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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.

7,823 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,823
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 199
Gots: 463 | 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: 7,823 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bagman007
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Brown copper coloring with more than a finger's width of head.

S- Has a hoppy scent. Kind of sweet. Has a light hint of malts as well.

T- Great balance of hops and malts. A few spices also give this beer a kick.

M- Excellent carbonation. Not too bitter, but it does have a little bit of a bite at the end.

D- Hoppy, but still fairly drinkable. You should be able to have a few of these in a sitting.

Overall one of the best Winter Warmer's around. A must have around this time of year. Highly recommended.

Bagman007, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of jpaltan
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Really impressed by it's appearance. Nice thick and foamy with tons of lacing on the sides of the glass. Coppery orange color. Smell is wonderfully hoppy. Notes of grapefruit and other citrus smells. Not much in the way of piney fragrances. Taste is really nice as well. Grapefruit bitterness is well balanced by a malty sweetness. Quite smooth and very drinkable.

jpaltan, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of bataround
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful orange/copper with a nice, off-white head that sticks pretty well.

Smell: Aroma of cascade hops: grapefruit, pine, and a slight floral note. Great nose on this beer!

Taste: Has a good malt background, but this brew's all about the hops! Despite this, there's still of good balance of flavor. This is beer with cascade hops done right. Does a great job of arousing the appetite.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good for the style. Light to light/medium body. Sits more to the dry side. Nice...

Drinkability: Very high if you're a hop-head. If not, stay away because the incredible flavor will only come across as blinding bitterness.

This is my first year trying this brew and I must say that I'm quite impressed. It's like their fantastic Pale Ale, but taken to the next level. I'll look forward to this next year...

bataround, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of Rayek
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber with good clarity and minimal carbonation. Rocky off-white head starts out large, retains well and leaves generous lace.

S: Pine, grapefruit and lemon hit the nose in order. Some toasted malt aroma sits in the back.

T: The beer is dominated by a moderately high bitterness. Grapefruit and lemon make up most of the bitter flavor, with an extra earthy kick along to help. A toasted biscuit flavor from the malt rides underneath. Finishes tart and dry.

M: Medium body feels oily. Initial carbonation felt high, but settled down as the beer sat.

D: A nice IPA, but I think I'm starting to suffer from IPA burnout. Good, but not spectacular and sort of nondescript. Still worth a revisit next year.

Rayek, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of UDbeernut
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, poured into my dog fishhead pint glass

A: copper color with a 1/4" head that last the entire glass full. Lots of lacing a carbonation

S: floral hops dominate nose, hint of malt

T: floral hops hit the palate first. Also citus notes and carmel malt

M&D: extremely drinkable beed despite slightly higher ABV. Light to medium bodied.

I have found a new favorite during the winter season. I also wished this was a year round offering as this is the best IPA I have had.

Excellent beer.


UDbeernut, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed in commemoration of my very first purchase from Belmont's first off-premise beverage store...since I picked up a case of 2008 at Costco and have been working these off for a while, time to give the 2008 its due. 12 oz. into a Duvel tulip...

Huge 3-finger dulce de leche head tops crisp copper body with almost soapy consistency (a little proofing dough too). Retention is excellent; beginning of Florentine lacing emerges. Quick, moderate carbonation. Good chunky seam. Not sure if there's anything wrong with this deal's look at all.

Powerful soapiness to overabundant hop profile; remainder is quite floral. Oiliness meshes with slightly metallic and carbonated tinge - stewy boiled crystal-ish malt is in the background with maybe a small caramel note. Looking for morse viscosity here. Despite the abundant nose, pulling back the onion leaves a little missing. Ruby Red grapefruit rind comes out slightly with warmth, along with an almost Saaz-ish silage feel.

This is very accessible...oiliness of hops comes through with a small amount of cinnamon and clove - crystal malt pokes through with a bit of caramel. Soapiness and floral nature of hops dominate - could use a little more citrus.

Of course this is quite good but I can get past the soapiness. It seems to be as designed but the package needs more balance on the malt side to round this out. Slightly astringent.

All told, a good sessionable brew - good for the gateway and readily available. Still, could use a little more steak than sizzle.


Original text of 2/3/2008 review (2007 vintage):
A- / 4.1
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4
First beer I ever purchased at the first ever off-premise liquor store in Belmont, MA. Talk about something to celebrate! $7.99/6 price tag too! Anyway...2007 edition. Deep, dark amber/caramel color with nice, frothy head. Bountiful scent of hops and spice capture the olfactory. Warm, solid effort for this vintage - excellent hop character well-blended with mild spice notes. Nice warming sense on the palate. For something that packs this much of a punch it drinks fairly easily. Well-done.

First beer I ever purchased at the first ever off-premise liquor store in Belmont, MA. Talk about something to celebrate! $7.99/6 price tag too! Anyway...2007 edition. Deep, dark amber/caramel color with nice, frothy head. Bountiful scent of hops and spice capture the olfactory. Warm, solid effort for this vintage - excellent hop character well-blended with mild spice notes. Nice warming sense on the palate. For something that packs this much of a punch it drinks fairly easily. Well-done.

IBUnit63, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of Edgecrusher
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice dark amber in color. Light fluffy head that stays a while.

Smell: Very refreshing smell-hops and malts. A nice combination and foreshadowing of what lies ahead.

Taste: Balanced with a slight egde to the hops. Earthy, grassy taste of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodies-carbonation is about perfect. Slightly oily.

Drinkability: One of the easiest beers to drink. Very easy to keep em coming.

Overall an excellent beer.Wish it was around all year.

Edgecrusher, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of ncstateplaya
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Actually, my serving types were many bottles...had to drink one a few days later to do the write-up.

Appearance: This ale poured cloudy with a nice deep amber and plenty of carbonation visible through the glass. A very effervescent brew with a beautifully creamy and frothy head. The head had great retention and left a substantial amount of lace in the glass.

Smell: The bouquet of this ale was very fragrant - especially with the hops. The malts were omnipresent and smelled delicious. There were also aromas of caramel and spicey undertones.

Taste: The bitterness from the hops nicely pairs with the malt backbone of this beer. There were hints of citrus fruit rounding out each swallow, followed by an almost candied or caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, never too much, just right, keeping each taste crisp and smooth. Each swallow left an almost sweet caramel like coating throughout the mouth.

Drinkability: The drinkability of this beer is outstanding! This well crafted beer is too smooth, too easy to drink, and too damn tasty. So why exactly is it a seasonal???

ncstateplaya, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of iconoklaztor
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

FINALLY got this!

The appearance is very nice! A great head and a nice body! The head is an ivory white and a dark golden body!

The smell is very hoppy and great for the IPA! Its wonderful! The taste is crisp and citrisy.

This is very drinkable and refreshing.

Overall, its a very clean, hoppy, and refreshing brew! Well done!

iconoklaztor, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Old Chicago in Wake Forest, NC; served in a pint glass.

A - Clear amber/copper with about a finger of white head. Retention is decent before falling to a thin cap. Great lacing.

S - Huge grapefruit aroma with elements of pine and earthiness keeping things intersting. Slight aroma of sweet malt is in the background.

T - Grapefruit is the dominating factor here with a hint of earthiness. Alcohol peeks through at times and semi-sweet malt kicks in near the finish to balance out a moderate to high hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Prickly on the tongue.

D - Celebration is certainly a great IPA, but I had hoped it would be even better on tap than from the bottle. Still good, but some of the harshness around the edges is still evident.

PatrickJR, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of craytonic
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 version

Appearance: Shiny copper penny with nice chill-haze

Smell: Hops with a touch of spiceness and grapefruit

Taste: Hops with a touch of bread/caramel from the malt

Mouthfeel: Standard, neither outstanding or lacking

Drinkability: Its an IPA, would drink it for free but would not actively seek it out.

craytonic, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of GordonQuid
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle to a freshly washed pint glass. Poured a deep mahogany with a rocky white 1 inch head and moderate lacing.

Smell is piney grapefruit, pineapple covering fresh biscuits.

Taste is a refreshing American style IPA; citrusy clean with a slight grain/chalky viscosity in the mouthfeel. There is a toasty sweet finish present.

Pleasantly drinkable. Comparable to Bell's Three hearted.

GordonQuid, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Madera Golf and Country Club. This place has a very legit beer selection for a golf course.

Appearance: Body is a dark, clear, orange-amber with steady streams of carbonation within. Head is thin, white, creamy, and sticky. Great retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Pine, caramel, warm bread, red berries, spices, pie crust, and oily Cascade hops. Aromas mix together very nicely.

Taste: Starts out with caramel, pie crust, and more bready yeast. Eases into some light berry and strong spicy flavors, then finishes piney and very bitter. Tons of hops in this one.

Mouthfeel: Lots of spiciness and bitterness to this one. Medium-bodied, a bit creamy, and very crisp. Finishes drier than I'd like, but overall it's good.

Drinkability: Had a couple of these at the course today - couldn't resist. This is a must have every Christmas, though I don't think I could drink them forever. The bitterness/dryness is palate-wrecking and the body isn't nearly light enough. Still, a great brew!

ThreeWiseMen, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of coasterfreak75
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour was a nice amber/orange with a two to three finger head that slowly dissapated and left a nice lace on the glass throughout the drink.

The smell was citrus up front with a nice hop spice mixed. Also, there is a hint of apricot in the rear of the nose.

The drink starts with a hop kick up front and goes quickly sweet with a fruit tone. The finish is nice hops that linger, but not too long. The hops are there but not oily, just a nice hop flavor.

This is a great IPA! Good for a newby in IPA's and great for a seasoned beer drinker. Great flavor, great look, very drinkable.

coasterfreak75, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of jiggahertz
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep amber with a soapy 2 finger head in a snifter. Head subsides leaving nice lacing all around. Islands of head float throughout the drink. Awesome webbed lacing throughout.

S: Floral hops up front along with grapefruit, orange and cinnamon.

T: Strong hops hit you right away, then orange followed by a subtle creaminess and bitterness lingers for a while. Grapefruit is too overpowering.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Hops definitely dominate the mouthfeel and linger after, but cover any alcohol taste nicely.

D: Ton of hops with very little malt to be found. Good drinkability for the ABV, but too much grapefruit for my taste.

If there was a value category this would be a 5, comes in right under $1/beer in NH. Nice to see a seasonal that isn't a winter warmer. Was expecting more from this beer after the great reviews here, left expecting more. Had this after a smoked porter, will try this again on a fresh palette.

jiggahertz, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of PintOHops
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a beautiful copper/amber color with about an inch of head that laces beautifully & holds well. Medium-high carbonation. Smells of sweet raisins with powerful floral, piny & citrusy hops. A nice roasted burnt malt aroma as well (Like burnt biscuits) Musky malt comes out as it warms, as well as a touch of alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of floral hops with a strong roasted/burnt malt flavor. Citrus, pine, and raisin notes as well, and as it warms a sweet malt flavor develops as well as some alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, chewy and rich. Medium bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Id say I would enjoy about two of these at the most. This is a rich full flavored ale that should be sipped & savored. I love this beer, although there's nothing special about it. If you haven't tried it, go for it. Its only out during the Christmas season! Don't wait till its to late, cheers everyone!

Since this is a seasonal beer, hoppy holidays!

PintOHops, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of dciBA
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always look forward to the release of celebration ale. This is the beer that got me into hops and is still one of my favorites. Pours a pleasant orange/light amber into my SN hop tulip glass. The quarter inch of head stays around thanks to the hop etching in the bottom. Tons of nice thick lacing.

Smell is almost all hops. Taste is similar, mostly citrusy hops, some pine as well. Just enough malt to make this one very tasty well balanced IPA. Bitter as you'd expect but not overpowering. Very smooth taste/mouthfeel. If it wasn't for the slightly high ABV I could drink a bunch of these, and I just might anyways.

dciBA, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of hoplover82
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear deep amber color, with an off white medium head that is very dissapating head that leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is nice with citrus and a little pine in the nose, and pale and caramel malt.

The flavor is not so much hops as is mild bitterness and toasty pale and caramel malts. A lot more hop flavor would be nice.

The palate couldv'e been a little more smooth, though I like the dryness in the finish.

A very, maybe too balanced IPA imo. This is an alright IPA by me, but nothing that really Wow-ed me.

hoplover82, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of MarzenMan
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker amber than I expected with a nice large head. Mostly citrusy hop on the nose.

Hoppy and bitter in the best way. Surprisingly more maltiness than I expected. Actually pretty well balanced.

Good mouthfeel. Fairly high carbonation but thick enough. As far as IPAs go this one is very drinkable. I can see how someone would claim this as a session beer.

MarzenMan, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Little to no head and a golden amber body.
S: Smell is mainly of hops. Kind of creamy and piney too.
T: Main taste is a mix of floral and citrus hops. The citrusy flavor sticks a bit longer. Finishes pretty clean with little bitter aftertaste.
M: Clean and smooth but also surprisingly creamy.
D: Hides the 6.8 well. Could definitely enjoy a few.

lhaqq, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of roscoehnj
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks great; much more amber than pale which has always caused me to wonder why it is classified as an IPA. Modest head but nice lacing.

Your classic IPA nose with some grapfruit and floral notes.

Love this beer. IPA bitterness with a touch of malt backbone - you have to probe for the malt though - it is more apparent in the appearance. Beautiful nmouthfeel and oh so drinkable - could drink this all night. And its a bargain for the quality.

roscoehnj, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into pint glass.
a beautiful golden color with a foaming white head that never settles. Smell of hops and pines. Taste's of citrus and other fruit's. An awesome IPA for the winter season. I believe I may have over done it though and drank way too many but I could somewhat read my notes for a little review.

TheFightfan1, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of JMBSH
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy burn orange. Under strong light, I can see a large amount of unfiltered sediment in the beer. The thick head reduces to a thin coating on top of the beer but there is a large amount of foam clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Piney, grassy notes. Smells like frshly cut in spring/summer.

T - Very herbal. A slight sweetness up front on the tongue but the bitterness rules afterwards. Bitter aftertaste is quite strong.

M - Thin but the hops stick to every part of my mouth, tongue, and throat giving a thicker feel. Mild carbonation.

D - For hopheads this might be a good beer. I prefer more of a malty beer but this is good.

JMBSH, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of Augustiner719
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Fairly agressive pour yielded a moderate 2 finger head that dwindled down rather quickly. Great lacing.

Smell: Definate hops comming through. this is a good combination of a winter/ipa style beer. Its got more balls than the regualar SN IPA, and its also go some different aromas. I get some citrus from the hops, a sticky sugary aroma too. Some malt comming through and a little bit of grapfruit.

Taste: This is similar to the IPA. Where the SN IPA flourishes with its pinpoint flavors, this beer fails. Its a little confused, but in a good way. I get some dark malty flavors and some light citrusy flavors. Big grapefruit juice component on the front end with sweet sticky on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Good feel, its got some nice bubbles. carbonated well for the style, nice rounded feel after swallowing.

Drinkability: Nice beer. Its got some great flavors packed in there. Its abv is pretty high for a session beer but i can see where a lot of people would want to put a few of these puppies away.

Augustiner719, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of slatetupelo
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber with gold hues visible on the edges of the glass. There's a nice thick tan head with good retention and great lacing.

S - Lots of hops and some fruity notes, smells really good.

T - For an IPA this has a great balance, the hops aren't overwhelming and I imagine a first time IPA drinker would be able to enjoy this offering. Some citrus hints but overall just a really clean taste.

D - At only 6.8% abv I could drink a six pack of these without hesitation. This is a really easy to drink IPA it goes down nice and smooth.

slatetupelo, Dec 24, 2008
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,823 ratings.