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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.

7,610 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,610
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 188
Gots: 392 | 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: 7,610 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313


3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick white firm lasting head.

Nose is very yeasty, assertive and pleasant; nice bread nose character.

Flavors are strong citrus/pine hops with a little malt. Nice hints of pine. Pleasant and drinkable, although very predictable.

Long bitter hop finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 17:11:40 | More by GRG1313
Photo of tdawgydog

New York

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had two of these sitting in the cellar since last Christmas, thought it was time to make way for this years seasonal brews... Poured the 2008 Celebration Ale into my Maudite Goblet.

A - Pours a nice copper red color with a good two finger head that dissipates to almost nothing with a decent lacing left around the rim of the glass

S - Strong Hoppy scent with a little bit of oak barrel scent. Something that you would definitely look forward to on a cold winter day.

T - Strong Hop taste, otherwise a slight cinnamon and biscuit taste.

D - Enjoyable as long as your not mixing and matching. I could have a few of these to warm the soul on a chilly day. They don't go well if your sampling other beers. Stick to these if that is what you like.

M - Good body, I'm not sure that I notice any difference after cellaring the beer for 10 months.

Definitely one of my favorite winter warmers. I hope this years is as good as last.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 23:20:22 | More by tdawgydog
Photo of ipazilla


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer in a 12 oz. bottle at a Christmas party last year it was excellent and went well with a spicy venison chili that was served.
Nice strong hop flavor, really floral and bitter. I wish it was a year round offering. I would definitely drink regularly and I can't wait till it's released again.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 13:43:47 | More by ipazilla
Photo of thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this at the supermarket a couple years ago, bought a bunch, put the last one in a box and forgot about it. This is a 2007 bottle poured into a British pint glass.

A - pours the color of honey with a huge bouncy overstuffed mattress of a head that stuck to the glass and would not die. It eventually shrank into a dirty meringue ish cap on the top of the last few sips.

S -Lot's of fruit! Citrus, apples, maybe even some lychee fruit. Also, obviously some hops and a bit of sweetness, maybe honey.

T - Flavors were definitely subdued. Light on the hops, but could still taste the citrus and pine needle flavors. The finish was sticky and bitter with a small amount of metal coming through.

M&D - Smooth, full bodied and very nice carbonation. Could easily drink a couple more and would, if I could ever find them.

Still prefer this one fresh but glad I had one sitting around to try with some age on it. In the end everything was great, the flavor had just faded which is to be expected of this style.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 09:10:44 | More by thepeter
Photo of drummerben


3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Celebration 08 recently tapped as part of Christmas in July. Nice amber color, very little head. Floral fragrance with pine and hops. Taste is much less hoppy than when first released, as the hop character has faded, but still a great balanced taste. Tastes of pine with grassy notes and a malty backbone. Very easy to put these away in short order.

This one is still great with a little age on it. Probably a good option for those who considered SN to be too hoppy, if that's even possible! The age downgrades a great beer to really good.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2009 01:31:56 | More by drummerben
Photo of BWMKappaSig


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Celebration Ale, aged 22 months at 45 degrees.

A: Cloudy deep honey-amber with a thin off-white head.

S: Citrusy hops and mildly sweet malts are a pleasure on the nose.

T: The hops have severely dimmed over the time it was aged. The malts aren't as sweet as the smell indicates, but do help to balance the hopiness. A slight cardboard taste indicates some oxidation, but the starting point to this beer was clearly a strong but well balanced west coast IPA.

M: Medium bodied with a little bit of sticky hops notes on the roof of the mouth.

D: I wish I'd not aged this so long, though despite its age, it is still well done.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 03:56:41 | More by BWMKappaSig
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle.

Pours a dark amber in color with a slightly frothy head. Tons of floaties suspended throughout the beer.
Smell is hops. Piney and grassy hops. Still a good amount of bitterness in the flavor. You can tell that this has some age on it, but it's still drinkable. There's a god enough base beer underneath that when the hops start to fade, you're still left with a solid beer. Medium in the mouthfeel and fairly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 19:15:15 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy ruby red, with a creamy white head.

S - Complex smell. Hoppy, with a hint of chocolate. It also has a fruity quality, possibly melon, and lemon. I also got the impression of honey.

T - Lemon zest and grapefruit. Perfumy, with a bitter aftertaste.

M - Managed to pull of a light yet oily feel in the mouth.

D - This is a very interesting beer, there is a lot going on. It has complex flavours and aromas, and it's the sort of beer that could taste slightly different each time you drink it.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 16:34:31 | More by PartyBear
Photo of DiabolikDUB


3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap @ Bailey's Taproom poured into Shaker glass. Winter in July.

Pours a medium copper that is fairly clear with a dense, creamy off-white head that never fully dissolves and remains a thick layer atop the glass. The nose is biscuit malts, brown sugar, and some hints of hops. The flavor is a little watery upfront with some touches of sweet malt, toast and ends with a hop bitterness that lasts. Its medium bodied and has turned a little chewy. This beer is much better fresh as most of the hops that made this brew so special before have faded. It still drinks alright but is a little watery. I'll re-rate this again come December when its fresh.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2009 00:13:24 | More by DiabolikDUB
Photo of GreenCard


3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

DISCLAIMER: This is a review of an AGED bottle of Celebration 2004. It was cellared for about 5 years.

Appearance: coppery-brown, hazy, thin layer of yellowy froth/suds, not much head retention, loose sediment

Aroma: malt caramel, sherry, very slight hops, brown sugar

Flavor: bready malt sweetness with overtones of rum raisin, dark brown sugar, and sherry; hop bitterness is still quite present as a raspy attack on the back of the tongue; finishes semi-sweet with a piney aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, pert carbonation, alcohol warmth, and astringency on the teeth

Other comments: OK, this beer does not age well (at least not extended aging). It has become very unbalanced and a mere shadow of it's former self. Good experiment though.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 00:54:40 | More by GreenCard
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008 pours dark amber in color with a nice fluffy 1 inch tan head; smells of hops, floral hops and spices.

Taste full of complex flavors that include floral hops, pine, malt, orange peel and a sweet caramel that fades to a cinnamon spice finish (with a touch of something else); medium carbonation that leaves a dry finish and gets better as it warms up.

I was lucky enough to get a case of this over the winter and a bargain price and enjoyed it all winter long. An outstanding beer!

2012 Release Notes: Pours hazy amber reddish with a huge foamy 2 finger head that faded slowly and left excellent sticky lacing. Nose is on par with the other years and full of delicious fresh piney hops, citrus and a blend of herbal earthy notes that is wonderful to inhale. Tastes of fresh piney hops, juicy citra hops, tart grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, herbs, caramel, roasted grains, malt, floral hops and mild spices; the balance is near perfect for an IPA with a fresh hop presence that is so bold that it’s almost warming for this time of year. Mouthfeel is smooth yet chewy, with a medium body, light to average fizzy carbonation and a bitter grainy aftertaste that trails off almost dry like hop leafs were left over. I look forward to this beer being released every year, my favorite holiday and winter beer and one of my top 5 favorite all time beers. The past few years I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy in on tap here in NY and it’s equally as enjoyable on draft.

2013 was great again, this time with stronger piney notes IMO. Had at least a case as well as a few pints on tap this year and it is always a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 01:09:51 | More by CHickman
Photo of NorCalYeti


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

taste- agressive malt and hops working together, lemony hop bitterness. this beer always delivers a bitter, caramel, malt finish...she's a tough one but in a good way. great cold weather beer.

color- beautiful rusted copper

clarity- fairly clear with suspended sediment

smell- grapefruit, sweet, soft perfume aroma

body- smooth, bittering hops are noticeable in the mid-palate but they are tame. medium-length finish.

appearance- great color, oily off-white head with sticky lace

overall impression- one of my all time favorite beers and one of the best in the world in my opinion.

notes and comments- tasting an '08 so this has about eight months in the bottle from the release date. the overall profile is mellower then when first released. i look forward to this beer every year as it ushers in the holiday season. if i had to pick a beer to accompany me on an island, i would have to throw it into the ring. i think two to four months in the bottle really elevates and integrates this beer well...you can't go wrong.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 01:05:31 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of GilGarp


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps it's unfair to review a beer so far out of season but I'm going to do it anyway. I found a 12 pack for a deal and it was in the cooler so I figured it couldn't be that bad.

Pours from the stubby brown bottle into a pint glass. It has a nice warm copper color with good clarity and a thick crown of head. Some lacing is left behind but nothing spectacular.

Aroma is hoppy but not very hoppy. The sweetness is definately coming forward with a green apple and orange zest kind of way.

Flavor is still pretty hoppy but it's obvious that this beer would have been so much more in November. It has good balance and the hops working well, even contributing to the spicy nature of the beer. It's not the winter warmer but it's a nice warm spice IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus body with good carbonation.

Overall it's a nice winter IPA and I'm looking forward to trying it fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 01:10:38 | More by GilGarp
Photo of haver


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked this up (5/21/09) on clearance for under $5.00 a six. It is out of date and I didn't car because I wanted to see if the flavor changed with age. Wow this Beer changed. The hop flavor went way down and the malt and spice went up. If you tried this beer a few months ago and see this on sale get it and see what I mean. I loved this when It came out and drank a lot of it. Before it was a rich IPA. This is now a different beer. The hops were hiding the malt and spices before and now they have come to play.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 22:43:21 | More by haver
Photo of vacax


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

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass. I've had this one fresh and saw it today and figured I would try it and am quite impressed with it. This being one of the few IPAs people age, I am interested to see how this holds up long term. Right now it is smelling incredible and drinking just as well.

A: Not quite amber, but an orange hued deep straw. Large off-white head has random sized beads that seems to have low to medium retention and some lacing.

S: Some of the most exotic fruits I have ever smelled in a non-fruit beer are coming out of this. It smells just like mangos and the essence of apricots. Slight resinous pine and maybe a hint of fruity yeast. My nose is seriously confused that the tropical fruits are this serious.

T: Begins fairly bitter with sharp and complex fruitiness. Apricots, mandarin oranges, lemon and grapefruit. Fruity, and increasingly spicy and bitterness follows along with resinous pine. Finish is lingering pine needles and apricots. An intense and complex beer that combines a rare intense fruit bouquet with its bitterness.

M: Medium body and a thick, pleasant, prickly carbonation.

D: Intense tropical fruits and high bitterness and a decently high ABV... it in a way is a sipper but its complexity has me taking drinks over and over trying to pint point its depth of flavors. A big beer that begs to be drank, I must say. This beer has me thinking about it more than most IPAs do, but in a very good way.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 04:59:12 | More by vacax
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple in my fridge from a little while back so I thought I'd have one. I've had it on tap too which is even better, so if it's available to you go for it! It has a nice very strong hoppy taste to it while being very refreshing at the same time. Goes with almost any type of meal or snack. Has a rich amber color to it with nice clarity to it as well, so the amount of flavor is a bit surprising. Very little bad to say about it, but if I had to be picky about it I don't find the aroma exceptionally strong, but still a nice hoppy smell to it. Very drinkable you could chug it if you want, but I would never recommend it, very much worth savoring this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 03:30:23 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of youngblood


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just found my notes from this. Dated 11/15/2008

Pours a deep amber with some signs of copper bursting out the sides of the glass. Rocky limestone head sitting on this one. It's gonna be lovely.
Smells very citric. Bits of pine, some sweetness floating around in the nose as well. Quite impressive.
Tastes yummy. Grapefruit, bits of grass, some strongly bitter green tea all floating in hop oil flavor. Sweetness is similar to subdued caramel. Very delicious, very nicely balanced.
Great mouthfeel. Has some nice body to it. Goes down very smoothly as well. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 20:07:01 | More by youngblood
Photo of Schmittymack


4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this as a twelve pack back in January. Pours an orange-red color. Still has nice citrus smell; hop "bite" has mellowed since I had it on draft in November. Actually more sessionable now. I pick up a bit of fruitness but after four swallows, can't quite pinpoint it. I picked up a bigger hop bite back in November when I had it on draft; I actually like it better now! Very sessionable; I'll be disapointed when I run out.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 04:42:19 | More by Schmittymack
Photo of wingman14


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy redish orange with a frothy white head that fades fast and leaves lacing. The smell is mostly hops with sweet notes, with some subtle spice notes. The smell could be subdued due to the cellaring (this is a 2008 release). The taste starts with a bite with some bitter hops followed by the spice and sweet notes, and finishes with the bitter hops again. The aftertaste is a long drawn out hop flavor. The mouthfeel is ok, the harsh bitter bite can turn some away, but the veteran hophead will fall in love. The flavor is deep, not very complex, but good. This is definitely a celebration of hops, and delicious beer. A good beer, great flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 02:20:05 | More by wingman14
Photo of Scriba


3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber, with a high beige head. A little cloudy. After a while, the head leaves a finger thick lid and a lot of lacing.

S: Malts, caramel and American hops.

T: Follows the smell. A very bitter aftertaste (and that's ok with me)

M: A lot of CO2, and it leaves a little sticky felling in the mouth. Still not bad at all.

D: Yes!

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 11:04:19 | More by Scriba
Photo of kbutler1


3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 & 2009 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale poured from the bottle although I have had this ale on tap as well.
A: Poured a nice cider like reddish brown with a nice fluffy head that slowly receded.
S: Mild smell of hops and spices. Piney aroma
T: hoppy from beginning to end. Slight malt flavor up front
M: Medium
D: Most certainly

Smooth up front with a definite hops back end! For an American IPA it is pretty tasty, although I probaby would reach for a Two Hearted first before this, it still is a great choice

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 23:38:01 | More by kbutler1
Photo of atpben


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at the Tap House In Norfolk. Reviewed from notes taken. Poured into a pint glass. Poured a dark amber color, with a head that diminishes quite rapidly. Good lacing as you finish the beer. Lot of citrus and pines in the aroma. The taster had more of the pine, some grapefruit and wood? and mint which was just great and just the right amount of spice. Wow what a great beer. What a great beer from a great brewery. Can't wait to have some more, specialy on tap. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 00:36:09 | More by atpben
Photo of drcarver


3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bright amber color with a large off-white head. Good lacing left by a slowly fading head.

A - A strong smell of hops and alcohol comes with the pour. Not malt or yeast aroma to be found.

T - The flavors are very sharp. SLightly acidic and bitter in the finished. The bitterness hangs in the mouth long after finished.

M - Light bodied. Lively with carbonation

D - Goes down very easily

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 00:58:40 | More by drcarver
Photo of theBubba

New York

2.1/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Celebration. Nice amber color...nice head...nice lace that sticks to the glass long after it's empty.

After that it's all hops that will leave your mouth searching for a piece of cheese and a good oatmeal stout or wit to "celebrate". Or some toothpaste. Your choice.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a slightly spicy overly hopped adventure into a very bitter realm. For "hop-heads" only.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 04:07:53 | More by theBubba
Photo of Martin2D

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby red mixed with amber with a huge white head

S - Hops and Christmas spice

T - First hit with Christmas spices, then the hop bitterness follows. Extremely balanced in both sweetness and the hop bitterness.

M - Medium-heavy carbonation and medium in body

D - This one completely threw me off. IPA is kind of a stretch. Should be a "Christmas IPA." So different from any other IPA, this one deserves to be recognized as a great. Could drink this all night long.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 00:48:52 | More by Martin2D
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,610 ratings.