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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,379 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7379
Reviews: 3152
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%

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
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Ratings: 7,379 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of likethetaste


1.45/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I cannot believe that I differ so much from most others that are reviewing this beer. I picked up a six pack at a Food Lion because i was in the mood for a nice holiday winter beer. I had not actually tried anything yet by Sierra Nevada and this looked like it might be interesting to try.

It poured nice. I large head and good color. But once I smelled it I knew this was probably not going to be a ale for me. Once I tasted it I was very disappointed. This has a very bitter taste. It is almost like drinking burnt rubber.

There is no way I will every get this beer again. As far as for my own taste buds this was just horrible.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 20:11:49 | More by likethetaste
Photo of TheOtherMike


1.68/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I just cannot drink this beer. Beer? It seems more like a spiced cider or something - which seems appropriate for the holidays, but still something that I cannot drink. I 've tried twice but there will not be a third try. It is readily available during the holidays.

It's not the worst beer I've ever had - I think that was in Valdez, AK.
Some "Buzzard" brew I think. Thus I did not give this one the lowest scores for taste/smell/drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2004 15:58:37 | More by TheOtherMike
Photo of Guden


1.98/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Dark coppery color with a coppery white sticky head that fades to a low layer but sticks around. Looks good but a little bit dark for an IPA.

S- Big grassy pine with a little fruitiness. Not very pleasant.

T- Super strong bitter pine flavor. There's also a little light malt and spicy character. Never had a "fresh hop" beer before but I don't like this one.

M- Dry and high in carbonation. Pretty standard for an IPA but with this flavor it just fills my whole mouth in a way I don't like.

D- Bleh. Don't want any more. A one dimensional IPA with that dimension being one I don't like. Made my stomach hurt too, won't be coming back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 22:59:24 | More by Guden
Photo of Opethsprite


2.03/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Taken from a written account a few weeks back...

The bottle claims that this ale is unique, and....well, I suppose it is. (Not that this is a good thing.) The nose was a whacked-out combination of cedar, bitter orange, and menthol. I should have quit right there. I can't figure out why everyone loves this stuff: the taste of burning wood and mint leaves with a powerful jolt of alcohol was too much for me. There was a perfect level of carbonation, though! For me, this beer is not worth the hype. It's good for keeping around to drink once in a decade when you're just bored with the usual beers. Gross!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 23:42:22 | More by Opethsprite
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

2.03/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Orange type of color with a nice head.
S - Has a fruity smell l
T - Very bitter, taste like grapefruit and I don't like grapefruit. Wou
M - Bitter
D - l wouldn't mind drinking it every xmas. I only had a small glass of it, but you need to like the bitter taste of grapefruit to enjoy this.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 23:14:52 | More by auxiliary
Photo of johnnybravo


2.1/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Although not even exceptionally hoppy I think this beers is still too bitter, too dry. Especially in the finish it developes a harsh bitterness, almost medicinal. Leaving a very dry mouthfeel like you've been sucking on a piece of rusty metal. I shared the bottle with a friend and I'm glad I did because I probably couldn't have finished it on my own. Smells ok though, fruity and flowers, like most American IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 13:07:02 | More by johnnybravo
Photo of theBubba

New York

2.1/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Celebration. Nice amber color...nice head...nice lace that sticks to the glass long after it's empty.

After that it's all hops that will leave your mouth searching for a piece of cheese and a good oatmeal stout or wit to "celebrate". Or some toothpaste. Your choice.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a slightly spicy overly hopped adventure into a very bitter realm. For "hop-heads" only.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 04:07:53 | More by theBubba
Photo of biophiliadude


2.13/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tap to a pint glass

A: ruby red, minimal white head, orange hues in the light.

S: slight spice.

T: spices, hops, on top of a strong lager taste as well as cardboard and paper = oxidation

F: Smooth, then foamy.

D: Better as it warms up. Overall flat and unbalanced, like someone made a bad lager and threw some spices in at the end.

I was really disappointed with this beer and on this review would not recommend it at all. I'll have to try it in bottle form because it's getting such rave reviews - perhaps the keg was just poorly tapped.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2009 01:16:15 | More by biophiliadude
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

2.13/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep brown orange color with a thick white head and a little lacing. Smells of oranges and piney hops and more hops and more hops. Tastes mostly of hops and a little wood in there somewhere and some caramel malts or something. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Drinkability is low.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 21:10:12 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of claytri


2.23/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The ale poured a beautiful bronze with a georgeous rocky white head. The aroma was essentially of hops very floral. The taste was really pretty one dimensional it was sharp and hoppy and nothing else. The body was medium dry finish. This beer was a real disappointment. I was expecting something complex and maybe spicy instead I got nothing but hops. It was also very unpleasant to drink with chilli.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2004 20:25:51 | More by claytri
Photo of RevDru

New Mexico

2.23/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Light to medium brown with a half-inch of foam. Foam breaks down at a moderate rate.

S - Spiced milk.

T - Citrus and mild spice. Hints of vanilla. As time goes on, the taste turns very metallic.

M - Makes my tonge feel swollen, as if it is filling my entire mouth.

D - The initial flavors rated a 3.5, but as it wore on, it became a 2. I guess if you slam this beer, it wouldn't bee too bad, but then, what is the point? I was unable to finish this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2007 16:34:43 | More by RevDru
Photo of bc2208

New York

2.23/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I had a hard time with this beer.

Appearance: Nice golden-reddish color. Pour produces a decent head, but it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Fruity, hoppy smell.

Taste: I don't know what to say. My first reaction was good - up front it is fruity and floral and quite pleasant. Unfortunately, there's a lingering aftertaste that sticks to the sides of my mouth. It might be cinnamon, but it's really just medicinal. I wanted to like this beer, but I had a hard time finishing it.

Drinkability: Don't know if I'll be drinking the 5 I have left over.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 05:57:56 | More by bc2208
Photo of kneeland

North Carolina

2.23/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I thought this was going to be a winter ale, since the bottle never said anything about it being an IPA. But even with being surprised, I didn't like anything about it.

Very barky with a wanna be cinnamon taste. Tasted very flat and chalky. The head disappeared quickly, and it's too heavy to drink fast enough. Just very bad mouthfeel.

I was excited to have it with my Thanksgiving dinner, but I actually had to switch to Bud Light instead. Yea, I know.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 20:31:28 | More by kneeland
Photo of Mitchel


2.25/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I initially was very excited about this beer, having heard so many great things about it. But….I found myself a little disappointed in the end.

Poured a clear, orangy, red with a great creamy head which held for a long while. It leaves a little lace and the head is still holding….will it ever quit? The world may never know!

This beer smells like wet hops and plastic. Sorry guys, just my opinion. Upon another inhalation, it has a spicy citrus smell which is quite nice once you get passed the plastic.

This ale is strangely creamy and, as anticipated, very hoppy. I don’t personally have a soft spot for hoppy beers, so this one doesn’t stand out as one of my favorites. It has lots of things going on though. This beer reminds me of grapefruit and lemon peel. Bitter and spicy makes for a great winter warmer. That ABV might catch you off guard, watch out.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 04:09:15 | More by Mitchel
Photo of champ103


2.25/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: A deep orange/amber color with a nice foamy white head and good lace.
S: Piny, floral, and grapefruit aroma. A little disappointing. I usually love the smell of an IPA, and think that it is the best aspect of the style. I was not impressed with the aroma here however.
T: Very bitter grapefruit and pine flavors. Oh man this is bitter. If there is any malt to balance the flavor, I can not taste it.
M/D: Thin and watery in the mouth. Did I say this was bitter? It is very hard to drink this beer. I had to share this with a friend that usually likes IPA's and we both had problems finishing a 12 oz bottle.

I hate writing reviews like this. I feel like I am bashing this beer too much, but I did not enjoy drinking this. This is not something I will revisit.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 22:00:56 | More by champ103
Photo of Maerzen


2.28/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was really surprised when I read the other reviews on this beer so I tried it again and I just can't get past the bitterness. It pours nicely and has a nice color and looks like an enjoyable Christmas/Celebration ale but I was really surprised by the taste. Most holiday ales that I have tasted seem to play with the mixture of spices. It is always fun to try and figure out what the brew master was playing with, and they are never the same. The bitterness is so powerful in this ale that it completely masks any other spice. Sorry, I did try.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2007 21:58:55 | More by Maerzen
Photo of Dougal

New Jersey

2.38/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this had a strange taste.... it was hoppy but unbalanced... the malts were given to caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg hence the winter scene in the advertising. The first taste did not warrant a need for a second taste, it was a winter warmer type of product which now I know I do not like

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 01:41:17 | More by Dougal
Photo of webbcreative


2.48/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

pours nice. The first thing I notice is the citrus, tates like grapefruit. then at the end it is so incredible bitter its hardly drinkable, to me, and its stays on the sides of my mouth and wont leave! I dont see what the fuss is about on this one, but then again im not into overly hopped beers either. It does have nice carbonation though.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 05:00:24 | More by webbcreative
Photo of heartofgold


2.48/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed is a 12oz bottle, labeled "2010 Celebration Fresh Hope Ale"

Poured this into a pint glass. Minimal head was created which dissipated rather quickly. The color was a clear bronze amber.

The aroma was very mild, with a hint of pine, very subtle for a fresh hop IPA.

The taste was of toasted malt with an element of burnt chocolate and pine, with a medium bitter-hop finish. The lack of aroma seemed to hold back any complexity in the taste.

This is a moderately drinkable beer. I'm a big fan of SN but this didn't hit the mark for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 06:00:10 | More by heartofgold
Photo of TheGarvenator


2.53/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - A murky orange color with a remaining head

S - overwhelming citris smell from the hops

T - tastes extremely bitter with the sting of citris and hops

M - medium bodied with carbonation, sting from citris

I clearly am not a fan of IPAs since the taste immediately threw me off and it went down hill from there...Amazing color and smell but the bitter taste of the hops, pine, and other spices were just not balanced right for me...I'll stick with the pale ale...

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 02:47:34 | More by TheGarvenator
Photo of KyleVick4


2.55/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: Very bubbly, copper amberish color. Nice head that consists of big bubbles. Head dissipates pretty quickly. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S: Hoppy. Can not distinguish any subtle smells bc the hop aroma is to big. Not a very strong smelling beer, but I could only pinpoint one smell.

T: Spicy, and dry with a kick of mild hops coming in the end. The combination of carbonation and hops makes for a spicy first hit followed by a hoppy aftertaste. Very little malt taste, kinda weakly IPAish.

M: Medium - Light with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Overkill on spicyness and carbonation makes this beer tough for me to finish. It would for sure be a one beer drink for me, Id drink it again bc it tastes good but it gets old quickly.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2006 07:23:54 | More by KyleVick4
Photo of dalimsta

New York

2.55/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I had high hopes for this beer based on all the positive reviews, but I was unfortunately incredibly underwhelmed by it. Nice dark amber color, small head that dissipated quickly, generally a decent representation of the style... but the taste left a lot to be desired. Overpowering bitterness, with little else--some nice breadiness and spice hid under there, but it was hard to detect.

I'm really hoping this was just a bad batch since I respect Sierra Nevada's other brews, but every bottle in the six-pack I got was disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 04:18:29 | More by dalimsta
Photo of ChadQuest


2.55/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle says 2011, so i have to assume that its this fresh batch to get it out before the holidays.
Pour is a dark amber color, some bubbles and thin lacing around, dark for an IPA, but i guess that is what a holiday ipa is i assume.
Aroma is less aromatic then i expected, does not jump out at you, and has some standard C hop aromas amid some biscuit. less then exciting, sub par for an ipa.
Flavors are more citrus, the carbonation makes it brighter, and the obligatory pine is noted, more balanced then other IPAs, i would say this is more balanced then most "east coast" ipas, really borders the Pale Ale territory, which is what i always thought this beer was.

I remember liking this beer more when i was just getting into craft, either my palate has matured past C hops as a preferance or i got a lame batch.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 05:25:05 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of wvmi


2.58/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Side poured about 1/2 inch head. Good lacing. Rusty red color, slightly hazy.

S- Smelled average. Nothing remarkable, good or bad.

T- Heavy malt at the start. Very piney, acidic. Decent hops finish.

M- not a pleasant feeling. Over carbonated, irritated the back of my tongue and throat. Oily and sort of Nyquil feeling.

D-I won't go looking for this.

The age of this bottle may have affected it's quality. Brewed in November 2006, drank in July 2007.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 03:30:08 | More by wvmi
Photo of blakelive784


2.58/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass:

A - presents a hazy, burnt orange/copper color with a 1.5 finger white head. Retention is poor and there's hardly any lacing.

S - Grapefruit, pine, floral perfume and citrus notes built on a caramel malt foundation. Standard fare, I'd say.

T - Grapefruit and pine from the standard centennial/cascade hops combo open (typical Sierra Nevada) and stay throughout its entirety. Bitter from open to finish, with some caramel malt buried somewhere under there. Completely imbalanced (even with the style in mind).

M - Coarse on the open, but smooth and wet finish. Light bodied.

D - I'm not a fan of this one at all. It's a mediocre beer at best. Sierra Nevada is capable of far more.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 04:31:17 | More by blakelive784
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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,379 ratings.