1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

8,984 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,984
Reviews: 3,276
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 277
Gots: 967 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,984 | Reviews: 3,276 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kevin-Wieken
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, California
---from bottle to stemmed tulip glass---

Appearance
Foggy ruby amber, thiiiick head that eventually settles to a nice cap, excellent thick lacing - Beautiful

Smell
Slight tropical fruit aroma, herbal hops, bready and grassy.

Taste
Grapefruit pulp, caramel malts, hints of lemon, bread.

Mouth-feel
Very bubbly, medium bodied, extremely hoppy. Good balance of bitter from season fresh hops to malty sweetness. Finishes dry with notes of grain.

Overall
Hits all aspects of the american IPA. Earthy, herbal, citrusy - All while remaining drinkable, bitter, sweet, and delicious. Can it not be winter forever??

Photo of AmitC
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So finally, i have my hands on celebration ale from SN. This is the 2012 release.

Poured it into snifter. Small less than a finger thick head that persists quite well. Decent lacing. Slightly hazy amber color tilting towards red hues. Good number of bubbles.

Smell: Nose is full of hops and herbs with slight amount of malt presence. Fresh hops are felt upfront. Grassy feeling, but not very strong, just good enough, saying that it is fresh hopped. Complex and well balanced.

Taste: Well, does not feel bitter to me at all. Good balance between malts and hops. Slight hops upfront, but not at all powerful to suggest an IBU of 65. Slightly resinous and oily. Medium dry finish. Good hop after taste.

Mouth feel: Regular stuff. Medium bodied feel. Astringency from hops and carbonation, which is slightly more than it should have.

Overall a 4.25. Personally i am a bit underwhelmed after so much hype surrounding this. 4 for an IPA from me does not feel right. Try it once. Good drinkability though. Hop heads will be slightly disappointed.

Photo of blitz134
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my all-time fav session beer. Too bad it only comes out in the winter. It isn't quite a winter brew in the typical sense, but its mighty tasty none the less. Its about time I got around to reviewing this one.

Pours a redish, caramel color with about a one finger off white head which disappears into a slight coating on the surface. Aroma is a very aromatic blend of flowery hops. Just from the smell one can tell this is going to be a hoppy brew. Taste is very sharp and pungent. The immediate hit of hops is very pleasing, and quite balanced in flavor. I don't pick up much of any one hop in this beer, but there is an overall piney flavor. I think the carbonation really helps how sharp this beer comes off. Mouth feel is a little above average, a bit thin but the flavor still lingers for a bit.

Drinkability is what this beer is about. The hoppiness doesn't overpower at all. Like I said above...my all-time fav for a great session brew.

Photo of pittpenguin
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: slightly hazy copper amber with a fantastic head and excellent retention. Lacing lasted to the bottom of the glass.

S: Slightly muted from what I would expect of this big tasting beer. Citrus and pine.

T: Grapefruit and its citrus cousins. Alcohol well hidden. Malt backs up the hops, but its all about the hops, with a long hoppy finish.

MF: medium body, nice carbonation

D: high, could have a couple without blinking, but i fancy the hops.

Photo of ComeOnYouSpurs17
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a craft beer glass

A - Copper bordering on amber with an unfiltered, slightly cloudy look. Head is robust with some cratered foaming and spotty lacing

S - earthy and hoppy, par for the course as far as IPAs go

T - pine and lots of hops, bitter but balanced with winter spice. The crispness and boozy strength that you'd want to keep you warm on a cold winter night

M - smooth and rich, perfect carbonation

O - Great alternative to the porters that are usually favoured around the holidays, by far my favorite seasonal beer. Sierra Nevada might be a behemoth but you can't fault them for turning out stuff like this

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle of 2010 Celebration into my Ommegang goblet. Huge fluffy 3 fingers of off white head and a nice light brown/golden hue. Smells cascadian, a little citrusy, floral, pine. Light sweet malt. Like the pale on steroids. Dry, bitter goodness on the palate. Very piney. Fluffy, creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Could put away easily half of this 6er. Overall, really makes me think SNPA with a Barry Bonds complex.

Photo of morimech
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first of the season so a good reason to finally review this beer. A beer I now look forward to each year.

Pours a reddish amber with nice fluffy, abundunt, white head. The head hangs around for longer than the beer is going to sit in the glass. Leaves some nice sticky lacing. Just what I like in a beer.

The smell is piney with some citrus and caramel malt.

The beer has a hop kick upon consumption with a little spicyness to enhance the bitterness. Tha alcohol is completly hidden in the flavors. Medium bodied with a wonderful carbonation just make this beer even more attractive for a winter's evening when a stout just won't hit the spot. I will drink many of this, just like I do every year until the supply runs out.

Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007

Purrs into a large Spaten mug, really nice deep amber coloration, with 3-4 fingers of foam initially. The head deflates after several minutes, but is ever present. there is a soapy ring of drippy lace hanging around the edge.

Caramel, bready malts in the nose, some vague citrus.

Full bodied, it feels really silky and rich. Not especially harsh, but there is a good deal of hop flavor, more resiny and herbal. The malts seem to have stolen the show, after sitting half a year in the bottle. Toffee, caramel, spicy hop, and citrus rind.

Really balanced, verging on double IPA. Tasty stuff. I'll be looking for the '08 this winter.

Photo of SHODriver
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful deep gold color with an off white head that sticks around for quite awhile.
S: Spicy hop aroma with a touch of sweetness.
T: A bitter spicy punch starts things off with some sweet caramel malt flavors with a touch of a toasted flavor finish it off with a bittersweet aftertaste that lingers for awhile and leaves you wanting more. Plenty of hops on the back end as well remind you that this beer is made for hop lovers.
M: Sort of heavy on the mouth with enough carbonation that you know it's there. Very smooth though
D: Good drinkability. this beer seems like it's gonna sit a little heavy so one should be enough but two wouldn't be an issue. I don't think this one would be too sessionable.

Overall: a very tasty seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada that I look forward to every year.

Photo of rrski198
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Orange amber colored, Nice white head, with great lacing

S: Piney, citrus, fresh hops before they are pitched. Awesome. Simply awesome.

T: Deep bitterness from the hops. Taste follows the smell. Piney, grapefruit, again bitter fresh hops. Decent malt backbone, balanced well.

M: Clean with average carbonation. Not to oily.

D: This beer is exceptionally drinkably. The ABV is not overwhelming, the hops are balanced well. Great session beer.

Photo of brurevu
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It poured a deep amber color with a good sized head and loads of floral hop aroma. The taste is big hops with a slight malty backbone, but mainly the big piney hops. While it leaves a lingering bitter pine finish I found the Celebration Ale nicely balanced and very drinkable. Such a great fresh hop IPA and always a welcome return to the season.

Photo of surfcaster
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First of the season and did not disappoint. Forgot it was a fresh hop.

Beautiful dark orange pour with light head. Not super pungent on the aroma but the taste was just spectacular. I had forgotten that subtle spice taste that evolves amongst the fresh hops that are as bright as ever. As balanced and integrated as could be imagined without compromising the desires of every hophead.

Cannot wait to decorate the tree with a Christmas flick on and fire in the background. SN has exceeded expectations with quality and value. Without a doubt, the best Christmas Seasonal.

Photo of cncbofh
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a little beauty. I had not heard of the Celebration Ale from anyone - so when I first purchased it, all I could think of was a typical Christmas ale... something with spices, lots of alcohol and a deep chewy flavor.

Holy cow! It's a Christmas Pale Ale and it's killer!!! The hops are powerful. Strong spicy citrus scent - can use this thing for a room freshener. Hope you like the smell of hops.

The taste is a small bit of malt swallowed by a humongous overload of citrusy hops. There is alcohol present, but it's not overwhelming and is well balanced with the brew. God this smells good and tastes great. Excellent beer for around the tree - or menorah, or buddha... hell, even atheists can enjoy Christmas with this one.

Photo of caskstrength
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this was my gateway beer. Pushed me when I first tried it, grew to love it, and motivated me to move beyond it.

Pours a gorgeous red/amber. Nice head. Smells piney, hoppy.

Sharp, hoppy, prickly carbonation, intense. Not as much for me these days, but that's how it felt to me when I drank it regularly.

I have nothing negative to say about this beer.
A classic introduction to good beer.

Just be wary, if you ask "what else is out there like this," you may end up spending more time on Beer Advocate than you should.

Photo of Surrender2theFlow
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mobyfann
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid a mere $5.99 for a growler at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a clear amber colored base, large white head, excellent retention and lacing on the glass. Smells of oak and hops with a touch of maple syrup.

Low Carbonation, full bodied, incredibly smooth and high quality ingredients... perfect hops in this one. Easy going and smooth in the mouth and a perfect session beer, the only way it isn't is if you drink it too quickly, which is a possibility!

Final Thought: This is a great IPA from one of the big 3 in the micro-brew industry, fantastic!

Photo of TreeTopFlyer
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hops, hops and more hops. This one reminds me of an IPA I tasted in Boise, ID from a taphandle labeled in masking tape and Sharpie magic marker. This beer dances just below the threshold of Imperial IPA pushing hops (very grapefruit-like bitterness) and alcohol. Two words - Game On.

Photo of tzchandler
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was drawn to this beer hearing that is dry-hopped. The aroma and flavor are a big step up from the more common India Pale Ale. The aroma is very nice. I can think of no other mass produced IPA that comes close to this except for Little Creatures Pale Ale (Australia).

Possibly a bit darker than I would expect in a IPA but for the price this is an outstanding value and wish it was not just available during the holidays.

Photo of climax
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version: Fresh from Sacramento

It pours a fairly murky burnt orange/copper color with a pretty massive solid foam head. The retention and lace notches are excellent.

The nose is bold but by no means pungent or brutally hoppy. The hop bouquet is fresh and clean to say the least, sporting fresh cut grass and juicy orange citrus notes. The malt backbone has a respectable presence, keeping in the background but not letting the hops run away.

The flavor follows the same trend as the nose, but with the added intensity I was hoping for. The flavors really flirt with each-other nicely. Fresh juicy hops up front have orange, pine, and grass flavors. Into the finish, toasty malt, a kiss of sweetness and spice surface before being burnt in the end by grapefruit esters.

The feel is very creamy and body is really pretty thick. The carbonation is fairly mild, but perfect in my eyes with this much viscosity. It's a beautifully fresh and clean IPA, has all of the qualities I think a good one should posses.

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked up a sixer of the 2009 release. I love this beer, so I had to grab some.

A: SN Celebration pours a hazy amber color. It starts out with about a finger of off-white foam that dies down to a thin layer. There is excellent lacing on the glass.

S: The smell is full of citrus hops and has a fairly big malt backbone. This is not quite as aggressive and powerful as your typical west coast IPA.

T: The flavor is a bit more assertive than the nose. It starts off with a nice dose of citrus and piney hops, and has a nice crisp, bitter finish. There is still a solid malt component to this, beer however.

M: A rather full body for an IPA, with the carbonation is on the light side.

D: This beer is quite drinkable, but hits surprisingly hard for 6.8%.

Photo of Kin
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009.

Bottle into SA Perfect Pint.

A: I wish all IPA's looked this good. Nice darker hue then your typical ale, with a thick floating head that just grabs onto your glass the whole way down.
S: Nice bread dough notes that remind me this is more than just your typical IPA. There's also some semi-sweet pine pitch in there.
T: Wow, I just drank christmas. Nice toasty malts up front followed by some typical season spices. That was dessert. Now we are sitting by the tree, and there's that hop punch. Sweet douglas-fir with a hint of grapefruit. For as hard as it comes it cleans the palate smoothly.
M: Fairly light overall, would actually like a little more in this area. Maybe I'm just wanting a little more body from a winter brew.
D: I was hoping to age a few of these after hearing good things about their transformation...but they seem to have all been emptied. I didn't think this is what a Christmas beer should taste like, but having had it I wouldn't want anything to change.

A quite good IPA, one of SNs best beers.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of marc956
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best christmas beer ever in my opinion!
Good alcohol%, smooth taste, nice looking label to keep as a souvenir, pity I can't get it regularly here in Texas but if you have a chance to try it (especially around the holidays) please don't pass it up!

Photo of bruachan
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

found a 2004 bottle in my collection

red with a orangish tint; i can't decide if it's a nice color. the head up top was pretty good but didn't last (it didn't totally flee; left behind a thick enough film). frosty lacing, though
fairly malty aroma. hops-aplenty, too...piney
toasty, bready malt flavors. the hops have diminished over time but it's still fairly bitter

i'd say it aged pretty well (does two years—maybe not even—count as aged?)

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,984 ratings.