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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.

7,379 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7379
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: 7,379 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Scrapss


4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 10.13.2013, poured into a turbinator.

A: Hazy deep ruddy copper. Nice two finger soapy head that reduced to a 3mm full profile disk. Is on the verge of having legs, but cannot cling. Tight bubbles.

S: Subtle piney hops. Bitter citrus and astringent agents present a complex nose. Gentle caramel malts. Nice. I love fresh the hop in this.

T: Piney hop bite, followed by smooth bready/malty notes. Some bitter citrus on side of tongue. Yeast is hinting at minor esters. Very slight.

M: Medium filling. Creamy due to tight carbonation. Piney aroma on outbreath.
Spicy hop bite on finish. Balanced a bit by malts.

O: Great example of American IPA. Classic American piney hops, good medium roasted malts and nice body. Look forward to it yearly and make sure I get some of it.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 00:08:06 | More by Scrapss
Photo of CowsandBeer


3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Tallgrass Brewing cervoise style glass at fridge temperature. Sipped on this while the cold wind blew outside. I’m hoping this will help me welcome in the holidays and winter weather.

Appearance: Pours two and a half fingers of creamy, off white head. An almost mahogany/cherry colored body. The body was also slightly cloudy from the sediment in the bottle. A good amount of lacing was left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Pine, ammonia, spicy herbal and earthy hops up front. Some citrus and tangerine slice follows. Sweet malts poke out at the end. Smells nice and fresh.

Taste: Follows the nose with herbal, piney, and spicy like hops. After that a more citrus like hop note comes through. Then the malts come into play with a doughy, boozy maltiness. Nice finish of grains and crusty bread.

Mouthfeel: A smooth, full mouthfeel. Some warmth did come through.

Overall: A nice, seasonal IPA that does its job on a cold day. The highlight for me was the fresh, hoppy nose that evoked images of handfuls of hops. However, I was surprised by some of the heat that came through despite the 6.8% abv. In short a hoppy, slightly boozy and malty IPA that’ll warm you up.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 03:15:21 | More by CowsandBeer
Photo of anarchia


3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ruby-colored beer, fairly translucent, with a thick head that feels great when it hits your mouth. Aroma is basically all hops, mostly pine/grapefruit with some floral notes. The malts just serve as a sort of chalkboard for the hops--something in the background to hold them up. Intense grapefruit flavor, strong bitterness. Foamy carbonation, thick & sudsy with a bitter finish. A better-than-average IPA for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 03:39:14 | More by anarchia
Photo of CMUbrew


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Orangy-amber-red color in the light. A nice rocky off-white head appears in the amount of almost three fingers on a fairly easy pour. Lacing very present early on in the glass.

S: Can't smell much at the moment due to some congestion, but I can pick up a little bit of citrus and maybe pine.

T: An excellent presentation of citrus grapefruit and orange rind and pine flavors blending very well. Sizeable bitterness permeates. Malt body adds little balance - this seems to be about the hops. Gets surprisingly boozy when warmed up.

M: Higher level of carbonation. Slightly oily feel. Good IPA body overall. A little too warming on the alcohol as it starts to gain in temperature.

O: An excellent and well-priced IPA if you are looking for hops in the cooler months.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 02:55:15 | More by CMUbrew
Photo of taylor714914


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2009 Vintage

I had heard many rumors of folks holding onto these for years and aging them, so I decided to try it myself. Poured a deep copper color with an offwhite head or a finger. Smells of pine hops and sweet Christmas bread. I was rather surprised at the smell of hops with a brew that was 4 years old. The taste starts with some light hop bitterness, followed by the Christmas bread, honey, and dried fruits. Light hop flavor melds into sweetness on the finish. OK, but I prefer this one fresh.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 02:02:29 | More by taylor714914
Photo of shacawgo24


4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Cedar red. Brown penny hues. Held to light shines like a glass of melted ruby. Custard white head. Pillow soft. About as thick as any head a beer can get. A work of art.

S-Quasi-dairy. Cream. Vanilla. Cinnamon. Malt creeps up. A bouquet of fruit ripens. Cranberry. Lemon/Lemongrass. Faint hops. Decent smells. Interesting. Not mind blowing. Just quality.

T-Pale Ale. But, a remix of sorts. A "red" version. Inclusions of tart flavor such as maybe pomegranate. But then, wild spices swirl in: Ginger maybe, nutmeg. Customary pine is present. Soothing low malt backbone. Medium hops. The sweet notes and spice notes when combined on the palate remind one of say gingerbread. Grapefruit. A penchant Pale Ale infused, GENTLY, with holiday spices. More pale ale than a herbed/spiced beer. Taste is paragraph worthy describing.

M-Medium body. Soft. Creamy and foamy like a float drink. A true treat.

O-With every element of what makes a great beer great standing out, this is probably the best winter drink easily. Look, smell, taste and feel all embrace one another in harmony. Standout trait is the appearance. Looks better than most dark brown/deep red brews I've seen. The head is the literal "Crowning Achievement". At first sits high and mighty atop the maroon brew. With time flattens, but never leaves. An hour later, my finished glass still had a puddle of foam relaxing on the bottom. The lacing didn't stick to said glass, it would cascade down in a smooth waterfall-foaming fashion and collect downwards. If you're like me I drink every drip if I can. That's the sign of a great beer. One should celebrate Celebration.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 04:59:11 | More by shacawgo24
Photo of Flounder57


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer with some lacing already on the glass. It is a hazy orange color with sone clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: A nice floral bouquet of citrus and pine followed by some caramel and toasted malts.

Taste: Grapefruit, tangerine, a little orange, some resiny pine, mildly sweet caramel and chewy malts, and mild hop bitterness. Everything rolls and blends well together.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, a bit creamy, light to medium bodied, very drinkable, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: It is great that this is a celebration of the 2013 hop harvest and that the freshness of the beer should be enjoyed before and during the holidays. Enjoyed aim years past and many more times in the future. Such a great beer that I enjoy every year and happy to see that they carry it at the Garden when I go to Celtics games.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 04:41:29 | More by Flounder57
Photo of nickapalooza86


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy amberish orange with a two finger head that is leaving nice lacing.

Smell is pine, grapefruit, smells very fresh, floral, spicey hop notes, caramel malt.... nose is a litte on the muted side

Taste is spicy hops, grapefruit, pine and spruce notes, caramel malt, earthy rind flavors, almost like a spicy pepper covered lemon flavor if that makes any since??? Finishes with more piney dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, average carbonation, dry finish... make that very dry finish.

A seasonal favorite that every self respecting IPA fan should have a 6 of each and every season, I know I will have more then that! Good beer, great price!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 22:33:59 | More by nickapalooza86
Photo of Qbdoo


3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - slightly burnt yet golden orange.
Smell - light citrus. Nice but not powerful.
Taste - surprisingly mild. Slightly piney with a mild (non-specific) citrus flavor. Malts balance out hops well but I'd like a bigger beer in one way or another.
Mouthfeel - pleasant, mild carbonation.
Overall - a good drinking IPA but there are a number of better seasonals out there. Price and availability are great pluses, however, for a beer of this quality.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 22:23:55 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of hopman333


4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't wait to try the 2008 batch and as usual it did not dissapoint.

Upon the opening of the first bottle out of my 12'er, A huge blast of fruity / citrusy hops shot into my nose.

When pouring into my glass I noticed the familiar beige head that rises quickly to the top of my gass that soon subsides with some beautiful lacing.

And the taste was a very intense hop flavor, grapefruit from the chinook's, and the sweetness and spiciness of the Cascade's and centtenial's,only to be followed up by the rich malt character that is imparted from the use of the english malt's that they use, as well as the usual crystal malt's. Absolutey perfect... Rich, complex and extremely satisfying.

One final note on this brew is the fact that sierra product's almost alway's have a nice crisp carbonation that so mant brew's lack, and I miss. What happened to beer's that are crisp and satisfying, as so many other beer's these day's have the carbonation of a cracked open coke that had been sittting there for at least a day LOL...

Oh yeah, I drank the whole twelver despite it's 6.7 percent alcahol content and never got bored with it. It's a shame you cannot get this year round... Flawless !!! Kick's some major ass !!!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 20:42:55 | More by hopman333
Photo of FLima


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy amber orange color with a thick head with long retention.
Nice aroma of citric and pine hops, caramels, honey and slightly toasted malts.
Similarly, flavor of fruity citric hops with notes of spices, oranges, grapefruits and pine.
Dry aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Light to medium body. Alcohol is harmonic with the overall beer.
Beer with a bold flavor, but nothing excessive. A traditional and well balanced American IPA. Not sure if fresher would radically modify this, once it is available during winter (thus last year) and for some freaking reason most US producer hides this info.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 18:21:32 | More by FLima
Photo of Omnium


4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Sensory Pils glass

A - Clear rich orange deep gold color with two fingers of off white foamy head, little lacing.
S - Aroma is really nice. Mango and pineapple are the bigger fruit flavors then you get some dank pine, a big bready malt, and a few other earthy hop scents.
T - Flavor doesnt showcase the tropical notes in the aroma, and the bready malt is a big profile here, you still get some nice dank pine and some earthy bitterness.
M - A little more on the drier side of things, but decent feel.
O - I used to not like this in years past, but this year I'm good with it, the aroma is really good, and considering how long this beer has been around, its earned its keep. Though I think it is a tad over-hyped, and the bread malt could use a few notches back.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 04:00:12 | More by Omnium
Photo of ComeOnYouSpurs17


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a craft beer glass

A - Copper bordering on amber with an unfiltered, slightly cloudy look. Head is robust with some cratered foaming and spotty lacing

S - earthy and hoppy, par for the course as far as IPAs go

T - pine and lots of hops, bitter but balanced with winter spice. The crispness and boozy strength that you'd want to keep you warm on a cold winter night

M - smooth and rich, perfect carbonation

O - Great alternative to the porters that are usually favoured around the holidays, by far my favorite seasonal beer. Sierra Nevada might be a behemoth but you can't fault them for turning out stuff like this

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 20:39:50 | More by ComeOnYouSpurs17
Photo of uvachief


4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An outstanding seasonal beer. Pours to two fingers tan head with nice retention and a dark amber hue. Powerful aromas of pine, citrus and malted hops. Creamy in the mouth. Tastes of pine, citrus, even mint maybe and malted hops. Little bitter. Goes down with a little fight. Finishes with pine, citrus and those powerful malted hops with a bitter aftertaste. Great winter beer. Goes well with holiday appetizers. Mix in a water here and there to avoid the hophead hangover.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 12:24:09 | More by uvachief
Photo of gr0g

New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a healthy, blossoming head. Excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is a bit subdued for an IPA. There's more of an earthy character overall with some piney notes in the background. Celebration is all old-school C-hops and lacks the intricate, tropical aromas of the new breed of IPAs. Still, it has a vibrant, floral aroma.

The flavor does not disappoint. Hop blast upfront as the IBUs hit you. A mix of piney/lemony hop flavors blend nicely with the malt profile, finishing with a bit of lingering bitterness. While moderately dry overall, there's a toasty malt backbone that becomes more apparent toward the finish (seemingly a characteristic of all Sierra's IPAs). Slick mouthfeel with plenty of hop oils, though a slight prickliness from the carbonation detracts.

Very balanced/drinkable as IPAs go and an incredible value. Similar to Torpedo in many respects, though I definitely prefer Celebration... perhaps the "specialness" of the holiday release tilts my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 22:26:09 | More by gr0g
Photo of Marko84

New York

4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 05:48:02 | More by Marko84
Photo of Hendry


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

Semi clear amber pour, 1 finger of tawny head, spotty lacing.

Piney aroma, earthy, some sweet malt in there.

Starts of slightly sweet with the malt and the piney hops take over creating and earthy bitterness that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium, brisk carbonation.

Solid take on the style, enjoyable piney pucker, nothing earth shattering but another quality beer from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 05:09:30 | More by Hendry
Photo of Brianofthemarsh


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Nice white, almost creamy, head. Orange amber in color.
S - Ouch..disappointing, not the bouquet I've come to expect from previous years. Faint fresh hops at the beginning, but mostly sweet malt.
T- Pineyness and tropical fruit with a nice malt backbone. The fresh hop flavor is there, but more "mixed in" with the malt. I'm not getting as much grapefruit as in other years, either.
M- lovin that smoothness you rarely get in IPAs

O- I love how this beer is a bit different each year. Not the best iteration, in my opinion, but very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 21:35:18 | More by Brianofthemarsh
Photo of hayesjw


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 notes:

balanced malt to make this IPA very easy to consume.
modified had to 4.5 on 11/25/13. delicious!

should tally this year. draft: 06 ; bottle : 12

2012 notes:

added as 4.25 on 12/8/12.

<2011 thoughts:
wonder how many bottles and drafts enjoyed in years past

this is an annual staple to be enjoyed and shared. cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2013 17:36:23 | More by hayesjw
Photo of joeworrall


4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tonight I'm reviewing Sierra Nevada 2013 Celebration "Fresh Hop Ale" against two solid IPA's: Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale and Firestone Walker Double Jack IIPA.

Maybe it's unfair to compare a seasonal beer with two solid IIPA's, but that said, that's what I'm drinking tonight.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass, Celebration ale is pale orange with a nice persistent head. THe aroma is a nice balance of spiced malts and citrus hops. Neither is dominant, but both are present. The aftertaste is crisp and the malts dominate, contrary to the IIPA's I am comparing it too.

This is a very quaffable beer, one that I look forward to each year from Sierra Nevada, and usually consume several six packs worth. But once it's gone, I don't miss it much, there are too many other good IIPA's out there that are available year around!

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 01:48:44 | More by joeworrall
Photo of Benish


4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2013. Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: a light golden amber in color. Very presentable thick foamy head. It was quite dense, kind of like the foam that accumulates in the corner of the hot tub. Also spotty lacings around the glass.

Smell: a very nice earthy and floral fragrance. Not too complex or robust to the nose.

Taste: the hops are the centerpiece of this beer. Upon sipping it, I get earthy and woodsy flavor of the hops; not much malt present. Its dry from start to finish. The hops just lingers around the mouth the entire time. It's quite bitter but not over the top.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied mouthfeel, the carbonation is perfect.

Overall: This is really a simple IPA. Nothing is over the top and the hop profile dominates. This is what makes this beer so great in my opinion. Plus it is dirt cheap for an outstanding beer. Only 7-8 bucks a 6 pack. For someone that likes hops being the highlight, pick this up!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 19:39:32 | More by Benish
Photo of greenboat


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a 1.5" head that quickly recedes to a pleasant skim. Very pretty!

S: Smell of fresh hops. Mostly pine and floral notes with a hint of citrus. A strong backbone of caramel malt is also present.

T: Very nice! Fresh pine and earth meld with subtle citrus notes. A hearty sweet malt permeates throughout the experience. A strong but pleasant bitterness lingers but does not detract from the experience.

M: Creamy and smooth, as can be expected from SN!

O: A classic that I look forward to every year. This year's batch does not disappoint!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 16:39:20 | More by greenboat
Photo of wjbaxteriv


4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ahh Celebration. An old friend.

Pours a dark lightly cloudy orange color with a lovely pale khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Excellent lacing like most Sierra Nevada brews.

Smells great with floral notes dominating. Some definite citrus notes. Pine represented as well. Well rounded hop aroma.

Tastes great, just like I remember, with grapefruit dominating the flavor profile. Malt takes a backseat, of course, but is very present with a light, caramel-like sweetness.

Body is very much as expected. Not too heavy, not too light. In the Goldilocks zone for IPAs.

A fantastic beer that I look forward to every year. Like most beers from Sierra Nevada it's all about balance and craftsmanship which is very evident. A welcome relief from all the over spiced holiday beers. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 05:44:46 | More by wjbaxteriv
Photo of pkalix


4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours a huge white head into a masonry jar with super cool texture.... peachy-orange in color
lots of hop aroma, but kind of bland in smell from this mason jar. lots of hop taste. easy to drink, very smooth, medium bitterness. clingy suds on the side of the glass. generic, but decent; sessionable (?) if you're a hop drinker. otherwise, another notch on the BA list, but worthy of decent marks regardless of commerciality.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 01:45:30 | More by pkalix
Photo of Hops4Pops


4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: A very nice dark orangish amber color. Poured into pint mug. Unfiltered. I can see the goodies in it. Nice lacing after the head recedes. The lacing is not really sticky. Tiny tiny bubbles across the surface with a few big ones popping up. Looks great!

S: Nice smell with the fresh hops hitting my nose first and followed by balancing malt. In the middle are some citrus notes and a tiny amount of bread.

T: Fresh hops. Nice since I love hops. The flavor is one of the most balanced I have experienced for an AIPA. Finish is a very nicely done hoppy bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M: Feels nice and creamy with the hop bite well balanced out with the malt background.

O: I love this beer. This year is the first I have had it and I hear 2012 was one of the best. I plan to stock up on this beer to see how it evolves. If you have not had it, get some, its great for the holidays and colder weather and different than many of the darker stout type beers often presented during this season.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 00:20:32 | More by Hops4Pops
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,379 ratings.