Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,566 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,566 | Ratings: 3,410
Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Pours a pale orange color with a two finger white head that lingers yet leaves little lacing.

S- Really piney and lots of citrus from the hops.

T- Right up front I get a citrus taste from the hops but then it balances very well with the malt. The after-taste is ripe with resiny hops.

M- Good carbonation too it without being over the top.

O- Overall a decent pale ale. Not the best one ever but it is very balanced. Even if you don't like hops it is a good beer.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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 drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in an Anchor Liberty Ale glass because of my family's undying love of this brewery I have a glass for every beer they produce. And if you had one, you'd use it when you finally got around to reviewing this particular beer. At the time of this review, this is the #32 American Pale Ale on the beeradvocate best of lists.

Beer is yellow to amber with some haze, a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing, heavy carbonation, nice retention, looks good.

Aroma is malty, like a red ale might smell, I like the aroma, mild hops, like a shadow of hops.

Can you taste the freedom? It is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, the overall beer is nice, good malt character a mild, probably about 20 IBU bitterness on the finish. The overall beer is quite drinkable. I guess it tastes good, but just isn't special to me. I would have it again if I found myself at a party with someone who thought they knew what good beer was or if I went to some ridiculous event that served this or BMC. I enjoyed it, I just wasn't blown away.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours out as a light copper color with a generous amount of head on it that fades after a little while. The aroma of the beer is mostly hoppy with a little bit of malt in the far back end of it. The flavor is pretty hoppy too, with the malts bringing up the aftertaste and drying things out it makes you go right back for the next mouthful. The mouthfeel is pretty good too, It's drinkable and not overly heavy ot light.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden copper pour with a big white head on top that eventually dies to a lace leaving its trail all over the glass. Very hoppy aroma to start. It is blended with grains to round it out a bit.

Some grainy pale malts provide a good foundation for this brew. Grassy hops take it from there to bitter a bit. It is well-balanced. Carbonation is light and the body is medium, very smooth. It is definitely a decent drinker as long as you are not anti-hops.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rerate: 24 May 2003. This beer is HUGELY different on draught versus in the bottle. The previous rating is for the bottle. I had it on draught today, it has a nice hoppy nose, w/ a flavor that started out creamy & finished hoppy. My rating reflects my original 'bottle' tasting b/c that's more widely available. However, if you can get it on draught, it's far superior... This is a *nice* IPA but nothing compared to the other IPA's available in California. It's readily available, so that's a plus.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 12 oz bottle. Look is bright amber with a two finger head and sticky lacing. Smell is citrus, floral and caramel malt aromas. Taste is citrus fruit, floral hop notes and caramel malt flavors. Feel is medium light in body with a crisp clean finish.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12-oz standard carbonation bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. No best-by date. Reviewed live.

A- Half-finger of quickly eroding white head. Very wet head, no real lacing. Hazy golden-brown color. Semi-clear. Not tremendously attractive.

S- Crisp apples, tropical fruits and a brilliant hop bouquet. Aromatic and fruity.

T- Light hops, crisp, light malty body. At times bitter and sour.

M- Light, thick for it's light weight, finishes high and dry.

O- Above average beer, excellent aroma. Met expectations.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
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 MaximalC
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent honey color with a decent-sized white head with appreciable lacing. Aroma is that of floral, slightly citric hops. Flavor is crisp and balanced up front with an emphasis on the hops, though wheat asserts itself in the aftertaste in a way that is slightly overbearing (though there's some citrus lurking there as well). The first sip resets the palate nicely, though. This brew is not overly complex, but it's serviceable insofar as it is crisp, refreshing, and balanced. It's not something I'd seek out, but I enjoyed it a good deal more than Anchor's flagship, Steam.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearane: golden yellow orange with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, floral, hops, malts

taste: malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, crisp, clean, light body,

Drinkability: nice beer and easy to drink on a warm sunny day.


the CPJ

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from The Bayou, Salt Lake City, UT

Pours a golden-orange body with a tall, rocky, off-white head that is excellently retained & leaves great lacing. Good carbonation, as expected. Sadly, the aroma is nothing doing, as all I detect is some metallic wheat notes & not much else. Some hop like characters come through if I really strain the senses.

The flavor has a lot of Hefeweizen-like characteristics: banana, wheat, pale malts. Some alcohol & hops pull through on the finish as big, yeasty fruit notes give this Pale Ale a nice complexity. The aftertase warms with the alcohol, and hops deliver a great bitterness reminiscent of an English IPA. Overall, however, I was a bit underwhelmed with this beer. It's a good beer and one of the originators in the world of craft brews, don't get me wrong, but it seems that the craft scene has passed it by with more complex, hoppy, & overall tastier Pale Ales.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
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 tdm168
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish amber color with a quarter inch of foamy, dense white head that has good retention. The nose is very citrusy with notes of mango, grapefruit, orange, and lemon. The flavor is citrusy as well with a citrus-forward hop character up front followed by mellow, bready malts. The carbonation is a little heavy leading to a light to medium body.

This is an alright APA. In my opinion the hops are a little too fruity and there isn't enough of a malt backbone to support balance. It's drinkable, if maybe a little heavily carbonated.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Orange tinted golden with a slight haze, nice bubbles (surprised to read it was naturally carbonated). Huge, very soapy head with amazing retention, and sheets of lacing. Lacing was present, but not particularly attractive.

S - Grassy, floral hops and some lemony scent. Can detect some faint malts.

T - Hoppy with citrus, grapefruit, a little grassy, but no real bitter twist like I was expecting when it started. Mild caramel malts follow.

M - Nice and bubbly, heavier side of light, leaves the mouth slightly puckered.

D - If I were in the right mood could do a few, but in the big bottle usually am going to limit this to one.

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Photo of mjw2808
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It pours a nice clear amber reddish color with a medium head that leaves its share of lacing. The smell is very hoppy with citrus notes and a slight bit of malt. The taste begins with an abundance of hops but finishes with a smooth hint of malt to make it go down easier. Good full thick mouthfeel and decent drinkabability. Not one of my favorite anchor steam beers, but all around a solid brewskie to sit back and enjoy. Different from many other traditional APA's ive had like SNPA, but its unique spin benefits it.

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Photo of silentjay
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours rather pale (which i guess it should) with a huge, lively white head that is cloud-like, sticks around insanely long and leaves some spotty chunks on my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

lots of earthy hops in this one (english varety?) and some bicuity malts.

flavor is nothing unexpected for the style and from the expectations risen from the aroma. a slightly spicy and acidic citrus hop profile dominates a semi-bland malt billing that is of white bread and dough.

light bodied and sticky with ample carbonation and some lingering musty pepper spiciness and bitterness.

goes down ok. I enjoy the aftertaste a bit more than the initial flavors, though. meh.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass this brew pours a straw yellow, with an impressively frothy head.

Not to much in the aroma, much like it's cousin Anchor Steam, bready malt, and fresh mild hop notes are present. These hops, however, are more citrus and much stronger (compared to Anchor Steam).

The taste is refreshing citrus hop bitterness, with a slightly sweet tingle. More bready malt is present.

Over all, this is an excellent Pale Ale. I love how it's dry-hopped enough to bring out the color and bitterness in the hops, but maintains excellent drinkabilty and doesn't over power it's malt.

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apricot in color, hazy and some yeast sediment floaters. Inch white head, takes it's time dropping. Leaves a ring of lacing that looks like a white mountain silhouette.

Smells a little like apricots too! Or maybe peaches. Some light nuttiness too.

Light citrus flavors, mingle with that sweet apricot. A little of the nut flavor that I picked up in the nose. A dry, roasty malt flavor is there as well. Some light floral hops. Very good balance here. Good hop bitterness on the front of my tongue, and gets sweeter as it continues back. Good mouthfeel, vibrant, and a bit chewy.

Good beer to kick back with and have a few. Unassuming and refreshing. Balanced and tasty. Give me Liberty, or... ah forget it. I'm sure someone's used it already anyway. Cheers!

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Photo of bashiba
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy shade of orange with a light white head that was gone in a second with no lacing to speak of.

Smell had a hint of buttery malts and a bit of floral hops.

Taste is a nice balance of smooth toasted malts with a bit of light floral hops with a bit of an ESB buttery flavor and a mild lemon zest along with a hint of a metallic copper taste.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a slighty dry finish.

Overall a decent easy to drink beer.

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Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright and hazy toasted orange color with a small creamy egg-shell head that dissipated into a sudsy looking cap. The smell is of pale malt, lemon, and a slight earthy yeast/hop combination. The brew starts off bitter but not in a citrus hop sort of way. The initial bitterness is followed by a bready pale malt and lemon twang. A tin like metallic bitterness shows in the finish. The feel is light and very fizzy, it kind of numbs the tongue. The finish for the most part is neutral but does have an odd metallic bitterness. A different sort of APA that is uniquely bitter with a lemon twang. Definitely not my favoriate APA, I think I'm not a fan of the hops that Anchor uses.

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Photo of BrewChatKen
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Pours light amber with a white head, it's a light bodied beer with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smell is earthy and floral hops and caramel maltiness. Not very bitter to the taste, there's some citrus hops and sweet and pale malts. This beer finds a nice balance, but is not at all unique, although it isn't trying to be.

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Photo of ThirstyBoy
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a small bottle into a 300ml mug @ about 10°C

Good two fingers of loosely formed head. Slightly hazy dark gold with a strong orange tint. Head faded down to a ring around the edge about 1/3rd through the beer. minimal lacing.

Strong citrusy hop nose with a resinous edge, a sweet slightly toffee maltiness to the smell. I got a good whiff of a metallic/sulfur aroma when it was first poured. It mostly dissipated, but halfway through the glass was still detectably there

Good and hoppy with a nice smooth malt background. Much bitterer than I am used to in an APA. Mind you, I have had very few APAs that actually come from America.... so it might be standard for you guys.

Still, its not so bitter that I cant enjoy it, and its well balanced with a fine grainy medium sweet maltiness.

I get a little of the metallic thing coming through in the taste as well.

Its got a fairly lively carbonation in the body and is fairly chewy in my experience of the style. Finishes nicely dry with a strong bitterness at the back of your tongue.

A nice beer, I enjoyed this one... but I didn't find it all the "drinkable" I would struggle to enjoy more than a couple of these before wanting to move on to something else

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Photo of blakelive784
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into standard pint glass -

A - Pours a deep, hazy golden color with a creamy white head. Good retention and there's nice lacing as the head recedes.

S - Floral and citrus hops aromas begin, followed by a nice buttery and sweet malt nose. Some clove comes through as well.

T - Spicy, citrus hops balanced by a nice crystal malt. Balanced extremely well.

M - Coarse and dry. Compliments the flavors surprisingly well. \

D - Very well balanced beer that fits the style nicely and I'd certainly drink again. However, in my opinion Anchor's Humming Ale is better and can be had for the same price.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a deep yellow, clear ale with a one finger creamy head. It lasted a couple of minutes.

The aroma was a bit herbal, with aromatic hops and a bit of pine thrown in for good measure.

Taste was slightly bitter, malts with a touch of vanilla. That surprised me, but it was not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel was good but not outstanding. Likewise for drinkability... an OK session beer, but just a little better than average.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,410 ratings.
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