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Anchor California Lager | Anchor Brewing Company

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217 Reviews
Anchor California LagerAnchor California 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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Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 1,117
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Trader Joe’s in Mission Valley (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $8.49 for a variety 6-pack
Purchased: June 26, 2015
Consumed: June 26, 2015
Misc.: Grading this on a curve, since it was still a tad warm

Poured a golden, pale, clear color with 7-to-8 fingers of khaki white, fluffy head. That settled down to a nice top, but the head was crazy. Lots of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Poor retention on the top. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled cereal, wheat, honey, corn, grass, caramel and bread. Like a lager should. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted similar to the nose, reminding me more or a good American Adjunct Lager than an American Pale Lager. Got honey, corn cereal (Kix, Corn Puffs, etc.), grass, sourdough bread, honey wheat and caramel. (Taste - 3.75)

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, crisp finish. (Feel - 3.75)

For the style, this was a good beer. I enjoyed it. (Overall - 3.75)

3.74 | 84 | B

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Photo of Catracho5
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can poured into a shaker pint

A: It had a big white, bright head that disappeared, clear golden color, lot of big bubbles come up from the bottom. Some minor lacing.

A: Malts, some slight floral hop aromas, bread, biscuit type aromas, slight citrus zest, alcohol is not present.

T: First thing I realized is that this is really smooth and easy drinking, flavors blend well, yeast up front, sweet malt flavors, goes into a nice mellow lemon zest flavor, there are some grassy and grainy notes, this beer has a lot of complexity, finishes slightly bitter, very good.

M: Thin mouthfeel, finishes dry, leaves a grainy feeling on the roof of my mouth.

O: I am very impressed with this beer, very balanced, easy drinking, lots of complexity on the flavor, the yeast flavor coming through is unique to compared to other lagers I've tried, very well done.

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Photo of drpimento
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has a huge, thick head that slowly settles and some lace with a clear amber color. Aroma is fresh pale lager beer. Flavor is a nice, balanced bittersweet with just right tang. Body is excellent. Extremely drinkable brew. I really like this!

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Photo of tempest
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let this one warm up, the pale malts are lovely and complemented by the spicy Cluster hops. The barley is doughy and bready with a little toasty note. Very drinkable and fun for beer geeks. Give it a shot.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great craft lager. Bought a box of six cans.
Malt, biscuit, salt 'n pepper grass, slight banana fruit.
Replace Bud cans with this and you'll be thankful you did.

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Photo of SFNC
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold pour with 2 inch white head. Smell is light, but hints of biscuit and sweet malt are present. A bit grassy. The taste is clean, sweet on the front end with a light malt presence, then slightly bitter on the back end with the hops rising to the occasion. The feel is clean with moderate carbonation. A slightly dry finish for a lager. Overall, a very good American lager, crisp, clean and refreshing.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks wise it gives great head
nice malty aroma
the flavour is slightly odd, the spicy elements create too much of a
'hairspray in mouth'
real good mouthfeel though

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Photo of StoutHobbit
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear gold, white foam
S: Sweet, grassy, and a little oath
T: Fresh cut grass, wheat, and a kick of bitter on the back of the mouth
F: smooth, down pretty easy,
O: a good lager, love to have it around the house, it's a current staple

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Photo of Edmond-Bird
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice, clean lager with distinctive Northern Californian traits. Beautiful golden color with good carbonation. Tastes upfront like a German pilsner but finishes with notes of sourdough bread and subtle, biting hoppiness.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml bottle into a conical 2/3 pint glass. Paid £1.90 for a single bottle.

Pours an impressive clear, bright amber coloured body with a tall, thin white head. Retention is OK and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell is mainly of malt and a slight floral note. The taste follows the nose with simple malt and floral hints, not much more. Small bubbles give a good carbonation and a pleasant initial mouth feel. The finish is a little too bitter with more astringency than I was expecting. Dry hops linger in the mouth longer than I would like in a lager.

Overall this is a good beer. Good, but not amazing. I would recommend it to a friend, and certainly try it again, but not go out of my way to do so.

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Photo of JayQue
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer produces a big white frothy head with good retention and thick bands of lacing. Beautiful clear gold color. Aroma is fairly standard for a lager. Plenty of malt and a little grassy bitterness. Taste is more of the same. Mostly rich and malty with some balancing grassy hops bitterness.
Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Enough bitterness to call it "balanced". Not a bad summertime beer.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Crisp golden streaming body with a good two finger foam head that has good retention and dies to a thick lace cover. This is a great looking lager but it does not leave much lace in the glass.

Smell - Floral and grassy. The malt front in this beer is sharp and crisp with a light sweetness that balances well with the more bitter hop. There is a slightly musty element to this beer but in on word I would have to call it balanced.

Taste - Nice and sweet, but mild, malty front that is grassy and and caramel like coupled with a more bitter and musty back this is beer is well balanced and tasty.

Mouth Feel - Full and creamy and yet bitter and fresh with a long drying linger.

Overall - This is beer is basically on point for all elements of its style and although it does have some minor elements to detract from it, it is damned tasty.

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Photo of MikeMcCl
2.6/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Possibly been sitting too long, but smelled and tasted a bit stale to me. Bought as single bottle. Couldn't find any bottle date. I'd have to try again

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Photo of maedhros09
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear gold with abundant white head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing
Smell: floral and grassy
Taste: Lightly sweet floral maltiness with an assertive grassy hops finish. Great balance.
Feel: Light and nicely carbonated

Overall: This is a lager worthy of the Anchor name. For me it is an ideally balanced, with just a bit of sweetness but a nice dry bitter hops finish. This is basically what I look for in a light lager.

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Photo of Brittney_Ouderkirk
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Golden with a foamy head. Smell: Bready and bright. Taste: Well balanced malt presence, biscuit, bread. Kind of husky, sunflower seeds. Slightly malty finish. Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, crisp, refreshing. Overall really enjoyable with a refreshing brightness.

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Photo of Straycorn
4.8/5  rDev +28.3%
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!

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Photo of Gajo74
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden and very clear. Thin bubbly head and good lacing. Lots of aroma; malty sweetness with a buttery biscuit feel, a nice floral and perfume feel, yeast, hops and spices. As the drink warms, a fruity and honey essence takes over. Taste also has a lot to offer; toasted malts, bready, herbal and peppery. A hint of citric sourness. The hops and yeast balance it out and give a slightly dry bitter finish. Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Crisp, refreshing and extremely drinkable.
I really liked this one. A lager lots of flavor and complexity.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color. Lager yeast and floral hops. The taste is hoppy, yet bready and clean. Slight bitterness on a bready, not even buttery but lively palate. Crisp, clean, faint citrus and husk grain. Medium bodied, well carbonated and crisp. This is a beer, and a good one.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #80 (Sep 2013):

What we have here is some no-frills, American-brewed craft beer that pays homage to California’s first lager brewed during the gold rush of the late 1800s. Brewed with both malt and hops from California to keep with the true re-creation of this beer. Beers like this, without any crazy hopping, bugs or barrel aging, can still reach a level of greatness, and Anchor Brewing certainly has found it here.

STYLE: American Pale Lager
ABV: 4.9%

LOOK: Epic froth, clear deep golden hue

SMELL: Fresh-cut grass, leafy, mildly citric, crackers, clean, faint lemon zest

TASTE: Perfect crispness, moderate-sized body, smooth, grassy, clean, peppery, ample hop bitterness, rustic bread, mild orange pith, slightly herbal, long grainy finish, ends dry

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Photo of hardy008
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear gold with a bright white head, with good retention and lacing. Has a grassy and grainy aroma, with some bready malt.

The taste is much like the aroma. Grassy and grainy with bready malt, and hop bitterness at the end.

Light to medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Worth buying again.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Perfect clarity, golden-yellow body with nice carbonation, rich white head that, sadly, fades to barely anything. Bottle shape, art/styling/colors, story, everything is beautiful.

S: Grain/corn, kinda sweet.

T: Sweet grain, but no off- or nasty residual flavors., no real bitterness. It's not much, but it's exactly what it should be.

M: Medium body, good carbonation.

O: An 'ancient ale' that isn't gimmicky, and pretty good despite it's rustic, limited roots.

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Photo of charlzm
2.87/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Consumed on draft.

Beer started off cold, tasting and smelling as probably intended. As it warmed, the aroma became awful with cabbage-like DMS. Could barely finish the pint.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.29/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

3/6 (Bottle) - Pour a solid orange pour, minimal white head and nominal carbonation. Sweet orange, malt aroma, and a good texture. Taste was minimal, which was surprising based on the aroma. Lighter beer than I typically drink may have been a factor.

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Photo of Premo88
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can poured into pilsener

L: orange ... much darker than lager yellow, maybe even past gold ... a reddish gold -- beautiful; 1-inch head of foam is just a bit off white, almost beige, super sticky at the top; a tight column of bubbles is percolating hard in the brew, so much activity which is creating an almost full skin on top and a thick collar; lacing is cool -- this is a 5

S: sour grain and some citrus, orange-lemon ... hints of malt sweetness in there, just a little bread malt

T: cracker big time ... a little citrusy something, light lemon-orange, and the malt sweetness goes into the bready range, but the cracker for me is undeniable; some fantastic earthy hops are playing with the sweetness; damn is this good, very grounded with that cracker-malt foundation and the pinch of bitterness while the Cluster hops offer up a range of floral and citrus notes

F: fantastic midweight with good crispness ... again ... a 5

O: this beer is FANTASTIC! it's malty, it's hoppy, it's crisp, light, drinkable ... so much flavor, and the weird hint of orange something is a twist I've not tasted in any other brew -- it's hard for me to call it "orange" for it's a floral-orange-lemon thing bouncing off the malt that is truly unique. a beer I will buy over and over and over ...

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Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new stand by for my fridge and collection. Into rotation. Goes right next to my NB Shift Pale Lager and Session Lager. Lucky to have this offering in my local Smith's grocery store. I like to pair this with meats and spicy dishes. Has a dry yet interesting finish. Feels like a Pilsner but not as grassy. Very refreshing and not boring. Sessionable and enjoyable. Well done Anchor. Quality shows.

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Anchor California Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 1,117 ratings.
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