Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 3,457 ratings
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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Ratings: 3,457 |  Reviews: 1,577
Photo of TheRealBigC
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at St. James Infirmary

Pale golden body, great head retention

Smell was bready and what not. Definitely not a beer I'm smelling every time I sip, but an appropriate smell nonetheless. In fact, the little hint I get from going in for the sip compliments the flavor without forcing me to take in a huge sniff.

Taste and feel are excellent. It's light but flavorful. That breadiness is there with a great hop balance. It's very drinkable and tasty! Is this really an IPA? I've never had one like it!

I am taking a half point from my overall score because my burbs from this one tasted terrible!

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a slightly foamy head. The smell is excellent -- zesty floral hints, touches of grapefruit -- really nice. The taste has a bit of a zing to it, but is not overwhelming. Dry finish. Leaves just a slight lacing along the glass. Overall, a very solid american pale ale.

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Photo of BeerMandS
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a nice honey color with a light haziness. Light to no head. Faint apricot and orange come to mind on the nose. It has a nice bitterness on the palate that counter the beers sweetness and just creates a very refreshing brew. It's not a heavy beer and is great just about anytime of day or night.

Overall I would drink it everyday if I could find it in QC.


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Photo of RuudJH
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Burg Bieren in Ermelo, Netherlands.

Good steady carbonation in an orange golden beer. Thin but persistent head.
Nice aroma of lemon, pine, grass. A lot of nutty malts and belgian yeast character too.
Taste similar. Very mildly bitterness.
Soft mouthfeel, easy drinkable. Balanced.
Nice easy middle of the road ale from Anchor.

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Photo of wnh
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange-tinted straw capepd by a large creamy, foamy white head.

Gently but clearly hoppy on the nsoe, bright with a fresh-cut hay note. A little lemony, a little green. Subtle toasty malt notes underneath, and a light but bright yeasty funk/twang.

Considerably more malt-forward on the palate, showing lightly toasted dry biscuits and a subtle earthy caramel and toffee note. Hops are very light and gentle, more of an accent than anything, though a dry bitterness hits on the back of the palate.

Soft and round, medium bodied. A bit too dry, perhaps; otherwise would be quite sessionable (excepting the 6% abv).

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Photo of nickd717
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap at the brewery - review dated 6/26/2009.

Mostly clear golden-orange color with a white head.

Nice piney hop aroma balanced by sweet caramel malt and some grains.

Flavor is somewhat sweet pale and caramel malts and fresh piney/citrusy Cascade hops (was dry-hopped according to the person serving it).

Palate medium with medium-high carbonation.

A really nice APA. I feel like this is a beer that is much better fresh than even after a couple months.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a copper/gold with a thick and billowy off white head. Some lacing does occur.

S-The nose is very floral and reminiscent of an English Pale Ale to some extent. Cascade hops make their presence known and there is a hint of caramel malt.

T-Similar to the nose as Cascade hops are predominant but are balanced by some caramel malt and just a hint of toffee. It is very refreshing.

M-Nice for the style, not too thick or overly carbonated.

D-A beer one could drink many of in a session for sure.

Overall, I would place this as my second favorite American Pale Ale behind Sierra Nevada of course. I would love to drink this one on tap. It is no doubt a classic example of the style.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid orange with a small white head that fades quickly.

Smells of sweet malt some and subtle floral-fruit hop notes.

Tastes of up front sweet malt with a noble hop quality that fades into a dry, bitter finish. The flavor really blend well together.

The mouthfeel is really great as its medium bodies, dry, highly carbonated, and quite easy to drink.

This beer has a unique, delicate flavor that is really nice, and give that the beer is so easy to drink, I'd be hard pressed not to buy it again.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ducali Pizza in the North End. Served in an Anchor branded pint glass. Muted orange color, with just a minor amount of head. Smell was of pine and citrus. Nice amount of hops on the palate for an APA. Well balanced though, so it was a smooth beer to drink. Mouthfeel was enjoyable, except I thought the abv was a tad high for a pale ale. A tasty beer to drink, and a nice alternative to Anchor Steam, which is what I usually see on tap everywhere instead.

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Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Pours a pale orange color with a two finger white head that lingers yet leaves little lacing.

S- Really piney and lots of citrus from the hops.

T- Right up front I get a citrus taste from the hops but then it balances very well with the malt. The after-taste is ripe with resiny hops.

M- Good carbonation too it without being over the top.

O- Overall a decent pale ale. Not the best one ever but it is very balanced. Even if you don't like hops it is a good beer.

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Photo of cooncat
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a std. 14 oz. shaker pint glass. Fills glass all the way, with about an inch of foamy head at the top. Head isn't particularly long lasting, but does leave splashes of lacing. Color is apricot.

The nose is fruity and a bit hoppy. Nothing overwhelming in the nose, but its pleasantly lightly hopped, with citrusy fruity notes.

Taste is very much a classic pale ale, but a bit more on the fruity side. Hops win in the taste, but there's a bit of grainy malt in there too. Minimal caramel notes, which are easily dismissed. Mouthfeel is light medium, and overall impression is of a refreshing, nicely balanced pale ale. This could easily be a nice session brew for the evening. There's just enough complexity to hold the interest. Match up with pizza (I like mine plain, and then I add hot sauce of my choice). A sharp cheddar would be nice with this too.

Having had most of the other Anchor offerings, I was glad to be able to add this to a mixed 6 to complete my review of Anchor's offerings. All of Anchor's beers are solid, and you should experience them all. This pale is solid and recommended.

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've never had an Anchor Steam ale, and it is about time that I tried one. On the label they talk about being one of the smallest breweries, but how does that work when distribution by this brewery is so significant?

I poured this into a pilsner glass. The coloring had a decent amount of redness to it. The head was present, but it wasn't significant on this beer.

There was a surprising amount of fruit smell to this beer. I didn't expect this kind of flavor from a pale. This seemed more like there was some belgian style present.

In drinking this I get some apple in the beer. There is even some yeastiness to this beer.

It was decent, but the flavors in this beer didn't quite mesh.

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Photo of IPA35
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale orange colour with a white head.

The smell is citrus and pine, prehaps a hint of green apple skin. Malt is subdued by the hops a bit but it is a little caramel like.

The flavour is refreshing. Hints of citrus and a malty, spicy flavour with a good balanced hop taste to it as well. Dry finish. Nice!

Nice mouthfeel, rather thin but with just the right amounth of carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer, another piece of art by Anchor!

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Photo of fx20736
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A rough pour yielded a sweet cream colored head akin to the color of butter pecan ice cream which left scant lacing but a nice cap that stubbornly refused to recede. Liberty Ale is a hazy apricot orange and looks just like apricot jam. Hard to determine carbonation.

Aroma: wow, really amazing! Grapefruit and some pine resin and a really appealing Juicy Fruit gum smell. As the beer warms a slight caramel/ vanilla odor emerges.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, zesty, nice.

Taste: Grapefruit and pine resin hops are instantly noticeable. Unlike many West Coast beers the Cascade style hops do not wallop one in the head, rather they are very well balanced. There is a nice malt backbone as it glides down and a fruity flavor creeps in which seems like green or white grapes and bananas to me. The aftertaste is faintly hoppy with a little bit of pine resin that is restrained.

Notes: A unique beer, no doubt. Belongs in the APA category I guess. It is a great Summer Beer, refreshing and invigorating to the taste buds. It is nice to see West Coast Hops used with balance and restraint. This is a great change of pace beer, with some nice flavor notes and a beer that stands out in it's style category rather than a generic clone.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -9%
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 rtepiak
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

one of many i haven't reviewed for the sake that its so easy to find. grain solid ipa with good PH. Good color with a mild cloudiness, favorably sweet so. Not much nose outside of pine mineral hint. Palate is balanced with grain grit and a simple but well placed single hop. A bit husky mineral feel but altogether easy to drink. For scale of production, but anchor is really good at not marginalizing beer production.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a yellowish, golden amber color with puffy two finger head that dissipates very slowly.

S - Notes of earthy hops, sweet citrus, especially some lemon and zest. A bit of a bready malt backbone. Not a wallop, takes some searching to find the smells.

T - Very interesting taste. Kind of a spicy malt, with hints of zest and grass. A bit of apricot maybe? I know this might be weird, but it tastes a hint of a sorbet.

M - Good full taste, crisp and refreshing.

Overall - I thought this was an interesting beer, a unique APA in my opinion. I thought the taste was refreshing and crisp. A pretty good beer overall

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

Poured from a 350ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Pours a hazy golden colour, with a decent, lasting head.

Has a citrusy, fresh hop smell, though not to overpowering. It smells balanced.

The taste reflects the smell really. Hoppy yet balanced.

Overall a good refreshing beer. Very good.

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Photo of tgorgz
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: Into a goblet (it's all I had) from a 12-oz bottle.

A: Dark straw, almost like picked grain. A little cloudy. Great head on this beer- looks appetizing.

S:Not so much in the manner of fruit as I had thought- Hoppy, but not in the grapefruit/citrus sense. I'm not sure what kind of hops they use in this here beer, but I like 'em- English, perhaps?

T: As the senses are often linked together, I'm getting a surprisingly sweet beginning that only hints of grapefruit and citrus- perhaps some spice. The next is the malt, followed by the subtle bitterness of the hops.

M: Pleasant, especially when allowed to move in the mouth. Some carbonation, but not much.

O: Another solid offering from Anchor. Good work, gent.

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Photo of Gatch
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yellow in color with a white head that builds quickly and recedes quickly. No lace and no foam.

S - Slight notes of malt, alcohol, spice, and fruit.

T - Lots of malt, some spice, some fruitiness. A little bitter towards the end of each sip. Good flavor as it warms and pleasant when swished around the mouth.

M - Balanced. Good carbonation. Good flavor sticks to the palate. Easy to drink.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.49/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz stubby poured into on of those half pint tasting glass things.

A: Pours out a slightly haze golden orange with a just the slightest red tint, but maybe that's just the artwork on the bottle that's making me think that. Head is reduced to a thin but sturdy cap after starting off at a billowy one and a half inch mountain.

S: Rather faint hoppiness on this, more of a woody, English kind of hoppiness rather than a big pungent American hop punch and this been an American pale ale I am sort of wondering what's the deal with that. Maybe the hops have faded out of this after too much time in the storeroom cooler?

T/MF: Sort of a vinous or medicinal kind of hop flavor that I'm getting out of this rather than a fruity taste, can sort of feel it coat the lining of your stomach as soon as you swallow. I really am making this beer sound worse than it actually is. Not really getting too much in the way of balance here, just a sort of washed out mix of vague hops and malts. I cannot for the life of me tell you (dear reader) what this beer tastes like. I can describe the sensation of bittness and swettness but it tastes unique, and not in a good way. Halfhearted melon, maybe a dusting of sweet toastiness but other than that it just tastes like something that only slightly resembles a pale ale.

D: I really think that this is not the best this beer can be. I've had this beer before and remember it popping a bit more in the flavor department, and for a beer that describes itself as "dry-hopped" but doesn't bring it in the aroma department makes me think this beer is a bit past its due date. Disappointing overall.

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Photo of awmiller
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A mainstay to be enjoyed every Independence Day! This brew poured up a luscious golden amber colored body with a foamy head with good retention and lacing effects. Aromas of floral hops, some grains and fruits (oranges, lemons). Flavors of hops, apricots (or maybe nectarines), a slight hint of honey (or burnt sugar). Light- to Medium-bodied, very smooth with a dry finish.

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Photo of airforbes1
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow-orange with ample haziness and a modest head. Lots of piney hops in the aroma.

The taste is well balanced, with citrus fruitiness upfront followed by piney hops. This might have been an aggressive beer back in the day, but it seems pretty delicate to me. Not that delicacy is a bad thing. There is some lingering bitterness that reminds me of what I just sipped, but it's not overwhelming. Quite drinkable for APA standards.

Some hopheads might find this beer wanting because it's not as aggressive as the newer APAs and IPAs, but I see it as a well-crafted, enjoyable brew.

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Photo of crhensel
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass (6/17/10)

Poured a cloudy amber color with a creamy head that lasted the whole glass. Nose was of straw and grass with a hint of some citrus fruits. The taste was surprisingly a little sweet, but with a nice afterbite of hoppy bitters to give it a nice crisp finish. Overall I have always enjoyed this beer and style and was not disappointed. Very refreshing on a hot summer night.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a burnished amber color, with a 3/4" head that reduces to a 1/8" lid. Plenty of active carbonation keeps the slightly cloudy brew hopping.

Has a malty aroma, with hints of toffee and caramel, with slight citrus notes. Hints of orange mix with definite floral notes for a pleasant smell.

Gentle beginning, with light caramel, toffee, and sweet malt up front, herbal notes in the middle, with a slightly dry finish. The sweet malt melds nicely into the mildly bitter finish, giving way to undertones of apple, hay and pear.

Light bodied and easy drinking, this goes down way to quick. It is missing the hop bitterness one typically would expect from an APA.

Bought this as a singleton, and am a bit bummed that I bypassed the full sixer. This is an easy drinking session-style ale, an APA that is on the sweeter side with very mild to non-existent hops. Grab one if you're looking for a milder APA.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 72.5% out of 100 with 3,457 ratings
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