1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

7,821 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,821
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 200
Gots: 462 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,821 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is nice and golden copper with fine head retention a good lacing. Smell is mostly cascade hops with some sweetness in the background. Taste hits with a lot of bitterness and a strong citrus/piney hop flavors. This is held up with some very nice caramel toffee notes in the malt background. The more I sip, the more I get the malt sweetness, especially in the finish. Medium body and very drinkable. Yet another great beer from Sierra Nevada.

zoso1967, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I like Sierra Nevada. A high quality brewery with a number of good offerings. But I always approach seasonals with a degree of skepticism. They tend to be seasonal because you wouldn't want to drink this beer all year round. Not with this tasty brew.
Very aromatic with citrusy and some bread notes. Some maltiness comes through too.
A very beautiful beer with a tremendous white head and medium amber color. Initially sweet but the hops kick in right away with a beautiful medium bitterness that lingers for a long time. Very smooth in your mouth. Creamy for an ale this hoppy. Very drinkable. After trying a bottle that my brother gave me, I bought a 12-pack. I look forward to one almost every day now. It doesn't grow old. Excellent

chickenflea, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, in a 12oz pint glass at Mellow Mushroom, Atlanta (Brookhaven location):

A: The beer appeared a very nice orange-ish/copper color with a very nice 2 finger, big, white head and was retained fairly well.

S: The beer gave off a big malty, bready aroma with some hints of citrus and floral, possibly the hops trying to assert themselves, but being overpowered. Excellent aroma.

T: The taste of the beer is very good, rich, and complex, I would have thought that it would have been classified as a DIPA, but nonetheless, very full-flavored hop, with a nice malt backbone a nice bitter aftertaste.

M/D: The beer has a medium to full feeling to it, almost chewy, well carbonated, rich, smooth and extremely easy to drink. I drank the first one before I knew it. Certainly one of the best beers that I have had.

PhillyStyle, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of sitarist
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009:

A- Pours a nice orange, copper color. Two finger head, last a couple minutes. Nice lacing.

S- Grapefruit juice? Hints of bread

T- Grapefruit, a little malt, bread, more citrus, pine? No hint of the alcohol.

M- Medium body, bitter up front, sweet in the middle, bitter down the hatch.

D- Very drinkable, I never thought Id enjoy a beer this bitter but I cant stop drinking these. The bitterness is bold but somehow balanced out with a slight hint of malty sweetness.

I wish this one was available all year. This will be a gateway to more bitter beers for me.

2010:

The 2010 batch seems more earthy than last years batch...pine and citrus with grassy notes, something a bit metallic...still a great beer for the money, I will be consuming a lot of these over the next month or two!

sitarist, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled Sept 28, 2010.

Pours amber/orange/copper with a very nice haze and dark bits of sediment and a huge foamy and rocky off white head that leaves rings of clumpy lacing down the glass. Beautiful.

Aroma is pine, citrus, grass, floral hops, some caramel and bready malt, moderate to good strength.

Excellent flavor of resinous fresh hops, citrus, pine and grass, good caramel malt backbone in the middle with a moderate sweetness to offer balance to the good bitterness on the finish. Lingering sweet/bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, medium carbonation, very easy drinking.

What an excellent IPA, great, great stuff. Hope to be able to try a fresher batch sometime this season as our East Coast distributors took their sweet time getting round one on the shelves this year.

---

Original Review Nov 27, 2009

2009 bottle. Pours dark amber/copper/red with a nice pillowy & rocky off-white head. Leaves a good amount of sticky lacing.

Aroma is floral hops.

Flavor is very hoppy, more pine/floral/grassy than citrus. Some caramel malts. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable and enjoyable!

Appearance 4, Smell 3, Taste 3.5, Mouthfeel 3, Drinkability 3.5, Score 3.45

elgiacomo, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of cudmud
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer has a nice rocky head of two fingers thickness. The head produces nice lacing. The brew is clear and has a nice copper color.

Smell: This beer has awesome hop aromas, and I detect a slight hint of cranberry and oranges in the nose.

Taste: Nice, complex hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: There is a nice level of carbonation in this beer. The liquid component of the beer morphs into thousands of bubbles when it hits the tongue; it's very relaxing and delightful.

Drinkability: Very tasty and thirst quenching.

cudmud, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of righlander
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, first thing... it's 30 degrees outside right now. Frickin cold!! So I meant to buy a 6 of this before Christmas but, I ended up not getting it until now. And I'm sooo glad I bought a whole 6 pack!
Pours a nice slightly hazy amber from a 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass. Big foamy sticky head. Super clingy lacing going on here. Very pretty beer.
Smells piney...very piney! But also sweet malt chilling in the background. Maybe detecting some alcohol fuming around in there too. Smells like a bad ass beer. Very big smelling beer going on here. It smells absolutely wonderful! Very complex. It's hard to pick up on everything that is going on here. But none the less, it smells amazing. Maybe some oak or something in there too.
The taste is amazing! Beautifully hopped. A strong hop punch right off the bat...Yes it is really hoppy BUT, in no way over done. The hops just slam your tongue with wonderful punch. and at the end you get the sweetness of the malt followed buy more hop punch. It's really hard to explain everything that is going on in this beer but It's simply wonderful.
Mouth feel is perfect for this beer. The hops balance out the sweetness perfectly. This is a big beer. The drinkability is great! It tastes so good you have to control yourself! I drink them slow and enjoy every last drop!

Simply perfect.

righlander, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours amber in color with a thick two finger off-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing. This is pretty much a perfect looking beer.

Aroma had some floral and light citrus hops with some sweetness from the malt. Taste is both hoppy and malty. it has some citrus and pine from the hops but also some bready and biscuit tones from the malt. It's pretty well balanced between the malt sweetness and the hop bitterness, which makes it very drinkable.

Always a pleasure drinking one of these, this is one of my many regular purchases, and will continue to be.

billab914, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this for a very cheap price.

This is one of the most beautiful beers I've seen. It pours a hazy golden amber with an absolutely ridiculous, giant, off-white shaving cream head. That head doesn't go anywhere while you're drinking it. It leaves probably the most lacing I've ever seen. Absolutely world class in terms of appearance.

The smell is all hops, a nice combination of pine and grapefruit. The taste is an unadulterated hop bomb. Pine dominates. It's like a Christmas tree turned into a beer. The bitterness lingers forever. There's a bit of a malt counterbalance, but you have to go fishing for it. I think I can taste a hint of cinnamon, but I might just be reaching for it because of the label.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, perhaps a little too much so for the style. It's super sticky, which is unsurprising if the lacing is anything to go on.

Overall, Sierra Nevada does it again. I often take them for granted, since they are so ubiquitous, but they truly are one of the best, most consistent breweries out there, especially for a hophead like me.

CharlatanSin, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of zimm421
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark burnt orange to amber color, and is slightly cloudy. Has a nice thick, white, foamy head that leaves good lacing on the glass

S - Smell isn't overpowering, and there doesn't seem to be a lot going on, but there are hints of hops with a little bit of pine scent involved

T - A great tasting beer with hops dominating the flavor, just like the nose. Not very similar to the other holiday brews I had this season, but definitely a great one.

M - Full bodied and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation

D - Fairly easy to drink, but too many too fast will catch up to you and make it under appreciated.

Overall, one of my favorite holiday beers I had this year, and something I will probably get for years to come.

zimm421, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of sicilian
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

If you're a real Hop Head you will love this beer as it should be labeled as an Double IPA style. I really enjoy the regular SN Pale Ale and other PA's and even most IPA's are OK with me. I do enjoy the floral sharp hop flavors generally speaking.

This one has very strong flavors typical of a holiday brew, but they are totally overwhelmed by the bitter hop flavor and smell with little to no spice or malt flavors. This made it not so enjoyable to me as I wasn't expecting. About half way through my palate was numb enough to enjoy the remainder without wincing.

sicilian, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For the life of me I can't figure out why it has taken me now to review this beer. Perhaps I love it so much that I never want to review it but rather just sit back and enjoy it. Either way, a nice afternoon with 30 degree weather and much of the nation gripped in bitter cold weather warrants it.
A 12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada logotype pint glass...
Appearance is a nice copper to amber body with a white head that sits well and sticks to the glass like a dusting of snow. The aroma is pungent grapefruit along with a caramel breadiness that pairs well with the bitterness of it. The flavor matches the aroma with a bitterness sticking to the tongue. With warmth, the bitterness subsides a bit as more residual sugars are allowed to display the caramel malt used in this brew. The mouthfeel is fuller without being heavy. For drinkability this one is no session IPA, but a sipper.

rtratzlaff, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of decasere
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this as part of a four way split with some friends, we usually get some every year.

Marked 2009 vintage on the bottle

Pours a dark coppery orange with a huge head and leaves lacing all the way down the Pint Glass.

The Aroma is piney with grapefruit, alcohol and a caramelly sweetness.

The flavor is a bit deceptive, grapefruity and piney with a maltiness i wasn't expecting, you can also taste the alcohol the aftertaste is that of fresh whole flower hops like biting into a hop flower.

All in a a fully enjoyable experience.

decasere, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of sbw138
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bottle from The Foodery and poured into a pint glass. Poured a nice brown/orange color, with a solid bright white head that was decently thick, left a good tracing on the glass.

Great smell. A nice blend of hops and malt really hit you. Also, you can notice a litte bit of the winter seasonal spices that are brewed in. Really, a pleasant smell.

Nice balanced taste and mouthfeel. Hops aren't overpowering, but you can definitely notice them.

Great drinkability. Tastes like a combination of an American IPA, and a winter warmer. Another great job by Sierra Nevada.

sbw138, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of humuluslupulus8
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer was a translucent dark orange color with an average amount of carbonation bubbles. The off-white head was thick and went away after a while, leaving a little bit of lacing.

S: I loved the smell of this beer! The main aromas were floral and piney hops. There wasn't much else to the smell, but I loved the amounts and types of hops used.

T: The beer tasted very similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at first: a very good balance of malt and hops. However, this was quickly followed by a bitter aftertaste. The bitterness was strong enough to be noticed, but not so strong that it overpowered my palate.

M: The mouthfeel was a little thicker than expected, but it worked well for this beer. There was nothing notable about the carbonation.

D: Overall, this was a well crafted beer. The beer was easy to drink like Sierra Nevada's pale ale, but it had a little extra character because of the bitter aftertaste. Since the bitterness was not too strong, I think this would be a good beer for introducing someone to the aromas and flavors of hops in beer. Also, this beer would be good with or without food. I'm glad I bought a six-pack of Celebration Ale and not just a single. :)

humuluslupulus8, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of jwillcourt
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A - Rich, caramel brown color with slight cloudiness. Quarter-inch white head that settles to a thin, spotty film in a few minutes. No visible carbonation. Decent lacing.

S - Strong hop aroma only hints at the taste.

T - Dominated by hops. Slight, sweet caramel malt flavor that is not at all balanced with lemony hops but just enough to make sure the bitter hops are still pleasant. Alcohol lends some warmth.

While this is a Celebration Ale, there are no winter spices to distinguish this ale from other Sierra Nevada beers.

M - Pleasant, medium body. Very fine carbonation provides body without being syrupy. Hops leave a buttery oiliness on the lips.

D - This is a delicious, hoppy ale that is a welcome change of pace from other winter seasonals.

jwillcourt, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thomas Kincaid bottle art?

Clear, coppery gold with some bubbley action and suspended floaties (bottle conditioning?). Huge white head like a spoonful of mashed 'taters. More lace than I know what to do with.

2 words: hop stank. Sugary bubble gum with grapefruit and pine hops. Dry cracker malt. Taste is pine/citrus hop with a citrus hop oil mouth coating. Sharp bitter. Cracker malt, nice and dry.

Nothing particularly outstanding about this beer but it's a flawless archetype of an American IPA in it's own right. So says I.

donkeyrunner, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of guyforget
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, on sale for $3.99, poured into a weizen glass. not a lot of carbonation.

medium amber color, creamy head. dissipates to a small foam that leaves some (but not much) lacing as you sip.

smell is dominated by hops, slight caramel, not much spice or malt to my nose.

taste does not deviate from the smell very much. hops dominates the flavor, slight pine. not a lot of caramel or malt, and even less of the spice that some may expect from a winter / holiday brew, if any. there is a touch of that signature sierra nevada taste, a common ground between this and their signature pale ale around the middle of the palate.

mouthfeel is smooth from the minimal carbonation. finishes bitter but not puckering or oily / resinous.

while atypical for the style of a winter / holiday brew, this is a welcome departure from some of the spicier beers we find throughout the fall, winter, and into spring.

guyforget, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of mobyfann
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid a mere $5.99 for a growler at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a clear amber colored base, large white head, excellent retention and lacing on the glass. Smells of oak and hops with a touch of maple syrup.

Low Carbonation, full bodied, incredibly smooth and high quality ingredients... perfect hops in this one. Easy going and smooth in the mouth and a perfect session beer, the only way it isn't is if you drink it too quickly, which is a possibility!

Final Thought: This is a great IPA from one of the big 3 in the micro-brew industry, fantastic!

mobyfann, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of crhensel
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(bottle into pint glass) Pours a beautiful amber color with a foamy white head that lasted almost the entire glass, falling from about one finger to a half with strong lacing. The nose was of the bitter hops with a hint of citrus. Like other Sierra Nevada brews, the bitterness of the hops dominates at first, but does mellow into a crisp finish. Once a year is perfectly fine for this one, I am not a huge fan, but do enjoy that, unlike other winter seasonals, the sweetness does not dominate, giving a nice break.

crhensel, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of keifffff
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look forward to this Ale every season. It is one of those staples that is very easy to drink and very good on your palete. This one is highly recommended. Has the perfect holiday season taste. Always bummed when I can no longer find it around. That is why I buy cases of this stuff.

keifffff, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of hylton44
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very frothy head - I received a six pack as a gift and actually did not know the style of beer it was before I poured my first glass. A pleasant surprise the frothy head, nice burnt-orange/brown hue and thick, toasty mouthfeel of a upper-echelon brewpub IPA! Reputation of SN's regular American Pale Ale precedes the brewery, of course, but this one did not disappoint. I don't normally think of the style as a Wintery style of beer, but it was sure welcome this holiday season.

hylton44, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of Exiled
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Pours a slightly hazy orangish/amber color with a huge off white fluffy head. Sticky lacing from the head coats the entire inside of the glass, and last all the way to the end. Smell is lots of sweet citrusy, slightly piny hops, and caramel. Taste is citrusy hops with a caramel malt backbone, and ending with a nice hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation. Overall this is another very good IPA from SN.

Exiled, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to a large, fluffy head. It is amber in color. It smells of floral hops and grapefruit. It tastes bitter upfront but finishes crisp and clean. It is one of the best tasting standard IPA's that I have had.

Happy New Year!

buschbeer, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of mckeowbc
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass this beer forms a nice dense head that settles down to around a finger thick with a good amount of lacing. The color is a deep amber and is almost completely clear.
S - As with most of Sierra Nevada's beers the smell is almost completely dominated by Cascade hops, not that this is a bad thing. The clean floral smell of Cascade is one of my favorite scents.
T - The taste of hops hits you initially, it's strong but not as much as some of Sierra Nevada's other offerings. The hop bite is slightly muted by the higher malt content of the beer. After the hop taste subsides you are left with a slightly sour fruity finish reminicent of grapefruit.
M - The high hop content and relatively high carbonation of this beer give it a bit of a rough mouthfeel. The beer is down your throat before the tingling on you tongue subsides.
D - I find it very easy to finish a bottle of this beer but would question whether I'd have a second in one sitting. It's very enjoyable, but the sour taste wears on me a bit and leaves me wanting me to spread these out a bit over the Christmas season. But I still by a six pack of this every year when it hits stores.

mckeowbc, Dec 31, 2009
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,821 ratings.