Anchor Small Beer

Anchor Small Beer

Rated 2.861 by BeerPals

Brewed by Anchor Brewing Company

San Francisco, CA, United States

Style:  Bitter

3.3% Alcohol by Volume

Availability of this beer is unknown

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The tradition of brewing two distinct beers from one mash has existed for thousands of years, and for centuries the term "small beer" was used in English to describe the lighter and weaker second beer. By association, the term came to mean something of little importance. We make our Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale from the rich first runnings of an all-malt mash, and Anchor Small Beer is our attempt to duplicate the "small beers" of old by sparging that same mash: sprinkling warm water over the Old Foghorn mash after the first wort has run off, thereby creating a second, lighter brew from the resulting thinner wort. Technically, both beers are "ales" because they are made with top-fermenting yeast. We believe you will find Anchor Small Beer delicious—similar to what modern brewers call a "bitter"—and we hope you will also enjoy the idea of reviving an ancient brewing tradition, which is something of great importance.

ID: 228 Last updated 2 years ago Added to database 22 years ago

Key Stats








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Most noted beer attributes

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Overall Rank47233
Overall Percentile8.9
Style Rank818 of 857
Style Percentile4.6
Lowest Score1.8
Highest Score3.8
Average Score2.848
Weighted Score2.861
Standard Deviation0.561

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

31 Member Reviews

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  • TREBORIUS 308 reviews
    rated 2.9 2 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 5 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 6

    This beer is made in the old British style using second runnings. This is a medium gold colored beer, the head is tight, white, and sticks to the sides of the glass. Aroma is light caramel, bread, and earthy hops. Not very complex. Mouthfeel is average. Flavor mimics the aroma, sweet caramel notes to start, bitter hop notes in the finish.

  • AIRFORCE1 680 reviews
    rated 2.8 11 years ago

    Aroma: 5 | Appearance: 5 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 6

    Pours like your typical light beer with a big white fluffy head. Well carbonated. Aroma is bringing back memories of Red Stripe. Taste is a bit more fulfilling than your typical light beer. Overall for a light beer it was refreshing.

  • RJA 2975 reviews
    rated 3.2 11 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 6

    A light golden colored beer with a small soapy textured, white head. Not much hang time but a big ringlet and thick film are left behind. Light citric-grassy nose. More pronounced hop presence. Light-medium bodied and well carbonated.

  • HONKEYMOFO 1000 reviews
    rated 3.2 12 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 6

    It pours a solid golden with a thick white head and copious lacing. An aroma of bready malts, hops, citrus, bitterness, and light spiciness. The mouthfeel is smooth and fairly rich. Flavors of bready malts, bitterness, hops, lemon-citrus, and spiciness. Excellent small beer.

  • JABAH 1780 reviews
    rated 3.1 12 years ago

    Aroma: 5 | Appearance: 5 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 6

    This is a little tough to review, because I feel is probably better than the ratings show. Yeah, it's a watered down "light" beer, but for a light beer has some decent flavor and mouthfeel. My father-in-law talks about "Combat coffee" from the old military days...where they take the used coffee grinds from the first batch and make a 2nd batch of coffee. This sounds about like the same idea. My first small beer, so I would say about what I expected. Would I get again for this price?....probably not, but sometimes these low alchohol brews allow you to taste the malty flavors more. I would consider this if they had it in 6-packs for something like $6....as daytime or lawnmower beer.

  • CHEFCHAD 542 reviews
    rated 2.6 13 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 5 | Mouthfeel: 5 | Flavor: 5 | Overall: 5

    I guess I should not be surprised by the results of this one.. I was warned by all the ratings on here. I really wanted it to be good. I was not..

    Smells of hops but not nice ones, some grass and straw and maybe some feet. Pours see through mild gold with a bit of white head. Water light body with ok carbonation and a crisp finish with a bite to it. Flavor was watery which I get but there really is no balance here some hops but no citrus or malt .. Tasted like straw.. I tried it..I don't need to rink it again.. it did get better when warmed a bit.

  • PHISHPOND417 3045 reviews
    rated 2.2 13 years ago

    Aroma: 4 | Appearance: 5 | Mouthfeel: 5 | Flavor: 4 | Overall: 4

    Yeah it's pretty terrible. Even for my swill accustomed palate as of late. Amber, lots of carbonation, little froth, decent lacing. Immediate corn and sweet malt. Big turn off. Taste is third world pale lager. Too bad, make this into a malt liquor Fritz!!

  • LENUSIK 2067 reviews
    rated 2.1 13 years ago

    Aroma: 5 | Appearance: 4 | Mouthfeel: 4 | Flavor: 4 | Overall: 4

    So...........do I rate this beer based on not reading the description of how it's made.........or do I rate it based on what I put on paper when drinking it? This is a very weak beer. Light gold in colour, weak aroma, mild beer flavour. It tastes exactly like I read the brewer's description.........a watered down leftover beer.

  • SUDSMCDUFF 3781 reviews
    rated 2.4 13 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 3 | Flavor: 4 | Overall: 5

    pours a medium caramel color.. . has some very noce foam aspects, decent lacing.. . god, taste is of mostly old used hops and soap, very soapy mouthfeel .. . uh, thanks to anthony and steve for the heads up, sample small doses only.. this stuff sucks.. Wishlist cross off.. originally put on: 12/13/2007

  • SLOWRUNNER77 5682 reviews
    rated 3.3 14 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    this was a bit of a pleasant surprise, as i was not expecting much. pleasant session ale, with a nice refreshing aroma and taste. slightly recomended.

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