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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.

7,880 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,880
Reviews: 3,156
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 216
Gots: 481 | 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: 7,880 | Reviews: 3,156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mavbrew
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper in color with amberish highlights along the edges with a finger thick, bubbly off-white head that slowly dissipates, leaving slight lacing down the glass.

S: Major floral hop scent up front with some hints of citrus (orange) and some malty scent present, perhaps caramel.

T: Up front taste is just as you would expect from the smell, bitters up front from the hops with a hint of citrus and what seems to be spices. Finish is smooth and dry with the lingering bitters remaining for quite a long time.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation, hoppy and smooth in the palate.

D: Taste is nice and hoppy, drinks smooth, the almost 7% ABV is barely noticeable which could be dangerous, but is enjoyed very much.

mavbrew, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of StaveHooks
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy amber copper. A rocky 2 finger off-white head retains very well.

S - Woody pine forest, fresh pine needles, orange and grapefruit citrus, strawberries, doughy caramel malt.

T - Citrus hits first and is more pronounced than the aroma lets on. Green pine cone hops come in and add some herbal bite along with earthy strawberries along a honey caramel malt.

M - Very creamy medium body with moderate carbonation.

I look forward to this every year and never disappoints.

StaveHooks, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of alkchrios
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I work at a local brewery and was talking to one of the bartenders about craft beer and such...basically asking if he had, had anything recently that was just a really great beer. I had seen celebration ale in the coolers the past couple years but never thought to purchase one..I always found myself reaching for something by a smaller company, or something that had a name I couldnt pronounce..not sure why but im sure weve all been there. Anyways I was strongly urged to pick up a 6 pack of SN Celebration.. so here I am.
I have a hard time drinking really good beer straight from the bottle so I poured this into a standard old pint glass.
The celebration pours a nice dark gold, almost copper but not as dark. Immediately you know this is going to be a rather carbonated ale due to all of the rising suds! The pour gave way to about an inch and a half head that kind of stays with you for a while. Upon smelling and tasting..to be honest, this is a great beer but its almost as though its a more refined, more grown up version of the standard SN Pale. Its crisp, not very complex but at the same time full of flavor and just overall, a well crafted brew. I would say that the alcohol is a bit more present in this ale..more so than other SN beers ive had.

alkchrios, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of latackbeer
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a perfect copper with red at the edges. Poured a 2 finger head into a Pint glass and it climbed down the glass.

The smell is pine and woody perfect brew for our first snowfall.

The taste is the same as the smell just with some lemony notes.

Very drinkable, for the season it has become my favorite I.P.A.

Get it While you can!!

latackbeer, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark amber, perhaps even red on the edges. Thick long lasting head on it.
S- Pine and citrus aromas and a certain woody aroma to it as well.
T- Balanced enough for my taste. Pale malt, with that same wood aroma in the flavor. Pine and citrus hops pack a powerful flavor in the finish.
M- Smooth and creamy. Spot on.
D- A great IPA and perhaps a new favorite from SN.

jsprain1, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Tucquan
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-12-04 in Columbia, PA. The label indicates this is a 2010 vintage.

A - Moderately hazy burnt amber

S - Pleasant citrus, mild yeast and hop floral.

T - Caramel malt, candied orange, grapefruit, earthy and a lingering sweet-sourness with astringent bitterness winning in the end. A tasty brew.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Prickly resins but also smooth.

D - A tasty recipe that will bring you back for another if time and circumstances allow.

Tucquan, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of heebes
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

My first of the season, wanted to wait till snow was on the ground before I tryed these.
Pours a lovely clear amber with a three finger head, foamy and inviting. Smells of fresh wet hops; citrus and pine. Taste is very smooth at first, flavour hits the palatte beautifully with the citrus notes at the front, bitter finish. Easy to drink this beer, medium mouthfeel. Something to look forward to every year around this time. Absoulte gem from Sierra Nevada.

heebes, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of dlmccabe1
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 1/6 gallon keg. Nice head retention and a good looking deep straw color. The aroma is great, lots of piney hops and citrus notes. The first sip finds it a little heavy on the hop bitterness, similar to my first impressions of a Victory Hop Wallop. But as it sits, it mellows into a nice balanced hop heavy IPA.

Really refreshing and a different style of IPA than your everyday run of the mill versions. Recommended!

dlmccabe1, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of mountsnow1010
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pitcher during happy hour at the G-man in Carlisle, PA.
(That was a mistake)

Anyway, here's the review.

A - Delicious-looking. Dark copper/red with a very fluffy white head that lasts for a while.
S - Hops hops hops. Hint of malt. Mostly piney odor- with a bit of citrus.
T - Lovely hops flavor up front. Hit with some malt further down the taste. A very astringent aftertaste. Personally I think this beer focuses more on a resiny piney flavor, with a lot less citrus emphasis (I'm a huge fan of the citrus).
M - Smooth with nice bubbles. Coats the mouth - lot of staying power.
D - Considering I had four of these, I'd say it's quite drinkable! I would have preferred two Celebrations and two beers of another type. Two of these is enough of this particular flavor for me. Drinkable considering ABV.

mountsnow1010, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of kevinconroy
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Decent color, nice amber brown/red/gold color. Dark color very appealing but not great

S: This beer has a pretty good smell. The reason I give it a 3 was because this is a fresh hopped beer. This beer should be oozing out that delicious fresh hop smell i crave in a fresh hopped beer. It smells good but not as good as i would like for a fresh hop.

T: Good taste; Not very balanced but good none the less. Very malty and then very bitter. Good bitter and good malt but not well put together. This beer had a little bit of a metallic taste to it for me; a little unpleasant. The fresh hop taste is nice and acidly but is not as fresh or hoppy as I would like for being a "fresh hop."

M: This beer has great mouth feel. Very creamy almost like a nitro or what a cast beer would have. Its always great to get something creamy out of this style. Very sexy lace drips down the glass all the way till the end. This is an almost perfect mouth feel. This beer sets the precedent for the style.

D: You could drink this beer all night but you would wake up in the gutter!

Overall: This is a good recommendable beer. It is worth a try but if you want something that truly represents a "fresh hop" beer this is not the beer you are looking for. On a scale of 1 to a 100 this beer is an 80. Good beer but breweries go through great lengths to fresh hop beer. This beer just has no craftsmanship, no soul. Its the same as when John Coltrane stopped shooting heroin.

kevinconroy, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of depechemode1983
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear light brown in color with a foamy tan head. Huge amounts a lacing all around the glass.

S - Citric hops right up front with a bit of pine, then malts come in and give it a woodsy scent. It has a some what earthy finish on the nose.

T - Bitter citric hops are insane on this. There's a little bit of a piny bready taste with a grainy finish. All in all this beer has a very earthy feel to it. love it.

M - Well carbonated and medium bodied. washes over nicely. The carbonation plays in well with the bitter hoppy taste.

D - Excellent session brew. Delicious. Alcohol is moderate but i could see drinking a sixer of this stuff no problem. If you have chance to pick some of this up do so.

depechemode1983, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Estocker
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into my 22oz. mug.

Leaves an absolutely incredible lacing on the glass, even when almost no head is present.

The smell is somewhat underwhelming as far as IPAs go. It has the typical SN aroma. A little piny, slightly floral, not much citrus unfortunately.

Taste is very easy-going. Although very bitter, it seems that there is not a lot of flavorful hop presence. This isn't necessarily bad, but when I look to have an IPA, I usually want to be pummeled with Citrus and pine. This one seems to be very well balanced, but with a strong bitter profile. It lingers nicely, like most SN ales do.

Estocker, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 model into a tulip

Deep orange/amber pour with a huge frothy head like a big league bubble bath. Lacing is thick and steady and clings to the glass with each sip.

Big, bold, fresh aromas from the get-go in the form of lemon rind, pine cone, peppermint, and fresh herbs. Biscuit malts provide depth and a massive wave of menthol pummels the palate and washes over the entire profile. Pine cone bitterness combines with the coolness on the finish. There's something almost slightly manufactured here, like a York Peppermint Patty and some fresh mint leaves were mashed into my glass. Maybe this is the result of the wet hopping.

Fresh, tingling, and crisp with a creamy thick body and high carbonation that doesn't detract from the smooth body. A strong point of this beer. Overall, a nice offering from Sierra Nevada; maybe a personal favorite from a brewery I'm not typically crazy about.

BarrytheBear, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of sjverla
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Pine and citrus. Lightly floral. "Celebration" spices and hints of cinnamon with just a touch of alcohol.

Appearance: Stellar copper color and clarity. A cream-colored head the lingers and laces.

Taste: Subtly biscuity at first. Then morphs into a mellow, vanilla-like sweetness. The hops come in strong at the end, spicy and bitter--peppery. Smooth feel and good drinkability.

sjverla, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of movingtrain
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a standard pint glass.

Pours a nice amber color. With an aggressive pour, a firm fluffy head rests on top, with lots of active carbonation in the body of the beer.

In the aroma are hints of honey, grapefruit, apple, white grapes, and warm bread. The hop presence is quite full, providing a nice kick in the smell.

The flavor is quite fine, balancing fruity hop tones with a mellow, sweet malty undertone. And that head is sticking around...with each sip, it's not going anywhere. Other flavors that are present are red grapefruit, light candy sugar, minute hints of cinnamon, and, of course, a nice hop presence.

The alcohol in this beer is quite warming, which is nice on this cold December eve. It is surprisingly warming, given that it is just below seven percent, and other beers that reach this range don't always produce this effect. For a winter beer, this works well for Celebration.

Overall, this is a tasty brew. An excellent departure from the spiced holiday offerings on the shelves during this time of year.

movingtrain, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of thekoz
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer in a pleasant amber brown. Pours with a nice white head. Had this is a 30th anniversary Sierra Nevada Glass.

Has a great hoppy aroma to it. Nice herbal and floral hoppy aroma with touch of malt or ester sweetness.

Flavor is nice an bitter with some nice wet hop aroma. Very smooth, highly drinkable. Some citrus flavors. Maybe a little pineyness too.

I can see how some people believe this beer has spices in it, since has a lot of flavors going on. But I have read in interviews that it does not.

Amazing IPA, surprised it has taken me so long to try it.

thekoz, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of shand
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a copper color with a massive head that laces absolutely beautifully. This beer looks delicious. You just know it'll taste good from looking at it.

Smell: Hops. Pine. Citrus. It's an IPA. The pine and malts are more prevalent here than other IPAs, which lend it that little bit of holiday flavor.

Taste: An exceptional IPA. This is really everything you could want in an IPA. The fresh hop bite and a wonderful pine, citrus, and malt backbone. If you like IPAs, you'll love this.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium heaviness and fairly carbonated. Feels good.

Drinkability: Nothing wrong with this here, just the right lingering aftertaste makes this a great drinker.

A great example of the style. For the price, this is probably the best IPA bang for the buck there is. Look hard enough and it's easy to find this for a buck a bottle. Highly recommended.

shand, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 issue ("Fresh Hop Ale") served in standard pint glass

A - nice reddish amber with modest and lingering tan head. Very slight haziness; tiny amount of sediment in bottle.

S - hoppy with significant pine and malt undertones. Clean and fresh but with herbal notes.

T - pronounced citrusy hop flavor and bitterness [IBU = 65] but without an objectionable bite and some balancing sweetness. No off-tastes. Clean and pleasant finish with a hint of caramel malt. True to style.

M - adequate but low carbonation

chinchill, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of joelbb14
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my second year drinking Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. I remember last year, before I had turned 21, my (now) wife picked this for me because she though I would like it. She knows me well, I loved it. Now that I can obtain this fantastic drink on my own, I think it will be a major part of every winter from here on out. I was thrilled to see it on the shelves and quickly bought up the first two six's of the year.

Appearence. Definately orange, not completely clear, slightly hazey. Decent head, still lingering as I write this, but definately does not stick around forever. A little lacing as the head dissipates.

Smell. This is my favorite part of Celebration Ale. I think this one smells very sweet and also very earthy. This definately reminds me of cutting christmas trees, because of the "pine" scent. Hops, yes, but not as strong as I remember a year ago.

Taste. God I love the tase of this beer. It is fairly bitter but to me the taste is really does tast like the holidays. It is fairly bitter but not too much. The beer is also pretty sweet which is something I do not remember my first time around. I also taste the pine or earthy taste I was able to smell earlier.

Mouthfeel. This too is a feature of this beer that I absolutly love. It is pretty strongly carbonated which helps bring out the flavors of the beer. The carbonation is "uplifting" and fits perfectly with this beer as a whole.

Drinkability. If drinkability refers to the amount of beer that can be drank, this is not the beer for you. The flavor is very powerful and it would be impossible for me to drink a ton of these. I would rather drink this one slowly and enjoy the flavors because that is how I consider this beer to be drinkable. The beer is super dynamic, so it is definately best enjoyed in a slow and deliberate manner.

A Beer in Review. I think it is evident that I love this beer. The flavor is perfect for the season, and its availability sort of hypes up my excitement for the beer. The earthy flavors make this beer stand out, and it is a great choice for a nationally available seasonal brew.

joelbb14, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of bookem
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at OZone Pizza Pub. Served in a imperial pint glass.

A: Rich. A one-finger head which settles into a thin layer that stays throughout the pint. The beer itself is a perfectly clear medium copper. The remaining layer of foam grips the sides of the glass in snowy sheets of almost solid lacing.

S - The hop presence comes across immediately with a piney nose and hints of citrus.

T - Taste was fresh, crisp and rich with a well balanced hop bite.

M - Again, crisp. Well carbonated and not much aftertaste.

D - To really appreciate this beer you must drink it on tap. A excellent session beer which is well crafted with a generous amount of hops.

bookem, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of shortordercook
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big bouncy cream colored head, at least 2 fingers wide. Took a long time to whittle down to a nice 3/4" foam. Nice translucent amber color.

Smells of hops, cream, citrusy fruits.

Taste- Hops hit the sides of the mouth very noticeably, taste very fresh and earthy. Carbonation is perfect, not too much, but not subtle, either. Aftertaste shows off the alcohol a bit, but is smoothed out by a nice caramel-like malty presence. Perfect bite to go with the hops.

Goes down very nicely; it's easy to crack a few without noticing. That is until you stand up of course.

shortordercook, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Chadpaq
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second of a six-pack (Conveniently on sale for $7.99 at my local Harris Teeter).

2010 Version.

Generous, tri-fingered head that recedes messily and slowly. I dig it.

Very large amount of floral hops in my nose. Smells extremely fresh, although I can't find the freshness label. Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. Whatever. It's the 2010 version, and in-season. It's fresh.

A bunch of biting hops on the palate. Actually let my less-inclined friend take a sip and he insisted it was way too bitter for him. Just what I like.

I bought a six-pack of this, and I'll be damned if I don't finish it this evening. That's a testament to the drinkability. I'll be feeling a nice little winter's buzz as I begin my slumber tonight, and I'll be thankful for the extra warmth.

Between the alcohol content and the hops overload, not to mention the $7.99/6 pack price, this is one of my favorite winter beers.

Chadpaq, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of fourplayed
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber with 2 finger off white foamy head. leaves nice lacing top to bottom.

Smells are pine, citrus and earthy hops, a nice smooth scent.

Taste is bitter earthy hops up front, citrus and pine get buried a bit more. Some malt sweet notes keep hops down just barely.

Medium body, very zesty carbonation, medium alcohol warmth, sticky in the throat with good dry finish.

As advertised, a fresh hop ale. Hops are center stage with all other characters in a minor roll. Good hop lover brew!

fourplayed, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich orange-copper pour with a nice frothy off-white head. Smells of orange zest, spices, pine and caramel and a hint of lemon. Piny hop flavor with lots of caramel malt background and a generous amount of spice. Good medium body with lots of soft carbonation.

punkrkr27, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Beautiful bright amber orange. Gorgeous white pillowy head. Bubbly. Awesome looking.

S - HOPS!!! A lot of hops! Pine, too.

T - A lot of hops, grapefruit, pine, and a nice mild malt backbone that is just enough to keep this in perfect balance. Some spices in here too.

M - Medium bodied'ish. Dry dry. Carbonated moderately but not overly so.

D - One of the 3 most drinkable beers I know of. This beer has been a go to for me since I started drinking beer and is the PERFECT beer for the holiday season. Pretty much the only IPA I have a desire to drink during the winter months, and I drink it more frequently than any other beer during this time of year. A favorite. One of the 5 or so beers I expect to consume most of in my lifetime.

jmerloni, Dec 01, 2010
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,880 ratings.