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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.

8,467 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,467
Reviews: 3,218
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 259
Gots: 696 | 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: 8,467 | Reviews: 3,218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of echdk3
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stein

A_Nice red color, almost completely opaque. Thin caramel off white head that dissipates very quickly

S_Herbal and spicy

T_Totally unbalanced in a great way - hops overwhelm the pallet, finishes a tongue punishing spicy

M_Well carbonated ale that coats the mouth, but it is still more thin than chewy

D_This beer is spicy and overwhelming; I couldn't drink more than a couple

echdk3, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of tr4nc3d
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy light orange color with an off white head that left some lacing on the side.

Smelled citrusy with an nice earth like freshness to it, like after a thunderstorm.

Nice citrus bittery hops upfront, but not to strong, with a kick of spicyness.

Refreshing with decent carbonation, leaves your whole mouth figuring out the taste.

This is my first winter type beer that I picked up, seems like I should pick up some others to compare.

tr4nc3d, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of noknife83
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite seasonal Sierra Nevada brews. It's been about a year since I had this beer last, and I actually forgot all about it. I came home from a long day of driving and it was in the fridge when I got back. A very good beer overall, I'd like it to have a stronger smell though, but that's me nit-picking. Very good beer.

noknife83, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of BierFan
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Dark orange with a nice sized light tan head.

Smell: Pine and citrus from the hops. Obiously dry-hopped.

Taste: Flavor of grapefruit, citrus peel, and pine. Probably multiple kinds of hops used. Definitely a deep complex hoppy brew.

BierFan, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of jkdrummer
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful foamy and rocky head. Gold and copper color. Aroma is very fruity and wonderful. Tasty and sweet with just the right snap of hops too. Wonderful example of a California ale a benchmark in taste of the West. Highly recommended. Wish it was available all year long.

jkdrummer, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of bamadog
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a note, I had to correct this posting because I initially posted it under the Anniversary Ale - a total sin. However, I have now seen fit to rectify the situation and now have my review under the appropriate beer.

Appearance: Poured a cloudy dark coppery/orange with a solid two finger head that stood for a bit -- eventually faded to a thin layer on top that is like a thick foam. Left a lacing all the way to the top on the side of the glass as I drank it.

Smell: Smelled bitter from the hops, which is always exciting. Also, a nice earthy, piney/grassy to the bitterness.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness abounds. Definitely a lot like the smell as well - a little earthy. A nice touch and comes across refreshing. I love the bitterness -- kind of serves as a wake up call and brings you around. You definitely don't forget you're drinking it.

Mouthfeel: Kind of sticky/oily -- leaves a nice coating. I do wish it went down a little cleaner, but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Drinkability: I would give it a high rating. I feel I must work through it as the bitterness is such a dominant feature.

This is a great beer -- I haven't had a whole lot of the Sierra Nevada collection at this point, but I may be opening up to them shortly after this.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 11-27-2008 02:12:57

bamadog, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of Soneast
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color. With a thick and creamy, two finger off white colored head, with good retention and lots of lace.

Can really pick out the hops on the nose. Definitely some grapefruit and pine with just a touch of caramel.

The taste is an all around hop punch with mostly citrus flavors, predominated by grapefruit and some really nice caramel flavors, and almost a touch of toasted malt in the background to really balance everything out. Leaves a delectable sweet bitterness on the palate.

Light to medium bodied. Nice amount of carbonation, makes your mouth feel alive.

I release that I look forward to every year. Reliably delicious and quite drinkable makes it a wonderful compliment to any Holiday festivity.

Soneast, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of surlyseth
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Gorgeous, sticky lacing is the highlight appearance.

S: IPA-like citrus. Unidentified spices.

T: Heavenly. subtle on the spice with those bright C hops taking center stage.

M: Medium, oily, great carbonation.

D: Very festive at 7.7%...you wouldn't really know it by the taste.

Sierra Nevada Brewing is the new American King of Beers IMO! Long live the King!!!

surlyseth, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of Lepley
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured reddish tan, cream colored head with good lacing.
S: Hoppy, citrus, piney. Not too impressive.
T: Sweet, fruity, orange, citrus, hoppy aftertaste.
M: Smooth, good carbonation.
D: This is a pretty good IPA, but not amazing. There are better, even from Sierra Nevada.

Lepley, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of bobsy
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How much can you add to a beer that's already been reviewed more than 1,500 times? All indications point to this being something you should pick up if its available, and its true - 1,500 Sierra Nevada fans can't be wrong.

This is a really great looking IPA, with a copper body and a finger of white creamy head that left good lace. Excellent retention. Big citrus on the nose, with lots of grapefruit oils, but also some pine and floral hops. Excellent hop bite on the tongue, with the malts struggling to keep up, but making their presence felt as the drink warms. The hops are all about the grapefruit, but there's some pine present as well, and they provide a great backbone to the slightly drying finish. Nicely balanced body with medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

An excellent IPA - the other reviewers are not wrong. I would have liked a tad more malt presence but the quality of the flavours coming from the hops is high enough for that to be a minor concern. Thanks Shawn for sharing!

bobsy, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of eporter66
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this from my local beverage center to bring to my parents for Thanksgiving.

Poured from a growler into pint glass

A - Reminded me of a Red Ale in appearance, 2 finger head with great retention and excellent lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Great aromas come off this beer, a lot of citrus (orange & grapefruit), with some malt to.

T - A very good tasting beer. The citrus and malt flavor hits your mouth first with a pretty good hop punch in the back of the mouth, and stays with you after the beer is done.

M - light to medium, with a lot of carbonation. I would like this to have a little more body to it, but that is a very minor complaint.

D - My father and I finished a half gallon growler, so for me this was a very drinkable beer. It had a good blend of malt and hops, and the citrus is well balanced. Pretty smooth with just a little more bite than I am used to, but I am just starting with IPA's. I hope this will be on tap at Christmas time as well, because the growler will be ready for the holidays with more of this!

2009 Edition - Just had my first 2009 and as good as I remember. I bought a six pack, I think I will run out and grab a case. An excellent beer!

eporter66, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of hodgsongreg
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful lightly clouded amber with medium thick head and fair retention. It smelled of citrus and sweet. The taste matched the smell with heavy hops and a bit of cracker taste on the end. The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation and is very drinkable. I will have this again.

hodgsongreg, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of bound4er
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember trying this beer a few years ago and wondering what all the fuss was about. I thought it was good - not much more. Another try was in order given my penchant for well hopped brews. Sadly, it didn't produce any different results.

Celebration Ale looks great with its amber / orange color, full head and beautiful lacing (some of the best I've seen). I like the smell of this beer too - citrus dominates with some spicy undertones. The taste is a bit "meh" to me - nothing to celebrate - hop bitterness and not much else. It has a medium mouthfeel and decent drinkability.

bound4er, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of weezyfart
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classy, classy winter brew from Sierra Nevada. Though I love my winter warmers malty and spiced, I can really appreciate a full hopped beer that is crisp and clean. Most winter beers can only make it past maybe two glasses before I'm in need of hop relief, but this beer is sessionable and sociable. Bring a 12 pack over to my place and lets get bent!

weezyfart, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of sgoodship
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I went to Binny's in the South Loop, Chicago and picked up a case of the 2008. The case handle broke and I lost one little soldier to the garage floor. This review is a tribute to that little bottle.

A: Nice deep amber that looks more yellow amber on the edges. A little hazy. Pours a nice 2 finger yellow creamy white head. Dissipates to a dusting with some really nice lacing.

S: Feels like a good bold balance of crystal and hop. Cascade seems to be leading the charge if I am not mistaken. Hop comes across like orange peel and grapefruit. There seems like there is a festive spiciness there. It's strong but subtle at the same time.

T: Starts quickly with caramel maltiness but quickly moves into a nice sharp carbonated hop sting. The hop dissipates back to a more biscuity finish but the hop plays a cameo role in the sweet and sour aftertaste. Really nicely orchestrated. Like the smell, the taste feels bold but doesn't assault you like some IPA's. Nice smooth drink.

M: Smooth light/medium bodied mouthfeel with a nice lively prickliness. So easy to down. After one, I had to have another.

D: Could the label be more holiday seasonal? Never judge a beer by it's label! This beer befuddles me. Maybe it's the dry hopping that does it but it has all of the big smell and big taste without the over aggressiveness. Hoppiness makes for a nice uplifting festive drink. It's not a show-off. Just an incredibly solid and phenomenally drinkable IPA. Thank goodness I got a case!

sgoodship, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of cvfish
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a great orange amber color with a white head

S - more citrus tastes than anything, odd for a christmas beer but very pleasing none the less

T - again, citrus, mainly orange, dominates the palette but finishes with a nice bitter taste that brings it all into balance

M - light bodied with medium carbonation

D- very drinkable beer, like i said in the smell and taste, odd taste for a christmas beer, but very good

cvfish, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of positiverpr
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: copper-orange, nearly brilliant. 2" off-white head with large bubbles that faded to a 1/4" mottled raft. decent lacing. lower than average carbonation.

a:hop complexity with initial grapefuit/grassy mixed with fruit-loop(centennnial) later more spicey-pine. malt only present after significant warming.

t:bitterness is up-front and dominates. malt is present is searched for but is overpowered. later, the base grain pokes its head out mid-taste and is quickly gone along with the wisp of crystal malt presence. no alchol note. bitterness is lingering

m:fairly low carbonation. medium fullness but sort of dull mouthfeel with rapidly appearing bitterness induced dryness that stays. mild hop residue but my mouth remained parched throughout.

o:the bitterness decreases drinkability. not your typical holiday beer. hop aroma, flavor and malt impression are too far buried for me. i enjoyed this beer but i wasnt craving the next taste. i would appreciate a more delicate bittering hop or either more balance.

positiverpr, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of cowens22
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle into a pint glass.
Pours amber with 1 finger off white head that lingers around at about half a finger for the remainder of the drink. Nice lacing all of the way down the glass.

Mildly spicy hops aroma with some subtle citrusy notes underneath the hops.

Tastes of bitter hops up front and more hops to follow. No overbearing alcohol taste. Excellent feel over the pallet.

This beer is one of my all time favorites. I am a hop-head and this fills my need for hops. Sierra Nevada does a great job with this brew year in and year out. Highly recommended to all hop-heads.

cowens22, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at RFD in DC after a bad Bell's Cream Stout that they kindly exchanged. I'm a huge fan of this beer - one of my go-to IPAs, which is one of my go-to styles. Appearance is great, nice copper-amber color with a solid finger of head that leaves excellent lacing as it drains. Nose is tons of fruity citrus bitterness, which rolls beautifully into the well-balanced flavor. Certainly a hoppy beer, but not a monster by any means, as there's a nice malt backbone in there to keep everything even. Body is thick and creamy with great carbonation. This is one I'll keep going back to, an excellent IPA.

soupyman10, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottling - Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Great packaging.

Appearance - Pours a rich amber hue that's more of a burned orangish-red under light. 1 1/2 finger light tan head. It dissipates a bit, but remains through the entire drink. Fairly carbonated. Overall, looks really inviting.

Smell - First inhale is all citrus hops. Some malt comes through on second and third. The scents combine with a deep inhale.

Taste - Sort of a spicy, zesty strong hop flavor. Really good. Hops don't taste as citrus-y as they smell. Malt flavor becomes more and more apparent in the finish as I drink more. Leaves a fairly dry hoppy aftertaste. I get a sort of floral/lighter scent in my nose after drinking. I get a bit of a warming sensation near the end of the beer. I wasn't sure what to expect(this is my first experience with Celebration), but I was worried that the hops might be overpowering. I'm glad to say I was wrong.

Mouthfeel - Not too thin, but it does feel a bit thicker as it warms. Leaves my mouth feeling coated. The coating is sort of what I'd expect a few minutes after taking cough medicine, but not in a bad way.

Drinkability - I could have a few, I think. This bottle went fairly quickly, and I was trying to savor it as much as possible(it's my only bottle). It would probably be pointless to follow this up with something that wasn't hoppy, though.

HitokiriNate85, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of ABHatter
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very agressive pour from 12oz bottle into 16oz DFH tumbler has me running for papertowels because of the slight overpour. Inch and 1/2,light tan colored head pillows the glass leaving behind some quality lace. Color is a burnt bronze color, fairly transparent with good carbonation. S-Piney resiny hops, Orange peel, grapefruit and maybe a touch of honey from the malt at the end. Taste & mouthfeel is phenomenal, big hop profile on this beer from start to finish. Grapefruit is there as well with Sort of a soapy, piney finish leaving a delicious tangy aftertaste. Drinkability is also superb, This is certainly a sessionable beer due to the reasonable ABV especially for the colder months. I have tried this beer on several occasions within the last few years, but I never appreciated it as much as I do now. This is a top notch IPA that is a must try for anyone who enjoys great beer!

ABHatter, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of Hokies
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic glass. Pours nice amber color with a massive off white head that leaves tremendous lacing on the glass.

Aroma is absolutely tremendous with a floral aroma of hops with grapefruit, citrus and pine.

A sharp taste of hops start off the flavor of grapefruit and light citrus kick through and then a slick oily pine flavor take over. It is balanced out by a nice malt taste that allows for this ipa to finish pretty clean with a nice bitterness at the end that is not overwhelming.

Not to much carbonation in the mouth which is nice and makes this beer dangerously drinkable.

Hokies, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of JayNH
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice cloudy copper color, not much of a head.

S- An excellent floral hoppy scent.

T- I find a slightly spicy sweet maltiness balanced with a strong hoppy bite. The hop taste is very crisp and clean. I find it to have almost a grass-like taste. Malt and hops are very well balanced.

M- Slightly thick and sweet. Moderate carbonation.

D- Excellent!

This beer is nothing short of FANTASTIC. For 13 bucks for a 12pk it's a steal. This is what an IPA should taste like.

JayNH, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of midaszero
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear red orange body with two finger for frothy tan head and excellent lacing

S - A little pine and a little citrus. I wouldn't call this a IPA smell and is kind of faint

T - Nice mix of flavor and bitter hops with a little spice and citrus in the back

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Easy to drink and kind of enjoyable but nothing really special

midaszero, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color with incredible clarity and an equally impressive head that leaves thick and abundant lace. The appearance is easily this beer's best aspect. The aroma is immensely and wonderfully of fresh hops! Smells like pine trees. Not a lot of malt comes through in the aroma, which is a minor knock. The taste is similar to the nose. The Celebration is packed with an extremely fresh hop character. It has a lot of pine and some resin characters that make it pretty enjoyable. The only downside is that I don't find anything overly special in the hop/IPA aspect of this beer. It's missing something that I cannot put my finger on. Anyway, wonderful beer overall though. It's definitely much better on tap than in the bottle from my experience.

Douglas14, Nov 24, 2008
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,467 ratings.