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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.

7,822 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,822
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 199
Gots: 463 | 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: 7,822 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shaw
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Shaw, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

HopHead84, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

allforbetterbeer, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of HopTaco
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

HopTaco, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

JAXSON, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of Stoutman88
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Stoutman88, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of tozz8
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

tozz8, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of canuckns
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

canuckns, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of MinnesotaRIS
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

MinnesotaRIS, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of TCMike
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

TCMike, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of togaman91
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

togaman91, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of tykees88
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tykees88, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of readbaron
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

readbaron, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of KevinBrewer
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

KevinBrewer, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

metter98, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of DoktorZee
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

DoktorZee, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of xpoweruser
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very Nice amber/orange color. Clear with some sediment. Fluffy white head that sticks around and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma: Lots of hops! Pine and citrus dominate. Some caramel and bready malt notes.

Taste: Piney and citrusy hops slam the palate, amazing, and also it has a very fresh taste. Nice caramel and bready malt undertones, with some fruity notes. Very slight alcohol kick.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, medium bodied. Perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Awesome IPA, with a nice hop bite! The beer is also very fresh tasting, which is typical with all Sierra Nevada beers. Sierra Nevada does not know how to brew a bad beer, top-notch brew!

xpoweruser, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of RossCain
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a semi-translucent copper/orange with a foamy, lush 1" beige colored head. The head lingered for quite some time until deciding to settle to a nice cap. Tight lacing and the beer left wonderful, full rings that stuck to the side of the glass all the way down to the last sip. Overall a very impressive presentation.

S: Upfront you are hit by a bouquet of smells dominated by fresh hops. Predominately floral and piney in scent with undertones of light citrus (tangerine being the first thing that comes to mind) which overall gives a nice, sweet balance to the nose.

T: Full forward on the hops upon sipping. Dominant notes of floral hops make themselves known combined with bitter pine taste very characteristic of the dry hopping. Minor notes of citrus (tangerine, orange) are also present which give a pleasantly subtle sweetness to edge off the bitter. Finishes with a moderate bitter on the palate well balanced by a simultaneously present subtle sweet caramel malt profile. A very well rounded beer in all, but still leaves just a little to be desired.

M: Medium body which is slightly slick in terms of mouthfeel. Possesses a lively, prickly carbonation which is very refreshing alongside the lightly dry finish.

D: Crisp, flavorful, and very very drinkable. Overall a very refreshing and well balanced beer. Definitely worth picking up a 12 pack or more for a great go-to beer. I couldn't see the taste getting old.

RossCain, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of adamhimself
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Celebration Ale is one of those beers that just grows on you over time. The flavor seems to vary from batch to batch, but you can taste the similarities. The pros are its not super heavy and the hop flavor is quite fresh. Though, sometimes the hop flavor verges on IPA and you would expect a little more "spice" since its a seasonal. Overall, its an excellent beer that would be good anytime of year, not just winter.

adamhimself, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of NefariousR
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a tulip pint glass. 2010 vintage.

A - Dark, orangish-amber with a thick, foamy off-white head, sticky and lacy.
S - Sweet and zesty lemon with pungent hops and a hint of malt.
T - Hoppy bitterness and citrus notes upfront, undercut by sweet malt nuttiness.
M - Medium-bodied with a long, sticky finish. A slight bit of alcohol warmth on the throat.
D - A fantastic winter beer for anyone with even a slight preference for hoppy flavor; I could drink this forever. Another great brew from Sierra Nevada.

NefariousR, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of bbb099
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Steve's Pizza.

A - Clear, orange-ish amber color with foamy beige head and good amount of lacing.

S - I could not get much of the aroma seeing how there were lots of food around at the time, but I picked up some citrus hops and caramel malt.

T - Moderate amount of hop flavoring that is followed by a sweet, caramel malt taste and citrus laced finish. Texture was very creamy.

M - Almost full-bodied. Moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy.

D - Drinkability is quite high. Exactly what you would expect from this brewery.

bbb099, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of aranheaney
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Psyched to have my lovely wife find this in a local grocery store for $15.99 per 12 pack!!!

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH Snifter

A-beautiful copper orange with pillowy head and lacing that totally hangs out

S-Awesome, citrus, pine and fresh hops (as advertised)

T-Really good, follows the nose, but with little or no bite, hops on the back-end make it even more enjoyable

M-very good, carbonation is just right, the hops are perfectly balanced

D-Exceptional, too bad this is a seasonal, because I think I would make it my year-round brew, maybe a run on those ridiculously low priced 12 packs is in the near future...

aranheaney, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I saw Fresh Hop Ale...from Sierra Nevada...I got excited!!!! You can smell pine and citrus at the pop of the top. The hop in this beer is probably what most people would like to taste in the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Color is fine and a good head after the poor. Cant go wrong with this one...enjoy!

WoodBrew, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I purchased this beer as a single at Corks and Kegs in Richmond, VA.

The beer poured beautifully with a generous, mighty head (I even stated such out loud to my wife whom was unamused). The lacing was chunky and the head dissipation was lumpy on it's way down, very healthy looking foam. The liquid itself was rather honey/amber if I had to categorize it and wonderfully clean. It was so clear and finished looking that I could see what was on the TV screen through the glass.

I was a little displeased with the nose on it I honestly couldn't get but a faint citrus and a slight malt undertone.

It was great to drink, it was incredibly refreshing and to be honest, as a new-ish beer drinker I'm not sure what words to put on the things I was tasting but it was fabulous.

It felt nice on the mouth, well hidden ethanol affect even at 6.8. Not a thin feeling brew but not thick either.

I could drink about ten of these in a session.. I'm not promising that I would still be standing by the end of it but I assure you, I would gladly drink ten in a session.


engagechad, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of Tripphop
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada. Pours an amber orange, very attractive color with a frothy tan head that sticks around for a minute. Aromas are piney and earthy, no citrus notes, very dark hop profile. Malt backbone is solid, bready malt that matches the earthy, crisp conclusion to the taste. Nicely balanced, expected a little more in your face hops for a "fresh hop ale" dont recall seeing that on the bottle previously.

Tripphop, Jan 09, 2011
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,822 ratings.