Anchor California Lager | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
1,184 Ratings
Anchor California LagerAnchor California Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,184
Reviews:
234
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
11.44%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
316
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 1,184 |  Reviews: 234
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/26/13.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grass, and fruity flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but has a slightly better smell to me.

 523 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lots of lagers this month for me, and maybe none more satisfying than this one all things considered. I like anchor this fall, bottling (or at least distributing) a few new ones. this is a full bodied and full flavored lager, caramel in color and boasting almost an inch of just off white suds on top, airy but patient. it smells like it should, slightly rich, dry though, with a complex grain engine and delicate hop accents. the flavor is spot on, not sweet at all, not bitter, not thick not thin, not sharp and muted, but balanced in a sense of the term reserved for the best of the best. definitely malt forward, but there a lot of complex subtleties to this. heavier than some, I cant drink a sixer in a sitting, but I don't need to be able to in order to enjoy this one. a little filling, a lot flavorful, well done again by the brewery that can do no wrong. a lager worthy of repeating.

 893 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a small collar around the edge of the glass. The head eventually completely faded away.
S: Light aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of bready and caramel malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the malts are a little stronger and have flavors of biscuits, bread, caramel and crackers while the hops contribute a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and doesn't have very strong aromas or flavors so it seems like it would pair well with lighter fare meals.

 848 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picking up what they could, westward travelers made beer from all kinds of things as they attempted to make beers traveling toward the promise of gold. Where the California Common ale is well documented, it makes sense that the more tried-and-true Lagers would have also been part of the early settler's beer drinking diet.

Like any well made lager would, Anchor's pours with a medium gold color and bright clarity. Building a creamy ivory-white foam, its head character is long lasting and proud with lacing collars as the beer fades. It's a rather fantastic looking Lager!

Grainy-sweet aromas of raw barley, supple bready sweetness and a richer bread crust rise to the nose for a crisp and pleasantly light scent. Floral hops give a slight perfume character that's similar to honey suckle. Light apple and sulfur lurk in the background and help to round the scent but careful not to make too meaningful of an impact.

To taste, the ale fares similarly- part-malt and part-grain to start, its sweetness is light and is of fresh baking bread, light dough and yeast. But its cracker-like taste reels in the slight fruitiness of honey, apples, and slim citrus. What's floral in aroma provides a soft flowery herb taste before developing a spicy and earthy bitterness that overrides the malts and ensures a crisp and clean finish.

Light bodied, the ale's elegant sweetness might imply more weight, but its bolsterous carbonation lightens the body and floats the lager over the middle to arrive in a finish of lemongrass bite, herbal warmth and pepper.

The lager is surprisingly crisp, clean and refreshing as it shows no apparent off flavors and keeps its balance well in tact. Its a fabulous beer that is sure to fare exquisitely with sushi and Cobb salad.

 1,758 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

355ml bottle, thanks to United Distributors rep Susie for the sample - see, I remembered your name (even if I didn't spell it correctly)!

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow hue, with four brash fingers of puffy, foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves some decent broken webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of musty, almost meaty bready pale malt, yeasty muscat white wine and rising dough that's been left on the counter too long unfortunately providing a more focused olfactory sense, along with some meek and muted citrus and leafy hops notes. The taste is more of the same - yeasty, somewhat crackery pale malt, vinous fruit, some rather overripe lemon, and, well 'organic'-seeming grassy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, in a tightly frothy sense, the body an agreeable medium weight for the already sort of subverted style, and smooth, but with that weird house yeast caveat. It finishes pretty dry, the crackery, bready, yeasty, and brut white wine esters as strong as ever were.

At first glug, all I could think of was how much this resembles Anchor's purportedly (and thankfully) distinct steam beer (trademark duly omitted) - that weird yeastiness, bordering on some sort of unwelcome bacterial action, and an everyman pale maltiness. Colour me still uninterested, yet at the same time thankful for the freebie, in the sense that I didn't blow north of 15 bucks on a wasted (in the entirely wrong sense of word) sixer.

 1,502 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Snatched this one up yesterday at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale. I'll try anything Anchor puts out out of respect for the brewery. Love the old school no-nonsense label, and Anchor's bottles are iconic at this point - distinctive and cute with the snub neck. Let's get into it, shall we?

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pry-off ("Use Opener") cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery's reputation and influence.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I can't corroborate the ABV; I don't see one listed on the label.

A: Pours a two finger wide light white-khaki colour head. Soft smooth complexion. Nicely frothy. Fair creaminess. No real lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty decent - probably 6 minutes - but that's not too impressive for the mild ABV.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper; vibrance is above average. Pretty standard fare for the style. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Not unique or special, but I don't notice any obvious flaws. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Two row malts; quite clean. Neutral efficient yeast; no spiciness or biscuity character here. Cream. Vague adjunct - corn maybe? Clean barley. Quite grainy; graininess is definitely dominant. Any hopping is largely unevocative; it's purely preservative. I suppose it's to style, but it does leave something to be desired. No alcohol is detectable. I'm optimistic given the brewery, but I can already tell it's not going to blow me away.

T: Clean. Grainy and malty. Hop character is unevocative, adding little. Clean barley and cereals. No yeast character comes through. No alcohol comes through. Some residual sugars on the back end leave it feeling sweet - almost like it was brewed with candi sugar. Weak, but I wouldn't call it bland. It's certainly boring, though. I do get some mineral notes - perhaps from the water. Light dough - especially on the climax. There's not much to say about it given its simplicity. No subtlety here, but decent balance. Flavour duration and intensity are average. It does feel a bit artificial, almost like adjunct was used.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Lightly crisp. Overcarbonated. Good presence on the palate. It's somewhat refreshing. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. A bit too thick. Not syrupy, viscous, harsh, gushing, or oily.

Dr: Drinkable but boring. I definitely wouldn't bother with this again. I do think it's necessary to point out that Anchor likely met their goals; I don't doubt this is an authentic recreation of the beer they based this on. I applaud the revere for brewing history, but frankly the resultant beer is just plain dull. Very pedestrian indeed. That said, this might be a great beer for easing macro-swill drinkers into craft/micros. It's easy sippin', but I wouldn't recommend it to friends. A dud from Anchor.

Low C

 3,094 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a crystal clear golden color with a three-fingered head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Doughy with a hint of graham cracker; slightly grainy and grassy

Taste: Doughy and crackery, up front, with lemongrass flavors developing; grainy and grassy, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: I was expecting to be underwhelmed but this is actually rather good; a great crossover beer to bring to a BBQ

 463 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale bright gold, racing streams of carbonation, long lasting head of foam and some random spotty lace around the edges. Surface coverage

Mild aroma, lager yeast, dry and bready.

Soft and supple feel, biscuity malt, light apple and a vague herbal bitterness in the aftertaste. Smooth and very drinkable, simple but still flavorful. Prototypical example of the APL style.

 373 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of zeff80
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 12/3/2013. Pours crystal clear pale golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, bread, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very pleasant, clean, and well balanced malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; with solid robustness without feeling watery, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pale lager style. Well balanced hop, malt, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,301 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 1,184 ratings.
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