1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

7,773 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,773
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 196
Gots: 445 | 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
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: 7,773 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured from a Winter 2010 bottle into a pint. I've had them as old as 2 1/2 years (and though that one showed a tad too much age) and I must say that this is one of the few hop forward beers that maintains well with age.

Looks like it maintained the ability to create an amazing head with sick lacing. Other then that, nice orange/amber hue.

Caramel, citrus, pale malts and pine show up, a hint of earthy mint in the finish.

The taste still has a strong citrus bite up front, more pale and les caramel malt, mint, pine and slight mineral finish. More balanced than a fresh one. Slightly resiny in the mouth.

Great fresh, great nine months old, great after a year. If you haven't had one... Pbbbttt.

08-21-2011 23:32:43 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of Lauthaha


4.58/5  rDev +10.1%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Beer is a mostly-clear deep golden hue with active carbonation visible through the glass. Head is super frothy and rich-looking, and dimples down beautifully over the course of several minutes. Great retention.

Smell: Bright, crisp citrus zest on top of some piney hops. Some caramel-type malt in the background. Tantalizing.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The malt lays down a nice thick base right off the bat. Carbonation creates a cool lava flow on the tongue, and hops begin to strike like lightning bolts on a placid lake. Very bitter, piney; some spicy notes thrown in for good measure. Finish is crisp and dry, and leaves you wanting more. A little on the bitter side for me (I'd like to see a little more citrus or malt sweetness), but an amazing brew, indisputably.

Overall: Wow. Definitely worth the $2.00 price tag! Sierra Nevada has impressed me again.

08-14-2011 23:52:58 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of jondeelee


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

The 2010 version of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is a "Fresh Hop Ale," featuring "the first hops of the growing season." To the nose, this translates to slow, rolling waves of hops, bringing grapefruit, pine, and citrus notes. a lovely yeasty bread dough aroma lingers in the background, complete with brown sugars and apricot fruit esters.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately hoppy bitter, bringing in full force the grapefruit and pine notes from the nose. Perhaps because of the freshness of the hops--first off the plant--there is an extra hint of spiciness and wildness to the brew: a lemon-peppery citrus zest that infuses the bitterness. Behind these, and moderately difficult to locate, given the hops, lies a layer of malts, complete with brown sugars, apricots, and pecans. The hops dominate the mouthful, however, and continue into the aftertaste, which is almost exclusively hops, and divebombs the tastebuds for quite a while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-high.

Overall, this is good beer, though its relation to the Holiday season should be noted as going little beyond the festive label: there are no Christmas spices in here, no fancy gingerbread or shortbread ingredients. Instead, there's just malts and hops, hops, hops. IPA lovers should take note of this one.

07-31-2011 03:56:42 | More by jondeelee
Photo of Remedynj

New Jersey

4.97/5  rDev +19.5%

This is my favorite seasonal brew and something that I look forward to every year, and 2011 did not disappoint. I try to save some each time I get it, but this is a difficult beer to keep around.

This is one of the few beers that I would give an A+ to, one of my all time favorites

07-19-2011 19:58:33 | More by Remedynj
Photo of SWMeyer4141


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Haven't had a Celebration Ale in a while, and found a 2008 single, had to try it.

Poured into Pint glass

Appearance-Slightly hazy amber color with suprisingly a 1-2 finger off white head after all these years.

Smell-Lots of caramel malts, pretty sweet smelling. Light citrus and some hops.

Taste-Got alot of unique flavors in this. Besides the heavy caramel malts and citrusy hops I got some cocoa nibs, pear, green apple. The hops have faded over the years but still a very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel-Creamy, Smooth, easy to drink. Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

Overall-I've never been the type to drink a 2.5 year old IPA, but this was really good. Can't wait to drink fresh ones soon.

07-17-2011 15:39:32 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of chugalug06


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

A - Very aggressive pour. Nice soapy off-white head. Brew is cloudy amber color with lots of browns and some orange. Great lacing remains left behind.

S - Very light fruity scent. Other than the light scent, there's not too much going one. Much of the aggressive scents have mellowed since December.

T - Very mellow. Much better with a little age on it than it is fresh. A very nice and mellow brew. Perfect for a post summer run *celebration*

M - Not much bitterness; aged very well. Medium bodied and light carbonation. Very well done, drinks amazingly. Slightly bitter which spreads well.

O - Awesome brew, super glad I chose to sit on a few until the summer months. Highly recommended to buy some in the winter for summer drinking. Nice work SN, you've impressed.

07-06-2011 02:27:49 | More by chugalug06
Photo of albertjr21

New York

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

On this balmy summer night of 6-22-11 I'm giving this 2010 bottle a go and thinking how much I wish the current weather were just a tad closer to that wintery wonderland depicted on the bottle label...Into a pint glass this appears a clear copper amber color under a well sustained head. Aroma is that of toasted sweet bread, deep floral hops and perhaps a touch of cinnamon. Mouthfeel is a very hop forward one with no shame in slamming the palate with earthy pine and herbal hops riding very nicely on a robust malt base. The finish leaves a favorably bitter imprint on the palate and is quite refreshing (much enjoyed on this humid day) despite its very wintery warming character. Cheers to an American IPA with balls...

06-23-2011 02:42:52 | More by albertjr21
Photo of Rifugium


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

This review is for the 2010 batch, served in a bottle.

Poured into a pint glass, a clear amber, with reddish highlights around the edges, and a finger of merry white head. Floral and citrus notes in the aroma, hoppy, with a malty sweetness in the background. Much like the previous batch, a good balance of sweet malts and bitter but smooth hops, floral and slightly herbal, with a tad of spice. Medium mouthfeel and sessionably drinkable.

06-18-2011 00:07:15 | More by Rifugium
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

This beer pours an amber color with a large pillowy white head that coats the sides of the glass and lasts for a long time. The smell is floral and citrusy. the flavor is very hop forward with citrus and some pine, and a light malt backbone to back it up. the bitterness while there, is not as present as i would like. the mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. and overall i give this one an A

06-15-2011 18:29:43 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.45/5  rDev +7%

2010 vintage- bottled SEPT. 2010

reviewed on: 11-10-2010 (2 month old bottle)

been waiting and searching for this in the last few weeks and finally while out on a grocery run on a lazy tuesday, i spotted some. had to pick up a 12 pack.

cold from the store poured into a standard pint glass. pours a lovely copper orange color with a big creamy, slightly off white head. held some great retention with some very nice thick lace.

minty citrus hop aromas accompanied by a toasty, bready, grainy malt. very nice aroma, just falls a touch shy from what i expected as far as banging hops.

delicious taste. big, sharp citrus hops. a little minty, piney, and a touch herbal. definatly hop forward, but a lovely malt profile tries to balance. bready, toasted grains, and some light caramel. just some light alcohol as it warms.

creamy, inviting mouthfeel, hop resins and much lingering bitterness attack the palate. prickly carbonation. medium bodied.

drinkability is like crack. prolly my second favorite winter beer, right behind anchor x-mas. this is usually my go to hoppy beer during the cold months every year. much more 12 packs to come! and for 17$ a 12, you really cant go wrong with this.

reviewed on: 6-3-2011 (8 month old bottle)

at about fridge temp poured into a big wine glass. huge billowy, fluffly off white head, slightly cloudy deep amber color. looks about the same.

hops have faded just a touch in the aroma, a nice piney, sprucy like quality going on. a bit metallic at first. some mint leaves.

oh that great taste! im really glad i put a few of these bottles away. the taste hasnt changed much at all, still some nice hops, good bitterness. again sprucy, piney hops, citrus balanced perfectly by a well rounded bready caramel malt.

smooth bodied, mouthfeel is the same, maybe just a touch less resins.

06-04-2011 01:22:19 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of angrybabboon

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Review adapted from notes taken 12/4/10
Slightly updated 12/1/12

Note: 2010 batch, 2012 batch (attempting to take an average of sorts)

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper/amber color - a little hazy, with an amazing head that lasts forever, leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Wild, untamed hops - lots of citrus, orange, pine - orange and grapefruit zest - on the leafy/herbal side - some interesting malts underneath, caramel, lightly toasted, with some pale highlights

Taste: Solid - rough, harsh hops (harsh in a good way, of course) - tons of citrus flavors with a hint of piney resin - grapefruit flesh and rind - leafy, raw hops, slightly earthy - a great amount of bitterness - malts provide a great backbone - toasted biscuits, light caramel sweetness - kind of dry, with a mild salt flavor that I taste in all SN pale ales

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, mostly smooth with some bitter, leafy harshness

Overall: An undeniable classic that I intend to enjoy every winter

While Celebration is not my favorite IPA, it is extremely tasty and it has a certain charm that I appreciate more every year. It is about the same on tap, perhaps a little smoother.
(Update): This really becomes more charming every year. It's leafy, raw, and a little harsh, yet somehow I find it as heartwarming as a Christmas tree.

05-30-2011 19:17:00 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of hopluva1


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

12oz. poured into snifter.

Hazy dark orange with a good 2 finger off white head.
Has a distinct honey malt aroma, with piny smelling hops.
Flavor is big hop bitterness up front that is somewhat balanced with that same honey malt flavor. This beer has been aged so the hops have mellowed a bit.

I love fresh celebration! But i have just discovered that aged celebration is very good as well.

05-10-2011 02:23:11 | More by hopluva1
Photo of Otesanek


3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

12oz into a 22oz snifter. 50*F. Awesome looking, 3/4" tight bubbled offwhite head. Rich orange-red body, brilliant clarity. The head lingers going no where, nice gooey lace. Smells nice and hoppy. Very piney sweet smelling. The aroma is a bit shallow beyond the the sweet malt and piney hops, not bad, just simple. The flavor is quite bitter, coats the mouth with the bitterness. Very grapefruity, bitter pith, but also sweet ruby-red grapefruit flesh. This beer is definitely all about the hops. A faint toastiness develops in the long finish. The mouthfeel is fine, a bit coating, the bitterness definitely lingers as a physical sensation, not quite astringent, the carbonation is on point. This beer goes down really easy, I'm sure I could drink several of these in a session. It's not super interesting to me though, no flaws or anything, just not all that memorable.

05-09-2011 14:41:26 | More by Otesanek
Photo of Seeker41184


3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Date Drunk: 12/6/10

12oz into pint glass

A: Dense copper color with decent head.
S: Pine, floral, caramel smell, Not much going on in the hop department.
T:The first sip was almost my last sip of this beer. I was about to give it a 6 rating, due to the funky bitterness that overpowers you from this small beer. I'm all about hops, but not funky bitter hops. As it warms up, the bitter funk turns into a mellow pine flavored hops which is extremely enjoyable.
M: Just your avg IPA mouthfeel, nothing special here.
O: Like I said it my taste description, make sure this is not too cold, and it's enjoyable.

05-08-2011 17:24:14 | More by Seeker41184
Photo of Wattsox

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

2010 vintage, 350ml bottle, consumed Apr 2011, BBE Oct 2011.

A - Slightly hazy orange body with a thick off-white head that hangs around until the end, leaving a lot of cling.

S - Sweet notes of citrus and pine hop aromas take the lead.

T - Hop bitterness is definitely the primary characteristic; sweet malts open then give way to a resinous, punchy hop profile that goes from start to finish, leaving a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, quite smooth.

O - Extremely nice overall, suits hopheads well, though 6.8% is perhaps pushing it a little for a session drink.

04-27-2011 16:19:31 | More by Wattsox
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

2010 Best Before 15/10/11

Orangy brown with some super rocky head this beer sure looks the part but its the mouthfeel which just steals the show.
It is ever so spritzy yet strong and firm. The long strong bitterness is pretty dry with bags of finesse and leaves a fine coat of lingerng bitterness in the mouth. Just superb how that bitterness just arrives as it hits the back of the throat. Super sticky head is left all over the empty glass. Not at all aggressive but neither could you ever call effeminate. Just love the way that Sierra Nevada's beers all display some house character but are also all so unique. But good God is this beer beautiful.

04-20-2011 21:33:44 | More by Zimbo
Photo of Haybeerman


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

2010 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

A: Clear, bright copper/amber color. Poured a 2 finger biege head with excellent retention. Heavy lacing in complete rings. Decants continuously.

S: Big piney floral hops and citrus aromas. Also caramel malts.

T: Crystal malts and big piney floral hops with a substantial hop bite in the finish. Delightfully complex with long, lingering finish.

M: Medium to full body. Ample carbonation brings out the best in the complexity. Coats and warms the mouth and tongue.

D: Considering ABV and body, surprisingly smooth and easy to drink.

04-20-2011 20:02:36 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of Knapp85


3.73/5  rDev -10.3%

I had picked up 2 bottles of this around the holidays this passed year and was pretty excited to have this again. This beer pours out as a really nice looking Christmasy red color with a tan head on top that settles pretty quickly. The aroma is mostly hops which I like, it makes me want to dive right into this beer. The other aromas are subtle enough that they are almost nonexistent in this one. There is a little bit of spiciness coming through in the nose as well. The taste is just hoppy, I guess there are some malt flavors in the far background of this beer but mostly all hops here. The mouthfeel is medium I'd say. It's a really nice brew though and worth checking out.

04-18-2011 04:23:28 | More by Knapp85
Photo of match1112


5/5  rDev +20.2%

poured my 2010 celebration into a pint glass. had a nice fluffy four finger head. lacing all the way around till the end. has a nice dark copper color to it. smells exceptional, nice floral hops. speaking of hops, the taste is the same start to finish, nice full bodied hoppy beer. cant wait for my next one!

04-13-2011 23:31:08 | More by match1112
Photo of CraftAleRookie


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

2010 Celebration Ale, poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A- deep golden, copper color; very slight haze (not quite clear, but still good clarity). A one finger head that turned into nice thick lace with good retention.

S- sweet hoppy aroma; notes of pine and slight hints of malt.

T- a nice full mouth of bitter hoppy bliss- solid uniform hop flavor from front to back. Tart zings on the sides of the tongue- interesting hoppy favor presentation.

M- full body full flavor, very tingly (from hop bitterness and bubbles).

D- you have to be an IPA lover to appreciate this- very repeatable for us hop heads; a bit on the heavy side to have more than a few.

04-09-2011 00:57:06 | More by CraftAleRookie
Photo of eclaycamp


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

12 ounce bottle poured into a Samuel Adams PP glass. Beer pours clear with lively carbonation. Color is a light amber, with a nice frothy head. Aroma is almost spicy, with grapefruit and citrus character. Pleasant bitterness hits you up front, with citrus and grapefruit hitting you towards the end of the experience. Mouthfeel is full but not sweet, and the malt profile works in harmony with the hops. My only complaint about Celebration is that I can't get it year round.

04-08-2011 23:06:54 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

Pours dark amber with a large, growing head.
Nose shows loads of piney, resinous and fruity hops along with similarly strong toasty, nutty and cookie dough-like malt.
Flavours perfectly mirror the aromas. Finishes with an aggressive, sharp bitterness, perhaps a little over the top.
Great moderately high carbonation works well.

03-31-2011 10:09:45 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of harrymel


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Vintage 2010

A: Pours a copper ale with exceptional clarity and a three finger loosely compacted peanut head dissipates slowly to a thick quilt of the same.

S: Oh yes. This is caramel, toffee, pine, hoppy resin, brown sugar, imperial in nose. Very nice.

T: Nice and malty with healthy hop bittering and complexity. The hops offer a fine manly flavor profile. I really don't need to say much. This beer is good. 'nuff said.

M: medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. The beer has a creamy feel to it. I am excited for next year to try the beer and try it fresh!

O: Very well done. Very good beer.

03-30-2011 12:29:35 | More by harrymel
Photo of tito42


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Enjoyed on tap at a Pizza Luce in MN.

A: Rich amber color with a good head. Not much carbonation from appearance. Excellent lacing.

S: Citrus, hops, toasted grain.

T: Piney hops with a malt backbone and citrus flavors that balance the hops.

M: Medium bodied, with a hops bite that doesn't dry the mouth out too much. Very pleasant.

O: I didn't think I was a hop head, but after trying this on tap and Hopslam in the bottle this evening, maybe I am? This is an example of top notch execution of a hoppy ale with balance. Very enjoyable, I'll be trying this when it's fresher next winter.

03-21-2011 03:07:35 | More by tito42
Photo of bondjedi


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

From the bottle at my parents' house.

Poured right down the middle with a soft manageable head. Creamy foam topped a gorgeous, translucent copper body.

Well-balanced, sophisticated taste - bitter start, sweet finish.

This was the perfect compliment to a Farmer John premium frank with Gulden's mustard.

03-20-2011 16:56:52 | More by bondjedi
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,773 ratings.