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: 3,416
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 dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some moderate golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a medium sized two finger thick cap in the center surrounded by a very thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/lemon zest and floral hops over the top of a pale + grainy malt body.

T: Upfront there is an initial sweetness from the grainy and pale malts along with a touch of biscuit malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/lemon zest and floral hops with just a hint of spicy hops. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness is present.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and pretty enjoyable though I wonder how much better this would be fresh on the west coast vs. on the east coast (there is a slight hint of fading hops in my opinion). Could put down a couple of these though with the 5.9% ABV it is probably a touch strong for a session beer. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$1.99 single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

You're all out? Out having a good time?

Hey, that's awesome.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper body with a tall, creamy white head.

Smell: Flowery aroma of biscuits and cracked pepper.

Taste: Mild, sweet biscuit and peach flavors with another dose of cracked pepper. There's a little touch of grapefruit in otherwise spicy hop character. Finishes dry with a mild tea-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Yessiree, I think it's one of the great things in life, to go out on a holiday such as today and have a killer time with your fr-- with your friends.

Good times, huh!! That's what it's all about.

Hell yeah.


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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy goldenrod. The head is large after an aggressive pour, is cream in color and looks soft and pillowy. It leaves an average amount of lace in partial rings as it settles to an uneven film on top of the beer.

One sniff of the hoppy aroma is all it takes to tell me that Anchor Liberty Ale will be good beer. Citrusy and floral elements dominate. The hops don't make as much of a splash on the palate as they do in the nose, but this is still damn tasty beer. The malt provides the needed support as the bitterness weaves in and out.

Liberty tastes slightly sweeter than most pale ales and is a little more fruity as well. Some graininess peeks through, but it's easily ignored. The finish is medium in length and is both softly bitter and lingeringly sweet. The mouthfeel is on the substantial side for the style, which is a definite plus.

Anchor Liberty Ale doesn't appear to have any weak spots. There's no question that it's one of the better pale ales that I've had yet. Best of all, since it's readily available at my local grocery, I'll be coming back to it fairly often.

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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 russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden/bronze witha 3 fingers offwhite head. Good lacing & head retention

Smell: Floral hops & malt

Taste: big floral hop presence followed by fruityness. Finishes dry & hoppy (piney)

MF: Thin to medium body with pretty good carbonation & great balance

Drinks pretty easy will work as session beer for me, not in the upper echelon of APA's but nothing to pass by either. I remember whein it was just this , SNPA & Ballards for this style. Tried & true

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice and clean amber color with a good sized head of about two inches that falls down quickly but leaves a ton of lacing down the sides of the glass. aroma is light grains, hints of a small citric hop profile, touches of bready grains and a smooth biscuit like touch. Clean and very crisp taste, starts with a light touch of hops and follows through with nice bready malt character that comes through cleanly on the palate and offers a decent amount of balance. Nice and light, well carbonated body makes it a breeze to drink and seriously one of the most well rounded pales in terms of solid drinkability.

Overall a very nice representation of the style. Light, clean and easy to drink. Would have no issues with going after this one again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Al's of Hampden as part of a mix-a-six. Poured chilled from the stubby brown 12oz into a willybecker.

The color is like an arnold palmer both golden and amber w/ a quick to settle white cap of tiny condensed beads - lace is spotty and carbonation slowly rises in the liquid. The smell is a blend of fruit aromas, lots of orange and slightly lemony noble type hop scent. There is a mild malt essence in the nose w/ light sweetness compimenting the bitter citrus odors. The feel is good with lots of tangy fruity tangy-ness wiht slight spice and hints of mild malt backing with subtle dry and bitter finish.

lemony hop flavors with tangy elelments of orange rind and slightly bitter taste of herbs with a slightly apple-jack type quality. The overall hoppiness is not over the top assertive but it has a nice clean bitterness with lots of hop flavor and only a mild amount of citrus zest astringency. The light floral hop elements are great adding to the complexity of the flavor while the malt is sturdy but not very forward either. A really great Pale, plenty of hop taste with mild malt gives light fruitiness of the yeast an effortless yet delectable balance for the beer as a whole. I think Anchor Liberty is highly drinkable, a quenching satisfying and well made ale.

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Photo of smcolw
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--A light bronze amber with a touch of cloudiness. An underperforming head that dissipates quickly, although it creates beautiful, if short-lasting, lace.

Smell--predominately hop as expected. Nice balance for an American IPA.

Taste--Wonderfully complex with a light malt up front and a strong lingering bitter aftertaste from the hops.

Mouthfeel--Surprisingly chewy for this style; coats the palate

Drinkability--Delicious and refreshing, the heaviness would work well with spicier foods. I believe this would be an excellent choice with lamb.

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Photo of Jason
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pasty of white lace, hazed unfiltered orange colour. Earthy yeast, citrusy-minty hop, fruity esters, raw honey-like and biscuity malt sweetness make up the aroma.

Well rounded bitterness is the first to be noticed, smooth malt sweetness lines the palate with tones of biscuits and raw honey. Hops are very flavourful ranging form coarse bitterness to citrus, mildly minty to raw herbal. Touch of yeast and fruity esters show its ale prowess.

Fresh and in your face, a real American ale to be had here and one that I will happily make space in my beer fridge for.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a hazy, pale golden color with a fluffy white head and amazing lazing.

S: The smell is very citrusy, mostly orange and lemon, along with a fair amount of spicy hops. The malt smell is present, but definitely not the main attraction.

T: The taste is fairly light, but enjoyable. There are the same citrus and spicy hop flavors that were present in the nose, and a nice bready malt.

M: The body is a bit thin and light, and the carbonation is quite abundant.

D: This is a great session pale ale. I haven't had one of these in quite awhile, but I remember why I used to enjoy it so much.

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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 Gagnonsux
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let me preface my review by saying that I haven't quite gotten into really hoppy beers yet. I'm still pretty much a newbie and a hoppy beer like Liberty Ale is new to me. Still, I did like Liberty Ale quite a lot. I didn't smell to much other than hops, but the appearance is an excellent orange copper with a think head. My first couple of sips of Liberty Ale seemed too bitter, but I quickly settled in and began to enjoy. Beneath the hops I tasted a little citrus and perhaps some spice. Liberty Ale is fairly drinkable, but a little to filling for a long session and maybe a little too hoppy for a newbie such as myself.

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

A – Solid orange gold. Bone white head is creamy with nice retention.

S – Sweet malt, lightly floral. Tart wheat and honey as it warms.

T – Waxy herbal bitters up front. Touch of malt in the center into a dry, almost dusty finish.

M – Medium light body. Dry, lightly tart finish.

O – Surprisingly dry with a nice hop character.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Brewing delivers quite a beer here. A wonderful representation of an American Pale Ale. Pours a amber light copper orangish hue with a full heaping white head. A great amount of fruit aroma that is unbelieveable. Within in the first sip, the sweetness of the malts dominates the flavor, but a great taste of citrus hop flavor fills the senses balancing this beer perfectly to the likings of my taste buds. I will put it like this, this beer is so fine if it were a woman, I would drink it's bathwater. An great classic taste that is amazingly drinkable.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep shade of golden with a fluffy white head that dissipates to form a cap but leaves lots of lace on the way down. Smells of citrus, caramel, maybe a bit of fruit. Taste is sweet with caramel, slight grain midway followed buy some fruit that seems like pear, lots of citrus to balance it out. Finishes sweet and slightly bitter. Nice nice balance. Body is medium to thick, mouthfeel is creamy, carbonation is crisp. Its been a while since I've had this one, too long really. I remember trying this 15 years ago and thinking how bitter it was, now I find it incredibly balanced. This is a great beer!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with just a little head. Nose is slightly citrus-esqe with obvious hop influence. Flavor is not what I had expected. Starts off with a deep but not overdone hop flavor. Moves to a slight citrus accent. Then to a smoothly bitter tone. Then you are left with a clean hop flavor on your tongue. High marks for such a ride through the flavors. Mouthfeel is thick with a good carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of tdm168
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish amber color with a quarter inch of foamy, dense white head that has good retention. The nose is very citrusy with notes of mango, grapefruit, orange, and lemon. The flavor is citrusy as well with a citrus-forward hop character up front followed by mellow, bready malts. The carbonation is a little heavy leading to a light to medium body.

This is an alright APA. In my opinion the hops are a little too fruity and there isn't enough of a malt backbone to support balance. It's drinkable, if maybe a little heavily carbonated.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Out of the bottle a nice simple off white fistfull head very styrofoam in character is made. Settles fairly quickly. Body color has a nice light orange amber brass to it. Fairly clear too, pretty nice looking beer.

Bouquet seems to have a faint sweet malt, hint of cinnamon. Fairly solid, nothing too impressive, just a little bit better than ordinary.

Interesting palate. A subdued hop bent comes with a faint rolling brown detuned sugar. Malt action seems to be there, with a light backbone playing nicely. Real nice nearly dank and faint citrus hop action on this, with a good toasty dry finish.

Overall, pretty solid tasting pale ale. Sort of almost reminds me of a crisp bock lager too.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a very appealling somewhat cloudy yellow with a nice thick creamy head that lingered. It's smell was impressive. It had the floral, hoppy scent with hints of fruitness that's very pleasant. The taste was a bit weaker than the smell led me to believe. It was very refreshing and appetizing. I recommend it with a meal. I imagine it would go well with chicken, pork or fish. It was drinkable, but a bit too bitter for more than one or two at a time.

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Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely allmond brown, average head with some retention, clean and smooth malt profile, bready with hints of oatmeal and biscuits. Vibrant and citrusy hops. Grapefruit. Smooth & velvety on the tongue. Goes great with salads, nuts and cheese. All around great ale.

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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 GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazy, vibrant, yellow-gold coloring with a sparse film covering the surface. Slow, steady carbonation bubbling throughout the beer. Aromas are flowery and citrus sweet, with a subtle hops presence in the background. Flavors are light and effervescent, with grapefruit and blood orange citrus sweet flavors, and a mild, dry hops profile that cleans up the palate. The malty representation is mild, with a slight, full body sweetness in the backbone of the brew. The aftertaste is slightly roasted, with the citrus sweet blend taking the biggest space on the palate. Good, clean, slightly drying finish, with the hops bitters and citrus tart both doing their part to clear the palate. Great beer.

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Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours copper/yellow. One-finger DENSE off-white head that makes me smile. Lotsa lacing left.

S- Spicey, piney, citrus.

T- Crisp, more citrus. Delicious.

M- So refreshing!. the hops sting your tongue and leave you wanting more.

D/O- Drinking about 3 or 4 of these would leave me one happy camper. Good example of when session beer meets something that actually tastes like something worth drinking.

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

11/29/04- Purchased at the local Safeway in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Very nice light amber color with a small head and better than average lacing.

Smell- Heavy citrus scent. At first I thought lemons, but now I am thinking of a more sweeter fruit.

Taste- More hops than I was expecting. Nice malt flavor. Tastes like sweet honey and a kick of hops to go with it. A bit of a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation works well with this beer, thus it goes down very smooth.

Drinkability- Happy I finally tried this one. Have been an Anchor Steam man for a while, but never got around to tying the Liberty. Guess I'll hit the porter sometime soon. My second straight Anchor style 4's across the board review.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,416 ratings.
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