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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,569 | Ratings: 3,422
Photo of Bombelsky
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden clear. Very nice frothy off-white head, fantastic lacing.
High aroma of hops, tropical fruits upfront.
High bitter flavor, medium-low malty sweetness, toasted, high hops flavor.
Medium body, high carbonated, long bitter finish, bit of alcohol warming, smooth, crisp.

Fantastic beer.

 291 characters

Photo of jamesroses
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle

appearance: light orange, clear, medium carbonation, 1 finger head, good lacing and retention.

smell: fresh piney, slightly citrusy hops (3 months old bottle) maybe even a mint note. Not to strong as other contemporay IPA's, although I'm not sure this is one or a APA.

taste: same as the smell, and I tasted something like a delicate olive/onion flavour, which wasn't out of place, but certainly surprised me. Didn't get that much fruity notes. Bitterness is really nice and balanced with the malts.

moutfeel: carbonation is just what it needs to be, bitterness is just on point and aftertaste is that of fresh hops, piney, a bit dry.

overall: very good beer and given this was the "first" contemporary IPA, you got to give Anchor credit for it. It's a historic brew.

 785 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting IPA. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy golden yellow with a nice white head and great lacing. Smell is fruity and earthy. Tastes is citrusy but well balanced with malt and bread flavor. Good with food!

 231 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken 02/13/17:

Semi-clear orange amber, not too bright, but not dull. Some swirly clouds and the occasional larger flek. Foamy orange-tinted cream colored head of excellent retention. One giant protrusion of fluffy lace. Muffins, fruity candy, light resin or pine, cracker to nose. Semi-tart and hardly bitter up front, crackery backbone, with faint banana-like suggestions, and even more malt tartness toward the finish, as well as zesty, light soapy bitterness. Peppery retro-olfaction. Medium-bodied, abundant soft carbonation with gentler tingles, smoothing to velvet as it sloshes around.

 606 characters

Photo of shiu-chan
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour from bottle to pint glass, deep straw colour with two inches of head.
Caramel and citrus rhapsody on nose.
Sun ripe apricot, citrus peel and honey on palate.
Overall, a well-structured ale, hardly categorize as IPA given the fruity note. Very addictive.

 258 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the can - Last had on 08/22/15
Pilsner glass

This has always been my favorite Ale from Liberty...although i would hardly consider it an American IPA
Golden amber body with plenty of visible carb and a neat stack of khaki tan foam that holds well.
Good dose of citrusy Cascade hops with Biscuity malt character and some additional fruity esters.
Overall well crafted with a crisp, clean, and smooth taste.

 413 characters

Photo of Gardendk
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A. Orange/gold with fluffy white foam. Small bubbles everywhere.

S: Citrus and carmel. Fruity

T: Somewhat sweet. More carmel and bread than in the smell. Full taste. Well balanced

M: Hits the back of the mouth instantly. Classic IPA

O: The original IPA that I end up measuring all my IPAs up against. Excellent summer beer

 326 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Oldie but goodie. Pours a lightish honey-gold amber with full head and a bit of spotty lace. Nose be honest...a bit on the AAL side with grain and only feint hops and malt. Taste is a bit more on the pale ale side...I'm seriously trying to figure out who defined this as an IPA. Crisp for sure, some more hops and bitterness coming through than you'd think from the nose. Especially nice on the finish as the hops linger. Mouthfeel is very nice...champagne like. Overall, the kind of beer you pray for at a BMC event, but not something you'd go looking for any more now that there are so many great craft options.

 628 characters

Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cascade hops carry the basic pale malt flavour. I love the simplicity of this ale. A classic original IPA that is very sessionable. Definitely a great base beer to have around for friends etc. Also would make a great camping beer in cans

 237 characters

Photo of Snowball
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a 6 oz plastic cup at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This beer was served at the Hops and Barley showcase.

This beer has a white head, and a translucent orange body. One can faintly smell the hops. This IPA has a powerful taste. The first gulp tastes slightly of citrus, especially grapefruit, and is chased swiftly by those bitter Liberty hops. The carbonation is crisp and even quite gassy. I enjoyed the balance between the hops and malt. The flavor coats your mouth and the flavor will stay with you for quite some time. Some may criticize the flavor for coming on too strong, but I personally find the taste extremely refreshing. It was really a treat on such a hot day.

This flavor is quite special and memorable. I think there may be another day soon where I might wish to enjoy this again.

 814 characters

Photo of Jesterr44
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer was fine for a run-of-the-mill ale, but nothing more. It reminded me a little of Samuel Adams Boston Lager with less sweetness & bready malt. There was nothing unpleasant about it, but at the same time, there was little complexity to the taste, and almost no noticeable hop flavour. It was just a decent regular beer which to me doesn't fit the style of modern American IPA.

 387 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a darker beer for an ipa. Comes in with 2/3" head. Aroma might be psychosomatic, but I swear I can pick up Liberty and Cascade hops.

Taste is them old school grapefruit and pine feels. Plenty of maltiness for it, but its dry and not heavy. Plenty of bitterness. This and Celebration ale are like drinking a time capsule. This keeps consistent throughout, first sip pretty much the same as the last sip. Just a sip, just a sip, beer or whiskey if you're with me wet your lips.

 489 characters

Photo of teromous
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is no can date that I can see.

Appearance: It has a hazy orange and gold body with a fluffy cloud-like head of pure white. Some suspended solids are present in the beer but they are very small. Good retention and lacing.

Aroma: It has a strong buttered caramel aroma.There is a light spicy, slightly floral, aroma that carries a bit of a bamboo scent. It is pretty intriguing.

Taste: Sweet caramel flavor with a bit of biscuit crust up front and at the end. In the middle there is this slightly fruity almost grape-like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation but pretty low on bitterness. The finish is crisp and dry with a nice wash of carbonation.

Overall: It is an interesting beer. I doubt you will find a beer on the market that really tastes like this. For that reason alone I would recommend at least trying it once just to experience the beer for what it is. It doesn't have a massive hop flavor that is often found in American style IPA's but the flavors are good and that is what counts. I probably wouldn't go out and buy it again but if somebody tossed me a can of this I would gladly enjoy it again.

 1,121 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours slightly hazed amber orange with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like leafy earthy pine, caramelized orange citrus, grapefruit, herbal grass, papaya, with toasted crackery biscuity malt. Tastes like caramelized orange citrus, bitter leafy pine, earthy herbal grass, papaya, sweet white grapefruit, with dark toasted crackery biscuity malt. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice classic IPA.

 468 characters

Photo of vinicole
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden haze. Thin head which lasts.
Crisp aroma. A sweet floral bouquet with a hint of malt biscuit and citrus fruit.
Taste reflects the complexity of the smell.
Medium body with high carbonation.

 196 characters

Photo of mklmcgrew
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

L: Pours a pretty amber, with a good 2-finger head and which reduced to some solid lacing. Good carbonation.

S: Pretty pronounced citrus, with a little piney resin.

T: Very nicely balanced between hops and malts, with a little bitterness but some sweetness.

F: Medium bodied with a little astringency at the end..

O: This seems more like a Pale Ale rather than an IPA. Definitely not as hoppy as an IPA, but maybe a little more than some Pale Ales. A very good beer nonetheless.

 524 characters

Photo of sjccmd
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big juicy, perfumey aroma. Pine and grapefruit. Spicy. Rich caramel malts and toasted bread. Some mild spicy phenols. Crackery malts. A hint of juicy fruit.

Pours clear pale amber/burnt orange. Foamy off-white head with good lacing and retention.

Juicy bitter hops upfront on the palate. Follows quickly with slightly sweet honey malt leaving lingering grapefruit peel and racy bitterness. Graham cracker and orange marmalade. Assertively bitter. Hop resin seems to linger for a while.
Medium full body with medium low carbonation. Somewhat creamy. Dry with lingering bitterness.

Like many of Anchor's beers, there seems to be an English soul behind their American styles. I find that to be a good thing.

 709 characters

Photo of John1985
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber color with inch of off white head. Nice balanced malt/hop aroma. Strong hop flavor up front with sweet biscuit malt middle and long complex finish. Wonderful ale!

 176 characters

Photo of Bulabeers
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

L: Nice big two fingers of white head. Golden amber colored beer. Decent lacing as you drink.
S: Floral hop aromas with some orange. Slight cough syrup smell.
T: Oranges, grapefruit, dandelions, and malty flavored
F: Nice moderate feel here.
O: This is one of the better beers Anchor does. Reminds me of a pale ale. Needs a date on the can.

 343 characters

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a light copper color with a huge foamy white head. The smell is of bread and a little fruity. The taste is of bready malts, there’s a little hint of caramel also and some sweetness from the malts. There’s a slightly acrid earthy tang to it also and a nice piney hop finish. The hop profile is reasonable and I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming at all. The hops are actually somewhere between a pale or red ale and an IPA, which I’m actually surprised this is classified as. This beer has a nice creamy quality to it also, that you rarely see in beers this light.

 585 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz. bottle, code 5NC on the back label. A new one to me from Anchor; acquired a single bottle of this as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Crisp golden orange pour; just under two fingers of frothy off-white head that stays a while, leaving lots of good fluffy lacing on the glass. Appears adequately carbonated. Looks very nice.

S - Aroma is mostly smooth, crisp, malty / yeast forward. Crisp, creamy, & appley in the nose.

T - Taste follows the nose: lots of bready malt, crisp green apple sweetness, notes of grass / hay. I'd say the yeast is in full-form here. Not particularly hoppy, dank, or resinous. Mild piney gummy resin lingers on the finish. Nicely balanced stuff. Lightly coppery / metallic water flavor.

M - Feel is very smooth, crisp, & creamy. Medium-light & easy-drinking stuff. Good crisp carbonation; feels very nice. Crisp, earthy, & appley finish. Semi-dry.

Overall, a very nice traditional take on the style from Anchor.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Weisenbeer
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Far exceeded my expectations. Now, in all candor, my expectations were zero. Especially given the fact they have been brewing this lil beauty since 1975. That said, it appears Anchor was way ahead of its time in making good craft beer. Thumbs up.

 250 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'll rate this as an apa because it never states being an ipa and it's definitely not one.
L - clear golden colour with a small white head

S - herbal hops and grain

T - follow the taste plus a good bitterness, just what you want

F - medium mouthfeel

O - a good session ale. Worked well with pizza

 301 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber-orange color with a generous off white head. Nice aromas of grapefruit, bread, and caramel. Taste is nice grapefruit resin with a slightly sweet malty background. Definitely an old-school IPA but I feel like I'm drinking history. Respect.

 244 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So much has been said about this ale. It has Anchor's 4th most ratings on BA. So, I cannot add much. And won't. Listen to the experts.

MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 4 of 4 stars and called it "an American classic, widely copied."
On the "1001" list and deservedly so for defining the American IPA as Cascade-hop forward for decades.
Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!" for similar and more reasons.
All said, for me this is one of the few ales that could make me a -- a malt-head -- into a fan of Cascade hops.

 546 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,422 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.