1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,387 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7387
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,387 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Spider889


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful ruby to golden amber color. Had a nice head and wonderful lacing wrapped around my glass.

Smells of sweet resinous fresh hops. Bold citrus and pine, mild grassy notes and some caramel from the malt. Spicy character reminiscent of rye.

Very floral, lots of fresh pine flavor and plenty of bitterness for any hop-head.

Well carbonated, nice and refreshing. Crisp. Delicious.

A favorite I look forward to each year. And each year I dink more and more of it. I love the freshness of the hops and that it doesn't relent to the push from the community to produce fruitier and bigger IPA's. I love this beer as-is.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2010 17:07:02 | More by Spider889
Photo of shand


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a copper color with a massive head that laces absolutely beautifully. This beer looks delicious. You just know it'll taste good from looking at it.

Smell: Hops. Pine. Citrus. It's an IPA. The pine and malts are more prevalent here than other IPAs, which lend it that little bit of holiday flavor.

Taste: An exceptional IPA. This is really everything you could want in an IPA. The fresh hop bite and a wonderful pine, citrus, and malt backbone. If you like IPAs, you'll love this.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium heaviness and fairly carbonated. Feels good.

Drinkability: Nothing wrong with this here, just the right lingering aftertaste makes this a great drinker.

A great example of the style. For the price, this is probably the best IPA bang for the buck there is. Look hard enough and it's easy to find this for a buck a bottle. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 05:33:15 | More by shand
Photo of wahhmaster


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, light brown color. Has a large, frothy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. This smells the most citrusy of just about any IPA I've ever had. A slight bit of malitness in the nose as well.

Taste: Citrusy and grassy hops notes throughout. Has a bit of graininess and maltiness towards the finish. Leaves a nice grainy aftertaste. This is what IPAs should taste like in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied yet crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: A superior IPA and really the benchmark for the style in my opinion. I look forward to having this every winter and every winter I'm more impressed by it. If you haven't had this beer yet, you definitely need to reshuffle your priorities.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 15:07:40 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of jay11284

New York

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite seasonal beers. The color of it is great and it's very drinkable. Offers some complex flavors too, a nice spice to it along with an easy to drink hop flavor.

Not sure if the label can be part of a review but I think the bottle and label this beer comes in is beautiful. A label is a drinkers first impression, so I think it's worth mentioning here.

I picked this up at a local Trader Joe's Supermarket. I will have to keep my eye out for the next case since the 6 pack just wasn't enough.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 00:43:15 | More by jay11284
Photo of Brewsky29


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass

A. orange to slightly red with two and a half fingers of fluffy head.

S. wonderful grapefruit citrus notes.

T. smooth nicely bitter with good grapefruit flavor and slight malt and great aftertaste that keeps you drinking.

MF. smooth with very light carbonation.

O. love this beer very favorful and delicious, very easy to drink also

This is my first review hope as a newbie everyone likes it.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 20:38:07 | More by Brewsky29
Photo of I3eck

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle -> Wine Glass

A: Dark tea-colored with a sweet red hue, 3/4" light beige head that hangs around for a long time, suspended sediment, nice thick lacing that still coats the glass long after the beer is gone.
S: Citrus and pine hops, slight dried fruit and floral notes, and more hops.
T: Surprisingly malty up front, caramel, grapefruit, citrus hops with a nice long lingering finish. This thing is solid.
M: Great CO2, medium-full bodied, nice warming effect at the finish.
O: This is one of my favorite beers. This has everything I would hope for in a beer: balance, complexity, presentation, and of course plenty of hops. Well done Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 01:48:00 | More by I3eck
Photo of reebtaerG


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass served at Lures

A-poured an amber clear color with one finger head dissipates slowly to a thick quilt of the same.

S-Oh yeah. This is caramel, toffee, pine, hoppy resin, brown sugar, sweet hops in nose. Very nice.

T- Nice and malty with healthy hop bittering and complexity. The hops offer an awesome flavor profile. This beer is awesome!

M- medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. The beer has a creamy feel to it.

O- I am always excited for each year to try each different batch. Finally got time to review.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2014 16:55:23 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of RootedFool


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition.

Pours solid amber with a bright white head that receded quickly leaving lace like falling swaths of snow.

Smell is complex. Hops intermingling with spices my novice tongue could not quite identify; lemony, bready, behind the strong hops and alcohol that is warming to the tongue.

Mouthfeel is creamy, hearty, and perfectly carries the intricate taste and smell.

I'm looking forward to drinking more of this while it lasts. It's only October, so I have awhile to go. I think this is the first review of the 2003 edition, and it's also my first ever beer review!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2003 04:25:48 | More by RootedFool
Photo of Ellbert


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful brew. It has a decent apperance. There wasn't much of a head and just a little lace. That took points away from the apperance.

The smell is that of a good IPA, very floral and citrusy with a bit of malt sweetness.

The taste is exceptional with different flavors coming in at different times. There is a nice sweet maltiness to go along with the bitter fruitiness of the hops. Well balanced with the hops upfront.

Mouthfeel is great, it is very smooth with sublte carbonation.

Very drinkable and very buyable for 5.49 a sixer in Toledo Ohio.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2003 02:18:47 | More by Ellbert
Photo of Charthepirate

New York

4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

spectacular Pale ale. Poured mahogony redish brown with a thick gorgeous lacing all over. Head was off white, and very dense.

Smell is caramel, light hops.

Flavor is something truly special. Light Earthen flavors mix with a healthy dose of buttery toffee, caramel, roasted malts. Followed is the citrussy piney bit of hops. It all mixed very well, smooth and tastey.

Moth feel is nice round and smooth. A flavorful ale awesome to sip on or session.


Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2004 05:16:33 | More by Charthepirate
Photo of TheBungyo


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I just started drinking craft beers a little over a year ago. I tried this one last year just before the new year and thought it was good but not as amazing as many others were saying. I think I even drank it straight from the bottle the last time I tried it. Now I know better. What a difference a year makes for your palate!
You yank off the cap and your nose detects the mouth watering scents of sharp citrus and pine before you can even put down the bottle opener. Yeah, this is the stuff!
The pour gives way to a burnt orange topped with more than a finger's worth of creamy head. Luscious and tantalizing!
You can see the lacing forming as you take the first drink, your mouth full of piney and citrusy goodness. The carbonation is perfect and the mouthfeel full and creamy. I can't see how an IPA could be crafted any better. Thank god my palate has matured because this is truly divine.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 07:53:55 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of burnstar


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a dark amber with a thick off-white head which leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is all fantastic hops- spicy and citrusy. There are also some sweet and fruit notes in the background. The taste is also dominated by the hops. Again spicy and citrusy. Also some pine notes. There is also quite a bit of delicious sweet and caramel malt lurking in the background- which the pletiful hop easily keeps in check. Really just fantastic tasting stuff. Lots of nuances come together to really make this taste like the holidays without being at all gimicky. It really manages to have huge hop and malt flavor and still be very subtle. Mouthfeel is great- medium to full bodied, smooth and creamy. Definitely very drinkable. I don't find this at all cloying which I find can be a problem with other holiday beers' drinkability. I reallly love this stuff. I think it will definitely become a holiday tradition for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 06:03:22 | More by burnstar
Photo of troutmask96


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've never been a big fan of mass-produced IPA's, but after reading glowing reviews of Sierra Nevada's seasonal Celebration Ale, I sprung for a sixer. Pours a thick, foamy head that moved up my flute glass quickly. Smell is very fruity, which I found rather unique for an IPA. Taste is...oh, I guess so-so, but nothing that struck me as exceptional. Mouthfeel is decent, but a bit watery, not as thick as some of my favorite IPA's. A very high level of carbonation has me downgrading the drinkability due to the belchiness that comes with session drinking of this brew.

I did like the fruitiness, though. It reminded me a bit of Southern Comfort. So there you have it: SN's Celebration Ale is the Southern Comfort of beers...

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 05:10:28 | More by troutmask96
Photo of afordney


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome, tight bubbles copper in color, leaves a good lace around the glass.

smells very hoppy, strong and sour

excellent floral bitterness, a bit sour. Very good and very strong

bitter in the end, but a fantastic balance at first sip. nice and bubbly, very full. Well crafted.

An all around excellent beer. Very tasty and well made. I'm not a hop head, but I do enjoy the hoppiness and floral notes in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 01:17:48 | More by afordney
Photo of BeerLover48Fan

New Jersey

4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark orangish amber color with a large off-white head that leaves a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet malt and an array of fresh piney hops. The taste starts out with a touch of malt but the tongue is quickly bombarded with prickly hop bitterness that stay with you long after the sip. Overall, this is surely a winter classic that is highly recommended.

I have had the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and this was only the 2nd Sierra Nevada I have tried. I found it a Florence Wine and Liquor in NJ and it was reasonably priced at 7.99 for 6 . The new owners recently purchased the store and they have diminished alot of the previous owners Micro and Import stock to carry 40's and quarts so when I look for a good Micro or Import I find myself going to Red White And Brew in Mount Holly or the Liquor Barn on Florence Columbus Road.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 03:21:06 | More by BeerLover48Fan
Photo of cbleary

North Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed out of a 12oz bottle into a nonic glass.

This is extraordinary beer. It has a very appetizing copper color and a tenacious white head that leaves some great lacing. This beer is nearly all hops, all the time. It smells like fresh hops, it tastes strongly of bitter and citrus hops but the brewer balances the flavor well enough that I don't feel like my palate is under assault. A touch more malt character would give it a perfect score, but maybe that's just me. The mouthfeel and drinkability are exceptional, you'll want to drink more and more. Buy a case.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 20:50:20 | More by cbleary
Photo of flowerysong


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep clear copper with a dense cream-coloured head that displays excellent retention.

Nose: Grapefruit and lemon hop aroma. Lots of hops.

Taste: Subdued malt, spicy pine and citrus hops. A bit of grass in the finish. Lingering hop presence. Some fruity esters.

Mouthfeel: Full, creamy body.

Overall: Excellent IPA. Enough alcohol to be warming on a winter night, but not so much as to be overpowering. The balance is tipped slightly towards the hops, but there's a modicum of restraint that's nice to see from the brewer.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 03:17:29 | More by flowerysong
Photo of Rustoleum


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Gold Jerry, Gold. Pours with a nice 1" white head and good lacing.

S- Floral hops dominate the nose.

T - Very nice balance of hops and malt. One of the more balanced IPA's i've tried

M - Excellent mouthfeel.

D - This is a highly drinkable IPA and one of the best i've tried lately. A pleasant surprise from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 17:35:30 | More by Rustoleum
Photo of Jedimaster1


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 version served in a tulip glass.

This one is much more refined and better than the 2007 brew. Last year's selection was more hops than anything else. While it was a great brew, it was not necessarily a winter brew.

However, here comes the 2008. This brew does not fray much from the 2007, but does tastes much more maltier and sweeter. This makes it taste like a winter brew in which one is looking for that special something to keep them toasty through the winter months. This is what I think of when I see the label on the celebration ale: a cold winter's day with my favorite beer.

Great stuff and plan to get another six pack. Get yours before they are gone and you will have to wait till next year.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 23:18:19 | More by Jedimaster1
Photo of corpulent


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When I'm relegated to whichever Circle of Hell only permits me to drink one beer for all eternity, I pray that Satan grants me one concession and allows it to be Celebration Ale.

Dark, amber color. Piney, hoppy nose. A little spice and just enough alcohol to warm the throat and stomach.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 17:51:18 | More by corpulent
Photo of BigHeavy


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass. Beer enjoyed immediately.

A: Beer pours a beautiful coppery amber color with an off-white pillowy head approximately 1.5 fingers in height. The head persists throughout the entire glass and leaves sticky lacing all the way down. Celebration is nearly clear which showcases some pretty aggressive carbonation.

S: Smell is big on the piney hops. Despite the hop domination, it is possible to pick out some malty sweetness in the aroma. Do I detect a touch of alcohol as well?

T: Hops, hops, hops! Sweet lord my palate is bombarded with floral and piney hops. Said hops subside to reveal a tinge of caramel sweetness, only to replaced again by, you guessed it, an incredibly hoppy finish. Hop flavors are so incredibly fresh and crisp it's not even funny. Slight bite from the booze on the finish as well.

M: Oily and mouth coating, just how I like my IPAs. The flavor is carried to every nook and even down into the throat with each sip. Carbonation makes it very crisp.

D: Each sip makes you want to take another in rapid succession. Celebration looses just a half point because for whatever reason the booze creeps up on me something awful when I drink these.

O: Just an outstanding beer. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for producing my favorite American IPA. I look forward to this time of year every year. Can we BAs lobby for Celebration year round? I enjoy it fresh or aged. To borrow a phrase I have used a lot lately, I would bathe in it if it were feasible. Just outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 05:12:55 | More by BigHeavy
Photo of TwelveOunces


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I have tried this beer, 2011. I bought a 6 pack then went back for a 12 pack a few days later. A truly excellent beer. This beer has a large tan head that stick around until you finish. It treats your taste buds to a piney citrus flavor and a medium mouth feel and goes down extremely easy for tan IPA. This beer is available, affordable, drinkable and delicious. Get them while they're fresh!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 04:32:57 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of livewire05


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark amber color, and is a cloudier than many of the IPA's I drink. There's a think off-white head and good lacing that remains long after the beer is gone. The smell has the appropriate pine needle scent of hops, but it isn't overpowering. Taste wise, this beer really shines. Every sip is a crisp bite of hops. One of my favorite brews, and I look forward to picking up a few cases every winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 23:47:53 | More by livewire05
Photo of vicsju1991


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass
A - hazy amber colour, huge white head that stays fro a while, good lacing
S - citrusy deliciousness
T - grapefruit, pine with a nice malty backbone
M - creamy and smooth and drinkable
O - my favorite winter seasonal, and one of my fav IPAs

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 00:37:36 | More by vicsju1991
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint.
6.8% ABV, 2012

A - Possibly one of the sexiest looking beers ever, a lightly hazy forms over the pumpkin orange-bronze color from the use of whole-cone wet hops. The light taupe head forms a massive pile of foam before slowly retiring to a clumpy plateau. Lace covers so much of the glass it's hard to see through!

S - Very potent aroma from the get-go, there's a lot going on in this beer. A multitude of hops releases a floral nose with spice hints, a touch of pine resin, and a bit of citrusy fruit. There's a hearty amount of malts backing it up too with mellow caramel and honey sweetness drizzled on top of a flaky biscuit.

T - The flavor doesn't have the quite the searing hop punch the nose suggests, though it's still quite strong. Instead, Celebration is very well balanced between the caramel and honey sweet malts and floral and lightly fruity hops for a round and smooth equal opportunity brew. Lots of little nuances such as tropical fruit, grapefruit, and mistletoe come and go with a finish of very light phenol alcohol.

M - The nucleation etching in the glass keeps the bubbles roaring but this medium-bodied beer has a very smooth feel with a round, almost chewy feel and subdued carbonation. Dry and bitter on the finish, the hops really flex their muscles here.

O - Sierra Nevada Celebration doesn't quite encapsulate the holiday feel it's inviting label's landscape suggests, but damn if it isn't an amazing IPA! Celebration honors the harvest as the season shifts to winter. The deep hop and malt flavor begs to be pondered with it's intricacies, inviting the partaker back for yet another sip, time and time again. A snow day and roaring fire would pair perfectly with this winter IPA!

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 23:24:19 | More by BeerFMAndy
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,387 ratings.