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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,202 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,202
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 284
Gots: 1,143 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,202 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brendanbeer
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. very pretty amber orange haze. nice lacy head that lasts a little while.

s. i like the smell a lot, fruits and hops galore.

t. taste is unexpectedly good. the spices are incredibly orchestrated and complement the hops and sweet citrus flavors amazingly. the entire flavor profile blends beautifully and ends in a spice ale aftertaste. there's also that distinctive sierra nevada flavor that probably comes from the particular hops they use... not sure.

m. medium body, nice smooth characteristics. run of the mill good sierra nevada style.

d. really good beer. better than most seasonal spiced ales that become so popular this time of year. another exceptional beer by the consistently enjoyable sierra nevada team. Cheers!

Photo of plusorminus
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a thin white head that lasted quite sometime.
S: Nice crisp smell with a citrus smell.
T: Very crisp taste with a strong hop taste that hits at first taste then hits again after a few seconds.
M: Little to bitter for my taste and rough on the tounge.
D: Quite drinkable but a little bitter to drink more then two more me.

Overall a very hop filled beer with a good taste and nice finish.


Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz glass into Globe. After drinking cases of Celebration it is finally time to review it.

A. Poured 3 finger head. Thick lacing. Excellent retention. Color is cloudy amber orange.

S. Smell is hops. Piney and citrusy hops. Nice floral hop aroma with not a lot of bitterness. Can pick up some caramel malt sweetness lying beneath the hops. Really nice IPA smell.

T. Taste is a very well balanced IPA. Hop bitterness with a nice sweet malt flavor. Not an overly bitter hop bomb, but one of the easiest drinking IPAs out there.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Clean finish.

D. Very drinkable. This is my session IPA every holiday. Super easy to put down quite a few of these. Not a mind blowing showcase for hops, but a well balanced good IPA.

Photo of mellowmark
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. short brown bottle to Imperial Pint glass. 2010 batch. Don't know the exact brewed on date. $14.99 for a 12-pack.

Appearance: Rusty amber color with a generous 3-finger head. Mostly translucent. Head sticks around for a while and leaves thick lacing all down the glass. The appearance is definitely the high point of this beer for me.

Smell: Smells of earthy hops and bright citrus. Some bready notes as well and a caramel like sweetness. Pleasing.

Taste: Hop bitterness right at the beginning sustains to the end. A little bit of citrus and malt sweetness try and keep the bitterness at bay and even things out. Tastes of grassy earthy hops and mild grapefruit. It's pretty bitter and isn't for everyone. Myself I prefer a little more malt or citrus presence in my IPA to counteract that bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation. More biting than I would prefer, even for an IPA.

Drinkability: Medium

It's pretty decent, but not something I would actively seek out again. Kind of surprised it's rated so highly, but I guess we all have our preferences. I'd like to try some aged and see if it doesn't change my mind.

---2005 vintage (3-16-11)---

Well speak of the devil! Found this 2005 bottle at my local beer store right next to the 2006 2007 2008 and 2009 versions. I figured I might as well go all out and get the oldest batch, so I did.

Appearance: Pours a copper amber color with orange highlights a 2-finger slow rising yellow head. Head retention is pretty mediocre, leaves a ring after about a minute. Murky as all hell, almost no transparency whatsoever. Little chunks floating around.

Smell: Very malty in the nose. Almost no sign of any hops. Spices like nutmeg and ginger. Fruity. Dark fruits like raisin and plum. Smells kind of like a Quad.

Taste: Surprisingly bitter up front then it just gets washed away by the malty sweetness. Earthy hops are very present, surprisingly. Spices and sweet malt. It's much sweeter than fresh. It's a little off to be honest. Kind of astringent.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium and kind of sticky with a medium to high carbonation.

Drinkability: Medium

Appearance: 3.5
Smell: 4.0
Taste: 3.0
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Drinkability: 3.0
Overall: 3.5

I would say I like 2010 a little better than the 2005, personally, but it's very close overall. It's a much different beer after over 5 years. Celebration is a rare example of an IPA that can be aged for years and still be very drinkable, however. Perhaps this one has aged just a little too long. 3 years would be about perfect I would think.

Photo of nickadams2
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Deep gold in color with a thick white head. Great retention lots of lacing.


T_Nice amount of grassy hops. Waves of pine and grapefruit. Touch of spiciness on the back end.

M_Medium bodied with a semi dry finish.

D_Great session IPA

Photo of mondegreen
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz into an Allagash Tulip. Bottled on the 305th day of 2010, making this one just under 2 months old.

Pours a pretty golden amber with a half inch of off white head.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts and bright floral hops. Brilliant.

Taste is a delicate balance of sweet and bitter. The signature SN hoppiness is here, firmly in the center with a pronounced bitterness. The sweet malts are on the periphery. Good taste.

Mouth is very good for an IPA. Good carbonation, leaves the palate dry.

Drinks like a champ. One of the finest examples of an affordable, approachable American IPA.

I've had my share of SN Celebration this season. It is worth noting that there is a huge difference in both the nose and taste at 3 weeks compared to 8 weeks. The 8 week old beer, reviewed here, is solid and worthy of praise. The 3 week old celebration is phenomenal, on par with some of the best IPAs on the market today. Drink it as fresh as possible, but when it comes down to it, just drink it.

Photo of HoopTime
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint on Christmas Eve from a growler filled that afternoon at Al's of Hampden.

A -- Pours a rich foamy1.5" head with a light caramel tint. The head receded about halfway, then lingered a while while leaving a back-of-the-spoon type coating of lattice on the glass. This is a rich amber with a hint of burnt orange that is remarkably clear. The carbonation bubbles steadily through the middle of the glass. I sat mesmerized watching the chamagne-style bubbles streaming to the top.

S -- Though this is a fresh hopped ale, it does not have that overpowering middle of a pine forest with a pitcher of grapefruit juice by your nose hoppiness to the nose that other fresh hopped ales I have tried had. This is more subtle hoppiness. Unlike fresh hopped beers I have had that you could smell five feet away, this one takes getting your nose over the glass to pick up, but when you get close you will find a hint oi evergreen with citrus undertones.

T -- This starts off bitter and hoppy, citrusy, almost like carbonated grapefruit juice. Then the malt kicks in and balances it out for a very smooth, refreshing finish.

M -- Incredible effervescence, almost champagne like. This pour was extremely carbonated despite my having to open the growler when I got it home to replace a leaky metal lid. Light, bubbly, this damces on your tounge and tickles down the throat.

D -- A little strong for a session beer, but not by much. I could drink this all night.Praise Sierra Nevada for going a different direction from most in a holiday beer. Instead of a big, high alcohol spiced or fruited dark beer, they stuck to the basics and simply produced a beer fitting of celebrating the solstice

Having been turned on to wet and fresh-hopped offerings this fall, I expected this to be more like them, yet was not disappointed in the least by the more subtle approach.

Photo of Blueribbon666
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must be in the minority when it comes to IPA's not usually a style I enjoy beyond one or two in a sitting. BUT, this is probably my favorite especially in the winter months. Great body, warm mouth feel w/o being thick. SN brews are usually hop tinged in overall taste and this kicks like a mule w/good fresh hop cone. Out of all their brews Celebration Ale and even Bigfoot seem to bring me back in the winter months

Photo of Derranged
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 version. Poured 12 ounces into a pint glass.

A- A pretty orange amber in color, thick white head after an aggressive pour, thick lacing left behind.

S- Strong floral hops and malty aroma dominate. There is also some citrus and candied sugar in there as well.

T- Once again floral hops and malt are strong along with citrus and hops bitterness at the end. Sweeter than I thought it would be.

M- Very smooth and light, not too much carbonation.

D- This drinks very easily. This might might make my "dangerously drinkable" list. I could put down many of these.

Solid beer, I have a lot left, I look forward to drinking more of it.

Photo of sbauer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Celebration Ale, 12oz

A: Medium amber, slightly orange. Good lacing.

S: Great fresh hop aroma, light citrus, pine, caramel malt.

T: Balanced malt and fresh hops, grapefruit, orange peel, pine. Amazingly long, delicious finish.

M: Medium-full bodied. Moderately carbonated.

D: Definitely a session beer for an IPA lover. Kicks a hop punch but pretty balanced with a strong malt backbone makes for a very drinkable IPA. A memorable finish.

Photo of kemoarps
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

friend brought it over while I was cooking. Love surprise visits.

pours a beautiful amber with a pillowy off white head that lasts quite well. decent lacing down the sides considering the glass I was using.
the nose brings the hops forth first and foremost. spicy pine tones lead off with almost a roasty hint underneath that I can't quite place.
the hops continue on the tongue just as they did on the nose, as that roasty malty note from above almost melts into a faint faint faint hint of butter. The citrusy hop taste is by far the dominant component here, though, and it lingers, coating the tongue with a bitter aftertaste characteristic of the style.
overall an njoyable IPA (coming from someone who is not a huge hop head). I feel like a late december night in the soggy northwest surrounded by conifers and earth is the perfect place to enjoy it (which is where I am now. convenient)

drink it.

Photo of Northjames
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

The color is just about perfect for an IPA. Half inch head is thick and chunky.

Bready smell, in a very good way, faintly yeasty. I also smell some herbal hops.

There is a nice toasty aspect to the first taste. Hops are piney, herbal and dry the tongue nicely.

This is not a thick beer. The body is a nice transparent showcase for the hops.

Drinkability is good. I would have another. A very high quality IPA.

Photo of ms11781
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Pours a reddish orange color with a 2+ finger, creamy, off-white head. Quickly ends up being a half finger head that sticks around for the duration and leaves a nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Smells of earthy, piny hops with a hint of malt sweetness, but not much. The occasional citrus note pops up now and then, but for the most part the earthiness and pine dominate.

Taste is grapefruit and piny up front. Little malt sweetness. Tons of hops. Bitter at the end with a citrus taste that sticks around on the tongue.

Medium body on this one, perhaps even a bit heavier. Same with the carbonation. A bit more than medium but not close to high at all.

Drinks very easy for a beer this hoppy with the body it has on it. Gives me the feeling that on some nights 2-3 could be the limit and on others a decent amount more.

Photo of boomer31
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Version

A - Pours a reddish copper color with a thin white head.

S - A touch of fresh piney hop. Not as much as I'd like

T - Nice grassy hop presance. Biting hops balance with a nice caramel malt. The finish is nice and dry, very grassy.

M - Dry and highly carbed

D - A very nice seasonal, one I've enjoyed but never reviewed.

Overall a nice IPA, better than most, could be very special if the nose was a bit more pronounced.

Photo of Hopalong29
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For being a seasonal, I was not overwhelmed with the presence of spice. Nice 1.5" head that lasted a good 15 min. Nice meld of spices. mouthfeel: surprisingly smooth taste does not linger in excess. Felt I could have had a couple and not been overly satisfied. Very tasty brew.... would definately do again.
Nice job SN

Photo of Duttonic
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 batch poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A- Ruby red/orange in hue, two fingers off-white head that fades quickly, medium/large bubbles in the head, decent bubbling in the carbonation.

S- Spicy, dry, hoppy, pungent aroma. Pretty much what you want your IPA to be, if you are a hop-head.

T/M- Ka-pow! Hop bomb for your taste buds. Spicy at the front, smooth with just enough carbonation to tickle your buds in the middle, and a nice crisp and dry finish.

D- Wow. I wish this were year round. I love IPAs and this exceeded my expectations. Must stockpile for the long winter.

Photo of welldigger888
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gave this a little bit of a rugged pour and to my surprise, A little white head that receded quickly with good lacing.Ruby orange hues on this elixer.
Strong citrus goodness from hops but also some malty tones in the nose.Grapefruit and a nutty toasty quality seems to be the order of the day on this batch.
Very nice bracing pucker from the grapefruit rind flavors and some biscuity tones toward the finish, but overall a good showcase for the hop.
This brew has a wonderful mouthfeel with excellant carbonation on tongue and of course a nice hop oily feel.
This is what I want for the christmas season, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! Merry Christmas Y'all!!

Photo of bubseymour
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured the 2010 Celebration Fresh Hop Ale into my standard pint glass.

Very nice appearance and 2 finger head.

Very pleasant hoppy smell...lots of citrus notes.

Taste - I really didn't like this at all on my first taste, but after a few more it seemed to get much better. Some decent flavorings in there and well hopped. Aftertaste didn't linger too long so that was good.

Mouthfeel - This was exceptional and usually I don't even notice this catagory much. The head was very smooth almost like putting your mouth into very light whipped cream.

Overall - I respect this beer and can tell its very well made. I understand why IPA lovers give this high ratings.

Photo of SawDog505
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my 12 oz tulip glass. Bottle says it is around 50 days old. Pours a redish orange, a little haze with two inches of white head. Solid lacing that doesn't disappear until the end. The hoppy smell like grapefruit and pine got blended together. The taste even more powerful then the smell, with a sharp dry finish. Drinkability very nice, but this is all about the hopps, malt is barely noticable in the taste. A wonderful IPA, that will be my go too beer in November, December, and January for many years.

Photo of Swedes21
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 fl oz ml served in a chilled sniffer glass

Apperance - beer pours a gorgeous hazy auburn colour. There is a nice stream of carbonation in the middle of the glass. Head is very air filled, about 2 fingers high. Head is off-white in appearance. Some nice lacing as well.

Smell - I can pick up a nice balance of pine, hops, floral and caramel. Very smooth and fresh smelling.

Taste - beer taste fantastic, well balance and a decent amount of fullness. You can taste the caramel and pine hops right upfront, some bitterness near the end. I can pick up some deep fruits, almost a dark fruit.

Mouthfeel - the mouthfeel really adds a decent level of carbonation that make the beer creamy and full on the palette. I really like the added bitterness at the end. You can taste more citrus in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability - is it over already? Really, i can see why Spinrsx had trouble giving this one up in a trade! What a fantastic beer for a great day (just signed on for a new job)! Thanks Spinrsx for the trade and donation from your trip. This is a great beer everyone should try and stock.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear orange amber color. Two fingers of beige creamy/frothy hybrid head with great retention and moderate lacing. Uniformly small particulates throughout.

3.5 S: This isn't nearly as hoppy as I had expected it to be. Oh well. Malts are biscuity and offer some caramel. Hops are floral, citrusy, and herbal to an extent. I get some pithy fruit rind, grapefruit, maybe a touch of orange, and perhaps even some lemon.

3.0 T: Moderate bitterness. Malts are formitably bready and biscuity with some yeastiness in there as well. Caramel is the main malt flavor. Hops are herbal and citrusy, but aren't very strong in the flavor department. Some pith again with grapefruit and lemon. This is just too damn bready.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier and smoother. Just okay here.

3.5 D: I haven't had this beer before, but it doesn't seem to be that great unless other years have been different. It's overly bready and the hops aren't vibrant enough to pull it up out of the muddled flavors. This would be better if they made it cleaner or went full on with the malt. It's stuck in the middle area between good and good.

Photo of cjacobsen
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost clear golden, honey color with a foamy off white head that stays for a long while.

Smells of hops, some biscuit.

Taste is a lot of hops. The fresh hops really cut through this beer and its quite tasty. Roasted malt and faint caramel in the aftertaste.

Not bad on the mouthfeel. It's a nice balanced beer with the bittering and the carbonation. It's not really smooth, but its got a lot of body and flavor.

This is a good beer. Hoppy and tasteful. This is a very good AmIPA. I actually read a post where a guy said that a liquor store clerk said this was a recommended spiced winter beer that some customer would like after the customer's original choice (an ACTUAL spiced winter beer) was sold out. OH TO BE SO WRONG stupid worker guy

Photo of calir1
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. It is the best damn beer for the price hands down. $12 for the 12 pack and could not pass up.. I actually have had may 30 of these or so this season and I love everyone of them. I am not going to say how it tastes, because nobody cares, so I just want people to know this beer is fantastic and I will buy every year that I am still drinking beer.

Photo of plfahey
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Reddish copper in color, very clear. Nice fluffy off-white head stand with fine bubbles, good retention, and some nice lacing. Attractive.

Aroma-Hops! Big aromas of citrus, piney, catty hops, and some caramel/bready malt. No overt yeast character, and no flaws. Not a terribly complex aroma, but very fresh smelling.

Flavor-A little bit more balanced in the flavor, though hops definitely still steal the show. Citrus and pine hop flavors mix with moderate caramel and toasty malt, with moderate hop bitterness which rises in the finish to cut the malt sweetness. Even so, finish is still a bit sweet, though not cloying.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, moderately high carbonation. Almost a tad creamy, very smooth. No noticeable alcohol.

In my opinion, this one's a solid fresh hop IPA, but not an exceptional example of the category. Good, but not incredible. As far as drinkability goes, I could drink a shitload of these, which is not bad for a nearly 7% beer.

Photo of animortician
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

I was waiting for this beer to find itself at our local store and it finally did out here in Kauai.

A: Amber and copper tones but not too dark. Great Clarity. Good head to start and lacing till finish.

S: pretty mild, nothing too strong but some floral and snappy hints.

T: Great balance of fresh hops with bitter aftertaste and malt. I was pretty excited to try this and it didn't let me down in anyway. Great IPA with Great flavor!

M: Smooth and satisfying

D: Great, If it weren't for the 6.8% I would have gone through my 6 back much quicker

one final note is that I have no idea how this has has the same BU's as Torpedo. I haven't drank them side by side but I remember Torpedo being way bigger than this but when i looked up the BU's they are the same. Dunno....

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,202 ratings.