California Lager | Anchor Brewing Company

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California LagerCalifornia Lager
1,224 Ratings
California LagerCalifornia Lager

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by esdeebrew on 02-15-2013

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,224 |  Reviews: 246
Photo of Golden32
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of yhoshijima
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of n1ckels
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Famed Wine Critic Eric Asimov, published a review of Lagers (Lagers Enjoy a Renaissance) in the NY Times March 12, 2015. The top 4 blind rated lagers were Full Sail, Anchor, Brooklyn, and Atlas Brew Works (all 3 stars). After reading this, I made it my mission to try more lagers. Was not impressed with the Full Sail. I liked Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold--good but not excellent. Anchor was and still is a revelation. I've been drinking it over a year now, and its brilliance has yet to fade. In fact, I enjoy it more than ever.

This is the best lager in America. Each time I drink it, I am reminded at how simple and satisfying it is. I could drink it anytime of day, any day of the year. And I always crave it more than the last time. It is crisp. It is exactly what I want from a beer. Too often I crave a very specific beer or style, indulge, and am disappointed. And this seems to always happen with IPAs. Sculpin and Hopslam, for example, I remember them being so wonderful the first time. What happened? Now they bore me to tears.

Anchor has made a timeless, perfect beer here. When I find this beer, I always buy it and usually I buy out the store. It is that good. In some ways, it is plain. One could argue it has no soul, it's colorless like the Murakami character. It's no flavor explosion, but we must ask ourselves, is a flavor punch to our face what we want out of a classic beer? What do you want out a beer? There's no novelty here. I believe this lager will be here for decades. There's too many ales, pilsners suck, and there aren't many transcendent lagers. This is one. You of big egos may try, knowing you won't be impressed, and say so. But I guarantee you will find yourself coming back to this. And I will warn you- you will pass up other 'amazing' beers in your fridge until this is gone. Prepare to get married. It is flawless, an American masterpiece of fermentation. Introduce to anyone of any taste, and they will enjoy. Trust me.

 1,995 characters

Photo of DustinSWB
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of Sam_Math
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of ZionNation
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am someone who loves all types of beers and have been into craft beer for decades. in general I believe that lager beers don't get the respect they deserve where some of the best beers on planet earth are lagers, dark lagers, light lagers, bocks, doube bocks, pilsners, etc. etc. anyway, I love a hoppy pilsner and have tried them all but this Anchor Lager, not exactly a pilsner, but simply the best hoppy lager I have ever tried. this beats Victory or Firestone Walker by a mile. I can't get enough of this beer. I have gone through like three cases and the beer stores in AZ are running out. please brew more and ship to Arizona.

 634 characters

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of mschlatterbeck
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of eulerthegrape
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of beerinabottle
4.93/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of timboflop
4.84/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of Straycorn
4.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

It's been awhile since I consumed a lager... I've been on quite an IPA and stout/porter kick for months. Don't miss this one. It's awesome all the way around. Hits all the best lager notes and then some!

 208 characters

Photo of MikeDL
4.78/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

real good taste. outstanding in my opinion

42 characters

Photo of Spaghett
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of tongbliss
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DELLmark14
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of Feel_the_Darkness
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of thommo_nk
4.73/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This stuff is superb, it has the best frothy head of any lager I have ever tried and coats the glass as you drink. It has a slightly hazy appearance, perhaps it is unfiltered but I am not sure. Taste is light and hoppy with a subtle bitterness. Summer in a glass or indeed a 330mL can.


 294 characters

Photo of gamepete
4.73/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It's a beer that tastes like beer!

34 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.66/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden color, clear. Lots of carbonation. Thick rocky head.

Sweet pale malts, biscuity, some spicy-floral hops.

Sweet pale malts, bready, biscuity, faint honey. Hop bitterness is moderate, mostly spicy-floral. Finish is very crisp, a little dry. Medium bodied, crisp, refreshing, super drinkable.

Well made lager!!

 369 characters

Photo of CJanders
4.65/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is the ultimate summer pleaser. Not too light like a European lager but not to heavy like the Lagunitas Pils, Anchor's California Lager is smooth, refreshing AND flavorful. Lagunitas and the Europeans make that and either or proposition.

 247 characters

Photo of Jerryodell
4.61/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just now getting back into lagers, this will probably end up being a favorite.

78 characters

Photo of Nolo
4.58/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Probably best lager I've had

28 characters

Photo of Running2far
4.56/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice crisp and flavorful lager.More Hops than the Steam. Had this at the outdoor garden in San Fran. Great outdoor beer.

121 characters

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California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 1,224 ratings