Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
Very Good
6,049 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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Ratings: 6,049 |  Reviews: 2,066
Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clean, orangish color, with a pretty white head, not very thick, but it was there there, and still beautiful. Smelled of light malt and predominately of hops. There was a nice spice to the hops, but nothing as harsh as the IPA's I generally tend to drink. Disappeared very quickly, wasn't much of a session beer, I just drank it quickly, very quickly. I used to hate lagers, but this beer is teaching me not to be so judgemental towards the lager.

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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 cbleary
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a bottle into a pint glass.

This is extraordinary beer. I think the bottle I had may have been just a little old, but it didn't matter. It poured with a lovely golden amber color with a generous head that left copious lacing in the glass. Gorgeous. The smell was a very nice mix of sweet malts and hops. The taste was a similar balance with the sweetness of the beer kept in check by the bitter hops. It was very drinkable, and I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of marc956
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good flavour (though an acquired taste, as it is quite unique) that can accompany all kinds of food from pasta to pizza, best served cold. Not easy to find however and a rather upscale beer by domestic standards. (Expect to spend around $10 for a 6pack)

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

Medium amber color, clean pour with a very smooth head which doesn't stick around. Smell is biscuity caramel malt with a bit of hops. Taste is complex, bitter and mildly citrus hops blended well with an unrefined/raw grain taste. Creamy taste and feel, very smooth despite the strong flavors of both hops and malt. Long-lasting taste, with a creamy grain taste lasting, while the hops and stronger grain taste come first. Very drinkable, but also very complex to focus on the beer itself, I am able to sit through a pint sipping it and thinking about each sip and the finish.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam seems to be a cult favorite among American craft beer fans, and being in that community myself I've actually only recently tried this craft icon.

I have to say the beer is good, but overhyped. Controversial? Probably, but I'll break it down.

Appearance - Golden brown, with quite a fluffy head.

Smell - Sweet, syrupy maple - carmel aroma. Actually quite pleasant.

Taste - Here's where my issue comes in. The flavor is light, refreshing, but also a little bland. The flavor is soapy, with a hint of citrus. I wish the carmel flavors that were so prevalent in the aroma was carried over in the taste, but I honestly couldn't get paste the soapy overtones.

Mouthfeel - Pleasant, lightly carbonated but ultimately very smooth.

Drinkability - I give Anchor Steam credit for being quite refreshing to drink. It's light, smooth, and not challenging to the palate.

Overall it's a solid beer, but all the hype seems a little unfounded. An "A-" from the Bros? This is a "B" beer in my humble opinion.

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Photo of Ktmktm01
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of heyabbott
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of niiiv
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of senttochris
2.25/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of Knobpolisher
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Lookingloo2
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of eddiestep
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pbr85
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 ounce stubby bottle into a small glass

Appearance: Pours a golden brown color with a finger thick head that quickly diminishes.

Smell: Very weak smell. I smelled subtle corn and even weaker citrusy fruits.

Taste: Moderate hop backbone that gives way to a burnt toast aftertaste that lingers for a few seconds (couldn't come up with a better description). Citrus comes into the aftertaste as the beer warms up. Its a pretty good taste, nothing dominates, but nothing special stands out about it either.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good. The beer feels a little thin as it is going down, but as I have not had other examples of this style I am not sure if that is normal.

Drinkability: Though I would probably not consider this a session beer or anything close to that, it is an interesting beer with interesting qualities. I would have this beer again if it was available, but it is not going to be my new fall back beer.

Notes: I have never had a California Common/Steam Beer before, but this example is pretty good. I would recommend at least trying it, as it is a historic brew and a solid beer of its style (apparently).

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Photo of WillRadar
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of bsimms
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Samaurer23
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Marina
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of Spence138
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of DSincavage
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Arthuros
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very clear, golden orange color, with white medium foam.

Nose has notes of caramel, and anise. Flavor is sweet and dry, with caramel, dried fruit, little bitterness.

Not too fizzy.

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Photo of cncbofh
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A staple beer that I will never turn down. Coined by NOFX in a song:

Our protagonist named Bill
Sets his sights on an anchor steam pint
All he needs is thirteen quarters
Congregated in his hat...

It smells earthy and a little bit stale, but after tasting it and enjoying the bread and butter mouthfeel, you can forgive the scent. It is perfect for a cooldown after an autumn bbq. I really love this stuff. Best on Tap at an Old Chicago with a slice of pepperoni pizza.

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

Along with the Franziskaner, one of the bests readily available beers you can buy. Anchor Steam pours a very nice red amber color along with a off white head that sticks around till you finish your pint. That ante's up the respect right there! The smell is floral and has an awesomely balanced complexion of hoppy bitterness and malt. Reminds me a lot of a Sam Adams Boston Lager, but with more flavor and craft. The taste is orgasmic in words. Has a carmel-like initial flavor and then heeds way to the malt, which is quite sweet. The mouthfeel is nice and heavy, makes you think twice about it being a lager! Drinkability is that of a hefe in my opinion, very smooth and balanced. The steaming process leaves it wickedly smooth, and I love it! Anchor pretty much re-invented this style of beers from the grave, and it’s added quite a unique beer to the styles of beer from around the world. It has the character of a hefeweizen and Vienna lager, which is a good mix to go with! Very tasty indeed.

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Photo of gehille
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6,049 ratings