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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.

7,773 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,773
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 195
Gots: 445 | 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: 7,773 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scooter231

New York

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Rusty orangey color that's clear and pretty. Smell will wake you up in the mornin- hoppy and strong, nose-tickling. Earthy. Bitterish. Taste is awfully tasty. Bursting with hops. Overflowing, even. Tasty hops with a citrusy kick. The maltyness isn't soooo well-balanced with the hops, but it works. Mouthfeel is sudsy and smooth, fluffy and creamy. Nice and bubbly. Very drinkable. A tasty concoction indeed.

01-23-2006 04:33:26 | More by scooter231
Photo of RenoZymurgist


3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

Poured a lively deep amber with gold highlights and an offwhite head that stuck around quite nicely leaving some lace. The aroma is full of grapefruit and spicey hops with only a touch of malt sweetness. The flavor is very hoppy and it is just like the aroma with lots of grapefruit and spicy hops, the bitterness lingers along with the flavor well into the finish and the malt is hard to identify. The mouthfeel is good as the CO2 isn't too high which would make is seem too bitter and the viscosity of the beer give the impression that the beer is very full bodied. Very drinkable even the 6.8% can't stop me from having a few pints of this.

01-22-2006 18:56:58 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of Ricochet


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Wow. I wasn't ready for this one, but was very impressed with it. Hops , Hops, Hops, and done very well.

It was a perfect shade of amber/orange with a nice head, looking like a perfect pale ale. Smell was complex, it was very sweet, a little juicy fruit, and intently appetizing.

Mouth was all ale. Thick, bitter, with a good finish and the taste , orange rhind bitter, flowery hops presence, that took up most of the flavor and there was barely any alcohol taste despite the high APV. Wow. This was excellent.

So, this would make another SN Beer that makes a high grade, and makes a great Pale Ale with a kick, as opposed to other IPAs, this one really defines what an great IPA should be.

01-22-2006 05:49:21 | More by Ricochet
Photo of Oxymoron


2.93/5  rDev -29.6%

If I lived in California and saw snow I don't think I would celebrate. Celebration pours a very clear (anti-hazy), light amber brown shade. Decent foam that hides to the edge of the glass and good lacing.

The smell is not overwhelming but still noticeable. Good hop notice that is mostly piney with some earthy smells kicked in. Overall it's light for an IPA. The malt is worth mentioning as it has a really grainy smell to it.

The taste is more noticeable then the nose. The bittering hops are first to really take notice. A good bite that isn't overbearing. A good bitterness the isn't too oily but pushes the limit and. Although it seems to dominate the rest of the beer. The malt is rather basic and doesn't really support the rest of the beer. The flavoring hops play second as well. Tastes more of a ESB then IPA.

The body is light but the beer is easy enough to drink. Other then the bitterness there is nothing wrong. Overall I wasn't too impressed.

01-22-2006 04:39:57 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of bennetj17


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

2005 Version
Very clear, copper color. Nice short head with excellent retention. There is loads of visible carbonation streaming upwards in the glass. Overall the visuals are very enticing. Smell is strong and hoppy with minor citrus notes. Taste is very strong and bitter. Fresh cascade hops are strong and the flavor is quite bitter all the way through. Hard to detect much sweetness from the malt. Very crisp and smooth with a medium body. Again, well carbonated. Alcohol is well-hidden. Very drinkable, but be ready for some bitter hops.

2007 Version (reviewed 1-21-08)

Deep gold color with excellent clarity. Massive pillowy head almost an inch thick, with perfect streams of carbonation rising from below helping to sustain it. Fresh piney hop aroma with a wildflower and citrus bouquet. The malt is only hinted at with some caramel notes which are more tangy than sweet.

Straightforward bitter hop flavor with some toasty malt balance carries on right through to the finish. It never gets too sweet but the bitterness lingers on nicely. The characteristic SN Cascade hops are bright and clean, and this beer is not as citrusy/resiny as you would expect for an American IPA. Medium body with a great deal of foamy carbonation that keeps it from feeling too watery, not bad.

Overall a great beer from Sierra Nevada. A little bit more in the way of flavor than the Harvest Ale, although overall not quite as drinkable. Excellent, hoppy, beer...

01-20-2006 05:21:21 | More by bennetj17
Photo of Drew966


3.58/5  rDev -13.9%

Pours a nice copper color with a fluffy head. Strong hop smell and taste. I couldn't drink too much of this, bit hoppier than I would want for a session beer, but it is a tasty brew, especially for those liking a nice hoppy taste. Definitely worth a try.

01-20-2006 01:06:05 | More by Drew966
Photo of ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Appearance: deep orange with a one finger head.

Smell: Strong piney hops with a slight graininess.

Taste: Nice strong bitterness, with lots of grapefruit and piney flavor to back it up. The hops are almost spicy. Malts are secondary, and barely manage to poke their way through.

Mouthfeel: For the strength and hopiness of this beer, the mouthfeel is still fairly light.

I look forward to this beer every year. I always hear that it was "much better last year," but this is only my second year tasting this beer.

01-19-2006 23:16:28 | More by ericj551
Photo of badturtle


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

This is a seasonal that should have a big warning on the said saying, "Wait at least a month." I bought this in mid December. I was going to review it then, but I'm glad I didn't.

When I first poured it, I was impressed by the massive foamy head. It had an overpoweringly hoppy scent, but I wouldn't call that a bad thing. When I opened my first bottle, I thought it tasted terrible. I like hoppy beers and especially IPAs, but this was too much. Tonight, it has aged about a month. The hop bitterness has lessened enough to make the spices and the orange taste noticeable. Now, it is a good beer.

Even after aging, it is a little strong tasting. Sierra Nevada seems to be over-hopped on everything I have tried from them. This is no exception. I'll drink it again. I'll buy the '06 release when it comes out. I won't make a session out of it.

01-19-2006 02:35:30 | More by badturtle
Photo of jaluria


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

I had a very different impression of this beer when I had it on-tap at the Galaxy Hut in Arlington than when I had it from a bottle.
Appeared a lovely golden-orange with yellow hues in my pint glass. Aromas of pine, grass, citrus, and hops were evident, but this time they worked very well together to create a bitter, hoppy smell. The taste was just terrific with loads of hops just jumping all over my tongue. Initial hop bitterness grows ever so slightly with each sip leaving behind an aftertaste that beckons you to take another sip. Just delightful! Some malt is present, but not much compared to the hops. Very good drinkability because of it's moderate ABV and flavorful character.

01-17-2006 14:21:45 | More by jaluria
Photo of PatYoda


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

2005 Version.

I decided to review this because I made a comment in a thread recently about it being overhyped, but realized that I hadn't had the '05 version yet, so I popped this baby open with an open mind - and I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than last years.

The appearance is nearly perfect. Beautiful shade of copper / amber with a great cream colored head that never completely fades. A little bit of lacing and this would have been a 5.0.

The smell smacks you in the face with fresh hops. Citrus rind and floral aromas are in full force. Some caramel malt is there in the background. Alcohol also makes a bit of an appearance, ever so slightly.

The taste is even more unbalanced than the smell would suggest. What little caramel malt there is here does help to keep this beer drinkable (unlike Bigfoot), but other than that, this is unabashedly hoppy. The citrus and earthy floral hops combine and rise to a crescendo of hoppiness toward the end of the sip, when the strong bitterness and pine flavor kicks in as well. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract. A tad grainy on the aftertaste due to all the hops, but this is its only real flaw.

While all the hops lend to the illusion of a little harshness in the mouthfeel, the overall feeling is still pretty good. It's medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

I could probably drink two in one night, but that would be my breaking point. Definitely one to pick up next year though.

01-17-2006 01:03:14 | More by PatYoda
Photo of Chadbrew


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

I've never had this beer before but I had heard alot about it.
Sweet and spicy with a definite bitter finish. This is very smooth in the beginning, so smooth that it is easy to overlook some of the subtle complexities that are thrown in here. There seems to be very light hints of orange peel, nutmeg, and maybe cinnamon. The hops come through rather boldly with a piney finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste.
This is bitterer than I expected considering most fall/winter seasonals tend to be malty and over spiced IMO. I will be seeking this out in forthcoming seasons as I find this a very delightful and drinkable beer.

01-16-2006 09:48:31 | More by Chadbrew
Photo of jimdkc


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

What a difference a couple of years makes! I first tried Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale about 2 years ago when I first joined BA. At the time, I don't think I was quite ready for it. I very slowly sipped the strong nectar... intrigued... but a bit intimidated, and I don't think I finished my serving.

This year, I tried the 2005 version:

Poured into a brandy snifter a slightly hazy, copper-orange with a off-white foamy head. Head did not last long, and there was no lacing.

Aroma is dominated by piney and citrusy hop notes. The snifter concentrated these aromas nicely.

Taste, again... this is a hop showcase, right up front. Grapefruit, some pine, a bit of earthiness. Very nice. Lingering hop bitterness at the back of the tongue. Some crystal malt sweetness also makes an appearance.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Appropriate for this style, I think.

Good drinkability. While I couldn't finish my first one two years ago, I have no such problem now! Gimme another!

No more intimidation! Celebration Ale will be a brew I look forward to every year, now!

01-16-2006 06:53:25 | More by jimdkc
Photo of RedHaze


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a clear red/copper color with a thick two finger head that settles to a thin cap. There's quite a bit of lacing left behind in my glass. I really like the color of this beer.

Smell; lots of piney and citrus smells, and it has a really nice spiciness to it that I didn't quite expect.

Taste; initially starts out a little sweet, and then the hops kick in with a strong piney bitterness, and it finishes with that spiciness. Mouthfeel is meium bodied and slick from the hop oils. Very easy to drink as long as you enjoy hops, and I do. Overall this is a very enjoyably IPA.

01-16-2006 00:26:44 | More by RedHaze
Photo of redwolf1

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured a 12 ounce bottle of Sierra Nevada's 2005 edition of Celebration Ale. A very nice golden amber color with a rather huge frothy head that stuck around awhile. Very good lacing along the edge of the glass. A strong, but not overpowering, hoppy aroma that somehow started out a little fruity and then mellowed. The aroma itself literally made me salivate. The amount of hops in this beer explodes in the mouth (really meant for those who love their hops). A nice crisp finish to the beer, in spite of the level of hops present. A very drinkable beer in itself, but I'm not sure if I would have more than one in a sitting. The amount of hops used may mask the flavors and aromas of other beers one would want to enjoy afterwards.

01-13-2006 17:40:07 | More by redwolf1
Photo of skillerified


2.63/5  rDev -36.8%

Orange-amber brew with a good sized, white, foamy head. Looks a little hazy actually. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom of this one. Looks pretty good.

Scent is malt first, then a little spicyness, and then a citrusy hop scent. Aside from the early malt aroma, it's really dominated by the fruit scents. It's a good smell, but not a wow kinda smell either.

Taste reminds me of a non-sugary breakfast cereal. There's a hint of the spicyness too. Not too impressive actually. I had hoped for more.

This feels like a horrible off-balance brew to me. There's a light sweetness early on, but there's an awful bitterness on the finish. I like beers with a bitter character, but this is a strange bitterness that is not appealing to me. It's a bitterness that coats the inside of the mouth and is devastating when you dry swallow after a sip.

It seems to be getting better as it warms, but I really don't want another of these. I'll finish this bottle, but won't be looking for this one next holiday season. This seems to be quite popular, so I guess it's just my particular palate that this doesn't agree with. This was a 2005 bottle.

01-10-2006 10:34:37 | More by skillerified
Photo of thetachibro

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

A- Pours a dark golden copper color with a one inch head that drizzles down to nothing but lingers around.

S- Nice hops a little fruit in the nose as well

T- Taste is hoppy and fruity with some malt flavor

M- Nice clean and crisp mouthfeel with a nice light to medium body

D- Drinkablitliy is high can put a six pack of these down at least

01-09-2006 00:42:19 | More by thetachibro
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

This is a beautiful beer that could be enjoyed all year. It has a nice orange-amber color with a small head and pretty lacing. The smell is predominately spicy. . It has a great spicy taste, and is also fairly hoppy. I think the bottled version is more hoppy than the one on tap. Either way, a great beer that can be enjoyed any time. It is 6.9% ABV, so be a litle careful.

01-08-2006 21:28:34 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of jhu1995


4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Not sure why this one deserves the "Celebration Ale" moniker and the winter theme because this is an outstanding beer that can be enjoyed year round. Anyway, poured a crisp, clear, light amber with very good carbonation, medium, off-white head, and nice lacing. Aroma was both fruity and flowery and reminded me of sitting on the back porch in the summer evening enjoying a nice brew. Taste was crisp, clean, and refreshing. Had more body than I expected. Very tasty brew.

01-07-2006 01:23:12 | More by jhu1995
Photo of TreeTopFlyer


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Hops, hops and more hops. This one reminds me of an IPA I tasted in Boise, ID from a taphandle labeled in masking tape and Sharpie magic marker. This beer dances just below the threshold of Imperial IPA pushing hops (very grapefruit-like bitterness) and alcohol. Two words - Game On.

01-06-2006 01:54:21 | More by TreeTopFlyer
Photo of brewingmonk


4.2/5  rDev +1%

What a great seasonal brew! The amber color and lacy head was begging to be enjoyed, and enjoyed it was. There were smells of citrus and hints of caramel malts, which led to a sweet taste before the hops came in. It felt light inside the mouth, and was very drinkable. Actually, for the amount of hops present, this beer was extremely drinkable- which is what I would label its best quality.

01-05-2006 15:44:31 | More by brewingmonk
Photo of Xadoor


4/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured a clear amber colour into the glass with a medium fluffy head. Aroma is spicy and citrusy with a bit of caramel malts noticeable. Taste is slightly sweet and smooth before the full affects of the hops takes over. Pine and citrus flavours with a spicy dry finish. Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation. Definitely a solid beer and very drinkable.

01-05-2006 15:03:06 | More by Xadoor
Photo of AJPainter


4.45/5  rDev +7%

Appearance is a nice golden/amber/orange with a nice white head. Head dissipates fairly quickly leaving lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smells like a citrus forest. Hops, grapefruit, pine, with a little malt somewhere in there...

Tastes like hops and malt. And hops. And it's good. Nice carbonation/mouthfeel, too.

I could drink this all night, but unfortunately, this is my last of the season. Must buy again!

01-04-2006 22:31:19 | More by AJPainter
Photo of DevilDogBeer


4.88/5  rDev +17.3%

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale was poured from the tap into a pint glass. The color was a great copper hue with a thin head. The head faded into a thin top layer but left some lacing down the glass. The smell was a combination of caramel malts and wonderful spicy hops. The taste was hoppy on the tongue and finished with a light caramel note. The brew was crisp and did not leave any off flavors on the palate. Very drinkable and very satisfying, this is a great choice and I highly recommend trying one if you have the chance.

01-03-2006 01:25:40 | More by DevilDogBeer
Photo of skynxnex


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

2005 vintage poured into a snifter. A nice bright orange amber color. Off white head that laces well. This bottle had a bit of well packed sediment that didn't pour into the beer, leaving it very clear.

Smell is hops: piney, sweet citrus lemon, but also a good sweet backing peaking around. The taste, again, is hops. But that's what this beer is. The citrus falls away in the flavor, but the wonderful piney hops rush forward. It finishes with the bitterness of the hops playing around (maybe fighting it out) with the good amont of sweet malt that you notice just at the end. A bit of toasty malt hints through as the beer warms. A great beer to drink and is very drinkable at 6.8% ABV.

01-02-2006 03:33:50 | More by skynxnex
Photo of deciding39


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

2005 edition, served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear, brassy amber. A fluffy, rocky-looking, two-finger white head is left after the pour. A perfect lace clings to the sides of the glass, leaving rings behind after each sip.

S: A bouquet of aromatic hops and smooth toasted malts. Clean, bready yeast notes in the background.

T: A blend of smooth caramel malt sweetness and delicious piney, resinous hops. The trademark citrus/grapefruit notes of Cascade & Centennial hops linger on the palate, with a touch of spice. Well-balanced, if not a little on the hoppy side. Very clean, with little esters.

M & D: Medium-bodied, smooth mouthfeel. The hops sometimes become a little overwhelming after a few drinks, and the high alcohol content definitely limits the drinkability of this brew. A very well-crafted winter warmer. A nice change of pace from the usual over-spiced holiday ales.

One of my personal favorites. Outstanding. I hear it's even better when aged, but who could possibly hold onto this stuff long without drinking it?

01-02-2006 01:16:08 | More by deciding39
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,773 ratings.