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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.

7,695 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,695
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 191
Gots: 413 | 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
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Ratings: 7,695 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 01:27:24 | More by Stockfan42
Photo of ShemRahBoo

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 00:04:42 | More by ShemRahBoo
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 23:42:56 | More by gratefuld
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

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 21:35:05 | More by Extrajoker00
Photo of gabedivision

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 20:06:24 | More by gabedivision
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 19:35:32 | More by JWU
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

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 06:28:25 | More by abgba121
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 03:22:34 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of patm1986

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 01:41:20 | More by patm1986
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 01:17:13 | More by BigCheese
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

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 00:54:49 | More by UnknownKoger
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 23:47:53 | More by livewire05
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 21:42:09 | More by goldennectar
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 21:40:44 | More by Pintofbrown
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 15:27:16 | More by jmdrpi
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 14:11:10 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of fmccormi

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 06:05:03 | More by fmccormi
Photo of jegross2


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

Fresh 20`11 vintage bottle served slightly chilled in a Sam's Adams glass.

Appearance: 4 inches of bubbly, frothy head on pour. Very carbonated carmel-amber color. The see-thru of this beer falls somewhere between transparent and translucent. Carbonation fuels the foamy head for several minutes, leaving thin layer once the pour settles in.

Smell: A Lemony-soap bitter aroma dominates the nose. There is also a malty citrus smell at the front.

Taste: This beer is unlike most IPAs I have drank. The taste has a malty-caramel backbone, and the lemon-citrusy bitterness is very balanced. The finish is malty and slightly lemony, but not bitter at all.

Mouthfeel: Sticky medium-body beer with lots of refreshing carbonation.

Overall: The taste was very unexpected and unique for the IPA's I usually drink, which tend to be hop bombs. The malty-balance is not very apparent by the nose, but a pleasant surprise. This is an IPA that the more casual drinker can enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 05:28:56 | More by jegross2
Photo of EricCioe


3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a really pretty, small particulate-laden copper with an off-white head that leaves nice lace. On the nose there is a nice grapefruit note with an underlying caramel note. In the mouth there is a good deal more malt than I was expecting. This is fresh, but the hops just aren't as present as I would have guessed. The bitterness that the grapefruit-centric nose would seem to indicate simply isn't there in the quantity I expect in a fresh hop ale. That's not to say it's a bad brew, because it isn't, it's just a little too balanced for my taste. The finish has a bit of bitterness, but the caramel malt sticks around together with it. The body is medium and a little sticky to me.

Overall, this is a decent fresh hop beer, but doesn't compare to the Deschutes Hop Trip I had last night.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 04:04:03 | More by EricCioe
Photo of smakawhat


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

Back for the re-review and checking this out at a time of release. Vintage 2011 poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is not different, still looks great.

Nose is a soft hop green, small brown sugar, and small sweet cloves and nutmeg. Malt angle seems toned down a bit. Sense of cherry fruit.

Taste is a good hop pine, but also a real chili hot sting in the finish. Finishes sweet and malt rich also. Body seems a little rich as well, but nothing too sweet or cloying. Good hop presence on this, much of the brown spices and fruit sense on the nose doesn't come through on the palate as much with the noticeable hop presence that takes over.

Overall much better fresh by far, really enjoying this much more than in the past. A hoppy Christmas beer, enjoying that.


Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Vintage 2010. Seems kind of late doesn't it? How is this going to turn out for a beer that comes out in September? Well we shall see I guess.

Out of the bottle a VERY large head is created that is off white, slightly soapy, and has some REAL good retention. Body color is a solid perfect amber just barely getting into red. Some small carbonation from the bottom and some slight opaqueness. This looks real good! Some sheet like clumps of sticky lacing too.

The first thing on the nose is some sweet cherries and nutmeg. Christmas like spices, and a small hint of pine. No wonder this thing is a seasonal December beer, it feels like Christmas already! Dry spice and pine with a hint of cherry fruit. Just great I could dig this smell anytime.

Taste is lacking. A muted hop and somewhat wet body. I am a bit disappointed from what the nose was hinting at. That pine like sense comes on the finish, but there is no body or malt backbone on this at all. I'll give it some props for displaying some hop finish.

Well it's a little disappointing but I sure would like to try this again when it is in season and I will for sure! I was debating about trying this at such a time but couldn't help myself. No regrets, looking for better things come September! I will try it again for sure!

4.5, 4.5, 3, 3, 3.5

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 21:16:44 | More by smakawhat
Photo of agomega


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

Bottle served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Copper colored with a super thick and creamy head that lingers.

Smell: Sweet malts with a complex mix of hop aroma. Hop aroma is a mix of pine and citrus with a little bit of grassy aroma as well.

Taste: Extremely well balanced mix of sweet bready malt and piney, grassy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Overall: An excellent wet hopped IPA. I may need to go back and buy another 6 pack of this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 20:32:54 | More by agomega
Photo of jeffjeff1


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife picked up a case of SN Celebration Ale for me while I was out of town.

Appearance- copper color, pretty thin head

Smell- piney hops, very nice

Taste- grapefruit, piney and grassy hops, slightly bitter finish, well balanced

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was very good. Obviously I'm drinking it again because I love it.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 19:50:41 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of BeerFiend2002


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into draft glass.

A- Poured an amber color with two-fingers of off-white frothy head. Left some sticky lace on the glass.

S- Citrus, grapefruit, and piney hops come together to form a nice bouqet on the nose.

T- Grapefruit, piney, and grassy hop notes. Is a hoppy brew, but there is a bready almost doughy malt backbone that lifts these hops up and carries them to a nice dry bitter finish.

M- Nice surprisingly rich and full-bodied for a west coast style single IPA. Perfect for me here in these colder months here in the Northeast.

O- This is a fine beer. This is the first time I've had this one and I enjoyed it. It gets good reviews and can understand why. Not a change your life type of beer, but better than most.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 16:38:43 | More by BeerFiend2002
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada, I’m ready to be blown away – of all the harvest ales, I’ve heard this is the best. It’ll take a lot to beat out Founders, though…

Brewed a month-and-a-half ago (according to the batch code, this was bottled on September 25, 2011).

A: Classic, gorgeous IPA presence: the body is a shining burnt-orange, almost crystal clear. Something unusual, though, is that there looks to be some sediment in there, possibly whole-hop residue (here’s hoping). At any rate, they ride lazily around the swift stream of rising bubbles in the center of my glass, adding a unique haze. And then there’s that Sierra Nevada head: a thick off-white cream that leaves textbook lacing all over the glass. Great retention, thick foam, rich-looking body – doesn’t get any better than this.

S: Odd; the hops aren’t exploding off the nose as I expected. Still, they’re pungent, sporting an incredible kick of cherry/sour-apple candy, lemon juice, pine. I’m digging the grain undercarriage, as well; earthy aromas of lightly toasted malt and crisp wheats. There’s even a hint of autumn spices, rose, and herbs. It’s not what I was expecting, but still nice; the scents are quite segregated.

T: If hop-bread existed, this would be its bottled form; very tasty. Instead of being a messy hop-bomb, this one starts with a lovable bread presence, smoothing out with just enough sour/bitter intensity to remind me of rye (my favorite). It really is stunning how bready it is (an unexpected treat, really), and I love how it reminds me of the true soul of an IPA as a rustic, farm-fresh bitter. With the good, there’s the bad, though, because the first taste before that bread takes over is an odd, buttery lemon-grain taste. Fortunately, there’s more than enough in this palate to distract, such as those ever-important IPA bitters. Overall, I’d describe them as earthy and salty-sweet, but with just a mild dryness; all the hop flavor, with just a hint of the crazy sting. The aftertaste is dry and grainy, slightly herbal (like green tea), and with a light mineral water taste – what a great British feel. Now this is a superb incarnation of an IPA palate; excellent.

M: Creamy and mouth-coating for the breads, prickly for the hops – an effective combination. Sometimes it feels like a nice English bitter, sometimes like a good ol’ American IPA. Man, even the mouthfeel is complex and unexpected!

O: What a beer; this truly is the best harvest beer I’ve had. Complexity, bitterness, and a great range of textures make this beer feel truly alive. One of the best IPAs I’ve had in a long time.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 05:06:41 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of gtermi


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer has a very nice redish gold with a average head. The beer is sort of cloudy.

S: I am getting a good amount of sweet malt. I get some fruit and some hops.

T: The beer has a strong hop taste with a little bit of malt. The hops linger on the tongue and just are amazing.

M: The beer has a good amount of carbonation and a strong amount of crispness. Not bad, but not the best IPA mouthfeel.

O: This is my favorite seasonal from Sierra Nevada. I just dont get why this beer is so good. It is like a better version of Torpedo. I want as much of this beer as I can possibly get.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 03:56:53 | More by gtermi
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,695 ratings.