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.

7,699 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,699
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: 7,699 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cmq103

New Jersey

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

I just tapped this at the home basement bar along with a Magic Hat Circus Boy. It's always good to have a lighter beer for the non-hop head beer drinkers who don't appreciate a mighty fine American IPA.

A: The tap pour was a reddish copper color with a nice frothy head that clung to the side of the glass with ease.

S: I'll first start off by saying they should make an air freshener that smells like this. A great hoppy pine aroma with mild citrus background.

T: Just as great as the smell. Medium hoppy bite with piney-grapefruit flavors that roll of the tongue with a mild, dry bitterness at the end. An easy-drinking beer with tons of flavor.

M: Smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I agree that this is a highly anticipated winter seasonal. I get a 1/6th keg every year as soon as it becomes available. This could be a little dangerous though with the 6.8 % ABV and easy drinkability. I think it's much better on tap then from a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2010 15:40:15 | More by cmq103
Photo of Psilo707


3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought this as a great $6.99 deal at the local market. Knew it would be a good purchase from the start. Poured into a 20 oz mug, it foams nicely with quality head. The beer itself sparkles in the glass. Quite a bit of bubbles, which reside dormant when mug is shaken up a bit.

Smell is fruity - more fruity than the beer actually is; good thing. Very deep aroma, like sniffing a book from an attic that you haven't seen in a decade. With boysenberries on top. Hell yes.

Taste is just like it smells, just a bit more oakey and not as much fruit, Like it a lot. Deep taste, as the scent was. Can dig it in every way.

Mouthfeel is alright but not quite as solid as I'd expect. The taste hits you so fast that you can't really enjoy it in the mouth for longer than a few seconds. The drinkability is high - cleared a 6 pack and felt GRRREAT to the end!

Overall, Recommended.

12oz (355ml) bottle from a 6-pack purchased at Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron, MI. Pours a slightly hazed copper bronze with a thick ring of cream coloured head. Globs of stringy lace cling to the tulip. Subdued nose is floral hops, Clementine, citrus zest, and fruity, toffee-like aromas. Taste is orange peel, pine, caramel, bright and juicy tangerine, and a spicy, citric hop bitterness to end. Mouthfeel is silky, medium-bodied, oily texture mid-palate, crisp and tangy bite from the hops with a firmly bitter finish.

Big, satisfying flavours on this holiday IPA but I'm not detecting the cinnamon taste that others have noted. And that makes sense to me since Celebration doesn't have any spices added to it. High drinkability as I could easily pack back a sixer over an evening or two, but because this isn't available around here I'll be limiting myself to one bottle per night. I look forward to savouring the rest of my half case over the next two weeks.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 03:27:06 | More by Psilo707
Photo of IronLover


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

Poured a reddish copper color with a very slight haze and an impressive rocky white head. Fabulous head retention and tons of wet sticky lacings. A nice blend of floral and citrus hop aromas with a hint of sweet malt beneath. Medium bodied with pleasant carbonation. A wonderfully smooth and drinkable beer. Complex hop flavors in the beginning, apple and citrus flavors mixed with malt sweetness that slowly taper s to a bitter, hoppy pine finish that slowly fades away. An instant holiday favorite.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 02:59:12 | More by IronLover
Photo of UTCengOwl


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Budweiser signature glass on 11/19/10.

The head pours a 3 finger dense creamy foam. Sweeet. Ilove this kind of head. The thing won't die down and it clings to the glasss wonderfully. The beer itself is a clear light amber and looks fantastic.

The nose is hops, hops and hops. Can't really get much more out of it.

The taste is much more balanced than the nose. The crystal malt is bold and rich. The hops have good flavor and aren't overpowering. Very easy to sip down and it has good weight in my mouth. Definitely a good IPA, but it's not a life changer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 01:35:43 | More by UTCengOwl
Photo of weller1js

West Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a brownish amber, light carbonation, slight foam dissipates, healthy ring of bubbly lacing.

smell: piney yet mellow hops predominate, mild citrus undertones.

taste: dry, piney hop flavor persists throughout, consistent and fresh, leaving a light bitter aftertaste.

drinkability: very vibrant and well-hopped, has a good abv, and with a pleasant consistency.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 23:30:07 | More by weller1js
Photo of brewdub17


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

Appearance: Gorgeous 2" thick, beige head rests atop a mostly transparent dark brass body that has small hues of an orange copper.

Smell: Strong citrus notes are most prevalent, as they are in the taste. Light traces of that alcoholy sweetness found it most IPAs.

Taste: Citrus hops all through the malty textures. Starts with a pleasant fresh hop blend and ends with it as well.

Mouthfeel: Not a strong malt presence but what little it has does limit the hops from overpowering the mouth. The citrus notes are felt from the front to the back.

Drinkability: The hops are very noticeable but enjoyable nonetheless. Definitely something I would like to try again on tap but not something I would make a night of.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 21:14:36 | More by brewdub17
Photo of rrski198


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

A: Orange amber colored, Nice white head, with great lacing

S: Piney, citrus, fresh hops before they are pitched. Awesome. Simply awesome.

T: Deep bitterness from the hops. Taste follows the smell. Piney, grapefruit, again bitter fresh hops. Decent malt backbone, balanced well.

M: Clean with average carbonation. Not to oily.

D: This beer is exceptionally drinkably. The ABV is not overwhelming, the hops are balanced well. Great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 02:51:27 | More by rrski198
Photo of mbrown26

North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm still learning what I like and this is my second IPA. Just not getting into them. Take my review with a grain of salt.

A: A great looking beer that had a nice slightly off white head. Very clear amber/copper colors.

S: I could smell this all day long. Had a nice sweet spice to it.

T: I think it was the hops, but it tasted way too bitter for me. Not an awful product, but there was too much bitterness for me.

M: Had a little bit more carbonation than I like.

D: If you like the flavor and carbonation, this is probably a great IPA.

Not my cup of tea.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 02:36:51 | More by mbrown26
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz (355ml) bottle from a 6-pack purchased at Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron, MI. Pours a slightly hazed copper bronze with a thick ring of cream coloured head. Globs of stringy lace cling to the tulip. Subdued nose is floral hops, Clementine, citrus zest, and fruity, toffee-like aromas. Taste is orange peel, pine, caramel, bright and juicy tangerine, and a spicy, citric hop bitterness to end. Mouthfeel is silky, medium-bodied, oily texture mid-palate, crisp and tangy bite from the hops with a firmly bitter finish.

Big, satisfying flavours on this holiday IPA but I'm not detecting the cinnamon taste that others have noted. And that makes sense to me since Celebration doesn't have any spices added to it. High drinkability as I could easily pack back a sixer over an evening or two, but because this isn't available around here I'll be limiting myself to one bottle per night. I look forward to savouring the rest of my half case over the next two weeks.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 01:49:32 | More by cratez
Photo of Homebrew35


3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a small half finger head that fades away fast to a slight ring. Clear amber in color. Smells of American C hops and some sweet alcohol. Tastes of hops and a slight bit of sweetness. The finish is bitter and piney that lingers. A bit out of balance for me. Low carbing and thin body. I could take only a few of these in a night.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 01:02:46 | More by Homebrew35
Photo of HURTemHIZZY


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

I love this beer. For $7.49 a six pack, this is in my fridge a LOT when it's available. Nice pour. Medium to dark clear amber with a nice fluffy 2 finger off white head that has solid retention. Lacing lacks a bit. Hop profile is perfect for a winter time ipa. Big pine, with a nice level of lemon and grapefruit. Great bitterness. Biscuity and caramel malts hold it up. Nothing is overdone about this beer, but it certainly doesnt lack flavor. Perfectly balanced.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 18:11:29 | More by HURTemHIZZY
Photo of beerprovedwright


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

Celebration 2010 brewing. One finger head of fluffy very light brown foam. Head really didn't last very long, but left a nice clinging lace. Color is a 16 on the SRM beer color chart. I detect fragrances of lime, orange, lemon, green tea, and hops. Very flavorful. Heavy on the citrus, sour side, but good tastes, of lemon, orange, lime, and of course hops. Lots of body in my mouth, like heavy cream, but much cleaner after feel. I waited for this for better than a month since the talk was out that it had hit the shelves in other places. I guess South Georgia is one of the last stops. I will look foreword to having more of this. I want others to have a taste, but I don't really want to share this one. It is goood.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 16:46:54 | More by beerprovedwright
Photo of Anaz


3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Celebration ale of the year, and...well, I'm not sure what the hell happened.
The look of the thing is nice enough, huge fluffy head, lovely lacing, a hazy reddish orange. A bit too dark, but not really bad. The aroma though...light, bright citrus, and some spicier, piney notes along with caramel malty sweetness, but I have to really sniff into the tulip, the hops don't burst forth like I expect a fresh hop IPA to do.

The taste is pleasant enough, orange and grapefruit hop citrus, some faint resin and pine with some spice and a light caramel malt sweetness, but no real punch, nothing really stands out. It's nice, but kind of forgetable, even between sips.

The mouthfeel is nice though, very full, and highly carbonated. Finishes with a nice mix of bitterness and a light sweetness that doesn't linger long enough to become cloying.

It's drinkable, goes down easy, and is a nice enough beer to drink while watching TV or some other situation where you don't really care to have what your drinking be the main focus of your concentration.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 07:59:43 | More by Anaz
Photo of heartofgold


2.48/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed is a 12oz bottle, labeled "2010 Celebration Fresh Hope Ale"

Poured this into a pint glass. Minimal head was created which dissipated rather quickly. The color was a clear bronze amber.

The aroma was very mild, with a hint of pine, very subtle for a fresh hop IPA.

The taste was of toasted malt with an element of burnt chocolate and pine, with a medium bitter-hop finish. The lack of aroma seemed to hold back any complexity in the taste.

This is a moderately drinkable beer. I'm a big fan of SN but this didn't hit the mark for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 06:00:10 | More by heartofgold
Photo of CamuMahubah


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

Burnt Orange...some of the most wonderful frothy bubbles I've seen on a beer...anaranjado snow!

Mild aroma for an IPA definitely got the citrusy thing going though...

tastes like a grapefruit tree mated with a cacao tree that was in the sun too long...enjoyable!

Surprisingly with all that's going here the feel of this beer is excellent. Not overwhelming hop wise and none of the cloy sweetness some Winter beers have...that said I know it is an IPA and this beer knows it too!

It's so enjoyable I'm gonna drink a few more! Very good for the style. A sort of Christmas IPA. This beer was born the same time I was and I bet it was a game changer back then. It still is now when you compare it to other brews that come around this time of year. Wow! An IPA for Christmas! All I can say is thanks Sierra Nevada! Rarely do they disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 05:46:29 | More by CamuMahubah
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glad I revisited this one! Sierra Nevada, say what you will, makes some damn fine IPAs. But this doesn't come across as your "typical" (if that word can even be applied to the style...) IPA. The look and feel, I would offer, say English ale to me. Appearance-wise, it pours with healthy enough finger-width head, done and out. The hazy mahogany color is straight outta Comptonshire.

I went nutty trying to place the aroma until I figured out (or decided) that it had to simply be that of the oils of ultra-fresh hop flowers - from vine to kettle, no middle man. References for what the hops smell and taste like, however, eludes me. There seems to be this magical blend of floral, pine, and citrus - the ratio I'm dumbfounded to discern - with not one scent dominating. A fascinating blend, but too much straining to capture an ideal whiff.

The feel I cannot say enough about - deceptively smooth and satisfying, cask-like, but with a nicely-balanced, strangely appealing carbonic bite just prior to the moderately dry finish. Great crystal malt and English-style malt presence in the flavor as well as that confounding hop bouquet. I wouldn't say I got a significant dose of fruity or herby flavors anywhere. A unique, refined, and tasty concoction. I could easily stumble into a session with this.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 05:39:38 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of Eriktheipaman


3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle comes in at 24 ounces rather than the standard bomber which is nice.

Pours a beautiful amber which is my favorite part of this brew. Also a nice head that stays all the way down.

The smell is kind of faint but pretty sweet of only hops.

The taste is bitter whith no to little malt backing. Piney with a dry finish.

This beer is good but doesnt do a whole lot for me. Id much prefer Torpedo or SNPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 04:16:36 | More by Eriktheipaman
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
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,699 ratings.