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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.

7,702 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,702
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
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Ratings: 7,702 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a vintage 2009 date on the label.

A: Slightly cloudy reddish amber color with off-white head and substantial lacing.

S: Strong citrus and minty pine hops.

T&M: Very crisp, medium to full bodied. Sharp hop bitterness, typical of a Sierra brew. Mild piney and fruitiness that finishes slightly bitter with a dry, malty sweetness.

This is always a favorite that I look forward to each holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 23:31:33 | More by cdizinno
Photo of taigor

New York

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 releasr poured from 12oz bottle into large glass.

A - Dark copper, amber body with huge white head that leaves significant lacing in the middle and around edges.

S - Citrus, hops and almonds.

T - Great citrus taste upfront that slowly mellows out into hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Smooth with great drinkability and average abv.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 16:29:35 | More by taigor
Photo of drtth


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

This year's release served in a standard pint glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer as served is a lightly hazed dark golden amber color with a 1 ½" off-white head that soon recedes to a nice ring of foam around the glass and a thin layer of foam on the surface. Sipping leaves rings and sheets of foam that cling to the sides of the glass for most of the beer. Later on there is still some lacing left by sipping and the ring persists basically to the end of the beer.

Smell: The aroma is a mix of hops with malts thrown into the mix but way in the background. The hops aromas are predominantly lots of pine resin and some grapefruit zest.

Taste: The bitterness of the piney and grapefruit zest hop flavors dominates the clean crisp flavor but there is not much else here. Although the malt backbone is present it is not really doing much to break up the bitterness, it is mostly there just to support it and keep it from running away with the beer.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and fresh. The medium to light carbonation persists reasonably well. The finish is long, bitter and dry.

Drinkability: This is a fine example of a West Coast style of IPA without much time in the bottle, which means that it has both the strengths and weaknesses of that style--it has lots of hops and the hops dominate the beer while the malt is well in the background barely making its presence known. I'll be having this one again, but later on after the hops have mellowed out a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 01:42:45 | More by drtth
Photo of wnh


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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. 2009 vintage.

Pours a bright, rich, clear and crisp amber with a huge foamy, sticky, rocky off-white head that deposits large chunks of lacing on the way down. Beautiful.

Hops up front on the nose; oily resin, orange pith, and just a kiss of citrus zest. Strong-ish sweet caramel backbone, which I was able to pick out more easily after recently sampling a 2003 vintage. Entry is an interesting back-and-forth between quite strongly bitter, resinous hops and sweet, rich caramel. Mid-palate is full of herbal, almost minty, hops. Finishes dry with a faint cracker-like malt and lingering hoppy bitterness. Oily on the palate; medium bodied and quite firm.

Quite an enjoyable beer, even if it is just another IPA from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 21:34:37 | More by wnh
Photo of mjurney


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

2009 edition.

[Appearance]: Amber orange color, some little hazy, carbonation looks pretty good, creamy head, lacing looks nice.
[Smell]: Citrus hops, piney, touch of caramel from the malts.
[Taste]: Citrus (grapefruit like)/piney hoppiness up front, nice caramel malts at the end. Very balance.
[Mouthfeel/Finish]: medium bodied, carbonation is pretty light, finish off crisp and slightly dry.
[Drinkability]: Pretty good IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 03:34:41 | More by mjurney
Photo of strictly4DK


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass

A - Translucent copper, 2 finger creamy white had, stready stream of carbonation maintains great retention and beautiful rings of sticky lacing around the glass, possibly the best I've ever seen.

S - The only area where I found this beer to be a little lacking. Smell is primarily made up of citrus sweetness and well-defined pine.

T - Wow, some sweet grapefruit hops and then the pine, oh the pine. Taste ranges from green tea to tobacco to an almost rye aftertaste left on the back of the tongue. Slightest hint of toasty malt underneath all that hops.

M - Great carbonation, creamy to balance the bite of the bitter hops plus the aforementioned pine aftertaste.

D - I was so surprised by the notable difference in this beer. I expected Anniversary ale with a different name but luckily I was so wrong. Low-ish ABV lends itself to an easy six-pack night.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 23:41:45 | More by strictly4DK
Photo of gunnerman


4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09 version on tap at The Lodge in Boca Raton, FL. Poured into a pint glass pours a hazy orange with a fluffy foamy head that leaves nice thick fat lace. The smell is upfront with a hop explosion west coast done right, citrus smells dominate. The taste is out of this world, strong bold citrus type flavors dominate, grapefruit, tangerine, orange all come together in a fine tasting beer. Overall this is one of my favorite IPA's out there. The quality, the hop profile and the nice malt make this one of the best west coast IPA's that we get everywhere.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2009 12:55:10 | More by gunnerman
Photo of merryjoulton


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice and pretty deep mahogany with a decent off white head that dissipates and spits out aromas. Nose is very piny and bitter, resiny and sweet, not too spicy though, and a tad of citrus. Taste is really bitter and piney and it is so clean and bitter on the back of the palate. Mouthfeel and drinkability were good.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 05:42:18 | More by merryjoulton


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

growler to chalice.

A: Medium copper colored body, fairly clear. Pretty 1.5 finger off white, bubbly head that sort of had a second wind right after the pour. Excellent and lasting lacing.

S: Heavy (nearly harsh) hops and mild alcohol right off the bat. Very piney with a bit of wild flowers and grass. (Same grass that makes all those cows happy? Perhaps.) Mild straw malt aromas. Very nice in general, and well aligned with the style.

T: Hoppy. Like a West Coast IPA should be. Slightly metallic.

M: Full body with prickly carbonation.

D: Very smooth and a little bitterness makes it a very drinkable brew. Already poured another and this one's smoother yet.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2009 02:51:35 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can never really tell if the beers Sierra Nevada labels by year have changed or not. Kind of confusing, they should only put a year on it if it is a beer that changes annually. Anyway this is my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada and I'm excited to have it in my fridge again.

A - Dark amber/light copper in color with a big 2 finger tan head. Good retention but doesn't seem to have very sticky lacing.

S - Floral hops, slight pine, sweet malt and a bit of spice.

T - Lots of earthy hops up front that lead into a nice sweet malty finish. I love a good piney taste in a winter beer, it just seems so appropriate for the season, and there is plenty to be had here. A tad on the bitter side for an IPA but I like that, not too bitter. Definitely grainy with notes of grapefruit mostly. Has a bit of spice kick in the fairly dry finish too. Fairly balanced but I notice a different flavor in each sip which keeps it interesting. Only complaint is that the alcohol isn't hidden very well. Still, quite a tasty and well balanced IPA and quite original for the style.

M - Smooth and medium bodied. Could stand to be a tad more carbonated.

D - Very flavorful, but a great winter IPA that I could session. I would probably mix in lighter beers in between.

Overall, a very good IPA and one that everyone should try. Don't expect it to be a winter warmer because it isn't. A very bready IPA with plenty of earthy hops and a spicy kick. Happy Holidays!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 02:46:44 | More by BeerPhan86
Photo of j37geogaddi


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

Poured into a Sam Adams specialty lager glass. Light copper color and nice lacing.

The smell is very pleasant; of hop flowers, a hint of caramel malt and mild spice.

The taste is of more grapefruit and less malt backbone than I recall of previous versions. However the hop strength also tastes a bit subdued. Aftertaste is a tiny bit sweet- almost a tad of belgian sugar or spice taste to it, oddly enough. I'm sure its just some winter spicing.

Mouthfeel is light-ish for a winter beer, although average for an IPA-type ale. This beer is highly drinkable and tastes no where near the 6.8 ABV it clocks in at.

I have to say, as a few others have hinted at- it tastes a bit thinner and lighter than previous versions...Perhaps its so early in its life and is so fresh- I'm not sure, but I think it could maybe use some additional aging. Although I'd hate to lose any of the hop flavor...Either way; a very solid, pleasant and highly drinkable cold-weather ale and still one of my "go-to" beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 01:20:50 | More by j37geogaddi
Photo of GarrisWH


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

2009 bottling poured from a 24 oz. bottle.

A - Pours a nice copper color with two fingers of off-white head that drops down fairly quickly, leaving some solid lacing behind.

S - Hop-forward aroma that is floral and slightly spicy. There are citric, pine, and herbal qualities to the hops. Hint of toasted malt in the background.

T - Piney and citric hop flavors with a spicy quality and a good amount of bitterness. Hops are balanced with ample amounts of slightly bready, roasted malts. Finish is fairly dry, leading into a resinous, herbal/piney aftertaste.

M - Smooth feel and medium bodied. Fine carbonation, and pretty resinous.

D - A flavorful and well balanced brew. My first time drinking the Celebration Ale, and I must say I am pretty impressed. One of the best of the Sierra Nevada offerings that I have sampled.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 03:30:14 | More by GarrisWH
Photo of mjl21


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

12 ounce bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. 2009 version. Bottled on the 274 day of the year. Comes in at 6.8%

A-Pours a clear amber with a one finger off white head that has some decent staying power. Lot of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Leaves some good lace patterns.

S-Pale malt, pine, and citrus hops are all noticeable. Not one of these dominates the aroma and results in a balanced nose.

T-Grapefruit, pine, pale malt, and some sweet malt all jump out in each sip. There is some lingering sweetness and bitterness in between sips. There is some subtle spices that can be picked up as it goes down.

M-Medium bodied, smooth, and nicely carbonated.

D-Easy drinking seasonal.

This is always one of my favorute seasonals. It has lots of hop flavor but also has a nice malt profile to bring everything together. My token fridge beer for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 00:15:08 | More by mjl21
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If I were to have tasted this beer blind, I would have said it has Sierra Nevada written all over it. 2009 Edition poured from a 24 oz. bottle...

A: Pours a golden amber with a thick frothy head that does not want to go away. Lacing is excellent, and carbonation is near perfect.

S: Hops dominate this brew. Floral and herbal tones, with hints of citrus rind. Maltiness is there in the backround, with hints of toast and caramel.

T: Like the aroma, but more intense. Piney, herbal hops smash the palate, along with spicy, somewhat citrusy notes. It's balanced out with a sweet, malty backbone that mingles with the hops. The beer is very balanced, and very delicious.

M: Medium to full bodied and very viscous. This beer lingers on the palate for minutes after each sip.

D: Hell yes! I know some like to cellar this one, but it's perfect the way it is right now.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 05:52:17 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of brownbeer


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- rusty amber with a fluffy white head, great lacing.

S- Heavy pine resin, fruity, spicy hops. Becoming pretty typical for Sierra IPA's.

T&M- Pretty straight forward pine with a certain pomegranite fruitiness and some caramel which balances and lifts the body to a pleasant fullness.

D- It's easy to kill several of these if you like Sierra's hop profile. Still a classic winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 02:29:39 | More by brownbeer
Photo of natelocc787


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

Why does this hoppy beer taste better to me with a few months age on it? Not sure. Very big orange in the nose, tangerine and spruce. Taste is sprucey, floral and grapefruity like an IPA with a big orange backbone. Spicey and herbal notes with a low bubbly feel to it, surprisingly I would appreciate more bubbles and I preferred last years batch to this years.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 07:46:40 | More by natelocc787
Photo of Brez07


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA pint glass

A: Pours a orange/copper hue with a 1/2 finger off-white head. This doesn't last very long. It has decent lacing [edit: had another one and the lacing was much better]

S: Obviously hops present here, but also spice (cinnamon/ginger) and some orange peel

T: Piney hops upfront, followed by gingerbread and minimal caramel. To be honest, I was not a big fan of this at first, but that may have been because it was served cold. Enjoyed this much more after it warmed up a little bit

M: Dry mouth feel. The carbonation gives it a light feel

D: Overall a good tasting IPA. Easily could put a few of these back in a sitting

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 02:27:28 | More by Brez07
Photo of bshirley


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

A dark golden with hints of red; small fine carbonation leaving a small and creamy head.

Poundingly floral nose, assertive and slightly resinous.

The taste is dominated by the hops, they're there at every level. Not exactly balanced, with the malt, but it's not intended to be. The malt is still there. The back of the tongue bitterness is almost overwhelming, and the alcohol can be perceived.

It has a nice feel on the palette, but the strong bitterness will numb out the tongue quite quickly. The bubbles are fine and smooth.

For hop-heads, this is an extremely drinkable and delicious brew. And with the alcohol content of 6.8% ABV, quite potent.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 00:23:42 | More by bshirley
Photo of mcann2pu


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

This is an 09 bottle. Thanks to madtrixter for the trade,
a- pours into my left hand brewing glass a clear amber color with some redish/yellowish hues in it, not to much head on this one,
s-wow, I wasn't expecting this one to be a hoppy beer at all, I was expecting a malty spiced winter beer and thats not what I got, the only real smell I got was the hops,
t- good IPA taste, the bitterness of the hops was fairly well balanced here,
d-not bad, overall a good winter IPA to chase the cold away; I guess its god that everyone doesn't fall into the traditional winter ale line up, I'll be trying a few more of these this winter,

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 23:50:04 | More by mcann2pu
Photo of DwnTwnBwn


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

Grabbed a few bombers fresh for the 2009/2010 winter.
I'll admit the first time I tried this beer I was expecting a darker winter warmer not a delicious IPA. Now its my favored winter ale.

A- Poured into a pint glass from the bottle nice slightly off white 1 finger head. Good carbonation visible. Head stays around to the bottom of the glass lacing very well. Its a nice amber in color and very clear.

S- Very sweet malt comes across with lots of floral hops. The bittering hops have a good grapefruit almost blackberry sweetness to them.

T- There is lots of pine hopyness in the taste with plenty of caramel malts to back it up. Finishes with a touch of light fruit. Finish is good and dry.

M- Medium body and the carbonation keeps it light. Its perfect in the bomber size.

O- Wonderful holiday ale. This will keep we going through the winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 06:18:22 | More by DwnTwnBwn
Photo of drabmuh


3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into a conic pint glass. Beer is copper / amber in color. No haze, it is clear, the head is thick and yellowish and collapses leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is primarily hops but it is way too subtle for my tastes. Mostly citrus like hop aroma.

Time to drink, its a good IPA. There is some nicely balanced hop bitterness in the back, it is not in your face as you might expect. Some sweetness in the front makes it easy to handle. I'm a hop head and this isn't the hoppiest IPA I've ever had but its really good. The bitterness kind of coats your mouth. No aftertaste, but the residue builds as you drink it.

Mouthfeel is good, there is nice palate continuity and there is no real after taste. Drinkability is high. I would recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 02:27:06 | More by drabmuh
Photo of biophiliadude


2.13/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tap to a pint glass

A: ruby red, minimal white head, orange hues in the light.

S: slight spice.

T: spices, hops, on top of a strong lager taste as well as cardboard and paper = oxidation

F: Smooth, then foamy.

D: Better as it warms up. Overall flat and unbalanced, like someone made a bad lager and threw some spices in at the end.

I was really disappointed with this beer and on this review would not recommend it at all. I'll have to try it in bottle form because it's getting such rave reviews - perhaps the keg was just poorly tapped.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2009 01:16:15 | More by biophiliadude
Photo of jera1350


3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is for a 2003 bottle that I picked up at my local store. They had a vertical starting with the 2003 batch.

Appears a caramel brownish orange color with a one finger light tanned head.

Despite the age, this still has a nice hop scent to it. Slightly warm and boozy smell, but dominated by sweet caramel and toffee malts. A little buttery toast as well.

Light bittering hops, but the malts are the highlights in this one. Apricot, caramel, toffee and buttery toast are all present. Really interesting. There is a bit of citrus as well. Pretty complex malt profile. I like the age on this.

Medium bodied with an extremely dry finish. Almost like a tannic red wine. Some active carbonation on the tongue that mellows quickly.

Even with the age, it's still apparent that this is a very good IPA. I will have to pick up some fresh bottles to make my comparison. With the age on this bottle, I'm really excited to try some fresh.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 22:49:08 | More by jera1350
Photo of hosehead83


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

Poured from a twelve ounce "2009" edition bottle into a standard pint glass
Golden amber in color, with a big, fluffy head of foam
Aroma-Definite hop nose, some biscuit
Taste-I didn't realize that this is considered an IPA until I saw the style type-It certainly makes sense as it has a definite hoppy backbone and some subtle spices to give it a little zing.
Very tasty and drinkable-A fine "Christmas" ale

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 13:03:24 | More by hosehead83
Photo of atremains


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

Very nice look to this one. Orange amber with an off white head that boasts some exceptional retention. Lacing is also very good. Carbonation is strong in the appearance. The smell is kind of restrained. Malts and hops. Pine. Taste redeems the smell though, piney hops, wood-like flavor feel to it, malts. The hops linger and give a bit of a nice warming. Malts also serve to balance well, although the hops have more of a say. Creamy mouthfeel with a nice coating of hoppy goodness on the tongue, carbonation is good here as well. This may be my favorite of the SN offerings.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 06:06:13 | More by atremains
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,702 ratings.