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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.

7,757 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,757
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 194
Gots: 439 | 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: 7,757 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dave128


3.95/5  rDev -5%

12 oz bottle poured into a basic mug (Hey its all I had at the time). Last of my only 6 pack of celebration 2010.

A - Head is not too impressive. With a vigorous pour I didn't get more than 2 fingers which subsided pretty quickly. Lacing is average. The initial head sticks to the glass but only a few small patches actually make it through the enjoyment process. Tons of little particulates swirling around

S - I love the smell of this beer. "Fresh Hop Ale" is the perfect way to describe it, as is listed on the label. Smells like fresh hops. Very piny and wintry smell. Fresh and basic.

T - I'm not sure what to say about the taste of Celebration. Well.. It's straight up hops and like a piny resin. A tiny bit citrusy, but mostly bitterness and more bitterness. Not exactly up my alley, but I'm not gonna fault a beer for bitterness when my palate is still pretty immature and I'm growing to appreciate it more and more.

M - A little bit harsh on the carbonation IMO. It has the effect of bubbling up in bitter froth in the mouth that I didn't really like.

D - Again.. I wanna say this beer is unbalanced because the bitterness just seems a little too much, but there's something about it that makes me want to go back for more after every sip I take.

01-25-2011 04:24:51 | More by Dave128
Photo of birderbeerer


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Golden, mostly amber with a three finger head. And then the lace coats the glass. Coats. Amazing.

Aroma is herbal, floral, and piney. Somewhat subdued hops but definitely present along with some good malt sweetness, mainly caramel and butter.

Taste is an even balance of hops and malt. Tart, tangy hops, mostly pine. Malt is toast, toffee, and caramel.

Carbonation is sharp and crisp. Leaves a slight sticky residue with a sweet malt aftertaste.

Nice combination of a malty pale ale and the fresh, whole cone hops. Sticky but balanced by sweetness.

01-24-2011 02:36:22 | More by birderbeerer
Photo of JednoPivoProsim


4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

2010 Celebration. Poured from 12 fl oz bottle into Ommegang 10 year anniversary tulip. "Celebration Ale is a special ale for the holidays." Oops, I guess I'm a little behind. Do MLK and Presidents' Day count?

Appearance: Nice thick head, looks like you could balance a stack of coins on top. Cloudy amber color, definitely some sediment and "quiet" carbonation activity.

Smell: Hello! A citrusy hop surprise. I feel like this one's got a lot more aroma than some of my other recent IPA tastings. Could it be that seasonals are generally fresher by nature or is this due to the advertised "fresh hops?"

Taste: Full of flavor. This IPA is more on the citrusy, as opposed to the piney, side. I like it a lot - it's got a spicy kick on the tongue!

Mouthfeel: It's pretty smooth and coats the entire mouth...

Interlude: Yikes, I guess I liked this so much, I ran out before I finished the review, a first! Time to crack into #2 (holding the bottle up to the light, there is a ton of sediment swimming around)...

Mouthfeel (cont): Mouth feels good.

Drinkability: I could move through a few of these pretty easily. And SN always seems to be priced right for the job.

Overall: I like this better than Torpedo, but now I'm anxious to try these back to back. No doubt in my mind why Celebration gets the praise it does - and deserves!

01-22-2011 02:06:15 | More by JednoPivoProsim
Photo of TheMadJack


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from 24 oz. Bottle into Pint Glass.

A: Pours the color of honey, with hints of orange and yellow and the occasional red highlight. Lumpy and foamy, slightly yellowish head with resolute lacing.

S: The nose wafts over immediately after opening and elicits an immediate smile. Strawberry, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honey, and a flowery undertone like roses or gardenias. No distinct "malt" aromas readily apparent.

T: Ah, there they are. Malt character is like a good crusty bread, forming a steadfast balance to the bitter, which is quite pronounced and dominates the latter phases of a sip. Strawberry and grapefruit accents.

M: Firm, medium-bodied and just a bit lingering without being sticky or unpleasant in the finish. Bitterness excites the palate on two levels, a standard overall bitter flavor with a sharp, astringent sensation that follows short on the heels of a swallow.

D: Bitter, balanced, and clean finishing. Enjoyable alone and I'd wager pairs well with food. Selling 24 oz. bottles was a good move by Sierra Nevada.

01-21-2011 05:46:03 | More by TheMadJack
Photo of KSac4115


3.65/5  rDev -12.3%

Pours an unfiltered copper color with a 1/2 inch slightly off-white foam head.

Smell is floral and hoppy. Smell isn't too apparent, but is light and sweet.

Taste is sweet. Slightly hoppy. Pretty good blend of flavors. Pretty good bitterness. Aftertaste is somewhat pleasant but the flavors tend to fade quickly leaving a mild bitter feeling on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Smooth in the mouth with just the right amount of carbonation. The bitterness is very apparent.

Drinkability is very good. Could definitely have quite a few of these. The higher alcohol percentage is not very obvious.

Overall a pretty good and drinkable beer.

01-21-2011 01:40:25 | More by KSac4115
Photo of Brownshoe


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

I always look forward to the winter because that's when I can pick up the Celebration Ale. A friend of mine and I agreed that it might be the best beer you can get just about anywhere in the U.S. You can find in convenient stores, supermarkets, north, south, east, west and its quality.

I love the heavy hops. The head is beautiful and it sticks around. Even the after beer burps aren't that bad.

01-21-2011 00:58:28 | More by Brownshoe
Photo of llllDrGONZOllll


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

Celebration has thick rock head that reminds me of hand churned French vanilla ice cream. Off white and rocky, it really looks as if it may need a spoon. The retention does hold well and each gulp of this amber-gold IPA leaves cakes of dense lacing. The body is hazy from the amount of hops and is lightly populated with a fine dusting of yeast.

Aromas of grapefruit and floral soap merge with pale malt. Spashes of caramel and toffee are present, more so than the glint of booze. Hop aromas come no finer than the Cascade and Centennial. Both hops are "celebrated" perfectly. I look forward to this release every year, and have never been let down.

The taste is rather bitter at the start. The tip of the tongue is greeted with an unbalanced explosion of citric hop flavor. Orange, grapefruit with soapy floral delights. The finish while still bitter does come with a taste of caramel and toffee. The toasted grains are dry and non cloying. The carbonation may seem a bit high, but perfect to keep aftertastes from lingering. The aftertaste last only long enough to remind you to have another quaff.... Its cold out man, pour the last one!

01-20-2011 03:42:13 | More by llllDrGONZOllll
Photo of Meerkey


3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

A: Thick, frothy white head, faintly cloudy, bubbly bright copper with lots of lacing.

S: Toast, yeast, flowery, piney hops.

T: Piney hops, grain, grapefruit, sweet malt

M: Tart, tingly. Nice.

D: Clean and lingering taste. Good, but not overwhelming.

01-19-2011 04:46:58 | More by Meerkey
Photo of Burt

Rhode Island

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

Served in a pint glass.

A. Amber, copper with off white head with good retention that left tight lacing all the way down.

S. Nice citrus hops with some malt.

T. Hops up front with a caramel middle then nice bitter finish.

M. Little carbonation with a smooth finish

D. This is a great beer that I always look forward to every year. I can have more than one at a sitting.

01-18-2011 12:08:42 | More by Burt
Photo of Shaw


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

A lovely amber in color with a short off-white head.

Nice aroma of malt and hops.

A nicely bitter taste, with plenty of hops flavors and a bit of biscuit malt sweetness. But this beer is much hoppier and bitter than it is malty.

Smooth, almost creamy body.

Another classic from Sierra Nevada.

01-18-2011 05:06:17 | More by Shaw
Photo of HopHead84


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%


On tap at Stone.

A: Ruby tinged brown with an enormous beige sea foam head. Excellent retention. Great lacing.

S:  Prominent pine resin with light grapefruit notes and a firm caramel malt backbone. This is well balanced, with the hops and malt providing equally pleasing aromatics.

T: Moderately bitter and quite resinous, with notes of grapefruit rind. Malt is caramel in character and provides a little sweetness, though it doesn't do much to curb the dry pine and grapefruit. The finish is astringent with evident alcohol flavor.

M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation and a sticky and astringent mouthfeel.

Overall: A classic. Very much like a lighter version of an American Barleywine.

01-18-2011 03:44:20 | More by HopHead84
Photo of allforbetterbeer


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured into a snifter, 2010 Celebration. Much anticipation for this brew.

Pours luminescent and clear, with a hue closer to amber than orange, thus making this darker than the standard American IPA. The color looks spot on for a winter IPA, and hints that the malts may be richer than in summer versions of the style. Lacing is crusty and wonderful, and head retention is very good. Overall this just looks wonderful.

The nose is a platter of malt laden with fresh juicy hops. I wouldn't quite say it is bursting with hops, but gets pretty close. Sweet sugary pine and citrus are fairly well balanced, with some bitterness in the nose that plays against the sweet notes well. A touch of pineapple and lemongrass (the latter being slightly astringent) are detected on the sides of the overall aroma.

A full dose of sweetness encrusted hops hits first as this washes through my mouth, and as these flavors wash around a robust and layered malt profile comes underneath bring bring some balance (too much wouldn't be good). The higher bitterness and slightly astringent qualities show up later and in the aftertaste. The entire taste experience moves through layers of sweet, bitter and malty, with hops being the driving force.

Mouthfeel is creamy as only IPAs can be, and on the full side of medium bodied. Carbonation is effective and controlled, and doesn't stray into the soda-like feel that can plague the lesser versions of this style. Drinkability is good, but if some of the astringent notes were removed it would be better. Bitterness isn't the problem here...

Conclusion: This is a very good IPA. That is spoken by someone who rarely seeks out examples of this much over-hyped style. I feel that this style of beer as a place, but that the addition of large amounts of hops to beer is a trend that often masks and detracts from styles that were never meant to be hop-driven in aroma or flavor. I digress. This is an American IPA, and thus it should be all about the big hop profile, which it is. I really enjoy this beer, and think that it still has elements of balance and craftsmanship, which I admire greatly. Sierra Nevada has long been one of the best users of hops in their beer, and this example deserves its reputation.

01-17-2011 01:14:23 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of HopTaco

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

01-16-2011 20:57:40 | More by HopTaco
Photo of JAXSON


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

Bottle, thanks Ed! Clear chestnut with a fluffy head. Nose is fairly bright and pleasant with cirtus and hops, but kind of flat and one dimensional. Mouth is nice citrus, grapefruit, hop oils. Very quaffable and decent, but not much complexity or any sense of balance they're going for. Nice enough, would make a good 6-er when fresh.

01-16-2011 04:29:12 | More by JAXSON
Photo of Stoutman88

New York

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

01-15-2011 22:28:51 | More by Stoutman88
Photo of tozz8

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

2010 vintage 12 oz bottle into pint glass

A--Copper color body with ample white fluffy head that dissappated fairly quickly. Very little lacing

S--Floral Hops with mild citrus notes after a while

T--Very nice. Bitter like I like my IPAs to be. well balanced with some earthy malt sweetness. After drinking 3 six packs of this stuff over the past couple of months, i have detected some variation in the bitterness, but nothing that stood out as too strong or weak. Variation is the reason for the 3.5

M--medium body. slightly thick at first, but the body loosened up as it warmed

D--Super good. I'm definitely looking forward to next years batch.

01-15-2011 22:20:29 | More by tozz8
Photo of canuckns


4/5  rDev -3.8%

A- copper orange in color white head. Good lacing all the way down

S- Hoppy. love the hops

T- The bitters is in the front and end

M- Medium to light bodied

D- An easy drinker.

Tried this when it was given to me by a beer club member. Never paid much attention to Sierra Nevada before, now aI am a fan. Have gone out of my way to find celebration and other SN beers.

01-15-2011 14:42:11 | More by canuckns
Photo of MinnesotaRIS


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

This is a very good, drinkable beer. Medium, dark amber with cloud. Thick head on pour that dissipates at a normal rate for a decent beer. Lingering foam after head dissipation with remainder on side of glass.

Mild aroma with hops present. Low fruit and pleasant. Citrus, warm. Tart taste, hops very present on taste. Some malt but definitely not "malty". Aftertaste is bitter as advertised and a little flat.

Very drinkable. Smooth and pleasing.

01-15-2011 03:33:50 | More by MinnesotaRIS
Photo of TCMike


3.48/5  rDev -16.3%

I'm not a big fan of IPA's, but this beer is worthy of a review.
Pours a medium copper color, with a 1 finger white head. Has medium carbonation.
The smell is of hops, floral, and some sort of sweetness.
The taste is good. The slight sweetness balances out the bitterness of the hops. The bitterness did linger a bit long for my liking though.
Take this with a grain of salt, because like I said, not a bitter IPA fan normally.

01-14-2011 17:48:33 | More by TCMike
Photo of togaman91


4.83/5  rDev +16.1%

Love it! Its the choice of everyday after work drink. The fact that they have a winter that is even hopper (celebration) is even better! Look forward to it every November! The Hop they use are exceptionally smooth with an aftertaste that will cause you to ask for more! They hold the bar in ipa!

01-14-2011 04:16:58 | More by togaman91
Photo of tykees88


4/5  rDev -3.8%

A- copper orange in color white head. Good lacing as well.

S- Hoppy and sweet. The flower aroma is nice as well.

T- The bitters is in the front and end, but you get the fruitiness and flower taste inbetween

M- Medium to light bodied

D- An easy drinker that would be great all year round.

01-13-2011 19:49:58 | More by tykees88
Photo of readbaron


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

Looks beautiful - dark golden orange with plenty of off white foam. Sticky with decent retention.

Smells very good - hop forward - a blend of earthy and citrus hops with some malt underneath.

Taste is pretty good - lots of bitter hops with some malty cereal flavors underneath. Not as much fresh hop flavor or citrus as I expected given the nose.

Mouthfeel is nice - creamy, light/medium body

Very drinkable - wish there was a bit more citrus to balance out the bitter.

01-13-2011 07:21:15 | More by readbaron
Photo of KevinBrewer


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

A- Brilliant clear copper color with a huge off-white head that sticks around, lacing the glass heavily.

N- Nice balance of resinous dark/earthy hops with bright/citrusy hops on top of a light toasty malt.

T- Toasty caramel malt balanced by a firm hoppy bitterness. Some brighter citrus notes provide an accent to the deliciously balanced base. There is a light, vague fruitiness in the middle. Pleasant grassy bitterness lingers into the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body. Crisp and refreshing with a fairly dry finish.

D- Deceptively drinkable. The perfect beer for a cold winter's night.

01-13-2011 06:29:58 | More by KevinBrewer
Photo of metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

A: The beer is hazy light amber in color and poured with a two finger high off white head that slowly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible along with some particles floating in suspension.
S: There are moderate aromas of grapefruit and pine resin hops in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the hops contribute lots of citrus flavors to the overall taste along with a mild to moderate amount of bitterness, yet they do not overpower the taste because they are well balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: If the alcohol content was a little lower, this beer could be considered as sessionable because it is rather easy to drink.

Note: 2010 vintage

01-13-2011 04:21:15 | More by metter98
Photo of DoktorZee

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Rating Celebration out of the bottle, though I had it on tap previously and really enjoyed it. No best before on the bottle that I could see. Poured into a schooner glass.

A - light, clear golden color with perhaps a hint of red, small head that leaves some lacing behind, looks fairly carbonated

S - had an awesome waft of hops when the bottle was opened, but on the actual nose of the beer it was pretty light and not very expressive; more malt on the nose than hops

T - excellent bitter edge, but interestingly without any strong citrus or pine elements, resolves into some malty smoothness but the bitterness really sticks around. Slightly boozy on the back end; reminds a bit of a winter warmer in that regard

M - nice light feel with crisp carbonation, maybe a slightly butter end

D - quite drinkable, though I'd imagine the hops bitterness would compound significantly after a few.

Overall a nice beer; would definitely have it again!

01-13-2011 03:42:50 | More by DoktorZee
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,757 ratings.