“Anchor Brewing Company is an American alcoholic beverage producer, operating a brewery and distillery on Potrero Hill in San Francisco,California. The brewery was founded in 1896 and was purchased by Frederick Louis Maytag III, in 1965, saving it from closure. It moved to its current location in 1979. It is one of the last remaining breweries to produce California common beer, also known as Steam Beer, a trademark owned by the company”
- Anchor IPA (93 Points)
- Anchor Porter (93 Points)
- Anchor Steam Beer (90 Points)
- BigLeaf Maple (92 Points)
- Bock Beer (84 Points)
- Brekle’s Brown (89 Points)
- California Lager (86 Points)
- Christmas Ale (2013) (91 Points)
- Liberty Ale (94 Points)
- Old Foghorn (93 Points)
- Summer Beer (85 Points)
- Winter Wheat (92 Points)
ANCHOR IPA: 93 Points
This American IPA is released year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Anchor IPA™ is made with 2-row barley malt and fresh whole-cone hops, its bright amber color, distinctively complex aroma, spiky bitterness, malty depth, and clean finish unite to create a uniquely flavorful, memorable, and timeless craft IPA.”
My Description: This is not the hop bomb usually associated with West Coast IPA’s, Anchor’s version is much maltier. It begins with a large and dense, off-white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting and slightly complex with notes of pale malts, woodsy hops, grapefruit hops, honey, and peach. This IPA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. With a great balance and a soft presence, the flavor profile satisfies. Strong malt notes dominate initially accompanied by woodsy hops, some floral notes, and faint light fruit hints. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a nice hop spice that lingers. This ale is tasty, clean, and memorable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with jerk chicken, spiced lamb chops, or grilled salmon.
ABV: 6.5% Color: Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
ANCHOR PORTER: 93 Points
This Porter is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “With deep black color, a thick, creamy head, rich chocolate, toffee and coffee flavors, and full-bodied smoothness, Anchor Porter® is the epitome of a handcrafted dark beer. A blend of specially roasted pale, caramel, chocolate, and black malts, along with our top-fermenting yeast, creates complexity without bitterness. The brew is hopped at a high rate, and naturally carbonated. The result is dark in the glass, but surprisingly light on the palate.”
My Description: This is a satisfying and smooth porter with clean flavors and a tasty finish.It pours a very large, beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of coffee, caramel malt, and a touch of dark fruit. This porter is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The creamy texture and balanced flavors makes this beer easy drinking and highly enjoyable. Upfront, there are flavor notes of coffee, bread, and hints of dark fruits. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with notes of licorice. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, roasted duck, or blue cheese burgers.
ABV: 5.6% Color: Dark Brown/Mahogany Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
ANCHOR STEAM BEER: 90 Points
This California Common is released year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “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.”
My Description: Steam Beer is smooth and welcoming. It begins with a very large and creamy, off-white colored head with a nice retention level and it leaves behind a thick amount of lacing that glues on. The aroma is malt forward with notes of crystal malt and a touch of caramel. There are also subtle hop notes that smell earthy, really nice. Steam is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has nice balance and great drinkability. Upfront, there are tasty caramel malt notes with light hints of fruit and some earthiness. Hops also shine through with woody notes being the main hop flavor with a touch of grapefruit. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter and refreshing. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, veggie pizzas, or grilled game.
BIGLEAF MAPLE: 92 Points
This American Amber Ale is released seasonally between August and October in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red™ is a quaffable, well-balanced red ale with character. Its malty complexity and coppery color come from a combination of two caramel malts, pale malt, and a hint of maple syrup. To complement these flavors, we used three additions of Nelson Sauvin hops in the brewkettle and a unique blend of Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Cascade for dry hopping. The result is a distinctive fall seasonal with extraordinary depth and intriguing aroma.”
My Description: This could easily become your go-to Autumn seasonal. It is tasty, nicely balanced, and a perfect compliment to those cool nights. It has a good sized, light beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is a clean balance of caramel malts and woodsy hops with some fruit notes shinning through as well; the beer smells real nice and inviting. BigLeaf is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. There is an underlying sweetness to this ale with some notes of bread, caramel malt, and a subtle maple presence, however hops take center stage in this beer. The Nelson Sauvin hops taste great with an interesting fruit presence accompanied by woodsy hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and lingers slightly without the sharpness. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted turkey, beef stew, or baked ham.
ABV: 6% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
BOCK BEER: 84 Points
This Bock is released seasonally between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The dark satiny texture of Anchor Bock®, with its rich hints of chocolate, caramel and roasted barley, is our interpretation of the strong German beers that signal the coming of spring. Anchor Bock® Beer is brewed from a complex blend of malts, and fresh, whole-cone hops. In the ancient bock tradition, the dark-colored brew is released in time for springtime celebrations.”
My Description: This bock has nice flavors and is easy drinking but it is lacking somewhat on the sweetness and dark fruit notes.It begins with a decent sized, beige colored head that only lasts for a few minutes and leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of caramel, dark fruits, some earthiness, and a touch of alcohol. Bock Beer is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The caramel malts taste great and there are also flavor notes of bread and raisins but for the most part, the flavors feel faint and unsatisfying. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and takes away from the sweetness. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, meatballs, or BBQ ribs.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
BREKLE’S BROWN: 89 Points
This Brown Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Inspired by the all-malt brown ales in Anchor’s brewing archives, Brekle’s™ Brown has a coppery brown color and unusual depth of flavor with hints of citrus which makes for richness and complexity without heaviness. The classic, all-malt, single-hop brown ale.Brewmaster Mark Carpenter’s unique recipe—a tip of the hat to our first brewmaster—looks to both the past and the future. It starts with a special blend of roasted malts.For brewing and dry hopping, a single and distinctive new American hop variety called Citra creates nuanced flavors and aromas complementing Brekle’s™ Brown’s unique maltiness.”
My Description: This is a tasty beer and I love how well the Citra hop works with the brown ale profile. It pours a very large, beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is on the sweet side with notes of caramel malt and woodsy/citrus hops; this beer smells very pleasant. Brekle’s Brown is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex and satisfying. There are notes of caramel malt, bread, molasses, hints of dark fruit, and a touch of tart. There is also an interesting hop character throughout the beer that adds a welcoming flavor and brings goods balance. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a faint but noticeable metallic note. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with sauteed mushrooms, veggie pizzas, or mild cigar.
ABV: 6% Color: Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10
CALIFORNIA LAGER: 86 Points
This American Lager is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast, this all-malt brew is kräusened and lagered in our cellars. Its golden color, distinctive aroma, creamy head, balanced depth of flavor, and smooth finish make Anchor California Lager® a delicious celebration of California’s unique craft brewing heritage.”
My Description: This one actually grew on me. At first I thought that it was just another lager from America , except Anchor’s version was made with better ingredients. However, half way through I realized that is a good beer made with quality. It pours a decent sized, white colored head that leaves a small film for a while and some lacing is left on the glass. There’s not much going on in the aroma, light grain notes and a touch of citrus. California Lager is light/medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Nothing really exciting in the flavor profile, but that’s okay because there is no real flaws either. This is just a good lager to sit back and slam. Crisp, refreshing, and clean the flavor profile delivers a light malt backbone with some floral notes and an almost cracker-like taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of hop spice. This beer is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with burgers, grilled lamb chops, or a heavy salad.
ABV: 4.9% Color: Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10
CHRISTMAS ALE (2013): 91 Points
This Christmas Ale is released every year between November and January in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Each year our Christmas Ale gets a unique label and a unique recipe. Although our recipes must remain a secret, many save a few bottles from year to year. Properly refrigerated, the beer remains intriguing and drinkable for years. Different nuances emerge as the flavor mellows slightly, much like the memories of great holiday seasons past. Celebrate the holidays with Anchor Christmas Ale, an Anchor tradition since 1975.”
My Description: 2013’s recipe is tasty and an easy choice for the holiday season. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is dark fruit forward with notes of cherries and prunes; there is also a touch of spice that intrigues the senses. Christmas Ale is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and dry finish. The flavor profile is satisfying and slightly complex with an interesting array of spices such as ginger and allspice. Light pine, dark fruits, and caramel malt are also present adding flavor and character. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and clean. This beer is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, ribs, grilled salmon.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Deep Brown Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
LIBERTY ALE: 94 Points
This American IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The yeast used during fermentation produces many of Liberty Ale’s subtle flavors and characteristics. A natural process called “bunging” creates gentle carbonation, and the practice of dry hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during aging), revived by Anchor, creates its unique aroma. Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. As the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale, Anchor’s Liberty Ale® is the original craft brewed ale and the beer that started a revolution.”
My Description: This beer is clean, crisp, and very refreshing with a great flavor profile making this an easy choice for an everyday IPA. It begins with a large, off-white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an impressive amount of lacing. The aroma is all Cascade hops with huge citrus notes and some floral notes as well. Liberty Ale is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. There are light malt notes in this ale along with some bread notes bringing some balance to this otherwise moderately bitter IPA. Citrus hops dominate the flavors and they taste great and become addicting. This is a well-made West Coast IPA and is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with cheese pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, or burgers.
ABV: 5.9% Color: Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10
OLD FOGHORN: 93 Points
This Barleywine is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The malty sweetness, fruitiness, unique hop aroma and high original gravity of Old Foghorn® Barleywine Style Ale is to beer much as port is to wine. Old Foghorn® is brewed based on historic English barleywine methods. It is highly hopped, fermented with a true top-fermenting ale yeast, carbonated by a natural process called “bunging” to produce champagne-like bubbles, and dry-hopped with additional Cascade hops while it ages in our cellars. Made only from “first wort,” the rich first runnings of an all-malt mash, three mashes are required to produce just one barleywine brew. Introduced in 1975, Old Foghorn® Ale was the first modern American barleywine sparking renewed interest domestically and in Britain. The name was derived from the English tradition of attaching the word “old” to barleywines to denote their tradition, intensive brewing process and cellar aging, and “Foghorn” gave it a San Francisco flair. Today, Old Foghorn® Ale is best enjoyed sipped after a meal.”
My Description: This is a great representation of an English Barleywine, which is going to be more on the sweeter side than an American Barleywine. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head that surprisingly lasts for quite some time leaving behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet and slightly complex with notes of fruit esters like cherries and raisins, caramel malt and toffee, and a slight hint of pine hops. Old Foghorn is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The complexities continue in the flavor profile, which is delicious and satisfying. A brandy like backbone holds up notes of caramel malt, toffee, raisins and other dried fruit, brown sugar, cherries, and a hint of alcohol. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is minimally bitter with a lingering caramel note. This ale is smooth and makes for a great sipper. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate, grilled steaks, or a cigar.
ABV: 8.8% Color: Garnet Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
SUMMER BEER: 85 Points
This Wheat Ale is releases seasonally between April and October in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Released each year in advance of the summer season, Anchor Summer ® Beer is an all-malt beer, with over 50% of its malt derived from malted wheat. It is fermented with a traditional top-fermenting “ale” yeast, yielding a clean, balanced flavor that highlights the refreshingly light flavor of malted wheat. The head is unusually abundant due to the natural protein deposits of wheat, with a thick consistency similar to meringue.”
My Description: Overall, this is a nice summer beer that is simple, clean, and refreshing. It begins with a very large, white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is subtle with notes of wheat malt, woodsy hops, and touch of pale malts. Summer Beer is light/medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has crisp flavors with wheat notes balanced by some hop bitterness. There is a slight citrus hop note that shines through along with light bread notes and grass notes. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, sausages, or BBQ chicken.
ABV: 4.5% Color: Light Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
WINTER WHEAT: 92 Points
This Wheat Ale is released seasonally in late Autumn in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “We’ve been making wheat beers since the summer of 1984. They’ve all been golden summer refreshers instead of dark winter warmers – until now. Anchor Winter Wheat is made with a unique blend of malted barley and five wheats from Belgium, Germany, the Midwest, and a family farm just 75 miles away, where we get our soft red winter wheat. Sown in November and harvested in June, it is used in artisanal flatbreads, cakes and pastries. In 1848, California farmers forsook their amber grain for golden fortune. By 1878, California wheat was back big-time, winning gold at the Paris International Exposition. There was a even a wheat beer brewery in North Beach, one mile from our first home. Today, the robust flavor, malty complexity, enticing aroma, ebony color, and thick creamy head of Anchor Winter Wheat reflect this delicious heritage. Cheers!”
My Description: This ale has great depth with the flavor and aroma notes really coming through as the beer warms. It pours a large, beige colored head with an amazing retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of dark wheat malt, some roasted notes, chocolate, and a hint of licorice. Winter Wheat is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A thick malt backbone with a complex wheat profile is the base of this beer. Hints of dark fruit, chocolate notes, and tobacco add character along with some yeast spice undertones. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the finish is slightly toasty. This is a great choice for a mild Winter Ale that does not contain a big alcohol content but still delivers warming notes and a complex flavor profile. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, baked ham, or you favorite cigar.
ABV: 7% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2/10