Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,566 Reviews
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The champagne-like bubbles, distinctive hop bouquet, and balanced character of Liberty Ale® revives centuries-old ale brewing traditions that are now more relevant than ever. First introduced in 1975, Liberty Ale® is brewed strictly according to traditional craft brewing methods, and uses only natural ingredients — pale malted barley, fresh whole-cone Cascade hops and a special top-fermenting yeast, and water.

The yeast used during fermentation produces many of Liberty Ale's subtle flavors and characteristics. A natural process called "bunging" creates gentle carbonation, and the practice of dry hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during aging), revived by Anchor, creates its unique aroma.

Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. As the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale, Anchor’s Liberty Ale® is the original craft brewed ale and the historic beer that started a revolution.

Added by kbub6f on 11-18-2000

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Reviews: 1,566 | Ratings: 3,410
Photo of joecast
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thick frothy white head. stable with lots of lacing. light orange tinge to the beer that almost glows when held to light.

light lemony citrus aroma. that lemon makes for a very refreshing, appetising smell. gives the impression it is highly hopped, but doesnt have any of that grassy/herbal/vegetal smell that sometimes comes with it. just comes across very fresh.

seemless flavor between bitter and sweet. the hop flavor is very well rounded. good bitterness keeps everything in line, but doesnt attract too much attention to itself. malt never gets too sweet, the yeast was allowed to do its job and not on point more. i could keep going, but you get the picture.

effin fantastic. ive been debating myself (and my wife) about how i could knock this down from a 5. i just cant do it. sometimes i think i/we expect too much from a beer. this one has it all, and it deserves to be rewarded. thanks to the people at anchor.

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Photo of TheElusiveAlexT
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A murky orange and golden color with a good head. Lots of thick, frosty lacing all the way from the top of the glass to the bottom. Good amount of carbonation in this beer.

Smell - Caramel, hops, citrus, spice, pine.

Taste - The hops start, then you taste a warm citrus and some malt, a good bite from the hops and a caramel finish that is wonderful on the palate. No strong after-taste.

Mouthfeel - Dry and welcoming, the hops have a solid bite that isn't too harsh.

Drinkability - A friendly beer for most if you can handle hops. Light and crisp taste, you can put a few back no problem. The beer is tasty and has no bad after-taste.

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Photo of JahNoth
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This truly is a world class Pale Ale. It looks beautiful in the glass with a nice head. There is a very noticable citrusy character to balance the cascade hops. This beer may look a tad thin, but the malt character is present, and delightful. What's most impressive, though, is that this is a beer that's been around since 1975. It's truly a pleasure to anjoy!

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Photo of JasonCoop
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

probably my favorite beer, ill try to be unbiased

pours a hazy light amber color with nice white head that forms great lace.

smells great, citrus, nice leafy hops, a little breadiness and of course the subtle sweet malts. its great.

tastes like nice bready malt, a little sweet at first. then it goes into a quite fruity malt taste. all the while perfectly balance by flowery hops. simply delicious.

mouthfeel is nice and light with a good bite. i love this beer its my absolute favorite to reach for in the fridge any time. ive put down many a 12 pack. it doesnt get much better than anchor liberty.

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Photo of saintwarrick
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours golden with an orangish hue, with no effort needed to build any sort of head. A perfect lacy head stays on the beer through the glass. Very citrusy aroma on the first sniff, those cascade hops really stand out. Great balance but it is definitely a hop-head's delight. Goes down water smooth with a kick of dryness, but not too much to be distracting.

I discovered this a couple years ago and I have yet to find a better session beer. I'd keep this stocked 24-7 if I could. Growing up as a beer drinker and going through some of the run of the mill macros, this is what I imagined that beer should look, smell and taste like. A true American classic. Cheers.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: nice rich golden color, nice head, not too thick
Smell: nice biscuit malt and light hops
Taste: perfection of light hops with nice malt backbone
Overall: love how Anchor balances their beers. This is a perfect balance of light hops with solid malt base. Perfection in beer! Nice to know that an IPA does not have to be in your face over the top hops.

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Not really a factor for me, but very thin head, slight hazy, orange color.

Smell - There is something very OLD WORLD going on in this Ale. You can tell the recipe has been around for a while, as well as the equipment used to brew it. Reminds me of some engilsh ales. Citrus, esters, sweet, bready/biscuity...simple but very powerful...makes me want to drink it!

Taste - Delicious! Balanced, balanced, balanced. A nice citrus tang of bitters followed by the balancing sweet bready malt flavor.

Mouthfeel - Very easy to drink, not heavy, but not too light. Awesome.

Overall - In my opinion the perfect American Pale Ale. I like many other APAs but this one is my favorite!

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Photo of TheOtherMike
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Currently my favorite beer that I can (usually) get.

Appearance is a nice rich copper color but not entirely clear. But that's ok - I'm drinking it to satisfy the other 6 senses.

Smell and taste are perfect - hoppy, malty, even slightly fruity. Perfectly balanced.

I always get at least a 6-pack when I find it.

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Photo of badbonez
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me start this by saying I don't like the large American beers, Mexican beers, Italian beers, French beers or Belgian beers of any type. If you like these types of beer you probably will not like Liberty. But if you think that good beer is a balance of ingredients leading to a balance of flavors, read on.

Alright, I'm a new member but I have to write about my favorite beer in the entire world (and I've travelled many places). I don't even know where to start to describe perfection: The appearance is usually a dark golden color but I have come across chill haze (at least I think it's chill haze). but the taste and aroma are what it's all about. This has a perfect blend of hops and malty sweetness. It's not like English ales which isn't enough hops, two perfectly combine and make you realize why beer makers started using hops in the first place. In addition there is a feel to the beer that belies the malts. It's not as heavy going down the palate as you would expect for a beer with this sweetness. This beer not only tastes good but it is refreshing and to me seems to be what beer was meant to be.

I've given this beer to friends visiting from England who immediatley say that they hate American "crap" beers. But once they taste it they are usually hooked. Not saying that the English are the end all of beer knowledge, but they do have a history of beer that we in the states don't have. I've always wondered what a German would think.

I rated this beer this highly because I have not had, and probably will never have, it's equal. I've stopped trying really. If Liberty's on tap I shout "Liberty, or death" to the bar keep. I don't bother looking at the other tap handles.

That must be 250 words.

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Photo of hooligan
4.94/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite APA ever... Nice malty feel, with a hop bitterness that cleans it up nice. My shop now has these in 22oz (Florida had a ban on 22oz for some reason) and I love taking my work home :-)

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Photo of sjmacdougall
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this on a whim after spending a weekend in Boston last summer. I was full of patriotic spirit.

Serving - 12 ounce "small" bottle

App - Cloudy, hazy orange color; noticeably bubbly.

Smell- pine and floral mixtures with hints of citrus

Taste- Malt is apparent upfront, but then gives way to, what I consider, the perfect amount of hoppiness. It leaves with a clean and fresh hoppy flavor.

Mouth- Carbonation apparent in the appearance is undoubtedly felt; it is also consistent. Light to Medium bodies without sacrificing.

Drink- To me, an ultimate beer. It is my fallback for any occasion. If I saw this beer every time I opened my fridge, I'd be a happy man.

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Photo of barrylitchfield
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I really like this beer. I purchased it in a mixed 6 pack a few days ago just to get a sample of 6 beers I have never tried. I have had 3 of the 6, and this Liberty Ale is the best of them. The beer was poured into a pint glass and it had about 2 fingers of a white, fluffy head. Fruity with a slight citrus and peach smell. A golden amber color that kind of had an irredescent look to it.

A great tasting beer with just the right amout of hop bitterness. I'll definately be looking for this and will drink it often. Highly recommended.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.89/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'd seriously underestimated this beer in the past, for my enthusiasm was markedly greater when I sat down to study it, smell it, and appreciate it's complexities. I'll bet I was drinking it out of a bottle in a noisy, smoky bar.
Thick white head, settles soon. Pale orange color. Fresh aroma, incredible fruit! Peaches, apricots, citrus, with perfect integration--nothing stands over or above anything else. Quite mellow and smooth, this is an ideal session beer, not too powerful in hops or alcohol, but one that rewards the attentive. Fritz Maytag and the boys at Anchor are the ultimate craftsmen and this is a perfect product. Everything is so well-formed and pure, it's amazing. Great balance, flavor, everything!

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Photo of mshallah
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Liberty is an ale I have recently rediscovered. I first sampled it in my early "beyond Bud" days and remember it to be a hoppy ale. In recent tastings it proves to be a perfect example of an aromatic brew. Aromas of Cascade hops, ale yeast fruitiness, and malt background make for a great beer to keep under your nose. Fine(small bubble) natural carbonation and a creamy head give a quaffable mouthfeel. Some feel this beer should be labeled an IPA instead of a pale ale. Take into account this beer's birthday, April 18th 1975(I was 4) to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride, well before american IPA's gained popularity.(Ballintine IPA maybe?) This beer should be sought fresh and sought often. World class.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a burnished copper color, with a sticky, lasting head. Great lacing, trailing like a cobweb down the glass.
Aroma is a balance between rich pale maltiness and agressive northwest hopping. Pronounced citric cascade aroma, with some estery floral quality to the malt. Not terribly complex, but simplicity lies within perfection.
Flavor is hoppy and tangy, with outspoken hopping and perfect malt presence to back it up. Hints of pear and mango, with a grassy floral hop flavor throughout the sip. Mild unassuming carbonation. Medium bodied. Moderately bitter finish, with sharp hopping, the bottled version seems a bit weaker. Aftertaste is slightly tart bitterness.
An excellent beer from a true american original. Accept no imitations.

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Photo of John
4.84/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Arguably, Liberty and Sierra Nevada Pale are the benchmarks for APAs as they are today. I still remember discovering this gem and thinking what a find it was 10yrs. or so ago. It's still a great brew.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everyone should have a go-to beer for that very specific moment which runs over and over again and requires something just totally perfect. Of course experimenting with new beers is amazing and fun, but you always need that one beer which you know will never let you down and will always perform exactly the way you want it to. Its hot outside, your palate is dry, and you are thirsty for a beer - my go-to is, and for a very long time has been, the Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing. And for good reason.

There are lots, actually tons of thirst quenching IPAs, Pale Ales, Pilsners, Weissebiers, etc which will all quench your palate exceptionally well. But the Liberty Ale is my staple beyond any other beer I have ever tried when I have this specific goal in mind. Its immaculate balance, complex yet sublime simplicity, and elegant flavors come together to create a beer which is exactly what I need when I need it - really nothing else would do the trick; and there are several reasons for this... First of all, ease of purchase is very important for your go-to beer. The Liberty ale is brewed by Anchor Brewing, one of the United States most historic and founding craft breweries; and as such is available through almost all of the country. In Ontario it is also available at almost every LCBO that has a reasonable beer selection. So thankfully, it is not hard to find. Also, it comes in a 650ml bottle rather than a 341 or 355ml bottle. This way you can fill yourself a proper pint glass and ensure you have enough of the goods! Its also only $3.90 at the LCBO, so its not going to break the bank.

Most of all though, it tastes and feels amazing. Lets take a look. The Liberty Ale was first brewed on April 18, 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's historic ride. It is of course brewed only with the finest malts, fresh whole hops, and a special top fermenting ale yeast. This beer is 100% naturally carbonated by a process called bunging which gives the Liberty Ale a distinct crisp lightness in your mouth. Its not aggressive and champagne like, it just seems to be more precise and strategic than typical carbonation.

It pours smoothly forming a pillowy white head immediately which will build to an inch and a touch of sturdy white foam on top of your beer, bursting with air and life. The Liberty Ale sits contently crisp and transparent, glowing a golden straw color fuming with bubbles streaming up the center of the beer. The nose is fresh and filled with citrus, hay fields, bright earth, grapefruit, crisp hops and a light touch of pale malts. It smells very clean and refreshing - a pure indicator of what's to come.

When the Ale hits your palate first light sweet pale malts and the crisp freshness of west coast hops float across your tongue and cheeks elegantly showing tinny and elaborate carbonation. Immediately the mouthfeel is superb; its very light on your tongue but it definitely has a strong presence allowing its flavors to do their job. Its as if the beer floating in only the bottom half of your mouth somehow fills the entire thing.

In comes a bright floral splash of citrus hops, biscuit and bread, light grapefruit-like spice, and a dry malt and hop finish. This beer is not overwhelming or to complex, but it does have a beautiful array of flavors that work so perfectly together that they can really only be described as liberating. Its finish is so clean and crisp, along with the amazing mouthfeel creating a beer that perfectly quenches, refreshes, and scrubs your palate clean. I love the fresh simplicity of the pale malts here, they speak out to easily and create such a clean light caramel and honey malt flavor that you will want to come back to it again and again!

The Liberty Ale is an amazing beer on its own, but shines with so many food dishes. Anything with grease, cheese, dough, or spice will be lifted to a new level with the Liberty Ale. One of my favorite combinations is a fresh off the grill hamburger with lots of toppings. Or a thick juicy steak and baked potato. Or Pasta with Carbonara, or Vindaloo, or chicken wings, or so much more!

I've never had this beer on draft, however I hear that it is available some places in the U.S. so I will be hunting for it! And trust me, you should too...

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Photo of Desher
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can't say enough about this beer. I finally tried it out today after years of passing it up... it's excellent it's the craft IPA everyone has tried to emulate.It's flat out hop balanced it has the 'bite" you want, it's the one beer your "lite" friend will say wow! Original. i'm having another nite! nite!

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Photo of mjurney
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden honey color, slightly hazy. Nice fine bubbles. Head looks rocky, leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Citrus hops, earthly, sweet malts.

Citrus hops up front, mild earthly, along with biscuity malts. Semi sweet orange blossoms in the mid-palate, with touch of honey. Crisp finish with slight herbal bite aftertaste. Very refreshing, body is light to medium. Carbonation feels great.

Highly drinkable. Probably the best American Pale Ale I've drank.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! It has been a while since I last tasted this excellent brew but now I remember why I always loved it.
Great golden color topped by a big head of foam that leaves lots of lace. Foam dissipates rather fast, but the lace just keeps sticking.
One of the best fruity hop aromas I have ever smelled, very grapefruity and pungent, no malt aroma sneaking through this bouquet.
Deliciously smooth with a great citrusy hop bitterness, very little malt sweetness in evidence and a dry finish that begs for another sip.
I won't be going nearly as long before I buy this wonderful beer again as I went since I had it last!

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Photo of BillV
4.81/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome. The BA score says 87 and the BROS say 89 and 'very good'. I concur but with an extra 'awesome' tied off at the end. This is really a fine beer and should be experienced to appreciate its rarity. Anchor has done us all a solid with this outstanding example of an American IPA. I can't say enough about the taste and overall points of this beverage. It is what you would expect a true craft beer to be about.

Imagine, if you have wandered in here and having only experienced drinking the usual American mass produced beers , you have no real knowledge of what a decent to awesome beer tastes and feels like. Well, I would steer you away from this one, then, at first. Go work your way around some of the other craft beers and get a good feel for what they are like. Then come back around and give it a try. I say this because I really believe that if you could develop your palate for these kinds beers, you will appreciate one like Anchor Liberty Ale all the more. And, in appreciating it more, have a better understanding going into it for what you should be looking for when you find it.


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Photo of hopman333
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another classic that I have not reviewed yet. I'm 39 years old and when I first started my ridiculous drinking binge that is now still going strong ( 12 - 24 beers daily ) God my poor liver, this was one of the first IPA's, and still one of the best.

The color is that of a refreshing and crisp beer if you know what I mean, slightly cloudy almost straw like color, maybe a shade darker than straw but close.

The smell is almost entirely dominated by Fresh Cascade hops, ( and I do mean fresh )and a firm and earthy caramel malt flavor.

The taste is where this beer really shines. It start's off with the Cascade hop bite to the fore wich becomes more intense by the microsecond with a brisk and an almost harsh carbonation to help the hop flavor to become eclipsed by the sweet caramel malt flavours and then it subsides with a dry and hoppy bitterness. And when it is really fresh it almost has a Bazooka Joe Bubblegum like quality, and I mean that in a good way. Extremely refreshing and drinkable. And I really like the carbonation level as I feel alot of the more modern brews of today lack.

Ok, so I'm sure alot of younger folks are saying Oh this is one dimensional and not to complex, not hoppy enough, Ect Ect !!!! But this is the epitome of a true American IPA, Hoppy without being cloying, with just enough Malt sweetness coming through to balance the Bitterness, and a carbnonation level that I love and truly miss from alot of other American craft brewers of today, what ever happened to brews being crisp and refreshing, not flat and hoppy, like so many brews of today. This is truly an American classic that is definately worth every penny that you are paying for it.... Crisp, complex, hoppy and very satisfying.

Thank you Fritz Maytag for producing one of the first and finest beers of it's kind on American soil...


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Photo of AaronRed
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I need to revise my review of this beer, as it is worth more than just a line. I must say this beer is one of my favorites. Outstanding in all areas. Perfectly golden in color with a white creamy head, you can smell the floral aromas wafting out of the glass. Tremendous tasting- hops are outstanding. This is what an American ale is all about.

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Photo of Columbanus
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - Golden straw colour, slightly cloudy, 2 finger white head with lots of lacing.
s - strong pine/woodsy aroma that just keeps on going.
t - Prominent hop and barley flavour up front, smooth and malty in middle, hoppy bitter finish, dry and crisp. Flavour lingers for quite a while after swallow.
m - smooth, medium light body
d - extremely drinkable. Great session beer, but does not really fit the apa style. More like a cream ale. Probably the best light ale available in Ontario, where our micros are hop shy.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ingredients: hops and malts.

Orange body, with smallish head and fine bubbles. Rich bouquet of flowers, tree sap and malt. Amazing long lasting bitterness. Creamy smooth body that has a complexity that leaves me floored (or maybe that was the 6 percent alcohol. I have just found my house ale.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,410 ratings.
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