Anchor Small Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

451 Ratings
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Anchor Small BeerAnchor Small Beer

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"We believe you will find Anchor Small Beer delicious--similar to what modern brewers call a "bitter"--and we hope you will also enjoy the idea of reviving an ancient brewing tradition, which is something of great importance. "

"We make our Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale from the rich first runnings of an all-malt mash, and Anchor Small Beer is our attempt to duplicate the "small beers" of old by sparging that same mash: sprinkling warm water over the Old Foghorn mash after the first wort has run off, thereby creating a second, lighter brew from the resulting thinner wort. "

Added by UnionMade on 11-11-2000

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Ratings: 451 |  Reviews: 327
Photo of ColdOneKev
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

A - Clear gold buddy, large fluffy white head. Fades quickly to a thin covering and leaves little lacing.
S - Lightly toasted bread and not too much else.
T - Dough, bread, biscuit, caramel, slight spiciniess/peppery hops.
M - Light body, medium carb.
O - An very nicely flavored beer considering the ABV. Worth trying especially if you're a fan of the Old Foghorn.

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Photo of ScreamForMe
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of LeeG
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of harsley
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of pjbfromkc
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Kishanti
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of theempire
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Budinetz
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of HRamz3
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of MathNut
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Monicagm
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Amber gold color. Starts with a small head then receds back into the beer. A nice lacing sticks to the sides of the glass.

Has a fruity, spicy smell, mostly hops.

A little bit of carbonation but it doesn't overwhelm the beer.

Light mouthfeel, easy to drink.

Bitter taste with a bitter finish. Hops, malt, and a roasted nuttiness is emphasized in the taste.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It's the kind of beer you could drink while laying back with a group of friends.

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Photo of Drewski363672
3.73/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S:Small glass poured out of a bottle

A: golden medium color, small head very little foam

S:the slight smell of hops is fruity and sweet smelling

T: The taste is interesting at first it is bitter but the finishing taste is sweet and shows how balanced the beer is between the amount of hops

M:As i swished the mouth full it became light and creamy leaving a pleasant feel in the mouth.

O:I would rate this beer highly for it's ease of drink-ability it is so smooth and refreshing

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Photo of merlin48
3.71/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to see a bottle of this in nearby Evansville, Indiana. Large bottle pours a clear honey amber body with a small and tightknit white head. Retention is good with some patchy lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is discreet. Some toasty and biscuity malt and some mildly spicy hops. Not much to mention.

Lovely mouthfeel boasts a soft carbonation that is caressing. Body is light and crisp.

Taste is subdued but pleasant. Slightly sweet biscuity malt melds with an understated spicy hops presence. Nice balance. Taste is clean and airy, goes down quite easy.

Label says this is the second runnings of their excellent Old Foghorn barleywine. Interesting concept of an oldtime style. I could drink this stuff all day but would probably get bored.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.71/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a half pint glass.

After a few sips I would say this easily has to surpass the C+ rating it garners at the moment. Yes, the head is foamy, almost to the point of being "macro-foamy" but it sticks around longer and hides a much nicer color than piss yellow, specifically a clear, bright golden amber.

Aroma is really the weakest aspect of the beer but I guess that's what you get when using run-offs to brew. Aroma is slightly grainy, maybe even a bit smokey (but that could just be my imagination).

Taste is a winner, a bit nutty, a touch of earthy, slightly herbal hop flavors that all ties nicely together. You can certainly tell this is a bitter as there is a nice tightness lingering on the back of my tongue after each sip, otherwise the feel is quite solid, generous on the bubbles, not necessarily refreshing but certainly a beer that I wouldn't mind a couple glasses of for lunch, or dinner for that matter.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.7/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Small Beer has a very thick, fluffy, off-white head and a cloudy, bubbly amber appearance, with minimal lacing. The aroma is faint, but one can, with deep inhalation, pick up barley malt, caramel, tea, and sweetness. Taste is of bitterness across the sip, and one detects tea, light malt, and even some light lemony aspects. Mouthfeel is pretty watery, and Anchor Small Beer finishes mellow and dry. Overall, this is an interesting one to try. It’s unlike anything I’ve had before.


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Photo of tjkurz
3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle - poured into imperial pint glass. Light burnt orange clear good head and lacing. Smell - not much fresh hop sensed. Taste okay with definite hop presence at end - kind of an aftertaste no alcohol flavor sensed - very good mouthfeel - was expecting less being a small beer. Very drinkable flavorful at 3.3 abv - was very impressed. More beer flavor per alcohol - I was very surprised - not a fan of anchor steam - like this more - will drink plenty of this due to low abv.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose is fruity - grape, apple - with floral hop and soft herb, slight sourness. Smells good.

Pours clear gold with moderate head. Looks pretty good.

Impressively bitter with lots of toasty grain. Bright hops, herbal with lots of floral. Soft malt. Overall quite dry. Some honeysuckle in finish. Moderate carbonation. Tastes pretty good. Feel good. Pretty good drinkability.

Comes across as a stiff English Pale. Pretty good.

 427 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear golden yellow with a 2 finger white head that melts to a ring of lacing.
Aromas are biscuit grainy bread...nice...with light pale malt sweetness but mostly the biscuit yeast.
Thin mouthfeel but it is a very light beer and I think supposed to be.
Only slightly citrus hoppy in the flavor..just enough to dry your mouth as you swallow.
Pleasant and if cheaper would make a wonderful summer session brew.

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Photo of cokes
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear darkened gold with a fat, rocky off-white head and rushing jets of carbonation..
Nose of burnt pizza crust and grassy hops.
Begins with that same sense of burnt pizza....and with that cuisine, it is near perfect. Beyond that, it seems rather average. A subtle caramel maltiness develops, or nearly develops. Turns citric and bitter without any definative flavor. Grapefruit and, oddly, near white grapey tannic bitterness. Ends with an upturn of herbs and leaves.
Light bodied, and quaffable, though not so much as the lowered ABV would indicated.
It is, however, decent. I'd run through it again.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured big and brown-amber, with an ample head. The smell was hoppy and euro-lager smelling. As you drink, you realize that the best thing about this is the mouthfeel; fullbodied but perfect and refreshing, without too much alcohol(3.30%).
Hence the term "get pissed" cause if you want to catch a buzz you will be doing some drinking. But, nonetheless, there is a nice bitterness here, one that would make this nice with chinese food or fried springrolls.

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Photo of adowney523
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Aggresively poured into a shaker pint glass from a 22 oz brown bottle. Pours amber and clear with a thin off-white head that slowly fades.

Smells grainy with strong hints of lemon.

Tastes of raw malt with citrus fruit and floral tastes throughout. Slight earthy hops in the finish.

Rather light-bodied, finishes very dry. A refreshing beer for my 4th of July, recommended for sessions paired with BBQ.

 410 characters

Photo of Andy
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly orange hue. Easy upfront, butter in the finish. slight citrus flavor. heavy diacetyl levels. very buttery. pale malt base.

136 characters

Photo of Dansting
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Clear golden color with a light white head. Slight lacing. Aroma is light and almost smells like toast. Definitely different. Easy-drinking mouthfeel. Flavor is small, like its name suggest, with a slightly hoppy and bitterness to it. I'm a fan of Anchor, and this is a decent beer. I'll buy it again.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasty but not deep.

Pours deep copper with a slight but sticky head. The aroma is malty and sharp. The flavor is very bitter, masking the thinness of the low ABV and general thinness of the beer. This is not a great beer in a general sense, but given the low abv, it is a great session beer.

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Anchor Small Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.12 out of 5 based on 451 ratings.
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