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Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,553 Reviews
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,553 | Ratings: 3,358
Photo of loganmule
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved the citrus nose and the head, which starts big and then settles.

Also nice texture, slightly thick, but not overly so. Initial citrus is followed by malt and light hops. Might have a slightly bitter finish to those not into hops.

This is the tablewine of ales. Not spectacular in any way, but good enough across the board to drink day in and day out.

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Photo of AbePhroman
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack of this for $7.99. After trying it I think I overpayed. Not sure why but all Anchor beer in my area (NJ) is expensive. Maybe because it's from CA. Anyway, I did like the appearance of the bottle. Poured a golden brown with minimal lacing on the glass. Looked decent. Very hoppy IMO, more bitter than other ales. I enjoyed it, but I would rather have one of my local brews.

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

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19. Poured a golden amber, with a small white head. Collar of foam was this beer's constant companion as it journeyed down my glass. Smell was of mild sweet malts, floral hops and a touch of freshly mown grass - almost spring in a bottle. Ironic as when I bought this on Saturday there was several inches of snow on the ground.
Taste is a nicely balanced mix of mild, sweet malts and crisp citrusy hops. Really nice taste here - probably the best tasting American pale ale I've had. Mouthfeel is just what I'd expect for the style. Very drinkable. I wish there was somewhere in this area that had this - or any other Anchor product - on tap.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pourred a hazy light brown brew witn a nice foamy head with good retention. Nice aroma a strong hoppy taste (could it barley?). Complex mix of spice. Definitely one of the best american pale ale and looking forward to other Anchor products.

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Photo of SigEp
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent example of american micro. Had my first one this week. (why'd I wait so long?). pours a light-straw color with a low effervescence and minimal head. Nose is hoppy, but not over-powering, a little citrus and slightly piney. The taste is lovely, hits the perfect range of bitter for a beer that has distinctive character while still drinkable in quantity. Refreshing and uplifting. If you like Liberty Ale and you live in Fla, try Dunnedin's Piper's Pale Ale, it is remarkably similar.

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Photo of TerryW
2.94/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber orange with a good looking head. Great lace. nice looking beer.

I'm not too fussed on the smell. Initially, just out of the bottle it seems to have a chemical odour to it, like some sort of plastic. After it sits some you get lemon, malt and barley. Interesting if nothing else, buit a bit off-putting for me.

Bitter and dry to drink with a citrus finish like oranges. Tasty but doesn't blow me away.

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Photo of Hobbz
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, my old fav, grassy-assed but respectful friend has paid a visit.

What can I say about a beer that was the first real one!? It's like the one-in-a-million chance meeting of the person/place/thing that changes your life and you realize you won't ever be alone any more (though you never were -- it just seamed that way)...

Finding this beer was not the one-in-a-million, but its effect on me certainly was. In this sense and more I ascribe it perfection -- on BA, I will play by the rules and not by my emotions!

This is a bold, assertive beer in flavor and taste. I absolutely love its balance. And yet separated out, each of the main components -- for example grain-bill and hops -- has its own discernable characteristics worthy of notice (grain bitterness with malt sweetness; oily hop bite yet with a strong dry, Cascade dry-hopping). This is THE flagship American pale-/India-pale- ale before all others.

1989 perhaps, in a small, long-forgotten East Village bar where the proprietor was proudly serving up ALL Anchor products on draft...you will never be forgotten.

(PS: in this review whatever unsappy, man-ridden facades I might chose have long lost out)

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Photo of grynder33
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light amber color, quick disappearing head, First sniff was extremely flowery. Taste was fine, malty fruity and sweet, very pleasant sweetish aftertaste. The taste was perfectly fine, but I can't get past that initial aroma. It was almost like my grandma
s worst perfume.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy orange gold color with a medium white head. very floral malt aroma, with a little grassy hops. it has a sweet floral citrusy taste with a well balanced hop bitterness. a medium mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation, goes down real easy. this is very good beer, if people say this doesn't travel well, then this must be damn impressive at the brewery.

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

Nice golden copper-colored ale. A frothy off-white head that remains in a thin cap and leaves nice lacing. Aroma is initially big floral hops. As the beer warms, more fruity notes come out--apples, grapefruit, peaches,and bubblegum. Some yeast notes as well. A beautiful nose on this one. On palate, an astringent dryness upfront, followed by sweeter, fruity malt, some orange-like flavor, and a biscuity note.

A classic west-coast pale ale: a mouth-puckering dryness balancing fruity, biscuity malt. Clean, hoppy and full of character.

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Photo of TripelJ
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Anchor Liberty Ale

This is one that I have overlooked for some time and as per usual have later grown to regret that. This beer pours a hazy golden apricot with a thick, somewhat "fizzy", off-white head. Not much lacing going on. Nice sweet citrus and mellow floral hop aroma going on. Taste has the same mellow hops balanced perfectly on a malt backbone with a crisp finish. I was also tasting some light peach flavors on the sweet end which was enhanced by the hop bitterness and bite. Overall, a very enjoyable and readily available pale ale. I still love my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale though.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my long time favorites. I like to introduce friends to new beers and Liberty is the only one that I can say that everyone has liked. The lighter than "pale" color is deceptive for such a flavorful brew. The perfect sweet to bitter transformation sweeps across the tongue and satisfies all the way. It has enough bite for most hopheads but the beautiful balance and the pleasant floral bouquet erases any possible complaints. Even the mother-in-law likes it. The best introduction to the way of the hophead.

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Photo of silks636
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Hazy light amber color with decent white head. Wonderful floral and citrus aroma with a slight touch of grain. Meets your tounge with pleasant carbonation and a terrific balance of sweet malt under piney and citric hops. Finishes off with a biting bitterness that turns to a sweet fruity aftertaste. Hops wins the battle for dominance in the taste profile, but is not at all overbearing. Light bodied and very smooth mouthfeel.

This is a damn good beer. Very drinkable. A first-rate American Pale Ale.

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Photo of byrd
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’ve only had a couple bottles of Liberty Ale before, but I like this brew. Liberty Ale pours with a great frothy head that is about three quarters of an inch high. The color is clear amber-bronze. The head hangs around for a rather long length of time and eventually lowers to a thin lace. The aroma has a slight amount of caramel malt with hops being more predominant – slight citric/grapefruit hints. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. There is a light smooth malt start with just a hint of caramel. The hops are great! Towards mid swallow, the hops come in but don’t completely hide all notions of malt. There isn’t an overwhelming hop bite that takes over the beer, rather, the hops seem to fade in gently and take over. Hops are fairly citric, somewhat juicy and linger into the dry finish. The aftertaste is also of hops but is restrained with malt becoming slightly evident again. Overall, Liberty is quite well balanced, but definitely leans towards the hops. This is a very drinkable and enjoyable brew that is great for most occasions and worth keeping in the fridge on a regular basis.

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Photo of Webby64
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very very good beer!! Got a kick to it also! Poors a hazy copper color with a thick head that lingers a bit in my mug. Smell has some floral notes. Taste has some citrus and malt with the taste of alcohol in the background. I really like this beer and will get it again.


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Photo of chaduvel
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brass/golden with a decent white head. Smells of juniper and crisp lemon peel and hops. Taste is almost gin-like and it tastes like it smells: juniper, lemon peel, enough malts to keep this from being too watery, and citrus hops. I would say this is almost the beer equivalent of a gin-and-tonic. Very refreshing and goes down easy.

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

Pours a pale copper in color with a rising off-white head. Aroma consists of a fruity hop bouquet, caramel malt, citrus orange peel and vanilla. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a pleasant carbonation. Initial malt flavor surrenders to a spicy and citrusy hop combination. Some sweetness detected throughout from the malt. The malt flavor and bitter/sour hops pair up rather well.

When I first tried Liberty Ale over a year ago I didn't care much for it. My tastes seemed to have changed. This is very good indeed. Liberty Ale would seem to be a great beer to pair with food. This is a solid American Pale Ale.

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Photo of Brian700
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed a few 6packs of the anchor steam and enjoyed them a lot. I feel stupid for not trying the Liberty Ale sooner. It was one of the best pale ales i've tried. I can see myself buying this a lot more.

It has a golden copper color and pours a good head; off white or tan. Decent lacing. It has a nice floral hoppy smell. Excellent, The taste follows the nose. Floral, malty, citrus. Good mouthfeel. I'd say medium bodied. Very drinkable, In fact I just ran out and I'm feelin a little down. Overall a great Pale Ale.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Blind Tiger.

Appearance: Burnished golden yellow. Clear with a nice frothy head. Decent lacing as this heavenly brew was quaffed.

Smell: Great hop profiles on this one. Anchor used more of the floral/fruity aromatic hops than the ones with piney/bitter notes. Slight lemon/citrus scent.

Taste: Floral/citrusy hop flavors balanced nigh-perfectly with the pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, good drying sensation on the palate. Great medium body.

Drinkability: This has got to be one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I had forgotten how truly great some of Anchor's products are as it had been awhile. This will definitely become a staple in my fridge.

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Photo of goz
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium peach in color, with a large white head that slowly recedes to leave small amounts of lacing. Aroma is mainly dominated with cascade hops (pine needle & some citrus) with some bready maltiness and a bit of yeatiness hanging out. Taste is of piney hops, some sweet citrus, and hints of breadiness. Body is medium, flavor is very well balanced, and immensley drinkable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper color., pours with a solid cream colored head. A definite citrusy aroma wafts from the glass to my nose. There is a good amount of body to this beer, and it goes along well with a nice American hop (Cascade) character, in both the aroma and flavor departments. This beer finishes with a nice pleasing bitterness that hits ones tongue. At its best this beer is overflowing with American hop character, a wonderful hop-citrus character. Backed by a solid amount of malt backbone that helps this pioneering beer stand tall. Unfortunately this beer does not travel well. Anywhere I have had this beer a significant distance from the brewery, it is merely a solid good above average beer. When it is fresh though it is world class. So all of you Liberty naysayers get thee to the brewery to really experience this beer.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is pretty unique. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it might have something to do with the strain of yeast employed. An interesting blend of flavors, fairly hoppy, but with those interesting yeast notes. A very smooth beer overall that I thoroughly enjoy.

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Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brassy orange with a small head.

Smell: Not too impressive. Some malt presence, but mostly citrusy hops.

Taste: Light malts followed by modest floral goodness. Finish is citrusy (oranges), tangy, and bitter. Pretty good, but not great.

Mouthfeel: a little watery.

Drinkability: Goes down very easily.

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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 ale....like drinking freshly squeezed hop juice...but at the same time not hugely bitter....very very tasty...

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

#2 of the all american spree.

Pours a copper or amber or light red translucent with a very little tan head that fades quickly leaving only a sustained ring around the glass and very little and weak lacing.

The smell, even as it is poured, is room filling, very strong, with a strong feel of malt and some alcohol and hops, but smells sweet and old right away.

The taste is very nice, very fruity with much sweetness although very comfortable and well balanced with the strong carbonation it appears to have. At the end becomes very bitter leaving a positive sweet aftertaste combined with perhaps some wheat remnants. The alcohol, although mild, is also present at all times adding to the sweetness and overall mouthfeel.

Very nice mouthfeel, strong body yet goes through well as a thirst quencher with a medium body. This is a premium beer worth having many times (with moderation of course not all at once.)

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,553 ratings.
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