Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
Very Good
3,491 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

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,491 |  Reviews: 1,585
Photo of Snyder18
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pale gold to amber in color, thick creamy off-white head, good head retention peaking at about 2.5 inches slowly fading to a thin white layer that remains through consumption. Lots of lace. Somewhat hazy.

Smell - notes of honey and a strong citrus hop aroma.

Taste - toasty, biscuit, malty with assertive hoppiness. A little yeasty and slightly perceptible alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel - medium to full in body with quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability - good drinkability for an APA, however at 6%abv and high level of hoppiness your taste buds will fatique soon enough.

 589 characters

Photo of seanyfo
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

35cl bottle served aggressively into my spaten seidel.

A - Rusty red orange body with a tan 4 finger dense creamy head, with good retention and lacing.

S- Floral hop freshness surrounded by a biscuity toffee maltiness.

T- Floral fruity hops, a little banana, caramel and biscuit malts in the finish, a nice lingering malt flavour lingers

M - soft, dense, creamy mouthfeel

D- A well balanced tasty, creamy ale. Enough flavours to make it enjoyable for a session and a creamy texture which is easy on the tummy!

 514 characters

Photo of wd40
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy straw blond color. Fairly frothy head that emits a slight hopiness that smells like freshly mowed grass. The hops are present, but fairly subtle. The bitterness is pretty quickly swallowed up for a dry finish. There is a hint of lemon especially in the aftertaste, but also somewhat present in the nose.

While I can't say I was blown away by this beer, it is a very smooth, easily drinkable beer.

 420 characters

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

This beer poured a light amber with copper highlights and a single-finger head. The smell is mostly some piney and grassy hops with a bit of malt. The taste reflects the smell, starting off with a solid malt backbone that's quickly taken over by some citrus and piney hops in a pretty good balance that don't linger on the palate. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some fine carbonation. This beer is surprisingly drinkable for an APA, with a bit of a bite but without being unpleasantly bitter. A good version of the style.

 527 characters

Photo of ectomorph
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange and gold in color with a tight off white head that leaves big clumps along the way down the pint glass.

S - Citrus and floral hops with a honey malt finish. Yeasty.

T - Considerable citrus hop bite up front is met with a smooth honey foundation. Bitterness is high for the style , but not overstated.

M - Unfiltered and medium bodied this is a more complex Pale Ale than most.

D - Very high. Great session brew and a good 2nd step for those looking for their inner hophead.

 495 characters

Photo of berley31
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. Overall a very nice APA that is quite bitter, but enjoyable.

 491 characters

Photo of kylesobrien
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This one pours a nice orange-yellow, slightly hazy and well carbonated with assortment of fine bubbles. Head is wonderful -- thick, lacy, rocky and persistent.

Smell: Very citrusy and slightly herbal. I don't detect much malt character in the aroma, and the hop scent is less intense than I had anticipated. Since I don't have much of a nose, I'll just say it's pleasantly hoppy.

Taste: Initially a bit of malty sweetness, which is immediately subdued by a zing or three of Cascade hops. Aftertaste is somewhat more bitter compared to other American-made pale ales I have tried. I like hoppy beers, so this is a plus for me. I'm tasting a bit more malt as this guy warms up, but mostly I just taste crisp, delicious hops. Yum.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably full-bodied for a pale ale. Fairly smooth, with a restrained level of carbonation that matches the flavor well.

Drinkability: If your palate is hop-friendly, this is a very drinkable pale ale. It's not super carbonated, which makes it easier to drink, in my opinion, and the hops are both tasty and refreshing. If you don't like hoppier ales, this may not be for you. The bitterness isn't as intense as you might find in many IPAs, but the hoppy character could be a dealbreaker for those who like their pale ales to remain demure and unassertive. I would dare say that Liberty Ale might have been considered an IPA before IPAs were en vogue. I seriously doubt any other American breweries in 1975 produced a "pale ale" which had quite the hop character of this beer. Of course, I was still in the planning stages at that time, so it's not really for me to say, I suppose.

This is one tasty beer. If you want to know what Cascade hops smell and taste like, buy a bottle of this stuff and give it a try.

 1,768 characters

Photo of jizdepski
4.78/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nice coppery orange colored ale with a lovely white-capped head. slim amount of retention and lacing. dominant aromas are malty and hoppy, not much else on nose. the taste is outstanding! this is the best american pale i've ever tried....has a wonderful balance of piney hops and malts, neither being overly aggressive, and just a bit bready underneath. i'd say it toes the line between an english pale and a hoppier apa. mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied....well carbonated, nice bitterness from the hops on finish but not overwhelming and quite refreshing. drinkability is high...could drink several in a sitting. very satisfying...hard to ask more from a beer, it really nails the style right on the head.

 709 characters

Photo of mhatters
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a standard pint glass at the Anchor Bar at the SF airport

Pours a deep ambercopper color with a small white head

Malty, some citrus, some floral hops

Well balanced, the hops and lemon notes play well in the overall malt base. The finish is dry, crisp, and a bit bitter.

A quality, enjoyable beer that is perfect for everyday drinking

 354 characters

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Light orange. Good head.

S: Pretty much all citrusy hop aroma.

T: Mostly piney grapefruity hop bitterness. Biscuity malt balances it out.

M: Not too heavy with enough carbonation.

D: A classic pale ale. If you like SNPA, you'll probably dig this as well.

 300 characters

Photo of Walker8810
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice tawny copper color with at least an inch of head. smells vaguely of bananas with a hint of floral hops. imparts a nice sweet taste at first, not too sweet, very pleasant with a bitter hop finish. mouthfeel is medium. goes down very smooth with a clean finish. overall a delicious ale that would make an excellent session beer.

 339 characters

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

Poured into an Anchor pint glass. Appears a light copper color with a medium white head. Aroma of citrus mixed with grass and light cedar - very pleasent. Very crisp in the taste with lots of citrus - grapefruit and pine dominate and finishes quite dry, which I loved. A great session beer for me. Another good beer from Anchor - a great session beer.

 351 characters

Photo of theghost3
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had Liberty Ale on July 4; perfect for Independence Day.

Pours a hazy orange with a 1-finger light yellow head, that quickly dissapates into a thin lace that stays throughout.

The smell is a nice combination of floral, slightly citrusy hops with a sweet bready malt aroma. The taste is herbal with some grapefruity hops; obvious addition of dry hops. The malts come in at the end, and tend to be bready & somewhat buttery. The mouthfeel is smooth, dry.

This is a very drinkable APA. I was surprised at how the malts almost outshine the hops. Very refreshing.

 564 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a hazy light orange/yellow. About two fingers of dense foam developed and dissipated slowly to leave a soapy lacing.

Smell: Invigorating grapefruit citrus, with touches of lemon. There was a slight hint of hops at the very beginning, but then I had to search for it later.

Taste: Smooth and tasty. It's very well balanced. The grapefruit citrus from the smell is present, and there is a more prominent hop presence, which is not overly bitter but does have adequate bite. There is also sweet candy caramel mixed in.

Drinkability: The drinkability is high. It's easy drinking and well crafted. What else can you expect from a native Iowan named Fritz?

 673 characters

Photo of JamesP123
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A. Hazy light orange color. Poured semi-roughly into the glass produced a solid two fingers of barely off white head which left a small tuft of foam on top until the end, thick chuncky lacing. Appears heavily carbinated as the bubbles constantly pour up the glass.

S. Picking up the some hop aroma at first sniff. Followed with some sweetnes from the malt. Nothing overwhelming the senses.

T. Intense rush of hops up front followed by the sweet caramel flavor frmo the malt. Finished a bit sour and dry, wondering how old hte bottle is. Very crisp - getting a very slight metal taste.

M. Crisp carbination rushes across the tounge, a bit too much for the style. Very clean finish.

D. A beer that many could enjoy. Everything is in balance, nothing is over the top. Which can be good and bad, but overall this is a respectable pale ale.

 885 characters

Photo of scottyshades
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a transparent peach color that produces a nicely carbonated billowy head that retains slowly and leaves some decent lacing along the glass. Nice look for a pale ale, not exactly up to par with the best, but nice.

S: Wheat, floral hops, bitter hops, sweet malts, and a hint of caramel

T: Bitter hops are aggressive at first, then the floral hops produce a nice flavor, finally followed by the subtle sweet malts that hold the finish. The notes are piney hops and sweet malts.

MF/D: Nice carbonation, light in body, dry finish

Definitely a great session beer

 569 characters

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

Pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a mighty head and thick lacing all the way down. It's 86 degrees right now and this looks like just the kind of beer I want to be drinking.

Earthy, herbal hops and roasted malt on the nose. Nice.

Fuck me, this is good. The first thing to hit is the bitterness from the hops. A touch of lemony citrusy, most mostly herbal. The malts creep and stack up very well to the hops. Very well balanced. It's a bit sweet, maybe some esters, but the yeast comes in and makes sure things don't get out of hand.

And my, oh my, this is one crisp and refreshing beer. The carbonation is high, and it spreads the flavors around my mouth with it's tiny bubbles.

Like their Steam Beer, I can't seem to get in my body fast enough. I actually have to force myself to slow down and admire the simple beauty of this beer, it's that damn drinkable.

 865 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass it pours a nice orange color with an almost copper hint to it. Has a one finger white head with some pretty decent retention. Leaves good lacing down the sides. Smells sweet, nothing to impressive but it's smells nice. Taste has a pretty apparent citrus taste to it, starts a little sweet and ends just barely bitter. Kind of has that typical Anchor taste to it but it's not as strong as some of their other beers. It's fairly hoppy, not crazy hoppy but it's nice, pretty balanced I guess. Pretty drinkable, not a high ABV and it's pretty good so I have no problem with this one. Not the best American Pale Ale I've had but it's still really good, I'd pick it up again.

 694 characters

Photo of BirdFlu
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much smell to pick up on at all from my experience.. the biggest thing I picked up on is a very strong pale malt character.. the hops are there as well in balance, but the pale malt seems to really stand out the most, and this prevented it from being anything unique or too great.. its ok, definitely not bad. The mouth is light, sort of empty feeling and the drinkability is a question of whether you consider the term to mean ability to drink a lot of it or desire to drink a lot of it. If its the latter, then it suffers a bit.

 534 characters

Photo of bum732
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow, decent creamy head that dissipates leaving good lacing. Smells of grassy hops, some grapefruit, light bready malt. Tastes of light bready malt with a nice rounded citrus flavor, hints of lemon, grapefruit, orange. Some grassiness near the finish, nice bitter aftertaste with some grapefruit resin on the palate. Good moderate carbonation for the style, malt balances the hoppiness nicely.

A great pale ale, very hoppy, bordering on the IPA line. A nice citrus and grassiness aroma and taste complement the light bready malt. Very good session beer, similar to SNPA.

 587 characters

Photo of xhcadamx
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - medium honey with a with huge long lasting white head and lots of lacing.

S - Cascde hops and a background of grain

T - this is a true masterpiece. It has the base recipe that all Anchor beers have. This isn't a bad thing. Perfect balance between malt and hops.

M - all of their beers are krausened which gains so much respect from me. take the tour it will change your life.

D - Anchor is in the top five of my breweries ever for good reason all their beers are approachable but amazing.

 497 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale coppery sort of color. Soft white head that leaves some decent lacing. Ok aroma-somewhat floral and earthy. Great hop flavor. Not overly bitter or astringent just a solid hop flavor upfront. Touch of malty sweetness. Mildly fruity. Slight lingering bitterness. Good body. A great beer drinkablility wise. The flavor more then makes up for any flaws in color or aroma. I have loved this one for years. Still do so it seems.

 427 characters

Photo of jackofclubs
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from a bottle to a standard pint

A a golden maybe a little amber with a medium head that stays for a good amount of time

S hoppy and bright

T great balence of hops and malt

M good body with a nice hoppy bite

D a good beer like all anchor beers

not a pale to overlook

 274 characters

Photo of bcm119
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straw colored with a beautiful, fine white head. Sharp, lemony, soapy hop aroma, with just a hint of toast. Bouncy carbonation; herbal/minty/lemony hops show, with a minerally--almost salty-- bite. Malt is dry, slightly toasted, and almost cracker-like. Long, refreshingly dry finish, with a soft green hop aftertaste.

Liberty ale, when very fresh, is one of my favorite session beers. It is perfectly integrated, with bright, fresh flavors, yet complex and refined, both in hop and malt character. A classic.

 511 characters

Photo of Wheelinb
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Stable. Nice light amber color. Not a large aroma coming off the glass but a light grassy hoppy flavor. The taste was slightly sweet at first but then the hops bit and all was well. Not big flavors going on here but a nice balance and a crisp easy to drink beer that went well with dinner.

 312 characters

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 3,491 ratings