Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
3,463 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: 3,463 |  Reviews: 1,579
Photo of EatsTacos
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favourite beer from this brewery.

A: Pours golden-amber. A big, chunky beige head, with good lacing and retention.

S: Aroma is fruit and honey, and biscuits. Hints of grass and citrus.

T: Initially bitter hops, followed by a smooth, malty sweetness. The hoppyness is fruity with honey and lemon. Yeast is apparent as well, with a small piney/herbal, dry finish.

M: Fresh tasting beer, with a good dry finish on the palate. Carbonation is soft and subtle.

D: Great APA if you ask me, extremely drinkable. Not too complex but great balance and interesting enough to really appreciate the character of this beer.

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

The beer has a light amber hue with a big head. I almost overflowed my stein with the head on the first pour. It was unexpected but not unwelcome. A fair amount of bubbles remain once the head dissipates.

The smell is mostly citrusy hops with a little bit of floral freshness. It hints at the glory of freshly hopped California beers. The hops come through on the taste but just can't hold up to the complexity and freshness promised in the nose. Liberty makes up for this, to some extent, by providing a well-balanced bitter malt. I would give it a higher taste score if there weren't so many great pale ales on the market nowadays.

Like with other Anchor beers, Liberty Ale is the sort of beer that I wish mass market breweries made. It's simple, clean and well-balanced. You can understand how it helped popularize microbreweries in this country, and it tastes the way that I imagine good beer has always tasted. It's not "extreme" or exotic. It's just good beer in traditional styles. It's also very easy to drink.

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

My bottled sample of Liberty is marked with an expiration date nearly 19 months off so it's either fresh or stays fresh for a long time. This is an American classic and is widely available at the LCBO's that I check.

It pours with a good looking albeit suprisingly cloudy tan colour and lots of spunk and activity. This is a lively brew. The head dissipates quickly and the aromas quickly come out. Liberty is an interesting beer in that its perceived properties change as you drink it. In the beginning the smells and tastes are loud and in your face, but as you drink more and your senses become accustomed you can perceive a balance. Hold back those initial thoughts of bitterness because they will fade as you enjoy more of the beer. The fragrance is strongly citrus fruits with yeast and some husky grassy notes. But the taste has much more.. there's sweetness, fruits, toasted malts and some serious hops. The dry hopping has clearly achieved the results the brewery was looking for.

Once in a while you find a drink that surprises you. It brings you back to a time and place and makes you remember why you search for good beer in the first place. There's validation here - Drink up!

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Photo of beveritt
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a stubby Anchor bottle, now with a pop cap, into a standard pint glass. It has a code on the back, but no clear brewed on date.

Appearance: Pours with a massive off-white head, over five fingers, requiring me to stop in the middle of the pour. This settles slowly, leaving behind a lot of nice lacing. The beer itself is medium yellow, the color of straw, and perfectly clear. A very little activity is evident. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: A decent, but not overwhelming level of fresh hops, blends well with caramel malt.

Taste: Piney hop flavors followed by a semi sweet malt, with an almost honey finish. Hints of lemony citrus. Medium bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: A classic example of the style, nice and crisp.

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

I have always enjoyed Anchor's beers and I am just now getting a chance to review them in my logbook and online. I find their beers to be hardy, flavorful and extremely versatile.

I poured mine into a duvel glass so I could smell the many aroms found within this classic American ale. The head was around 2 inches then quickly dispersed to a thin lace.

The Aroma is like caramel corn hot from the fair with a faint hint of cider and toasted almonds. Very Appetizing!

The taste is very malty with very little hop character at the beginning. The finish is the perfect amount of hop bite with only a faint hint of hop at the very end. This is one very smooth beer.

The mouthfeel is full and inviting. It begs you to keep drinking. I would recommend drinking it around 45-50 degrees in hot weather and 55-60 degrees in cold weather. This is part of the versatility of this great beer. This will mostly affect mouthfeel and taste. The colder version is very refreshing and the slightly warmer version is a very cozy friend in cold weather.

You could basically drink this beer all day and sometimes I do. I love the flavors and aromas - It's like coming home from a long vacation.

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

This has nicely rounded body and flavour. I've had it on tap and in the bottle.

Somewhat dark gold, it has a medium, fairly rich, very pale tan head and leaves fairly good lace.

The aroma is malty with hints of toasted grain and caramel, along with a lot of fruit and citrusy hops.

The beer is tasty, with light toasty grain, fruit, especially tart peaches, citrus, juice, leaves. The hops are just strong enough to barely dominate the character with a definite floral, citrus element and crisp bitterness that pulls back just before becoming too strong. It's offset with enough flavour and malty body to carry the bitterness and has a little compelxity while being very clean and crisp.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

It had a very thick head on it, several inches worth, and a definite fruity hoppy aroma. The taste is strongly bitter at first, almost at the edge of being too bitter, but it works. Every sip gets better and more of the fruit comes out as you go.

This is a very good beer, I could definitely see drinking several in one session and going back for more.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - light orange, slight haze, lots of carbonation bubbles dancing, tight dense white head. Leaves gobs of sticky lace down the glass.

S - citrus, lemons, grapefruit, floral, and a bit of grass. I wouldn't call it your typical "american" aroma, sort of a cross between a hoppy pils aroma and cascades.

T - delicate malt sweetness, balanced by some spicy, herbal hop flavour. A little bit of sweet citrus flavour as well. Aftertaste is snappy bitterness and lingering flavour. Not the boldest of taste, but overall profile is best described rustic and classy.

M - Very smooth beer. Lots of carbonation, but gentle, and gives the beer the right amount of snap to keep it crisp and balance the sweetness.

D - to me, this is the definition of a session beer; interesting profile, relatively low alcohol, and incredibly easy to drink.

I admit to arriving late to the game on Anchor beers. Never tasted one until a couple months back, a single bottle of Steam. Grabbed a 6-pack of Liberty this week. What I love about both beers is the rustic quality; they taste "old." Old in the sense that they have been making a quality product for years, and feel no need to change things, much like the traditional German brewers, yet it is still very American. I can only imagine how bold this beer would have been when it debuted in 1975; it seems rather tame by today's standards, but it is still an exceptional beer. Highly recommended, and shame on me for taking so long to discover this fine product.

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

Liberty Ale review

Anchor Brewing Co. was the first craft brewery in America. I have admired a few of their wonderful beers and Liberty Ale is my favorite. I poured a 12oz. bottle into my tasting snifter and prepared for the best that Fritz Maytag has to offer. There was a nice amount of head once fully poured but it quickly dissipated. The color was a golden straw, and just a bit cloudy. The aroma was fresh with hops and citrus, with a touch of yeast. The taste wasn't overpowering, nice and smooth with equal amounts of hops and sweetness. I would also highly recommend Anchor Steam ale as well, unfortunately I'm all out so that review will have to wait for later.

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

A: Pours a nice golden-amber, with a slightly hazy orange tint. A big, somewhat chunky off-white head, with solid lacing.

S: Faint fruit (peach?) and honey, with a noticeably biscuit-like aroma. Hints of earth and citrus.

T: A crisp hop bitterness initially, followed by a smooth, malty sweetness. Hints of honey and perhaps lemon. Yeast is apparent as well, with a slightly earthy and almost minty/herbal twang.

M: Fresh and clean overall, the finish is quite dry. Carbonation is tight and somewhat subdued.

D: One of the better APAs I've tasted, and easily near the top in terms of drinkability. Not too dominated by its hoppy character, and with a nice overall complexity, this is a good brew.

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

A: Pours a light amber orange, slightly hazy, with a quickly dissipating 2 finger head. Leaves a thin layer of head, nice thick lacing down the glass.

S: Wow, this beer smells great. Bubblegum, fruity smells, grapes, floral hops, pale malt, honey.

T: Lots of floral hop flavors, really taste it in my nose. The hops are not very bitter, but have lots of flavor. I am having a hard time describing it, but I like this beer.

M: Nice and smooth, medium carbonation and body.

D: Pretty high. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice semi cloudy pale/light orange with a good fluffy white head that retains quite well. Nose is some fruity yeast, slight citrus hop. Taste follows with decent citrus hop flavor and a good subtle malt presence. An akward fruitiness in here. Mouthfeel is ok, but slightly overcarbonated and a little thick. Drinkability is pretty good, but there are certainly more drinkablte pales out there. A good unique beer, and a decent pale, but there are enough of them out there, that I probably won't purchase this one again. a decent beer, refreshing enough.

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Photo of lionking
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toured the Anchor Brewing Company back in March 2008 and sampled the line of Anchor products on draft at the end of the tour. For the plane home, I picked up a variety pack. The pack included Anchor Liberty Ale.

Appearance. Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Poured a two finger head with some nice sustained bubble action in the glass. Color was a hazy yellow with some amber highlights. Nice lacing left on the glass as it drank it down.

Smell. Strong smell of citrus fruits and hops.

Taste. Light and dry taste with citrus fruits and a bitter hop taste.

Mouthfeel. The beer was light and crisp. Obviously thinner in the mouth than the other Anchor products.

Drinkability. A refreshing beer which I would have a again. As I stated earlier, a little lighter in the mouth than a lot of other Anchor products and other ales which is somewhat deceiving with the above average alcohol content.

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Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in to an imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear golden color with a nice big white head.

Nice big grapefruit and pine smell.

Great hoppy but balanced taste with the usual hop flavors and a malty backbone.

Nice mouthfeel and a nice to drink factor. Classic APA.

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Photo of adamette
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from distintive brown bottle (like the one pictured here on BA) into a clean, clear glass. Date on back is "8MK."

A Cloudy, light caramel brown body with 3 inch head. Above average appearance.

S Moderately hoppy, pine needle, inviting.

T Excellent. Hops is there but also a complicated and ulitmately interesting full bouquet. Really quite good. I am not sure that it could be better.

M Fine, moderate between thin and full. For that reason it rates on the high side but it is not the most remarkable aspect of this beer. That would be the taste.

D Great for being slightly higher alcohol than the mass market beers.

Notes: It was a pleasure to taste and rate this beer. This makes 2 for 2 for Anchor Brewing Company beers that I have rated. I recommend that you try any product that they make based on those two reviews (the other is Anchor Steam).

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Photo of alovesupreme
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A.1 1/2 finger head, fair retention.Golden yellow in appearance. Lots of carbination.
S.Smells like an ale,floral.
T.Sweet initially, and very pleasant but taste that follows is (synthetic tasting)?Pleasant after taste.
M.Good carbination, not very thick, but good for what its going for.
D.Good drinkability.

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Photo of elricorico
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange in colour with three fingers of foamy off white head. Lots of staying power to the head. Looks like beers do in advertising.

Strongly citric in aroma, like a sharp lime smell. Mix in a bit of flowery impression and you know that this is a hop-heavy beer.

Bits of buiscity malt peak through in the flavour, but mostly a fruity citrus taste throughout. Sweetened lemon is perhaps the dominant flavour, but overall impression leans towards bitter. Just a touch of grain to the finish reminds me of many lagers.

On the light side in body, with ample carbonation. Meant to be lively in the mouth, works well.

Very drinkable, a suitable hot weather beer for sure.

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

Slightly cloudy golden color in the glass with a thick two finger head and good lacing.

Smells of piney hops.

Taste is spicy hops up front with pine in tow. Finishes with a good pale malt flavor. Easy to drink with a light to medium body.

This was the first of the Anchor brews I've had. Very impressed. Solid and flavorful APA.

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Photo of changeup45
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange-like color topped with a medium head. The carbonation seemed to disappear halfway through the beer. Sweet citrusy, mild hoppy aroma. Very smooth, orange citrus flavor with a dash of tangy hops. Could use a little more flavor. This is relatively light and would seem to be a nice fit for the summer.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice light orange, almost orange-gold. Head was off white and bubbly.

Smells of some light malt and citrus rind.

Tastes of dry biscuit, bitter hop bite, lightly roasted grain, and a bit of citrus. A tart finish.

Not digging this one as much as the other offerings from Anchor. Different style - sure, but flavors are not in line with my preference. Decent balance, but not my cup of tea. Has all of the great elements, just can't seem to come together.

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Photo of froghop
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy orange with an egg-shell head, good lacing.

smell is of grain, some citrus, touch of caramel, and some nuts.

taste is crisp, grain, malt in the back, caramel, citrus throughout, with a slight sour finish, and also some bitterness in the end.

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Photo of sstackho
3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650mL bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto. Pours an uninticing pale yellow, with a bit of head and little carbonation, although the current low carbonation could just be that I opened the bottle a couple of small pours ago. Weak hoppy aroma. The taste hits the tastebuds immediately with hops upfront but it ends sharply, almost a bit spicy. No fruitiness or well-rounded flavours, unfortunately.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed this beer many times in the past, but not recently and never with an eye towards reviewing it. Time to sit and ponder my thoughts on the classic.

This is a gorgeous looking beer. It pours a clear light amber color with some visible carbonation. The Head formation and retention is just insane. A lovely 3 finger creamy/substantial head forms and just sits there like a dollop of whipped cream. As you consume the beer it ever so slowly fades back into the brew or clings to the side of the glass in large clumps of lacing.

The label says this is dry hopped and I have to admit, I never knew that or sensed it from the aroma. Same here today. I would have thought that the aroma would have been a bit stronger. I sensed notes of citrus fruit and caramel. There also was a floral aroma that wasn't very strong, but evident none the less. You can tell there will be some malt backbone that you are going to taste.

I thought again of caramel when tasting this, but also of crusty whole grain bread. There certainly was a subtle sweetness but you also got a nice sense of the grains used. Really nicely balanced. There were grapefruit notes and other fruit flavors. Towards the end I really enjoyed what I perceived as a nice balance between a hop bitterness and a bread like flavor. Really nice. Good Hop presence but certainly no too much.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and silky smooth. I think this is very drinkable and was very happy to see I enjoyed it as much as I remember.

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Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Sheffield's in Chicago.

A= This ale was a slightly cloudy golden-orange color with a ½" white head and a low to medium carbonation release.

S= This ale produced aromas of earthy and fruity hops as well as a solid malt backbone. Everything was subdued, nothing over the top here.

T= I found sweet malt and earthy flavors to be the most prominent, with a long slow hop bitterness in the finish. As with the aromas, everything was understated yet in balance.

MF= This is a medium bodied ale that is lightened a bit by the crisp and clean carbonation effect.

D= Deliciously fresh on tap. Not your typical American PA/IPA flavor at all though. Good drinking for a summer's day, and worth a go for anyone who appreciates pale ale.

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Photo of diabecktic
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer appears to be a shade of amber that leans more towards the yellow side of the color spectrum; the head is a lovely cream color. Plenty of carbonation rises seemingly out of nowhere. Head formation is excellent - it nearly jumped out of my glass even with the use of proper pouring technique; retention and lacing are also excellent.

The nose has excellent hop, malt, and citrus character. To me it seems like the malty/sweet aromas stick out the most. Overall it seems to be a very "starchy" type smell that's accented with a bit of citrus. This may sound strange but it smells "thick" and slightly metallic.

This beer really "bites." The hop character seems to be the most dominant flavor. It's definately more bitter than sweet; unfortunately it doesn't taste as balanced as the smell is. However, this does not mean it's bad by any means; I just taste far more of the hop character than anything else. The sweetness (remniscient of grapefruit) seems to kick in more near the aftertaste portion of the sip - pleasant bitterness remains.

The brew is moderately thick and slightly on the creamy side. It feels great in the mouth; the carbonation mentioned earlier delicately teases the tongue. My mouth is slightly dried, but I'm still enticed to take another sip.

Not too thick, not too watery - it's just right. I could easily see myself drinking these very quickly on a hot day. The bitterness and drying effect are not so great as to deter me from drinking this at any speed. I feel that these elements add a bit of character to the beer.

This beer is excellent; it comes on very strongly but wanes delicately and leaves you wanting more. For those of you who like the hoppier beers - this one's for you. Since this brew kind of strikes my fancy, I would really like to get the chance to try more beers from the Anchor Brewing Co. and see what else they have to offer in terms of other styles. Well-done!

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 3,463 ratings
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