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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.

7,681 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,681
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 191
Gots: 407 | 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: 7,681 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yuenglings


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

A:Nice copper color with a small ring of head which leaves a nice laceing all the way to the end.
S:strong hoppy smell citrus and piney/flowers
T:Hops at first with a nice sweetness in the middle ending with a good strong piney hoppyness.
M:Smooth with god carbonation leaves your mouth wanting more.
D:This is a very drink able beer i might buy another case this year but prolly buy at least one case every year they come out with this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 19:18:51 | More by yuenglings
Photo of MQ4188


5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not a huge reviewer and I am going far out on a limb with this ale.

This is the best large production bottled beer I have ever tasted. Sierra Nevada hit a "home run" with this one in 2010. This is real close to the Sierra Nevada - Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale they produced in 2010 in the 24 Ounce bottle.

The appearance was beautiful with a two finger, snow white head and a perfect copper color.

The smell had intense fresh hoppiness but floral and citrus notes as well.

The taste was amazing and hoppy and a bite that was not ridiculous.

Mouthfeel and drinkability was outstanding and one that was smooth and fresh with a lot of hop character that you don't see in an American IPA produced in volume.

If someone picked this one up thinking it was just like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale , then they got a big surprise! For the good; I must add.

If you are of the type that feel it is impossible to get all "5" ratings in a "mass produced" ale then I guess we will just have to disagree. I rated it as high because I wanted to give a "mass produced" beer the credit I feel it deserved.

Sure, I feel that there are many more that are different and better in, cask, limited 750ml, firkins, and the like, but this one was 12 ounce bottle and unbelievable for an ale which you can pick up in a grocery store. Find me another 6.8 abv. in a grocery store that is even close to the caliber of this, then we can compare. Until then, this one gets an A+ for an American IPA, in this category

Bravo, Sierra Nevada for taking it to the next level!!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 19:09:11 | More by MQ4188
Photo of tburus


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Amber-gold transparent liquid with one-finger off white head. Vigorous carbonation that lasted through most of the session.

Smell: Hoppy with indiscriminate spices. Didn't seem to change much with increase in temperature.

Taste: Nice level of bitterness from the hops. Subtle spicing, not nearly as strong as I expected. Occasionally hit a burst of lemon.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness lingered an appropriate amount of time and did not overpower like some I feel some IPAs do. Again, surprised I didn't feel more spicy after notes. Felt like there was slightly too much carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a highly. Drinkable beer. Nothing over powering about it, just a nice, subtle, belly-warming winter selection. And at about $3/six cheaper than the Bell's Christmas Ale sitting next to it on the shelf, this would be an easy choice to make again.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 14:53:19 | More by tburus
Photo of ryantaussig

New York

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

Solid head and a good nose on this beer. Smell is fantastic with excellent amounts of hop aroma and vegetal notes all over the place. Obviously hops are the star. Not well balanced, but this one is all about the hop bitterness so it's appropriate. Finish is a bit dry and the body is quite smooth for the style. Relatively easy to drink for an IPA. I'm surprised it didn't push me to a bitter burnout. The bitterness is obviously strong, but somehow it hits me the way Arrogant Bastard does. I can just keep drinking it.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 22:13:34 | More by ryantaussig
Photo of afksports

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Blind Tiger and I can say it is the perfect lunch beer (grilled cheese, tomato soup).

Appearance is really great. Lots of head, lovely lacing, even solid legs. Head remains on top throughout. Smell is sorta nondescript for all the... spices. :-) Still some hop notes, grapefruity, malts
come out too. Taste is good. Not a hop bomb, but definitely and IPA. Complex malts.

It's highly drinkable if you're eating Murray's cheeses melted on your tongue, and it feels full while you do it.

A win for Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2010 18:11:50 | More by afksports
Photo of tjsdomer2


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

Appearance: Cloudy and yeasty. Nice tan foam. Very similar to Pale Ale, maybe a tad darker. Good lacing as well.

Smell: Not quite as strong as Pale Ale in my opinion. Subtle citrus and hops with a good amount of sweet malt and cinnamon.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Great taste! Strong pine hops, reminds me of a Christmas tree. Also great spiced orange peel. The taste hits it out of the park. Great! Good balanced mouthfeel as well, more so than Pale Ale.

Drinkability: Bitterness makes this a good session beer, but might make this hard to drink a lot of. That's nitpicky though. Great.

Overall: A more refined version of Pale Ale, which I also like.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 06:16:04 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of neilgavigan


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Not quite clear copper color with a thick and resilient off-white head. Great lacing.

Aromas of citrus and pine from the hops dominate but the sweetness is detectable. The same goes for the taste, which starts with a bready sweetness but immediatly progresses through pine and citrus with a long hoppy and yet somehow sweet finish. The booze is hidden very well under the hops. Medium body and good carbonation.

Definitely a good IPA and great for drinking near a Christmas tree. The smell of noble pine from my tree mixed with the complex hops from this brew are a good combination.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 06:08:37 | More by neilgavigan
Photo of BennyL1


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

Poured from 12 oz bottle in SA Perfect Pint

A - This beer looks great. A nice amber color with a very good fingers worth of foamy white head that stays with the beer. Also leaves very nice lacing along the glass.

S - Loads of pine and citrus aromas. Just what you would expect from this beer.

T - Definitely citrus and pine up front with the right amount of malt to balance it out. Bitter, but its not to strenuous on the taste buds.

M - Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Very smooth as well

D - Very high. I'm going to get another right after I submit this. Another great offering from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 03:55:53 | More by BennyL1
Photo of fatmcq


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

A: Dark amber, slightly opaque. Good lacing, head lasted.

S: Hoppy, floral, piney, spicy... this ale has it all!

T: Magical. It tastes hoppy, smokey, and bitter-sweet.

M: Perfect amount of carbonation, great resonance.

D: Great IPA. Pure American hoppiness, but not overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 02:25:01 | More by fatmcq
Photo of thegodfather1076


4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Label artwork is very tasteful and classy in the traditional SN style. Give one the feel of a sunny winter day. Always love SN bottles and artwork!

Appearance - SNCA pours out a orangish/copper color with a loose white head that sticks around and laces nicely down the glass.

Smell - This is def an IPA like it claims. I cold smell different hints of citrus and the classic IPA piney smell. Absolutely wonderful!!!

Taste - I want to start of by saying that I love IPAs so and this is one of the 3 best that I have had!!!! Taste goes along with the smell. Citrus/Piney taste throughout with a nice smooth bitterness on the backend.

Mouthfeel - A thinner light bodied beer which makes for a smooth feel in the mouth with a nice amount of carbonation that gives the feel of a more full bodied offering.

Drinkability - Very drinkable if you like IPAs. Smooth, tasty, and very enjoyable.

I really enjoyed this offerening because it was an IPA which is different from most holiday offerings. I would definitely recommend this to any IPA lover as a good holiday brew(Note: 2010 edition).

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 01:12:17 | More by thegodfather1076
Photo of csiewert


4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow... I love this beer. Many thanks to the guy who left one in my fridge after a party! Very strong hop aroma and flavor, but isn't too bitter when you drink it. The finish is surprisingly clean given the amount of hops. Beautiful orange amber color when poured.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 22:00:21 | More by csiewert
Photo of DrinkingDrake


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thick 2 finger head formed that slowly dissipated to puddles of thin foam. Golden brown/copper color which has a very thin haze.
The hops smell great but are not overpowering. There is a great balance of aroma between hops and malts.
The smell description carries over to the taste. The balance between hops and malts is almost perfect here. The citrus flavors from the hops are present at first and the bitterness is in your face but is instantly subdued to a more earthy texture. The aftertaste with the balanced bitterness and the astringent feel it leaves behind is great.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 19:57:17 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of DannyDan


3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. One of the best pours ever for a beer. The copper colored beer has great retention, lacing and carbonation. Seeing this beer makes me want to drink it.
S. The smell is a citrus, minty, and pine aroma.
T. The taste is a combination of orange, lemon, and grapefruit with some pine, caramel, green tea along with a bitter aftertaste. So far this has been the best American IPA I have tasted even though I do admit that I have never tried an IPA until recently.
M. The mouthfeel is a creamy smooth medium bodied beer that is pleasant on the mouth.
D. This is a nice smooth drinkable beer and even though I am not a fan of IPA's I will have to say I would recommend this for anyone that likes this style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 07:23:34 | More by DannyDan
Photo of ibbjamin


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Celebration - I'm about at the end of my first 6pack of 12oz bottles of the season and I've had a pint at my local watering hole. For some reason, this is the first year I've had this one. After having a few, I'm damn ready to write a review. I pour this one into a standard pint glass.

Half inch of off white, loosely packed head. Rather cloudy and dark orange in color. Good lacing and a nice layer of head retention. A slow and constant stream of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

A wet hoppy nose with pine and citurs mainly, but still leaning on the balanced side.

The taste, like the nose, is of dripping wet hops. I seem to have liked the first couple the most and thought they were the most hoppy. The taste has grown to be more fatigued from my perspective and definitely leans more on the balanced side with the caramel malts coming through more and more.

Heavy carbonation in the mouth gives it a prickly character. This one is on the lighter side of medium body and has a crisp finish with a balanced aftertaste.

No problem putting this one back at all. I think there are other hoppy offerings I prefer to the 2010 Celebration, but this certainly was a welcomed change of pace and I'll surely be checking it next year again. Solid B+ beer for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 07:22:44 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of rlee1390


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Orange-ish red. Foam head of about half an inch that stays for a while. Does not give a perfect lacing while drinking but some lacing remains

S-Citrus and Hops

T-Starts sweet with citrus notes and ends bitter. Well balanced with lots of hops. The taste buds at the front of my mouth just water when I am done taking a sip

M-Smooth and makes my mouth water

D-A warming beer, great on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 05:05:14 | More by rlee1390
Photo of RunForYourBeer


3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Edition, poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a thin white head.

S: Lots of citrus/pine hops here.

T: Follows the smell. Lots of citrus and pine hops. I get some faint breadiness in the aftertaste.

M: Medium with plenty of carbonation.

D: Moderate.

This has a bit more carbonation than I would like but it gives a nice change of pace from the normal winter seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 02:50:26 | More by RunForYourBeer
Photo of mdwalsh


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: One finger head with very nice lace. Very clear body colored light Amber.

S: The aroma could be stronger. but it's nice. Maybe a little too hop-strong.

T: The hops from the aroma follow through into the taste, but it's a beautiful balance of citrus and spice. The malt is ok, it could be stronger.

M: Sharp from the hops, but it still has some body.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 16:39:16 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of tapman


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

2010 vintage. A great seasonal since, this being an IPA and all, aging it would break down the hop oils so you are REQUIRED to drink it right away, unlike Bigfoot. Also I will be comparing this one to the wet hop pale I had before this, 'Hopivore' by New Holland, since they are both similar and I am sampling them side by side.

Moderately light orange body supports a big 2+ finger head. Looks similar to the previous beer I sampled except with a great head. Makes a big difference.

Earth, vegetal hops, some musty grass, not bright or 'west coast style' as other offerings from this company. Raw alpha acids give off pine and even smells bitter.

Full-bodied spicy vegetation with a robust, not sweet, malt backbone. Soft bitterness is very satisfying. The 'Hopivore' was much more vegetal and used hops grown in Michigan. Perhpas a fresh hop brew just isn't meant to be brewed with low-cohumulone hops.

Carbonation is less than I expected and the brew is a little dry, but juicy during the taste and doesn't dry out until after the finish. While a little vegetal, it is more of a spice flavor than a bland flavor. Maybe it's the west coast hops, or maybe it's the great brewers, or maybe it's both.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 03:12:32 | More by tapman
Photo of larryi86


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

24 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Deep red with hints of orange and a two finger off white head.

S- Citrus and pine hops.

T- Citrus notes up front, bitter bit in the finish, could use more of a malt flavor in the middle, it is there, but very weak.

M- Light,crispy, smooth, refreshing.

D- Easy to drink and have a few. For the price it is a really nice drink for the holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 02:13:39 | More by larryi86
Photo of ColdPoncho


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a lovely rosy amber color with a medium rolling head with good lacing and good retention. A beautiful-looking beer.

Smells of citrusy and piney hops, with a strong malt sweetness, almost like a dry wine or belgian dark ale. Quite interesting.

Nice spicy hops and light but complex malt backbone. It's got somewhat of a warming sensation on the way down, and a dynamic aftertaste, moving from bitter to dry. It's really quite fine, though the body of the taste has a tough time living up to the nose.

It's pretty thin, but not too light. Best of both worlds?

While I'd love to drink several of these, it's not necessarily the easiest to drink, even if it is good.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 18:49:00 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, dark copper/red from a stout 12 oz bottle with no ABV or freshness date on the label. Solid, solid frothy head that stays for an eternity. The piney hoppy aroma hits you the moment the bottle is cracked open. Beautiful lacing as you keep taking mouthfuls of this beauty. Strong on the hops, with a hint of sweet caramel, but the pine-hops flavor overpowers in a perfectly balanced way. Hands down one of the best IPA's around. It will leave you with a nice buzz, drinkability is good, but I would recommend keeping the consumption in check. It is a very delicious brew, which leaves you wanting more. A solid beer from Sierra Nevada, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 05:09:29 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of SiepJones


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a murky copper with an inch and a half of fluffy/sticky head. The head is slow to dissipate and lots of it stays attached to the sides as I empty my glass.

S: Sweet and Piney hop scent waft out of my glass. It smells like I'm standing in the middle of the forest.

T: There is a touch of caramel malt on the front of the beer. The malt flavor disappears quickly as the floral and pine of the cascade and centennial hop flavors take over. There is a slight bight at the end of this beer from chinook hops.

M: Medium body mouthfeel. I want to say it borders on being chewy. There is a lot of flavor going on with some tongue tingling carbonation.

D: Very drinkable beer with lots of hop flavor, and low ABV. Celebration has lots of flavor without blowing your taste buds to shreds and that is what keeps me coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 04:17:29 | More by SiepJones
Photo of gregshead


4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper orange with 2 fingers of head that dissipates quickly.

S: Caramel and pine aromas.

T: Taste follows the smell. Nice dry finish. I believe the fresh hops are very noticable in the tail-end/after-taste.

M: Smooth with a good carbonation feel to it. A little more thick/syrupy than some IPAs.

D: I love the fresh hops. Reminds me of Deschutes Inversion but the fresh hops put it a notch above. Will be getting multiple sixers of this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 04:05:55 | More by gregshead
Photo of brewmudgeon


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SN celebration, bottled 281st day of 2010

84th day of 2011, around 170 days of age, and they seem to have peaked. probably peaked around 4-5 months and now starting to fade. the odd flavor diminished by 3-4 months, allowing the taste score to hit 4 easily, along with drinkability.

a 4-4.5 the resinousness takes center stage, with unusual webs of dot matrix lacing clinging to the glass.

s 4 spruce, tobacco, grapefruit. hmmff, tobacco in an ipa, what is with that anyways.

t 3.5-4 it's pine and grapefruit pithy hoppy it's sweet it's bitter, with the bitterness slightly dominating. there's also an odd flavor going on within the pith--onion? some evenings the oddness predominates, but sometimes I barely detect it. let's see, no summit hops, maybe the combo of centennial and chinook?

m 4.5 now that's a quality mouthfeel, just a notch below the very best for softness, suppleness, and resiniciousness.

d 4 apparently I've been travelling on the assumption that I already reviewed this beer. guess I had instead decided I would have nothing to add to the many reviews. oh well, screw modesty and humility. celebration is very good, varies a bit from year to year. this year there's a lot of lingering bitterness, but not as much aroma as i'd prefer. still solid as a brick house.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 03:30:08 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of Jason


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

12oz brown bottle with a vintage 2010 date on the label.

What an impressive head, very few beers show a thick lacing like Celebration does. Brassy amber color shows a bright clarity. Sharp citric and minty hop notes in the nose with some toasted grain in the back, a pretty big aroma. Medium bodied with a deep crispness. Hop bitterness is pretty sharp as it easily cuts through the malt from sip to sip. Hop flavors range from tobacco to mint, grapefruit peel to green tea. Toasted grain and a mild caramel maltiness lay deep beneath the hop character. Warming alcohol pokes through with a quick fume and clean fruitiness. Finishes bitter with a quick kiss of malt. This is the typical veteran hophead's first pick for winter seasonals and a great pick at that.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 02:10:34 | More by Jason
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,681 ratings.