1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

7,877 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,877
Reviews: 3,155
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 216
Gots: 479 | FT: 2
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,877 | Reviews: 3,155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -3.8%

bombadil, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

avaldivia, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of admiralcrunch
5/5  rDev +20.2%

admiralcrunch, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev -3.8%

sjstraub, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of auroracrisis
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle into a Three Floyds pint glass.

Copper in color with a small head that provides some lacing as the beer is drank down. Bubbles can be seen dancing to the top in a rapid fashion.

Earthy hops on the nose, with notes of pine and resin. A touch of caramel and bread sweetness behind that.

Opens with a nice juicy, fresh earthy hop flavor similar to pine. Then quickly moves into a pale malt and caramel sweetness. A touch of spicyness that gives me the impression that there could be some rye in this but it is most likely due to the hop variety they used.

Soft and some what thin for the style, with a touch of drying. A little more carbonation than I prefer in my pale ales.

Good earthy hop flavors take the focus in this highly available fresh hop beer. A good go to beer in this season when grocery shopping or in a pinch, but not something I would pick over some of the better wet hopped beers. But it's price and availability still make this a good choice.

auroracrisis, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of PerHops
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This is a little on the dark side for an IPA, but then again a little light for a winter beer.

S- Very nice fresh hop aromas. Spicy, citrusy, piny. Very impressive.

T- Lots of hops, but a good balance with a strong malt presence that doesn't overwhelm but does assert itself. If there was such a think as a christmas IPA this would certainly fit the bill.

M- Average IPA feel.

O- A little maltier than I like, but overall another good offering from sierra nevada

PerHops, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium to deep gold, with a white creamy head, about one and a half fingers high. It dissipates leaving very good lacing.
The smell is very much fresh hops and fruity notes.
Taste is fruit up front, nice malty notes in the middle, and a grassy, little more bitter finish, very nicely balanced.
A very drinkable exciting beer!

Hopfenpeter, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of greybeardloon
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled October 4, 2011

A: Thick head with good lacing.

S: Piney hops, honey and grain.

T: Piney and grapefruity hops and sweet malt. Some apple-like fruitiness comes through in the middle, and the finish is quite long and bitter.

M: Full and quite creamy.

O: A pretty good IPA and a solid value.

greybeardloon, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Stockfan42
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange body with a chunky white head. Head thins down to a sticky ring that sticks to the glass.

Smell is very hoppy, earthy and fruity.

Taste is a nice mix of fresh hops, citrus fruits and malt. Nice bite of bitter in the finish. Very good and fresh tasting.

Mouthfeel is very creamy yet smooth and well carbonated. Medium bodied and goes down easy. Leaves a nice hoppy and fruity aftertaste.

Overall this has to be one of my favorite beers by SN. Very fresh tasting and drinkable. Highly recommend picking some up if you have yet to try it.

Stockfan42, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ShemRahBoo
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer looks great. Nice red hues and a nice full head of foam. Good retention down the glass. Piney hop presence in the nose with a little citrus with a touch of grain. Good hop aroma, not too strong though. Taste is great, hops providing most of the flavor. Aggressive pine hops with some grapefruit character, with malt sweetness balance at the end. Hop character lingers afterwards. Well carbonated and has a good body. Creamy feel that is very drinkable. This beer is beyond drinkable, each sip makes me want more. I understand why people go through cases of this, it's a solid example of the style for a great price.

ShemRahBoo, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of gratefuld
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark amber pour. Very thick 1.5 inch head....very strong head.

S: Piney hops smell. Not too strong. Maybe it's just me, but I expected a stronger hop aroma from this beer.

T: Very nice up front hop bite...a nice bitterness. Piney.

M: Sharp and crisp with a dry finish. Nice carbonation.

O: This is another solid beer from Sierra Nevada. I like the fresh pine hops and bitterness. Good Beer.

gratefuld, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of Extrajoker00
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass

A : Hazy copper with a thin off white head- some lacing

S : strong with piny hops

T : strong hops bitter but well balanced

M : great balance of strong hoppy start bitter offset creating a clean finish

D : great taste and clean finish leaves me wanting more

Sierra Nevada really got this one right, just as other brewers are adding oranges honey and cinnamon, SN goes simple and smooth to create a holiday classic, I really look forward to and enjoy this one

Extrajoker00, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of gabedivision
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange, 2 finger creamy head that sticks and slimes around the rim of the glass. Piny hop notes on the nose first, citrus hops follow up, brown sugar and caramel notes fill the back bone on this beer. Smells the way a west coast IPA should. Aspriny bitterness on the tongue first, the piny hop presence resinates around the mouth. Medium on the feel, not too intense but def bold, bitter and dry with a boozy red wine finish. Overall; Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is something to look forward too every winter, no crazy clove or cinnamon beer can beat this one on the shelves.

gabedivision, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of JWU
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a straight sided pint glass.

A-a hazy orange/amber with a thick, fluffy off white head. Retention and lacing are the gold standard of IPA's.

S- Pine needles and grapefruit. Not much malt sweetness here.

T- Taste matches the smell. Hops crush hard from start to finish. Pine and grapefruit are the dominant taste. A bit of malt tries to flash through in the middle, but is beat back easily by the hops. One the end there's a touch of white pepper there when the bitterness really kicks in, and the dry finish says "you know you want more"

M- Creamy, medium carbonation, dries out the mouth on the finish.

O- While there are IPA's I like more, there aren't many. Certainly a brew I always look forward to around holiday time.

JWU, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of abgba121
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a hazy amber color with about one inch of head, leaves behind a strong sticky lace.

A: smells of strong hops, mostly piney and and some citrus, slightly floral with a very slight sweetness

T: matches the nose, piney hops and a light sweet malty note, lingering bitterness

M: medium almost thick body, good carbonation

O: a great IPA, love the hop flavors, especially that it is a fresh hop ale

abgba121, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint.

A: Pours a clear, light amber with a billowy cap of white foam.

S: Rich piney and grapefruit hop boquet. There is a bit of pepper as well.

T: Dank, bitter hops that hold nothing back. This is all pine needles, coriander and bitter graperfruit rind.

D: Crisp dryness makes this one very drinkable. Balance is cast to the wind, but the alcohol is hidden.

Overall: What more to say? This is a great West-coast IPA. Its wonderful that this is so widely available because this is one damn fine brew.

JohnnyChicago, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of patm1986
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tinted orange. thick, foamy, immovable head. great looking.

intense citrus, mostly grapefruit, up front, followed by pine, apple, then back to the citrus with some orange, and a bit of lemon. also very "meadow-y," with some mild dank and hop-heat.

excellently rich with salty, briny hop oils: flowery, grassy as hell, tha' dankness, soapy.

even more bitter on the combo sweet /dry progression in the finish.

full bodied single ipa. one of the classics. thick with hop residue with a complex finish. it seems that every year, regardless of the popular wisdom devoted to the spices of thanksgiving and christmas in beer, this is one of the top "holiday" beers. it's a stunning example of American hops in the California style of brewing.

patm1986, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of BigCheese
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled about a month ago, So Pysched to try this years batch.

A: Beautiful clear copper, nice 3 finger pillow of a head. Head stays, and leaves thick marmellow looking lacing with each sip. Impressive.

S: Grapefruit, lime, raisins, yum.

T: Beergasm, great citrus hop flavor, initial sweet grapefruit, then more of a lime/pine-y flavor, rounds into a more medicinal/juniper flavor. Wet on the palette. Not too bitter, malt prescence is a well hidden backbone that is with you the whole time. Really elegant flavor

M: Great oil/syrupy quality to it. Incredibly drinkable, I could probably crush a 6pack which is not typical for hoppy/7% beers. Carbonation level is pretty high.

O: Its confirmed, this is my favorite IPA, maybe my favorite all time beer. Great price, well balanced, a very aesthetically crafted. For a brewer as big as Sierra to put something out like this is really impressive. Time to listen to Christmas music and count down the days til next years release.

BigCheese, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of UnknownKoger
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage. Finally getting around to trying this for the first time. Poured into a pint glass

Appearance is good. Light brown. Vigorous pour yields a good head which calms down to a thin ring

Smell is delicious. Sweet, sappy pine aromas with a good malt background lurking in there. it's definitely a California christmas.

The taste is actually pretty mild. Not as hoppy as the aroma lets on, but it's still got a great hop kick, especially in the back of the tongue. Some spicey notes are hidden underneath it all. Very delicious

Mouthfeel is great. Very easy and pleasant to drink.

Overall, it's Sierra Nevada...you're pretty much guaranteed a delicious beer. Very good and will definitely be buying again

UnknownKoger, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of livewire05
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

livewire05, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of goldennectar
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been looking forward to this since last winter. I had my first SN Celebration about a year ago and it is the beer that opened my world to more hopped up beers.

Poured from 12 oz.bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Nice thick white head & beautiful amber color

Smell: Hops & Pine - Extremely fragrant and fresh. Slight hint of citrus

Taste: Hops Malt Citrus Balanced & Fresh Full of flavor

Mouthfeel: Crisp & fresh not overly heavy, just about right for me. Nice dry finish

Overall: 2011 is as enjoyable as the 2010 was for me. Still one of the top 10 beers I have tried.

On a side note: I own a beer drive thru and I set a six pack of 2010 in a dark corner of the cooler back last year to taste along side the 2011.

The 2010 has mellowed quite a bit and the hops is not so much in your face as the fresh product but still full of flavour and pours a very similar head as the fresh 2011. I still like it!
I think will set at least 2 cases back later this winter for next
year to sell. I would be interested to hear from someone else who has done this and hear their opinion.

goldennectar, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Pintofbrown
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Celebration was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- The head is almost silky and is about one and a half fingers of off-white with a yellow tinge. This one leaves great sheets of pillowy lace. The body is the color of orange rind with amber highlights.

Smell- The hop notes are estery and have a touch of floral to them. There is some slight citrus backed up by a sweet caramel malt. It smells great, but it is a little too subdued.

Taste- The hop bitterness is really great on this one and lasts throughout the drink. There is some sweeter biscuit malt accompanied with citrus and grassy hop flavors. It is a refreshing IPA.

Mouth feel- This one borders on a light and medium body. It certainly is not the creamiest IPA out there by any stretch of the imagination.

Overall- This is a good IPA that I would recommend to anyone. The main thing to adjust would be the mouth feel by fixing the carbonation up, also get those great hop notes to really show up on the palate.

The malt character is nice, but getting more of that floral hop in the flavor, for instance, would only help this IPA's score.

Pintofbrown, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on tap in a shaker "pint" glass.

appear bright reddish copper in color, with thin white head that fades. aroma is dominated by hops, while the taste is a nice mix of caramely malt and a crisp bite of hops. medium body with medium to high carbonation, drinks fairly easy.

overall - I'd describe it as a hoppy amber ale.

jmdrpi, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Huhzubendah.. Thanks Matt-

Review from notes:

Pours a burnt amber color w/ a one finger cocoa head. Somewhat cloudy in appearance. Good lacing on the side of my glass. The nose is mainly pine, hops, grapefruit and malt. It's nice, and farily balanced. Taste is the same profile. It could use a little more hops in my opinion, just a little weak on that aspect. A little more hops and the taste would definitely get bumped up. Feel is crisp, medium bodied, and hoppy/carbonated- probably the best aspect of this beer. Overall, a very solid brew! Cheers.

jayhawk73, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of fmccormi
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a 20oz nonic pint at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, NY.

Appearance (4.5): There’s a thin, off-white head falling to a haze that leaves some fuzz on the surface of the body, which is a deep copper and more or less clear. Very attractive.

Smell (3.5): Lightly toasted malts, some grapefruit and some pine. I’d like some more in the nose, but it’s pretty good stuff regardless.

Taste (4.5): PINE + DANK. Some mild caramel sweetness underneath the hop profile, but nothing will undercut the hops here. Toasted and biscuity, with a light caramel component. Hops are lemon, pine, and dank weed. So good, though. The hop profile kind of morphs from the aforementioned combination into a mix of grapefruit and pine. Bitterness cuts through all of it, with a long but mild, pine finish. Yeast? Classic Chico, totally neutral.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Active, fine carbonation—slightly prickly, and on the lighter side of a medium body. This is very, very hard not to drink faster.

Overall (4.5): This is the archetypal fresh hop IPA, in my mind. All beers of this style aim to be something akin to this: even if they’re aiming to be more or less than what this beer is, they’re aiming for something in the region defined by this beer. Absolutely wonderful.

fmccormi, Nov 12, 2011
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,877 ratings.