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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.

7,762 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,762
Reviews: 3,153
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 195
Gots: 441 | 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: 7,762 | Reviews: 3,153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mkorpal


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a burnt amber color with a white fluffy head and plenty of lacing.

Smell is a balance of malt and hops, mostly piny hops. Too much malt in it though. Could also use a bit more citrus hop.

Taste is a harsh bitterness, more pine, some caramel. Solid taste.

The bitterness of this beer is pretty harsh, Chinook hop characteristic. They come through pretty heavy. it hurts the drinkability a bit.

Mouthfeel is average. Not much to say there.

My friend compared this to a less malty Arrogant Bastard. I can agree with that.

01-06-2011 03:00:23 | More by mkorpal
Photo of TheHoppiest


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

This is a review of the Sierra Nevada 2010 Celebration Ale, however, I also have a bottle of the 2009 Celebration Ale that I will also review, but not rate, as part of this entry.

2010 Celebration Ale:

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a bright copper color with a sticky white foamy head that slowly reduces. Very tiny bubbles make their way to the surface from the bottom of the glass.

Has a nice hoppy, malty smell, sweet and somewhat fruity. Some grassiness is also present upon swirling.

Has a nice fresh-hopped taste, spicy and bitter up front, like the pith of a grapefruit. There is an underlying sweetness that is also present, but overall, a pliantly bitter beer. I'd almost characterize this more as a fall hopped beer than a winter ale.

Medium bodied, with plenty of bite on the tongue.

Quite drinkable, this is one of the last of my six pack of 2010 Celebration Ale. Depending upon how well the 2009 cellared, I may save one for comparison against the 2011 next year.

Now for the 2009 Celebration Ale:

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. I saved some of the 2010 for comparison purposes. Pours a similar copper color, though it is slightly lighter in tone than the 2010, and the head is not nearly so sticky or foamy.

Smells sweeter, less hoppy, and more yeasty. This may be a function of the aging and mellowing of the hops after one year.

Less hoppy, sweeter, slightly maltier, and a fair amount more alcohol taste. I'm guessing these differences are due to the age, and are not necessarily reflective of how this 2009 ale was when is was brewed.

Mouthful is similarly medium-bodied with less bite and spice.

After one year, it is clear that this beer is best when celebrated closer it's birth rather than it's anniversary. As such, I recommend you drink up your 2010 Celebration Ale now!

01-06-2011 02:04:11 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of phantomwyse


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Pours out a honey colored body with some amber hues woven in the mix. Astounding two finger head of off white starts of creamy and full and then turns rocky.

S: Grainy malts, creamed corn, but also some tender pine - it's there, but not pushing, and a bit of citrus twang at the end.

T: Everyday bread malts, like twelve grain - hearty with a bit of sweetness. Coming in with just enough bitterness and pine in moderation. There's a mild spice aspect.

M: Smooth and silky with a medium body.

D: These is a a beer that shows a lot of restraint. Rather than taking a winter seasonal to excess, SN holds off a bit and gives something hearty and warming.

01-06-2011 01:59:47 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of fallopia


4.2/5  rDev +1%

Poured out of a refrigerated bottle into a pint glass.

Caramel brown clear color with white thick fluffy head over an inch thick.

Crisp, floral aromas with a hint of spice, perhaps nutmeg.

Bright, acidic crispness with spiced flavors.

Light mouthfeel contributes to a refreshing and enjoyable drinkability. Ready for another.

01-05-2011 22:10:51 | More by fallopia
Photo of hoppyhampy


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on 11/23/10. Pours a light amber orange with two fingers of foam. Great lacing and nice carbonation. Light, fresh hops are not overwhelming. They are balanced with the malt so that you still get a good amount of sweetness. Apricot and peach. Great mouthfeel. Medium bodied and resiny. Sweet but not syrupy. Bitter but not dry. Carbonation seems a bit low. Very easy to drink and enjoy. Lighter fruit flavors and malty sweetness quickly give way to a hoppy finish, leaving you with a nice pine taste. Every year I forget how much I enjoy this beer. I am so glad someone puts out a great IPA as their winter seasonal.

01-05-2011 08:13:35 | More by hoppyhampy
Photo of MirImage


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

Bottle Poured into a Pint Glass.

A: Light copper color with a frothy white head. good lacing. Head sticks with beer as you drink it.

S: Citrus hops. Doesn't smell too hoppy.

T: Pretty balanced for an IPA. I kinda wish it was more hoppy. Easy finish on the back of the pallet.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Pretty drinkable. I would have few. I could drink more of these in order than say Torpedo.

01-04-2011 23:55:05 | More by MirImage
Photo of drewba


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

A - Pours a nice three finger cream head. Color is a rusty orange and sticky, heavy lacing.

S - Very impressive aroma - chalk full of pine and complex citrus hops. I think the malt backbone is trying to come out with a little bread aroma, but still is overwhelmed by the hops. A little alcohol smell is present.

T - Lovely balance of malt and hops, both are there throughout the entire taste. The hops may eventually take over in the end, but I really like the boldness of both working together. Lots of bread, nut and caramel are representing for Team Malt, while Team Hop is putting forth grass, pine, grapefruit, lemon rind. Imagine a Flying V of Malt and Hop goodness, if only the malt stayed through the finish, which is where the hop bitterness takes over.

M - Thin to medium body with ample carbonation - perhaps a little too high.

D - The somewhat high carbonation and heavy bitter finish makes me want to eat, or drink something else to give my mouth a break.

01-03-2011 05:36:32 | More by drewba
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.95/5  rDev -5%

2010 Fresh hop celebration ale

Pure, shining copper when help to the light, but darker when resting on the table. There was a light tan - white head that formed, but quickly turned into lacing down the glass. I note very visible carbonation and a small amount of sediment at the bottom. Overall the beer looks inviting so we shall see what's to come.

Strong piney hops with a slight grapefruit. Hoppy enough to be an IPA, but not labeled as being such. I am super excited to see how this bitter lends itself to my palate. My guess is that it's likely balanced because even though the hops are strong they are not intrusive.

This is an excellent ale, hoppy with a rich malt, it's a beer that completely satisfies. As a gulp is swished around and I am able to take in a deep breath to aerate, sweet flavors are released from the malt and the bitter is pushed towards the back of my tongue. Unfortunately, the bitterness leaves a grapefruit rind grossness in my mouth that does more to prolong rather than invite my next sip. However, paired with a good meal this beer would be perfection.

Bitter and medium bodied ale that I unfortunately find as having an overpowering and distracting bitter aftertaste that prolongs approximately 30sec-1minute post consumption. I have had a few of Sierra Nevada's special releases ie. Northern hemisphere and Estate Homegrown, which have a less distracting bitter aftertaste and provide for a more enjoyable drink.

Although I do have some minor criticisms, this beer is excellent overall and does well to relax the body and spirit. I would say that the beer is seasonally accurate, reasonably priced, and a sure pleaser for beer drinkers of all kind. You'll have no troubles finishing this...Cheers.

01-03-2011 05:19:38 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of DelMontiac


4/5  rDev -3.8%

2010 12oz bottle was poured into heavy pint glass.

The look of Celebration is exactly how I remember - crystal clear, copper, 2 fingers of white froth that withers quickly to a thin blanket which stays with you to the last drop. This creates remarkable lacing and each sip is marked on the side of the glass.

The aroma is floral and citrus hops with a sweet maltiness and a bisquit tinge.

Celebration gives you floral/citrus hopiness up front, sweet bisquity maltiness in the middle, and nice bitter hopiness on the finish. Great balance.

The feel of Celebration is comfortably in the middle of the spectrum and slightly dry. A great place to be.

Celebration is highly drinkable considering all it's positive attributes. It's a mild IPA, one that won't have you belching a pine or spruce forrest all night long. Very good. This is why we run to the store upon its arrival so we don't miss out.

01-03-2011 00:09:36 | More by DelMontiac
Photo of degochapa


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

I struggled a little bit with this one.

It may be due to my really liking the Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Brew so much. I had both that night and really liked the Harvest over the Celebration.

A- Nice colors involved, poured with solid head.

S- Smell was much to similar to their amber

T- Good taste, still.. to close to their amber.

M- Held nice on the tongue.

D- I would choose their brew over the majority of other brews out there.

01-02-2011 04:58:34 | More by degochapa
Photo of chefhatt


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

I poured this beer in to a glass, it has a nice reddish body with a little bit of white frosty head. The smell is very hoppy. Its taste is very hoppy and with nice bitterness on the back of the tongue and some sweet malt. Great mouth feel and is nicely carbonated. I think this is very drinkable.

01-02-2011 02:18:19 | More by chefhatt
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

A - Pours a golden amber with a fluffy head. Carbonation working up from the bottom, a bit of lacing.

S - You can smell the hoppyness of this beer. The malts are sweet, a bit of a flowery scent.

T - Very good. Good amount of hops, the taste is quite flowery. It's a little sweet in the beginning and middle and then turns a good bitter on the end, it's spicy without the spice.

M - Not too much thickness there, coats the throat a bit, but nice and dry in the mouth. A little less carbonated than I expect

D - It's easy to drink, but I prefer to enjoy it over a while. The hops are pretty strong in this one so as to not become overbearing, it's better to just take small drinks and savor the flavor.

Overall - Simply delicious. I love the hoppyness of the beer. Flavors are great, as it's able to give that spiciness without the spice. A wonderful winter seasonal.

01-02-2011 01:00:23 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of wallaceandvomit


4/5  rDev -3.8%

a- nice golden amber color with a nice fluffy head that stuck around for a little while
s- smells nice and hoppy with just a hint of cinnamon and some sweet malts
t- tastes like it smells pretty much, nice hoppy beer with just a touch of xmas spirit
m- nice creamy but not so oily mouthfeel
d- fine beer we have here, hit the spot when i needed a holiday beer but still wanted my hops fix

01-01-2011 23:34:10 | More by wallaceandvomit
Photo of HopDiggityDawg

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%

cloudy copper appearance
nice head
great lacing
nose is decent
taste is realy good with a nice stickiness, taste surprises you. dry hoppiness without the stereotypical spice overload that you get with most winter brews.
Sierra Nevada knows the hop game. very sessionable.

01-01-2011 03:39:40 | More by HopDiggityDawg
Photo of magine


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a deep copper/amber color. Dirty, sediment filled cloudy brew - love it. Huge, massive chunky white cream head. Head remains an island throughout. Massive sticky lace. Tremendous looking brew.

Brew smells sweet fruit hops, grainy, malty, spices as well. Very good nose.

Brew is balanced; crisp and smooth. Hoppy; fruits and floral notes. Has a nice grainy malt as well. Biscuity malts, good solid mouthfeel - can session the hell out of this one. Finishes refreshing - slightly dry and a tad bitter. Oily resin in there as well.

This is a tremendous winter IPA. Very sessionable and very tasty - great stuff.

01-01-2011 02:46:58 | More by magine
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Poured from a bottle into a beer mug. The beer is a cloudy, bright copper-brown with a decent, thick, foamy 2 inch head. Smells are heavy in malt, citrus and spice. The smells are pretty robust and full. The beer has a heavy hops undertone, with top flavors of citrus and spice. The spices taste like coriander and nutmeg, and they do a good job of not overpowering with the spice. The beer has a smooth and round feel in mouth, with a sweet, crisp finish. The beer has a slightly bitter hops aftertaste, with some of the spices present there, as well. Very decent holiday beer, and very easy to drink.

01-01-2011 02:19:42 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of modernartblues


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

reviewed from notes

poured into Duvel Tulip

A: two finger head, perfect sheets of beautiful lacing, big pillow head that lasts for a long time with a big chunk floating on top for nearly the entire beer

N: hoppy, citrusy, grassy notes predominant, refreshing and not very dank

T: grass notes still prominent, edge of grapefruit, pleasant bitterness, this is a world class IPA

M: smooth and full, great for the style

D: a sessionable beer, which I frequent ridiculously often from October to December, the only tick off comes from the relatively high ABV (which smacks me around sometimes-- see my first comment about it being session-able)

This is a great beer that ages better than 99% of IPAs.

12-31-2010 21:24:21 | More by modernartblues
Photo of jeffwhit

Alberta (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

After having a disappointing bottle of the 2010 version, I am very pleased that Celebration on tap lives up to it's well deserved reputation. "Watered down" description does not apply now. For a guy who finds big 2IPAs like Hop Stoopid "sessionable" this is a lovely, more subdued change of pace. I will have to excersise lots of will power to stop with this one pint tonight.

A: very clear amber, doesn't look particularly exciting except for the lovely foamy head.
A: subtle citrus peel, nothing special.
T: nicely balanced, prominent hop finish.
M: certainly "weighty" enough for an IPA.
O: while this beer is really nothing special, it is the definition of a session IPA, and it's wide availability and affordability is a blessing we mustn't take for granted!

Served in a 16oz pint at London Grill, Philadelphia with some hot wings.

12-31-2010 02:43:29 | More by jeffwhit
Photo of rembrant


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

There is a wonderful and quaint myth that Celebration contains punkin pie spices or some coriander or minced up christmas trees...Then again you also may hear reindeer on the roof if you guzzle the whole 12 pack. For some beers...guzzle the 12,would seem absurd. With celebration,I find it a rather tempting notion.

There are no added spices just the elemental BEER things.

I love that art on the label/6pk/12 pk with the Poinsettas and the cabin in the snow. I gotta scan that and photoshop up christmas cards to all the kind relatives who stopped by in the last month bearing Cel;ebrations. Ironically, in my decades in Calif...I didn't have so many of these as I've had this month.

Pours slightly reddish amber,lots of cream colored froth and will lace the whole glass as you empty it.

Aromas a whiff of Citrus,breadiness,caramel.
Flavor - A brief hint of caramel toasted malt and then the hops. In the winter,I chill a bit less aggressively-and likely that accounts for some added malt substance.
The Malt side is the backup band here and several hops do a Do-Wop harmony with Grapefruit leading,but some piney,spicey and Ganga Resin detectable. Quite a nicely designed show. I think there's more malt background than SNPA and a bit more complex hops. I recall Torpedo being a bit more bitter but here the hops get to show off flavor more.

All in all, a superior IPA and that's something as there's a lot of good IPA's. That $15 12 pack price...obviously is a factor too as I seemed to snatch them up passing through the supermarket.
I would not quite say the mouthfeel is sticky,yet there's a bit of that from the hops,and the body is "right".

Drinkably, not the lightesrt and wettest but I'm reviewing the second bottle which I'd opened about 15 min after finishing the first. Usually, I space my beers. I even peered into the bottle to be sure it really was empty. Alas...it was.

Makes the grey skies of winter a bit more cheery. Not a budget killer. Each bottle seems to feel like a damn good idea. Not sure why this seems more than it is...must be those mythical spices. Jingle all the way.

12-30-2010 23:43:38 | More by rembrant
Photo of MamaMeier


3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

A - Has a redish, brownish tint - good foam

S - Smells fruity and has hints of parfume

T - Very floral, with bitter after taste, parfume taste

M - Smooth, unfortunately tastes a bit watered down to me

D - Smooth, clean finish, have had better IPAs

12-30-2010 20:49:50 | More by MamaMeier
Photo of madelf


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

taste great has a piny taste makes your mouth feel happy. this is a
good beer for the holidays goes good with a sharp cheese and some hard bread. great Brussels lace on the glass smell is flowery
could drink this all night long. i would recommend this beer to all my friends

12-30-2010 20:33:04 | More by madelf
Photo of SHODriver


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

A: Beautiful deep gold color with an off white head that sticks around for quite awhile.
S: Spicy hop aroma with a touch of sweetness.
T: A bitter spicy punch starts things off with some sweet caramel malt flavors with a touch of a toasted flavor finish it off with a bittersweet aftertaste that lingers for awhile and leaves you wanting more. Plenty of hops on the back end as well remind you that this beer is made for hop lovers.
M: Sort of heavy on the mouth with enough carbonation that you know it's there. Very smooth though
D: Good drinkability. this beer seems like it's gonna sit a little heavy so one should be enough but two wouldn't be an issue. I don't think this one would be too sessionable.

Overall: a very tasty seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada that I look forward to every year.

12-30-2010 05:01:21 | More by SHODriver
Photo of psuKinger


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Bottle poured into standard shaker pint glass. No freshness date that I can see on the bottle.

A: Pours a nice, moderately sized white frothy head with "pancake batter bubbles" in the middle. The beer is a very deep orange, but glimmers in the light so I can see the carbonation rising.

S: Smell is of sweet hop oils, like an IPA slightly past it's prime.

T: Big flavors of citrus and grapefruit punch through early, but are followed by mild "Christmas" flavors of cinnamin. Maybe a little coriander?

Far from my first encounter with SN Celebration, this beer always drinks so smooth for an IPA. Just a smooth, approachable IPA with a reasonable amount of citrus/grapefruit.

M: A smooth brew that falls apart lightly in the mouth, it has appropriate carbonation and finishes with a good hoppy dry finish.

D: Another great one from Sierra Nevada, this is quite drinkable. As far as Christmas Beers goes, it's not a *typical one* because it's base style is an IPA. But I love IPA, and I would drink this year-round if they brewed it year-round. It's excellent.

12-29-2010 23:22:37 | More by psuKinger
Photo of DeanMoriarty


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

2010 Celebration Fresh Hop Ale

Picked up a 22oz bomber (love these fat stubbies Sierra does) at Town N Country Market in SF for $4.99 and poured it into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light honey-like hue with a decent head that sticks around for a few sips, leaving good amounts of lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: A ton of carmel malt and toasted grains, slightly bready with a nice hoppy finish - citrus peals and earthy pine.

T: Good amount of bitter hop up front - grapefruit rinds, earthy moss, sweet resinous sativa backed by cereal flakes, toasted grains and nutty carmel malt. Flavors are balanced out nicely, but the hop lingers and dominates the overall flavor which is a good thing.

M: Medium bodied, extremely dry and well carbonated with a lingering bitterness from the hops.

D: All night drinker no problem.

12-29-2010 03:49:47 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of SnowGoon99


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours an amber color with hints of straw to orange in the light. Head is slightly off-white with great lacing down the glass. Aroma is somewhat subdued but i do catch some grassiness from the hops.

Flavors that instantly jump out are bitterness from the hops as well as a grassiness or earthiness. Also hints of caramel come through behind the hops. The bitterness it almost perfect. It's completely balanced with the maltiness and is not overdone at all. What this calculates to is an extremely balanced beer which is hard to do these days with the hop bombs out there. It fits perfectly to style.

Overall this is really a awesome beer. It does what it says it does and tastes great. You could order multiple pints of these in the pub or take down a six pack. Great job by the Sierra Nevada guys.

12-29-2010 03:11:25 | More by SnowGoon99
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,762 ratings.