Review of Anchor Steam Beer

13 Feb
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to sipping on an Anchor Steam Beer produced by the Anchor Brewing Company located in San Fransisco, California.

This brew used to be my “go-to” beer when I first started experimenting in the world “better” beer.  It has been forever since I last tried it, therefore I wanted to give it another taste after all this time.

From the website,, we find this description of the Steam Beer.

Anchor Steam® Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavor to a brewing process like none other.

It is a process that combines deep respect for 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 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.

Let’s pour.

This beer comes in a 12 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 4.9%.

It poured a pristine, clear, amber/copper color with burnt orange highlights shimmering at the bottom of the glass.  The crown was off white in color, of great size, smooth, soft and creamy.  It looked a little like “whipped” cream.  The retention time was good and the lacing was sufficient also.  This brew had a beautiful color and clarity I must say.

The aroma began with a nice, strong biscuity malt base.  Hints of caramel and toffee for good measure.  A decent little flowery hop profile mixed with fruity apricot and some nutty undertones.  All in all, the bouquet was none too complicated, but rather just a nice, sturdy, well balanced nose.

The taste started with a subtle hoppiness intermingled with a subdued mineral aspect.  Toasted biscuits and bread crusts reinforced a solid malt footing.  More of the caramel and toffee add some sweetness and the apricot gave a slight caress.  Earthy facets and an additional nutty profile pleased the taste buds quite well.  A light tinge of bitterness finished the savor.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/thin.  It was smooth, mostly dry and slightly chewy.  It was actually kind of crisp and refreshing to tell the truth.  The carbonation was good and a favorable amount of flavor was left behind on the palate.

Well.  I find that this beer is still pretty good.  It’s super easy to drink and it has plenty of aroma and flavor to satisfy most anyone including both beginners and craft beer enthusiasts.  It’s still pretty much a standard in the “better” beer world.  It looks fabulous in the glass when initially poured and even though I don’t find it to be a world class beer any longer, I will continue to urge anyone who has not tried it to give it a go.  For me Anchor Steam is a great reminder of where it all started.  Without Fritz Maytag who knows where we would be today.  So, let me know what you think of the Anchor Steam Beer the next time you have the opportunity to taste it.  I think you will find that it continues to be a solid effort from Anchor Brewing Company.

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Anchor, Country: USA


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