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.

7,695 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,695 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of steveh


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

Never reviewed this one in the past -- a perfect, 13° day in N. Illinois to fit the beer!

A -- Hazy amber-orange with a resilient, foamy, off white head.

S -- Piny, citrus, spicy & earthy nose. The vaguest of biscuit malt back.

T -- Spicy, pine resin hops up front that blend into citrusy esters. Biscuit malt flavor in the middle is low and clean with some mild sweetness that helps to balance, but certainly doesn't overpower, the resiny bitterness in the finish and aftertaste.

M -- Body is medium with the bitterness creating a near astringent sensation in the mouthfeel. Otherwise, the mouthfeel behind the resins is rather smooth, not at all unattenuated.

D -- This beer is delicious and adds to its drinkability, but the resinous mouthfeel and alcohol become a little fatiguing. This would be a nice sipper on a cold afternoon in a quiet, cozy pub.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 22:11:41 | More by steveh
Photo of TheBrewo


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

The brew pours a rich golden-orange color with vigorous carbonation. It is otherwise translucent, with the tiniest bits of yeasty haze dancing about. It holds a pancake battery-looking tan head of two fingers which, as it slowly recedes, leaves thick lacing around the glass. The aroma is of light, clean malts, with bright, soapy, and piney hops edging them out. There are also hints of fruit, with cherries and grapefruits getting the nod. Finally, there is an earthy smokiness to the very back of the nose. The taste begins, naturally, with hops, and a little green apple. They (the hops) are not as robust as expected, and are almost sweet and creamy. The malts crash in through the middle, mellowing things out quite a bit. The sip finishes with bitterness from citrus fruit, rejuvenated hops, and a curious bittersweet chocolate flavor. The same dominate the aftertaste, with pine from the hops standing out. The mouth is left more dry than coated by this medium bodied brew. The carbonation is also medium, and palpable, but not unpleasant. The abv is average and the drinkability is hindered, if at all, by the bitterness of the hops, which make you want to take your time.

Overall, this was a nice refreshing brew. What we liked most about this was how elegant it appeared, almost glowing. Everything else was certainly enjoyable, and the whole cone hops make for an interesting tasting. When we first starting sipping it tasted chocolaty, as if it were three-quarters American IPA and one-quarter chocolate stout which, again, made this quite a memorable selection.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 04:21:37 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of TheDudeBeers


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

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass

A - Very clear with a nice burnt orange color. About 2 fingers of head poured aggressively.

S - A nice combination of Citrus, Hops, and Pine.

T - A nice mix of malty sweetness, hops, citrus, and pine notes. A really balanced taste.

M - This beer tastes a little heavier than your average IPA but thats not a bad thing. The flavors really linger around.

D - I could drink this beer all day. One of my Favorite IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 04:12:41 | More by TheDudeBeers
Photo of domtronzero


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear light orange copper with a big, long lasting, frothy, whitish head. Lacing left throughout.

S - Piny citrusy hops, slightly resinous. Light bready caramel malt sweetness and light esters.

F/M - Sweet bready malts with a touch of caramel. Lightly resinous piny hops, some citrusy flavors. Medium high bitterness with a clean, dry finish. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering caramelly malts and piny hop flavor.

D - Pretty good, and pretty easy to put down. Quite enjoyable and flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 02:22:01 | More by domtronzero
Photo of ejimhof


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

A- Pours a large head with lots of lacing.

S- Pine and hops are present.

T- Slighty bitter and slightly sweet which is how I prefer my IPA's.

M- Medium bodied and dry.

D- Like all other Sierra Nevada beers you can predict how this beer tastes and it most often is a very good beer. This one fits the mold.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 00:23:55 | More by ejimhof
Photo of skenyon1811

New York

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours into pint.

A: The perfect clear orange color. About an inch and a half of head. Great retention. Thick tan foam.

S: Awesome pine and citrus aromas. A little sweet scent but mostly all hops. It smells amazing!

T: It's a delicious IPA with a hint of spice. I love it. It is perfectly balanced. I get a great bitter pine flavor and a smooth sweet malt. There is a slight copper taste that I usually don't like but it works great in this beer. Very complex.

M: Medium body and excellent carbonation. Nice tingle.

D: Easily a sessionable beer. I have done it. I love this beer. It honestly does not get much better than this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 22:08:23 | More by skenyon1811
Photo of airheadmtrcycle


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

SN Celebration pours a clear, spectacular orange with a 3-finger foamy head that dissipates quickly but leaves lacing galore. Tiny bubble are rising constantly. What a beautiful site for a beer lover.

Smells of various citrus fruits, like grapefruit and sweet tangerine. Name a citrus fruit and you can probably find it. It's all about hops, but I smell some gratuitous malt that might give the tangerine its sweet smell. Bang! The bitterness gets you at first sip. Boy do these guys know their hops. As hoppy as it is it's still balanced. Don't get me wrong, everything is skewed in the hop direction, but it doesn't taste forced or unnatural. Just what you'd expect from a great west coast brewery like Sierra Nevada. As it warms I'm getting some pleasant pine-y flavors as well.

The mouthfeel is medium on the palate with refreshing carbonation. The hops are best tasted on the top of the tongue. Swirling around the palate really yields a full appreciation for this tasty ale. Very easy to drink, and I'll have no problem finishing the 24oz. bottle.

Celebration is a must try for west coast IPA fans. This is not my first go at this one, but the first time I concentrated on the details. I had one on-tap a couple of weeks ago and it was really good, but I was out with friends and not concentrating on the beer as much as the conversation etc. I'm gonna go back and try it on tap again and take some notes.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 20:39:43 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of ArrogantBastage


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

A: Very thick, white head floating above a sea of deep orange/amber, nearly burnt orange. Great clarity on this beer. Head slowly dissipates leaving some heavy lacing on the glass. Very thin whitish head left for the remainder of the glass.

S: Not much at first until the beer warms slightly. Notes of deep malt present with some very subtle hop aroma.

T: Rich in malt and hops. Slightly spicy up front then mellowing out to a nice dry finish. Hops linger long after the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a mellow carbonation level.

D: Nice beer to savor but easy to have multiple in one session.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 17:38:15 | More by ArrogantBastage
Photo of vette2006c5r

South Dakota

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a darkish golden color with a small lacing head. The smell is a bit weak and a bit harsh. The taste isnt weak, very dry with a strong. Taste very simlair to the pale ale with some cinimmon flavors. Harsh after tase might turn some people off. Overall i found it very enjoyable, much reccomended.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 05:03:25 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of JunkYardJake


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

12oz bottle to pint glass.
Pours a clear, deep copper with quite a head. Big and creamy and lasts forever. Thick rings the whole way down the glass. Think there are a few hops in there? Well if the head doesn't give it away, the nose will. Truck loads of grapefruit and other citrus aromas flood the senses. Palate starts out with lots of hops. Fruity and piney with alot of raw flavor. Finish is dry and bitter to the core. This is American IPA at it's purest. Not alot of balance but it works. This is a nice break from all the spiced up malty heavyweights that are typical for the holiday season. Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 03:44:58 | More by JunkYardJake
Photo of wahhmaster


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, light brown color. Has a large, frothy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. This smells the most citrusy of just about any IPA I've ever had. A slight bit of malitness in the nose as well.

Taste: Citrusy and grassy hops notes throughout. Has a bit of graininess and maltiness towards the finish. Leaves a nice grainy aftertaste. This is what IPAs should taste like in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied yet crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: A superior IPA and really the benchmark for the style in my opinion. I look forward to having this every winter and every winter I'm more impressed by it. If you haven't had this beer yet, you definitely need to reshuffle your priorities.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 15:07:40 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of rdub


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

Received as a gift from a co-worker. Beautiful bottle opened and poured into my snifter. The copper color was beautiful and festive with an awesome foamy white fluffy head. So nice I took a picture of it. The smell was fantastic and just about what i expected from my first wet hopped ale. The taste was certainly hop forward with a nice malt in the back. Strong hop for sure. Mouthfeel was medium and I did get the "drinkable" quality the previous reviewers had mentioned. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 13:32:54 | More by rdub
Photo of uustal

Rhode Island

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

Pours a beautiful reddish copper with a two-finger white head. Lacing is off the charts and the retention is great as well. Really awesome looking beer. Hoppy aroma, mainly pine and citrus. Hops off the bat. Pine leads the way as the bitter hops lead. Very small grapefruit notes balance out the hop profile a bit. Despite the hops, sweet, thick, caramel and bready malt show up a bit until the end, where the bitter pine hops take over again. Very fresh vibe to this beer which is nice about a seasonal IPA. Guaranteed freshness, unless you're seeing it out of season...

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 05:49:35 | More by uustal
Photo of Erish


4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

A: clear coppery orange color, luxurious, ridiculously long-lasting cream colored head, never-ending cap, and tenacious, rope-like lacing. If you don't salivate looking at this beer, you might be a zombie.

S: orange blossom, melange of citrus fruits, muffin-like sweetness, floral hop aromas.

T: tastes like a lemon muffin up front, and then the palate is inundated with a bonanza of tart citrus fruit, nectarine, perhaps some tropical fruit (mango?) and marzipan, the finish is long, dry, and very hopped, with tart grapefruit and grassy/piny/floral hop notes.

M: medium-bodied, silky, moderate carbonation, mouth-coating.

D: I love this beer! Beers like this are turning me into a bit of a hop-head, I'm afraid!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 01:45:10 | More by Erish
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
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,695 ratings.