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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.

7,669 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,669
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 192
Gots: 404 | 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: 7,669 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Dadoftwogirls


2.63/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2010 bottling. I saw all the reviews and had BIG expectations. Pours nicely, nice head, lacing on the glass, looks great.... then taste it and... blah! I'm not impressed. It seems to be trying to do to much. A bitter hops flavor gives way to spice but to me just doesn't come together properly. Maybe it will grow on me.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 00:34:10 | More by Dadoftwogirls
Photo of happy4hoppybeer


4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh, the great Sierra Nevada, the craft brew pioneers and one of my favorite breweries. I always look forward to there seasonals, which has never dissapointed me.

Iwas stoked to see this is out again, so I figured it's time to prepare for the holidays. It is my tradition to celebrate the holiday season with lovely, warm, flavorful and potent seasonal ales like this classic.

A=dark amber-orange/ruby-red with thick creamy white head,leaving a trail of sticky lacing,staying around for a good while.

S&T=Spice,some good malted barley,nuts, piney hops come through in the end. But not as hoppy and malty as previous years.Hmmmm...

Body is medium to fairly above. Well balanced as always. Fairly heavy as well.

Very pleasent and drinkable, can have a few as long as they are spaced out.

Not quite as hoppy/malty as previous years, but still damn good. One of my favorite IPAs. I look forward to these every holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 00:16:11 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Photo of dayswonder


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

2010 version pored into a goblet

After being pored into the goblet, the head starts off small than continues to rise to about 2 fingers. The head then subsides until it becomes a think creamy top to the beer. Definite notes of spice, citrus and pine in the nose.
The tastes starts off rather spicy but gives way to a slight biscuit backbone. The hops hide the alcohol well.
This slightly creamy beer is very easy to drink.
I look forward to this one each celebration season.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 20:51:40 | More by dayswonder
Photo of SickPythons


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my favorite goblet.

Appearance- Nice, medium caramel color. Light colored head of decent size. Strong lacing grasps the glass as the beer disappears.

Aroma- Pleasing aroma of pine and some citrus. A hint of sweet malts makes it through also.

Taste- The first sip reveals those nutty malts paired with some smooth caramel flavor. The hop bitterness comes later identifying this brew as an IPA (though I think less bitter than last year). Well-balanced and inviting.

Mouthfeel- A bit creamy which I think has to do with the tiny size of the bubbles.

Drinkability- While the bitterness is very pronounced in the aftertaste, the warm smooth feel of a pull of this beer keeps you begging for another sip.

Final thoughts- A well-balanced IPA from a top tier brewery. On a side note, I love the name. I always feel like I have something to celebrate when I pick up this winner.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 19:39:19 | More by SickPythons
Photo of chrisgn


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

A- filtered reddish brown. Pours a nice rich head with good lacing and retention. Nicely carbonated.

S- Fresh hop aromas, mostly pine.

T- Pine hop flavor in the front and roasted malt flavors balance out nicely on the back end.

M- great carbonation and full bodied feel. The hop bitterness and malty sweetness linger on the palate.

D- Well balanced. Not as hoppy as I remeber it, but great flavors. A successful winter IPA... I love it!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 05:21:38 | More by chrisgn
Photo of DrDemento456


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

A - Looks nice. A nice amber with an inch of head.

S - Mostly hoppy with a bit of citrus and spice.

T - Pretty smooth IPA. A bit of bitterness and a nice hop bite. Slight citrus that finishes with a bit of pine.

M - Very smooth and medium bodied. ABV is well concealed.

D - Well I did like it in the bottle and it drinks dry hopped on tap so it does change drastically. A nice seasonal that is a nice spin on a winter beer,

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 04:43:05 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Cheesemoose


4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just saw it hit the shelf and just had to pick one up. The first IPA I fell in love with, now it is a staple every year.

Pours a beautiful glowing amber orange with a solid 3 fingers of head. Pour slowly. Lacing is fantastic, following you the whole way down the glass.

Floral hops attack the nose with a very nice citrus profile. Grainy malts can be found underneath, providing some balance.

Hops in the forefront, citrus to start, though as it receeds you get a mild sweetness from the malts. Malt base is quite balanced, something hard to do with the fresh hop addition, making this one a very complex, though enjoyable, beer.

Slightly oily mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation.

Take it slow with this one, which may be hard with how dang good it is.

I've heard of the controversy as to enjoy this one fresh or cellar and honestly, it is up to your personal preference. When fresh, you best enjoy the fresh hop addition, but cellaring better brings out the complex underlying malt profile. Either way, this is one seasonal that I will keep looking forward each year.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 00:42:21 | More by Cheesemoose
Photo of Liverpool08


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

This is for the 2010 edition.

Pours a dark copper with a big white puffy head. Aroma is PINE forest. Big pine notes with some grapefruit and wet grass. Taste is a once bitter but crisp with that big hoppy pine flavor. But all is well balanced as a slight malt kick evens it out and brings you back for another sip. Its just another great hop delight from SN.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 00:37:24 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of oglmcdgl


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

A bottle split with onix1agr.

A- a stiff pour yields two big fingers of billowy off white head that settles after the first sip leaving small sudsy island and a thick foamy ring. Good amount lace spots all around the glass. Perfectly clear copper orange in color.

S- good amount of pine and grapefruit from the hops with a nice spice and some wet veg to it as well. Some brown sugar cinnamon toast comes to mind.

T- piney up front with the bitter grapefruit and a touch of orange just behind. Significant layers of spice interwoven in the hops. Good malt backing coming off with a lots of toasted bread and some brown sugar. Long bitter finish.

M- less then medium in body with a just right carb. dry almost tannic finish.

D- this is a solid ipa and a great one for the winter. Good spice and toast that lends well to the season.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 00:08:43 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of kingcrowing


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Piraat tulip.

Pours a light amber/red color with a small bubbly white head. Nose is piney and a bit harsh.

Taste is sweet, harsh and piney. It's crisp and drinkable. Very tasty and sweet, a bit harp and acidic but easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 23:17:02 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of nkersten


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

Kind of happy to see this one on the shelf, for some reason I thought it was discontinued.... Pours an orange amber with one finger foamy white head, good retention and lacing. Smell is malty sweetness, pineapple and tropical fruit malts, a bit of pine. Taste is bitter and fruity up front, pale/light malts provide a bit of sugary balance. Mouthfeel is medium body with a medium carbonation, clean but flavorful. This is a very drinkable IPA, not too bitter and not too sweet. One of the IPAs that is actually balanced.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 05:40:28 | More by nkersten
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep translucent amber with a fluffy head. Looks quite handsome.

S-Nice grapefruit and floral hop aroma. Very attractive smell. Not overly pungent but still smells splendid. Complex.

T-Sierra Nevada scores again. I've had this before but not that i'm sitting down reviewing it and noticing the intricacies of I am fully impressed. Big hop flavor. Not too bitter. Citrus and flowery hops. I'm getting some honey as well as a bit of pine.

M-Creamy but not too thick. This has a crisp, satisfying mouthfeel.

D-High drinkability. 6.8% is almost undetectable.

Can't be beat for its price.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 03:51:40 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of CASK1


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

A - Poured into a tulip. Deep amber color, and exceptionally clear. Thick, dense, beige head drops somewhat quickly to a thin layer of foam, but it leaves lace to the bottom of the glass.

S - Piney hops, with a little citrus thrown in for good measure. Sweet caramel malt aroma is very subtle at first, but becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

T - A hop showcase, for sure. Balance of pine, citrus, and woody hop flavor up front, fading to a long, dry, bitter finish that builds and builds and stays long after the beer is swallowed. There is some toasty, bready, lightly sweet malt to balance, if you look hard for it. As the hops fade, a light alcohol flavor remains.

MF - Medium-full body, a bit higher than expected, but OK for a seasonal specialty offering. Medium carbonation helps.

D - I look forward to this one every year, and the 2010 version doesn't disappoint. Hope to find it on draft soon!

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 02:41:52 | More by CASK1
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,669 ratings.