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 blitheringidiot
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a good ole pint. Brownie points for the stylish bottle cap with a, you guessed it: Anchor on it.

Dark orange crystal clear appearance. Huge frothy sticky head with (go ahead - sing the song) tiny bubbles.

Orange peel and bright pine resin hop aroma.

Orange citrous hoppy flavor with citrus undertones and pleasant crisp ginger ale body. Taste stayed upon the front sides of my tongue. Mild carbonation gives way to a short lasting flavor. Aftertaste is mild, a little sticky from the sweetness. Oh, and 6% ABV doesn't hide either. 60/40 balance to the side of hops.

Soft carbonation. Medium body.

As the beer warmed, the flavor was consistent. A refreshing fluctuating balance of 2 row barley malt and hops. Highly recomended for the 50/50 malt and hop flavor fan. Fine example. Subdued aftertaste.

Let's go with a 4.0 drinkability. I could wack back these babies 'til closing time, no problem.

Last swigs: Re-reviewed 12/13/04. Price? I shelled out $7+ smackers for a sixer in Jersey. Worth it. Anchor has been a consistent performer. Good job!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

Pours a light amber color with a thin head. Marvalous fresh hop aroma…peppery, floral, west-coast aromas…pine-like. The taste always seems surprisingly malty. Nice, tip-of-the-tongue sweetness. Moderate to full-body. Finish is refreshingly bitter and biting. This is a great session brew….I’ve always been impressed with this one, and found it to be one of the best beers from Anchor.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent palate cleanser here, and an excellent ale. Pours a nice, clear, honey amber color with a moderate ecru head that lasts several minutes and never really disappears, except for some sheet lacing it leaves behind. Floral, pine, and lemony citrus dominate the nose. Mouthfeel seems on the thick side and has a touch of pleasant, hop bite. Taste is toffee/lemon in the beginning. Caramel/toffee flavor holds on toward the finish, but the lemon and pine of those American westcoast hops constantly hold your attention. Has a dry and hoppy finish and aftertaste. Very well balanced overall, and has a nicely assertive taste that would make this a fine session ale.

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

Pours a slightly hazy peach color with a medium sized foamy off white head. The head stayed around through most of the beer and left decent lace. Noticeable carbonation. Aromas of sweet malt, tropical fruits(mainly pineapple) and a spicy hoppiness with citrus undertones.
Good balance of flavor. Sweet malt, caramel, tangy citrus fruit and spicy hops. Finishes dry with a nicely lingering bitterness.
Medium bodied with a rich, full and creamy mouthfeel. Fizzy carbonation that hurts the drinkability. Haven't had this one in years...silly me! Good solid 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 Stingray5
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber with orange hues. A lot of fruity hops in the aroma, peach, with some toasted malt. Mouthful reveals nice carbonation, although a little on the thin side. Taste is very enjoyable, more peach and fruit in the taste, juicy, juicy hops, but different than the aroma. A nice light toasted maltiness. Hop assault ensues in the finish, and this is a good thing.

I had no idea what this brew was like. I grabbed it and tried it with no preconceived notions. I was pleasantly surprised. An excellent pale ale.

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Photo of palma
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold body with a very smooth beige head that leaves a long lasting smooth lace.
I was surprised by the smell. Extremely floral. Nice, but not really what I want to smell when drinking a beer.
Taste was light malt, fruity, honey, and a little spice. Clean and crisp. A noticeably dry end.
Mouthfeel was good with light to medium carbonation. Light bodied.

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Photo of IceAce
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'Twas New Years eve day and the holiday included a visit to an old friend in the town pub. I hadn't seen my friend at the pub in quite some time, so I was caught slightly off-guard by her appearance.

The gleaming new 'Liberty' tap replaced the recently departed OSA and we just had to spend some time together getting re-acquainted. The first pint was delivered in short order and sure looked inviting.

Liberty has always had the ability to make even the most bland of pint glasses (straight-sided Libby) look attractive, and today's version was no different. The deep bronze color was topped off with a 1" coller of rocky head...not quite white, not quite carmel, but somewhere in between.

With a clean palate the tongue is awash with flavor...malt first and hops after the finish. The complex malty flavor seems to satisfy and not overwhelm...also a just description for the hops. If only one word were allowed for descriptive terms, it would be 'balance'.

While I have many new friends behind the bar now, it's always great to run in to the one that turned me on first...

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

This was a little bit hoppy for me, but good none the less. It was a cloudy straw color with a foamy white head. The head was pretty thick and lasted a short while. Pretty good head retention overall. The smell was kind of like an old boat with hops. I don't know where that came from, but that was the first thing I thought of. The taste was very similar, but had hints of citrus type fruits. All in all a good beer, especially if you like the hoppy type beers.

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Photo of HochFliegen
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great beer. Pours a nice amberish color and a good head that slowly dissapates. The smell strong and of a bouquet of flowers very pleasant. The taste is very well balanced between hop bitterness and maltiness with a crisp aftertaste. I really The mouthfeel was just right for this style of beer. I really enjoyed this one. Wish I could find it in Utah.

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

Dark amber color with a nice frothy head that lingers fairly well. Noticably hoppy aroma. Excellent taste marked by strong hops and smooth malt. Bitterness lingers on tongue long after swallowing. I really like this beer. Somewhat akin to Sam Adams Boston Lager in the hoppiness, though not as malty in my opinion. Could be the ale vs. lager as well. Overall an excellent offering that I would happily drink again and again.

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Photo of Ardon
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber appearance with a nice smooth frothy head. Mild malty aroma, very earthy smell but with a sweet balance. Soft malty taste on the pallet with a long bitter hop finish. Slightly sweet with that same earthiness as in the smell. Fantastic balance of malt and hops. I used to think this was a good session beer, yet now, like Anchor Steam, I find it very filling, like a meal in a glass.

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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 loganmule
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved the citrus nose and the head, which starts big and then settles.

Also nice texture, slightly thick, but not overly so. Initial citrus is followed by malt and light hops. Might have a slightly bitter finish to those not into hops.

This is the tablewine of ales. Not spectacular in any way, but good enough across the board to drink day in and day out.

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Photo of AbePhroman
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack of this for $7.99. After trying it I think I overpayed. Not sure why but all Anchor beer in my area (NJ) is expensive. Maybe because it's from CA. Anyway, I did like the appearance of the bottle. Poured a golden brown with minimal lacing on the glass. Looked decent. Very hoppy IMO, more bitter than other ales. I enjoyed it, but I would rather have one of my local brews.

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

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19. Poured a golden amber, with a small white head. Collar of foam was this beer's constant companion as it journeyed down my glass. Smell was of mild sweet malts, floral hops and a touch of freshly mown grass - almost spring in a bottle. Ironic as when I bought this on Saturday there was several inches of snow on the ground.
Taste is a nicely balanced mix of mild, sweet malts and crisp citrusy hops. Really nice taste here - probably the best tasting American pale ale I've had. Mouthfeel is just what I'd expect for the style. Very drinkable. I wish there was somewhere in this area that had this - or any other Anchor product - on tap.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pourred a hazy light brown brew witn a nice foamy head with good retention. Nice aroma a strong hoppy taste (could it barley?). Complex mix of spice. Definitely one of the best american pale ale and looking forward to other Anchor products.

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Photo of SigEp
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent example of american micro. Had my first one this week. (why'd I wait so long?). pours a light-straw color with a low effervescence and minimal head. Nose is hoppy, but not over-powering, a little citrus and slightly piney. The taste is lovely, hits the perfect range of bitter for a beer that has distinctive character while still drinkable in quantity. Refreshing and uplifting. If you like Liberty Ale and you live in Fla, try Dunnedin's Piper's Pale Ale, it is remarkably similar.

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Photo of TerryW
2.94/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber orange with a good looking head. Great lace. nice looking beer.

I'm not too fussed on the smell. Initially, just out of the bottle it seems to have a chemical odour to it, like some sort of plastic. After it sits some you get lemon, malt and barley. Interesting if nothing else, buit a bit off-putting for me.

Bitter and dry to drink with a citrus finish like oranges. Tasty but doesn't blow me away.

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Photo of Hobbz
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, my old fav, grassy-assed but respectful friend has paid a visit.

What can I say about a beer that was the first real one!? It's like the one-in-a-million chance meeting of the person/place/thing that changes your life and you realize you won't ever be alone any more (though you never were -- it just seamed that way)...

Finding this beer was not the one-in-a-million, but its effect on me certainly was. In this sense and more I ascribe it perfection -- on BA, I will play by the rules and not by my emotions!

This is a bold, assertive beer in flavor and taste. I absolutely love its balance. And yet separated out, each of the main components -- for example grain-bill and hops -- has its own discernable characteristics worthy of notice (grain bitterness with malt sweetness; oily hop bite yet with a strong dry, Cascade dry-hopping). This is THE flagship American pale-/India-pale- ale before all others.

1989 perhaps, in a small, long-forgotten East Village bar where the proprietor was proudly serving up ALL Anchor products on will never be forgotten.

(PS: in this review whatever unsappy, man-ridden facades I might chose have long lost out)

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Photo of grynder33
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light amber color, quick disappearing head, First sniff was extremely flowery. Taste was fine, malty fruity and sweet, very pleasant sweetish aftertaste. The taste was perfectly fine, but I can't get past that initial aroma. It was almost like my grandma
s worst perfume.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy orange gold color with a medium white head. very floral malt aroma, with a little grassy hops. it has a sweet floral citrusy taste with a well balanced hop bitterness. a medium mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation, goes down real easy. this is very good beer, if people say this doesn't travel well, then this must be damn impressive at the brewery.

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

Nice golden copper-colored ale. A frothy off-white head that remains in a thin cap and leaves nice lacing. Aroma is initially big floral hops. As the beer warms, more fruity notes come out--apples, grapefruit, peaches,and bubblegum. Some yeast notes as well. A beautiful nose on this one. On palate, an astringent dryness upfront, followed by sweeter, fruity malt, some orange-like flavor, and a biscuity note.

A classic west-coast pale ale: a mouth-puckering dryness balancing fruity, biscuity malt. Clean, hoppy and full of character.

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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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