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Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

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1,560 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: 1,560 | Ratings: 3,390
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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Photo of mschofield
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber
Pours an orange-gold, well carbonated with a two finger creamy off-white head. Laces in sparse rings.
Citrus (grapefruit) and floral aroma
Malty taste, and very hoppy, toasty, and a little tangerine.
Medium feel, an oily body.
Nicely rounded and balanced, a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a good ole pint. Brownie points for the stylish bottle cap with a, you guessed it: Anchor on it.

Dark orange crystal clear appearance. Huge frothy sticky head with (go ahead - sing the song) tiny bubbles.

Orange peel and bright pine resin hop aroma.

Orange citrous hoppy flavor with citrus undertones and pleasant crisp ginger ale body. Taste stayed upon the front sides of my tongue. Mild carbonation gives way to a short lasting flavor. Aftertaste is mild, a little sticky from the sweetness. Oh, and 6% ABV doesn't hide either. 60/40 balance to the side of hops.

Soft carbonation. Medium body.

As the beer warmed, the flavor was consistent. A refreshing fluctuating balance of 2 row barley malt and hops. Highly recomended for the 50/50 malt and hop flavor fan. Fine example. Subdued aftertaste.

Let's go with a 4.0 drinkability. I could wack back these babies 'til closing time, no problem.

Last swigs: Re-reviewed 12/13/04. Price? I shelled out $7+ smackers for a sixer in Jersey. Worth it. Anchor has been a consistent performer. Good job!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

Pours a light amber color with a thin head. Marvalous fresh hop aroma…peppery, floral, west-coast aromas…pine-like. The taste always seems surprisingly malty. Nice, tip-of-the-tongue sweetness. Moderate to full-body. Finish is refreshingly bitter and biting. This is a great session brew….I’ve always been impressed with this one, and found it to be one of the best beers from Anchor.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent palate cleanser here, and an excellent ale. Pours a nice, clear, honey amber color with a moderate ecru head that lasts several minutes and never really disappears, except for some sheet lacing it leaves behind. Floral, pine, and lemony citrus dominate the nose. Mouthfeel seems on the thick side and has a touch of pleasant, hop bite. Taste is toffee/lemon in the beginning. Caramel/toffee flavor holds on toward the finish, but the lemon and pine of those American westcoast hops constantly hold your attention. Has a dry and hoppy finish and aftertaste. Very well balanced overall, and has a nicely assertive taste that would make this a fine session ale.

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

Pours a nice amber color with a thick head. Some lacing was produced. The aroma was of malt, hops, and citrus. Malt, caramel, slightly higher bitterness, and a mellow honey tone rounded out the flavor.

The mouthfeel was smooth. A slight dryness was detected after swallowing. The bitterness lingered on the tongue for a few seconds along with a mellow caramel flavor. This beer is extremely drinkable and makes a great session beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely allmond brown, average head with some retention, clean and smooth malt profile, bready with hints of oatmeal and biscuits. Vibrant and citrusy hops. Grapefruit. Smooth & velvety on the tongue. Goes great with salads, nuts and cheese. All around great ale.

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

Pours a slightly hazy peach color with a medium sized foamy off white head. The head stayed around through most of the beer and left decent lace. Noticeable carbonation. Aromas of sweet malt, tropical fruits(mainly pineapple) and a spicy hoppiness with citrus undertones.
Good balance of flavor. Sweet malt, caramel, tangy citrus fruit and spicy hops. Finishes dry with a nicely lingering bitterness.
Medium bodied with a rich, full and creamy mouthfeel. Fizzy carbonation that hurts the drinkability. Haven't had this one in years...silly me! Good solid ale.

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Photo of smcolw
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--A light bronze amber with a touch of cloudiness. An underperforming head that dissipates quickly, although it creates beautiful, if short-lasting, lace.

Smell--predominately hop as expected. Nice balance for an American IPA.

Taste--Wonderfully complex with a light malt up front and a strong lingering bitter aftertaste from the hops.

Mouthfeel--Surprisingly chewy for this style; coats the palate

Drinkability--Delicious and refreshing, the heaviness would work well with spicier foods. I believe this would be an excellent choice with lamb.

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Photo of Stingray5
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber with orange hues. A lot of fruity hops in the aroma, peach, with some toasted malt. Mouthful reveals nice carbonation, although a little on the thin side. Taste is very enjoyable, more peach and fruit in the taste, juicy, juicy hops, but different than the aroma. A nice light toasted maltiness. Hop assault ensues in the finish, and this is a good thing.

I had no idea what this brew was like. I grabbed it and tried it with no preconceived notions. I was pleasantly surprised. An excellent pale ale.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,390 ratings.
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