Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
Very Good
3,504 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: 3,504 |  Reviews: 1,586
Photo of mzwolinski
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a bit surprised. When I read the label talking about a big hop boquet, and several reviews describing the hoppiness of this beer, I suspected they were a bit dated. It had been a while since I last had this beer, and let's face it, this beer has been around for a *long* time -- 1975! What with all the Ruinations and whatnot which have come out since, I figured any pre, say, 1995 beer which proclaimed itself hoppy should be taken with a grain of salt. But hey. I was wrong. The aroma isn't overwhelming, but it *is* very hoppy and quite nice, with just a hint of malt sweetness to it. And the hop flavor makes itself known throughout the whole mouth. Great use of Cascades lend a nice floral, lemony flavor to the palate, and a oily smoothness to the mouth. Well matched by an underlying malty sweetness with a crisp dry finish. A bit cloudy in appearance from the bottle fermentation, with a light gold color and a thin wispy head. This is a beer that has stood the test of time.

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Photo of JahNoth
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This truly is a world class Pale Ale. It looks beautiful in the glass with a nice head. There is a very noticable citrusy character to balance the cascade hops. This beer may look a tad thin, but the malt character is present, and delightful. What's most impressive, though, is that this is a beer that's been around since 1975. It's truly a pleasure to anjoy!

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Photo of Morris729
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a thin but sticky white head. Nose is a bit hoppy and floral with notes of fresh peaches and honey. The taste is a well-balanced combination of a hop bitterness and a fresh baked biscuit sweetness with a touch of honey. A very nice brew, and at $1.29 for a 12oz bottle, I can afford to drink several of these!

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

Pours a dark golden color, with a nice, long-lasting white head that leaves thin, wispy lace. Big time hop aroma, mostly floral and citrus with hints of fruit and honey. Medium to light in body with a smooth mouthfeel. Excellent hop flavor and a nice bitterness that isn't too overpowering. Some sweetness and citrus are also present. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of hyuga
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge white puffy cloud-like head, which rests over a hazy golden-orange liquid. Head stays pretty well at the appropriate level. Fruity aroma with a citrus hop twang and sweet and sour malt in the background. Well-balanced is the keyword for the palate! Smooth hop bitterness and sweet biscuit-like malt blend together just perfectly. Slightly fruity and almost lemony. Slight rind-like effect too, especially in the aftertaste. Mint pops up as well in a light mint-like effect on the mouth. This hits me as an American-style pale with a bit of English-style thrown in. Very tasty. I like the hop and malt varieties used, they give it a unique quality. Great casual drinking beer.

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Photo of aracauna
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice crisp toasty malt character. It also has good hoppiness. The citric hops are not overpowering but they are noticable. Well balanced beer that I really enjoy. A bit of soapiness to the flavor.

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

The original American Pale Ale and still classy after all these years. It doesn't have the punch or potency of some of today's relative-newcomer hop-monsters but has more drinkability, imho, than most of those palate destroyers.

Cascade hops are on parade here. There's a nice (but not over-the-top) bitterness and both citrus and floral notes are in abundance. Malt is way back in the background but there just enough to keep the bitterness in check.

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

Hazy amber liquid.
Aromas of fine fresh hops. Steely, like iron trunk rails with weeds growing around...wooden box cars and their interiors.
Flavors are lemon-bright and feature plenty of hop resin. Not a huge sugar investment in this beer. What is there resembles honey, apples and succulent green herbs. Authoritatively dry. Lingering bitterness creates the urge to drench the palate again and again. How might this taste with a plate of seafood at a Vietnamese eatery downtown?

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

It explodes into the glass, a nice golden-orange with a foamy head. Citrus smells dominate, especially grapefruit, with a noticeable hop scent rounding it out nicely. This probably sounds strange, but with the citrus flavor and slight honey undertones, I can almost imagine having this as a hot drink in a mug. Not to worry, however, I won't put this one over a flame in a teapot. Liberty is a classic APA and well-deserving of its spot on the BA best beer list.

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Photo of BitteBier
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly clear orangish-gold pour with minimal but persistent head, gently maintained by light but persistent effervescence. Aromas remind me of a wheat beer with hints of citrus and crisp hops. A smooth taste with an initially soft sweetness that gives way to some bitterness toward the end. This balance makes for a very favorable mouthfeel that is only slightly oily. As expected, this is an eminently drinkable beer and my favorite bottled pale ale to date.

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

Slightly hazy brassy golden color with a thick snow-white head and slight carbonation. Bitter citrus hops and pine sap scents are very prominent in the aroma, some hints of malt as well. Taste begins with sweet malt and honey notes with a whisper of carbonation, midway through the taste bitter hops asset themselves and linger at the back of the mouth long after the finish. Very smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish. Anchor Liberty Ale is what all pale ales aspire to be.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.82/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! It has been a while since I last tasted this excellent brew but now I remember why I always loved it.
Great golden color topped by a big head of foam that leaves lots of lace. Foam dissipates rather fast, but the lace just keeps sticking.
One of the best fruity hop aromas I have ever smelled, very grapefruity and pungent, no malt aroma sneaking through this bouquet.
Deliciously smooth with a great citrusy hop bitterness, very little malt sweetness in evidence and a dry finish that begs for another sip.
I won't be going nearly as long before I buy this wonderful beer again as I went since I had it last!

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Photo of doerickson
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden coloring with a thin white head. Aroma is equal parts bready malt and floral hops. Medium carbonation. Taste is toasty/biscuity malts cut by a sort of nondescript hop bitterness. A back-to-basics American pale ale.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice Hazy Golden color with floaters evident. A big hop aroma that is citrusy and lemony (dry hopped). Taste is also dominated by a citrusy hop character but not your typical Cascade Hops taste - very lemony finish and very dry. A light to med body (smootha nd oily) with moderate bitterness.

At one time, one of my favorite beers but there are certainly better balanced APA's available now...

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Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The nose jumped out of the glass: banana, then floral hops, some grains, some citrus. The taste was awesome! The hops set the tone… some banana/apricot flavor, some dry tea-leaves, faint pine, citrus. The malt balances out the beer perfectly. Excellent and fulfilling mouthfeel, you know, a meal in a bottle type of beer. The color is a tawny-copper. The head is creamy white… laces well.

Outstanding, it’s a must try for all, and somthing I must drink often… and from now on, I will!

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Photo of Jason
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pasty of white lace, hazed unfiltered orange colour. Earthy yeast, citrusy-minty hop, fruity esters, raw honey-like and biscuity malt sweetness make up the aroma.

Well rounded bitterness is the first to be noticed, smooth malt sweetness lines the palate with tones of biscuits and raw honey. Hops are very flavourful ranging form coarse bitterness to citrus, mildly minty to raw herbal. Touch of yeast and fruity esters show its ale prowess.

Fresh and in your face, a real American ale to be had here and one that I will happily make space in my beer fridge for.

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Photo of zakery
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Big white fluffy and fairly persistent head on a cloudy golden body. A good bit of lace is left behind as it's being drunk.

Smell: A little spicy and piney smell with floral and fruity overnotes that appear to come from a Cascade variety hop.

Taste: Rather peculiar. There is a persistant fruity and piney taste that hits the taste buds immediately and stays unperturbed way into the aftertaste and beyond. Malty and floral tastes and hop bitterness seems to cling on to the sides of this other persistent taste and then dissipate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with a medium carbonation that is not visible in the glass.

An interesting beer. Would offer a great contrast to other ales if being part of an APA session I should think.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my US favorites. A superb American Pale Ale, and one that I always believe and judge to be the "original", rightly or wrongly. Being an ex-pat Limey it reminded me very much of similar strength dry-hopped cask-conditioned Burton IPA's I used to drink in quantity in the UK (perhaps I should not mention that being called Liberty Ale and all). But this has much more hop character. It pours with a darkish golden colour. The Head is thankfully much less than the Anchor Summer Ale, around 1/4", but retentive for the duration of the tasting (which was not that long actually!!!). Nice strong hoppy nose. The bitterness, as a result of the dry-hopped character perhaps, really shines through after you swallow. And it lingers. Some citric tendancies, but rather vague in the bottle I had - they are more pronouned on draft. All-in-all, A Superbly Balanced Ale and my favorite Anchor Beer.
APA = Ah! Pourme Another !!

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Photo of boblinneman
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loved this beer on draught. Funny thing, I was at a beer fest (mirobrews&blues) and my buddy said try the anchor steam lager. It was the best I ever had, but the lines to the kegs were switched, I was drinking the ale. I told the rep. that I think his lines were wrong and they were. That mistake turned out great for me. recently I tryed Liberty out of a bottle, it was good, but not as good as draught. If you never tried Liberty Ale dont wait, or this time it will be your mistake.

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

Liberty American Style Pale Ale is, without a doubt, Anchor Brewing's best year round offering. The wonderful hop bouquet is immediately noticed and appreciated when poured into the glass and unlike most American pale ales, the aroma lingers, albeit more subtlety as the brew disappears. The rich copper color shines brightly. I believe Maaco should offer this color in a car paint. They could call it 'Liberty Deep Copper'. It would certainly look great on my Jeep!

After taking the time to fully admire the fine hop nose and rich copper color, the next outstanding trait of Liberty Pale Ale one notices is the hop distinctive taste. The fresh whole hops are in abundance, yet not overwhelming. There's a crisp metallic sharp-edged bitterness with light citrus undertones. The sharpness diminishes slightly as you drink it down and the hop to malt difference becomes less exaggerated and more balanced and smooth. The medium to full malt body is lightly sweet with a hint of nuts. It seems to me that a lot of care has been taken in the malt roasting process. My hats off to the Brew Master.

Liberty Ale is truly a world-class Pale Ale!

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Photo of Jon
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor produces an excellent APA with this one. Pours a hazy light copper hue. The head retention is outstanding... it sticks around throughout the duration of the brew. The smell is of hops with a bit of malt attempting to show itself. Tastes relatively hoppy with a nice malt profile that balances everything out quite well. Feels fairly carbonated on the tongue, but appropriately so. This would make a nice session beer.

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

This is good American Pale Ale. In other words more hop lop-sided than its English cousin. Beautiful aroma, fresh floral hop and a bit of malt. The flavor has a ample citrus hop presence and a great dry finish. I would have liked a touch of light caramel malt to hide behind those hops but all and all a good brew.

I'm upgradeing my review. This is a fine APA with a great flavor. I let this one warm up a bit and that help the malt hop balance. Good stuff.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this stuff, it calms my hop jones, yet it isn't hop dominated, a real favorite of mine. This is a very refreshing beer, good for all seasons. I try to keep it stocked 24/7.

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

Very orange color, medium head. This was passable but Anchor's Porter is much better. On the scale of APAs this was not as hoppy as I would have liked, but the mellowness in that area wasn't too bad. Very clean and refreshing but overall there are much better Pales out there.

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

Liberty Ale pours a pleasant amber from a stubby 12 oz brown bottle. Head is firm and dense, lasting, and lacy.

Nose of light pleasing floral hops, palate is tasty floral hops with sweet malt that combine with a graceful and perfectly choreographed balance that is sublime in nature.

Liberty Ale has many of the fluid characteristics of Ambrosia, Nectar of The Gods.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 3,504 ratings