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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.

7,607 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,607
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 188
Gots: 393 | 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: 7,607 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a brassy orange hue - rosy in the heart, gold around the edges -- with two fingers of stiff beige foam. Thick bands of lace as the head mellows.

Smell -- Bright and bitter: Pine resin, earthy vegetation, and grapefruit pith. Toasted malt, dab of honey, drop of cane juice. Nothing off, though a bit ho-hum.

Taste -- More bright grapefruit hop notes in the taste than in the nose - pith and zest. Pine resin also very present, crescendos in the finish. Sturdy malt backbone, more than just a jumping off point to the hops - toasty with mild malt sweetness akin to dark honey. Lingering flavors of resin, pith, and honey.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with nice carbonation. Works well with the flavor profile. Immensely drinkable.

Drinkability - Not bad in the least. Very balanced, though still definitely an IPA. Easy drinker, good choice for the cold months ahead. Admittedly, I still prefer Torpedo over this tasty seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 03:50:48 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of russwbeck


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

A: Deep red, almost mahogany pour with a full, thick white head. Beautiful retention and lacing.

S: Hops, hops, and yes a few more hops. Dark malty character in the background though.

T: Hops dominate the malts, but I still get the roastiness at the finish of the drink. Bitter and dry as an aftertaste.

MF: Medium bodied and good carbonation tie this together nicely.

D: Great beer. Look forward to it every season.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 03:43:46 | More by russwbeck
Photo of tewaris


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sally's. Got this one in 2-for-1!

The bar I had this at is very dark, so it's hard to describe the color exactly; the beer seemed reddish copper with brilliant clarity and a dense off white head with good retention and nice, sticky lacing.

The nose was very disappointing. I thought I smelled some pine but cannot be sure, and that's about it. The taste was better, however: There was a decent malt backbone that manifested itself in the body but added little flavor and taste-wise hops ruled. Earthy, but with a citrusy zing to it, that seemed to get enhanced with rising temperature of the beer.

The finish wasn't the driest but was still very clean and massively bittering. A very well done combination of malts and *dominating* hops but not as good smelling as it tastes. Not the most refreshing beer but with the the right body and carbonation for an AIPA. Very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2010 01:47:37 | More by tewaris
Photo of Pballa4lyfe


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


A- wow, this is probably my favorite looking beer...it pours a dark amber color with thick white head

S- yummm, citrus, mint, and hopiness!!!

T- terrific, similar to the pale ale but with a little bit more bite

M- terrific, sits well

D- very filling, could drink this all night if my belly would let me!!!

overall, sierra nevada never lets me down, i love this company and this beer is amazing!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 01:09:51 | More by Pballa4lyfe
Photo of ccbrewer138


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

A-poured straight in a pint glass, had a lot of head. Poured half than let settle, poured the rest, still had three inches of offwhite, dense foam. Copper in color, great head retention.

S-minty and citrusy hop aromas, hints of sweet, toasted malt.

T-turns out to be pretty balanced for an ipa. Great hop blend, balanced by toasty malt flavor. The malt profile keeps the bitterness from going overboard.

M-heavy in body, great carbonation for the style.

D-this is a great warm winter beer. At a high alcohol percentage, may not be the best session beer, but a great way to warm up on those cold winter nights.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 01:05:37 | More by ccbrewer138
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. Major head, which was my fault. The color is a clean, clear, light copper. After getting the thick, off-white head under control, it dissipated slowly to leave a billowy lacing; foam clung to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Invigorating grapefruit citrus, but it is no warning of excessive hoppiness ahead. Sweet caramel malts and molasses give the aroma a nice balance, and there is a little pine spice as well. There are also scents of orange peels and cherries.

Taste: Much toastier than the smell leads on, which is very pleasing. Grapefruit citrus up front followed by the malts: sweet caramel, molasses, and a little bit of chocolate. Backing the malts is pine spice and orange peels. A pleasant hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is really good stuff. Not only does it have bite, but it also has a very well-balanced malt quality to keep it from going over the bitterness edge.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 21:28:31 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of nniicckkww


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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a chilled glass at a local pizza place. I was very hungry and thirsty.

The beer is very clear and had a nice head that left a proper lacing on the glass. Good pine/malt aroma but I didn't take more than a small sniff. Very satisfying after my first giant gulp. Dry, spicy hops. Very balanced. Exactly what I needed. This beer basically drank itself. I would have ordered another, but the bartender already had my check for me as I had a to-go food order. Delicious. However, seems to have less hoppy bite than the past years.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 17:04:15 | More by nniicckkww
Photo of Flightoficarus


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had this one in a while now, but snatched some up now that I see it's out again. Had to give it a revisit!

A - Pours a deep, amber-ruby hue that is semi-transparent, with a mild off-white head that quickly gives way to thin lacing.

S - Smell is of caramel, molasses, cinnamon & nutmeg, with orange and cherry, and very slight pine from the hops. You can tell right off the bat that this is a different kind of IPA.

T - A fantastic blend of the aforementioned smells! Caramel, nutmeg, various citrus fruits, cherry, and pine are the most abundant flavors. Bitterness is medium. Finish is slightly dry, leaving you wanting more.

M - Beer has a medium body-feel to it, with moderate carbonation, and a slightly slick, oily texture to it (hop oils)

D - Not on sessioning level, but most excellent for a few of to kick back and relax on a cool fall or winter day to!

Overall - An excellent IPA from SN, and I now remember why I loved this one so much when I first tried it. It's definitely going to be a regular in my fridge while it's available!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 07:24:36 | More by Flightoficarus
Photo of trevorjn06


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

Pours an amber/light copper color with an inch of thick, tight off-white head that recedes slowly. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is bright and crisp. Notes of citrus, pear and pine with malt and caramel sweetness. Fairly straight forward but very nice.

Taste is a rich caramel sweetness, some maltiness and lots of hop flavor. Hops are grassy, citrusy, fruity and piney. Toward the finish this ale is a little dry, but in a pleasant and crisp way. The finish leaves lingering hop bitterness and some citrus with mild malt sweetness with some caramel. Overall this beer is full-flavored and crisp.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with above average carbonation.

Overall this beer is a nice IPA with a strong malt backbone and a nice balance of flavors, it is not as juicy as many IPAs but has a very rich feeling to it and plenty of hop character. For the strength of flavors this is an easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 04:09:10 | More by trevorjn06
Photo of Boitnott

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a glass from the bottle.

A: This beer is a light brick color. Looks like caramel. You can pretty much see right through it. The foam was about an inch and it is cream colored and loose. The carbonation rises up straight from the bottom middle of the class. This looked really cool, not sure if its the beer or the glass.'

S: The strong hop smell prevails in this beer. As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell. You can also smell some of the spices.

T: This beer has everything an IPA should have and much more. The nose is actually sweet. It almost tastes like cinnamon or nutmeg. If you hold it in your mouth than the taste becomes more apparent. The finish has a strong IPA hop taste. It goes very well with the other flavors and will make you crave that next sip. Even the foam tastes good!

M: Despite the relatively large amount of foam, the beer is still online a little carbonated. It is not enough to take away from the taste of the beer at all.

D: Before this beer, I was unaware that IPAs could fall in the winter seasonal area. This beer is slightly darker than an IPA and makes me want to buy a bottle on Christmas Eve and hang out. I highly recommend it if you a fan of the style and are looking for a winter version.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 04:07:44 | More by Boitnott
Photo of Stigs


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

12oz bottle, served in a Stone Levitation glass

A - pours with a big amount, over and inch, of loose, fluffy, light creme colored foam. the beer is clear, dark gold/amber in color. some sticky and clingy lacing settles randomly around the glass surrounding a couple mounds of foam that just wont go away.

S - bright, almost abrasive piney hops joined in by freshly cut wet grass. big caramel, bready malt base with subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T - begins with a swift kick of hoppy bitterness - pine needles, hop resin, and grass settle all over the tongue. malty sweetness, caramel and bready malt.

M - light refreshing body with moderate punchy carbonation. finishes crisp, yet drying with lingering hoppy bitterness and a subtle creamy sweetness.

D - through the roof on this one. balanced IPA yet good enough for the biggest hop craving. this one just reminds me of this time of year. what alcohol?

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 03:39:23 | More by Stigs
Photo of ManuelHerrera


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

Got this on cask at Sierra Nevada's 30th anniversary at The Surly Goat and I have to say... it was all right. I wasn't blown away by this year's offering, but it was a pleasant experience still. Maybe that's the free pint glass talking.

Poured with a massive head and beautiful lacing with a murky golden tint - I have to admit the pour was promising. The beer isn't particularly pungent - just some light citrus notes and a hint of pine (or holly, for the season).

Celebration had a foamy, free flowing flavor that was not aggressive at all. In a way, the flavoring left a lot to the imagination...in that I was waiting for more creativity to kick in. As it was on cask, naturally it had no carbonation, which in hindsight may have actually aided to the sharpness I have come to expect from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: cask

11-17-2010 01:59:38 | More by ManuelHerrera
Photo of gdrydenc


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Gorgeous amber-orange color. I tend to pour aggressively, so I got a good amount of head on this bad boy, which slowly went away, leaving a thin rim of white-brown along the top.

Smell - Honestly, I can't smell a lot out of this. Even when I let the head die down, the only thing I can smell is a hint of piny hops.

Taste - Bitter, hoppy, pine-y. I like the bitterness, it tastes very fresh (2010 release).

Mouthfeel - Fantastic mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation, not overwhelming. I know immediately that the flavor is there and it lasts until the end... and then some. The flavor persists on my tongue for a while after.

Drinkabilty - Great drinkability. At only 6.8%, I can easily finish the bomber and desire more.

Overall, an excellent seasonal offering from SN, especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 23:55:40 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's the most wonderful time of year.

The beer is a fairly hazy dark orange hue with a substantial head that generates a healthy amount of lacing.

The aroma is very hop forward, with a malt profile underneath.

Tasty beer. Hops play the lead role here. I really prefer this beer fresh, with the hop character at its boldest.

The feel is thick and coats the palate with bitter hops. The aftertaste has considerable staying power.

I look forward to the release of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale every year. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 21:11:08 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of feelmefoam

South Carolina

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

SN Celebration pours a beautiful caramel-cider color that's semi-transparent with a decent amount of carb running up into 2 fingers of off-white head that has a really nice retention time and leaves some thick, foamy lacing around the glass. Really good-looking beer.

I don't always pour this beer, which is a sin, I know, but I just don't always have the opportunity to. But man does it smell good when you let it breathe in a glass. Sappy floral and piney hops jump out of the head and into your nose, and the only downside is that the beer isn't quite as fragrant as I'd like. I want it to jump out of the glass into my nose without having to go in after it. Awesome aroma, but just make it a bit stronger. I'm a stickler. Sometimes I hate myself.

The taste is tasty dude. Lots of piney, sprucey, delicious Christmas tree hops (holidays holla!!) jump right outta the glass and flood your tongue. Only after this does the malt backbone come limping in, weak and unappreciated. No sympathy here either, move along.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation and a slightly dry finish (in combo with the hops). Pretty smooth drinker.

I really like the way this wintry beer breaks up the Big Stout and Spicy Warmer theme of the season. Don't get me wrong, those are all well and good and I love many of them, but a spruced up hop-bomb in the middle of winter just oozes holiday cheer. Now if the holidays would just get here. Cheers!!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 06:33:21 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark orange, tanish, with little head

Smell - Hops, malts, some yeast and spices. Lots of fresh hops!

Taste - Expectations were so high for this since i read the reviews about it. Well as i figured, very hoppy indeed. Burnt piney hops mixed with some yeast and malts give this a fairly bitter taste. Has what you expect for a ipa but its more thicker and bolder in taste.

Mouthfeel - Decent for mouth you get a bold hop taste but left with a bitter bite on the tounge. I can still taste the bitterness awhile after first few drinks. Didnt do much for palette after the drink.

Drinkabilty - I was hopping for this to be amazing but it is ok. I wish it was a little less bitter and a little more malts and spices. Its ok but not what i was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 05:05:14 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of jonB

New York

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

Despite the deceiving winter landscape on the bottle, this is no winter warmer. It does have a a good presence of piney hops, that mostly cover up the alcohol on the finish.
The beer has the great nose and creamy mouth feel of most Sierra Nevada's lineup. What sets it apart are the biting fresh hops which dominate and do not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 03:39:51 | More by jonB
Photo of paulozanello


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I write this review 30 years to the day that Ken Grossman brewed his first batch of Sierra Pale Ale that went on to change the industry forever. Couldn't think of a better beer to "celebrate" this huge landmark.
Here is a toast to Ken a Sierra Nevada! Cheers!

Celebration 2010 pours a translucid, almost transparent, orange-copper color. It forms a huge white head that persists forever with copious amounts of lacing throughout the glass. This is a perfect score in my book.

Aroma starts with floral and citrus hops, mainly pineapple, strawberries and tangerine. There are also several piney and spicy notes from the hops. Roasted and caramel malts are also detectable.

Taste starts citric but it soon shifts to an earthy/spicy hop character with a lot of bitterness. Malt backbone shines through for good balance. This has a dry and resinous finish with a huge bitter aftertaste that lingers forever in your tongue.

Body is medium to heavy and carbonation is perfect. Very good mouthfeel (sticky and resinous) but the drinkability gets hurt by the overly bitter and spicy finish/aftertaste.

Overall a very well-made beer to be taken slowly an with appreciation.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 03:07:29 | More by paulozanello
Photo of salvo


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

Bottle of the 2010 poured crystal clear orange-red with two inches of khaki head that slowly dissipated and left lacing. Aroma much more towards the herbal and astringent, English side of IPA, than the orange-pine promised. Earthy, straw, dry corn husks.

Taste is bitter and astringent towards tea, with tannins in the background. Bitter on the front and middle of the tongue, but the bitterness doesn't creep around to the back of the throat.

This is a fabulous, sessionable, approachable AIPA: highly drinkable with good crossover flavor character, and a bargain (absolute bargain) at the going 12-pack price. I am going to stock up and see if my macro-drinking friends find it as approachable as I think it is. Gateway beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 01:53:08 | More by salvo
Photo of hawks10


3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - 2010 Vintage - Poured into a pint glass...

Pours a glowing dark orange with red highlights, very clear. A huge cap of fluffy, meringue-like tan head forms and slowly recedes, leaving lots of lacing behind...

Beautiful citrus hop aroma assaults the nostrils. Very tropical, sweet, pineapple and grapefruit. The hops start to turn piny with a bit of spice, while the malts come forward as well, adding a bit of sweet, caramel malts, balancing the beer and giving it a bit more depth...

Earthy, bitter piny hops dominate the flavor on this one. Bitterness is drying and lingers long into the aftertaste. All that juicy tropical flavor I detected in the nose seems to have vanished. For maybe the first second this beer hits my tongue I can detect some sweet tropical hop flavors, but that is quickly washed away by a one sided, overly bitter and dry, earthy hop flavor. Malts are there but don't do much to cut into the hop bitterness (for some reason, the bitterness in this beer just isn't working for me like it does in other IPAs...) Spicing starts to show up after a few sips and kind of just blend in with the piny hops...Not bad, but a bit one-sided and slightly boring...

Light to medium bodied, thinner than expected. Carbonation seems a bit low giving the beer a slick, creamy feel. Dry and bitter feelings linger...

Not bad, but not as good as I was expecting. My first time ever trying this beer...

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 01:50:02 | More by hawks10
Photo of guitarguy2308


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

Pours a translucent copper color with a light foamy off-white head, leaves a nice lacing as the foam dissipates.

Smells sweet and citrus-y, flowery hop aroma.

Taste is complex, light malty citrus flavor upfront with a strong hop flavor, residual bitterness at the back of the tongue.

Well carbonated, dry finish

Nice beer, solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 00:21:10 | More by guitarguy2308
Photo of rmolledo


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

A: cloudy reddish amber with a thin white head.

S: toasted grains and a spicy and perfume like hop aroma. fruity esters.

T: sharp malt flavors with caramel notes. citrus hop character. good pleasing bitterness.

MF: medium bodied with a moderate-high carbonation. sweet finish.

D: it tastes strong for being only 6.8%. Good winter beer though.

notes: I had this on draught the other day and it was much better.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 23:42:33 | More by rmolledo
Photo of InebriatedJoker


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

Poured from bottle into beer glass - batch 026711429

Pored a cloudy amber with one finger head, lots of carbonation and good lacing.

Smell was of hops , pine

Taste was of Pine , hops , light malt.

Drinkability was decent , I was expecting a (looking at the label) Christmas beer !, with all the spices and goodies they add to them , , Not a bad IPA at all but not what I expected, still it's a very drinkable beer and would seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 23:35:34 | More by InebriatedJoker


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

12oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a two finger head that is a light tan and settles into a foamy layer. The hazy body is a malty amber in color. The lacing is left in a draping form.
S: A fresh hoppy aroma, with a bit of malt in the undertones. The piney and earthy hops are very welcomed.
T/M: The front of this brew is a crisp hop profile that has a layered effect is not overly powerful, but still a nice subtle layer. The backbone is a malt complex that holds together very well.
D: Great drinkability, while this is a nice session brew, the overall flavor are just above up to par for an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 14:54:11 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of AleWatcher


3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

This a rusty orange color with a nearly white head. Good retention and nice lacing. I'm not the biggest fan of the darker color IPAs-- and the micro sediments I see floating around aren't something I like either... However, the overall appearance is still better than average due to the retention, head, and lace.

Sweet caramel and bready malts... Piney and citrus hops are nice, but the spicy hop note is a bit too much. Without the spicy notes, this would score higher.

Taste follows same rules and notes asthe nose. A big dry spicy hop note is present in the finish-- with lots of lingering bitterness and a resiny pine. The balance is very nice, and without the spicy hop notes, this would score higher in my book. The body is very respectable-- solid carbonation works well with a medium-full body and a nice oily presence is perfect to compliment the resiny piney hop notes.

Overall, this is a solid beer. I won't be picking up a case and drinking 3 per night or anything... But if I run into this one, I'll gladly drink it again. The flavor is complex enough to enjoy but not mind-blowing enough to get worked up over.

This is a decent beer-- but not one I'll be looking forward to all year.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 02:04:34 | More by AleWatcher
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,607 ratings.