Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,568 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: 1,568 | Ratings: 3,415
Photo of Nipitato
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bottle at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

A: Medium gold hue. Pours with a 1.2 inch thick, white head. Dissipates to about a 1/4 of an inch. Reasonable clarity. Sticky lace develops as beer is quaffed.

S: Oily hop aroma is somewhat fruity. Grassy and citrusy. Some grainy malt character.

T: Grainy malt character underscores. Definitely fruity. Hops flavor is not sharp or biting but rather soft and muted. Citrusy. Dry.

MF: Medium body. Moderately high carbonation.

D,notes: An excellent well balanced brew with a great hop flavor that is not overpowering. Highly sessionable. I don't have much respect for the American pale ale as a style; this beer reminds me why I should. This is by far the best APA I have had. It illustrates how many really sub-par APAs are out there.

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Photo of wmmatt41
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My friend bought me a six-pack of Liberty Ale but I was hesitant to try it, as I don't enjoy too many ales. I find many to be too bitter and hoppy. Imagine my surprise, then, to find that Anchor Steam's Liberty Ale is a wonderful beer. Its taste is full, rich, and entirely pleasant. If finishes surprisingly clean.

This has become my favorite ale and one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of YankChef
4.64/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into hennepin glass

Appearance: Golden, very light amber orange. THin clingy white head that can create some nice lacing

Aroma: Sweet and juicy with a little bit of rose water. Really in your face nose that is just outstanding.

Taste: Fresh and crisp tasting with some peach and maybe a little orange, crisp bitter hop bite, not the hoppiest IPA out there, but very full flavored.

Overall: A classic of the style and one of the first american IPA'a. A clear standard for the style and very enjoyable, maybe my favorite nose on an american IPA.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz short brown bottle.

A: Hazy light amber color with a nice creamy white 1-1/2 finger head.

S: Floral and citrus hops in the nose. Some grains too.

T&M: Medium bodied with a light malt sweetness. Mild balanced hop flvors are mixed in with the malts. Citrus fruitiness and bitterness. Finishes dry with raw hop coarseness, hop oils and some grain flavors.

I used to prefer the Anchor Steam, but this stuff is way more refreshing and drinkable. Excellent APA!

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Photo of bobhits
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just did I go this long without trying this stuff? Maybe the packaging turned me off or something.

A. Big white head and a lightly on the yellow side amber color. Not many bubbles in there. Nothing special here.

S. There is a some malt (kinda of a bready smell). There is a nice citrusy fruity aroma as well. I just can't put how much like this to words.

T. Citrus. Hops that are on the sour side if that makes sense or maybe there's another flavor in here. Finishes with some sour flavor and some bready malt touch. This is a very unique taste unlike anything I've had, and it's just an APA?

M. Though you can't see bubbles, but there is plenty of carbonation. Odds are this is thicker than it feels because of the carbonation effect, but still wonderful.

D. I really could down a 6er of this. It begs to be consumed.

This is truly a special beer. It's too bad the bro's consider appearance so highly. This is without a doubt a solid A beer.

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Photo of FireStarter6
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Comes in a fat 650ml brown bottle. Round label featuring a pair of wings and an anchor.

Pours out an amber-hued gold with the tiniest bit of haze. Medium sized white head that settles down to half its original height and retains as a thicker looking foam.

Smells of strong hops. Zesty, citrusy.

Mmm... Very nice hops. Zesty, of citrus and fresh pine and mint. Smooth, mild malt background. A touch of fresh honey in the finish. Lovely taste. Like a good IPA, but slightly milder, and more defined.

Mid-strong, yet smooth carbonation.

Overall, what a lovely hop-heavy ale. I really enjoyed this one. Lovely, strong, well rounded taste. Its wonderful to see such a great beer come out of America, from a small brewery still making its beer by hand. Never had a better American beer than this one. Cheers to them for brewing it, and to anyone who picks up this beer and tries it.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a bit surprised. When I read the label talking about a big hop boquet, and several reviews describing the hoppiness of this beer, I suspected they were a bit dated. It had been a while since I last had this beer, and let's face it, this beer has been around for a *long* time -- 1975! What with all the Ruinations and whatnot which have come out since, I figured any pre, say, 1995 beer which proclaimed itself hoppy should be taken with a grain of salt. But hey. I was wrong. The aroma isn't overwhelming, but it *is* very hoppy and quite nice, with just a hint of malt sweetness to it. And the hop flavor makes itself known throughout the whole mouth. Great use of Cascades lend a nice floral, lemony flavor to the palate, and a oily smoothness to the mouth. Well matched by an underlying malty sweetness with a crisp dry finish. A bit cloudy in appearance from the bottle fermentation, with a light gold color and a thin wispy head. This is a beer that has stood the test of time.

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Photo of jkdrummer
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep yellow steady carb and a head that doesn't quit.

Citrusy and fruity aromas that really are noticeable.

Sweet with strong APA characteristics with the hops taking center stage. Dry aftertaste.

TO me, this is the one of the best APA beers out there. You've got to love the honesty and consistency of this product. Perfect any time. Highly recommended.


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Photo of radshoesbro
4.61/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - gorgeous!! absolutely beautiful!! has a terrific head with some fantastic lacing! beautiful amber color.

s - faint hops, malts, and mild mild alcohol.

t - medium hops which brings a perfect mix of malt and bitterness. it's like someone put "good" all over my tounge!! man, this is really great!!

m - medium bodied APA with a good dry finish. comes off a bit strong at first, but after a few sips you're used to it.

notes: my goodness...that is a good beer. woo! definately going to get a 6 of this next time i buy beer. wow!

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It appears a golden color with good head retention. The aroma is belgian-esque with a hoppy and cereal smell. The taste begins with the belgian flavor, a kind of estery citrus perhaps. It is followed by a light and hoppy finish. A well balanced ale as the body remains medium to light. I'd drink six.

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Photo of rjplumer
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Has nice fruity like aroma that grabs you. It has a nice head that lingers for quite awhile. Has murky honey like amber color with very active bubbles. The taste at first is a bitter but then subdues and goes down smoothly. I would definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of leokbelo
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden copper with a 2 inch head that after a while dissipates into a nice inch lacing. Great piney scent, citrusy, gotta love those hops. A little grapefruit on the tongue, malty and delicious. Hoppy finish. Highly drinkable and highly recommended. Wow, what a great APA! Took me a while to review it (don't ask me why). Great session brew and from now on, a regular on my fridge!

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Photo of CSimon
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anchor Liberty is a great beer.

However, there is a catch.

While many IPA-style beers improve with age, I have found that the quality of Liberty tails offf fairly rapidly.

It is rare that I have ever had a bad Liberty on tap. Almost always it is lively hopped, a beautiful pour, unbelievably drinkable (great for long, late nights at a pub), and just plain damn good.

On the other hand, out of a bottle, 50% of the time it has been great, and the other 50% . . . .well, not great. Rotten weeds and next day frat-house keg beer come to mind. I don't know the reason for it, and have often wondered. But, if you get a stinker, Liberty can suck out of a bottle.

Of course, if you get a good one, it's nearly as good as on tap.

So seek it out on tap. And, if you buy it in a bottle from a source that you don't know well, you're rolling the dice. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing . . . .

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Photo of nomad
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an almost translucent light orange with a subtle golden-yellow hue - an interesting color. Also had a rocky head and a little staining. Smelled of fruity hops in a clean but not just anti-septic way. Also detected grapefruit and a tiny bit of pine and florals.

Taste was a mix of tasty bitter, a nascent fruitiness that grew in strength, and an ambered malt flavor. Had a somewhat chewy bitter finish, of a very bitter grapefruit sort but not overbearing. A surprisingly session-styled ale with a solid bodied mouthfeel. A true rarity: a mild American pale ale. A good thing though, and it went well with cheeses that have character.

For me, the definition of "go-to beer." Cascade goodness!

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have heard and read great things about Liberty Ale for a long time. Was surprised to see it at my local Kroger this weekend, although the do stock an outstanding selection of craft beers. Have always been impressed with Anchor Brewing, and Liberty Ale is no exception. Amazing is an understatement. New go to IPA for me.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly amber tinted golden, with a light white head that fades to a thin covering layer. Aroma is interesting, hops evident with light perfumes and a good dose of spicy hops. Taste is also quite interesting. Regardless of reputations, this is my first time trying Liberty Ale, and it leaps out to me as exactly what an APA should be. Flowery hops merely flesh out the spicy hop flavours, with quite a bit of sweetness to keep that all in check. Light (in a good way), refreshing, and ever so good. A fabulous beer, and a permanent fixture at the LCBO, so I have a new option for backup for when I can't find anything new.

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Photo of weeare138
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a slightly hazed light gold with a fluffy white head that seems to stick around forever. Solid tubes of lacing ate left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, citrus, ripe fruit and orange candies.
Taste is of the aromas with a perfect balance of hops, fruity flavors, and citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied from the yeast strain, creamy, and excellent in terms of being rounded.
A true classic beer... Can't believe I've never rated this before!

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very good pale ale. It is a light orange color and has a creamy white head that leaves tons of lace on my glass. It has a nice citrusy aroma and a ton of malt in the nose too. The flavor is very crisp and the floral hoppiness is nice and sharp, but does not linger long in the aftertaste. A very drinkable pale ale from a world class brewer.

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Photo of magpieken
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle. Pale gold to deep gold colour with suspended sediment. A towering, dense, creamy head with a buttery tinge. Wonderful head retention and some lovely lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops, biscuit, peach, honey and some caramel. Light to medium bitterness and light sweetness. Light to medium body, smooth texture; a wonderful mouthfeel. The finish is semi-dry but still managers to linger with a beautiful balance between the sweetness and the bitterness. A cracker of a beer.

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Photo of cracgor
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out an orangish color with a nice creamy little head. The beer is a little too hazy, maybe from the refrigerator, who knows. Smells nice and citrusy. Has a great cascade hop smell. The beer tastes perfect. Exceptionally well balanced. The hops have a nice fruity, citrusy flavor. A nice sweetness. Not very bitter. The kind of beer I could drink all day. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: January 16, 2015... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky Tavern pint ... OCCASION: a good week done... APPEARANCE: a storm of effervescent bubbles whirl violently below an absolute dreamy cloud of thick white head; hazy orange amber in color; lacing is ribbed and substantial... AROMA: sharp orange peel; some sugarlike cookie, vanilla, grapefruit and spring flowers... PALATE: creamy at the lips; slight pings of sourness at the teeth; effervescent but swift to the throat; light and mega-sessionable ...TASTE: citric flavors of grapefruit and lilac, orange and vanilla make this already a winner; the malt settles nicely, providing balance...OVERALL: why so long to revisit this most perfect example of the genre--as refreshing and flavorful as a pale ale can be...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A classic! It's slightly hazy (bottle-conditioned) golden-amber body is topped by a frothy white head that holds really well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. Dry-hopped Cascades saturate the nose - perfumey, floral, lemony, and pine-like over some lightly caramel-tinged grainy malt. The hops are 'softer' from the dry-hopping, however, and not as 'sharp' as if they'd been added to the kettle. It's luxurious! The body is medium; and it's lightly crisp and then smooth and creamy in the mouth due in part to a very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. Cascades carry over into the flavor in a big way; wrapped in sweet, caramelish malt and backed by a firm bitterness. It's very well-rounded and nicely balanced, without the aggressive edge that many beers like this have. Absolutely worth seeking out!

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Photo of Hobbz
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, my old fav, grassy-assed but respectful friend has paid a visit.

What can I say about a beer that was the first real one!? It's like the one-in-a-million chance meeting of the person/place/thing that changes your life and you realize you won't ever be alone any more (though you never were -- it just seamed that way)...

Finding this beer was not the one-in-a-million, but its effect on me certainly was. In this sense and more I ascribe it perfection -- on BA, I will play by the rules and not by my emotions!

This is a bold, assertive beer in flavor and taste. I absolutely love its balance. And yet separated out, each of the main components -- for example grain-bill and hops -- has its own discernable characteristics worthy of notice (grain bitterness with malt sweetness; oily hop bite yet with a strong dry, Cascade dry-hopping). This is THE flagship American pale-/India-pale- ale before all others.

1989 perhaps, in a small, long-forgotten East Village bar where the proprietor was proudly serving up ALL Anchor products on will never be forgotten.

(PS: in this review whatever unsappy, man-ridden facades I might chose have long lost out)

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Photo of WGO
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Love the Anchor bottles, they seem so quaint but hold so much liquid. Great labels.
Very dense thick foam, slowly dissipates, never leaves the edges. Cloudy amber brown colour.
Nose is citrus, but with a bit of tropical fruit ripe banana, mango hint of pineapple. Some bready malts also show through.
Taste is a number of orange fruits. Clementines, satsumas. Possibly dried apricots.
Mouthfeel is almost thick but not quite. Great carbonation, makes it interesting but still very drinkable.
One of my favorite beers.

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Photo of roddwolff
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 10 february 2010, at 12 pm, while watching the game of FC Bayern for the DFB Cup. Once served in a pint glass. Look: Amber color, a finger of foamy head, wth good lacing; Smell: Citrus hops and fruit essences, predominant guava and orange, slightly malt cookie; Taste: Pine-Wood and earth hops, plus a cookie-scented malt, the fruit essences of the smell lost; Mouthfeel: Dry, woody and very bitter, medium to robust body, almost creamy, low carbonation; Drinkability: Excepciontal American-freedom beer.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,415 ratings.
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