Dec 15, 2016

Anchor Dry-Hopped Steam Beer

Anchor Brewing’s Steam Beer was one of the few micro-brews available back in ’93-94 when I first started exploring options outside of your typical options college students swill. Pete’s Wicked, Saranac, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams and Anchor invaded Virginia shelves dominated by Coors, Miller and Bud during that time. There was no local beer (Old Dominion didn’t appear on my radar for a couple more years), “craft” wasn’t a thing and Anchor’s Steam Beer was one of the driving forces for me to explore beyond the macro options. It holds a special place in my beer-drinking heart.

I was hesitant to pick up a bottle of the dry-hopped variation because of that fact. I wasn’t sure how I would react to one of my foundational beers not tasting like it should or, at the very least, how I remembered it influencing me. Well, it certainly doesn’t taste like the original, but it’s still a pretty darn good beer nonetheless. I love the aromatics and the brightness that the dry-hopping has created within the beer. It comes across a bit sharper on the tongue than the usually softer Steam Beer does. It’s different, that’s for sure.

I’m not so much of a curmudgeon that I can’t enjoy a twist on a classic beer, but this certainly isn’t the Anchor Steam Beer that I know and love — and that’s cool. Dry-Hopped Steam Beer is vastly different and fun, but certainly not life-altering like the original was for many beer drinkers back in the day. It’s an entertaining change of pace and I enjoyed it for the what it was. It certainly won’t be replacing the classic any time soon — I hope.