1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

9,294 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,294
Reviews: 3,344
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 293
Gots: 1,218 | FT: 1
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 9,294 | Reviews: 3,344
Photo of Fatehunter
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Amber color, transparent with a big inch and half of white head.

S - I smell hops, but it is not the citrus scent that normally goes with the hops. Unique smell for an IPA and in a good way.

T - A little malty at the beginning but hops quickly take over. It ends with a nice biting bitterness.

M - Crisp and light body at first, followed by a little softer texture. Moderate to higher carbonation. Now, after a few drinks of this the carbonation is a bit annoying.

D - A good IPA. As a winter seasonal I tend to pick maltier beers over hoppy ones, but that is just a personal preference.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. 2010 batch.

A-Medium amber. Numerous slow bubbles, about a 1/2 finger head, and lacing as I drink it.

S-primarily floral with some hints of citrus.

T-Nice moderate hoppiness, more floral flavors, but subtle.

M-Medium body

D-Very drinkable. It goes down smoothly , but also has plenty of substance to keep you interested.

Photo of gopens44
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - crystal clear, straw in color and a moderately funtime frothy head that wasn't very shy.

S - Very nice. The hop presence comes across in a very earthy manner. Very much reminded me of a soggy forest, but in a really good way.

T - Taste was fresh crisp and rich with a well balanced hop bite.

M - Again, crisp. Well carbonated and not much aftertaste.

Very pleasant beer from our friends in Chico.

Photo of brunop
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5.0 all around. there's not much i can add to the accolades of this 2010 release.

so i guess i'm just chiming in.

tremendous hops. just tremendous! V. TREMENDOUS!!!! my only "criticism" is that SN should make this a year-round brew. but i guess torpedo is their hop hound. and it wouldn't be celebration if this brew was all year round. but the "celebration" ale each year makes the new england winter easier to bear for sure!

and kudos and all dap to SN for charging a fair price.

Photo of Axic10
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours copperish with a finger of fluffy off white foam.

Smell: Earthy, piney and citrusy hops, with some malt on the back of the nose.

Taste: Similar to the nose, very hop forward with earth, piney and citrusy flavors. The crisp aftertaste contains some malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very crisp.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable beer (big surprise from Sierra Nevada, *sarcasm*) that I get my fill of each and every year.

Photo of zhanson88
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Celebration pours a very nice copper color with orange highlights. Slight carbonation is apparent, and there is a couple fingers of off-white lacing. Retention is decent, and the lacing is tight and clings all over the glass.

Smell: Just a bit of caramel maltiness makes up the backbone, but this beer is dominated by citrus and piney hops. This is a nice, crisp and refeshing smell.

Taste: I get a hint of caramel malts up front, but then citrus and pine come in waves. It has a hoppy, bitter finish that is just about right for an IPA. Nothing real complex, this is a no-frills beer that is about spot on for the style.

Mouthfeel: This beer has superb feel. Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation, it combines for a slightly syrupy mouthfeel and bitterness that lingers in the mouth. Very nice.

Drinkability: Through the roof. Good taste, great mouthfeel and relatively low ABV combine to make this beer among the most drinkable I have tried. Definitely recommended.

Photo of Takahiro
3.39/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

tulip glass for evaluation

A: Tan/light brown, clear, with thick off-white 3" sticky foam.

S: Dank marijuana, malty wort, caramel, brown sugar

T: Strong hop flavor, which interplays with thick malt in the beginneing. The malt flavor loses its battle to the hoppiness shortly after, and the hop flavor lingers on for a while. A quite while, but pleasantly so.

M: fully mouthfull of maltiness. Hop flavor cuts well into this sticky malt. Sticky.

D: Not so well. The flavor sticks to the palate and makes it tired after few sips.

Photo of Phelps
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Papago. Served in a standard pint glass.

Looks: poofy. A one-finger head of pillowy light khaki billows above the rim of the glass and recedes very slowly, hanging out for a good ten minutes. The beer itself is a perfectly clear medium copper. The remaining layer of foam grips the sides of the glass in snowy sheets.

Smells: sweet. Caramel, cotton candy and a smooth floral character akin to roses or orange blossoms. It's sweeter than it is citrusy, but there is some subdued tangerine here.

Tastes: toastier than expected. Lots of biscuits and crackers, sharp orange peel and a lightly sweet caramel character. There's also floral rose and lavender before a grainy finish.

Feels: medium light in body with a light yet prickly carbonation. It's smooth, crisp and lightly fizzy as it moves about.

Drinks: like a celebration in my mouth. Sierra Nevada's winter IPA isn't their best, and it doesn't have any of the wintery spiciness that some expect. But it's a decent brew, and one that should be on anyone's winter beer list.

Photo of chumba526
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears dark orange with a sizable white head.

Smells quite citrus like, there is a pine smell and a caramel smell as well. I also get a slight floral smell going on as well.

It tastes quite like it smelt. There are strong citrus flavors. I get a strong grapefruit flavor. There is a dank pine smell going on. There is a strong malt caramel present as well. There is a substantial hoppy bitterness in the finish of the beer. It is a pretty well balanced IPA.

The carbonation is moderate medium. It is about average for the style.

The drinkability is decent I could drink two of these no problem but would not want to drink more than two.

Overall a nice IPA that is better than most though it is not amazing. A great IPA for the price though.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Copper, with an off white head that lasts a decent while and left some nice lacing on the glass.

S-Caramel and some piney hops stand out the most.

T-Hoppy at first, mostly piney hops, and then finishing with a nice toasty maltiness. It tastes much more toasty and malty than from the bottle, which surprised me. Still it tasted delicious.

M-Slightly thick with a nice amount of carbonation.

D-This was incredibly balanced making very drinkable. Its absolutely delicious and I could drink it about all day.

Overall, I was really excited about trying this beer on tap. While it was much different than I expected, it was still exceptional. This is one of those beers that you should never turn down a chance to drink.

Photo of woodychandler
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Fresh Hop Ale iteration. I think that I am going to do some ticking for a little while and get all of my numbers to the 400 range.

From the bottle: "Celebration Ale is a special ale for the holidays. Featuring the first hops of the growing season, this pioneering IPA is full of complex flavors and aromas from the generous use of whole cone American hops."

I am wildly out of practice when it comes to pouring from a bottle, vice a CAN. Once the panic of a near-overflow subsided, I was looking at a rocky two fingers' worth of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both earthy and piney, like being out in the forest and taking a deep breath. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with an immediate burst of very piney hops on the tongue. Man, this is the kind of thing that caused me to become a hophead in the first place! Great Gaddang, but this was right in my skewed wheelhouse. It's a good thing that I liked it, since I bought a gigantor 24-ounce bottle and I could not find anyone to share it with me. Boo hoo. The finish swept through with a minty chill that really sent shivers up and down my spine. Peering into my glass, I took note of some lovely sticky lacing that looked like Jack Frost had been at work. A second, warmer pour released a really earthy aroma, like I had been out digging around in my backyard. I liked just letting it roll around on my tongue since the hops did not have a heavy bite, but more of a wintergreen flavor. Only $3.95 for this?!? A freakin' bargain and worth revisiting, if I could get people to come over/have me over.

Photo of kneeland
2.28/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I thought this was going to be a winter ale, since the bottle never said anything about it being an IPA. But even with being surprised, I didn't like anything about it.

Very barky with a wanna be cinnamon taste. Tasted very flat and chalky. The head disappeared quickly, and it's too heavy to drink fast enough. Just very bad mouthfeel.

I was excited to have it with my Thanksgiving dinner, but I actually had to switch to Bud Light instead. Yea, I know.

Photo of chchchchia
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first review, so I figured I'd start with a historically great beer.

2010 version

A - A deep amber with a massive head that seems to last for forever, leaving a thick lacing along the glass, even while drunk slowly.
S - Hops beautiful hops. Malt is there, but only as an accent.
T - Malt more than covered up with piney hops. A sharp bitterness follows. The malt seems to only amplify the hop bitterness.
M - med to high carbonation. Not smooth at all, but then again, this is an IPA.
D - For a hophead, this is very drinkable. Not heavy, just bitter.

This is a great beer for those in love with big, hoppy, and overall, bitter IPAs. It's not as finely balanced as the Dogfish Head 90 or Bell's Two Hearted, but I don't think that's the point. This is a fine beer to sip on a cold night when other, super malty warmers have got you down, or if you've just got a craving for a super bitter IPA that doesn't slap you in the face with hops. A great beer, one it seems is designed for aging.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - orange/amber body, finger head, terrific lacing.

S - floral, grassy, pine aroma.

T - grassy, lemon zest, pine, malt, low sticky slow bitter finish

M - med. body, oily/sticky mouth

O: Reviewed this time last year and thought it
was just ok, but glad I gave it another go. Perhaps,
I got a bad bottle/batch/or my palate was just in a
funk. I'm glad I went back to this beer;
by FAR, my favorite Sierra Nevada beer.

DELICIOUS, TREAT YOURSELF!

Photo of beachbum1975
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've had this beer on multiple occasions from multiple years and never reviewed it. I'm about to watch the Bengals lose the Jets, so I figured it was time to review this one.

2010 Celebration into a traditional pint glass.

Pours a clear, burnt orange with a nice, big a frothy head. Great, sticky lacing and excellent head retention. Very nice looker.

Light grapefruit, some minor lactic qualities and sweet malts. Overall, minimal aroma on the nose.

Fresh and lightly bittering grapefruit essence. Fresh earthy hops (mild dirt and vegetable like freshness). Nice malt backbone.

Great mouthfeel for an IPA with moderate bitterness and high carbonation. Easy to drink.

Your quintessential fresh hopped IPA. A World class example in consistency. Always pleasing and enjoyable.

Photo of gskitt
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Cascading carbonation, rich, hazy deep orange color with thick foamy head with sticky lacing.
S- Orange spice and coriander. Spicy vanilla undertones.
T- hoppy and full of pine notes, some sour lemon drops on the finish.
M- Sticky and layered.
D- If you like straight foward American IPA's, this is a very drinkable brew.

Photo of Bfarr
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright, clear red/orange with huge foamy heat with good retention and lacing. Pine and spicy sweet aroma. Peppery sweet taste with a nice pine hop finish and nice sweet malt background. Full flavored with a hint of almost peppermint. Smooth, well carbonated mouthfeel.

An interesting winter beer selection in an IPA. I guess winter beers aren't just malty anymore. It has great flavor with nice balance although it's hard for me to give up my malty winter warmer. As an IPA it is wonderful and as a winter beer it certainly has holiday flavors built right in.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the classic.. clear amber with ample head. As the foam billowed up in my chalice, I could actually smell first the intense harsh bitterness of Chinook, followed by some malt and oranges.
she's bitter yet sweet, wild yet classy. the balance is exceptional, as the chinook is not left to hang over your tongue for too long before the hops' sins are washed away by the caramel sweetness. The big citrus is accentuated by a bit of the pine and floral.
It feels good, and I do love the timing of the release. Usually by now I've started drifting away from IPAs (a bit) for the season but this is a reminder of the good times that grow on the bines. I feel like I'm in Yakima all over again.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A beautiful hazy orange with an off-white head.

S - A clean, fresh hop aroma that is a little sweet and a bit floral.

T - The first taste you get is the fruitiness (citrus) from the hops, which turns into an herbal (almost tea-like) flavor. Finally you get a really nice bitter hop flavor that coats your mouth and throat.

M - Medium body and well carbonated make this beer feel really nice.

D - Considering the crisp cleanliness of the hops and the subtle herbal and fruity flavors and low abv, I could definitely drink many of these in a session.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was looking forward to having this beer! Last year around this time I was just getting into craft. Pours a clear amber color with a medium head that diminishes quickly. Scent is DELICIOUS hoppy goodness with just a bit of malt. A lot of pine and grapefruit aromas. Taste is very delightful. It reminds me of a very fresh Torpedo with a bit more malt character. At first I get some pine, followed by grapefruit and sweet apricot flavors. Then followed by some hop bitterness with a bit of caramel malt. Very well-balanced IMO. Mouthfeel is nice and full bodied with great carbonation. Drinkability is very high. I could see why people would complain about having an IPA as a Christmas/Winter ale, but I have no complaints. Love this beer!

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.68/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First tried this years ago, and wasn't impressed. Am formally revisiting it for 2010.

Pours dark copper in color. Nice head with nice lacing throughout the session.

Citrus, pine, grass on the nose. Nothing that blows my hair back.

Taste is all unriped grapefuit and pine. Incredibly unbalanced. Zero malt backbone to balance the bitter hop profile. Yuck.

Bitter grapefruit taste lingers far too long. Can't wait to have a different beer once this one is done. Am not impressed at all. I love IPAs but this one just lacks any balance. If you want to drink a grapefruit that has had sex with a pine tree, then this is the beer for you.

Photo of tbern007
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear, amber/copper. Thick, frothy tan head, slowly disintegrates, leaving nice lacing.
Mild hop/earth scent, a little sour.
Taste is very pleasant. Mild IPA or maybe an IPA with hops that are different from some I've had before. Not sure but good. The label says "first hops of the season" called full cone American hops. This is the 2010 bottle. Bubbly on the tongue with the initial sip. Bitter up front, pine, floral in the middle, mellows out into some sweet malt at the end.
Nice aftertaste of hop and malt.
Very drinkable. Does this have to be a seasonal? I could have this anytime.

Photo of mikeborglum
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

very clear amber color with white frothy head about 2 fingers. Definite hoppy aroma and some earthy traces. Nice dry and of course hoppy taste and nice touch of sweet maltiness. Really smooth creamy feel, medium body and great finish that last forever. Poured from 12 oz. bottle in pint glass.

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

A - Pours a nice clear amber color with almost two fingers of off while head that dissipates quickly and leaves splotchy lacing.

S - Fresh hops, lemon and grapefruit citrus, muted malts, pine, grass and spice.

T - Fresh hops dominate this beer. Pine and grassy notes, more of an orange citrus, mild toasted malts in the background, a little bit of spice and a somewhat bitter finish.

M - Medium body, creamy and smooth, very well rounded.

D - I remember really loving this beer last year (2009) and this year I am not as impressed, however it's a well rounded solid brew.

Photo of wcintula
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I love the way this beer looks on the golden side of amber has a big ole puffy tan head that sticks around a long time and clings to the glass like crazy. The smell is strong piney with citrus lightly behind it/ The taste follows with strong bitterness, a touch of alcohol. It has long lasting carbonation and good body. My problem is that the more you drink of it , the more you taste the alcohol. I think those are the hops scraping my taste buds. Yum!

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,294 ratings.