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: 3,422
Photo of Bunman3
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without sampling an Anchor product. I found this gem in a pint plus 6 at the bottle shop across the street from our hotel. The packaging, look and feel are fantastic. Definitely in the APA spectrum - I don't have much to add to previous reviews.

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Photo of HenryPorter7777
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Well balanced, clean American IPA; easy-drinking with nice, long dry finish. Natural ingredients brewed with a dry hop style. Excellent with antipasto platter. Available year round.
ABV 5.9%

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color: Tea with orange reflections and light mist. Head high, ecru, very durable.
Aroma: sweet fruits, honey, light caramel.
Taste: lots of sweet fruit, are the tropics and citrus. What a sometimes noticeable accents are forest. Strong point of the Liberty Ale it is also bitterness, without a beer can to be poor. Grapefruit resin, fantastically balances the sweetness of the fruit.

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

Eh' . . . average beer. Sweet, smooth, malty, bitter . . . Not bad. In my opinion not much like an ipa. More like a pale ale. These Anchor beers all taste the same. Except Steam, that's the only one that stands out.

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Photo of Alpha309
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a straw to golden color. A little bit of murkiness. About a finger of fine white head that retains perfectly.

Smells of biscuit or wafers. A touch of sugary smell in there as well.

First thing on the tongue is a sweet tanginess, followed by an earthy and peppery kick. Some citrus peel flavor as well.

Very high in carbonation. Very light in the mouth. Almost no stickiness.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours light gold, slight haze, small white head
S-Citrus and floral hops, orange, pineapple, biscuit malts
T-Sour and bitter on the front end, finishes sweet and malty.
M-Creamy, medium body, thick yet very drinkable.
O-This beer is interesting, I wasn't expecting the sourness, but the hops and malts combine well to make it a tasty and complex trifecta of flavors.

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Photo of SGT_Cookie
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super Short and sweet review, great APA. I tried the anchor steam beer, which was also a good choice, but this one had an amazing aroma, a rather crisp taste followed by a dry after taste. Just what you would expect from an APA. Reminds me of a sweetwater 420 except a little dry. Great beer overall

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Photo of ctylinebeer
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. From the mix and match at my work.

L - amber color with gold highlights. Cloudy hue. Two finger head with medium-light lacing. Nice ring around the glass.

S - soft grapefruit aroma. Citrus feel all around.

T - subtle grapefruit notes but overpowered by the citrus spice on the back. Little bit of pine also.

F - very carbonated but crisp and clean. Good amount of body but not too much.

O - very opposite from the regular Anchor IPA. File this under citrus IPA, but I like the pine notes. Cheers!

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Slightly cloudy orange-bronze with good carbonation, huge fluffy soft velvet white head. Smell is wet grain, faint hop spice. Flavor is pilsner malt (which tastes like dirt to me), slightly vegetal hops, slight spice. Dry, with mild bitterness. Not an enjoyable drinking experience. Feel is great, perfect body weight and carbonation, that lasting head provides a pillowy cushion for the lips.
Anchor sometimes confuses me. Amazing beers, beers that make one scratch their head. This is the latter. How is it an IPA? Forget that, how is it even supposed to be good? *Sigh*

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Photo of SABERG
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle date code of August 3rd 2015 into an English Pint glass.
A - Wonderful clarity, light copper colored, steady carbonation, ending in an off white cap. Lacing hangs like avalanche waiting to fall.
S - Easy citrus notes, malt is delicate, warm bread and bit of caramel. lovely and refined.
T - Slightly spicy, and a bit of English Breakfast Cracker. the base is solid with a bit of a peppery element.
M - Medium in body, carbonation is near perfect, starts with a quick swipe across the palate then a long
calling card that is lightly bitter with a kiss on its way out the door.
O - Overlooked on my part, this is a standard bearer of the style.
Cheers all

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber poured into a Stone glass.Smell is very light citrus,A lttle hoppy.Taste is just like it smells,hoppy with slight citrus.There is just no wow factor with this beer.There are just so many better beers out there,there is just no sense in a repeat performance.

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Photo of frasergrove
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Definitely a beer that doesn't get it's due with Anchor's Steam Beer attracting most (all?) Of the attention...a very clear light golden body with a tinge of amber, streams of tiny bubbles to a quickly dissipating head. Aroma isn't overwhelming, light and balanced - some orange a grapefruit. Pleasant biterness, smooth body. A delicious beer.

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Photo of stevoj
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The grand daddy of the American craft movement, points just for being first. Crisp, light amber, sharp hops, small head, light citrus aroma, taste brings on some strength wit the hops. Lingering bitterness. Nice.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange color with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Malt, citrus, caramel
T: Matches the nose- malt, light hops (floral/citrus), a bit of caramel
M: Light-medium bodied, clean
O: Crisp, clean and tasty. Not as hoppy/complex as many more modernly crafted ales but solid as is and you can taste how it set the stage for modern brews

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Globe, Copenhagen - Pours clear amber with a small white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - light citrus hops. Taste - light malty with a crisp light bitter finish. Nice easy drinking beer.

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Photo of rickenclacker
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would not exactly call this an IPA, more like an equivalent to Bells Two Hearted Ale, in taste and Alcohol content.
I am not sure what the attraction is to the smell, it is not suppose to go in your nose.

A strong brew if you are looking to expel stress, forget your problems, and not drive anywhere. Enough bitterness to exclude from a hot summers day drink, but not as hoppy as, say Red Hook IPA. Excellent overall.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is citrus and a general English-style maltiness. The flavor is citrus, very mild hop resin, spices, malts, Anchor proprietary yeast and a bitter finish.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 1/28/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy of white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/floral hops and moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. This one straddles the line between an IPA and pale ale in bitterness and malt character, but I’d be much more inclined to think of it as a pale ale overall. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of robear
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Forget Ballantine- this is a craft beer lover's trip back in time. Bright in the glass (if somewhat thin on the head), Liberty Ale is inviting in the glass. That invitation continues in the grassy, lemon-laced aroma. Flavor follows suit, a touch of lemon followed by more robust fruit salad and finishing with a pleasing bitterness.

I'd recommend this if you're studying old American IPA's, or want something with a bit more earthiness than today's "light" IPA's.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: slight haze; copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: earthy, a little caramel, a little floral;

T: earthy all the way through; floral and caramel in the background; moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O I appreciate the historical significance of this beer, but other brewers have taken the style to new heights;

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish head shaped pint glass.

Anybody heard of this indie gem? It pours a mostly clear amber-gold topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises earthy herbs, light ocean breeze, mild sourdough, and a hint of orange rind in the distance. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a mild piney bite for good measure. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice enough IPA, one that doesn't conform to modern standards of outlandish over-hopping, but also one that doesn't speak to me regardless.

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Photo of JLaw55
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Let me start by saying, you cannot approach this beer with the modern day idea of an IPA in mind. You would be sorrowfully disappointed if you do. It is not even close to that. You have to remember that this beer was brewed in 1975, back before the hard hitting in your face American IPA style was truly born. With that said, this is an excellent brew.

This pours a golden/amber color, completely clear, with a decent amount of bubbles rising throughout. A small quarter inch of fizzy white head quickly dissipates into some small lacing around the edges. The smell is that of grain, wheat, mild grass, and yeast. It already is making me think of fresh baked bread or standing in a wheat field on a warm summers day.

Taste is subtle, but expert in it's execution. This is a well made beer. The flavors are the same as the smell; grains, yeast, wheat, mild grass, and just an ever so slight hint of citrus. It all comes together in perfect balance and closes with a crisp, dry finish. It keeps you wanting to come back for more.

Mouth feel was light and refreshing. This is smooth and super drinkable.

This was an excellent brew and a pleasant surprise. The best way I could describe this would be as if a pilsner or lager had been mixed with a super mild ipa. It straddles the line somewhere in between, with a heavy emphasis on the lager side's easy drinkability and subtle execution. It is simple, but expert in it's execution. If I had one quibble, it would be that I wish I had bought more than the one bottle.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Liberty Ale is--if not technically, then at least spiritually--the first IPA of the American craft beer movement. And it gets a lot of respect on those grounds, but my sense is a lot of people think it's an important beer that history has passed by.

But I disagree, because I think Liberty Ale is still an excellent, excellent beer. I'll save you the detailed review, but this is a well-balanced, drinkable and refreshing beer that nevertheless manages to showcase both its malt and hop content--interesting without being inaccessible, and it's shockingly sessionable. A bit of piney resin, a bit of citrus, some crisp, clean malt, and the Anchor yeast make for a great beer. I honestly wish more breweries would take Liberty as a model when thinking about drinkability.

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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a DIPA. Pours hazy orange with a nice head that settles leaving some lacing on the side.
S - Earthy aroma is not like an IPA.
T - Malty, bready and some caramel.
M - Medium mouth feel.
O - I opened this as a change of pace from all the hoppy/piney/citrus IPA's I've been drinking. Forgot how good this beer is!

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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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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,422 ratings.
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