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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,292 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,292
Hads: 9,409
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 327
Gots: 1,328 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,292 | Hads: 9,409
Photo of Marko84
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My go-to winter seasonal. And, I think, for good reason.
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
I don't know if I'm seduced by the best label I've ever seen, but this beer reminds me of winter. Cozy, warm, and exclusive. Fresh hop? I don't know. Reminds me a lot of, well...every other Sierra offering. Malts are (thankfully) present, and well-balanced. You can taste the alcohol, but don't be scared. Strong hop bitterness only warms the mild alcohol presence. In my mind, celebration's achievement is in balance. This isn't a hop bomb. While the hops greet you initially, the malty smoothness leaves a strong residual sweetness. Taste. Warmth. Happiness. Friends and family, that's what the holiday season is -and should be- all about.

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Photo of guyforget
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, on sale for $3.99, poured into a weizen glass. not a lot of carbonation.

medium amber color, creamy head. dissipates to a small foam that leaves some (but not much) lacing as you sip.

smell is dominated by hops, slight caramel, not much spice or malt to my nose.

taste does not deviate from the smell very much. hops dominates the flavor, slight pine. not a lot of caramel or malt, and even less of the spice that some may expect from a winter / holiday brew, if any. there is a touch of that signature sierra nevada taste, a common ground between this and their signature pale ale around the middle of the palate.

mouthfeel is smooth from the minimal carbonation. finishes bitter but not puckering or oily / resinous.

while atypical for the style of a winter / holiday brew, this is a welcome departure from some of the spicier beers we find throughout the fall, winter, and into spring.

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Photo of sugarbrew
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful orange-amber with a thick, off-white head.

Smell: Great, earthy spruce hop aroma. It smells almost like a Russian River IPA.

Taste: Extremely balanced but robustly hoppy. Fresh, with piney hops in the foreground, and wet, skunky hops lingering in the background. Nice, sweet biscuitty malt prevents the beer from going over the top.

Mouthfeel: Very chewy for an IPA. Deeply satisfying to sip and perfect for the style.

Overall: I really have to hand it to Sierra Nevada. They're not the hippest or most experimental brewery out there, but this beer is a testament to their skill. It tastes like a classic beer, something you'd sip on in Milwaukee on a blustery winter night, watching football at a bar, alone, but happy.

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Photo of martincm
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Head pours overtop the rim and stays there like it is gelatinous. The smell is pure aromatherapy, I can understand why old-timers used to place fresh-picked hops in their pillowcases. Pure hoppy smell with a hint of citrus notes. The taste is one of my favorite parts, the beer is one of my favorite beers, I look forward to it every year because that hop profile is so damn good! Cheers

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Photo of Mahgeetah527
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Allagash chalice.

Smells of fresh piney & resiny hops. There is a little bit of malt in the background to round out the massive hop presence.

Pours a golden amber hue with 2 fingers of white fluffy head There is significant lacing left behind with each sip.

The taste starts off with fresh bitter grapefruit. Some pine and more citrus come through in the finish. Much like the smell the malt backbone rounds out the hops making this not a true "hop bomb" but a pretty well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are medium.

Since I'm not really a fan of typical Winter Seasonals, this beer is one to look forward to this time of year.

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Photo of JasonL
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good IPA. I am a very big SN fan and this one didn't disappoint me. Celebration reminds me of SN Torpedo but has a fresher hops complexity so I find it a little more bitter than Torpedo but I find I love the hops bitterness. The taste lingers in your mouth for quite a while but its a good flavor so I don't mind it at all. It is a strong beer at 6.8% so it does creep up on you and can hit you hard but its a slow sipper so I know when to stop and take it easy. Overall this is a great winter brew or, for a matter of fact, its good all year round. Enjoy!!!

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Photo of dav3290
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always in my rotation around the holidays. Just a solid IPA. Nice color in the glass and smells of fresh picked hops. Readily available and super cheap too (paid around $7.99 for a six pack). Would recommend if you are on the fence about it. What to you have to lose?

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Photo of JerryT
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible on tap . Beautiful to behold in the glass and a wonderful aroma. I wish I had the vocabulary to describe the balance of this fine Ale. I have to give it a perfect rating.
I will look for it again at my local

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Photo of odeed
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i celebrate every year when this comes out.it is my favorite of the sierra beers and one of my favorites over all.its an amber style ale with a nice "winter brew" kick if ya know what i mean.its september now so we only have a few months to go!!!!

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

12oz bottle.. 2005 vintage.. opened today 12/15/10.. Thanks Greg from Woodstock Wine and Deli..

Pours a rich honey with ruby hints, with minimal light tan carbonation- yet long-lasting due to the overall age of this beer.. Rich pine resin mixes with ripe fruit, very complex hop aromas, mixing with the barleywine-esc dark fruit malt flavors..

A wonderfull blast of sweet malt is overthrown by a viscous tongue massage of hop flavor, sticky and green, working its way to a robust, fruity, boozy bittering...

Very enjoyable, indeed.. Aged very well!!

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Photo of bunn4funn
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reveiwed from a bottle 2005

Apearence- Beautiful caramel, clear color with a nice pancake colored one finger head. Great lacing effect from this bottle i mean incredable.

Aroma- Well its definatly hoppy/piney with a short following of caramel and baking spices like nutmeg, even some grapefuit/lemon

Taste- sharp bite from the hops upfront. They are piny and leave a definate "spike" in the tounge. Im getting that lemon bready feel from this brew as it warms. Now that it has matured (out of the bottle) and my palete is more accoustomed to the hops i can tell that there is a whole other side. Like some caramel and baking spices. Just what you would expect a celebration ale from Sierra Nevada to taste like.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and lightly carbonated, slightly oily.

Drinkability- Good even though it is 6.8% abv, Though you might want to pace yourself it will creep up on you after two or three. Its just so good i dont want to stop drinking it!!1

Overall- Fine brew, love what it has to offer!!! Great to drink with family and friends. We all have a lot to be thankful for and this brew is definatly one !!!

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Photo of Brillig
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Version, bottle.

I've been trying this beer each of the last three years. I found 2006 to be exceptional, 2007 to be a bit of a let down, and now the 2008 version is back to form.

Pours a dark coppery brown with a nice head. In fact, if you serve this at the correct temperature (an important thing for everything about this beer) and not refrigerator temperature, it will keep a foamy head until long after you've finished drinking.

Taste is great strong malty base with nice hops overtones (subtle by Sierra Nevada standards). Medium mouthfeel complements the flavor nicely.

Drink this beer at cellar temperature and it will be one of the highlights of the season.

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Photo of paulfear
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a nice deep amber color with a very thick fluffy head. it had a strong aroma of hops and floral qualities. i found it to be rather mild the first time i drank it, but when i sat down to review it i thought it had a sharper bite to it with hints of floral and hops flavors. i almost think it had a slight berry taste to it. mouthfeel was of a medium body with smooth consistancy.

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Photo of wvmi
2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Side poured about 1/2 inch head. Good lacing. Rusty red color, slightly hazy.

S- Smelled average. Nothing remarkable, good or bad.

T- Heavy malt at the start. Very piney, acidic. Decent hops finish.

M- not a pleasant feeling. Over carbonated, irritated the back of my tongue and throat. Oily and sort of Nyquil feeling.

D-I won't go looking for this.

The age of this bottle may have affected it's quality. Brewed in November 2006, drank in July 2007.

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Photo of drummerben
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Celebration 08 recently tapped as part of Christmas in July. Nice amber color, very little head. Floral fragrance with pine and hops. Taste is much less hoppy than when first released, as the hop character has faded, but still a great balanced taste. Tastes of pine with grassy notes and a malty backbone. Very easy to put these away in short order.

This one is still great with a little age on it. Probably a good option for those who considered SN to be too hoppy, if that's even possible! The age downgrades a great beer to really good.

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Photo of apr3940
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer I wait for every winter! I've never meet a Sierra Nevada I didn't like, and the Celebration Ale is no different. Full boastful flavor, with a great moutfeel, and even better after taste. Like with all Sierra Nevada products great whole cone hop taste, definitely a beer that will make you "merry" for the holidays!

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Photo of FordBrewing
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Amber color that pours an average off-white head. If served too cold it diminishes quickly. Body is closer to cloudy but not unappealing. Nice malt aroma with scents of grain, straw, and a roasted almost nutty smell. The hops bring hints of pine and spruce. This definitely smells like a "winter" beer.

It is medium bodied and has average carbonation. The taste lasts a long time, almost too long, and sits right on the back corners of the tongue well after your last sip.

This celebration ale has great aroma but is very bitter, even for an IPA. This is a good attempt at a Winter Ale that comes across as an IPA in disguise, but its almost as if it tries to be something that its not. Better than last year, but not great.

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Photo of bc2208
2.33/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I had a hard time with this beer.

Appearance: Nice golden-reddish color. Pour produces a decent head, but it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Fruity, hoppy smell.

Taste: I don't know what to say. My first reaction was good - up front it is fruity and floral and quite pleasant. Unfortunately, there's a lingering aftertaste that sticks to the sides of my mouth. It might be cinnamon, but it's really just medicinal. I wanted to like this beer, but I had a hard time finishing it.

Drinkability: Don't know if I'll be drinking the 5 I have left over.

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Photo of kittylitter
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice head. Lovely smell of grapefruit and freshly mowed grass, and maybe a hint of blackcurrant! If you swirl it vigourously, you can feel a smell of pines, and juniper.

Perfect bitterness with a clear taste of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced bitterness, fruitiness, and a tiny sweet note. The best beer I have bought in Sweden.

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Photo of bshirley
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark golden with hints of red; small fine carbonation leaving a small and creamy head.

Poundingly floral nose, assertive and slightly resinous.

The taste is dominated by the hops, they're there at every level. Not exactly balanced, with the malt, but it's not intended to be. The malt is still there. The back of the tongue bitterness is almost overwhelming, and the alcohol can be perceived.

It has a nice feel on the palette, but the strong bitterness will numb out the tongue quite quickly. The bubbles are fine and smooth.

For hop-heads, this is an extremely drinkable and delicious brew. And with the alcohol content of 6.8% ABV, quite potent.

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Photo of AstroAcks6
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Pint Glass

Gold appearance with a 1 finger head in a snifter glass.

Citrus and the awesome smell of Hops.

Tastes like I would expect a beer from Sierra Nevada. Caramel and spice notes are great compliments for one another.

Medium-bodied and well-balanced feel.

It's too bad this beer is a seasonal, I'd drink it year around without a doubt.

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Photo of HopTaco
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of lstorie3
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a good beer, perhaps a great beer, but it's not what I want in a winter seasonal. It's about what you'd expect from Sierra Nevada in terms of taste and aroma. It shows off the hop harvest well, so I guess it's mission accomplished on that part. If I'm judging it on it just on taste, it's a probably 8/10, but as a seasonal I'm giving it 7/10.

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Photo of freewheelinbob
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Bright/clear copper color.
Great three-finger fluffy head.
S: citrus, buttery, heavy floral.
T: all hops up front, all the scents come through, bitter kind of agrarian finish.
A bit over carbonated for my tastes

One of my favorite IPAs, I buy a sixer every year, but this year my local wholeseller had cases. I'm glad I have 23 more to enjoy.

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Photo of OysterMonkey
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-- Beautiful deep coppery color. full head and nice lacing on the glass

S-- Crisp hoppy aroma, very nice

T-- Delicious, complex. Strong hop flavor. Not exactly balanced, but enough malt character to hold the thing together.

M-- Light, smooth

O-- Fantastic beer. One of my favorites.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,292 ratings.