1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,187 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,187
Reviews: 3,323
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 284
Gots: 1,126 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.
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: 9,187 | Reviews: 3,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Broden
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright copper color into a standard pint. Off white head is nice and fluffy and lingers throughout. Impressive lacing develops as the beer goes down.

S- Beautiful balanced nose of malt and hops. No over the top hop aroma but a nice balance of all of the components.

T- A variety of fruits meet a nice bread flavor. This is all finished with a nice piney flavor and an oily resin as it goes down. A slight hint of alcohol right at the end.

M- Light body, perfect for the style. Finishes quite dry.

O- This is an excellent IPA and balance seems to be the name of the game with this one. Malt, and Hops work together to make this an excellent beer.

Photo of rangerred
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy amber with a thick head. Wonderful head retention and lacing.

The smell is amazing. Citrus and pine from the hops along with maybe a hint of malt.

The taste is where it all comes together. Wonderfully balanced with just the right amount of hop flavor and bitterness. The malt is able to shine through as well. The finish is slightly sticky with the alcohol becoming slightly noticeable.

This is a very good beer and one of my favorite ipa's. Wish it was available year round.

Photo of trevorwideman
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the 2006 edition courtesy of fisherman34, thanks! Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a filtered reddish-orange colour with a full inch of pillowy head. Carbonation is medium, and keeps the head very lively. Smell is wonderfully hoppy, leaning more towards an orange/grapefruit character, a bit resiny and a little floral. There's definitely a serious caramel malt backbone in there as well, but the hop monster within rules the day.

As the ale hits the tongue it goes through some stages, albeit very quickly. A quick burst of honeylike earthy sweetness that quickly gets replaced by a big grapefruit hop presence. This is just thick with oily and piney hop character. Dancing across the tongue, the light malt is completely overshadowed by a clinic in the flavour characteristics of hops. Not as flowery as some, but everything else is there in full force. Be warned, there's little in the way of a yin/yang balance in this one, it's just one hell of a hop wallop. This one dries the palate nicely, and I didn't find it to be overcarbonated, just enough to introduce you to the flavour profile. Drinkability comes down to your enjoyment of bitter beers, and for me, this could be a great session ale in the right mood. Some days I was a hop monster, some days I don't. That said, this is a hell of a brew, and I'm looking forward to next year's offering.

Photo of rev3rb
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottom Line Up Front: I really like this IPA from Sierra Nevada and I look forward to it every year. It is a very balanced IPA that makes it incredibly drinkable.

Decanted 12oz bottle into a Guinness goblet.

Apperance: Nice deep golden color that has a good head and light lacing around the glass.

Smell: Wonderful floral and citrus hop aroma that doesn't overwhelm the nose.

Taste: I think the hop and malts really balance each other out. Very nice citrus and some pine hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: This beer is very balanced and smooth on the palate. The carbonation is quite appropriate for this beer.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer and consider this a great IPA. It's very nice clean and crisp with a pleasant mild aftertaste. I consider this IPA very balanced in every category and extremely drinkable.

Photo of slatetupelo
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber with gold hues visible on the edges of the glass. There's a nice thick tan head with good retention and great lacing.

S - Lots of hops and some fruity notes, smells really good.

T - For an IPA this has a great balance, the hops aren't overwhelming and I imagine a first time IPA drinker would be able to enjoy this offering. Some citrus hints but overall just a really clean taste.

D - At only 6.8% abv I could drink a six pack of these without hesitation. This is a really easy to drink IPA it goes down nice and smooth.

Photo of pasdachuri
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is called an ale but almost tastes and smells like an IPA. This beer poured a nice copper color. Smells of biscuit malt and grassy hops. Tastes VERY NICE; similar to how it smells. Sweet malt up front with a good amount of grapefruit flavor following shortly after. There's a good amount of wet bitterness at the end. Mouth feel was somewhat on the thin side, but still quite acceptable. Not a lot of carbonation. Overall, an incredible beer. I really wish the would be available daily. Apa is a good and reliable style, but i never had one i found was a incredible beer, until i had this one.

Photo of mwagner1018
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Celebration Ale
Served at cellar temp into a standard pint glass.

A- Pours a beautiful copper amber color, with a nice effervescent 2 fingers of light off white head. Settles down over about 10 minutes, to leave a good 1/2 of a finger cap on the beer. Really consistent layers of lacing down the glass.

S- Really nice floral west coast hop, grapefruit, fresh and fruity with a subtle pine aroma.

T- Clean, bold, nicely balanced with a medium/high bitterness that holds really well. Malt backbone pronounced enough to be there, with a nice caramel, vanilla taste, but balanced perfectly with a strong citrus, lemon pepper, buttery, creaminess that sets off the hops.

M- Bitter and chewy, nice bite to the tongue and back of throat. Sharp grassy quality that is nicely balanced. Medium to Medium High body, good malt thickness.

D- Very drinkable, hop forward but well balanced. A great beer.

Photo of dpodratsky3
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Medium dark amber with some red hues, really good color, awesome off white head, almost butter like, and foamy like shaving cream, remains on top all the way through this glass like a dollop of sour cream on top and leaves good lace

S: Big hop presence, major grapefruit, appears to be slight malty breadiness, just enough to provide some contrast and backbone

T: Again big hops dominate, especially grapefruit, but not overly intense like some, good bitterness, balanced by slight breadiness, but very slight, does not cover hops at all, a little one dimensional as the flavors don't develop too much, but what it does provide is amazing

M: Semi light, but not thin at all, bitterness creates some dryness, but doesn't really linger

D: Good, nice bold flavors and easy mouthfeel won't let me stop drinking this

Notes: This is my first Sierra Nevada and it is awesome. I have been getting bogged down by spiced and sweet winter ales, and this is exactly what I needed, a blast of hops in a Christmas wrapper. I can't wait to try their other beers.

Photo of teg8612
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber hued brew. Decent head that drops into sticky lace.

S- Herbal and tons of hops. Some citrus notes with a hint of spicyness.

T&M- Not full bodied but a big medium. Carbonation is perfect which creates a creamy smooth drinkability. Malt is ignored as hops burst onto the palate right away. Bitter and oily. Malt creaps into the picture just barely and is almost nutty, bread-like and somewhat caramelly. This becomes more pronounced as it warms. Hops are the star of this show with a strong but not over the top performance. Herbal and citrus qualities as well as some flowery moments. Alcohol is barely detectable. Bitternes only builds slightly so you can have more than one, just watch out because that alcohol will sneak up quick.

D- A near perfect IPA. Hoppy without killing your tastebuds and complex enough to keep me coming back for more. I wish this wasn't a seasonal.

Photo of Rennpferd
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap into a fresh pint glass.

The beverage appeared a rich copper hue with about a 3/4 inch creamy white head. As the beverage was consumed it left a nice sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

A mild scent of hops was accompanied by a hint of apple fragrance.

It tasted of sweet malt with bitter hops in the finish. It was medium bodied and easy on the palate when consumed.

This is a very drinkable beer.

Photo of wimpasaurus
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Gorgeous amber color with slightly reddish hues. Two finger head which dissippates within a couple minutes. Fair lacing. Floral nose and very sweet and hoppy. Smooth and rich mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Quite bitter (though in a most pleasant way, it's not an affront to my palate at all) and citrusy with slight hints of apple. All in all, this is a very solid IPA.

Photo of mjl21
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. 2009 version. Bottled on the 274 day of the year. Comes in at 6.8%

A-Pours a clear amber with a one finger off white head that has some decent staying power. Lot of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Leaves some good lace patterns.

S-Pale malt, pine, and citrus hops are all noticeable. Not one of these dominates the aroma and results in a balanced nose.

T-Grapefruit, pine, pale malt, and some sweet malt all jump out in each sip. There is some lingering sweetness and bitterness in between sips. There is some subtle spices that can be picked up as it goes down.

M-Medium bodied, smooth, and nicely carbonated.

D-Easy drinking seasonal.

This is always one of my favorute seasonals. It has lots of hop flavor but also has a nice malt profile to bring everything together. My token fridge beer for the holidays.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - orange/amber body, finger head, terrific lacing.

S - floral, grassy, pine aroma.

T - grassy, lemon zest, pine, malt, low sticky slow bitter finish

M - med. body, oily/sticky mouth

O: Reviewed this time last year and thought it
was just ok, but glad I gave it another go. Perhaps,
I got a bad bottle/batch/or my palate was just in a
funk. I'm glad I went back to this beer;
by FAR, my favorite Sierra Nevada beer.


Photo of KomodoDragon
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A welcomed sign of winter!!!! albeit wo the pretty white stuff in va like there is on the label

A - an off white head with ideal lacing lies aloft a cloudy goldenrod brew.

S - pine and light fruit smells

T - I find celebration to be a SN pale - northwest hops, crisp, clean - hyped with spices - cloves cinnamon - and an alcohol warmth. Perfect in balance and a lingering finish

M - smooth although a bit aggressive on the carbonation

A reliable gift year after year

Photo of Soneast
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color. With a thick and creamy, two finger off white colored head, with good retention and lots of lace.

Can really pick out the hops on the nose. Definitely some grapefruit and pine with just a touch of caramel.

The taste is an all around hop punch with mostly citrus flavors, predominated by grapefruit and some really nice caramel flavors, and almost a touch of toasted malt in the background to really balance everything out. Leaves a delectable sweet bitterness on the palate.

Light to medium bodied. Nice amount of carbonation, makes your mouth feel alive.

I release that I look forward to every year. Reliably delicious and quite drinkable makes it a wonderful compliment to any Holiday festivity.

Photo of Nytemare
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer in my "honey, we got our tax return, let's each get fifty to blow and put the rest in the bank," beer. Poured a reddish gold color with a slightly off white fluffy head. Some lacing. Smelled hoppy, imagine that. Cascade mostly if I'm beginning to learn this stuff. Quite tasty. Very hoppy, but not as hoppy as I was expecting. Less of a hops assault more attention to detail. Decent mouthfeel, moderate body with good carbonation. A little oily, but that rarely detracts. Definately drinkable. I can't have more than one in a sitting, but will definately look forward to this each year. My one downside, as it warmed, the alcohol became rather obvious and overpowering.

Photo of HarrySTruman
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Orange with a big fluffy head. Lacing was strong and sat on the glass for a long time after the liquid was finished.

Smelled hoppy, but not overwhelming. Citrus and grass scents.

Tasted of wet/fresh hops with a strong malt backing. Very nice balance of floral, citrus, malt.

Easy to drink, not bitter at all.

Price + quality + balance = a strong overall beer. Readily available? Count me in.

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle, 2007 edition. Purchased at Canal's Discount Liquor Store, Black Horse Pike Egg Harbor Twp. NJ.

A: Amber colored. Nice Carbonation rising to a small head. Lacing left up and down the glass

S: Plenty of Hops. Citrusy and piney.

T: Just like it smells. Grapefruit like hops start to finish. Good and not overpowering

M: Crisp and tingly

D: One to savor and enjoy slowly. Glad I have five more from the six pack waiting in the fridge.

Photo of thespaceman
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Edition, Served from bottle, poured into pint glass:

Appearance: Nice golden/amber color, not too dark at all, with a minimal head that dissapeared pretty quickly. Nice retention and good lacing as well.

Smell: Spices is what comes to mind. Good malt character and nice florals. Caramel, nutmeg, & fruit really pop on the hops. Very welcoming.

Taste: Again, a good spice kick in the end, this one has alot of good characteristic, it's malty yet not over-malted, very flavorful with a nice bitterness in the end. Grapefruit pops out HUGE here, an excellent addition to this. Taste similar to the notes of a Samuel Adams Boston Lager but with the spiciness doing the work, an excellent tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Pretty carbonated, creamy, yet light on the palette.

Drinkability: I can drink these till the cows come home. I didn't think I'd be as impressed as I was but I am, a great tasting beer from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of hayesjw
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 notes:

balanced malt to make this IPA very easy to consume.
modified had to 4.5 on 11/25/13. delicious!

should tally this year. draft: 06 ; bottle : 12

2012 notes:

added as 4.25 on 12/8/12.

<2011 thoughts:
wonder how many bottles and drafts enjoyed in years past

this is an annual staple to be enjoyed and shared. cheers!

Photo of kleffman
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah how I love this Sierra Seasonal IPA. Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Pours a golden amber with a nice head and moderate carbonation level.

Hops dominate the nose with citrus and floral aromas similar to their regular pale ale, but much more in your face. I love the hop combinations they use in this ale.

Taste is a citrus hop flavor on top of a sweet malt base making for a very well balanced and wonderful IPA. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the flavor here. Not super bitter, but just enough to help the balance.

Mouthfeel is great and is high on drinkability for me. I could easily get through a few of these.

If you like Cascade hops and Sierra beers in general you will probably love this winter seasonal. This years batch was especially fantastic, but maybe that's just because I missed out on last year. I always look forward to this winter offering.

Photo of hosehead83
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce "2009" edition bottle into a standard pint glass
Golden amber in color, with a big, fluffy head of foam
Aroma-Definite hop nose, some biscuit
Taste-I didn't realize that this is considered an IPA until I saw the style type-It certainly makes sense as it has a definite hoppy backbone and some subtle spices to give it a little zing.
Very tasty and drinkable-A fine "Christmas" ale

Photo of OKCNittany
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1" white head with decent retention, leaving a nice lacing. Clear amber body.

S: Citrus, pine, and floral hops. If they made perfume like this, women wearing it would need to get a restraining order to keep me off them.

T: Fresh and juicy hops. Fruity, citric, sweet, but bitter too. There's a nice malt presence as well. It's somewhat off in the distance, but just enough balance is maintained.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Somewhat smooth with a lip smacking, hop finish.

D: Hoppier than and not as well balanced as their Anniversary Ale and their IPA (and as far as I'm concerned, that's not a complaint), but like all S.N. brews, it's very drinkable.

Photo of brendanbeer
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. very pretty amber orange haze. nice lacy head that lasts a little while.

s. i like the smell a lot, fruits and hops galore.

t. taste is unexpectedly good. the spices are incredibly orchestrated and complement the hops and sweet citrus flavors amazingly. the entire flavor profile blends beautifully and ends in a spice ale aftertaste. there's also that distinctive sierra nevada flavor that probably comes from the particular hops they use... not sure.

m. medium body, nice smooth characteristics. run of the mill good sierra nevada style.

d. really good beer. better than most seasonal spiced ales that become so popular this time of year. another exceptional beer by the consistently enjoyable sierra nevada team. Cheers!

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Just had the 2003 vintage. I am not an IPA person, but this was really deserving of its reputation. Let me just say it is hoppy without being overwhelming. And that really boosted its drinkability for me. The taste has more nuance than that, but what can I say? Try it for yourself. I would be completely shocked if you were disappointed.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,187 ratings.