Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
Very Good
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.

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 1,588 | Ratings: 3,517
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.27/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Slightly cloudy orange-bronze with good carbonation, huge fluffy soft velvet white head. Smell is wet grain, faint hop spice. Flavor is pilsner malt (which tastes like dirt to me), slightly vegetal hops, slight spice. Dry, with mild bitterness. Not an enjoyable drinking experience. Feel is great, perfect body weight and carbonation, that lasting head provides a pillowy cushion for the lips.
Anchor sometimes confuses me. Amazing beers, beers that make one scratch their head. This is the latter. How is it an IPA? Forget that, how is it even supposed to be good? *Sigh*

 572 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle date code of August 3rd 2015 into an English Pint glass.
A - Wonderful clarity, light copper colored, steady carbonation, ending in an off white cap. Lacing hangs like avalanche waiting to fall.
S - Easy citrus notes, malt is delicate, warm bread and bit of caramel. lovely and refined.
T - Slightly spicy, and a bit of English Breakfast Cracker. the base is solid with a bit of a peppery element.
M - Medium in body, carbonation is near perfect, starts with a quick swipe across the palate then a long
calling card that is lightly bitter with a kiss on its way out the door.
O - Overlooked on my part, this is a standard bearer of the style.
Cheers all

 675 characters

Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber poured into a Stone glass.Smell is very light citrus,A lttle hoppy.Taste is just like it smells,hoppy with slight citrus.There is just no wow factor with this beer.There are just so many better beers out there,there is just no sense in a repeat performance.

 271 characters

Photo of frasergrove
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Definitely a beer that doesn't get it's due with Anchor's Steam Beer attracting most (all?) Of the attention...a very clear light golden body with a tinge of amber, streams of tiny bubbles to a quickly dissipating head. Aroma isn't overwhelming, light and balanced - some orange a grapefruit. Pleasant biterness, smooth body. A delicious beer.

 343 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The grand daddy of the American craft movement, points just for being first. Crisp, light amber, sharp hops, small head, light citrus aroma, taste brings on some strength wit the hops. Lingering bitterness. Nice.

 212 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange color with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Malt, citrus, caramel
T: Matches the nose- malt, light hops (floral/citrus), a bit of caramel
M: Light-medium bodied, clean
O: Crisp, clean and tasty. Not as hoppy/complex as many more modernly crafted ales but solid as is and you can taste how it set the stage for modern brews

 383 characters

Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Globe, Copenhagen - Pours clear amber with a small white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - light citrus hops. Taste - light malty with a crisp light bitter finish. Nice easy drinking beer.

 211 characters

Photo of rickenclacker
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would not exactly call this an IPA, more like an equivalent to Bells Two Hearted Ale, in taste and Alcohol content.
I am not sure what the attraction is to the smell, it is not suppose to go in your nose.

A strong brew if you are looking to expel stress, forget your problems, and not drive anywhere. Enough bitterness to exclude from a hot summers day drink, but not as hoppy as, say Red Hook IPA. Excellent overall.

 420 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is citrus and a general English-style maltiness. The flavor is citrus, very mild hop resin, spices, malts, Anchor proprietary yeast and a bitter finish.

 159 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 1/28/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy of white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/floral hops and moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. This one straddles the line between an IPA and pale ale in bitterness and malt character, but I’d be much more inclined to think of it as a pale ale overall. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,652 characters

Photo of robear
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Forget Ballantine- this is a craft beer lover's trip back in time. Bright in the glass (if somewhat thin on the head), Liberty Ale is inviting in the glass. That invitation continues in the grassy, lemon-laced aroma. Flavor follows suit, a touch of lemon followed by more robust fruit salad and finishing with a pleasing bitterness.

I'd recommend this if you're studying old American IPA's, or want something with a bit more earthiness than today's "light" IPA's.

 465 characters

Photo of CTHomer
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: slight haze; copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: earthy, a little caramel, a little floral;

T: earthy all the way through; floral and caramel in the background; moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O I appreciate the historical significance of this beer, but other brewers have taken the style to new heights;

 414 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish head shaped pint glass.

Anybody heard of this indie gem? It pours a mostly clear amber-gold topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises earthy herbs, light ocean breeze, mild sourdough, and a hint of orange rind in the distance. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a mild piney bite for good measure. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice enough IPA, one that doesn't conform to modern standards of outlandish over-hopping, but also one that doesn't speak to me regardless.

 598 characters

Photo of JLaw55
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Let me start by saying, you cannot approach this beer with the modern day idea of an IPA in mind. You would be sorrowfully disappointed if you do. It is not even close to that. You have to remember that this beer was brewed in 1975, back before the hard hitting in your face American IPA style was truly born. With that said, this is an excellent brew.

This pours a golden/amber color, completely clear, with a decent amount of bubbles rising throughout. A small quarter inch of fizzy white head quickly dissipates into some small lacing around the edges. The smell is that of grain, wheat, mild grass, and yeast. It already is making me think of fresh baked bread or standing in a wheat field on a warm summers day.

Taste is subtle, but expert in it's execution. This is a well made beer. The flavors are the same as the smell; grains, yeast, wheat, mild grass, and just an ever so slight hint of citrus. It all comes together in perfect balance and closes with a crisp, dry finish. It keeps you wanting to come back for more.

Mouth feel was light and refreshing. This is smooth and super drinkable.

This was an excellent brew and a pleasant surprise. The best way I could describe this would be as if a pilsner or lager had been mixed with a super mild ipa. It straddles the line somewhere in between, with a heavy emphasis on the lager side's easy drinkability and subtle execution. It is simple, but expert in it's execution. If I had one quibble, it would be that I wish I had bought more than the one bottle.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

 1,570 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Liberty Ale is--if not technically, then at least spiritually--the first IPA of the American craft beer movement. And it gets a lot of respect on those grounds, but my sense is a lot of people think it's an important beer that history has passed by.

But I disagree, because I think Liberty Ale is still an excellent, excellent beer. I'll save you the detailed review, but this is a well-balanced, drinkable and refreshing beer that nevertheless manages to showcase both its malt and hop content--interesting without being inaccessible, and it's shockingly sessionable. A bit of piney resin, a bit of citrus, some crisp, clean malt, and the Anchor yeast make for a great beer. I honestly wish more breweries would take Liberty as a model when thinking about drinkability.

 771 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a DIPA. Pours hazy orange with a nice head that settles leaving some lacing on the side.
S - Earthy aroma is not like an IPA.
T - Malty, bready and some caramel.
M - Medium mouth feel.
O - I opened this as a change of pace from all the hoppy/piney/citrus IPA's I've been drinking. Forgot how good this beer is!

 327 characters

Photo of vish747
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor's Liberty Ale tastes much better out of a glass, which reduces its dryness considerably (but not entirely). The color is wheat-like, a somewhat hazy light-orange, and the smell is nothing special. The taste is surprisingly nice, but definitely not refreshing. It goes down relatively smooth at first, but with a very-slight bitter yet fruity aftertaste, and leaves your mouth feeling fairly dry and dehydrated. The Liberty Ale is not very hoppy, and true pale ale fans will be disappointed; however, it has more flavor than a typical blonde or golden, but is a bit too dry to appeal to the lighter-beer fan base.

Drink if you want a good American ale with flavor, but specifically one lighter than true pale ales.

 722 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orangish gold color, with a huge pale white head. Lots of carbonation and plenty of lacing. Nice Citrusy smell. Taste unexpectedly like an IPA with bold hoppy flavor with a dry grapefruit finish.

 207 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Attractive amber brew with plenty of white foam. Spritzy on the tongue. There is a little bit of spiciness which gives this some interest. Otherwise it's a plain, woody, vegetal brew. Bitter aftertaste. I don't see how this can be considered a showcase for Cascade hops.

I think years ago, in the 70s, this was a breath of fresh air among the Olympia, Burgermeister, and Lucky Lager that provided the ubiquitous taste of beer. From the 12 oz can purchased at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham, Washington.

 504 characters

Photo of VABA
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a straw color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has slight floral hints
T-The taste follows the nose with some slight floral flavor
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent beer

 201 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale has a nice golden color, with a very huge white head that takes a while to go away. Has a faint malt smell to it. Tastes malty , has a little hop taste also with a fruity finish.

 187 characters

Photo of BeerDocT
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is one of those beers with a lot of claims on its label. Claims like "virtually handmade" (whatever that means), "pure water" (as opposed to "fake water"?) and the claim that it started the micro-brew "movement." I thought the last claim belonged to Sam Adams. Let's see if all the self-proclaimed importance is backed up by a quality brew.

Appearance 3.25: Pours out a typical golden color. OK head, non-existent lacing.

Smell 3.0: Bouquet is decent. Certainly not impressive. Some hops, but a strange soapy smell is -to a certain extent-- off-putting.

Taste 3.75: Front is dry and that is about it. Middle is also dry, with some nice hop bitterness. Interesting and pleasing pear and fruit tastes at this level. Finish is dry with nice green apple tastes. Aftertaste fades quickly leaving just hop bitterness and dry-mouth behind.

Mouthfeel 3.25: A bit too dry in the mouth. Decent level of CO2.

Overall 3.25: A good ale. Way, way, too dry for sessioning. Good for tasting, I guess. I could see this going well with food, especially greasy a plate of Belgian frites and some bleu cheese fondue dipping sauce. If this beer started the micro-brewing movement, let's all be happy that the movement has evolved light years past it on every level.

 1,281 characters

Photo of JOldewurtel
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty hard to believe I hadn't had this beer up to this point. For me anyway, it's a little too bitter. I'm glad I gave it a chance but I can't see myself seeking it out again.

 177 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, no apparent freshness date. I had this once - about 7 or 8 years ago. I'd say it's well overdue for a review!
A - deep golden hued ale with a persistent off-white head
S - earthy and piny nose with some biscuity grain & caramel malt
T - bold malt profile with bread crust, caramel, and biscuity grain. Earthy and piny hops round out a nice balanced, but moderately bitter pale ale
M - lighter side of medium for body, pleasant carbonation, with a piny and peppery semi-bitter finish
O - a little better than I remember, but I don't plan on buying this one again any time soon.

 587 characters

Photo of thebrood1987
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright citrus cascade hop smell with sweet malts in the background. Taste is exactly the same with a smooth sip the whole way with a grapefruit bitterness on the after taste. Full bodied and the malts come through with a nice sweetness to balance out the building bitterness from the cascade hops.

Its like a single hopped IPA totally showcasing the cascade hop. It really makes me appreciate this hop and I definitely get why its still one of the most popular and widely used hops in the states. If you love cascade hops get this beer huge tastes of cascading goodness in this beer!

 584 characters

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 3,517 ratings