overall
66
93
style
RATINGS: 3763   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.31/5   EST. CALORIES: 147   ABV: 4.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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 krusening.

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 Franciscos 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 Franciscos original Anchor Steam Beer. The classic of American brewing tradition since 1896.

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3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ALLOVATE (2976) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - FEB 16, 2006
Fritz Maytags classic revivalist beer, the so-called Steam beer due to its unique, warm, bottom fermentation and complex brewing process. Certainly has a hybrid quality to it, easy to drink like a pale lager with the fruity flavour characteristics of a light ale. Pours a tawny copper, quite clear with a dense, rocky beige head that was mostly lasting, leaving behind a fine trail of lace. Fruits on the nose- not overly fresh, more like a concentrate- with a lightly nutty burst of toffee, caramel and toasted grains. First sip was quite parching whilst the second sip showed the character that would follow it through until the end. Vanilla and toffee come in early as a lightly sweet start to a beer that dries out across the rest of the palate. Light grainy note precedes spicy, citric fruits in the back that give a lightly bitter end before a drying fruity swallow. Quite soft in carbonation and a little thin in mouthfeel. Something in this just seems to dry the mouth right out. Its not overly generous in the flavour department, crossing the tongue with the cleanness of a good lager and the finish is a little too short for my liking. Overall, though, its interesting enough and is one that I could easily down in quick succession. Nice, but not extraordinary. (355mL, 4.8% ABV, BB 05/07, Morley Liquor Merchants)

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
highlandlad (1480) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - FEB 16, 2006
California Common, eh? Not in dusty old Australia. It has taken 760 ratings for me to get my hands on a California Common. And even then it had to be mailed from the other side of the continent. Which makes it all the better that my first should be this classic of the style. Its a nice amber colour with orange highlights and a fine, loose head showing good retention. The aroma is not at all what I expected. Rather than floral hops, the first thing that struck me was a sticky toffee note reminiscent of Thomas Hardy Ale. A few swirls released some pine, honey and a Belgian-style yeastiness. Medium bodied and very softly carbonated. A very balanced beer, not too aggressive with its flavours. Toffee notes initially, a bready middle and a long, lingering spicy finish. Its quite a sweet brew but with a satisfying bitterness. What a beautiful beer. Geez, I wish this was available down here. (355ml bottle, IBS Perth, bb June 2007)

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jsou (20) - Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 14, 2006
Nice amber/copper colored, clear beer. Pretty long lasting off-white head. Good flavor,but the finish is a little too bitter for my taste. Standard for the style.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
OldMrCrow (2433) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 14, 2006
From the bottle

Pours a clear amber orange with an offwhite head. This one takes me back to graduate school, drinking too many bottles at too rapid a pace in some rented Palo Alto apartment. Thus it smells like beer to me on first encounter; a closer dissection of the aroma reveals malt and grain, a slight hoppy sourness, slightly nutty aromas, but nothing that leaps out. The flavor is rather the same. Again, graininess, bready malts, a decently bitter finish. Perfectly drinkable, but I drank my quota of these years ago and so its not anything Id hurry to return to.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ATOmemphis (200) - Franklin, Tennessee, USA - FEB 14, 2006
Bottle: Poured a deep golden, amber color. Frothy off white head that lingered. Malty nose, light hops. Good carbonation and lacing on the glass. Taste has some hops at the finish, lots of roast or smokiness. Its really pretty good though a hair too smokey to be a favorite. I look forward totrying more from same brewer.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bullrup (20) - SWEDEN - FEB 13, 2006
Bottle. Very nice amber colour. Maltiness and aromatic flower hoppiness. A decent beer.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
FrankJohansen (3618) - Sabro, DENMARK - FEB 13, 2006
Amber colour with a medium mostly lasting white head. Aroma of malt and hobs. Bitter sweet taste with smoked notes. Too smoked for my taset.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ElPresidente1984 (173) - Maine, USA - FEB 11, 2006
bottle, pours clear ambar, small head. faint hoppy aroma. maybe it was just me but this beer had little taste. had a nice hoppy bite to finnish, but besides this the flavor seemed faint and simple. not bad, but very average.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MacDaddyOJake (274) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 11, 2006
Great beer. Well balanced, hoppy aroma. Tasted very clean, but not like cheap American beer clean. Finished well, just seemed to be a well perfected recipe. I enjoyed it very much.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
dpointer74 (16) - Lubbock, Texas, USA - FEB 10, 2006
This ale seems so well balanced that its almost boring. Theres some maltiness and some hops and some carbonation, but nothing stands out. Its not a bad brew; its just plain.


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