Review of Anchor Liberty Ale

29 Jun
For today’s craft beer review I thought I would try another brew from the exceptional Anchor Brewing Company located in San Francisco, California. 

I have sampled most all the products produced by Anchor, so I thought I would share with you my experience in tasting the Liberty Ale, which was the first Anchor product I ever tried.

Let’s get right into the description of this brew.

The website,, had this, rather lengthy, narrative.

Liberty Ale is brewed strictly according to traditional brewing methods, and, like all Anchor Brewing Company products, uses only natural ingredients – water, malted barely, fresh whole hops and yeast.

A special top-fermenting ale yeast is used during fermentation and is responsible for many of Liberty Ale’s subtle flavors and characteristics.  Carbonation is produced by an entirely natural process called “bunging,” which produces champagne-like bubbles.  Dry-hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during again), imparts a unique aroma to the ale.  It is a process rarely used in this country today. 

Liberty ale was first introduced on April 18th, 1975 to commemorate the bicentennial of the famous ride by Paul Revere.  Before it became a permanent year-round product, variations of our Liberty Ale formula enjoyed brief tenures as Our Special Ale, available at Christmastime.  

Ok…. let’s get it in a glass.

The Liberty Ale has an ABV of 5.9% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

To start with, the beer poured a cloudy, yellowish/orange color with some burnt orange highlights around the bottom.  It has a soapy, white to off white head that was about 3-fingers thick.  It held its shape and size for a nice, long while, however not much lacing was left behind, which I found to be a bit surprising considering the girth of the head. 
The smell brought out a balanced citrus aroma of grapefruit and peach along with a pleasant floral hop note.  Nicely sweet with a yeast and biscuit malt background. 
The taste was very similar to the aroma with both the sweet, enticing grapefruit and peach notes.  Clean and fresh.  It wasn’t too hoppy, yet hoppy enough to produce a nice little “bite” and “pucker.”  The bready/biscuit malt fits in well to give it some “roundness” and balance the profile.  I didn’t find the aroma or flavor to be extremely complex, but they were both rather solid, sturdy and fitting. 
The mouthfeel was light and somewhat thin, but very smooth, crisp, mostly dry, refreshing and thirst quenching.  Good carbonation and snap to the drink and it left enough flavor on the palate to satisfy me until the next sip.

This is an very good version of an American Pale Ale in my opinion.  It’s straight forward, balanced, correct and easily drinkable.  It would be no problem to make a “session” out of this one.  I would recommend it if you have not tried it.  Don’t expect a “hop bomb”, but rather a suitable, clean, fresh hop experience.  So… the next time you see it, pick up a bottle or two and enjoy it on a warm Spring or Summer day.

As always, thanks for reading!!!

Until next time.

Score:  4.0 out 5
Grade:  B+     

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Anchor, Country: USA


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