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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.

7,391 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7391
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: 7,391 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of doopydoogle

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly orange amber with a light head that leaves a quality lacing down the glass.

S - Caramel malts, piney hoppiness, yeasty breadiness, some citrus (lime, grapefruit, pineapple)

T - Hop forward with a citric pineyness that give way to a decent bitter. The malt then reveals a subtle fruitiness with an almost grape-like character that leads to a malty finish with residual bitter and pine notes. Hop-tastic!

M - Good carbonation and coating.

O - A wonderful IPA. Hoppy, but not overly so, and the malts give a fruitiness that balances out the floral aspects of the hops quite well.

Serving type: growler

11-20-2011 03:35:35 | More by doopydoogle
Photo of deadonhisfeet


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 version. Beautiful clear copper color and a huge, chunky head with lacing like snowdrifts. The nose is rather subdued (hard to get with all that foam). It's hoppy and cedary.

Medium body, good, firm feel, and a nice, fresh hoppy taste. Not as dry and bitter as I expected it to be. I get some nice flavors of fresh bread, orange zest, and tea. It's definitely got that hop bite, but it's really smooth, balanced, and easy-drinking. It provides a good ``hop fix'' without wrecking your palate.

Overall, an outstanding fresh hop ale. I can't quite put it on the same level as Founders Harvest Ale or Three Floyds Broo Doo, but it's more widely available, easier on the wallet, and darn tasty to boot. I'll definitely buy this one again next year.

2012 bottling. Still a wonderful seasonal. What strikes me the most is still the balance and drinkability. It has a wonderful, hoppy flavor without being extremely bitter. Beers like this make me proud of the term ``American IPA''.

Serving type: growler

11-10-2011 10:43:36 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of HopTaco

South Carolina

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

Served out a growler.

A- dark copper and filter clear--no haze. Nice white cap with lacing throughout.

S- Moderate hop smell and carmel?

T- smooth yet somehow crisp ale. Not quite what I was expecting with a name like "Celebration" I was figuring more spice but I like what is here.

M- slightly sweet. Nice mouthfeel.

D- a very drinkable 6.8abv.

I enjoyed this SN offering and will continue to look for it in winters to come.

Serving type: growler

01-16-2011 20:57:40 | More by HopTaco
Photo of HoopTime


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

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint on Christmas Eve from a growler filled that afternoon at Al's of Hampden.

A -- Pours a rich foamy1.5" head with a light caramel tint. The head receded about halfway, then lingered a while while leaving a back-of-the-spoon type coating of lattice on the glass. This is a rich amber with a hint of burnt orange that is remarkably clear. The carbonation bubbles steadily through the middle of the glass. I sat mesmerized watching the chamagne-style bubbles streaming to the top.

S -- Though this is a fresh hopped ale, it does not have that overpowering middle of a pine forest with a pitcher of grapefruit juice by your nose hoppiness to the nose that other fresh hopped ales I have tried had. This is more subtle hoppiness. Unlike fresh hopped beers I have had that you could smell five feet away, this one takes getting your nose over the glass to pick up, but when you get close you will find a hint oi evergreen with citrus undertones.

T -- This starts off bitter and hoppy, citrusy, almost like carbonated grapefruit juice. Then the malt kicks in and balances it out for a very smooth, refreshing finish.

M -- Incredible effervescence, almost champagne like. This pour was extremely carbonated despite my having to open the growler when I got it home to replace a leaky metal lid. Light, bubbly, this damces on your tounge and tickles down the throat.

D -- A little strong for a session beer, but not by much. I could drink this all night.Praise Sierra Nevada for going a different direction from most in a holiday beer. Instead of a big, high alcohol spiced or fruited dark beer, they stuck to the basics and simply produced a beer fitting of celebrating the solstice

Having been turned on to wet and fresh-hopped offerings this fall, I expected this to be more like them, yet was not disappointed in the least by the more subtle approach.

Serving type: growler

12-26-2010 01:40:20 | More by HoopTime
Photo of garuda


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear copper with a one finger thick white head that has good retention and lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet toffee, caramel malts, with some earthy pine hops.

T - Spicy hops, then some caramel malt sweetness finishing with pine and floral hops.

M - Light side of a medium body, medium carbonation, smooth and creamy, with some hop oils left in the finish.

D - An all around good IPA, easy to drink with great balance.

Serving type: growler

11-29-2010 22:40:47 | More by garuda
Photo of biggred1


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jamie for giving me a growler from his personal keg.

Dark, orange amber with a fluffy tan head that leaves sticky rings of lace all down the glass. The nose is solid with plenty of that Sierra C-hop smell and plenty of pale and caramel malt goodness. A perfect medley of hop flavor, hop bitterness & malt sweetness. Pine sap and caramel slathered toast. Full bodied with smooth carbonation. A fantastic beer any time of the year.

Serving type: growler

03-10-2010 23:03:05 | More by biggred1
Photo of mobyfann


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

Paid a mere $5.99 for a growler at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a clear amber colored base, large white head, excellent retention and lacing on the glass. Smells of oak and hops with a touch of maple syrup.

Low Carbonation, full bodied, incredibly smooth and high quality ingredients... perfect hops in this one. Easy going and smooth in the mouth and a perfect session beer, the only way it isn't is if you drink it too quickly, which is a possibility!

Final Thought: This is a great IPA from one of the big 3 in the micro-brew industry, fantastic!

Serving type: growler

01-02-2010 23:55:09 | More by mobyfann


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

growler to chalice.

A: Medium copper colored body, fairly clear. Pretty 1.5 finger off white, bubbly head that sort of had a second wind right after the pour. Excellent and lasting lacing.

S: Heavy (nearly harsh) hops and mild alcohol right off the bat. Very piney with a bit of wild flowers and grass. (Same grass that makes all those cows happy? Perhaps.) Mild straw malt aromas. Very nice in general, and well aligned with the style.

T: Hoppy. Like a West Coast IPA should be. Slightly metallic.

M: Full body with prickly carbonation.

D: Very smooth and a little bitterness makes it a very drinkable brew. Already poured another and this one's smoother yet.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2009 02:51:35 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of HeyItsChili


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

A - Pours a clear amber with a very thin, creamy, tan head.

S - Citrusy, malty, brown sugar.

T - Very hoppy. Everything up front is hops, with some malt and spices mellowing out the finish. Maybe some caramel flavor too, there's definitely something sweet.

M - Crisp and medium bodied.

D - Very drinkable. The crispness of the hops is balanced out by the time you get to the finish, with a nice warm spiciness that enhances but not overpowers.

Serving type: growler

12-13-2008 18:51:08 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of eporter66

New York

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

Picked up a growler of this from my local beverage center to bring to my parents for Thanksgiving.

Poured from a growler into pint glass

A - Reminded me of a Red Ale in appearance, 2 finger head with great retention and excellent lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Great aromas come off this beer, a lot of citrus (orange & grapefruit), with some malt to.

T - A very good tasting beer. The citrus and malt flavor hits your mouth first with a pretty good hop punch in the back of the mouth, and stays with you after the beer is done.

M - light to medium, with a lot of carbonation. I would like this to have a little more body to it, but that is a very minor complaint.

D - My father and I finished a half gallon growler, so for me this was a very drinkable beer. It had a good blend of malt and hops, and the citrus is well balanced. Pretty smooth with just a little more bite than I am used to, but I am just starting with IPA's. I hope this will be on tap at Christmas time as well, because the growler will be ready for the holidays with more of this!

2009 Edition - Just had my first 2009 and as good as I remember. I bought a six pack, I think I will run out and grab a case. An excellent beer!

Serving type: growler

11-28-2008 02:52:36 | More by eporter66
Photo of LennyV

New York

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown into my La fin Du Monde tulip. Little to no head. This was poured from a mini growler, so I may have lost some carbonation.

Intense smell of hops

Tastes of hops hops and some more hops. Very bittle, little to no sweetness.

Light bodied low carbonation.

Not one of my favorite IPAs. I prefer more sweetness balanced with hops. It will please the hop lovers well.

Serving type: growler

11-16-2008 01:55:18 | More by LennyV
Photo of beabear

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an amber hue with a thick head. Heavy lacing.

Smell: First, second and third whiffs are all hops. Still, it's a mostly light and floral scent. A little citrus-y.

Taste: As the scent indicates, this is hoppy but not overwhelmingly so. Upfront taste is almost sweet. Goes down a little rough, and the bitterness only grows after you swallow it.

Mouthfeel: Kind of watery, and a little thinner than the smell or taste would indicate.

Drinkability: Given the alcohol, this is pretty easy to drink. Still, the lingering bitterness can become a little overwhelming after a few.

This beer looks and smells great, but the lingering aftertaste made finishing the growler a bit of a chore.

Serving type: growler

07-29-2008 03:27:54 | More by beabear
Photo of DrunkenMaster


3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Consumer Beverages. Amber with a decent white head. Very spicy aroma which carries over into the taste. Lots of pine and citrus. The malts and hops are really well balanced in this. As it warms up it gets nice and resiny. This a great beer to enjoy anytime of the year.

Serving type: growler

07-16-2008 18:46:00 | More by DrunkenMaster
Photo of shabbtastic

New York

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

Purchased a growler full at Oliver's Beverage. This is definitely one of my favorites. Poured into a SN Pint glass a day after fill.

A - Pours a beautiful reddish brown. Plenty of carbonation left a two finger foam head that lasted the whole way. Lacing was pristine, as it left sticky trails all the way don the glass to the last sip.

S - Piney, citrus hops, with a nice balance of spice abound.

T - YUM, Hoppy and malty with the perfect balance of creaminess. God I love this beer.

M - Medium bodied with a full fell on the tongue. Very warming with a nice hop finish.

D - Very drinkable beer and much recommended from a growler. I finished the growler the same night as I opened it; just keep that in mind. I'll be sorry to see this one go away soon, but will be eagerly awaiting its release next time!!

Serving type: growler

02-04-2008 13:42:46 | More by shabbtastic
Photo of Kadonny


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

Poured from a growler about 8 hours after the fill.

A: A dark amber color with a nice 2 finger off white head. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Hops with some real nice citrus pine straw, a great smelling brew.

T: Hops bitterness, but with a mellow untertone of malt. Lots of citrus with green grass and a slight hint of flower. The finish on the beer really lingers with hop bitterness and a very oily metallic taste.

M: Medium body with an oily mouthfeel and a decent hint of alcohol. The flavor as I said really lingers in the mouth.

D: I would say good. The more you drink of this beer, the better it tastes. I must say though that I have swung to liking the Harvest Ale much more, I think it is just more rounded and has a nice hop malt blend.

Overall this beer is always good and I buy it every year. Sierra Nevada is making some kick ass seasonals and this one follows along that line. I have had better beer, but no doubt this is very solid and I'd drink it anyday.

Update: After having tons more of this beer this past winter on draft and in bottle, I have truly come to love this beer. I updated my original rating from a 3.7 realizing how good this seasonal ale is. I even picked up a case to drink through the spring and summer, it's that good.

Serving type: growler

01-22-2008 20:35:20 | More by Kadonny
Photo of tempest


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler from Finger Lakes Beverage on a saturday trip to Ithaca.

Looks pretty damn good. Pours a dark amber with great head and lacing.

Stong smell, very similar to taste. A strong, but well-rounded hops aroma. A little citrusy.

Tastes pretty good, but could use a little balance in my opinion. While the hops did taste great, the beer lacked complexity.

Nice in your mouth, but overall, a little tough to drink (especially and entire growler). Recommended for any hop head.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2005 04:30:26 | More by tempest
Photo of Growlerguzzler

New York

4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers. Hoppy, fresh, floral. A great value.

If you are an IPA fan, you'll likely love this release.

I was able to get this at a discounted price as a seasonal brew. It's not as great with age, but still great.

If you favor spicy, sweet seasonal brews move along.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 03:26:35 | More by Growlerguzzler
Photo of Dsimenson


4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium goblet. Nice off-white head and lovely lacing. The color is unfiltered medium amber. The aroma is really wonderful--citrusy hops predominate. The flavor is rich, delightful, strong hops balanced with malt. Mouthfeel is medium thick, with fairly strong carbonation. Overall this is an outstanding ale, different than Torpedo in character, but defines truly from the same family. TMZL below does a much better description of this ale. I just love it!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 03:15:41 | More by Dsimenson
Photo of tmzl


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours with large, creamy, billowy, medium sized bubbles, off-white (light orange hue) head. Slow, sticky retention with big bubbles collapsing creates a creamy, medium sized top layer that leaves random, sticky lacing. Clear, golden amber with light haze particles. Golden like sap from a pine three on a fresh summer morning (some poetry shit).

Smell: Some fruity feeling, mostly citrus (grapefruit) and rich pine with light grain and stronger caramel medium light sweetness. Also some floral notes. Refreshing, cleans your nose. Not flashy (which is a good thing in this case).

Taste: Light sweet lemon start to solid malt backbone in the middle, mostly light caramel medium sweetness, connects everything well. Ends with satisfying medium bitterness, pine all the way with light caramel sweetness. Sweetness and bitterness (mostly bitterness) linger in your mouth for a while, teasing you to make another sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation (light crisp), makes it a bit lighter, fresher but still smooth enough. Light dry finish.

Overall: Pine goodness, doesn't joke around, knows what it wants and delivers. Everything as it should be, some would call it boring but the strong pine driven character with solid caramel backbone does it for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 17:16:32 | More by tmzl
Photo of Grugalug

New York

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a copper color with a large 1.5 finger head that lingers for quite some time. Somewhat hazy and not a ton of bubbles rising to the surface. Either way looks tasty.

S- Quite big on citrus, most notably grapefruit with some other citrusy sweetness. Slight pine and earthiness as well. Smells refreshing.

T- The complexity of it takes you by surprise. Starts out quite citrusy and sweet and the hop bitterness bites back with some abruptness. The pine takes over at the end with a considerable bitterness as well, although not as bitter as I expected it to be. Also, while the malt is subtle it is present. Again, very refreshing, and the alcohol is not present at all.

M- Well-carbonated and even a bit spritz-like. Body is relatively light. Goes down quite smooth.

O- While the smell is somewhat underwhelming, the taste is much more intense and pleasing in my opinion. For 65 IBUs, very drinkable. If you aren't keen on IPAs, this one probably won't change your mind, but it's a really solid offering and it should be a must try for all those that do go for IPAs. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 21:27:13 | More by Grugalug
Photo of jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 350ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2014. 2013 vintage. Picked up recently from Trembling Madness in York. Described as a seasonal fresh-hop ale, this is a classic that I've been waiting to try.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A hazy reddish-amber hue with visible sediment and medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a while before slowly reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with hints of pine resin, weed, subtle citrus peel, earthy yeast and mild stewed hops. A bit like SNPA on steroids.

Tastes of intense aromatic hops and caramel malt, with a stinging bitter finish. Notes of pine resin, dank weed, grapefruit, citrus peel, stewed hops, sweet caramel and earthy yeast. Possesses a strident, spicy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and good body. Quite astringent, followed by an aftertaste of pine, bitter aromatic hops and caramel malt.

Rather nice, if not the paradigm shift I was hoping for. Looks great, and the aroma is well balanced. The flavour is OK though the pine-laden hop character lacks depth. Decent body. A characterful brew that goes down all too easily. Worth sampling if you have the chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 02:24:48 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada Brewing's 'Celebration Fresh Hop Ale' @ 6.8% , 2013 edition served from a whole bunch of 325ml bottle's purhased for $2.75/2.90 , not sold in 6pack form , butt I'm glad it's available/was @ Metro LS on Shelbourne

A-pour is a pale gold from the bottle to an unclear amber in the glass with a small off white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-fresh PNW pine forest

T-big hoppy IPA , you can still taste the freshness of the new hop

MF-good carbonation , feels full bodied

Ov-great Winter/seasonal IPA , glad I got to try it & definately will recomend it

Prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 00:24:05 | More by LampertLand
Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ


3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Golden Brown, med.-thick head, good lacing of course
Strong hop presence, spices, malt citrus.
A big kick of pine, bitterness and hops kicks in as soon as this beer reaches your palate. Huge in flavors and doesn’t hold back. I honestly wasn’t expecting it, lingers on for a while.
This is a very bitter, pine filled beer, that in all honesty was a little over aggressive for me. I can appreciate it though and as I drank through the case of it I bought I became acclimated to it more but still, not for me


Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 17:40:15 | More by BeerandWhiskeyHQ
Photo of theteleman


4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into pint glass from 6 pack purchased at Distellers Outlet in Poway CA. Every year I look forward to this brew and it never dissapoints. A beefed up Pale Ale from the folks who make quite possibly the best PA around. The smell on this beer is amazing, hops, fruits, pinecone/pine needle(did I mention piney) type smell. The head on this beer is like a fluffy marshmellow cloud, one of the best heads on a IPA I have ever come across, really superb. Lots of hops, this brew has its bitter side but it is matched in equal with malts and whatever else they are using...fruit, spices, crisp on the palate with a warming alcohol lingering towards the end. If this is on the shelfs it means the weather is colder outside, and this is the perfect beer to warm you up on a chilly night.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 04:08:33 | More by theteleman
Photo of Jay_Ulreich


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

This is a piney hop forest in a bottle. I anticipate its return next year already.
A- Deep red color, unfiltered, great head and good lacing.
S- As I said, piney hop forest. Wonderful. Magical, even.
T-This bottle cant be that fresh, and yet it tastes amazing still. I get pine, citrus, floral, earthy... its all there. The malt sits nicely in the middle somewhere. I wouldnt call it balanced, but its there. I would absolutely LOVE this on tap. It brings me back to my roots in craft beer, this is one of the first real ales I ever had. It is well designed. There is just something about a "fresh hop" ale. I havent ever brewed a fresh hop ale yet, but I see it on the horizon... Sierra Nevada has never disappointed me. I look forward to each burp lol.
M- This is such an easy drinking brew, so smooth. I would like it to be just a touch thicker, but thats just my opinion.
Overall, this is a solid and fantastic beer. I hope that someday I can brew something that matches the caliber of this masterpiece. If you dig hops like me, and you havent had this beer, then you need to try it. Its only 8 bucks for a 6er where I live and it cannot be beat(unless you grab Torpedo at the same price :)

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 00:07:00 | More by Jay_Ulreich
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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,391 ratings.