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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.

7,707 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,707
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 191
Gots: 416 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,707 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xpoweruser


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

Appearance: Very Nice amber/orange color. Clear with some sediment. Fluffy white head that sticks around and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma: Lots of hops! Pine and citrus dominate. Some caramel and bready malt notes.

Taste: Piney and citrusy hops slam the palate, amazing, and also it has a very fresh taste. Nice caramel and bready malt undertones, with some fruity notes. Very slight alcohol kick.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, medium bodied. Perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Awesome IPA, with a nice hop bite! The beer is also very fresh tasting, which is typical with all Sierra Nevada beers. Sierra Nevada does not know how to brew a bad beer, top-notch brew!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 02:30:51 | More by xpoweruser
Photo of RossCain


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a semi-translucent copper/orange with a foamy, lush 1" beige colored head. The head lingered for quite some time until deciding to settle to a nice cap. Tight lacing and the beer left wonderful, full rings that stuck to the side of the glass all the way down to the last sip. Overall a very impressive presentation.

S: Upfront you are hit by a bouquet of smells dominated by fresh hops. Predominately floral and piney in scent with undertones of light citrus (tangerine being the first thing that comes to mind) which overall gives a nice, sweet balance to the nose.

T: Full forward on the hops upon sipping. Dominant notes of floral hops make themselves known combined with bitter pine taste very characteristic of the dry hopping. Minor notes of citrus (tangerine, orange) are also present which give a pleasantly subtle sweetness to edge off the bitter. Finishes with a moderate bitter on the palate well balanced by a simultaneously present subtle sweet caramel malt profile. A very well rounded beer in all, but still leaves just a little to be desired.

M: Medium body which is slightly slick in terms of mouthfeel. Possesses a lively, prickly carbonation which is very refreshing alongside the lightly dry finish.

D: Crisp, flavorful, and very very drinkable. Overall a very refreshing and well balanced beer. Definitely worth picking up a 12 pack or more for a great go-to beer. I couldn't see the taste getting old.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 00:09:50 | More by RossCain
Photo of adamhimself


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

Celebration Ale is one of those beers that just grows on you over time. The flavor seems to vary from batch to batch, but you can taste the similarities. The pros are its not super heavy and the hop flavor is quite fresh. Though, sometimes the hop flavor verges on IPA and you would expect a little more "spice" since its a seasonal. Overall, its an excellent beer that would be good anytime of year, not just winter.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 03:00:06 | More by adamhimself
Photo of NefariousR


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

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a tulip pint glass. 2010 vintage.

A - Dark, orangish-amber with a thick, foamy off-white head, sticky and lacy.
S - Sweet and zesty lemon with pungent hops and a hint of malt.
T - Hoppy bitterness and citrus notes upfront, undercut by sweet malt nuttiness.
M - Medium-bodied with a long, sticky finish. A slight bit of alcohol warmth on the throat.
D - A fantastic winter beer for anyone with even a slight preference for hoppy flavor; I could drink this forever. Another great brew from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 06:02:03 | More by NefariousR
Photo of bbb099


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

Had on tap at Steve's Pizza.

A - Clear, orange-ish amber color with foamy beige head and good amount of lacing.

S - I could not get much of the aroma seeing how there were lots of food around at the time, but I picked up some citrus hops and caramel malt.

T - Moderate amount of hop flavoring that is followed by a sweet, caramel malt taste and citrus laced finish. Texture was very creamy.

M - Almost full-bodied. Moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy.

D - Drinkability is quite high. Exactly what you would expect from this brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 04:11:58 | More by bbb099
Photo of aranheaney

New York

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

Psyched to have my lovely wife find this in a local grocery store for $15.99 per 12 pack!!!

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH Snifter

A-beautiful copper orange with pillowy head and lacing that totally hangs out

S-Awesome, citrus, pine and fresh hops (as advertised)

T-Really good, follows the nose, but with little or no bite, hops on the back-end make it even more enjoyable

M-very good, carbonation is just right, the hops are perfectly balanced

D-Exceptional, too bad this is a seasonal, because I think I would make it my year-round brew, maybe a run on those ridiculously low priced 12 packs is in the near future...

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 01:38:48 | More by aranheaney
Photo of WoodBrew


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

When I saw Fresh Hop Ale...from Sierra Nevada...I got excited!!!! You can smell pine and citrus at the pop of the top. The hop in this beer is probably what most people would like to taste in the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Color is fine and a good head after the poor. Cant go wrong with this one...enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 01:35:54 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of engagechad


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I purchased this beer as a single at Corks and Kegs in Richmond, VA.

The beer poured beautifully with a generous, mighty head (I even stated such out loud to my wife whom was unamused). The lacing was chunky and the head dissipation was lumpy on it's way down, very healthy looking foam. The liquid itself was rather honey/amber if I had to categorize it and wonderfully clean. It was so clear and finished looking that I could see what was on the TV screen through the glass.

I was a little displeased with the nose on it I honestly couldn't get but a faint citrus and a slight malt undertone.

It was great to drink, it was incredibly refreshing and to be honest, as a new-ish beer drinker I'm not sure what words to put on the things I was tasting but it was fabulous.

It felt nice on the mouth, well hidden ethanol affect even at 6.8. Not a thin feeling brew but not thick either.

I could drink about ten of these in a session.. I'm not promising that I would still be standing by the end of it but I assure you, I would gladly drink ten in a session.


Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 15:09:25 | More by engagechad
Photo of Tripphop


3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada. Pours an amber orange, very attractive color with a frothy tan head that sticks around for a minute. Aromas are piney and earthy, no citrus notes, very dark hop profile. Malt backbone is solid, bready malt that matches the earthy, crisp conclusion to the taste. Nicely balanced, expected a little more in your face hops for a "fresh hop ale" dont recall seeing that on the bottle previously.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 14:35:43 | More by Tripphop
Photo of horshack7


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

Appearance: With about two fingers of white rocky head that does have good retention. Underneath all of that is copper with a slight haze to it.

Aroma: Grapefruit and piney notes on top of more citursy hop goodness. Malts are there and they put out a graininess in the nose.

Taste: A massive hop bite very crisp mouthfeel. The malts smooth it out only a little bit. Lots upon lots of citrusy hops grapefruit and piney bits all through it.

Notes: For an American i.p.a this one is quite a hop bomb and a dam tasty one as well. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 00:07:16 | More by horshack7
Photo of BabySnakes


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Medium amber appearance. Coppery-orange color. Nice 1 finger yellowish head with great lacing.

Mild smell. Floral hop aroma.

Bright floral hop flavor upfront. Ever so slight citrus flavor. Quick finish.

Effervescent yet creamy mouthfeel.

I could drink this beer all night long. In fact, I have. I thought I would be rating this beer higher than I am because I enjoy this so much. The low aroma surprised me and I hadnt noticed how mild it was until I rated this beer. An excellent, aptly named beer. Every time a case enters the house, my wife and I turn every night into a celebration, until its gone.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 22:19:11 | More by BabySnakes
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
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,707 ratings.