Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,409 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,409 | Ratings: 9,983
Photo of kevinconroy
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Decent color, nice amber brown/red/gold color. Dark color very appealing but not great

S: This beer has a pretty good smell. The reason I give it a 3 was because this is a fresh hopped beer. This beer should be oozing out that delicious fresh hop smell i crave in a fresh hopped beer. It smells good but not as good as i would like for a fresh hop.

T: Good taste; Not very balanced but good none the less. Very malty and then very bitter. Good bitter and good malt but not well put together. This beer had a little bit of a metallic taste to it for me; a little unpleasant. The fresh hop taste is nice and acidly but is not as fresh or hoppy as I would like for being a "fresh hop."

M: This beer has great mouth feel. Very creamy almost like a nitro or what a cast beer would have. Its always great to get something creamy out of this style. Very sexy lace drips down the glass all the way till the end. This is an almost perfect mouth feel. This beer sets the precedent for the style.

D: You could drink this beer all night but you would wake up in the gutter!

Overall: This is a good recommendable beer. It is worth a try but if you want something that truly represents a "fresh hop" beer this is not the beer you are looking for. On a scale of 1 to a 100 this beer is an 80. Good beer but breweries go through great lengths to fresh hop beer. This beer just has no craftsmanship, no soul. Its the same as when John Coltrane stopped shooting heroin.

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Photo of happybear
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

serving type: bottle

A: Deep orange on the cloudy side. good head retention. It leaves good lacing.

S: Lots of hops, lots of hops. Pine and grapefruit stand out.

T: Bitter hops hits you and excellent flavor and finish.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, like an early Christmas for a hop-head. Loved the previous years? Then you will love this years offering.

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Photo of debaniel
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the honor of tasting this one on it's first day on-tap. Wow.

APPEARANCE: Clear light-ruby colored with half-inch head dissipating to pleasant layer of bubbles on top - lots of bubbles on side of glass.

SMELL: Pine hops and spice.

TASTE: SO FRESH! YES! dry fresh pine hops with a bit of spiciness in there... caramel finish... I had a huge mug of this stuff, and could have had another... this is a great brew!

MOUTHFEEL: Thicker than I would've expected for this brew... but with the carbonation, it was right on spot.

DRINKABILITY: This is an awesome beer. No kidding. I don't know what it's like from a bottle, but from a keg on it's first day of being released to the public, it is absolutely wonderful. It has all the complexity to keep you interested, but not so intense to make it non-sessionable. Hats off to Sierra Nevada once again!

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Photo of drlumps62
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada once again has proven, if you build it they will come. Finding this years Celebration Ale was kind of a crap shoot. It left the shelves fast this year. I enjoyed the beer in a glass poured from a bottle.

A: Pours a rich golden brown color with a light tan 1" head, which slowly disappears. Loose yet consistent lacing.

S: Beautiful, bright citrusy smell.

T: Equal balance of malt and citrus hops. Ends with a slight grapefruit type bitterness. Very pleasant.

M: Definitely not heavy. Medium to bold maybe.

D: Share a six with a friend and call it an evening. At 6.8, this one can fool you into drinking more than a few.

I couldn't wait until the holidays this year. Next year will be no different.

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Photo of tharper
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As a small brewer Sierra Nevada is the company I aspire to meet or at least approximate.

Aroma: fine citrus and spicy, piney hops.
Appearance: rocky 2 finger head, down to 1 inch after 5 minutes
Taste: Perfect IPA with caramel toasty.
Overall: This is the definite American middle ale India Type.
As a small professional brewery, this beer is the perfect example of what there is. Perfect bitterness, tastes, presentation, and finish; this is what we can only aspire to match. Hooray Sierra Nevada! Thank you for the ultimate benchmark.

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Photo of hodgsongreg
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful lightly clouded amber with medium thick head and fair retention. It smelled of citrus and sweet. The taste matched the smell with heavy hops and a bit of cracker taste on the end. The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation and is very drinkable. I will have this again.

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Photo of HerdNo1
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet

A: Incredible head. I had to pour, wait, pour, wait, pour wait, pour to get all 12 ounces out of this bottle. Lacing stuck around throughout. A beautiful copper but held to the light revealed some sediment. Not sure if that was supposed to be there or not and it wasn't chill haze as I poured this at cellar temp and the yeasties stuck around.

S: Hops. Just hops.

T: The first time I had this beer, all I got was hops. This time, I found some malt in the background. That may be because I allowed this beer to warm to cellar temperature rather than drinking it right out of the fridge. There is some malt sweetness but not much and you have to look for it.

M: Medium bodied with a crisp, bitter finish.

O: This is what I would call a barely balanced IPA. There is enough malt to keep it from being undrinkable but it's not as balanced as other IPA's out there. Then again, the other IPA's I'm thinking of are DIPA's so maybe I'm being overly critical in that regard. I supposed I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this beer.

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Photo of TheChauffeur1
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will skip the standards with this many reviews. This is a good looking beer with a spicy smell and great head. This beer is just plan awesome for the winter months. I always start off with this beer when we get into the Christmas ales. And what a great way to start a session. IMO this is what I did about a beer just damm well balanced and oh so good. You should really enjoy this one. Later

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Photo of scofielj
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from bottle into a pint glass with a nice amber color. Creamy two inch head which laced nicely down the glass after every sip.

S: Citrus hops very dominating.

T: Grapefruit hops...very nice if your into hops. Which I am.

D: Had two but felt as if I could have had several more.

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Photo of Stoutman88
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A - copper orange. decent lacing of foam

S - grains and floral notes

T - sweet malts. hops with bitter, spicy, and citric flavors. tobacco present. clean finish

M - carbonation and smooth lighter body.

D - a little heavier than your average ipa. easier to savor though. goes down easy.

notes - in comparison to SN torpedo, this is heavier and maltier but less hops.

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Photo of TheMirrorOwl
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

I've always regarded this as one of Sierra Nevada's best IPA's. Poured this year's batch from a couple 12 oz. bottles into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Copper, nigh amber in hue. Puffy, dense white head, substantial lacing. Cloud of particulates makes the beer softly opaque. Sparse little bubble colonies make their way to the top through the golden haze of hop particulates.

Smell: Sweet grapefruit, hint of tin, bready malts, fruity ester, bit of spice, hint of pine. Very round and aromatic.

Taste: Letting it warm, the flavors just explode out of the glass. Grapefruit hop burst mingles with masked biscuity malt up front, leading to a pure sugar pine and sweetbread wave, washing into a grapefruity, bitter hop finish. Pine and grapefruit rind on the tongue in the aftertaste. Alcohol is quite present in mid-to-late stage of flavor. The balance is superb, especially after about 10 mins. of warming.

Mouthfeel: Full body, alcohol noticeable. The almost syrupy heft is balanced by the fuzz of middling carbonation.

Overall: Good lawd. I remembered it was good, but not that it was THIS good. This beer is admirable. Sierra Nevada really knocks themselves out with this seasonal hop-head's masterpiece. Get you one!

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Photo of MisterNic
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep amber/red color with a 3-finger white head.

S - Aroma is citrus with a little pine. Has almost a grassy hop aroma.

T - Taste is sweet, bready malt and a piney hop flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is average.

O - Overall, I would say this one of my least favorite IPA’s. A little to much bitterness for the amount of hop flavor and aroma. It also has a lingering piney bitterness that I feel could be better supported by more flavor and aroma hops or more of a malt backbone.

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Photo of ctfixer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Roosters Beak Augusta, GA

Sierra pulls off a great balancing act, managing to produce a warming, holiday brew while staying true to their signature west coast hoppy style.

A: This ale pours a beautiful rusty, orange color with just a slight haziness and a creamy off-white head. Beautiful.

S: Pine, spicy hops, and grapefruit dominate. Makes you want to taste it for sure.

T: The taste is of spicy, fresh hops with notes of caramel, apple and citrus, especially grapefruit. For me it finishes with a slight malt base taste, although dry. Amazing!

M: Good carbonation for 6.8 with a medium thick but smooth mouthfeel

O: The richer, spicier "holiday" taste elements are all beautifully tamed and balanced with bitter hops in what is a fantastic IPA. Probably the ultimate hophead holiday beer. This is one of the best IPAs I have had the pleasure of drinking. Do not pass on this one!

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Photo of Coagulater
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

This is the 3rd year in a row that I've had Celebration.
Great hoppy, fruity aroma upon opening!
Nice forward hop flavor.
The body is a bit thinner than the previous versions of this beer. As a result, It could be viewed as not thick enough or, very drinkable.
The finish is crisp and clean with the perfect amount of bitter.
I think I'll have another now. Cheers!

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Photo of wumpshire
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$8.99 six pack. Very good Winter IPA. The fresh hops are there, but not overwhelming. The dark malt adds a level of caramel which balances out the strong hops. Definitely would buy again.

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Photo of mattyb
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden/reddish appearance, white head.

S - Balance of pine and citrus with a little malt.

T - Aside from the pine and citrus picked up a nice crisp green pear.

M - Smooth, perfect carbonation, and the hops leave a nice coating aftertaste.

O - A delicious beer that can always be counted on. A classic.

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Photo of jcipa88
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh boy - this has been a flavor flav for quite some time. Each year I can't wait till this comes out. Copper in color yes, but the taste is pleasant and mouth watering. The delicious taste is over the hop, and I luv it. This is not for the simple, just picture SN PA with a kick in the you know what!

Enjoy it!

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Photo of thagens
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good. I love a good IPA and this one was no exception. Absolutely delicious. I like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale but to me this is much better. I wish it was available all year round.

Appearance: Copper colored with about a half inch head.

Aroma: Citrusy hops, lots of hops.

Taste: Bitter/hoppy, citrus, a little malt.

I highly recommend it and will definetely be buying more before the end of the season.

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Photo of 2LBrew
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had two different bottles of this years release from two different six packs.

The appearance of this beer as I poured it into my Sierra Nevada (Chico baby!!!) logo pint glass was a nice amber with a creamy finger and a half head and good lacing on the glass.

The smell was a bit of a disappointment from what I had remembered in years past. The spicyness wasn't as prevalent but the hops were definitely there.

What was lacking in the smell department was more than made up in the taste. I love this beer and look forward to this time of year when it is released. The hoppy bitterness seemed to be toned down a bit and a bit of citrus.

The mouthfeel was good, not overbearing and not lacking. I could defintely taste the beer when I was done with it, which was not a bad thing.

The drinkability is good and does not feel like a close to 7% beer. I definitely could drink a few of these in a night and have a great evening.

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Photo of rlparker3
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-Jan-2009 Home

2008 CA poured a beautiful orangy brown with a fine, creamy head. Aroma of pine and (cascade?) hops. Flavor is rich with malt and clean hops in the mouth's back. It drinks warm with the malts stronger early but finishes with overwhelming (in a good sense) hoppiness.

In a side note, my father saved some 2007. The family beer drinkers tasted them blind side by side. Almost all of us preferred the 2008. After a year 2007 is still a good beer, just not as "bright" as 2008... and 2007 carried an additional flavor characteristic... something similar to the hoppiness of Fuller's ESB.

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Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this today from the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City with high recommendations from the salesman. Aside from the fact that the label looked like the work of Hallmark, I was very excited to try this after drinking SN's Anniversary Ale, which was superdelicious.

I poured the beer and loved the dark amber color of the beer. The head was slow at forming and didn't build up very much – only lasted a few seconds.

The aroma is quite light and subtle.

Now for a taste... hoppy but not a sustaining bitterness.

I didn't have last year's Celebration Ale, but if I were to compare it to the Anniversary Ale, it'd be lagging a bit in the race.

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Photo of xpoweruser
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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!

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Photo of Buckmaister
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours an amber/copper color with a 2, almost 3-finger cloudy head that shrinks to about half it's size leaving a good bit of lacing behind

you can c smell the malts, slight citrus

somewhat bitter...the hops! The slightest caramel/creamy complexion. A taste that lingered at the back of my throat for a while...

nothing overly exciting about it...a general feel of faint carbonation which finishes pretty quickly

drinkability is a bit above average. This beer seems like a heavy one so more than about 2 servings would be pushing it.

Thoughts: All around decent. Nothing jumps out at me for this one but nothing offends either. So far the least liked Sierra Nevada brew out of Big Foot, Wheat, and Pale Ale.

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Photo of SmasNadroj
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok. Its been a long time comin, and its taken years, but sierra nevada has finally impressed my happy ass. This beer is great, beautiful glowing amber color with significant, lasting head, stained glass window lacing, and plenty of little bubble friends to hang out with.

It smells sweet, slightly grapefruity and surprisingly malty. As one would suspect, the bouquet is much more significant when first poured.

The flavor of savory, almost toasted caramel hops come through- but the real star to me is the mesmerizing light burley pipe tobacco flavors that are found almost instantly yet linger on your tongue long after the sip is gone. Malty? Nope. Not really, just sort of smells that way... Very intriguing. Tangy grapefruit hoppy notes also linger, but not in an overpowering way at all... Simply put- bold and delicious

The mouthfeel is great, a bit tingly but sweet on the tongue. I'd love to have it on nitro...

Well, I can say it- I like, truly like a sierra nevada beer. Their stuff has always been pretty good but this is undeniably great.

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Photo of neilgavigan
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Not quite clear copper color with a thick and resilient off-white head. Great lacing.

Aromas of citrus and pine from the hops dominate but the sweetness is detectable. The same goes for the taste, which starts with a bready sweetness but immediatly progresses through pine and citrus with a long hoppy and yet somehow sweet finish. The booze is hidden very well under the hops. Medium body and good carbonation.

Definitely a good IPA and great for drinking near a Christmas tree. The smell of noble pine from my tree mixed with the complex hops from this brew are a good combination.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,409 ratings.