

TASTE
Very balanced. Slighty bitter, but in a good way. Very good

MOUTHFEEL
Slippery. Somewhat watery. Well carbonated.

DRINKABILITY
Taste great. Quickly one of my favorite beer. Would definitely have another one.

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Photo of DaveUK
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - clear amber brown, small head of large bubbles which fades to lacing.

Aroma - Toasted and fresh malts, some hop bitterness present.

Taste - Fresh and juicy malt with notes of butter and bitter coffee. The finish is bitter with citrusy hops in the background.

Mouthfeel - well balanced with carbonation, medium to heavy presence. Surprising for such a crisp beer.

Drinkability - Definately good, I could drink this beer all night. A superb choice for a session.

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Photo of montecristo2
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A very drinkable offering from Anchor Steam-their signature beer that got them all started!

Pours a clear light amber color. Decent head, two fingers of thick bubbles. Head dissipates pretty fast leaving nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is faint- I get some malt/bread. Light citrus.

Taste is a nice blend of malt and hops-maltiness is a bit more pronounced, but the hop bite is there in the finish.

A great session beer-an awesome choice for a drinkable, solid beer that you can drink often or save for your own stash!

Cheers!

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

One of my birthday presents was a six pack of Anchor Steam. Awesome present. Take note.

12 oz adorable stubby bottle into Sam Adams glass.

I don't really feel like talking about the individual qualities of this beer. It's a delicious beer of an authentic original American style. It's hoppy and satisfying, yet light and thirst quenching. Spicy and a little fruity, yet also clean and crisp. A classic, and something I can drink almost all the time. If you're reading this and haven't tried it yet, do it!

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Photo of PerroGrande
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Anchor steam pours to a beautiful deep golden color with prodigious, rich foam. The head endures nicely adhering nicely to the sides of the glass.

Smell: I picked up some nice malt and caramel overtones, along with some hops. There were some citrus hints hanging around ever so slightly on the periphery, but I couldn't isolate what they were.

Taste: Anchor Steam is on the bitter side of center, but certainly isn't off-putting to one who isn't a big hops or IPA fan. It represents a nice compromise point in a number of ways. The opening is mildly bitter with hops overtones, but follows with an interesting malty, caramel taste with hints of sweetness in the background. The finish is long and pleasing with a nice mix of hops and malt hanging around for a long time. I find the taste and finish of this beer very pleasing.

Mouthfeel: Less creamy than the glorious foam would indicate, but certainly acceptable.

Drinkability: Outstanding. Very refreshing. Would be a nice session beer, good in both cold and warm weather, and a complement to numerous foods.

Until tonight, it had been a few years since I had an Anchor Steam, and I'm reminded again of how much I enjoy this beer. I need to work it back in to my regular beer "rotation".

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Photo of Grohnke
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

(BA / BJCP)

Brilliantly clear, copper. Large, fluffy, off-white head forms and holds well. Leaves the lightest of etchings behind as it falls to a light surface-covering film that remains throughout the session.
( 5 / 3)

Medium earthy/woody hops. Lightly fruity. Light caramel malt.
( 4 / 10)

Moderate earthy/woody hop flavor. Medium-light sharp toffee, and toasty malt, a very light roast. Light fruitiness is kept in check by the hops and malt. Moderately significant bitterness makes way for a medium-dry finish. Aftertaste has a slight note of malt, but the hop flavor and bitterness are the ones lingering. Soapiness came out as it warmed.
( 4 / 16)

Medium-light body, medium-high carbonation. No astringency. Rather crisp, yet has a slight creaminess to the body.
(5 / 5)

I am in love with the hop variety (Norther Brewer) used, a breath of fresh air from the currently over-used citrus hops. With that said, the aroma could have used some added "punch". This some-what small beer (<5% abv) is packed with some serious flavor, and that is something I will always appreciate. I found the strong lingering bitterness to be a bit much given the depth of the body.
( 4 / 8)

( 4.15 / 42)

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber Bottle. I had to try this because it was this beer that was the inspiration to Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing, for going into the beer brewing business. I have changed my rating to a higher level based on several things: 1. There was no refrigeration when this style was created and when this brewer went into business. 2. They actually created this style, Steam Beer, and were very creative at the time in making a lager work. 3. I have respect for elders and this company is one of the eldest. Forgive me Bros for having to go through the second act and letting it warm to room temperature to get the essence of this style and this beer.
A: Aggressive pour. Giant, slightly off-white head slowly receding into a cloud like formation and then slowly settling to a foam across the surface. Sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Reddish amber color.
S: Smells kind of fruity but not sure which fruit. Some hops. Some malt.
T: About the same.
M: The carbonation gives it a little bite and the rest is pretty smooth. Easy on the mouth.
O: I guess I am seeing the Bros rate it so highly due to the respect it deserves for longevity in the brewing industry and the true to style characteristics based on the fact that Anchor Brewing actually created the style. Its a very drinkable beer but not my favorite style in general. If you like this style, this beer pretty much defines it. While I tend to gravitate to stronger, more robust, modern styles, I can see however where 150 years ago, brewing this kind of beer was a most awesome achievement! Go Anchor!!!

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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.

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Photo of Illini5596
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Revisiting this beer to give a more full review. When I first cut my teeth on this beer in 2005, I was just getting into the world of real craft beers. Prior to that I only had experience with a handful of craft beers and while a bit of a beer snob, I was not the connoisseur I am today.

Head is rather impressive and very foamy with some lingering lace, easily an inch and a half of head after the pour. The head has a creamy texture, which isn't very sticky at all, even the lace is frothy and foamy in comparison to other beers. Color is a beautiful amber, and crystal clear.

The smell is full of grains, hops, and a fresh cleanness that I associate with steam beer in general.

This is still one of my favorite "every day" beers. It isn't too strong, yet has a lot of character. The taste begins sweep and slightly sharp, hints of citrus and hops, then smooths out to a nice biscuit creamy full flavor that leaves you with a refreshing after taste.

Mouthfeel is very soft, velvety and satisfying.

Still one of the most drinkable beers around. I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone.

====Old Review is below====

I've had Anchor Steam in both the bottle and on tap, it's an excellent experience either way. It has become my defacto beer of choice when I can find nothing else on the menu. I'm not saying it is strictly a fall back beer, it's pretty much my ale of choice all things being equal, and it is a right enjoyable brew. It just tends to show up as one of the few good beers on some of lists in town, when I'm not at a true beer drinker's bar.

While not as excellent as some beers, don't be surprised when this one turns out to be one of your favorites. It's good old reliable, good to the core, and a good beer to start out any night.

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is good, clear with a nice colour but slightly thin head.
Malty caramel aroma with some hop presence and a little alcohol. Pleasing grainy malt flavour backed with a good hop flavour, almost wood-like. Medium body and carbonation, with a faint alcohol warmth. Very refreshing and drinkable for a beer with this much flavour.

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Photo of culver501
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-medium amber color, fair amount of carbonation, head doesn't linger

S-sweet, malty, yeasty, musty

T-crisp, fizzy at first. A quick piny hop note, then balancing to a nice malt flavor. Sort of an earthy, grassy tone that stays between sips (a fainter version of the harsh vegetal aftertaste we encountered in our first homebrew attempt, an attempt at a common.

M-Clean

D-Very drinkable, this is one of my early favorites when I started drinking beer. It's not knocking my socks off now and I fear I've moved to more extreme styles leaving this solid winner behind. Definitely a beer I'd recommend to someone who doesn't normally think about good beer. Very accessible

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

Appearance: Murky golden amber with nice thick head.

Smell: Nice malt smell with subtle notes of caramel.

Taste: Starts off enjoyably bitter with subtle tones of citrus, this is followed by earthy malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bold with a dry finish.

Drinkability: A great beer nothing very drinkable but unlike anything I know on the market.

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Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short Version:
Interesting and complex beer. A bit dry and grainy/husky with an astringent, almost metallic, bitter tingle.

Details:
Wasn't sure what to think of this at first. My first impression was dry-bitter and mediocre. The more I sipped and the more it warmed though... I began to pick up nuances and got intrigued. Not my favorite style but I've found some respect for this one.

Poured a faintly cloudy amber orange color with a pillowy, rocky 1" white head.

Not picking up much on the nose but some malty sweetness. Faint smell.

First taste is dry and tingly. Almost like sitting an alkaseltzer on your tongue. There's an astringent bite to it that's bitter but not in the typical fashion. Interesting for sure and not one dimensional in this sense.

There's a grainy husk flavor to it and a miniscule amount of sweetness that helps offset that bitter dryness. Not by much though. Tangy-bitter is still dominant.

As it warms and the level drops I'm picking up more malt in the taste and some caramel in the smell. There's a solid medium body and I suspect there is an ample amount of malt in there. Balance gets better as it warms.

Finish is clean and bitter. Aftertaste lingers zippy and metallic for some time.

Drinkability isn't super high for me. I like bitter but not quite as much for this particular style. This is a dry metallic tangy bitter rather than an alum hoppy bitter that I prefer.

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

Pours a topaz/amber color with a good mother-of-pearl head (not sure what's up with the gemstone descriptions).

Has a pleasant floral aroma and a grassy earthiness. Malty and solid taste , fuller than I expected given the color. The graniness and slight bitterness are well-balanced with the floral overtones.

This is very enjoyable...accomplishes balance of flavors well, like Thai food (there even seems to be some saltiness. I would reach for another!

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Photo of MVassar
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty, clear orange/copper color. Medium off-white head which hangs around for a couple of minutes.

Somewhat reluctantly gives up subtle scents of malt and caramel.

Very subtle hints of caramel, sweet malt, lingering citrus. Also a touch of bitter hops in the finish.

NIce round mouthfeel, with plenty of carbonation.

Well-constructed and undemanding, this is a very drinkable session beer.

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Photo of njthebestofme
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

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

Appearance: Pours medium amber, with slight chill-haze & nice head with medium density.

Smell: Slight grains, touch of lemon/hops

Taste: Initial caramelized malt, which lingers to slightly bitter pear/apple with a kiss of sweetness. Pleasant hop-level cleans palate, leaving a trace of bitterness on the tongue. As you make your way through this beer, the bitter apple comes through more prominently…just nudging out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with medium carbonation

Notes: This is a delicious brew that I could drink all night long. While not overly robust, it is tremendously enjoyable. A wonderful ‘stepping stone’ beer. One that could be used to convert the un-beer-ducated over to the good side. Now that this is available in Canada, it could go a long way to change perceptions of what ‘mainstream’ American beer is. Plus, the pseudo-stubby bottle should prove to be a hit with Canadian drinkers that are feeling a little nostalgic.

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Photo of streetcommander
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $9.50 for a six pack.

Beer presents well. Poured into pilsner glass and formed an impressive three finger head that hung out for a while. Good lacing.

Smell was average at best. It seemed to have a sweet unoffensive aroma that left me concerned that the flavor may follow suit. It did; not impressed at all. I was expecting a raw rough around the edges yet pleasant and distinct flavor. Got a bland unbeerish and disappointing flavor. No personality... Like the kind of people that buy Toyota Camrys. Bland and dead on the inside.

This is the kinda of stuff I would feed my grandma... Who doesn't drink.

Tried it on three seperate days to be fair. It seemed to get worse each time.

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

I do like this beer - but I only get it when I cannot get their Liberty Ale. So I usually find myself drinking it while wishing I had a Liberty, which tends to lessen my opinion of this beer. I should really appreciate what it has to offer:

Nice rich color with a moderate head, a complex taste that says "this is beer, and good beer too". It doesn't try to be anything else other than a very good beer.

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Photo of chuckm
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Because this was the first steam beer I was ever exposed to I suppose I'm biased towards it , still while pouring a magnificent 2.5 finger head and lacing the glass nicely it lacks a distinctive smell. Taste , while not overpowering is strong enough to get your attention and I find it to be a beer one can drink all night long ( assuming an unlimited budget).

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Photo of BrewsCrewSA
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really dig Anchor's Liberty Ale, so I thought I'd give this one a spin.

A - Pours a deep copper color, very tawny. Off-white head that dissolves after two or three minutes, but dosn't leave much else.

S - A little confusing. Smells hopppy, but as I discovered later on, tastes malty. Surely, the biscuits are in the oven in regards to the malt character, but I was really expecting the "assertive hop bitternesss".

T - Malty, biscuit characters present right up front. Not very complex but still interesting to pick it apart. Actually, I think I would've enjoyed this beer more had I not vested so much thought into it.

M - I'm just getting a little lazy now. It feels very light on the tongue. Not at all heavy or complex.

D - Sure. You could put a bunch of these down to impress yuppie friends. Seriously though, solidly drinkable not unlike Anchor's Liberty Ale (which I recommend over the Steam Beer).

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Photo of tenaciousp65
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor steam. My main man. Shorty poured into a pint glass.

a-When i first looked this a few years ago i thought to myself wow this looks just like a lager. not much head the same straw colored clearness. boy was i wrong

s-the smell is where you start to notice. It smells like the crispness of a lager but there are the subtle fruity undertones there that make you start doubting

t-bam this is something else. You get hit right away at first with some sweetness on the front but it quickly moves away for that signature smooth lager finish

m-solid through and through. Perfect balance between the sweetness and the bitter finish

o-can't get anything like it. This baby is in a league of its own and I am always happy to drink it.

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Photo of mghotbi
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber-red with short-lasting two finger head and moderate lacing with prominent carbonation.

Caramel malt nose with traces of vanilla and banana - very pleasant

Smooth on the palate. Carbonation is perfect.

Hop bitterness hits the tastebuds first, followed by wisps of banana, dates and trace of vanilla, then a more definite malt sweetness and emergence of crisp hop and citrus notes with a long spicy hop finish. This is a unique beer - a delicate blend of contrasting flavors in perfect balance.

This is the beer that changed my attitude about beer. Very drinkable, makes an excellent and refreshing session beer, but it's can be an acquired taste for some folks. Serving this beer too cold can make for a bitter experience.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,010 ratings.
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