879: Anchor Steam Beer

Name: Anchor Steam Beer
Brewery: Anchor Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Francisco, California
Style: California Common / Steam Beer
Alcohol Content (ABV): 4.9%
First Brewed: 1896
Price: $1.49

Tasting Notes
Aromas of sweetish caramel malt and some dry woody-herbal hops. It’s barley sweet on the palate, spritzy in mouthfeel, with nice carmelly notes, well balanced by the dryish bittersweet flavor on the Northern Brewer hops. The finish is long, clean, and bittersweet.

Ricky’s Thoughts

We only have a few more of these “boring” beers in the fridge… and then it’s time to go shopping! That is my favorite part, buying new bottles to have in the fridge. Gives me something to look forward to. I like to let Sheryl pick a number to determine the beer we are going to drink. Let me tell you… the beer selection process is pretty crazy!

Anyway, tonight we are drinking a bottle of Anchor Steam Beer from the Anchor Brewing Company. Until tonight, I didn’t realize that Anchor owned the trademark on the word “steam”. I wonder how that works… I wonder what it costs to buy a trademark. Maybe I should trademark the word “beer”… I’d make millions! Come on people, let’s drink.

In the Glass: It has a nice copper color in the glass. It makes me think of those giant cider stills you see in breweries. I call them cider stills because I don’t know the correct name for them… but they use them to make cider, I know that much. This beer also provides little head, and a weak lace.

Nose: The nose is pretty boring. Smells like a typical American lager, really. I wonder what makes this a “steam beer”… I mean, I know what makes it a steam beer, but I have never heard of this style before. Maybe because Anchor owns the trademark to the word “steam”.

Flavor: The flavor is unexpected. It has some subtle sweetness to it, but then the malts really hit. In the tasting notes they call the mouthfeel “spritzy”… I call it carbonated. It’s not overwhelming, though. Provides an easy drinking sensation that reminds me of a polished session beer.

Mouthfeel: There are a lot of bubbles going on here. Not too much, but enough that from my first drink I remember the carbonation.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste, what little aftertaste there is, has a certain malty sweetness to it. The tasting notes said it was lingering… but it’s not. It’s there and gone again. However, the sweetness stick around and begs for another sip.

Regardless of how they make this beer, I wouldn’t consider buying this on a regular basis. I would simply grab a case on the way to the ballgame or pass it around in the parking lot while we tailgate. It’s nothing to write home about. I will say, after sparking up a conversation with Anchor Brewing on Twitter, that their porter is one of the best porters on the market. But out of all the Anchor beers I have tried, most of them are middle of the road. Good thing they have that porter to keep me buying their product! Bottoms up, people.

Anchor Steam Beer – The bottle says: “Anchor Steam brand beer is virtually handmade with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. The deep amber color, thick creamy head, and the rich flavor all testify to our traditional brewing methods. Anchor Steam Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when “steam” seems to have been a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of American under primitive conditions and without ice. The word “steam” may have referred to the pressure of nature carbonation developing in the beers. Today the brewing methods of those days are a mystery, and for many decades Anchor alone has used the quaint name “steam” for its unique beer. Today Anchor is one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. San Francisco’s famous Anchor Steam brand beer is unique, for our brewing process has evolved over many decades and is like no other in the world.”

Rating: 2/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Well, we are working our way through the last of the beers that we bought in Indiana, and Ricky says we need to finish them off before buying any more.  So… we are down to our last few, the few that we weren’t all that interested in drinking, so they are pretty boring.  Tonight’s is Anchor Steam, which I’m pretty sure I’ve had before, and I know it’s pretty common.  I can’t remember what it tastes like, but honestly, I’m just imagining it to be pretty boring.  Oh well, I guess I’ll at least give it a chance.  Here goes nothing.

The beer looks pretty boring in the glass.  Not a lot of head, kind of a light orange color, very transparent.  It smells kind of light, spicy, and citrusy.  The spices are what I get out of the smell the most.  Ricky told me what kind of beer this was, but it didn’t sound like a common beer style to me, so I’m not even sure what to expect.  But let’s find out!

The beer isn’t bad, actually.  It’s a little better than what I expected.  It’s a little hoppy, and almost has a bit of a honey taste to it.  It definitely leaves a bitter, hoppy aftertaste.  I taste a little bit of citrus, but not too much.  It’s an interesting combination.  It goes right along with the unusual style of the beer.  I’d still probably characterize this beer as boring, but not because it’s bad, because it just isn’t memorable to me.  Even though I may not know as much about beer as some people, I know what I like, and I know what sticks out to me, and this isn’t it.  The beer tastes ok, but it doesn’t really stick with me as a beer I would even think to order later.  All in all, it’s really just an ok beer.  Not bad, but not memorable enough to stick with me.

Rating: 3/5

878 bottles of beer on the wall…

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