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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.

7,696 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,696
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 191
Gots: 413 | 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
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Ratings: 7,696 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of obrike


4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What can I say that hasn't been said already. Probably the best beer you can get for 12-13 bucks a 12 pack on the planet.

Fantastic looking beer in a pint glass. Just perfect. Rich copper, thick off white head...amazing lacing throughout the drink. Top notch.

The smell is not as hoppy as you'd expect, a bit more subdued than a Ruination or Hop Stoopid, but hops still pop.

Very tasty... hoppy yes, but not overly so. Great balance between piney hops and malt and just an amazingly easy drinking IPA. A bit more balanced IPA than Torpedo.

My go to beer from November through January, or when I just can't find it any more. The best bang for your buck for a quality beer at a great price.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 14:34:57 | More by obrike
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 SteveoNY

New York

4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P - 25 oz bottle with day code stamped on front label.

A - Slightly cloudy orange amber, nice foamy light tan head and sticky lacing.

S - Faint spiced & medium citrus aroma.

T - Well balance of sweetness and bitterness at first, more on the bitter side being a IPA for aftertaste.

M - moderate to high carbonation.

D - good all winter sipper...

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 04:34:42 | More by SteveoNY
Photo of UMNbeerhunter


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber opened on Jan 1st 2011

Pours a golden amber color with a good amount of head and medium lacing after several minute.

Taste is lots of hops and if I didn't know it wasn't, spices, I know theirs none present. I get a little pine. Good bitterness.

Smells awesome. I get the hops and bitter but also a nice sweetness as well as the left over malts.

Mouth is medium to heavy. This makes the sweet of the malts fade gradually as the hops bitterness sits in on the center of your tongue.

Theirs nothing overwhelmingly awesome about this beer but its a great beer. Im not sure if its the hype surrounding the beer or if all its aspects just make it come together really well. Regardless I have drank about 30 of these since its 2010 release and will continue to buy and consume as long as its supplied.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 08:15:35 | More by UMNbeerhunter
Photo of FrankLloydMike


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bomber of this on a whim around Thanksgiving and was really blown away. Since then, I've picked up a six-pack (this review) and had it on tap several times.

A: Pours a deep golden/light amber, quite clear but rich, with a huge, fluffy head that sticks to the sides of the glass. I pour about half the bottle, leave the room for a few minutes and the head is still at the top of the glass. This is a very handsome beer.

S: Hops dominate with a piney, almost medicinal quality; very clear, but not super crisp. This is nice, but pales compared to the taste.

T: Like a make-out session with the hops. Big fresh, floral hop flavor that is pleasant and strong without being aggressively bitter. This has got to be one of the best tasting, widely distributed IPAs around. The fresh hop flavor is like something I've hitherto only had from fresh, local beers.

M: Sticky, medium-bodied, with nice hop resin.

D: This one's a little dry, but that's to be expected. Unlike some other hop-forward IPAs, I could probably do a second without a glass of water, though it wouldn't be preferable. A very easy drinking, full-flavored IPA.

This is an excellent beer with luscious, fresh, floral hop flavor that's sometimes hard to find in bottles. For the price, you could hardly do better. A few notable New England breweries match and exceed this in terms of fresh hop taste, but for a beer being sent all the way from California, the freshness is unparalleled and nearly rivals local beer. Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 03:10:43 | More by FrankLloydMike
Photo of ne0m00re


3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle.
A: Nice reddish clear amber, it poured with a good two-finger cream head that slowly died leaving a skeleton of fluff.
S: Bready yeast, grapefruit and cannabis hops, mellow mozzarella banana, strawberry jelly. Pretty good, yet mild.
T: Balanced at first with a nice bitter sting at the end that lingers almost medicinally, the taste is as mild as the smell and with similar notes, kind of like strawberry shortcake with a bitter slightly cinnamon coffee-acid finish. The alcohol becomes noticeable after a few sips. I'm not so sure I like what they are going for here.
M: Thinner, with a frothy carbonation that isn't creamy enough.
D: I wouldn't order more than one.

Overall, I'm a little disappointed. I'd definitely select their Pale Ale before this.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 00:44:39 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of JaYsOuL


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass after letting it sit out of the fridge for about 10 minutes. Presented a beautiful reddish-orange color with a finger and half frothy head. The nose was very citrusy but also I got a hint of spice, which made the anticipation of the taste heightened as a result. The taste was very consistent to the nose with decent carbonation. This is one fine IPA if I might add. Celebration good times! If you can get your hands on this by all means do so, especially for IPA fans. This stays in my fridge, well atleast while it lasts.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 10:12:53 | More by JaYsOuL
Photo of tmcelvain


3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

L: Clear copper, with a very little head.
Very light malt smell, with lingering acidic bitterness.
T: I'm very unimpressed with this. I'll not go into the lack of adherence to a winter style, but suffice to say that this is a hop-bitter beer. Slighhtly piney with lemony-citrus overtones. Not a well-balanced taste - relying on too much hop character, which to me tastes too much like a bitter stalk of celery.
M: A little over-carbonated.
D: Pretty high, despite my low impression on the other aspects. The hoppiness and carbonation are refreshing and palatable when considered for a sessionable beer, but I would be putting in some effort to drink more than 2.
Overall, this tastes to me like an amped-up SNPA, which is ok, but lacks balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 04:37:25 | More by tmcelvain
Photo of mkorpal


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a burnt amber color with a white fluffy head and plenty of lacing.

Smell is a balance of malt and hops, mostly piny hops. Too much malt in it though. Could also use a bit more citrus hop.

Taste is a harsh bitterness, more pine, some caramel. Solid taste.

The bitterness of this beer is pretty harsh, Chinook hop characteristic. They come through pretty heavy. it hurts the drinkability a bit.

Mouthfeel is average. Not much to say there.

My friend compared this to a less malty Arrogant Bastard. I can agree with that.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 03:00:23 | More by mkorpal
Photo of TheHoppiest


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a review of the Sierra Nevada 2010 Celebration Ale, however, I also have a bottle of the 2009 Celebration Ale that I will also review, but not rate, as part of this entry.

2010 Celebration Ale:

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a bright copper color with a sticky white foamy head that slowly reduces. Very tiny bubbles make their way to the surface from the bottom of the glass.

Has a nice hoppy, malty smell, sweet and somewhat fruity. Some grassiness is also present upon swirling.

Has a nice fresh-hopped taste, spicy and bitter up front, like the pith of a grapefruit. There is an underlying sweetness that is also present, but overall, a pliantly bitter beer. I'd almost characterize this more as a fall hopped beer than a winter ale.

Medium bodied, with plenty of bite on the tongue.

Quite drinkable, this is one of the last of my six pack of 2010 Celebration Ale. Depending upon how well the 2009 cellared, I may save one for comparison against the 2011 next year.

Now for the 2009 Celebration Ale:

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. I saved some of the 2010 for comparison purposes. Pours a similar copper color, though it is slightly lighter in tone than the 2010, and the head is not nearly so sticky or foamy.

Smells sweeter, less hoppy, and more yeasty. This may be a function of the aging and mellowing of the hops after one year.

Less hoppy, sweeter, slightly maltier, and a fair amount more alcohol taste. I'm guessing these differences are due to the age, and are not necessarily reflective of how this 2009 ale was when is was brewed.

Mouthful is similarly medium-bodied with less bite and spice.

After one year, it is clear that this beer is best when celebrated closer it's birth rather than it's anniversary. As such, I recommend you drink up your 2010 Celebration Ale now!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 02:04:11 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of phantomwyse


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours out a honey colored body with some amber hues woven in the mix. Astounding two finger head of off white starts of creamy and full and then turns rocky.

S: Grainy malts, creamed corn, but also some tender pine - it's there, but not pushing, and a bit of citrus twang at the end.

T: Everyday bread malts, like twelve grain - hearty with a bit of sweetness. Coming in with just enough bitterness and pine in moderation. There's a mild spice aspect.

M: Smooth and silky with a medium body.

D: These is a a beer that shows a lot of restraint. Rather than taking a winter seasonal to excess, SN holds off a bit and gives something hearty and warming.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 01:59:47 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of fallopia


4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a refrigerated bottle into a pint glass.

Caramel brown clear color with white thick fluffy head over an inch thick.

Crisp, floral aromas with a hint of spice, perhaps nutmeg.

Bright, acidic crispness with spiced flavors.

Light mouthfeel contributes to a refreshing and enjoyable drinkability. Ready for another.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 22:10:51 | More by fallopia
Photo of hoppyhampy


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on 11/23/10. Pours a light amber orange with two fingers of foam. Great lacing and nice carbonation. Light, fresh hops are not overwhelming. They are balanced with the malt so that you still get a good amount of sweetness. Apricot and peach. Great mouthfeel. Medium bodied and resiny. Sweet but not syrupy. Bitter but not dry. Carbonation seems a bit low. Very easy to drink and enjoy. Lighter fruit flavors and malty sweetness quickly give way to a hoppy finish, leaving you with a nice pine taste. Every year I forget how much I enjoy this beer. I am so glad someone puts out a great IPA as their winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 08:13:35 | More by hoppyhampy
Photo of MirImage


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Poured into a Pint Glass.

A: Light copper color with a frothy white head. good lacing. Head sticks with beer as you drink it.

S: Citrus hops. Doesn't smell too hoppy.

T: Pretty balanced for an IPA. I kinda wish it was more hoppy. Easy finish on the back of the pallet.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Pretty drinkable. I would have few. I could drink more of these in order than say Torpedo.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 23:55:05 | More by MirImage
Photo of drewba


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice three finger cream head. Color is a rusty orange and sticky, heavy lacing.

S - Very impressive aroma - chalk full of pine and complex citrus hops. I think the malt backbone is trying to come out with a little bread aroma, but still is overwhelmed by the hops. A little alcohol smell is present.

T - Lovely balance of malt and hops, both are there throughout the entire taste. The hops may eventually take over in the end, but I really like the boldness of both working together. Lots of bread, nut and caramel are representing for Team Malt, while Team Hop is putting forth grass, pine, grapefruit, lemon rind. Imagine a Flying V of Malt and Hop goodness, if only the malt stayed through the finish, which is where the hop bitterness takes over.

M - Thin to medium body with ample carbonation - perhaps a little too high.

D - The somewhat high carbonation and heavy bitter finish makes me want to eat, or drink something else to give my mouth a break.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 05:36:32 | More by drewba
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Fresh hop celebration ale

Pure, shining copper when help to the light, but darker when resting on the table. There was a light tan - white head that formed, but quickly turned into lacing down the glass. I note very visible carbonation and a small amount of sediment at the bottom. Overall the beer looks inviting so we shall see what's to come.

Strong piney hops with a slight grapefruit. Hoppy enough to be an IPA, but not labeled as being such. I am super excited to see how this bitter lends itself to my palate. My guess is that it's likely balanced because even though the hops are strong they are not intrusive.

This is an excellent ale, hoppy with a rich malt, it's a beer that completely satisfies. As a gulp is swished around and I am able to take in a deep breath to aerate, sweet flavors are released from the malt and the bitter is pushed towards the back of my tongue. Unfortunately, the bitterness leaves a grapefruit rind grossness in my mouth that does more to prolong rather than invite my next sip. However, paired with a good meal this beer would be perfection.

Bitter and medium bodied ale that I unfortunately find as having an overpowering and distracting bitter aftertaste that prolongs approximately 30sec-1minute post consumption. I have had a few of Sierra Nevada's special releases ie. Northern hemisphere and Estate Homegrown, which have a less distracting bitter aftertaste and provide for a more enjoyable drink.

Although I do have some minor criticisms, this beer is excellent overall and does well to relax the body and spirit. I would say that the beer is seasonally accurate, reasonably priced, and a sure pleaser for beer drinkers of all kind. You'll have no troubles finishing this...Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 05:19:38 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of DelMontiac


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 12oz bottle was poured into heavy pint glass.

The look of Celebration is exactly how I remember - crystal clear, copper, 2 fingers of white froth that withers quickly to a thin blanket which stays with you to the last drop. This creates remarkable lacing and each sip is marked on the side of the glass.

The aroma is floral and citrus hops with a sweet maltiness and a bisquit tinge.

Celebration gives you floral/citrus hopiness up front, sweet bisquity maltiness in the middle, and nice bitter hopiness on the finish. Great balance.

The feel of Celebration is comfortably in the middle of the spectrum and slightly dry. A great place to be.

Celebration is highly drinkable considering all it's positive attributes. It's a mild IPA, one that won't have you belching a pine or spruce forrest all night long. Very good. This is why we run to the store upon its arrival so we don't miss out.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 00:09:36 | More by DelMontiac
Photo of degochapa


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I struggled a little bit with this one.

It may be due to my really liking the Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Brew so much. I had both that night and really liked the Harvest over the Celebration.

A- Nice colors involved, poured with solid head.

S- Smell was much to similar to their amber

T- Good taste, still.. to close to their amber.

M- Held nice on the tongue.

D- I would choose their brew over the majority of other brews out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 04:58:34 | More by degochapa
Photo of chefhatt


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer in to a glass, it has a nice reddish body with a little bit of white frosty head. The smell is very hoppy. Its taste is very hoppy and with nice bitterness on the back of the tongue and some sweet malt. Great mouth feel and is nicely carbonated. I think this is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 02:18:19 | More by chefhatt
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a golden amber with a fluffy head. Carbonation working up from the bottom, a bit of lacing.

S - You can smell the hoppyness of this beer. The malts are sweet, a bit of a flowery scent.

T - Very good. Good amount of hops, the taste is quite flowery. It's a little sweet in the beginning and middle and then turns a good bitter on the end, it's spicy without the spice.

M - Not too much thickness there, coats the throat a bit, but nice and dry in the mouth. A little less carbonated than I expect

D - It's easy to drink, but I prefer to enjoy it over a while. The hops are pretty strong in this one so as to not become overbearing, it's better to just take small drinks and savor the flavor.

Overall - Simply delicious. I love the hoppyness of the beer. Flavors are great, as it's able to give that spiciness without the spice. A wonderful winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 01:00:23 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of wallaceandvomit


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- nice golden amber color with a nice fluffy head that stuck around for a little while
s- smells nice and hoppy with just a hint of cinnamon and some sweet malts
t- tastes like it smells pretty much, nice hoppy beer with just a touch of xmas spirit
m- nice creamy but not so oily mouthfeel
d- fine beer we have here, hit the spot when i needed a holiday beer but still wanted my hops fix

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 23:34:10 | More by wallaceandvomit
Photo of HopDiggityDawg

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cloudy copper appearance
nice head
great lacing
nose is decent
taste is realy good with a nice stickiness, taste surprises you. dry hoppiness without the stereotypical spice overload that you get with most winter brews.
Sierra Nevada knows the hop game. very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 03:39:40 | More by HopDiggityDawg
Photo of magine


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a deep copper/amber color. Dirty, sediment filled cloudy brew - love it. Huge, massive chunky white cream head. Head remains an island throughout. Massive sticky lace. Tremendous looking brew.

Brew smells sweet fruit hops, grainy, malty, spices as well. Very good nose.

Brew is balanced; crisp and smooth. Hoppy; fruits and floral notes. Has a nice grainy malt as well. Biscuity malts, good solid mouthfeel - can session the hell out of this one. Finishes refreshing - slightly dry and a tad bitter. Oily resin in there as well.

This is a tremendous winter IPA. Very sessionable and very tasty - great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 02:46:58 | More by magine
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a beer mug. The beer is a cloudy, bright copper-brown with a decent, thick, foamy 2 inch head. Smells are heavy in malt, citrus and spice. The smells are pretty robust and full. The beer has a heavy hops undertone, with top flavors of citrus and spice. The spices taste like coriander and nutmeg, and they do a good job of not overpowering with the spice. The beer has a smooth and round feel in mouth, with a sweet, crisp finish. The beer has a slightly bitter hops aftertaste, with some of the spices present there, as well. Very decent holiday beer, and very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 02:19:42 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of modernartblues


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes

poured into Duvel Tulip

A: two finger head, perfect sheets of beautiful lacing, big pillow head that lasts for a long time with a big chunk floating on top for nearly the entire beer

N: hoppy, citrusy, grassy notes predominant, refreshing and not very dank

T: grass notes still prominent, edge of grapefruit, pleasant bitterness, this is a world class IPA

M: smooth and full, great for the style

D: a sessionable beer, which I frequent ridiculously often from October to December, the only tick off comes from the relatively high ABV (which smacks me around sometimes-- see my first comment about it being session-able)

This is a great beer that ages better than 99% of IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 21:24:21 | More by modernartblues
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,696 ratings.