Anchor Steam: Classic craft beer that continues to shine is our Beer of the Month
January 5, 2017, 10:00 AM
What it is: Easy to overlook in a wave of India pale ales and bourbon barrel-aged stouts, Anchor Steam was first brewed in 1896 and first bottled in 1971, according to San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. Though many classic brands would follow — Anchor Liberty Ale, Anchor Porter and Anchor Christmas Ale — Anchor Steam has been the core of the portfolio since Fritz Maytag began rebuilding the flagging brewery that he bought in 1965. Anchor Steam is a California common (also known as steam beer), an American style of lager brewed with a yeast strain that thrives while fermenting in unusually warm temperatures. The result is a robust lager that led Anchor Steam to lay the groundwork for the coming craft beer revolution. Though we often feature new beers in this space, to start 2017, we sought out an industry classic that continues to shine. Anchor Steam is it.
In the bottle: Copper-colored Anchor Steam boasts aromas of caramel, malt and a bowl full of crackers, and largely mimics those notes on the palate. Malt forward and lightly sweet, Anchor Steam lands dryly, with faint earthy nuttiness and just enough bitterness to be an interesting alternative to garden variety lagers. Brilliantly simple yet full bodied, Anchor Steam isn’t flashy but threads a lovely needle that makes it well worth its place in history.
Alcohol: 4.9 percent
Drink it with: A versatile food beer, Anchor Steam stands up particularly well to spicy food. It both cuts the heat and rejuvenates the palate beside a bowl of chili or a plate of Thai food.
Find it: Available in six- and 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles … everywhere.