Review: Anchor Steam - Revisited after 8 years

Review: Anchor Steam - Revisited after 8 years by Cody La Bière
I'm someone who will give any beer a chance, once. I'll even try "lite lime" swill just to say I can try it, so I can trash it as much as I want.

I'm reviewing Anchor Steam by Anchor Brewing Company out of San Fransisco. I originally tried Anchor Steam back in spring of 2004. I did not enjoy the beer at all. However, back in this era, I preferred Kokanee and Old Milwaukee.

Anchor Steam is honestly one of the only beers in my life that I poured down the sink in disgust. I did not like the taste. Also, there was a significant amount of floating yeast chunks that made it have the consistency of being thicker than stout. Friends said "WHAT THE HELL, WHY WOULD YOU POUR DOWN THE BEER?!" Well it was 2004 afterall, don't tell me you've never disliked a beer so much that you didn't like it. Possibly, the beer was collecting dust at the old LC at 11th and Victoria for so long that its from all the aging.

This time, Anchor Steam made it's first appearance in Brandon since 2004 this week. So here I am trying out the beer again for the first time since 2004. How will it fare this time around. First off, I can't believe that the ABV is only 4.8%! I swore it was like 8-9% ABV!

Appearance: A caramelly amber brown hue, slightly clear but somewhat hazy. Decent amount of eggshell head that slowly diminishes. Looks much much different than I remember. There's no yeast sediment floating everywhere this time.

Aroma: The first thing it reminds me of is, of all, things, O'Doul's Amber Non-Alcoholic beer. A bit of a caramelly maltiness, quite a bit of malt whiff, bit of hay.

Taste: Tastes completely different this time around as well. While back in 2004 it reminded me of a beer that scared me, such as La fin du monde, but nope.. this tastes like a decent amber ale. Somewhat light in flavour, but it has some caramel, some bitterness from the hops, and a maltiness similar to a regular lager, but better. What would I compare it to? Well, your regular amber ale.

Overall Thoughts: It's crazy how beer tastes change over several years when you get accustomed to stronger beer. This beer scared me in 2004 due to there being beaucoup de sediment. However, this time it's a nice clear amber beer, no sediment to be seen. So likely the batch from 2004 was incredibly old batch as it was at the old Brandon LC, where beer selection was known to be entirely Molbatts (and Minhas). It's a nice macro-style amber. It only has 4.8% ABV which shocked me. I don't know how I absolutely hated it last time, but this seems like a completely different beer, but nope.. looking through the review archive, it WAS this very beer. Times change, tastes change so sometimes you need to give beer a try again.

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