Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
3,449 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: 3,449 |  Reviews: 1,575
Photo of Marcrates
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer looks perfect. The head is thick, foamy, and it sticks around forever. Color is golden..and there have been a steady stream of bubbles

S - Fresh hops smell.. citrus

T - Exceptional balance. Just the right amount of hops, without leaving the potpourri taste in your mouth.

M - Good solid feel.. leaves a nice tingling sensation

D - Could definitely enjoy a couple of these if I had them. I only had one..

Overall - What a great tasting, well balanced beer. This is definitely worth having again..

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Photo of RankRefugee88
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Pilsener glass.

A - Nice full bodied looking beer. 3/4" white head, nice and foamy. The texture of the beer looks so smooth, both the body and the head. A little cloudy, but just enough clarity to see the bubbles swim to the top of the beer.

S - Nicely balanced for a pale ale. A bit malty up front, followed by hop characteristics. It really had a pleasant aroma about it.

T - Some nice floral hops up front, then a very nice sense of balance comes about. This beer is brewed well, nothing dominates. Nice caramel flavored finished with just a snippet of an orange peel at the end. Pretty damn good.

M - Very crisp and dry, I just wish it was a bit thicker. I would like the texture of this beer to be a bit more chewy, because I like when the caramel malt flavor hangs out on the taste buds after a sip.

D - Pretty easy to drink. Even though it is a bit thin the balance of flavors really make up for it. Its just such a tasty beer and it's pretty damn smooth also, so this automatically makes for decent drinkability.

I enjoyed Anchor Liberty Ale. It's a pretty basic tasting pale ale, but that's what makes it a good beer. Well balanced between hops and malts, this beer certainly knows its role. One of the better pale ale's I've had.

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

Standard 12 oz. bottle served into a pint glass. The Liberty pours a hazed golden straw and sports a robust and almost overflowing inch of creamy foam. Offers very good retention and some sticky lacing as well.

Nose of pale malts and light citric hops. Pleasant though subtle and not very pronounced. Touch of caramel and flowery spice after the head settles and the beer warms a bit, and some yeast notes as well.

Flavor is biscuity and a touch nutty with some roasted flavors. Bitterness is light and with some orange hop notes. Malt profile lingers nicely and coupled with the fine carbonation give the beer a nice feel. Quite drinkable, not too sweet and offering some intriguing and morphing flavors and smells as the beer warms. Nice.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Liberty Ale pours a clear, very light copper color with three fingers of egg shell white head. Retention is very nice, as is the lacing. It looks pretty nice, although it is a very pale-looking pale ale.

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel malts are the predominant smell, backed by light citrus and light piney hops.

Taste: Very much like the scent. A sweet caramel malt backbone, with some citrus and piney hops backing that. Overall too sweet for my tastes, but okay.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied, pretty smooth beer overall, but nothing to write home on. It does have some flavor and goes down quickly/easily, so I'd call it pretty drinkable.

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Photo of heebes
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 ml bottle; best before 8 2012

Pours a light clear golden amber with a thin foamy head. Appears to have good carbonation. Smells of citrus hops and hints of grapefruit. The taste is of an overly bitter ale, the flavours of the alcohol are strong. Has a surprising sharp hop bite for a pale. Medium mouthfeel showing a slightly chewy taste and watery feel on the palatte. Overall a decent strong ale, neat bottle but I'd be more inclined to take other Anchor beers over this.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden-copper hue, with a smallish fizzy white head, not much lace.

S - Anchor Liberty has such a distinct hop aroma, nearly indescribable, it is just so ultra-dry.

T - Dry and astringent, likely owing as much to the super-pale malt as to the hop treatment. A very different Pale Ale.

M - Thinner and fizzy, but strangely it works well for this unusual brew.

D - I don't drink it often, but when I do, I am always stoked on the fresh, refreshing and unique flavor.

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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 WeedKing4
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours a golden yellow thats mostly clear, but just a slight hint of a haze to it. Lots of foam as well. Theres a bit of a hop taste up front with a faint piney finish. Its very bland though. The aftertaste and mouthfeel lacks finish. Its not bad or anything, and could be sessionable. The flavour could use a little more though.

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

This brew has class - neither overly hoppy nor overly sweet, it maintains a fairly dry taste and a fragrant aroma. The hops impart an almost citrus flavor. I admire the label almost as much as the color of the beer itself. The craftsmanship places this above the average microbrew. This beer is just elegant. It expresses such a balance of flavor that it's hard not to enjoy.

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

A- Pours an orangeish hue with a frothy head and great carbonation.

S- Floral hops and a bit of citrus. Grassy as well. Somewhat faint, and hard to describe.

T- Citrussy hop and malt all at once. I found it well balanced for the most part. I wonder if perhaps my bottle isn't fresh; the flavoring just seems to be off. It tastes good, but the hops don't have the kick that I'd want. The grassy taste is in the front, and the malt and citrus just don't taste as clean as they could be. I'm enjoying this beer, but it just doesn't seem like it's meant to be.

M- Medium body and a bit creamy. Carbonation was a little overpowered. Seemed like the carbonation was fighting with the taste for the attention.

D- Good beer, and pretty refreshing. It has many good characteristics going for it, but it didn't achieve as much balance, IMO, as I would have liked. Above par though.

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Photo of plfahey
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-a light hazy golden color. Decent sized ivory head with medium bead and moderate retention.

Aroma-Smooth interplay of malt and hop aromas. Malt is light and a bit grainy. Hops are grassy, earthy, and herbal with a hint of citrus. No notable ester presence. As it warms, orange and lemon notes become apparent.

Taste-Malt flavor is grainy and bready. Hop flavor is quite apparent, with notes of grassy, piney, resinous, and earthy flavors, and citrus. In the finish, a pleasant piney/earthy flavor lingers with a hint of heat from the alcohol.

Body is medium, though a bit chewy for a beer of this strength and heft. Carbonation is moderate, hop bitterness is pleasant, not overwhelming, and most importantly, not astringent. Small amount of alcohol hotness felt in the back of the throat at the finish.

After allowing this one to warm up a little bit, the aroma opens up very nicely, and both the aroma and flavor display a very complex hop palate. The beer is definitely hoppy, but not unpleasantly so. Overall, Anchor manages to deliver a tasty IPA, creating a complex hop palate, rather than just beating you over the head with hops. Quite good.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The colour is fairly average, a hazy light orange with a foamy white head. After a few minutes the head settles down to a thin film that almost covers the entire surface, and there is a little bit of lacing initially but it doesn't really last long.

S - Hops are present but not overly strong. Citrus flavours, kind of an earthy-grassy hint.

T - My initials thoughts of this beer are rather subdued. The flavours are there, but none of them really present themselves to you. Smells of citrus, mainly orange. Hops are certainly present, though they have a fruity taste and blend well with the overall citrus taste. A grassy taste is definitely there too throughout. All together they do blend nicely, but again it's nothing mindblowing or terribly unique.

M - Mouthfeel is alright. It's a little light and lacks smoothness. The hops give it a little bit of a bite which is a welcome characteristic.

D - Drinkability is good. One saving grace for this beer is that it still packs the flavours that one would want from a craft-oriented brewery and yet is subdued enough to be had in generous quantities.

All around it's a nice subdued APA with all of the flavours but not much strength. Very drinkable, but still average given the competition.

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Photo of uustal
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice, hazy, light-orange with a fluffy, pearl white head. Good retention and lacing throughout. Aroma is a bit mild. Definitely some citrus, orange and grassy notes. Unlike most APAs, the hops dominate this one. A lot of fruity hops. Orange and lemon dominate and also some pine and grassy hops in there. Some sweet malt comes in at the finish, but the hops linger on in the aftertaste. More mild hop flavor, but could be closer to an IPA than APA.

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Photo of atsprings
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Tyler's Taproom served in a keep the glass Anchor pint glass a crisp pale orange with a thin off white head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is crisp citrus hops and mild sweet pale malts. The taste is a nice balance of sweet malts and citrus hops. The beer is quite light, crisp, smooth and refreshing. This is a very enjoyable pale ale, just as good as I remember it.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright yellow with tons of foam. Some of the best lacing I've ever seen in a beer! Lots of yeast particles here as well in the bottle and glass.

Smell: Extremely strong, fruity hops. Definitely a bit of alcohol in this one. Very good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Liberty Ale tastes quite strong. Lots of citrus and spiced hops and a deep fruity flavor throughout. Decent mouthfeel, but not great. It flattens out a bit at the end.

Drinkability: Take this a bit slow to enjoy. However, as I said, it flattens out a bit so don't nurse it.

Overall: A very good, promising beer.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - White, one finger soapy head on a nice organge body with lot's of lacing and shows just about no carbonation but has a few bubbles moving.

S - Nice fresh, fruity hop aroma. Lot's of orange and citrus.

T - Subdued. I've had this before and the taste was much better. Possbily not fresh enough. I get some mild hops and lingering bitterness but it's not strong. Fruity hops are there though. It's good but I know it has potential to be better. There's some lemony-ness there too with light citrusy notes.

M - Light to medium mouthfeel. Good for the style. Goes down nice and easy.

D - High. Even higher for a fresher bottle. Decent hop fix with not filling you up too much.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Pale golden orange with a bit of haze. A one finger high head fades a little but retains nicely with some streaky lacing.

S - Some piny hops, grass, wheat, and a bit of bread.

T - Light hop profile along with a nice helping of wheat and lemon grass. Malt body is lurking underneath the brighter flavors along with a bit of citrus fruit, establishing a nice equilibrium. Wraps up smooth with a hint of dryness and little lingering taste.

M - Pleasantly creamy and smooth with some dry qualities.

D - Easy drinking from top to bottom.

Another solid beer from Anchor, which I might even like better than their flagship lager. Smooth drinking, nice flavor and feel.

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

Big, creamy off-white head, easily three fingers to start before slowing dissolving off, moderate dimpling and credible amount of lacing streaks left behind. Gentle gauziness to the zinc orange color, fades to a dark yellow at the rims, transparent enough to see the scattered bubbles rising. Apricot and peach fruit scents strong with sourdough bread, pepper and green grasses to give it erectness in the nostrils, the orange citrus downplayed some, the malts stay off to the side, same for the pinch of honey, except for the fruitiness appears to prefer getting dirty in the earth. Medium-bodied with attractive firmness, so much so that it can afford to be slightly over-carbonated with no ill effects. The bitterness clearer here, gives you a strong twist with lemon to grapefruit pith, grass and leafy forest scrub, pepper, even the pine notes seem sour. The floral element naught but a flourish to the apricot, peach pit flavors. There might even be some estery notes underneath there somewhere. Even nearing room temperature does not sweeten appreciably. Well-crafted, likely more as a "food beer" than for casual chugging.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This isn't touching Anchor Steam, but for 6.0 abv this has all of the necessary sessionable qualities.

The flavor is more biting than a regular Pale Ale, and that makes it all the more enjoyable. Some citrus smell, some bitter taste, mostly just an easy drink. A crisp and clean finish and there's nothing at all unpleasant to be found.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type - Bottle

A - Pours a a cloudy, orange hue with an off-white 2-finger head that soon gives way to an almost creamy lacing. Most inviting!

S - Smell is of pale malts, oranges, apricots, and mild cascade hops. Pretty subtle and nothing too crazy, but definitely very well balanced.

T - Starts off with light, pale, caramel maltiness that moves on to citrus fruits (orange, apricot, and perhaps a bit of grapefruit in there), and finishes with some balancing, lightly floral hops. Extremely well balanced and tasty. Definitely not the "Light-IPA" that some APA's can be, and that helps this one stand out IMHO.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation, and a smooth, nearly creamy feel going down.

D - Drinkability is on the higher side of medium. Definitely sessionable.

Overall - Cheers to Anchor brewing for a great APA! I'd love to try this on tap sometime. If a nice, balanced pale ale is what you're after, look no further.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, stubby quasi-teardrop bottle. Classy, simple label, with no date but some code it looks like...can't really read it

Appearance: Dark golden beer, just a slight haze, pours w/a big creamy/dense ivory head w/good retention. Maybe it's the etched glassware, but this head holds up to some of the creamiest/fullest of the Belgians...

Smell: Nice blend of citrusy/piney hops and a hint of pale malt. Simple, straightforward, and very appetizing.

Taste: Perfectly balanced between malt sweetness and herbal and fruity hop tones. The hoppiness is less piney than the nose suggests, full of herbal, spicy notes and maybe a touch of citrus and stone fruit. I think I might have got a hint of peach in there along w/a touch of orange. Bitterness is firm, but well within the range of what an APA should be. I read that this is 100% Cascade in here, but the spicy herbal notes almost remind me of some of the Noble varieties. Weird.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth

Drinkability: Medium high to high

Conclusion: A very nice example of an American Pale Ale. Well balanced, nicely bitter, but not over the top. Wouldn't pick it up all the time as if I'm drinking a form of pale ale I generally prefer Bitters or IPAs, but this is quite solid.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Ro's Restaurant pint glass.

A: A golden, hazy orange yellow with a two-finger head of bubbly white foam which reduced to a nice lace and retained pretty well. Some residual yeast particles from the bottle transferred.

S: Lots of citrus fruits, grapefruit, pine and a bit of toasted grain.

T: Good, slightly chewy buttered biscuit malt flavor up front with a growing level of hop acidity. Citrus fruits and ale yeast strains with a bit of chewy yeast and muddle hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied and slightly chewy with a bitter, citrusy and acidic feel as well. Flavorful but erring a little too full at times.

D: There's a lot of hop character to be had in this APA and the gravity of the beer shows it's got a study malt backbone as well. Fairly complex and "big" even for an APA at 6% ABV. I'd have a couple again for sure.

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

Glass - Sam Adams Official Glass

A - Slightly hazy golden color with a 3-finger frothy head, retention seems to be very good. Lots of C02 can be seen and It left some splashy lacing on my glass.

S - Soft floral with pine and lemon rind. A bit of grainy bread & cracker like malts underneath. Very simple.

T - It's very big on the lemon citrus with slight peel flavors as well. It finishes with muted grainy flavors kinda like corn husk. Bitterness is very mild and the flavor profile seems very one dimensional.

M - A bit smooth with moderate-high crispness. A lite-medium body with a thin feel.

D - I really wish there was a bit more malt to balance the beer out a bit. The hop flavors are very nice and it's very drinkable and refreshing. I could probably toss back 2-3 of em especially with a meal. A very good Pale Ale everybody should try at least once, I'd definitely drink this one again but I can't say I'd buy it again as I prefer others over this one.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: sam adams glass

a: Light honey color, lots of CO2 bubbles. Healthy 2-finger white head. Very lively appearance. Lacing is pretty darn good.

s: Pale crackery malt. herbal and lemon rind hops.

m: Light body, very carbonated.

t: Pale malt base. It has a very zippy lemon rind flavor through and through. Floral and a bit dry on the finish. Rind bitterness hangs for a moment, following away to doughy malt.

d: Very refreshing. I don't usually like highly carbonated beers but it really works in this one. Excellent pale ale.

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Photo of musicman575
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One wouldn't think it that hard to find any of the Anchor Brewing Co's beers in the SF area, but it actually took me five different stores until I found Liberty Ale. Oh well, the searching was a great foreplay session.

I wasn't expecting it to be so colorful. Surprises are just another turn-on. The taste is somewhat crude, but it wasn't offensive by any means. It tastes much darker than it looks.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,449 ratings.
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