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.

7,385 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7385
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 7,385 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
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 LambicPentameter


4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City on 12/21/2013, so I'm reviewing from notes. This is the 2013 edition and it was served into a small Belgian tulip glass. My second encounter with this annual seasonal IPA, the last being 2012. I figured I'd actually write a review and update my score from the last time I'd sampled it.

Appearance - Body is a beautiful, jewel-like golden amber color with rich reddish orange undertones and some bright safety orange highlights where light passes through the slight haziness that permeates the liquid. Atop the body sits a two finger head of flour white that dissipates after awhile and leaves nice translucent sheets of lace as well as some faint rings as I drink it down. A very attractive beer.

Smell - Predominantly pine and herbal notes, but with some nice acidic grapefruit and citrus to give it some brightness. But there is also a noticeable graininess that lend some meat to the otherwise hoppyful aroma.

Taste - Grass and light pine, with some herbal bitterness, like citrus rind. The up front hoppy notes are balanced with a nice malt presence, with some notes of light caramel and fresh pretzel bread, and is that some woodiness in there, hiding in the background? Perhaps that's the pine again.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, with a pleasant chewiness to it for the style and ample carbonation to give some effervescence to the feel. Aftertaste is slight lingering bitterness.

Overall, a fantastic fresh hop ale that I've enjoyed both times I've had it. This will definitely go onto the list of seasonals that I seek out each year. I love the style and I love this take on it. Sierra Nevada representing themselves well, as usual.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2014 05:54:15 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of BradT

New York

4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Have this on tap right now, and good enough not to get tired of. Very nice citrus hop, but I don't get as much of the Christmas beer taste as others do. I'd drink this long before I'd drink most other Christmas brews. It's a tastier version (sweeter, heavier, etc.) than the SN pale ale, which is amazing in itself. Try it, you'll like it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2013 03:23:10 | More by BradT
Photo of hayesjw


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2013 17:36:23 | More by hayesjw
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. White, fluffy head, good retention. Clear, deep copper body. Soapy lacing. Aroma is dominated by earthy hops with a mild sweetness from a caramel malt. Taste is bitter pine and grapefruit, again with a mild sweetness. Delicious, highly drinkable and totally Sierra.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2013 04:20:08 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of KegmasterOD

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Just got in a 1/6th barrel of this beer and could not be happier.
I am an IPA fan and this is a perfect Holiday beer in my opinion.
Very Malty, not overly hopped and not bitter at all.
It pours well, looks great on the glass and goes down smooth.
Flavors just keep coming out as you let it go down.
Highly recommend it for IPA fans for your holiday keg selection

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2013 01:22:00 | More by KegmasterOD
Photo of hopflyer


4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixtel of this one. Pours medium copper color with 2 finger head, light and fluffy and great lacing.

Smell is lemon citrus with some orange and grapefruit backing it up. Certainly seems like it'll be more citrus hop forward than other brew I've had from SN.

taste definitely confirms my suspicion and is hop forward all the way. I get the lemon and grapefruit and a bit bitterness but not like torpedo. Halfway thru the pint, the hops step back as my palate adjusts and the caramel like maltiness akin to SN makes itself known

Well carbonated and carries a sticky syrup feel all the way thru. Refreshing but not very dry. Right time of the year for this IPA.

Pleased with this offering from SN. Online there other beers but not my favorites because their caramel maltiness isn't always what I'm looking for in an IPA but this one has the hip profile I'm looking for and is balanced nicely. Looking forward to having a few of these putting toys together this Xmas eve. Hope my sixtel lasts til then. If not, I guess I'll have to pick up another

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2013 13:25:49 | More by hopflyer
Photo of rsmith232


4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just put a 1/6 barrel in my kegorator! I've had this from the bottle several times and was thrilled to find a keg at Total Wine dated 10/21/13! SN makes awesome beer and this one ranks among the best of the IPA style. HOPS are very distinct and balanced with no after taste.
Appearance is amber with lots of lacing. I love you SN!

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2013 22:02:20 | More by rsmith232
Photo of hopheadhoward


4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice IPA, and deserves its high marks. IPA fans won't be disappointed, yet it still isn't perfect. If you're looking for a very nice IPA, this is it, but if you're looking for something a little special, then maybe this isn't the choice. No complaints, as this is great, but it is not necessarily the end-all for IPA's.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2013 02:09:02 | More by hopheadhoward
Photo of mactrail


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber in the pint shaker. Nice foam on top and sudsy mouthfeel. Nice aroma of flowery Cascade-like hops.

Spicy and flowery hop flavors. A distinct touch of the IPA kind of bitter burn, but it's well balanced by a load of malt. Some roasted flavors, a touch warm fruitiness, and a fair amount of sweetness. Really an ideal winter brew but a good thirst quencher. I've been drinking this for years but somehow never reviewed it before. I used to be very fond of it, but it seemed to get overly bitter in recent years. I'll be looking to try it next year.

Crisp and refreshing. On tap at Green Chile Kitchen in San Francisco.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2013 08:49:58 | More by mactrail
Photo of big_kevin


4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This and the Summerfest are my two favorite seasonal beers from Sierra Nevada.

I like the flavor and how it doesn't (to me) have a lot of the gimmickly holiday flavors common in a Xmas beer, like overly nutty or egg-nog, yuck. Anyway, I think it tastes great.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2013 00:23:05 | More by big_kevin
Photo of huxcrunner

New York

4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic, one of the beat beers I've had... amber color nd off white lacing that mark the glass perfectly. Aromas are spit on not over whelming and in a winter season filled with dark Porters this is a excellent alternative the fact that this is only seasonal is the only problem with this beer truly A+

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 02:52:07 | More by huxcrunner
Photo of micromaniac129


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

Been drinking this beer for years and never had it on tap, so when I seen it at TJ Smiths I jumped at it.
And it's just like the bottled version.
It had the same ruby copper amber color but had gentile carbonation and a smallish head.
Aroma were the same loads of fresh hops and sutle malts.
Taste was quite hoppy and bold and bitter with a good dose of malts to rein in the hops a bit.
Drank refreshingly smooth with a clean dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste.
One of my top 5 favorite beers still after all these years.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 14:49:00 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Prime16


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

Perfect holiday beer. Very well balanced, not overly spiced and very drinkable. More malty than hoppy, this is better than past Celebrations I've had in the past. Slightly sweet and caramel. Great body.
Rich copper, with a thick, Cream-colored head.
Citrus up front, with pine following.
Easy to see why they release this brew during the holiday season - its rich flavors are perfect for this time of year.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 15:41:07 | More by Prime16
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served an amber color with a two finger white head. The head fades slowly over time to give a decent level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of some biscuit malt, hop, and a spice. The spice is light overall with the hop aromas are of a pine and grapefruit citrus in nature.

Taste – The taste starts with a bready and roasted flavor. A light sweetness of fruit and caramel is present upfront, which fades as the taste advances further. Spice and hop flavors soon come to the tongue. The spice flavors are the light just as the nose would have suggested and with the loss of some of the sweetness and the new presence of a pine and grapefruit hop flavors, bring a bitter spiced and bready flavor to linger on the tongue at the very end of the taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is medium in thickness with a carbonation level that is quite average. Not bad for the roasted and spiced flavors of the brew with the moderate carbonation level maintaining a good drinkability.

Overall – A decent brew. A little bitter for a winter brew, as the bitterness and the spice don’t meld perfectly, but overall not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2012 01:16:41 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of HoppyPeteSkolnik31


3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Keystone in Whitehall, PA

A: Nice amber color with a thick head which helped to develop the lacing throughout the beer.

S: My nose was filled with malt, not hops which was a bit surprising after reading reviews that labeled this beer a hopheads delight.

M: The feel of this beer was rather full, led by that more malty than hoppy character which I really didn't expect.

T: The taste was similar to the smell, earthy malt and earthy hops. Not what I thought it would be, but not fully disappointing.

O: Don't think I'll be going back to this one and possibly not back to any Sierra Nevada IPAs again. In my opinion, each has been overrated for my taste. I consider myself to be quite the hophead and I have been let down by this beer as well as the Torpedo in the past. From the reviews I thought I'd love this beer. From my personal taste, it wasn't what I'd hoped. Their pale ale is fine, but I've come to question if their reputation is taking precedence over people's taste buds.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2012 01:26:51 | More by HoppyPeteSkolnik31
Photo of VJBarGuy


4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Setting: On tap at VJ Bar in Chicago.

Glass: Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Gorgeous burnt orange/copper with pillowy white head. 1.5-2 fingers of head that dissipates to less than 0.5 fingers after a couple of minutes and leaves a nice lacing around the glass.

Smell: Floral nose with notes of citrus (lemon), grass, and rye. Nose is firm but not overpowering.

Taste: Immediately smacks you in the face with malt followed by caramel notes. Hops and grapefruit are substantial - but not overwhelming to the palate. Toasty/Biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Very soft and creamy. One of the best aspects of this beer.

Overall: One of my favorite beers - just in time for the season with 6.8% of holiday cheer! Beautiful appearance with wonderful lacing around the pint glass from start to finish. A great balance between the malts and hops with a nice nose. The perfect pint as the weather turns a bit colder.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2012 04:19:45 | More by VJBarGuy
Photo of mlrob2398


4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just tapped a sixtel of fresh Celebration. Absolutely amazing mouthfeel and aroma. Definitely malty but with a perfect balance of hops. Amazing that it is only 6.8 %. Will be loving this for days to come. Perfect beer for upcoming football games. I have had it before in bottles but amazing fresh on draft!

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2012 20:52:49 | More by mlrob2398
Photo of TheRealBigC


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

I tried Celebration Ale in my first 6 months of drinking beer and could not put it down. I had labeled it the worst beer I've ever had. Not long after I had a similar experience with Lagunitas' IPA. But, after some time developing a taste for big hops and such, I've revisited a lot of these beers with different results. The Lagunitas IPA still does nothing for me, but I rather like Celebration Ale. It's reddish body and sticky head looks nice. Mild hop aromas and flavor with a surprising woodiness to it (an appropriate label for sure). It's an easy drinker that doesn't give up any flavor in doing so. Hops can be pungent, but it feels more like they are there to force into savoring smaller sips rather than gulp it down.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 23:56:35 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of HopAlongG

New Hampshire

4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I can't add a whole lot to the myriad excellent reviews...other than to say it's fantastic and I wait for its arrival every year. I've been out with less discerning drinking buds that singled it out as "the best of the night" when I had them drinking some of the other great IPAs.

SN never ceases to amaze with the quality they pump out...and Celebration always delivers. It has become a part of the anticipation of the Christmas season for me. Enjoy!

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2012 21:55:03 | More by HopAlongG
Photo of gusdabrew


5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought 2 cases this year at Costco before Christmas. The following week they were sold out. This is my all time favorite treat. A hop heads delight and a Christmas tradition.

appearance: burnt orange with a head that never settles down

smell: fresh and lively

taste: the mother's milk for Sierra Nevada hop heads

mouthfeel: full and refreshing

overall: although I consider myself a novice - this is the only beer I go out my way to find. Its a special beer for a special time of year.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 14:11:50 | More by gusdabrew
Photo of legalpete19340


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Came to the bar looking a clear copper color with more than one finger of thick chalky head. It sticks to everything and laces the glass like a beer should.

S: Its all hops. Big angry herbal hops with a good fistful of pine thrown in the back. A hint of saltine crackers in the back.

T: Immediately it hits with a malt fist: caramel, grain and toasted bread. But then the hops. Its like all the herbal hops rush to smack the palate and then ring it to near death with a biting bitterness with hints of lemon, citrus and pine causing almost a pucker at the end. Is that some black pepper? The finish is quite dry and chalky with the mouth ringing from a hop smack. The alcohol hides out but gives a nice warm after a few sips.

M: Medium with a thin profile as it flows.

O: Truly a great beer. Its the standard for winter drinking. A huge hop smack that is quite unique in its delivery.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2012 04:47:58 | More by legalpete19340
Photo of r0gueleader


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

Fantastic! Had it on-tap at a local lounge and it did not disappoint. The color was a amber/copper and it had a citrus/pine smell to it with some warm malt sweetness. It was bitter but not overpowering, many different hop flavors with a malt caramel backbone. A very drinkable IPA; very smooth, not too overwhelming. Perfect for the festive season.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2012 08:39:05 | More by r0gueleader
Photo of hopfacebrew


3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

On tap at Uptown Brewing Co. in Denver on 1/28/2010. Poured into an Uptown pint glass.

A - Deep amber/cooper color with a nice 2 finger head with decent retention and lacing throughout the glass.

S - I was not impressed with the aroma of the beer, or lack thereof. Very mild citrus hop aroma but really not much at all.

T/M - The beer actually starts with sweeter tones of roasted malts before transitioning to a earthy/piney/citrus palette which blends fairly well with the malts. The beer finishes with a slight astringent bitterness. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Drinkable beer but I'd prefer a Torpedo.

Overall, its been years since I had a Celebration Ale so I looked forward to this beer. I found it slightly above average. It will probably be years before I reach for another.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 01-28-2011 21:06:50

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2012 21:53:31 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of B33R501


4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an icon for good reason. enjoyed at chaps norristown last nite $2.50 / pint, can you beat that? still drinking great 3 months old. really pairs well with last nites dinner french onion soup and hot wings. 1/2 price craft and 1/2 price wings, what a happy hour.

pours beautiful amber great head that sticks around, smells citrus hops with that great malt background. this beer is all about balance. taste follows, spot on bitterness with that bitter orange peel finish, so fresh, drinkable, hopheads delight.

one of the two best single ipas in the world.
port high tide would be the other.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2012 13:14:24 | More by B33R501
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,385 ratings.