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RATINGS: 3600   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.3/5   EST. CALORIES: 147   ABV: 4.9%
First Brewed: 1896, First Modern Bottling: 1971

Alc. by Volume: 4.9%, Availability: Year-round, Malt: Blend of 2-Row Pale & Caramel, Hops: Northern Brewer

Anchor Steam® Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavor to a historic brewing process like none other. It is a process that combines deep respect for craft brewing tradition with many decades of evolution to arrive at a unique approach: a blend of pale and caramel malts, fermentation with lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in our cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening.

Anchor Steam® Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when “steam” was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. While the origin of the name remains shrouded in mystery, it likely relates to the original practice of fermenting the beer on San Francisco’s rooftops in a cool climate. In lieu of ice, the foggy night air naturally cooled the fermenting beer, creating steam off the warm open pans. Once a nickname for any Californian or West Coast beer brewed under these conditions, today the name “steam” is a trademark of Anchor Brewing and applies only to the singular process and taste of our flagship brand - San Francisco’s original Anchor Steam® Beer. The classic of American brewing tradition since 1896.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
SilkTork (5450) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - OCT 30, 2002
"To the American who has tasted nothing but Budweiser, a sampling of Anchor Steam can be a shock. To Jack the Lad with his Union Jack vest and can of Ersatzenbrau Lager Anchor Steam might seem dangerously like a Bitter. On the other hand, it might appear relatively tame to a real ale drinker weaned on Fuller’s ESB." Michael Jackson (www.beerhunter.com). I love the story of the washing machine manufacturer’s son, Fritz Maytag, buying up the struggling brewery because he loved the beer so much. Even here in the UK Anchor Steam Beer is legendary, and it’s such a pleasure to discover that it actually tastes good! The unusual brewing method produces an unusual and - I thought - unique beer. It’s interesting to note that there are other breweries in California producing this strange hybrid. Jackson’s comments hit the problem right on the head - too fruity for a lager, too thin for an ale. But a Vienna or a Bock can produce the same confusions and no one complains. I found the intense raison fruit, and the delicate hop dance complex and satisfying enough to overcome any problems with the thin body. A very freshing and delightful beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
trent99 (8) - San Jose, California, USA - OCT 27, 2002 does not count
Love this micro-brew! One of the best that I have tasted. Nothing harsh about it with a crisp finish!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
baobubba (455) - Starkville, Mississippi, USA - OCT 27, 2002
Banana notes in the aroma. Flavor is mainly dry with a refreshing bitter finish. A good beer for the warm season.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 25, 2002
Copper color. Crystal clear. Creamy head that fades fast. Clean malt and hop aroma. Medium bitterness. Some caramel malt flavor. Slight graininess. Slight metallic flavor. Medium body. Excellent when fresh.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Racegoer (354) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - OCT 23, 2002
Nice beer, not great. Somewhat hoppy, malty, fairly light tasting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
boto (1981) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - OCT 21, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2004 I hadn't had this in quite awhile, with all of the other more recent micros now out there. This is still an outstanding beer. It is a hazy, somewhat amber color. The aroma is somewhat floral with hop notes. The taste is slightly sour. Nice blance of malts and hops. One of the originals is still one of the best.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
notalush (5514) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 20, 2002
Their porter is much better, but this is a very distinct beer. From what I’m told, it goes great with seafood, and from the flavor, I can tell that it probably does.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Allseeingeye (223) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - OCT 19, 2002
Amber colored. A fat head sinks quickly. Nice malty nose and start. A little watery. Bitter finish is a bit off balance. Session brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - OCT 17, 2002
Nice amber color with a big, quick fading head. Nice balance, with a sweet malt start and some dry bitterness in the finish. A very quaffable brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
madsberg (11069) - Søborg, DENMARK - OCT 16, 2002
Has an ligth amber colour. Nice head. Aroma on this sample was a lillte yeasty. Had a good malty flavour, but wasn’t as complex as i’ve hoped. Nice beer.

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