Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
3,442 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: 3,442 |  Reviews: 1,572
Photo of sjmacdougall
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this on a whim after spending a weekend in Boston last summer. I was full of patriotic spirit.

Serving - 12 ounce "small" bottle

App - Cloudy, hazy orange color; noticeably bubbly.

Smell- pine and floral mixtures with hints of citrus

Taste- Malt is apparent upfront, but then gives way to, what I consider, the perfect amount of hoppiness. It leaves with a clean and fresh hoppy flavor.

Mouth- Carbonation apparent in the appearance is undoubtedly felt; it is also consistent. Light to Medium bodies without sacrificing.

Drink- To me, an ultimate beer. It is my fallback for any occasion. If I saw this beer every time I opened my fridge, I'd be a happy man.

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Photo of patm1986
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

App-cloudy, gold, light-orange. light head with a light amount foam 

Smell-clover honey, lavender, rose water, lemongrass. very pleasantly floral and sweet.

Taste-malt is very present up-front. mid palate there's some lightly bittersweet citrus, like lemon sugar syrup or orange peel but much, much lighter in sugar intensity. bitter, dry finish. Clean.

Mouth-carbonation is fluid, consistent. Very light bodied. Session all the way. hot day drinking. pizza drinking. 

Drink-the malt presence, bittersweet citrus dryness, and the floral
notes on the nose and tongue make this very drinkable.


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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 Homebrew35
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big 2 finger white head. Creamy and sticks around a while. Very nice white ring of lacing remains till it's gone. Very aromatic, floral, earthy, piney, some citrus, slight sweetness, touch of carmel. Tastes earthy, carmel sweetness, some floral lavender quality, piney, slightly resinous. Some mineral water tastes on the finish. Very well balanced. Slight lingering bitterness. Medium bodied, medium carbonation. I could drink quite a few of these at a time.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle a little above fridge temp poured into a standard pint glass. bottling code 0GE indicates it was bottled roughly 6 months ago. a little past its prime, but not too bad IMO.

pours out a semi cloudy golden orange color with a big 2 fingers of fluffy, creamy white head that came to a really nice looking cap and slowly faded to some thick creamy foam that left lots of thick lace.

not the most exciting aroma. some grains balanced by a kind of faded floral, grassy hop aroma. a bit of citrus and lightly dank fruits as well.

again some lightly toasted grains with some grassy, floral hops. very light resinous fruits and citrus. finishs with some dry bitterness. almost a bit of a yeasty taste as well.

medium to light in body, ample yet appropriate carbonation makes for a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. rolls over the palate very smoothly.

like most anchor brews, this is definatly an easy drinker.

overall: ill have to give this a try when i can find a fresher bottle. i remember having this years ago and thought it was much better, but my palate may have changed quite a bit. humming ale was a much hoppier, more enjoyable brew.

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

Complex nose of fruit and spice, simpler malty palate.

A: First, very effervescent... watch out! A standard pout generated a massive persistent creamy yet frothy three finger off white head. Body was a slightly hazy sunny gold.

S: Quite the delicious nose... spices, peach, plum, a slight crisp hops edge, orange, caramel, and a dry biscuity malt mixed in low.

T: A bit of a letdown after that incredible nose... not bad, just much simpler than I had expected... diacetyl, caramel, light generic hops, perhaps a bit on the citrus side, brown sugar, cream, high carbonation keeps it all fairly light. On the malty side, but still balanced.

M: High carbonation, slightly creamy and grainy at the same time, a bit drying on the finish.

D: Satisfying.

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

A&S - Beautiful golden amber color, nice half inch creamy head, great peachy, hoppy, kinda floral hop aroma.

T&M - Crisp, medium bodied, kinda sweet and sour with a somewhat strong hop bite throughout.

D - Cmon,' its Anchor Brewing. 4.5!

What a great beer. I never thought Anchor would be able to make a beer that competes with AnchorSteam in characteristics. Such a well balanced beer. From the start it reeks of fruit, despite the fact that the fruit doesn't show too much in flavor. Nice floral hop smell, kinda reminds me of Spring blossoms. As far as drinkability goes this one really hits the spot. Go buy some, You will not be disappointed. Stay thirsty my friends.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful rich, cloudy, amber color with a fluffy white head that leaves lacing all the way down. Smell threw me off a little bit. Almost smells skunked and reminds me, of all things, of Heineken. Fortunately, it doesn't taste like Heineken. In fact it's a damn good, or at the very least solid, beer. I get some citrusy pine notes from the hops and a very crisp hop finish. The bitterness is near perfect and makes this beer extremely drinkable. Carbonation is high and perfect for the the style. Just another good and solid beer from Anchor.

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Photo of JCBears
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

App: Golen orange color nice fizzy head with vigorouos bubbles

Smell: Rich honey with a rounded edge of hoppiness.

Taste/MF: Little honey and sharp not as impressed as I thought I would be with this one. Not enough in the begining to compliment the end for me

Overasll started off nice but didn't end uop as I would have liked

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a very light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that slowly died down.
S: There are aromas of citrus and floral hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors of citrus stand out in the taste, although they aren't that strong because they are balanced for the most part by the underlying malts. There is a bit of sweetness in the initial taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and is also very sessionable.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Packaging classy, bottle of an atypical design, and a beer with history. All these things have led me to this purchase.

This beer is a rich orange-copper that poured a 1/2 inch fluffy white head. Unfortunately, the head dispersed after 10 minutes, but I blame that on the glassware being a tulip and not a standard ale pint glass. Otherwise, there is a delightful lacy gloss left down the sides after swirling/drinking and there appears to be ample carbonation. The rich color has me excited for tasting.

A sweet floral aroma hits first made even more heavenly after agitating the glass's contents. Spectacular, almost as robust as a Belgian yeast in regards to the fruity esters dancing on my olfactory. This is not your typical pale ale aroma profile, it has more spice and character.

Bold flavors to match the aroma and appearance. The beer is certainly a pale ale and a residual aftertaste gives that away nicely. The body of this beer is in harmony with the profound floral sweetness that the beer offers, as first noted in the beer's aroma. A tart, hoppy bitterness dominates a lot of the beer's taste after swallowing (not unexpected from a brewery on the west coast).

I've had better pale ales and for me, a great pale ale proves it in the mouthfeel. This beer is lacking balancing between the penetrating hoppy bitterness and such a delicate, sweet, floral ale malt. It's more of a nuance when served cold, but I choose not to eat the rinds on grapefruits either way.

Although half-way around the globe, this SanFran pale ale is a good representation of its class and does a long day justice. A colder temperature would be perfect for summer time relaxing, casual drinking (I may put it to the test again once that time comes). Despite its lacking, a great beer for a great price


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

Bottle to pint glass.

A: Three fingers of a pillowy white, long lasting head is produced on the pour. Hazy golden-orange colored body. Lacing is very very good. Impressive appearance.

S: Some hops....more orange than lemon or grapefruity. Alos some faint biscuity aromas.

T: Almost like a blonde ale with more hop bitterness. More grapefruit and lemon than orange in the taste....opposite of the smell! Also some malt sweetness. Balanced more towards the hops than the malt. Lightly sweet and lightly bitter. A lingering bubblegum taste is present.

M: Decent carbonation. There is also a pleasant oily texture left in the mouth.

D: Very good brew. A nice, but unique taste for a APA. Good job here.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured with a large, frothy white head, with good lacing. Body was slightly hazy, and a dark-yellow color. Aroma was of average hops, with a light presence of alcohol as well. Mouthfeel was light-bodied and fairly thin, with a little oiliness to it. Soft carbonation and a bitter finish. Flavor was long-lasting of moderate bitterness and some nice citrus flavors, with a very dry finish. Slight taste of alcohol in there as well. A bit bland for me...

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Photo of barrylitchfield
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I really like this beer. I purchased it in a mixed 6 pack a few days ago just to get a sample of 6 beers I have never tried. I have had 3 of the 6, and this Liberty Ale is the best of them. The beer was poured into a pint glass and it had about 2 fingers of a white, fluffy head. Fruity with a slight citrus and peach smell. A golden amber color that kind of had an irredescent look to it.

A great tasting beer with just the right amout of hop bitterness. I'll definately be looking for this and will drink it often. Highly recommended.

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Photo of The3rdbeer
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass beautifully, with just enough head to top off at the rim, about a finger and a half, nice medium amber color. Head recedes and lace is present throughout.

S: Spice and a lite Belgium floral aroma, biscuit, I dare to say even brie in the nose here coming from the malt.

T: Spice and that floral zest meet up with the malt for a smooth finish, there is a true to style hop presence here that finishes semi dry.

M: lite bodied, semi dry finish, a nice session beer.

D: With this I take the liberty to enjoy myself with putting down a few more of these, very good, true to style and even surprised me.

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Photo of Intrinsic
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is quite a nice looking beer. The straw colour and thick head prepared me for what was sure to be a hop explosion. The smell, however, let me down a little as I was hoping for something a little stronger.

Taking the time to discover the nuances of this beer is important, since it won't all happen on the first sip. I was initially surprised at how little there was to it, but the spice and maltiness shine through after a couple sips and complement the hops quite nicely. I think the hops could stand to be a little more prominent though.

This is a very creamy beer. Very enjoyable to swirl around, enjoying all the hidden flavours. Could this be a session beer? No idea. I only have one bottle and its a work night.

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Photo of Keffa
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Total update of my review. New bottle with OSB as batch code. Makes it a late-ish 2010 bottle.

Poured into an Oberon pint glass.

A: Pours a golden orange, clear, and with a small head, leaves lacing on the glass, and it sticks.

S: This is a little better than the first time. Some spicy and floral notes, a little bit of an orange like aroma, and then sweet malt and crackers. Decent.

T: Again, better than the first one. This time, there is a nice hop bitterness and flavor, floral and citrus, a little fruity, and a little spicy, and then the malt comes up to meet it. Malt is slightly sweet, a little grainy, but in a good way. Dry cracker like malt as well, and then finishes with a slightly sweet, citrusy bitterness. Very tame bitterness though. Good.

M: Slick, medium carbonation, and drying finish, a little thin body. Average.

D: Not bad. Alcohol is kept in check, and the clean, dry finish makes this one easy to sip on continuously. Nice balance makes it deceptive for a 6% beer.

Much better this time. Glad I revisited this one, as this is a good beer. Make damn sure that the bottle you get is fresh. Old bottles of this one are garbage at worst and lackluster at best. Fresh, it's quite tasty and very well done.

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Photo of goalie33
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz pint glass.
A) Pours a hazy golden-orange color with 2 fingers of off-white head. Very fine carbonation can be seen rising to the surface. The head is tight and foamy. Leaves nice lacing in the glass.
S) Bready yeast, and citrusy hops are the dominant aromas coming from the beer. Some caramel malts are also present.
T) Spicy, almost like a tripel, with come lemony notes. Nice bready yeast and sweet malts in the finish. Nice peach notes from the hops. A quick flash of bitterness
M/D) Medium body. Very wet mouthfeel. Fairly smooth with only a slight prickle from carbonation. Very easy to drink and sessionable.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. This tastes more like a hoppy tripel then anything else. Very flavorful, nice mouthfeel, and a easy drinking beer. Well done, Anchor.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great looking amber ale with a fluffy white head and thick lacing.

The aroma is of wonderfully aromatic citrus hops with biscuit-y, sweet malts. The taste is similar to the aroma with a great bitter finish. The only letdown for me is a tad of a watery mouth feel. Liberty Ale is very drinkable, a good session pale ale. If it's the same recipe as it was when first released, it was far ahead of its time. I'd never turn one down. I'm always pleased when I can find one.

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Photo of nokes
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured most of this one into a pint glass, two fingers of head that then slowly rose up over the crown of the glass to form a pillowy off-white head with excellent retention. Apricot colour, clear and very attractive. Visually, only a bit more visible carbonation could have added to the picture. Stellar.

Smell is good; nice...light malts and some citrus. A bit earthy, too...interesting

This beer tastes good. An excellent, very balanced mix of malty biscuity sweetness with grapefruit-bitter hoppiness. Really nice.

Mouthfeel is quite good, medium with more carbonation than the looks would indicate, which is a good thing. It feels right for the style.

Drinkability is good as well, though it could finish drier. Nothing to complain about, certainly.

This is an excellent beer. I tasted it alone for a while, then drank the rest with my supper...butter chicken. It was an excellent match, and in that context, it was smashing-good. I'd happily drink this regularly.

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

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: It pours a clear bright orange color with a finger and a half of egg shell white head that recedes slowly, leaving a thin layer.

S: Citrus, mild hoppiness, pineapple, and papaya.

T: Citrus notes, tropical fruits, light floral hops, and a bit of a bready malt aftertaste.

M: It has a medium-light body with some tingly carbonation throughout and palate-sticking flavors.

D: This tastes very fruity and fresh making it a highly drinkable APA.

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

Appearance: : It has a nice golden/amber colour to it. It has a nice thick white head that dies down moderalty and lacing is present.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of hops, malts with citrucy and caramely notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a a very nice sweet hoppy flavour that ends with a bitterness. It also has a nice malt balance with hints of caramel and critrucy notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice balance of hops.

Drinkability: It's a very drinkable beer accompanied with great flavours and aromas. It's an overall great pale ale.

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Photo of Columbanus
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - Golden straw colour, slightly cloudy, 2 finger white head with lots of lacing.
s - strong pine/woodsy aroma that just keeps on going.
t - Prominent hop and barley flavour up front, smooth and malty in middle, hoppy bitter finish, dry and crisp. Flavour lingers for quite a while after swallow.
m - smooth, medium light body
d - extremely drinkable. Great session beer, but does not really fit the apa style. More like a cream ale. Probably the best light ale available in Ontario, where our micros are hop shy.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz stubby bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date or ABV content on the label.
Straw/golden color, which is almost clear with little to no head.
Aroma is high on malts and fruity esters with hints of hops coming through.
In my opinion, taste-wise, this ale leans more towards and ESB than the usual American Pale Ale. More malty upfront with a nice, dry bitter finish. Drinkability is very good.
This is another solid ale from Anchor. I could have this one anytime anyplace. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of patreely12
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice golden/orange. beautiful frothy white head. very appealing. you can see some of the carbonation if you hold the glass up in the light. great amount of lacing.

S - strong floral/pine smell. a good bit of hops and barley too. lemony citrus. definitely smells different, kind of off-putting. hopefully the taste will help make some sense of this.

T/M - rich hops and barley, but not overpowering. the taste of the floral/pine is there, but it balances nicely and isn't as off-putting as in the nose. some refreshing citrus notes (lemon, maybe orange too). it finishes off sharp and crisp, with a mildly bitter hop aftertaste.

D - the right amount of hops to make it considerably drinkable.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,442 ratings.
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