Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
Very Good
3,479 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: 3,479 |  Reviews: 1,582
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Huge Beautiful head made of big and medium-sized bubbles. Hazy pale ale amber/apricot color.

S- Smells of hard water and american hops. Some light malts and fruity yeast

T- Taste is great. slightly sweet fruitiness with a punch of citrus/pine hops. Some sweet grainy malts

M- Medium and well-carbonated

D- Well balanced and refreshing

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Photo of mgaddy
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was delicious. The appearance was a hazy amber with a nice head build up. Slight hoppy scent. The taste was awesome. fruity, hoppy, pale ale, with a hint of apples. The mouthfeel was crisp. drinkability, exceptional. I loved this beer.


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

Served on-tap in an 8oz clear taper tasting glass

A: Robust-appearing rusty-tan with frothy peaking off-white head with rings of lace despite the on-tap pour

S: Leafy Cascade and Centennial hops aromas are met deliciously with medium-roasted caramel and pale malts

T: A one-of-a-kind English-style IPA with a strong oily earthy hops contribution paired with generous pale and lightly roasted caramel malt flavors

M: Superb coating, oily mouthfeel with low carbonation and bold bitter, leafy hops aftertaste

D: One of my favorite English IPAs - a go-to beer that thankfully has a wide distribution in bottles, but is a real treat on-tap at the brewery

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 6/22/2006 (22oz bottle):

Pours a golden amber/red color, clear, big head, white, good lacing. Strong hoppy malty aroma balanced. Some nutty aroma, strong caustic aroma. Very balanced Nutty taste, reminiscent of Newcastle, but not skunky. Strong acidic first taste but then smoother, and only a nutty aftertaste. More hoppy than malty. Very fizzy.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is typical of a lager, clear yellow with a tinge of orange, but with a nice, thick, fine-bubbled head that persists. Aroma is crisp and malty with a hoppy undertone, not complex but still inviting. Flavor has equally strong hops and malt components, not too bitter, with just a touch of sweetness. Texture is smooth, and finish is hoppy and satisfactory.

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

Wow what a great classic pale ale. I had it on tap and it pours with a beautiful head. Nice deep golden color with nice fulffy white head. The scent is very strong with the hops but the taste is balanced when you drink it. It's a great hot day beer or for tailgating. This isnt the best beer on the market but proably the best american pale ales. I love the drinkablity and I will continue to drnk this when I have the chance to.

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Photo of illidurit
3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. Gold color with a thin white head. Filmy lace left behind. Aroma is straight-up Cascade hops. Flavor is pale malt with Cascade citrus and a bit of an apple juice note. Slight bitterness is a little weak for the style. Nice mouthfeel, with smooth carbonation and a medium-thin body. Drinkable but simple. Just doesn't jive with my ideal profile of the style.

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Photo of niangelo
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle, poured into a straight-sided beer glass. Poured a hazy, deep gold/caramel hue. The head is over an inch thick, I have to take care in pouring this one because the carbonation is lively and it foams. The head is ruddy, colored like pear flesh.

Great nose on this beer! Lots of malt, refreshing burst of hops and some tart green apples. After drinking some lagers lately, this is a nice change.

Great hop hit at first. Nice piney, bready notes initially, and a solid body with a medium malt flavor. The finish takes on some cheese characteristic, like a nice aged cheddar. The hops are a little more bitter than expected and last a while in the aftertaste. This increases as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is slightly viscous, with medium carbonation. The beer sticks on the palate a while after finishing.

Overall, a great beer. Very enjoyable look and presentation, and very drinkable.

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

Appearance: slightly hazy pale yellow, nice head that settles into a good lace.

Smell: Malt and subtle notes of fruit coming thru a nice hop smell that commands most attention.

Taste: Malty sweet blanced well with slight hop bitterness, that becomes more pronounced upon finish.

Mouthfeel: Meduim in body smooth with a dry finish.

Drinkability: A great APA one of my favorite and always a solid choice.

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Photo of YankChef
4.64/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into hennepin glass

Appearance: Golden, very light amber orange. THin clingy white head that can create some nice lacing

Aroma: Sweet and juicy with a little bit of rose water. Really in your face nose that is just outstanding.

Taste: Fresh and crisp tasting with some peach and maybe a little orange, crisp bitter hop bite, not the hoppiest IPA out there, but very full flavored.

Overall: A classic of the style and one of the first american IPA'a. A clear standard for the style and very enjoyable, maybe my favorite nose on an american IPA.

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

Dark yellow and hazy, nice thick head, decent lacing. Strong earthy rustic aroma. Taste has an upfront course, bitter, earthyness. It fades away and finishs nicely though. What the heck hops are in here? I didnt' get any citrus, just earthy, bitter, rustic type flavors.

This beer has a unique taste. Up front I did not like it, but it starts to meld toward the end and becomes very drinkable. Really bizarre. At first I was almost cringing, but when it was done I would have taken another.

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Photo of Buebie
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

The appearance to some might appear displeasing, but to me its awsome.
Poures a golden semi-transparent pasty orange. Alot of floating hop sediment. :)
2 finger fluffy white head. Assortment of bubbly retention. Nice layered lace lines.

Aroma is quite hoppy, mostly grapefruit, pine, citrus rind.
Mild buttered bread aroma, some pinneaple, a hint of spiced banana.

Alot of the hops are in the aroma, its pretty laid back in flavor, still hops are present.
Big carbonation up front, minerally water, pretty watery mouthfell. Chalky paste like flavor, Some toasty bread flavors, piney hops and mild sweetness. Super thin watery mouthfeel with soda water like carbonation
Finish is dry and hoppy, with a bitter hop linger.

Kinda dissapointed in the taste. The aroma's really pumped this beer up to be a hop moster, and I was left wondering what this beer could have been.

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

The Liberty ale poured a light orange color with a 1-2 finger foam head and some decent retention. It left some nice sea foam lacing.

The aroma was nice and crisp with a good hop smell with faint maltiness. The taste was of sweet malt up front with a fruity hop finish. It had an overly moderate carbonation factor that was fine. Overall a solid pale ale.

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Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to taste one of the classics from Anchor so I was pretty excited. Despite being one of the earliest craft brews, this still ranks pretty highly so I was pretty excited.

A: The pale ale has a clear orange color, lacking any appearance of sediment. The head on pour was near 1 finger and has since reduced to a small white band atop the beer.

S: The nose is a very strong citrus body. I noticed it immediately on pour, as a pineapple and grapefruit aroma emerged from the ale.

T: The big hop nose cools out in the flavor, showing off a nice little kick without attacking the tastebuds. The ale's hoppiness is nicely matched, if not overtaken, by the malty body. The malts are very grainy, a tad bit thin on some sips, but full of a caramel and biscuit dryness. The finish throws some hoppiness back into the mix, sending the ale out on a strong note.

M: The mouthfeel is very enjoyable, showcasing some big hop flavors and a pleasing malt base.

D: Very impressed, another solid offering from one of the original Craft Brewers. Great offering and a pretty good example of a West Coast Pale Ale, which was kind of cool after all the IPA's. A must try for all advocates.

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Photo of corey0212
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear light-orange color, smallish sized white head fades into a film on top of the beer, a few splotches of lace around the glass. Lots of floral hop aromas, bright & citrusy, with a nice bready backbone. Citrus hop flavors come through nicely, without being too over-the-top, some faint tangerine notes, slight piney bitterness, some sweet caramel flavors, all of this in extreme balance. Lively and refreshing, and a beer you could drink all day, all year. A longtime favorite of mine.

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

Surprised it has taken me this long to try this one. Poured it into a pint glass last night...

A: A great looking hazy yellow ale. The carbonation is plentiful and yields a nice fluffy white head.

S: Tons of scents flowing out of this one. The first thing I pick up are sour malts, and they are plentiful. But there is also an assertive hop smell - mostly citrus hops.

T: This beer does not lack on flavor by any means. A great mild sourness from the malts with a hop profile that consists of lemony and orange flavors.

Overall, this is one hell of a light ale. Tons of flavors and an almost perfect combo of malt and hops.

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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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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 3,479 ratings