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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.

9,263 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,263
Reviews: 3,336
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 290
Gots: 1,197 | 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
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Ratings: 9,263 | Reviews: 3,336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Homebrew35
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a small half finger head that fades away fast to a slight ring. Clear amber in color. Smells of American C hops and some sweet alcohol. Tastes of hops and a slight bit of sweetness. The finish is bitter and piney that lingers. A bit out of balance for me. Low carbing and thin body. I could take only a few of these in a night.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer. For $7.49 a six pack, this is in my fridge a LOT when it's available. Nice pour. Medium to dark clear amber with a nice fluffy 2 finger off white head that has solid retention. Lacing lacks a bit. Hop profile is perfect for a winter time ipa. Big pine, with a nice level of lemon and grapefruit. Great bitterness. Biscuity and caramel malts hold it up. Nothing is overdone about this beer, but it certainly doesnt lack flavor. Perfectly balanced.

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Celebration 2010 brewing. One finger head of fluffy very light brown foam. Head really didn't last very long, but left a nice clinging lace. Color is a 16 on the SRM beer color chart. I detect fragrances of lime, orange, lemon, green tea, and hops. Very flavorful. Heavy on the citrus, sour side, but good tastes, of lemon, orange, lime, and of course hops. Lots of body in my mouth, like heavy cream, but much cleaner after feel. I waited for this for better than a month since the talk was out that it had hit the shelves in other places. I guess South Georgia is one of the last stops. I will look foreword to having more of this. I want others to have a taste, but I don't really want to share this one. It is goood.

Photo of Anaz
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Celebration ale of the year, and...well, I'm not sure what the hell happened.
The look of the thing is nice enough, huge fluffy head, lovely lacing, a hazy reddish orange. A bit too dark, but not really bad. The aroma though...light, bright citrus, and some spicier, piney notes along with caramel malty sweetness, but I have to really sniff into the tulip, the hops don't burst forth like I expect a fresh hop IPA to do.

The taste is pleasant enough, orange and grapefruit hop citrus, some faint resin and pine with some spice and a light caramel malt sweetness, but no real punch, nothing really stands out. It's nice, but kind of forgetable, even between sips.

The mouthfeel is nice though, very full, and highly carbonated. Finishes with a nice mix of bitterness and a light sweetness that doesn't linger long enough to become cloying.

It's drinkable, goes down easy, and is a nice enough beer to drink while watching TV or some other situation where you don't really care to have what your drinking be the main focus of your concentration.

Photo of heartofgold
2.46/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed is a 12oz bottle, labeled "2010 Celebration Fresh Hope Ale"

Poured this into a pint glass. Minimal head was created which dissipated rather quickly. The color was a clear bronze amber.

The aroma was very mild, with a hint of pine, very subtle for a fresh hop IPA.

The taste was of toasted malt with an element of burnt chocolate and pine, with a medium bitter-hop finish. The lack of aroma seemed to hold back any complexity in the taste.

This is a moderately drinkable beer. I'm a big fan of SN but this didn't hit the mark for me.

Photo of CamuMahubah
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Burnt Orange...some of the most wonderful frothy bubbles I've seen on a beer...anaranjado snow!

Mild aroma for an IPA definitely got the citrusy thing going though...

tastes like a grapefruit tree mated with a cacao tree that was in the sun too long...enjoyable!

Surprisingly with all that's going here the feel of this beer is excellent. Not overwhelming hop wise and none of the cloy sweetness some Winter beers have...that said I know it is an IPA and this beer knows it too!

It's so enjoyable I'm gonna drink a few more! Very good for the style. A sort of Christmas IPA. This beer was born the same time I was and I bet it was a game changer back then. It still is now when you compare it to other brews that come around this time of year. Wow! An IPA for Christmas! All I can say is thanks Sierra Nevada! Rarely do they disappoint.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glad I revisited this one! Sierra Nevada, say what you will, makes some damn fine IPAs. But this doesn't come across as your "typical" (if that word can even be applied to the style...) IPA. The look and feel, I would offer, say English ale to me. Appearance-wise, it pours with healthy enough finger-width head, done and out. The hazy mahogany color is straight outta Comptonshire.

I went nutty trying to place the aroma until I figured out (or decided) that it had to simply be that of the oils of ultra-fresh hop flowers - from vine to kettle, no middle man. References for what the hops smell and taste like, however, eludes me. There seems to be this magical blend of floral, pine, and citrus - the ratio I'm dumbfounded to discern - with not one scent dominating. A fascinating blend, but too much straining to capture an ideal whiff.

The feel I cannot say enough about - deceptively smooth and satisfying, cask-like, but with a nicely-balanced, strangely appealing carbonic bite just prior to the moderately dry finish. Great crystal malt and English-style malt presence in the flavor as well as that confounding hop bouquet. I wouldn't say I got a significant dose of fruity or herby flavors anywhere. A unique, refined, and tasty concoction. I could easily stumble into a session with this.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle comes in at 24 ounces rather than the standard bomber which is nice.

Pours a beautiful amber which is my favorite part of this brew. Also a nice head that stays all the way down.

The smell is kind of faint but pretty sweet of only hops.

The taste is bitter whith no to little malt backing. Piney with a dry finish.

This beer is good but doesnt do a whole lot for me. Id much prefer Torpedo or SNPA.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a brassy orange hue - rosy in the heart, gold around the edges -- with two fingers of stiff beige foam. Thick bands of lace as the head mellows.

Smell -- Bright and bitter: Pine resin, earthy vegetation, and grapefruit pith. Toasted malt, dab of honey, drop of cane juice. Nothing off, though a bit ho-hum.

Taste -- More bright grapefruit hop notes in the taste than in the nose - pith and zest. Pine resin also very present, crescendos in the finish. Sturdy malt backbone, more than just a jumping off point to the hops - toasty with mild malt sweetness akin to dark honey. Lingering flavors of resin, pith, and honey.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with nice carbonation. Works well with the flavor profile. Immensely drinkable.

Drinkability - Not bad in the least. Very balanced, though still definitely an IPA. Easy drinker, good choice for the cold months ahead. Admittedly, I still prefer Torpedo over this tasty seasonal.

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

A: Deep red, almost mahogany pour with a full, thick white head. Beautiful retention and lacing.

S: Hops, hops, and yes a few more hops. Dark malty character in the background though.

T: Hops dominate the malts, but I still get the roastiness at the finish of the drink. Bitter and dry as an aftertaste.

MF: Medium bodied and good carbonation tie this together nicely.

D: Great beer. Look forward to it every season.

Photo of tewaris
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sally's. Got this one in 2-for-1!

The bar I had this at is very dark, so it's hard to describe the color exactly; the beer seemed reddish copper with brilliant clarity and a dense off white head with good retention and nice, sticky lacing.

The nose was very disappointing. I thought I smelled some pine but cannot be sure, and that's about it. The taste was better, however: There was a decent malt backbone that manifested itself in the body but added little flavor and taste-wise hops ruled. Earthy, but with a citrusy zing to it, that seemed to get enhanced with rising temperature of the beer.

The finish wasn't the driest but was still very clean and massively bittering. A very well done combination of malts and *dominating* hops but not as good smelling as it tastes. Not the most refreshing beer but with the the right body and carbonation for an AIPA. Very drinkable.

Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A- wow, this is probably my favorite looking beer...it pours a dark amber color with thick white head

S- yummm, citrus, mint, and hopiness!!!

T- terrific, similar to the pale ale but with a little bit more bite

M- terrific, sits well

D- very filling, could drink this all night if my belly would let me!!!

overall, sierra nevada never lets me down, i love this company and this beer is amazing!

Photo of ccbrewer138
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-poured straight in a pint glass, had a lot of head. Poured half than let settle, poured the rest, still had three inches of offwhite, dense foam. Copper in color, great head retention.

S-minty and citrusy hop aromas, hints of sweet, toasted malt.

T-turns out to be pretty balanced for an ipa. Great hop blend, balanced by toasty malt flavor. The malt profile keeps the bitterness from going overboard.

M-heavy in body, great carbonation for the style.

D-this is a great warm winter beer. At a high alcohol percentage, may not be the best session beer, but a great way to warm up on those cold winter nights.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. Major head, which was my fault. The color is a clean, clear, light copper. After getting the thick, off-white head under control, it dissipated slowly to leave a billowy lacing; foam clung to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Invigorating grapefruit citrus, but it is no warning of excessive hoppiness ahead. Sweet caramel malts and molasses give the aroma a nice balance, and there is a little pine spice as well. There are also scents of orange peels and cherries.

Taste: Much toastier than the smell leads on, which is very pleasing. Grapefruit citrus up front followed by the malts: sweet caramel, molasses, and a little bit of chocolate. Backing the malts is pine spice and orange peels. A pleasant hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is really good stuff. Not only does it have bite, but it also has a very well-balanced malt quality to keep it from going over the bitterness edge.

Photo of nniicckkww
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a chilled glass at a local pizza place. I was very hungry and thirsty.

The beer is very clear and had a nice head that left a proper lacing on the glass. Good pine/malt aroma but I didn't take more than a small sniff. Very satisfying after my first giant gulp. Dry, spicy hops. Very balanced. Exactly what I needed. This beer basically drank itself. I would have ordered another, but the bartender already had my check for me as I had a to-go food order. Delicious. However, seems to have less hoppy bite than the past years.

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had this one in a while now, but snatched some up now that I see it's out again. Had to give it a revisit!

A - Pours a deep, amber-ruby hue that is semi-transparent, with a mild off-white head that quickly gives way to thin lacing.

S - Smell is of caramel, molasses, cinnamon & nutmeg, with orange and cherry, and very slight pine from the hops. You can tell right off the bat that this is a different kind of IPA.

T - A fantastic blend of the aforementioned smells! Caramel, nutmeg, various citrus fruits, cherry, and pine are the most abundant flavors. Bitterness is medium. Finish is slightly dry, leaving you wanting more.

M - Beer has a medium body-feel to it, with moderate carbonation, and a slightly slick, oily texture to it (hop oils)

D - Not on sessioning level, but most excellent for a few of to kick back and relax on a cool fall or winter day to!

Overall - An excellent IPA from SN, and I now remember why I loved this one so much when I first tried it. It's definitely going to be a regular in my fridge while it's available!

Photo of trevorjn06
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/light copper color with an inch of thick, tight off-white head that recedes slowly. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is bright and crisp. Notes of citrus, pear and pine with malt and caramel sweetness. Fairly straight forward but very nice.

Taste is a rich caramel sweetness, some maltiness and lots of hop flavor. Hops are grassy, citrusy, fruity and piney. Toward the finish this ale is a little dry, but in a pleasant and crisp way. The finish leaves lingering hop bitterness and some citrus with mild malt sweetness with some caramel. Overall this beer is full-flavored and crisp.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with above average carbonation.

Overall this beer is a nice IPA with a strong malt backbone and a nice balance of flavors, it is not as juicy as many IPAs but has a very rich feeling to it and plenty of hop character. For the strength of flavors this is an easy drinking beer.

Photo of Boitnott
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a glass from the bottle.

A: This beer is a light brick color. Looks like caramel. You can pretty much see right through it. The foam was about an inch and it is cream colored and loose. The carbonation rises up straight from the bottom middle of the class. This looked really cool, not sure if its the beer or the glass.'

S: The strong hop smell prevails in this beer. As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell. You can also smell some of the spices.

T: This beer has everything an IPA should have and much more. The nose is actually sweet. It almost tastes like cinnamon or nutmeg. If you hold it in your mouth than the taste becomes more apparent. The finish has a strong IPA hop taste. It goes very well with the other flavors and will make you crave that next sip. Even the foam tastes good!

M: Despite the relatively large amount of foam, the beer is still online a little carbonated. It is not enough to take away from the taste of the beer at all.

D: Before this beer, I was unaware that IPAs could fall in the winter seasonal area. This beer is slightly darker than an IPA and makes me want to buy a bottle on Christmas Eve and hang out. I highly recommend it if you a fan of the style and are looking for a winter version.

Photo of Stigs
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, served in a Stone Levitation glass

A - pours with a big amount, over and inch, of loose, fluffy, light creme colored foam. the beer is clear, dark gold/amber in color. some sticky and clingy lacing settles randomly around the glass surrounding a couple mounds of foam that just wont go away.

S - bright, almost abrasive piney hops joined in by freshly cut wet grass. big caramel, bready malt base with subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T - begins with a swift kick of hoppy bitterness - pine needles, hop resin, and grass settle all over the tongue. malty sweetness, caramel and bready malt.

M - light refreshing body with moderate punchy carbonation. finishes crisp, yet drying with lingering hoppy bitterness and a subtle creamy sweetness.

D - through the roof on this one. balanced IPA yet good enough for the biggest hop craving. this one just reminds me of this time of year. what alcohol?

Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this on cask at Sierra Nevada's 30th anniversary at The Surly Goat and I have to say... it was all right. I wasn't blown away by this year's offering, but it was a pleasant experience still. Maybe that's the free pint glass talking.

Poured with a massive head and beautiful lacing with a murky golden tint - I have to admit the pour was promising. The beer isn't particularly pungent - just some light citrus notes and a hint of pine (or holly, for the season).

Celebration had a foamy, free flowing flavor that was not aggressive at all. In a way, the flavoring left a lot to the imagination...in that I was waiting for more creativity to kick in. As it was on cask, naturally it had no carbonation, which in hindsight may have actually aided to the sharpness I have come to expect from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of gdrydenc
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Gorgeous amber-orange color. I tend to pour aggressively, so I got a good amount of head on this bad boy, which slowly went away, leaving a thin rim of white-brown along the top.

Smell - Honestly, I can't smell a lot out of this. Even when I let the head die down, the only thing I can smell is a hint of piny hops.

Taste - Bitter, hoppy, pine-y. I like the bitterness, it tastes very fresh (2010 release).

Mouthfeel - Fantastic mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation, not overwhelming. I know immediately that the flavor is there and it lasts until the end... and then some. The flavor persists on my tongue for a while after.

Drinkabilty - Great drinkability. At only 6.8%, I can easily finish the bomber and desire more.

Overall, an excellent seasonal offering from SN, especially for the price.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's the most wonderful time of year.

The beer is a fairly hazy dark orange hue with a substantial head that generates a healthy amount of lacing.

The aroma is very hop forward, with a malt profile underneath.

Tasty beer. Hops play the lead role here. I really prefer this beer fresh, with the hop character at its boldest.

The feel is thick and coats the palate with bitter hops. The aftertaste has considerable staying power.

I look forward to the release of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale every year. Recommended.

Photo of feelmefoam
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SN Celebration pours a beautiful caramel-cider color that's semi-transparent with a decent amount of carb running up into 2 fingers of off-white head that has a really nice retention time and leaves some thick, foamy lacing around the glass. Really good-looking beer.

I don't always pour this beer, which is a sin, I know, but I just don't always have the opportunity to. But man does it smell good when you let it breathe in a glass. Sappy floral and piney hops jump out of the head and into your nose, and the only downside is that the beer isn't quite as fragrant as I'd like. I want it to jump out of the glass into my nose without having to go in after it. Awesome aroma, but just make it a bit stronger. I'm a stickler. Sometimes I hate myself.

The taste is tasty dude. Lots of piney, sprucey, delicious Christmas tree hops (holidays holla!!) jump right outta the glass and flood your tongue. Only after this does the malt backbone come limping in, weak and unappreciated. No sympathy here either, move along.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation and a slightly dry finish (in combo with the hops). Pretty smooth drinker.

I really like the way this wintry beer breaks up the Big Stout and Spicy Warmer theme of the season. Don't get me wrong, those are all well and good and I love many of them, but a spruced up hop-bomb in the middle of winter just oozes holiday cheer. Now if the holidays would just get here. Cheers!!!!

Photo of wvsabbath
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark orange, tanish, with little head

Smell - Hops, malts, some yeast and spices. Lots of fresh hops!

Taste - Expectations were so high for this since i read the reviews about it. Well as i figured, very hoppy indeed. Burnt piney hops mixed with some yeast and malts give this a fairly bitter taste. Has what you expect for a ipa but its more thicker and bolder in taste.

Mouthfeel - Decent for mouth you get a bold hop taste but left with a bitter bite on the tounge. I can still taste the bitterness awhile after first few drinks. Didnt do much for palette after the drink.

Drinkabilty - I was hopping for this to be amazing but it is ok. I wish it was a little less bitter and a little more malts and spices. Its ok but not what i was expecting.

Photo of jonB
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Despite the deceiving winter landscape on the bottle, this is no winter warmer. It does have a a good presence of piney hops, that mostly cover up the alcohol on the finish.
The beer has the great nose and creamy mouth feel of most Sierra Nevada's lineup. What sets it apart are the biting fresh hops which dominate and do not disappoint.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,263 ratings.