Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,569 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: 1,569 | Ratings: 3,425
Photo of ism
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass at room temperature.

Foamy head forms and recedes, leaving virtually no lace and a clear, coppery color. Hops and a piney scent are evident. The hops stake a claim, but do not exclaim, just enough to be pronounced over the malt. Tickly carbonation with the balanced palate create a nice feel in the mouth. Finishes with a quick, slightly bitter aftertaste, and cleanly. Not overly impressed, as it doesn't do anything to stand out, but a good session beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper/orange cloudy liquid with a white foamy head. The head did not stay around long. There was no lacing on the glass as this beer disappeared. Smells somewhat floral, grassy and herbal. Taste is slightly sweet with a touch of flowery hops, and a slight orange peel taste. Seemed to be a higher level of carbonation, as this seemed a bit fizzy to me. The hops are not overwhelming, but make their presence known. Medium body. I find this to be drinkable. I would have another (and did). This is a classic American Pale Ale. I often revisit this beer when I want hops, but want a bit more balance. Good session beer.

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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 daledeee
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice yellow beer with a decent white head that leaves a nice lace. Hops, grain, yeast nose. Taste is a fine balance of hops and citrus(mainly grapefruit). High carbonation gives this beer a high refresher score. Very fresh tasting with a nice medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber color with a nice head, lasts a good while.

Nice fulll, crisp hop aroma, slightest touch of sweetness.

Nice full body, very smooth, good level of carbonation. Very crisp flavor, nice touch of sweetness with a very light bitterness. Somewhat dry finish.

Definitely a very good ale that I could drink several of and will definitely keep a couple of around.

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Photo of WesWes
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a solid malty scent with hops sneaking in behind it. The taste is good. I has a creamy malt palate with mild flavor hops. It goes down easy and finishes smooth. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a real good drinker; a fine brew for any day.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy copper from a stubby 12 ounce bottle (purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California), with a quick head that rose about half an inch and fell leaving a creamy, very thin band of lace.

The smell is a very colorful bouquet of fruits -- strawberries, apples, raisins -- and a lingering sizzle of hops in the background.

Ah. Taste opens with the bright fruitiness I picked up on right away in the nose and it levels out into a short stretch of creamy malt sweetness, followed quickly by a snap of hop bitterness. That bitterness lingers to the finish, and as it closes a citrusy edge comes through. Mouthfeel is spritzy and refreshing -- lots of carbonation -- and ends dry.

Overall, a refreshing yet complex and very flavorful beer.

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Photo of jimdkc
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly hazy light amber with a smallish soft white head. Smell was not much... some hints of floral hops. To me, the taste was strong on hop bitterness... but somewhat lacking in hop flavor. Mouthfeel was average, unremarkable. Frankly, I was somewhat disappointed in this. I always look forward to tasting beers rated in the 4's, but I thought this was more deserving of mid-3 status!

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Photo of DESTRO
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very slightly hazey golden sunset with a tight cropped creamy head thats leaves an amazing lace. nice! right off the bat you notice the hop aroma, piney and mouth watering...also a nice dose of grain and malt show up. first off, this beer is smooth. damn smooth. in the mouth it shows a healthy lightly sweet malt body (honey) matched up against a nice dose of citrus/pine like hops. great match. one of the most balanced beer ive encountered. semi sweet, lightly bitter, a touch grainy...just raw. in a good way. like "damn now this is a real beer". creamy in the mouth and finishes with a dry little bite. this is a winner, a masterpiece and session brew all the way.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale clear golden color with a frothy white head fed by lively streamers of carbonation. The head is fairly short lived, and the beer fizzes out leaving a film of soapy bubbles on the surface. Floral hop aroma with a hint of spice and grassiness, bready malt is also apparent on the nose. Taste is dominantly bright grainy malt with only a touch of earthy hop bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel with apparent esters and a butterscotch like aftertaste. The body is much too delicate to hide the alcohol content, and as a result the beer ends up being a bit one dimensional.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very light amber. The soft and fluffy head is the best part.

Smell: Nothing remotely strong here. A small dose of hops and a dry, extremely subtle hint of maltiness.

Taste: Rather subdued again. Faint hops. Very crisp and clean.

Mouthfeel: Okay but uninspiring. Seems to be the MO of this beer.

Drinkability: Sure. Not great, but I could kill a sixer easily.

Beef Notes: Many BA's love this beer. I don't understand. Are they drinking the same thing that I just had? With all the great pale ales out there, this one fails to climb out of mediocrity.

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Photo of stewart124
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden color with a quick fizzy head. Smells of tangy hops and slight floral notes. NIce taste of bitter hops and earthy malts. There is a tangy sweet bite. The bitterness is not overpowering and blends well with the other flavors of honey and citrus. Nice aftertaste of bittering hops but it doesn't last long. Medium body and a quality pale ale with an earthy bitterness.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy goldenrod. The head is large after an aggressive pour, is cream in color and looks soft and pillowy. It leaves an average amount of lace in partial rings as it settles to an uneven film on top of the beer.

One sniff of the hoppy aroma is all it takes to tell me that Anchor Liberty Ale will be good beer. Citrusy and floral elements dominate. The hops don't make as much of a splash on the palate as they do in the nose, but this is still damn tasty beer. The malt provides the needed support as the bitterness weaves in and out.

Liberty tastes slightly sweeter than most pale ales and is a little more fruity as well. Some graininess peeks through, but it's easily ignored. The finish is medium in length and is both softly bitter and lingeringly sweet. The mouthfeel is on the substantial side for the style, which is a definite plus.

Anchor Liberty Ale doesn't appear to have any weak spots. There's no question that it's one of the better pale ales that I've had yet. Best of all, since it's readily available at my local grocery, I'll be coming back to it fairly often.

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale gold with a small white head. Cumulus like lace forms to the glass like a growing storm front.

There is a deep hop aroma that is fruity, floral and awesome.

The taste is hoppy and malty with hints of chocolate and carmel in the mouth. The balance of sweet and sharp is spot on.

This beer is creamy and smooth--more than I would expect from a Pale Ale. There is a sharp dry finish that complements the fullness of the beer.

I really enjoyed this beer and could drink it all the time.

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Photo of Stimack
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brews pours to a hazy orange color with a nice creamy tan head that has good retention. The brew breaks down to nice lacing that clings to the side of the brew with great carbonation.

The smell of this brew has a number of things going on as I notice floral/fruity hops that are wonderful with a nice sweet malt aroma. Very aromatic brew!

The tastes seem to explode in the mouth with the mix of Hop and Malt. First notice a sweet malt taste followed by a hop flavor that seems to be more citrus than floral.

Over all this is a fantastic brew that I can enjoy through out the year, a fantastic pale!

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy orange beer.

Smell is very fruity and citrus, faint grain and malt smells.

Taste is mildly sweet and very malty. Nice crisp bitterness and multiple dimensions to the hops. A superior pale ale.

Mouthfeel is very good; the carbonation level is quite high and makes it seem thicker than it really is.

Really drinkable, this is a very well balanced beer. Much better than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very fine brew, indeed. This one was a shot in the dark, but a good one indeed. The bottle poured out a fantastic and brilliant color, and the lace seemed to have some rigidity to it. The aroma was very appealing, slightly offering something of exotic fruits and some maltiness. This beer had a great flavor, adding some bready, almost biscuity charachter to the aforementioned fruit.

This one is a keeper. If you can get your hands on it, do so. It is well worth the price of admission.


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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Liberty Ale- damn if this isn't one of the best beers out there.

Appearance- Rusty orange/ copper with a super thick creamy tan head.
Smell- citrus and hops. My wife smelled the beer from across the room and said,"that beer is strong"
Taste- Mmmm good. Strong, slighty bitter hops, citrus.

Overall- a delicious beer that gives Sierra Nevada Pale Ala a run for their money.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Crane Alley in Urbana, IL. 3.50/pint.

Rounded fruit with some supportive, but never intrusive, bittering. Anchor Liberty is a lighter form (in terms of flavor) of the prototypical west coast pales. Rich with grapefruit and mangoes, this beer is much calmer than something like Sierra Nevada Pale. One hell of a session beer. Maybe a touch thin on the finish, but still to style.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Offered on-tap at the Yard House in Pasadena. Sitting in it's generic pint glass, Liberty Ale had a clear pale yellow color and a bubbly ½" white head that deposited little streaks of lace on the glass walls.
The nose was quite sweet and fruity, with some grainy malt and tropical fruit notes. Much floral hops in the nose, also. The taste was also very fruit-laden up front, packed solid with peach, nectarine, and apricot flavor. Quite different. A decent amount of clean maltiness worked toward off-setting the sweetness and the mildly citric hops in the finish resulted in a smooth, clean, well balanced brew.
All in all, a pretty nice brew. The hops weren't quite as assertive as I was anticipating but Liberty Ale could make for a nice session brew and summer refresher.

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Photo of jtfest
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale orange-yellow with a small white head that fades quickly, Liberty has a soft, pleasant, slightly hoppy aroma. The mouthfeel is full, turning a bit watery at the end. he taste is non-descript, though you can discern both malt and hops -- just more of a whimper than a shout. It's a good, easy drinking pale. It would make a nice session beer.

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Photo of Gritsak
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

its a orangish/amber color with a sticky head

smell is a little sweet and citrus like. also get a hint of honey

the taste is pretty light..nothing overpowering. little citrus, tea, fruit hints. bitter finish

im not a huge fan of pale ales, but this is a problably the best ive had. by the time i was 2 or 3 deep i started to enjoy the taste much more...the more i drink it, the more i like it.

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

Had this on tap at Redbones. Pour when served was a clear golden, clean aroma, no head. I found the taste rather biscuity, and not very hoppy at all. This was a pleasant beer that is easy to drink and a good solid craft beer. At that abv, almost a session beer.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having a "patriotic" beer every now and then does the body and mind good, and there's no better way to engage in "Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of Happiness" than by having an Anchor Liberty Ale. Definitely one of the better West Coast APAs that I've had. It may not bombard your senses like a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale can (or any West Coast IPA for that matter), but this a good "everyday" APA that is one of the most refreshing beers that I've had in recent memory.

Liberty Ale pours a slightly copper/golden color with a decent cream colored head that thins out, but retains reasonably well throughout the beer. The aroma is nice and hoppy, with some piney, spicy/herbal, and citric characteristics. While the mouthfeel was smooth, it was a bit thinner and had more carbonation than expected, but it still made for an easy drinking beer. A light fruity taste appears on the front of the tongue with a light maltiness, and the hops dominate the rest of the palette, but not in a bad way. The hops lend some fruitiness, and some citric grapefruitiness to the beer. The beer was more mellow than I expected. This is clearly a hoppy beer, but it won't knock you on your rear. There is a bitterness in the finish but that too is not overbearing. Some toasty grains and dryness show up in the aftertaste, and the hop flavors linger for some time (especially the pine notes). Although weighing in at 6% abv, there is only a little alcoholic warmth to finish this one out.

I would like to hoist one of these at a 4th of July BBQ, but I would drink this anyday of the year. A very thirst-quenching brew. I could easily go from sipping and appreciating this one to pounding down a six pack of this. A good APA from Fritz and Co.

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Photo of Nytemare
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally shelled out the money for another sixer of this. Pours a beautiful orangish gold color with a light and fluffy white head. Ample carbonation to keep it up for a bit. Some lacing. Smells hoppy. Citrusy grassy hoppiness and happiness. Wow, I love this beer. Nice citrusy hops right up front, ahh, but hops is not all there is to this beer, oh no. Underneath that wonderful bit comes a nice rounded bisquity sweet malt. Mmmm. Decent maltiness hangs around for a while. Crisp clean mouthfeel. Highly drinkable as far as the beer by itself goes, however, due to cost, not as drinkable as say a Sam Adams or Bully! Porter. Still, if it wasn't 8.50 a sixer and Sammy wasn't a mere 5, this would be my everyday beer. It's yummy. I'm sorry but almost 200 dollars a year means I drink Sams most of the time. Still, a wonderful beer and worth the purchase a few times a year.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,425 ratings.
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