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: 3,425
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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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 12 oz bottle. Look is bright amber with a two finger head and sticky lacing. Smell is citrus, floral and caramel malt aromas. Taste is citrus fruit, floral hop notes and caramel malt flavors. Feel is medium light in body with a crisp clean finish.

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

Beer served in an Anchor Liberty Ale glass because of my family's undying love of this brewery I have a glass for every beer they produce. And if you had one, you'd use it when you finally got around to reviewing this particular beer. At the time of this review, this is the #32 American Pale Ale on the beeradvocate best of lists.

Beer is yellow to amber with some haze, a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing, heavy carbonation, nice retention, looks good.

Aroma is malty, like a red ale might smell, I like the aroma, mild hops, like a shadow of hops.

Can you taste the freedom? It is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, the overall beer is nice, good malt character a mild, probably about 20 IBU bitterness on the finish. The overall beer is quite drinkable. I guess it tastes good, but just isn't special to me. I would have it again if I found myself at a party with someone who thought they knew what good beer was or if I went to some ridiculous event that served this or BMC. I enjoyed it, I just wasn't blown away.

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Photo of aasher
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a light auburn in color with a light white head. It doesn't really have any overpowering aromas. Both the hops and malt are pretty subtle. It doesn't stand out in that category. It is very tasty and has a unique kind of sweetness to it. It's really kind of hard to describe but it is very appealing. I really enjoyed it. It drinks well, pretty light in consistency and has good carbonation to it. It's very drinkable, especially for a pale.

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a nice two finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus and fresh pine, bready and light bisquit malt; slightly floral and quite pleasant. Flavor of light neutral malt with a hint of wheat, light citrus subdued at first, but then developing a good citrus and pine bitterness that lasts into a lingering hoppy finish that reveals the light biscuit from the aroma. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Kind of old fashioned by American IPA standards and less malty than an English IPA, this must have been a bright, fresh look at the style when it was introduced. It still is quite enjoyable, smelling good and leaving a great aftertasted of flavorful hops with a good level of bitterness. The general profile reminds me a lot of the base for the holiday ale, but without the spicing. Nicely done and a credit to the early craft days that it has stood up so well.

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

Pours a nice amber color with a thick head. Some lacing was produced. The aroma was of malt, hops, and citrus. Malt, caramel, slightly higher bitterness, and a mellow honey tone rounded out the flavor.

The mouthfeel was smooth. A slight dryness was detected after swallowing. The bitterness lingered on the tongue for a few seconds along with a mellow caramel flavor. This beer is extremely drinkable and makes a great session beer.

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

A: poured a pale straw yellow with yellow highlights that had a thin head a left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: right off the bat I got big bready malty notes with slight hop and citrus notes. There is also a little cream aroma as well in the mix.

T: I guess there is some cream characters cause its also on the taste buds which was quite surprising on a pale ale. Along with the cream notes I got a malts, citrus, and very slight hop notes.

M: the brew was medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a sweet creamy and very slight hoppy finish.

D: this beer really drank quite welll but was a little too sweet for a pale ale, don't get me wrong it was still a tasty beer.

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

Poured into a Anchor Steam Glass. Was golden in color with excellent carbonation, but a small head that disappeared fast. Not much lacing afterwards as well. Nice malty, hoppy scents. It does taste a little different than other APAs I've had. Goes down really smooth, not much of a bite afterwards though. Very drinkable and would make a nice session brew at 6%.

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Photo of liamt07
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6-pack from the LCBO, 330ml into a pint glass. Best before October 2013. Listed at 5.9%ABV.

Poured a golden orange with a great white head and above average retention. Sheets of lacing. Nose has some grassy hops and pale malts, crisp crackery notes and ligth grains. Taste is again lightly grassy, lightly caramelized malts, pale malts, grains a good hop flavour. Very mild citrus in the finish. Medium body with a good bitterness in the finish. Medium high carbonation with a touch of alcohol. Good drinkability, with some likeness to some Kellerbiers and EIPA's I've previously had.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The main thing I'm getting out of this beer is crisp hops. There's a backbone of coppery caramel, but it's really dominated by the hops. The hops profile seems a mix of american and european to me. It's fairly grassy but there's also a citrus edge to it that keeps it from getting too earthy.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden/ brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of piney hops. Taste is also piney hops up front, a touch of malt, bitter at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to reviewing this one. Poured in to Bruery tulip. Best Before Date of 3/2014??? Is that right?

Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Cloudy peach colour with some yellow glow around the edges. Half a finger of bright white head that receded to a thin film on the top of the beer.

S - Floral/earthy/grassy hop aroma up front with moderate bitterness. Not much of a malt presence.

T - A good bitterness up front with a big grassy and herbal flavour. The hop flavours are very fresh. A touch of sweetness from the malt bill is present.

M - Medium body, slightly dry. Nice resiny hop oils are present. Low to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of WesWes
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a solid malty scent with hops sneaking in behind it. The taste is good. I has a creamy malt palate with mild flavor hops. It goes down easy and finishes smooth. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a real good drinker; a fine brew for any day.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml bottle and into a pint glass, on to the beer:

It's a darker blonde in color with an alright head. Smells of lemon pastry, cereals, and faint hops. The flavor reminds me of buttered bread, with tart lemon that sticks to the tongue. The barley malt shines through as well, with a limited appearance from the hops. It doesn't have as many by-products in the taste as other pale ales do.

American brewing has come a long way since this brews introduction back in 1975. If you're looking for an "old school" beer, you can't go wrong with Liberty Ale.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden orange-yellow with a white head. The aroma is grassy and resiny hops, but is a little faint. The flavor is citrus and grassy hops. There is medium bitterness with a nice orange flavored aftertaste. There is also some light pine flavors in the beer. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. 12 oz bottle poured into a mug. Murky strange colored body, burnt orange. Some lace.

S. Clean yeast and bread notes.

T. Pretty solid and malty, with a very delicate hop character. Toffee notes. Pretty solid overall.

M. Medium bodied and fairly smooth.

D. Another quality beer from the anchor brewery, though I think their Christmas Ale is lighter than in past years.

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Photo of dar482
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a hazy yellow and orange.

The aroma is quite big on fresh grapefruit and then some biscuit malt. A very nice aroma.

The taste is fantastic as it hits you with tons of grapefruit. Then it has a nice amount of malt and a lasting bitterness. It's very citrus hoppy and then a great malt backbone.

I would say this is more of the hoppy American pale ales than truly an IPA. It does push the boundaries though. I was pleasantly surprised by this. Fantastic citrus hoppy pale ale.

It's darn impressive that this was brewed in 1975, before Sierra Nevada's groundbreaking pale ale. This beer is an under appreciated classic.

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

I used to drrink this long ago and realized I had not only not reviewed it, I hadn't even drank any in a long time, so I decided to get a six pack of it. Pours dark golden with a big white head that fades to a cap. The smell is all piney and citrusy hops. There is a light malt profile lurking in the background. The taste leans to the piney side, but with a grapefruit peel backbite. Mouthfeel is clean and a bit on the thin side like some of the other classic West Coast IPAs. Drinks well with its refreshingly bitter bite and huge pine aftertaste. It is essential to drink this beer fresh to really experience its glory- I'd forgotten just how good this stuff can be. I think I'm going to add itt back into my IPA rotation.

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Photo of plaid75
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice deep copper hue with a one finger creamy head. Good retention and lacing as well.

The smell was a very complex arrangement of hop, citrus, apricot and clove. Really a very nice aroma.

The tatse was in line with the smell. Very complex and spicy, with a bit of a sweet finish.

The moutfeel was nice, but a bit on the thick side.

The heavier mouthfeel detracted from an otherwise very drinkable ale.

Overall an above average APA in terms of flavor and aroma complexity. If you like this, check out Blue Point Hoptical Illusion.

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

Poured from cool, old-fashioned looking 22oz brown bottle into my Paulaner Maßkrug.

Appearance: very slightly hazy orange hue with a mountain of frothy ivory foam. Maybe I was a bit too enthusiastic on the pour, because those 22 oz of beer produced enough foam to fill my 1 liter Maßkrug to the top; we're talking 7 fingers of foam here. Bam!

Smell: balanced aroma of citrusy hops and slightly sweet, caramelly malt. It is a well-executed take on a basic design.

Taste: first to hit are some biting, citrusy hops, followed by a whack of sweet malt. This then slowly peters away into a nice bitterness and finishes rather clean. I love the dynamics of this beer! Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: even my crazy pour did not sap this beer of all its carbonation. Medium body with enough carbonation to approach creamy. Darn good for the style.

Drinkability: refreshing and tasty; what more do you need in a pale ale? I haven't see this beer around much up here, so I'm glad I finally had a chance to taste it. I just wish I could get it on a more regular basis.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A distant yellow daisy that, thanks to a fuzzing haze, appears to be falling out of focus. The constant flurry of bubbles doesn't help to sharpen the image, instead it makes the focal point more dizzying. Still, the beer emits a healthy glow when up to the light and its head is ultra creamy, resilient and sticky. Fluffy blanket and soapy drapes make nice decor for any beer.

The aroma is infinitely one thing: hoppy. The vibrant, floral note of green hop combs perfumes the room like a budding summer garden or an enchanted fairy-tale forest. The fragrance doesn't perspire bitter resins or acidic citrus piths like the more modern examples; this is a bouquet redolent of mother nature in her most straightforward and pristine.

The pleasant, perfumed aura of hops is noticeably present in taste as well. This doesn't stem from an overly copious addition but rather from a simple and bare malt bill. The use of pale malt, plain and hardly toasted, leaves a flavour bare of any caramelization, any graininess, any abundance of sweetness. As result, it is a canvas left open for only hops to paint.

I can't say the bitterness isn't assertive but I maintain it's nature to be quite docile. It won't conclude your sips early nor will it linger in the aftertaste. It is just enough to assert quench. The carbonation is considerably low, which veers the beer away from the quaffing category and nearer to that of slow-paced appreciative sips. Actually, I think it bridges the two.

Although perhaps not by today's standards, this is an incredibly hoppy beer. For a time, it was one of the only hoppy beers and is arguably responsible for gearing people's tastes towards that style. I don't think it would be wrong to consider all definably aggressively hopped beers (DIPA's definitely included) to be descendants of Anchor's Liberty Ale.

The connection is greater than that these styles originated around that area of the country. The idea of upping the alcohol and cramming pale ales with gluttonous amounts of hops (in essence making the beer 'bigger, stronger, better') is undeniably reflective of an American mentality. As its name would suggest, there's nothing more American than a Liberty Ale.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper color., pours with a solid cream colored head. A definite citrusy aroma wafts from the glass to my nose. There is a good amount of body to this beer, and it goes along well with a nice American hop (Cascade) character, in both the aroma and flavor departments. This beer finishes with a nice pleasing bitterness that hits ones tongue. At its best this beer is overflowing with American hop character, a wonderful hop-citrus character. Backed by a solid amount of malt backbone that helps this pioneering beer stand tall. Unfortunately this beer does not travel well. Anywhere I have had this beer a significant distance from the brewery, it is merely a solid good above average beer. When it is fresh though it is world class. So all of you Liberty naysayers get thee to the brewery to really experience this beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for around $1.50... poured into a standard shaker pint still listening to Digweed's Transitions V.3.

Big Big head that towered close to an inch out of the glass while never leaving a dribble trickle down the side of the glass... very gradually leaving behind a very sticky lacing that clings to the entire glass. Slightly hazy but still with a nice polished gold color.

Citrus and floral hop notes dominate the aroma... fruity yeasty malt follows.

Very good bitterness with the perfect amount of malty sweetness to balanced... there is still a slight yeasty fruitiness mid palate that cuts to a subtle earthiness.. everything is balanced very well by a toasty caramel maltiness.... finishes with a fresh citrus blast. Great body... with a classic dialed in creaminess.... I love this beer... a true pioneer in the craft beer movement... A big cheers to Fritz.

This is another of the APA's I should always have on hand, but others cloud up my purchasing judgement.... No doubt a session APA, but be careful.. the drinkability could leave a mark.

When I have this beer, I always think about what others thought when it first came out 30+ years ago... I bet many thought the hops were going to strip the enamel off their teeth... leaving them in pain and with no useable taste buds... Ahhh! How times have changed?

Edit... intitially reviewed this as an AIPA, changed my review for the better to a APA.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle that looks like it says 5FL ion the back label. Sampled on July 13, 2013.

The color is a hazy orange-amber with a soft off-white head that simmers on top throughout.

The hoppy aroma is more earthy than floral with pale malts, sugar, and herbs on the nose as well.

The body is decent and in the medium range.

This is quite easy to drink. The hop bitterness is more subtle than many American IPA's I have had and that makes it that much better. There is a different citrus thing going on the background that adds to the bitterness.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,425 ratings.
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