Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,568 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: 1,568 | Ratings: 3,416
Photo of AmishT
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a tumbler

A - A lucid golden/amber with an awesome white frothy head, with some nice foamy lacing all the way around the glass. I read on Anchor's site that they use "bunging" to get some champagne like carbonation going on; they don't lie, as I have a few stream of bubbles materializing from the side of glass. Great retention. Gorgeous.

S - Robust grassy hops, with a touch of fruity esters (apple?) and a touch of sweet malts. A bready aroma is very noticeable. I definitely love me some hops.

T - A mix of floral hops and rich malts start off, but the malts are absolutely blasted by an audacious earthy hop finish. Absolutely delicious.

M - The earthy, floral hops are damn tasty when combined with the high carbonation of this ale. Medium bodied, and the flavor is very durable when held on the tongue. The hops slightly coat the palate.

D - A very drinkable pale ale. The only things that take away from the drinkability is the medium body. It's a very robust, enjoyable flavor, so it's not a beer that I'd want to drink quickly, but rather savor it.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from my notes. Poured from high above into the center of a 16 ounce fluted glass at the Lion's Pride. Liberty has a dirty, tarnished gold color. The gravity pour gave it a huge white foam head that has created a mountain of foam on top of the glass. As it settles, it leaves behind lots of patchy lace. The liquid is translucent and there isn't too much carbonation rising within. The aroma is very good, with lots of grassy and citrus hop scents. It's a little earthy as well. It isn't exceptional, very very solid for the style. The beer, once I finally taste it, makes me think of a hoppy graham cracker. It's a little bitter, a little sweet, and there are pleasant hops throughout. This is a excellent hoppy pale ale. It has a medium body. The carbonation is at a level where I can really feel it, especially when I swallow. It leaves behind a bitter and sticky coat. It isn't overly sweet though. I find Liberty to be exceptionally drinkable. It could very well be the textbook example of a drinkable hoppy pale ale (even moreso that Sierra Nevada Pale). This beer is good in any situation where craft beer is welcome, in any amount.

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Photo of JoshuaJ
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a mighty head and thick lacing all the way down. It's 86 degrees right now and this looks like just the kind of beer I want to be drinking.

Earthy, herbal hops and roasted malt on the nose. Nice.

Fuck me, this is good. The first thing to hit is the bitterness from the hops. A touch of lemony citrusy, most mostly herbal. The malts creep and stack up very well to the hops. Very well balanced. It's a bit sweet, maybe some esters, but the yeast comes in and makes sure things don't get out of hand.

And my, oh my, this is one crisp and refreshing beer. The carbonation is high, and it spreads the flavors around my mouth with it's tiny bubbles.

Like their Steam Beer, I can't seem to get in my body fast enough. I actually have to force myself to slow down and admire the simple beauty of this beer, it's that damn drinkable.

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Photo of johnrobe
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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 dsa7783
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a short fat 12 oz bottle copped singly from total wine and more in union. Pours an amber gold color with a decent head. Smell is very bready with a slight caramel aroma. Flavor compliments the smell with a noticible vanilla aftertaste. Slight bread and biscuit flavor with a clean, clear crisp finish witch gives way to a slightly bitter aftertaste that goes down smooth and clean. Easy drinkability, very refreshing. My favorite brew from anchor. Def Recommended.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy, light amber, yellow/orange pour. Lots of head, white and frothy.

Sharp, citrusy nose. Makes you really want a sip.

Nice bite, with substantial body. Malt is certainly a presence, also plenty of hops there, but not a hop-bomb, (like so many of my other favorites). Citrus flavors from the Cascade hops, always welcome, but not dominating. Mild caramel highlights too. As it warms, the malty, bready flavors emerge and take a look around, there's really a lot going on here for a relatively mild beer. Overall, it has many distinct flavors, with none of them really taking over, but very tasty and pleasant none the less.

Mouthfeel is thick for the style, but smooth and slick, not acidic.

Very drinkable, much like Anchor Steam, one of my all time favorites. Easily could be one of my new favorite session beers.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An excellent example of a true american pale.
Pours a nice clear copper color, with a small head that leaves a ring and some lacing. Aroma is fruity and spicy, with some apple and coriander present in the nose, strong hoppy smell. Taste is fruity, pleasantly hoppy, and perfectly bitter with the malt balancing it all very well. Some light wheat-like tastes linger in the mouth for a moment. Mouthfeel is just right, with perfect carbonation and phenolic smoothness balancing each other perfectly. A very drinkable, wonderful session ale.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a clear pale reddish-copper color. The head is one finger in height, thick, creamy and recedes slowly. The aroma is everything a pale ale should be: it is well balanced with the hops coming through over the malt slightly lending a nice grapefruit aroma. The taste is as amazing and the aroma with a nice fruity hop kick. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a wonderful pale ale.

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Photo of dwarbi
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A light reddish-orange with a moderate head. Smells very fresh, crisp, and a little spicy. Tastes very clean and refreshing. A little malty. Feels great in the mouth -- very complex, not too much of anything nor too little of anything. For me, the best thing about this beer is it drinkability. It is fantastic. I finish one and immediately want another.

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Photo of match1112
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a pale, cloudy orange color. has two fingers of fluffy white head that settles down quickly but never completely leaves.

S: mostly sweet citrus with floral hops.

T: follows the smell with citrus and hops with a slight dry bitter end.

M: very crisp at first, soft and smooth in the middle with a very clean finish.

O: anchor can do no wrong. worth trying if you can get it, you wont be disappointed.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a cloudy golden color, with definite yeastiness visible in the glass. Head is a medium-thick cream color which leaves pretty uniform lacing as it recedes.

Smell: Bready, some bubble-gum-ness, flowers, grapefruit, gentle spice. Really complex!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is medium-bodied at first, with bitterness and gentle sourness as the forefront taste. As the carbonation unfolds like lava bursting forth from a beer-volcano, the sweet bready character takes a strong hold and hangs on for dear life, even to the end of the sip.

Overall: A really good put-together brew.

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Photo of tgorgz
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: Into a goblet (it's all I had) from a 12-oz bottle.

A: Dark straw, almost like picked grain. A little cloudy. Great head on this beer- looks appetizing.

S:Not so much in the manner of fruit as I had thought- Hoppy, but not in the grapefruit/citrus sense. I'm not sure what kind of hops they use in this here beer, but I like 'em- English, perhaps?

T: As the senses are often linked together, I'm getting a surprisingly sweet beginning that only hints of grapefruit and citrus- perhaps some spice. The next is the malt, followed by the subtle bitterness of the hops.

M: Pleasant, especially when allowed to move in the mouth. Some carbonation, but not much.

O: Another solid offering from Anchor. Good work, gent.

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4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - 2" off-white head. Good retention. Nice fresh looking lace. Golden, amber colored beer.

S - Juicy hops. Ripe citrus, g-fruit or orange, tangerie. Candy. Very nice. IPA like nose. Comparable somewhat in aroma to Hop Devil or Titan. I wonder if Liberty was an inspiration for thos fine brews.

T - Nice maltiness behind a juicy hop explosion. Cherry and citrus. Nice level of bitterness - near perfect. A little vanilla flavor in the mix as well.

M - Round, full mouthfeel. Perfect, subtle carbonation. Suits this beer to a t.

D - Excellent, off-the-hook drinkability. One of the most drinkable beers I have ever had. A little lower ABV and $$ and this would be my ultimate session!!

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Photo of tcfishler
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Clear light orange-amber, the color of honey. Two finger beige-tan head that falls a bit quickly, leaving excellent lacing.

Dry aromas of hay and citrus, along with a sort of barnyardy funk that stops short of being offputting.

A bit thin in the mouth but big on flavor, with subtle but insistent malt and just enough hops to keep it dry. It's incredible how the malt and hops keep making their presence known at the same exact pace. There's never a moment from start to finish that is dominated by one or the other. Definitely a unique beer in that regard. A little mouthwatering lemony characteristic in the aftertaste. Chewing the beer brings up some brief caramel sweetness in the finish as well.

A beer that doesn't hit you over the head with everything it's got right at the start. Rather, a beer that you realize is great just as you're finishing the bottle. Great length of flavor and masterful balance, with a very attractive flavor profile (malt not too caramelly or fruity, hops not too citrusy or herbal).

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a translucent, yellow-orange, with a thick, white head which lasts for the whole glass.

S: Fragrant, juicy American hops, definite Cascade with the pine, also some grapefruit and other citrus.

T: Beautiful mix of pale malt and hops, lots of citrus - orange and grapefruit, straightforward pale ale flavors, but very well done.

M: Quite dry, for an APA, smooth, crisp, and refreshing, while being full-bodied and creamy.

D: Great drinkability, probably the best APA that is easily available to me, this is a step up from the quality of SN Pale Ale, which is a great beer in its own right.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper color, appears slightly hazy / cloudy but no sediment floating around like someone had mentioned in another review though. There is a slight grapefruit aroma on the nose. On the palate there is notes of grapefruit, citrus, slightly spicy… perfect hop / malt balance and natural carbonation which makes it exceptionally smooth/slightly spicy tingly but very refreshing and easy to drink. Overall excellent brew!

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Photo of interzen
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Look: Pretty much what I've come to expect from American (or indeed any other) IPA - golden yellow pour with a fluffy, bubbly white head. Good retention, some lacing left behind.

Smell: Again, typical IPA - plenty of citrus and pine resin from our old friend humulus lupulus, specifically the Cascade variety. Quite deliciously resinous, in fact, particularly if you let it stand for a while.

Taste: Beautifully astringent - very little in the way of malt notes but chock-full of earthy, resinous Cascade goodness. One of the less aggressively hopped American IPAs in my recent experience, yet still a world away from a typical British IPA.

Feel: Eminently quaffable - the bitterness of the Cascade hops would cut through pretty much anything and you're left with a wonderfully dry, astringent and bitter finish.

Overall: According to the blurb, this was apparently introduced in 1975 which pretty much debunks the myth that craft beer in the US is a 'new' thing. This was the second Cascade-based beer I'd had in this session (Saltaire Cascade being the other) and the Anchor pretty much blew the Saltaire brew away in terms of both smell and flavour. There are undoubtedly better IPAs out there, but if you're looking for a toe in the door of the American IPA style then this is as good a place to start as any.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite APA's. We don't get this often in Canada so I usually buy a lot of it.

Pours a nice light orange. Very nice head that lasts until the very end. Some very nice lacing as well

The nose is to die for so many things going on, but they all blend well. The hops are very noticeable, citrus with some malt in the background.

Same thing goes for the taste. Very nice and well balanced brew that I could drink all day long

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Photo of trumick
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with a half inch head that lasts for several minutes and lots of lacing.

Scent is of bready malts and hops nicely sweet.

Taste is great starts hops then sweet malts and hops and ending with nice dry citrus hops.

Mouthfeel, wonderfull medium bodied with excelent carbination that compliments the hop flavor.

Drinkability is high. This is a great beer to have a six pack of and finish the whole thing.

Magnificent beer from Anchor. I have always liked the Steam and never tried this one. I like this beer better.

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Photo of tar
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this beer four years ago and since then it has always been one of my favorites. Pours a clear orange/light amber with a nice white frothy head. The smell is inviting, of floral aromas and of hops. Very pleasant smelling and rather strong--the aroma can be detected without even lifting the glass. Taste is spicy and hoppy, with a dry finish. Outstanding flavor. The taste is dominated by hops yet not in an overpowering way. Feels surprisingly light, and this combined with its great taste and aroma, makes for a highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of billybob
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice golden color with a slight haze and a two finger fluffy white head but small spotty patchs of lace.

fresh clean smell of honey, fruit, citrus, and pine.

taste is malt, biscuit, tea, honey, raw hop, with a slightly grainy finish.

light to medium mouthfeel and carbonation is good.

difinitely on the shopping list.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel like I am a better man just for drinking this beer. I have heard nothing but good things and now I know that everything is true. I love the taste. Fruity and sweet. Citrus with grapefruit and lemon. Caramel malts make it even better. It goes down so smooth that I couldn't drink enough of it. Great beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hell of a pale ale....awesome nose...juicy hops....Citrus, but also some pine needle like scents too and cannibas/herbal...I think they use Chinook in this and in my opinion it seems to impart a very nice tight, but not overbearing bitterness to the taste of it...this isn't one dimensional though..a nice malt backbone really is the key to this beer...

Body is medium...about perfect...color is deep gold...a little white head that spider webs the glass...

There's no ifs ands or buts about it...this is a fantastic pale drinking freshly squeezed hop juice...but at the same time not hugely bitter....very very tasty...

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Photo of sevineyes
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle featuring an anchor and a bald eagle on the label.

A: Wet straw in color. Great head. Very thick. Lots of lacing.

S: Wow. Big floral hops. Such a great smell. Very bright. Grassy. Candied breads. Almost a soapiness in the smell. Mint.

T: Honey sweetness that slowly segues into a tart bitter. Some definite mint and citrus flavors.

M: Mouth filling. Thick. Ends dry.

D: The taste and smell of this beer is enough to make you go back for two or three more right off the bat. In the long run it makes it a staple to keep on hand.

Overall: Truly wonderful beer. Maybe if the ABV were a little less I'd consider it a true session beer. If you have not tried this beer then go get it right now.

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Photo of BitteBier
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,416 ratings.
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