Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,569 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: 1,569 | Ratings: 3,428
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light golden color with a minimal head that quickly dissipates to nothing. Smell is slightly hoppy. There's a bit of light fruit in the nose as well. Taste is crisp and hoppy. Comes across very clean and refreshing. Not a hop-bomb, but decent in it's own right. A sessionable beer, but nothing to get excited about. Would be a very nice summertime patio beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: pitcher shared by the folks from Anchor, at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a clearish pale copper color with a thin wispy white head. Very little detectable in the nose, mild citrusy hops and grainy malts. Taste was similarly muted, especially for an IPA, especially for an IPA being showcased by the brewer himself. Very light flavor, pale biscuity malts underneath a citrusy but subdued hop presence. Body is light, the beer, while lacking in flavor overall, is smooth and quite drinkable, but just too bland and thin compared to what I like in my AIPAs.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. I was not that crazy about this stuff. I think it is because that liberty ale is not as sweet as some of the other pale ales I have tried. It's like eating a grapefruit with no sugar. It's not becuase I have an aversion against hops, I don't; I love hops. A little too coarse for my liking. This just wasn't my cup of tea, or pint glass of beer.

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Photo of pweis909
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thick, rocky white head resting on a clear golden orange beer.
The aroma has a fruity estery quality to it, subdued but noticeable. There is the briefest glimmer of a yummy malt taste, but it is not strong enough for my liking, and while there was hoppy bitterness, there was no hop aroma, and the hop flavor was unappealing. While I thought there were elements of taste and smell that I liked, they are barely apparent. The malt/hop combination does not seem well-balanced, to my palate.

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Photo of Ian_B
3.09/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bright earthy flavours with a touch of burnt toast. Sounds stupid but a bit too much of the burnt malt / hop bitterness comes through on the finish. Slight metallic flavours. Good beer, but there are other/better beers I'd prefer with similar taste profiles.

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Photo of cameraman
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Agolden/coppper color, with a nice head lacing down nicely. Light citrusy, floral aromas come with first scent. Initially the taste of roasted barley and malt jit the palate, and then the hops come through and dominate the flavor. Slightly watery in the mouth, and has a good dry finish. After a few more sips this beer becomes easier to drink, and the flavor becomes more appealing to the palate. This is a good beer over all, I just expected more from the flavor.

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Photo of MrHolland
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighter copper color with a thick white head.

Smell is of sweet malt and a little hops to note.

This is a odd APA that is not very hoppy... taste is pretty much malts with a little bit of hops.

Mouthfeel is decent, went down good.

Would chose better APAs over this one.

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Photo of illidurit
3.14/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. Gold color with a thin white head. Filmy lace left behind. Aroma is straight-up Cascade hops. Flavor is pale malt with Cascade citrus and a bit of an apple juice note. Slight bitterness is a little weak for the style. Nice mouthfeel, with smooth carbonation and a medium-thin body. Drinkable but simple. Just doesn't jive with my ideal profile of the style.

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Photo of sstackho
3.14/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650mL bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto. Pours an uninticing pale yellow, with a bit of head and little carbonation, although the current low carbonation could just be that I opened the bottle a couple of small pours ago. Weak hoppy aroma. The taste hits the tastebuds immediately with hops upfront but it ends sharply, almost a bit spicy. No fruitiness or well-rounded flavours, unfortunately.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Nice orange color but a smallish head that quickly fizzles away leaving the glass dry.

Smell – Some citrus fruit at first, but then the hops kick in.

Taste – This has a similar flavor to Anchor Steam Beer. I poured this one right after it for comparison purposes. There’s a noticeable malt taste to compliment the mostly hop body. The citrus flavors come out as well, with a bitter finish tempered with an orange peel.

Mouthfeel – Nice, light carbonation gives this beer a comfortable tingle on the tongue, but it’s kind of clumsy going down.

Drinkability – Like post APAs, this one is rather dry and will probably go down well on a hot summer day.

Comments – The Liberty Ale is less authoritative in its flavors than the Small Beer.

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Photo of peabody
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out cloudy straw yellow to amber with two fingers of the white stuff. No lacing.
Smell is peppery with a strong floral aroma . Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Taste is very perfumy with an oily floral hop flavor coming through. I am getting spices here like anise and sugary licorice.
Mouthfeel is mostly clean with just a little hop oilyness left in the palate.
Not a bad ale but needs a tad more in the flavor dept.

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Photo of surfmeister
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: amber/orange with fizzy, short lived head
Smell: floral hops,spice, strong point of brew
Taste: bitterness jumps out at you, overdone IMHO, otherwise has the hoppy, spicy tones appropriate to type, SNPA has it beat as well as others
Mouthfeel: hard bite, too hard, bitterness is strongest characteristic
Drinkability: again, bitterness out of balance

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Photo of caminiti
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got it in the bottle from a neighbor whose wife was giving me a bad haircut, made it a bit more palatable. I did not see it, as it was not poured, but the smell was faintly of hops and not much else, and the taste was kind of weak, too. I expect much better from Anchor Steam, and would not shell out $9 for a six pack of this.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.16/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 650 ml brown pop off bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Foggy golden in color with a nice thick head that sticks for the whole beer.

S- Malty sweet with nice/grassy floral hop aromas .

T Nice malt flavor countered with a fresh floral hop taste with lots of lemon/citrus flavors mid palate. Finishes somewhat tangy (due to the vast fruity flavors) also a little dry in the end. Very nice hop profile.

M- Smooth, medium bodied beer with good carbonation and hop acidity.

D- worth having a couple for sure.

Overall a pretty good APA. Not readily available in Canada so when ever I find it I usually stock up. Recommended.

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Photo of vish747
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor's Liberty Ale tastes much better out of a glass, which reduces its dryness considerably (but not entirely). The color is wheat-like, a somewhat hazy light-orange, and the smell is nothing special. The taste is surprisingly nice, but definitely not refreshing. It goes down relatively smooth at first, but with a very-slight bitter yet fruity aftertaste, and leaves your mouth feeling fairly dry and dehydrated. The Liberty Ale is not very hoppy, and true pale ale fans will be disappointed; however, it has more flavor than a typical blonde or golden, but is a bit too dry to appeal to the lighter-beer fan base.

Drink if you want a good American ale with flavor, but specifically one lighter than true pale ales.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had one in a session that included two-hearted (yeah, an ipa). also compared to smutty, both ipa and pale ale. (7 and 6.7% abv, so not that out of range) those two just blow anchor away. not just that they're more flavorful and aromatic--liberty is so bland and thin the alcohol, even at 6%, is able to poke through in a big inappropriate sort of way and make this a very unpleasant drink. at this level of flavor, the abv needs to be more in the 4-5% range.

having tried again,
a 4 s 3.5 t 3 m 3 d 3

prior thoughts:
Anchor Liberty
4 clear golden, leaves cap and ring, good lace.
4 citrus backed by bready cracker malt, cheerful smells like brooklyn lager meets bigfoot. happyfoot.
3.5-4 not big on flavor, the fairly modest bitterness is accentuated by the lack of much else going on, but concentrate and it's something like a much weakened bigfoot. drier than expected.
3.5 fine but prickly c02 enlivens the lightish body. thinner than steam?
4 an easygoing pale ale.

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Photo of brandoneast
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Large bubbles sink quickly to the hazy copper brew, creating cratered thumbprints on the froth. The nose is reminiscent of fruity, multicolored Chiclets Tiny Size with a whiff of apricot and some faint hops. Maybe I bought a six pack that was a few month old, but where are my hops? This brew is sweeter flavor profile than most pale ales and it also has a slight graininess , which is good news for those of you who don't crave bitter brews.

Liberty Ale was first introduced on April 18th, 1975 to commemorate the bicentennial of the famous ride by Paul Revere. Celebrate craft beers and your independence from mass marketed brews. Quality not quantity.

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Photo of Smurf2055
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a bottle at Wing Central in the U district. Poured into a pint glass. Ar: hoppy but mild Ap: hazy, darkish blond with about a half finger head. Decent carbonation. T: very bitter but not overpoweringly so. Pa: carbonated, but not much complexity. O: I thought it was decent, but nothing special.

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Photo of soughtbygod
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured in a glass had a big 3finger white in color head. Smelled of citrus and fruits, was not hoppy or malty at all very refreshing summer beer. Not a whole lot of character, but really smooth lent itself to the upper end of light beers. I would drink it again most definitely.

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Photo of wanker
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found this beer average in every way. There was nothing about it to really complain about, but certainly nothing to rave about either. It also had just a hint of a macro lager taste to it that I can't put my finger on.

Drinkable, but I wouldn't buy it again. For APA's, my future money will go to Great Divide Fresh Hop.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer before on draft, and thought it was pretty good. This bottle pours a dull hazy gold...a bit light for an APA. Smell is sweet malt instead of hops. Taste is light and crisp but not at all fact I'd take issue with the classification of it as an APA, despite the claim on the bottle that it is dry-hopped. Tastes more like a Belgian Golden Ale to me. I found the label claim that it is naturally carbonated also very interesting for a large scale production beer that is not secondarily fermented or cask-conditioned. It results in a very smooth and mild beer. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, and this beer is highly drinkable.

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Photo of crwills
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting a lot from this beer, and sadly it didn't happen. Nothing awful, just... meh.

The bottle's nice. Poured it into a standard pint glass, as usual. A neat looking orangy-amber colour with a big fluffy head. Smell is a little skunky, with lots of citrus -- orange, grapefruit. Some earthiness in there was well.

Taste is... well, watery and ordinary. Some surprisingly bitter hop flavours for this style, almost IPA-esque. Citrus, grass or hay, earth, and malty sweetness are in there too, especially is it warms up.

Again, this beer gets the 'meh' sticker. Nothing I'd go out of my way to find, but certainly better than the average macrobrew.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy yellow/orange with one finger fluffy white head, which dissipated quickly leaving a small layer of foam on top. Leaves some nice white lacing.

S: There is a little bit of lemon, a belgian yeast aroma, and some biscuit. There is a slightly overpowering funk aroma to it though, almost soapy too.

T: No funk here, a different take on the typical pale ales I have been drinking lately. Very floral, but not in a hoppy way. Has a belgian/spice/peppery undertone.

M: A little thin with good carbonation, has a slightly tingly feeling as it hits your tongue.

O: It has an interesting flavor, but I don't love it. The aroma really hurts it for me, having to smell it every single time I take a sip.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

@ The Old Spot, Salem MA. Felt sneaky drinking a quintessential American pale in an English pub.

Clear straw color with a thick and creamy white head. Peppery skim retention puts up the most impressive display of lacing that I have ever seen on a pale.

At first whiff I smelled freshly vacuumed carpet. Has a metallic tones clinging to the malt which I find in a lot of Cal ale yeast beers when really cold--mellowed out to a pleasant biscuit when warmed up. Cascade-ish grassy, spicey hop. Crisp and refreshing with fruity malt balanced by a grassy spicy hop. Dry, fizzy, champagne-ish carbonation.

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Photo of Vipsanius
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this and Sierra Nevada Wheat looking for a good summer beer. While the wheat proved a better summer beer, this was still able to hold it's ground.

Poured a golden color with a small head and a little bit of lacing.

The smell is sweet, malty, hoppy, and citrusy all in one. It gives little warning to the bitterness you first sense when you taste it. Once you get past the bitter hops you can pick up on the herbal and floral characteristics of this beer.

This isn't exactly a beer I would go out of my way to buy, but with the poor selection here in Mississippi, this is a beer I am very glad I am able to find.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,428 ratings.
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