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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.

7,969 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,969
Reviews: 3,162
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 225
Gots: 501 | FT: 2
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: 7,969 | Reviews: 3,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeffwhit
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After having a disappointing bottle of the 2010 version, I am very pleased that Celebration on tap lives up to it's well deserved reputation. "Watered down" description does not apply now. For a guy who finds big 2IPAs like Hop Stoopid "sessionable" this is a lovely, more subdued change of pace. I will have to excersise lots of will power to stop with this one pint tonight.

A: very clear amber, doesn't look particularly exciting except for the lovely foamy head.
A: subtle citrus peel, nothing special.
T: nicely balanced, prominent hop finish.
M: certainly "weighty" enough for an IPA.
O: while this beer is really nothing special, it is the definition of a session IPA, and it's wide availability and affordability is a blessing we mustn't take for granted!

Served in a 16oz pint at London Grill, Philadelphia with some hot wings.

jeffwhit, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of rembrant
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There is a wonderful and quaint myth that Celebration contains punkin pie spices or some coriander or minced up christmas trees...Then again you also may hear reindeer on the roof if you guzzle the whole 12 pack. For some beers...guzzle the 12,would seem absurd. With celebration,I find it a rather tempting notion.

There are no added spices just the elemental BEER things.

I love that art on the label/6pk/12 pk with the Poinsettas and the cabin in the snow. I gotta scan that and photoshop up christmas cards to all the kind relatives who stopped by in the last month bearing Cel;ebrations. Ironically, in my decades in Calif...I didn't have so many of these as I've had this month.

Pours slightly reddish amber,lots of cream colored froth and will lace the whole glass as you empty it.

Aromas a whiff of Citrus,breadiness,caramel.
Flavor - A brief hint of caramel toasted malt and then the hops. In the winter,I chill a bit less aggressively-and likely that accounts for some added malt substance.
The Malt side is the backup band here and several hops do a Do-Wop harmony with Grapefruit leading,but some piney,spicey and Ganga Resin detectable. Quite a nicely designed show. I think there's more malt background than SNPA and a bit more complex hops. I recall Torpedo being a bit more bitter but here the hops get to show off flavor more.

All in all, a superior IPA and that's something as there's a lot of good IPA's. That $15 12 pack price...obviously is a factor too as I seemed to snatch them up passing through the supermarket.
I would not quite say the mouthfeel is sticky,yet there's a bit of that from the hops,and the body is "right".

Drinkably, not the lightesrt and wettest but I'm reviewing the second bottle which I'd opened about 15 min after finishing the first. Usually, I space my beers. I even peered into the bottle to be sure it really was empty. Alas...it was.

Makes the grey skies of winter a bit more cheery. Not a budget killer. Each bottle seems to feel like a damn good idea. Not sure why this seems more than it is...must be those mythical spices. Jingle all the way.

rembrant, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of MamaMeier
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Has a redish, brownish tint - good foam

S - Smells fruity and has hints of parfume

T - Very floral, with bitter after taste, parfume taste

M - Smooth, unfortunately tastes a bit watered down to me

D - Smooth, clean finish, have had better IPAs

MamaMeier, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of madelf
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

taste great has a piny taste makes your mouth feel happy. this is a
good beer for the holidays goes good with a sharp cheese and some hard bread. great Brussels lace on the glass smell is flowery
could drink this all night long. i would recommend this beer to all my friends

madelf, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of SHODriver
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful deep gold color with an off white head that sticks around for quite awhile.
S: Spicy hop aroma with a touch of sweetness.
T: A bitter spicy punch starts things off with some sweet caramel malt flavors with a touch of a toasted flavor finish it off with a bittersweet aftertaste that lingers for awhile and leaves you wanting more. Plenty of hops on the back end as well remind you that this beer is made for hop lovers.
M: Sort of heavy on the mouth with enough carbonation that you know it's there. Very smooth though
D: Good drinkability. this beer seems like it's gonna sit a little heavy so one should be enough but two wouldn't be an issue. I don't think this one would be too sessionable.

Overall: a very tasty seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada that I look forward to every year.

SHODriver, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of psuKinger
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into standard shaker pint glass. No freshness date that I can see on the bottle.

A: Pours a nice, moderately sized white frothy head with "pancake batter bubbles" in the middle. The beer is a very deep orange, but glimmers in the light so I can see the carbonation rising.

S: Smell is of sweet hop oils, like an IPA slightly past it's prime.

T: Big flavors of citrus and grapefruit punch through early, but are followed by mild "Christmas" flavors of cinnamin. Maybe a little coriander?

Far from my first encounter with SN Celebration, this beer always drinks so smooth for an IPA. Just a smooth, approachable IPA with a reasonable amount of citrus/grapefruit.

M: A smooth brew that falls apart lightly in the mouth, it has appropriate carbonation and finishes with a good hoppy dry finish.

D: Another great one from Sierra Nevada, this is quite drinkable. As far as Christmas Beers goes, it's not a *typical one* because it's base style is an IPA. But I love IPA, and I would drink this year-round if they brewed it year-round. It's excellent.

psuKinger, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Celebration Fresh Hop Ale

Picked up a 22oz bomber (love these fat stubbies Sierra does) at Town N Country Market in SF for $4.99 and poured it into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light honey-like hue with a decent head that sticks around for a few sips, leaving good amounts of lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: A ton of carmel malt and toasted grains, slightly bready with a nice hoppy finish - citrus peals and earthy pine.

T: Good amount of bitter hop up front - grapefruit rinds, earthy moss, sweet resinous sativa backed by cereal flakes, toasted grains and nutty carmel malt. Flavors are balanced out nicely, but the hop lingers and dominates the overall flavor which is a good thing.

M: Medium bodied, extremely dry and well carbonated with a lingering bitterness from the hops.

D: All night drinker no problem.

DeanMoriarty, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of SnowGoon99
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours an amber color with hints of straw to orange in the light. Head is slightly off-white with great lacing down the glass. Aroma is somewhat subdued but i do catch some grassiness from the hops.

Flavors that instantly jump out are bitterness from the hops as well as a grassiness or earthiness. Also hints of caramel come through behind the hops. The bitterness it almost perfect. It's completely balanced with the maltiness and is not overdone at all. What this calculates to is an extremely balanced beer which is hard to do these days with the hop bombs out there. It fits perfectly to style.

Overall this is really a awesome beer. It does what it says it does and tastes great. You could order multiple pints of these in the pub or take down a six pack. Great job by the Sierra Nevada guys.

SnowGoon99, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of smibroncos
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured a clear dark amber with a nice fluffy two finger off white head. Decent retention. Great lacing on the glass.

S. Hops tingle the nose.Citrus, grass, hay, malt.

T. Strong bitter bite, slight matliness, citrus peel, spice, cereal, hops. Great duration.

M. Medium bodied, good carbonation.

D. A gret brew, lots of hops, great bitterness.i am glad I got a six pack I will probably have a few tonight.

smibroncos, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of jpro
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed a growler not too long ago. Looking forward to seeing how this bottle review compares for one of my favorite seasonal beers...

A: 12 oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass... slightly dusty, light amber / red with a massive 3.5 finger, off-white, milkshake-esque head (classic Sierra Nevada) that leaves light sheets / rings of lace.

S: Grapefruit and pungent citrus hops; maybe a hint of pine; some herby hops, too; caramel and light biscuit malts. Smells great!

T: Full flavored IPA... big time grapefruit bitterness with some pine; caramel malt sweetness and some scant hints of alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and creamy; near crushingly bitter on the palate; leaves you almost parched.

D: Such an enjoyable beer - very well rounded... looks good in the glass, has a great aroma and taste with an impressive mouthfeel. The parching effect on the palate, in the Drinkability department, is the only drawback.

jpro, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.13/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep brown orange color with a thick white head and a little lacing. Smells of oranges and piney hops and more hops and more hops. Tastes mostly of hops and a little wood in there somewhere and some caramel malts or something. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Drinkability is low.

TheKingofWichita, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bitter hops, and citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt and pin/citrus hops. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this is a damn fine brew. Has a great aroma and flavor going on in this one. I actually enjoyed it from the bottle a little more, but not a huge difference. This is must try for any hop-head out there... Scratch that, if you haven't had this one, get off your ass and do so.

thagr81us, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of BamaViper1
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The 2010 SN Celebration pours a transluscent amber brown into the glass. It forms a thick, creamy, off-white head that sticks around a little longer than anticipated. The head produces nice lacing.

The beer has a clear, fresh hop aroma accented with notes of grapefruit and grass. There is also a slight hint of fruitiness as well. A very faint bit of roasted malt and sugar can be detected too.

The Celebration opens with a bit of hop funk and citrus. Dried fruit and a bit of malty backbone come through next. There is the slight kick of alcohol, and then the beer finishes in a duel between bitterness and fresh bread.

The beer has a medium body with good carbonation. The finish has a bit of viscosity, which compliments the rest of the mouthfeel.

The medium body and hop notes make this beer easily drinkable, as does its 6.8% ABV. Sierra Nevada has created a very balanced IPA, and the holiday release nicely competes with the more spice-laden holiday beers typically seen at this time.

BamaViper1, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle purchased on 12/15/2010. Poured in a small Duvel Tulip glass.

A - A nice liight Amber/Orange color with over 2 fingers of small bubbled off White head. Also very clear and no yeast present like a bottled conditioned beer.

S - Smells of Lemon, Green Grass, Yeast, Pine and slight Malt sweetness. I wish they would dry hop this beer to highten the smell caracteristics.

T - Tastes of Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Carmel and Pilsner Malt.

M - A nice fruitness with a good Hop Bite from the fresh hops. Carbonation is a little high and the body is light which is great for this type of beer.

D - This is very drinkable as nothing is over powering and the alcohol content make this one the best sessionable beers made.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you to BuckyFresh for this present.

Pours a gold color with a pinch red. A slight white head appears upon pouring with some splotchy lacing.

Lots of malts in the smell with a cidery apple like scent. There is not as much hop scent as I thought there would be. The smell does not match the taste.

Tons of west coast pine hops are in the taste with some celery and citrus. Some malts help balance the hop taste creating a hop heavy brew.

The mouthfeel is medium with a good deal of carbonation. The bitterness is medium with a nice finish.

Another solid ale produced from SN. I would say this is medium in the scale of drinkable. Not the most drinkable, but not the least.

TCgoalie, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of steelerguy
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Starts with a nice head but it is gone quick, although some lacing is left. Low carbonation, would be nice to have a bit more. Amber color with some particulate matter from a complete pour.

S - Floral hops and and some toasted malt which gives a slightly bread like character.

T - Nice malt backbone, more floral hops to start with an even bitterness, and then ends with a nice citrus finish.

M - Moderate body, a touch too much caramel malt but nothing offensive. Finishes a little heavier than it could with a touch more carbonation.

D -Smooth IPA with the fresh hops, this is a good introduction to American IPAs but would be even better with a little less caramel malt and a little more carbonation.

steelerguy, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of goblue3509
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazy amber orange color with a three finger frothy slighly off white head. The head gives way to nice lacing. The aroma is of citrusy hops and floral hops with a hint of caramel malt. The taste has a caramel malt backbone along with a nice piney hop bite up front. There is also a citrus hop presence and the presence of spices to round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. The drinkability is good, it is a smoother drink than most ipa's. There is not the big hop bite that some ipa's have, but a nice well balanced flavor. The bite is enough to keep you interested and wanting more.

goblue3509, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of brendanbeer
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. very pretty amber orange haze. nice lacy head that lasts a little while.

s. i like the smell a lot, fruits and hops galore.

t. taste is unexpectedly good. the spices are incredibly orchestrated and complement the hops and sweet citrus flavors amazingly. the entire flavor profile blends beautifully and ends in a spice ale aftertaste. there's also that distinctive sierra nevada flavor that probably comes from the particular hops they use... not sure.

m. medium body, nice smooth characteristics. run of the mill good sierra nevada style.

d. really good beer. better than most seasonal spiced ales that become so popular this time of year. another exceptional beer by the consistently enjoyable sierra nevada team. Cheers!

brendanbeer, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of plusorminus
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a thin white head that lasted quite sometime.
S: Nice crisp smell with a citrus smell.
T: Very crisp taste with a strong hop taste that hits at first taste then hits again after a few seconds.
M: Little to bitter for my taste and rough on the tounge.
D: Quite drinkable but a little bitter to drink more then two more me.

Overall a very hop filled beer with a good taste and nice finish.


plusorminus, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz glass into Globe. After drinking cases of Celebration it is finally time to review it.

A. Poured 3 finger head. Thick lacing. Excellent retention. Color is cloudy amber orange.

S. Smell is hops. Piney and citrusy hops. Nice floral hop aroma with not a lot of bitterness. Can pick up some caramel malt sweetness lying beneath the hops. Really nice IPA smell.

T. Taste is a very well balanced IPA. Hop bitterness with a nice sweet malt flavor. Not an overly bitter hop bomb, but one of the easiest drinking IPAs out there.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Clean finish.

D. Very drinkable. This is my session IPA every holiday. Super easy to put down quite a few of these. Not a mind blowing showcase for hops, but a well balanced good IPA.

siradmiralnelson, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of mellowmark
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. short brown bottle to Imperial Pint glass. 2010 batch. Don't know the exact brewed on date. $14.99 for a 12-pack.

Appearance: Rusty amber color with a generous 3-finger head. Mostly translucent. Head sticks around for a while and leaves thick lacing all down the glass. The appearance is definitely the high point of this beer for me.

Smell: Smells of earthy hops and bright citrus. Some bready notes as well and a caramel like sweetness. Pleasing.

Taste: Hop bitterness right at the beginning sustains to the end. A little bit of citrus and malt sweetness try and keep the bitterness at bay and even things out. Tastes of grassy earthy hops and mild grapefruit. It's pretty bitter and isn't for everyone. Myself I prefer a little more malt or citrus presence in my IPA to counteract that bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation. More biting than I would prefer, even for an IPA.

Drinkability: Medium

It's pretty decent, but not something I would actively seek out again. Kind of surprised it's rated so highly, but I guess we all have our preferences. I'd like to try some aged and see if it doesn't change my mind.

---2005 vintage (3-16-11)---

Well speak of the devil! Found this 2005 bottle at my local beer store right next to the 2006 2007 2008 and 2009 versions. I figured I might as well go all out and get the oldest batch, so I did.

Appearance: Pours a copper amber color with orange highlights a 2-finger slow rising yellow head. Head retention is pretty mediocre, leaves a ring after about a minute. Murky as all hell, almost no transparency whatsoever. Little chunks floating around.

Smell: Very malty in the nose. Almost no sign of any hops. Spices like nutmeg and ginger. Fruity. Dark fruits like raisin and plum. Smells kind of like a Quad.

Taste: Surprisingly bitter up front then it just gets washed away by the malty sweetness. Earthy hops are very present, surprisingly. Spices and sweet malt. It's much sweeter than fresh. It's a little off to be honest. Kind of astringent.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium and kind of sticky with a medium to high carbonation.

Drinkability: Medium

Appearance: 3.5
Smell: 4.0
Taste: 3.0
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Drinkability: 3.0
Overall: 3.5

I would say I like 2010 a little better than the 2005, personally, but it's very close overall. It's a much different beer after over 5 years. Celebration is a rare example of an IPA that can be aged for years and still be very drinkable, however. Perhaps this one has aged just a little too long. 3 years would be about perfect I would think.

mellowmark, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of nickadams2
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Deep gold in color with a thick white head. Great retention lots of lacing.


T_Nice amount of grassy hops. Waves of pine and grapefruit. Touch of spiciness on the back end.

M_Medium bodied with a semi dry finish.

D_Great session IPA

nickadams2, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of mondegreen
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz into an Allagash Tulip. Bottled on the 305th day of 2010, making this one just under 2 months old.

Pours a pretty golden amber with a half inch of off white head.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts and bright floral hops. Brilliant.

Taste is a delicate balance of sweet and bitter. The signature SN hoppiness is here, firmly in the center with a pronounced bitterness. The sweet malts are on the periphery. Good taste.

Mouth is very good for an IPA. Good carbonation, leaves the palate dry.

Drinks like a champ. One of the finest examples of an affordable, approachable American IPA.

I've had my share of SN Celebration this season. It is worth noting that there is a huge difference in both the nose and taste at 3 weeks compared to 8 weeks. The 8 week old beer, reviewed here, is solid and worthy of praise. The 3 week old celebration is phenomenal, on par with some of the best IPAs on the market today. Drink it as fresh as possible, but when it comes down to it, just drink it.

mondegreen, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of HoopTime
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint on Christmas Eve from a growler filled that afternoon at Al's of Hampden.

A -- Pours a rich foamy1.5" head with a light caramel tint. The head receded about halfway, then lingered a while while leaving a back-of-the-spoon type coating of lattice on the glass. This is a rich amber with a hint of burnt orange that is remarkably clear. The carbonation bubbles steadily through the middle of the glass. I sat mesmerized watching the chamagne-style bubbles streaming to the top.

S -- Though this is a fresh hopped ale, it does not have that overpowering middle of a pine forest with a pitcher of grapefruit juice by your nose hoppiness to the nose that other fresh hopped ales I have tried had. This is more subtle hoppiness. Unlike fresh hopped beers I have had that you could smell five feet away, this one takes getting your nose over the glass to pick up, but when you get close you will find a hint oi evergreen with citrus undertones.

T -- This starts off bitter and hoppy, citrusy, almost like carbonated grapefruit juice. Then the malt kicks in and balances it out for a very smooth, refreshing finish.

M -- Incredible effervescence, almost champagne like. This pour was extremely carbonated despite my having to open the growler when I got it home to replace a leaky metal lid. Light, bubbly, this damces on your tounge and tickles down the throat.

D -- A little strong for a session beer, but not by much. I could drink this all night.Praise Sierra Nevada for going a different direction from most in a holiday beer. Instead of a big, high alcohol spiced or fruited dark beer, they stuck to the basics and simply produced a beer fitting of celebrating the solstice

Having been turned on to wet and fresh-hopped offerings this fall, I expected this to be more like them, yet was not disappointed in the least by the more subtle approach.

HoopTime, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Blueribbon666
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must be in the minority when it comes to IPA's not usually a style I enjoy beyond one or two in a sitting. BUT, this is probably my favorite especially in the winter months. Great body, warm mouth feel w/o being thick. SN brews are usually hop tinged in overall taste and this kicks like a mule w/good fresh hop cone. Out of all their brews Celebration Ale and even Bigfoot seem to bring me back in the winter months

Blueribbon666, Dec 25, 2010
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,969 ratings.