California Lager
Anchor Brewing Company

California LagerCalifornia Lager
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American Lager
Ranked #122
Ranked #36,017
3.7 | pDev: 11.62%
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
California LagerCalifornia Lager
Notes: In 1876, thanks to an ice pond in the mountains and a belief that anything is possible in the Golden State, a little brewery named Boca created California's first genuine lager. Anchor California Lager® is our re-creation of this historic beer. Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast, this all-malt brew is kräusened and lagered in our cellars. Its golden color, distinctive aroma, creamy head, balanced depth of flavor, and smooth finish make Anchor California Lager® a delicious celebration of California’s unique brewing heritage.
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Reviews: 261 | Ratings: 1,263
Photo of jjamadorphd
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid enough lager...

This is definitely more flavorful that your run-of-the-mill lager, but maybe not tasty as others I have had. Nonetheless, this was decent enough. Good dark, golden coloration with frothy head that has very little staying power. The smell is light and malty, almost non-existent, with a mouthfeel that is light as well, crisp, and low in carbonation (just like I like it.) A distinctive barley flavoring that overpowers what citrusy taste I think is hiding inside, though it has a malty smell it doesn't quite translate to the palate. Anyway, I still found this to be better than most and would not hesitate to grab one on a hot summer's day.

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Photo of jamesroses
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Close to best by bottle

Almost amber in colour. Active carbonation. Small head.

Aromas of herbal hops, and sweet malts.

Taste is spicy with sweet caramel background.

Mouthfeel is on point. Spicy aftertaste.

Nice lager

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Photo of Ronl12
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass. No date.
Look is nice clear yellow. Smell is basic lager with sweet malt. Taste follows nose as it is traditional lager taste. Feel is light. Overall a good basic lager.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Actually enjoy this as a change up lager given the definitive hop presence. Still very much lager grains, breadiness, caramel malts, but then has some light citrus from the hops and grass. This is better enjoyed in the smell than taste, with the fruits and herbal grass being less muted than in taste. Feel could be fuller, and there is some muddled textures.

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Photo of MKV
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Clear, light golden color. Not much head. Nicely crisp but pretty thin body. Bitterness throughout but not overpowering. Carbonation on the heavy side. Not much of a distinct flavor.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes 11/27/13: Pours a clear pale gold producing 1.5 fingers of frothy, clumpy, white head which leaves only a few wisps and motes of lace behind. Aroma is cereal grain and lager yeast, Graham crackers, honey, some citrus and grass. Taste is clean grain, bread, lager yeast, vanilla pound cake, the hops notes are predominately grass with a touch of lemon giving way to a bittersweet finish and an aftertaste that is nicely balanced but transitions to bitter. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth with some prickly pepper spice.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at Legacy as part of a 12 bottle variety pack.
LOOK: Pours a very clean light gold with just a faint tinge of amber. All white head that has average retention.

AROMA: Lots if malts come through, along with a touch of yeast as well a little dry hop accent.

This is a good lager. Not as bland as many it the style and with more flavor than typical lagers.

Nice dry finish.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
2.61/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

L - Deep amber, slight rising CO2 into lacing which soon clears.
S - Fresh, grainy notes. Maybe I'm congested I don't sense much more.
T - There is pleasant balanced strength and richness in the middle that goes into a nice gentle dry/hoppy ending.
M - The CO2 appeared low in the glass, but I'm surprised that there is also very, unsually little, CO2 on the tongue. Wondering if this is an unsually low-gas beer, or whether I might have a dud bottle.
O - It's hard to sum up as this is either genuinely meant as a low-CO2 beer, or something isn't quite right here. What I can say is that it would be nicer with more prominent CO2. What is nice is that it's not 'yet another American/American-style over hopped hop-bomb of a brew'.
Bought from Waitrose, London, UK. 355ml bottle. BB 3/2020. The bottle is also notable for having an unusually elegant lable featuring a bear.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma of malt,grain,toasted cereal/cracker, and yeasty bread
Taste follows the nose, malt arrives first but is nicely balanced with a mild hop finish

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Photo of Harrison8
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slighty foggy copper with a finger and a half of snow-white head. Head retention is fair. Aroma is pilsner, bread, and toast malts with a dash of yeast. It's a pretty malty, but clean aroma. Flavor profile is pilsner, bread, toast, and biscuit malts with a dash of yeast ester at the end. Mouth feel has a crisp edge, but a velvety, semi-fizzy interior giving a medium thickness. Overall, a pilsner focused almost solely on malts. It does a good job of being simple.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out a lovely golden color with a solid two fingers of slightly off white head that is audibly crackling. The head actually looks somewhat gold as the beer is poured as well.

Has a nice malty clean lager smell. Maybe a bit of sourdough bread with a lightness on that sourdough.

The taste is a touch of sweet and a touch of hops. Picking up a faint hint of lemon in here. Nice bready maltiness. The hops are more pronounced than an AAL but subtle enough to add a nice touch to the lager characteristics.

Mouth feels like it is leaning towards the medium side with a nice clean full mouth of beer feel. The finish is fairly crisp but does have a bit of slickness to the very back.

Overall this is a must try for lager fans and a definite must try for those that like AAL's. This beer really hits a lot of good notes for me. I would love to try this fresh as could be out of the tap. The only thing that holds me back just a bit on this one is the price. I see a lot of reviews that mention it is a bit pricier than other lagers. Yet this one really does taste cleaner, if you will, than the average AAL. So it does have that going for it. Good stuff! Give it a spin and see what you think of this golden California Lager!

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Photo of ovaltine
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a delicious, crushable lager - big noble hops bringing grassy aromas and flavors, and a suitable-to-style cracker malt backbone. If I lived in California, this would be my lawnmower beer this summer.

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good beer, with good balance between hoppiness and maltiness, somewhat more toward the former but not as hop-forward as an IPA. A good example of a Californian style lager. Refreshing

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Photo of chitoryu12
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: Hazy amber orange, with a tiny white head.

Smell: Sour yeast and malt.

Taste: Mild yeasty sourdough bread with a bitter back end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and almost creamy.

Overall: A very unique flavor rarely seen in modern beer. You do have to be in the mood, though.

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Photo of scott_qua_scott
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours clear and golden with copious, fluffy white head. A great example of a lager to my eye.

Smell: Sweet (some mellow fruit right off the bat) and fairly mild. Not a terribly complex smell, but pleasant enough. Again, pretty typical of a lager--the smell doesn't overpower.

Taste: This is an eminently drinkable lager. Upfront it's malty and clean on the palate. Finish has a mild grain taste (notes of...corn, maybe?). The hops kick in only at the very end, with a hint of flowery bitterness that sort of flickers in. The flavor has the drinkability you expect of a lager, but with enough interesting characteristics to be suitably 'craft'-y.

Feel: Clean and relatively high in carbonation. A little thick for a lager, but I actually really like that.

Overall: A great lager. I know this isn't exactly a fresh take, but I've been really impressed with all of the Anchor beers I've had. This has some of the characteristics of their trademark "Steam" beer, but chilled out and made even more sessionable. I'm not a big lager guy, but I like this one a lot.

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Photo of detgfrsh
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12oz bottle. Light orange with a finger of white foam. Straw and yeast smell. Medium feel. Tastes of grass, citrus, and a touch of spice. Very good for the style.

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Photo of Suds
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes, in the right circumstances, I appreciate a good American lager. Clear, Golden and light headed. The smell has a bit of malt and lots of cereal grain....sweet. Light in body. Balanced. Not huge with flavor, and slightly sulfury. Easy to drink. Sweetish cereal finish. Not a bad throwback beer.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a single 12oz from Don Quiojte $1.79
Clear golden color
Light-Medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Light malt flavors
Overall just ok. Nothing to justify a premium price.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Average looking straw amber colour with foamy white head. Not much aroma and tastes smooth but nothing that stands out. Mouthfeel is pretty good and goes down smooth but still nothing to make this lager stand out. Just slightly better than average.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely Amber with a white bubbly head that hangs around.

Lemon, citrus, nutty fruit, and rich cereal grain backed by a slight floral bouquet.

Taste follows nose lemon citrus bite followed by a nutty fruit malt flowing to a solid cereal grain malt backbone. An excellent lager.

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Photo of josanguapo
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

From Elcervevero. In Teku glass. After dinner. Null aroma and not much taste, just some grassy notes that becomes worst as it warms up. Bigger body than usual. No defects but boring.

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Photo of ThePold
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a glass. Fresh. Darker than some lagers, and tarter, too. Not much head. Mild carbonation. Taste and feel is a good lagerish palate pleaser. I would always get this when I'm seeking a lager, but honestly that is only an occasional occurrence.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Willi Becher glass. Stamped 7JK.
A: Pours with a vigorous two fingers of loose head that fades quickly. Perfectly clear amber-yellow with moderate effervescence.
S: Smells sweet, lagery, and yeasty.
T/M: Pleasant, straightforward lager profile. That's not meant as a knock. Much more sweetness than sulfur, this is the style of lager that I could knock back with a burger or enjoy as a small domestic upgrade. If someone likes Budweiser, they will really like this. Malty and smooth, with only a touch of hops or carbonation.
O: More like a euro-lager without any of their pitfalls (skunkiness, sulfur, terrible aftertaste) than a light beer, this is a classic lager that succeeds in its style, but not on its merits.

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Photo of 57md
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light straw color with a finger of fluffy head. The nose is distinctly pilsner malty. The body is hearty for the style with a decent semi-dry finish.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance has a clear golden yellow colored body with a half finger foamy white head that dies and leaves some thick foamy white lacing that spiderwebs pretty nice. The carbonation is seen rising at a moderate pace. The smell has some light citrusy-fruit with a decent cracker-like spice coming through kinda peppery. The taste has a lager-like sweetness strong with that nice cracker-like spice blending pretty nice along with a sweet cracker-like aftertaste with a clean sweet dry finish. On the palate, it sits fairly light on the body with a decent to moderate harshness trying to take a bite, but actually stays somewhat smooth for the most part. There is a decent sessionability for this one. Overall, this is a good American Pale Lager well worthy of coming back to, I’ll look to have this one definitely again in the summer months.

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California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 1263 ratings