Anchor Steam now in 12oz Cans

The 123-year-old game chaging Anchor Steam beer is now available in 12oz cans for the first time. This is the San Francisco beer that created the “steam” beer style, otherwise known as California Common, and one of the oldest craft brewing pioneers.

More from a press release:

Brewed in San Francisco since 1896, Anchor Steam (4.9% ABV) was the first handcrafted beer to be revitalized in America after Prohibition, starting a revolution in beer that paved the way for today’s craft beer movement. With refreshing aspects of a lager and the complexity of an ale, Anchor Steam is in a category of its own, created by fermenting a lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures. Anchor Steam saw its first modern bottling in 1971, and the rest is history.

“Here in San Francisco, when the weather starts to warm up everybody heads to the park or their favorite hiking trail where glass is strictly prohibited. We wanted to make San Francisco’s classic Steam Beer ready to bring with you on all of your adventures. The 12oz can is a perfect fit for our city,” said Anchor Brewmaster, Scott Ungermann. “We launched Anchor Steam in tall 19.2oz cans in 2018, but it’s time we release this revered beer in a 12oz can. Now, Anchor fans have more reasons to take Anchor Steam with them to the parks, on camping trips, backyard BBQ gatherings and everywhere in between.”

Anchor Steam Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when
“steam” was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. While the origin of the name remains shrouded in mystery, it likely relates to the original practice of fermenting the beer on San Francisco’s rooftops in a cool climate. In lieu of ice, the foggy night air naturally cooled the fermenting beer, creating steam off the warm open pans.

Today, Anchor Brewing still employs open fermentation on a commercial scale. Although Anchor has modern equipment and their fermenters are made of stainless steel—and not on rooftops—Anchor has kept this process as part of the brewing heritage for Anchor Steam as well as other beers.

Anchor Steam owes its bright copper color, frosty tan head, and rich, refreshing flavor to this unique, historic brewing process. 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 Anchor’s cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening.

With flavors of mild toasted malt and a light hint of caramel, Anchor Steam is balanced by bright, fresh hoppiness. It has aromas of toasted bread crust, followed by bright evergreen Northern Brewer hops and floral esters with a final hint of banana. A smooth and velvety mouthfeel is accompanied by lively bubbles from the natural kräusening process and a crisp, bright hop finish. It pairs well with any seafood dish, steak with caramelized onions, and grilled portobello mushrooms.

Anchor Steam 12oz cans are available in 6-packs nationwide and in Anchor’s Variety Pack alongside California Lager, Fog Breaker and Baykeeper IPA. Anchor Steam is also available in 12oz bottles and 19.2oz cans nationwide. Find a beer near you using the Anchor Beer Finder.

For more information on the history and craft of Anchor Steam Beer, please watch the following video: Anchor Steam Beer Video. Learn more about Anchor Brewing at and follow @anchorbrewing on social media.

About Anchor Brewing Company
Anchor Brewing Company’s roots date to the California Gold Rush, making it one of America’s oldest brewers. Its Anchor Steam® Beer is San Francisco’s original since 1896. In 1965, Fritz Maytag acquired and revived the struggling brewery at a time when mass production of beer dominated and seemed unstoppable. Maytag started a revolution in beer that originated today’s craft beer movement. An undisputed icon, Anchor is America’s first craft brewery where beers are handmade in our traditional cooper brew house from an all-malt mash. At Anchor, the company practices the time-honored art of classical brewing while employing state-of-the-art methods to ensure that its beers are always pure and fresh. For more information, visit

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: