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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.

7,919 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,919
Reviews: 3,159
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 222
Gots: 493 | 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:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,919 | Reviews: 3,159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a copper color with an off-white head. There's also excellent lacing with this beer. It smells mostly like floral and pine hops, and also a bit of malt and spicyness too. The taste is also mostly grapefruit and floral hops, with a little bit of breadiness. It also has a lasting bitter aftertaste (in a good way). The mouthfeel is slick, with a good body to the beer. The drinkability is good too, it's nice and smooth. I think this is a pretty solid beer, I need to go out and buy some more of this!

bluejacket74, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of gonzo138
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice clear amberish color with a white head that doesn't retain too well but does laces nicely

S- a first hints a clean sweet malt then a very nice strong, not overpowering citric grapefruit hoppy aroma

T- on tip of the tounge it nice sweet malt for the first second or so, then followed by a clean citric grapefruit hop bitterness

M- very good high carbonation crisp medium body

D- if not for the price (a little pricey but not too bad) and the fact thats it is only available once a year, this would be the beer kept in my fridge at all times, a great sessionable IPA

gonzo138, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz'er fall/winter 2006.

AP: Red hued Copper/amber color, totally clear and very lively looking with a frothy white head that is leaving behind some long, sticky lacing behind... More like clumps of lacing. Good lookin' overall.

Nose: fruity/leafy smelling hop hits the nose first then some sweet malted scent floats in too.

Taste: A sweet hop flavor turns to leafy, fruity and bitter hop flavor very fast, this is a very nice bitter hop though with some fruitieness and wheat/grains malted flavors mixed in. This is a very cascade-style hop oriented beer...the malt really takes a back seat to the big flavorful hop taste's. My girlfriend (she works in a brewery and knows her beers well) Stated: "Wow, wicked hoppy!" I can't disagree. The alcohol is noticable on the way down.

MF: Very Crisp and lively on this medium bodied brew, clean and fresh with a decent smooth effect caused by the extra foamy head that has great retention qualities.

DA: These are great for a celebration....of life!

GratefulBeerGuy, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of clickpush
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle, 2006 vintage, to tulip glass. Comes out as a rosy amber colored beer with a tiny cap of light tan head that reduces to thin lacings and a halo around the rim. Random bubbles meander from the base of the glass towards the surface.

Nose: Kitchen spices and bread. More fresh bread malt and yeast character than I anticipated, with less focus on the spices. A dark hint of hops at the tail end of the aroma spectrum, along with tinges of laurel and raspberry.

Mouth: Malts and fruit up front and strong hops in the back with some alcohol notes added to a long bitter finish. The most flavor shines through in this beer after the swallow, where more fruit and maple syrup mingle around with the spice. A bitter tinge remains that is not all that enjoyable. Mouthfeel is good at first but thins right at the end, making the finish a little less powerful.

clickpush, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 release reviewed on 11/8/06

a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a tumbler. bright amber color and slightly hazy. leaves a nice lace throughout.
s - citrus and piney hops hit you at first but floral tones begin to come through.
t - nice hop to it and the malt is also good. citrus and bready tones interchanging throughout.
m - crisp with a slick mouthfeel.
d - this is a good warming beer even though the alcohol content is not that high. the alcohol is definitely not evident. this beer is well-balanced and one of my faves.

i've heard mixed reveiws on the 2006 version. i hope it's at least as good as this one that i've been cellaring for about a year.

2007 release

a - poured a two-fingers thick bubbly tan head into a goblet that left great sheeting and lace throughout. the body was a bright amber color.
s - very strong piney hops with some cinnamon and other sweet spices and it had a nice malty caramel aroma too.
t -this is hoppier than normal, especially at first and they have a touch of spice. the malts come out a little more towards the finish.
m - medium thickness and tastes very clean.
d - another good offering, this seems much hoppier than past releases. i think this beer is as good as it gets after one year of cellaring so we'll see how this compares this time next year...

GPHarris, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of BusyNinja
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After all the Celebration bashing, my expectations were low. Yes, it does taste different - a bit more balanced, a little less in your face with the hops. But I really, really like this beer. It had plenty of hops for us hop heads, but I don't think it would over power the casual, non-geek. It poured gorgeously into the glass, with a beautiful head and just the right amount of lace all the way down. It was just plain hard to stop drinking after one bottle, something that I hope won't happen again. Go out, buy it, and enjoy a very pleasant, but not paradigm shifting, brew.

BusyNinja, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Version

A- Clear orange-gold color with a decent white head and good sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet and toasty malts go along with a great citrusy hop character that is very nice.

T- Hops are very upfront with their orange and grapefruit citrus flavors, but the malt provides a nice backbone with some sweet and bready undertones. Finish is fairly bitter, but not too much.

M- Solid mouthfeel, well-carbonated and a good medium-full body.

D- Pretty good here as well, although the alcohol keeps it from being a session type beer.

Definitely a good IPA. This one seems more balanced than last year's version, but I don't know if that's actually the case or if my tastes have simply changed. At first I didn't think I liked it as much this year, but after having a few, I can say that's not the case. A solid beer that any IPA-lover should pick up. Recommended.

vtfan77, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of rayjay
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'd like to dedicate this review to all the Celebration Ale bashers out there.

And, when it came time for my 100th review, I could think of no better beer! Released about 3 weeks ago. Served on tap from Tres Hombres, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Chico, CA. Keg was tapped yesterday.

What a great looking beer. Copper colored, and the head is off-white with a slight carmel color. The head persists for the whole beer and cakes the sides of the pint glass. One confident brew.

Nose is full of C-hops, which can also come across as Deep Woods Off bug spray.

This beer is the definitive C-hop beer. The first assault on your tongue comes in the form of fruitcake, with lots of dried fruits, pine, spicy carbonation, and hearty fresh-baked bread. About one second later, all is taken over by a dominant bitter wave, which persists through the relatively long fallout.

This one has a strong ale body, and is both balanced and taken over by the hops; balanced because it's heavy, but never sweet, and it gladly hands the spotlight over to the bitterness.

Maybe there's a novelty to drinking it in it's home town, a day after it's been tapped and 3 weeks after it's release and the chilly weather outside, but boy oh boy, this is one fine beer and I'm really enjoying it right now, and it's the absolute perfect pairing for these spicy fajitas in front of me. Perfect fall weather beer.

This would also pair perfect with fruity ice cream, like peach or mango.

Well, here's to another 100 reviews, and then some! Cheers!

rayjay, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of memory
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years version poured a nice white head with dark orange color.
At first the hop nose and hop on the tongue don't seem as pronounced as last years, but as it settles in time in the glass, both seem to appear to reveal its true original character. The grapefruit emerges and all is well. I love this beer.

memory, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of crayphish
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2006 Celebration Ale poured from a bottle into a pint glass to a dense two finger head. Very nice lacing. Looks deep reddish gold. Citrus hops in the nose. Mostly grapefruit. Spicy grapefruit taste at first with a grainy hop finish. Crisp and dry. Very drinkable, nice hoppy head buzz. A fine IPA.

crayphish, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of klewis
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 edition

A: Pours golden with a 2-finger frothty head with good sustain and lacing.

S: Subtle aroma of vegetal hops.

T: Strong vegetal hops flavor balanced well with a dry maltiness. The hop bitterness creeps through and finishes with a kick.

M: Meidum bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering flavor.

D: I remember this being better last year. Nothing offensive here, just nothing special. A very average beer IMO.

klewis, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a orange amber with a thick white lace that sticks to the glass with this offering. The smell is citrus piney hops, with a honey lemon candy sweetness. The taste starts with a citrus rind bitterness that leaves a smack on the tongue followed by a balancing sweetness of caramel, and faint presence of alcohal but in by no means overwhelming. This is a quality brew that is a hop lovers delight and gives you just enough balance to keep your palate coming back for more.

Franchise, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of boulevard2
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Celebration 2006 12 oz bottle with a cool house and winter scene going on in the background.

Pours a rich amber ale with a thick head that stands firm and ready to be taken. Scent of roasted malts and hopps are present. A floral essence along with a fruity citric bite. A nice ipa and great session beer next to the fire or just hangin with the fam for the holidays!

boulevard2, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2006 edition. Pours a very clear, brilliant dark amber with a yellow cream head that almost glows in the dark. Gorgeous. Grapefruity hop aromas mix with a slight carapils note in the aroma. On the tongue, initial citrus sourness mixes with distinct, saliva-producing bitterness -- just the right amount, not too little, not too much, not too harsh. Carbonation is substantial but not overdone as it helps all the flavors of this beer come out. Malt sweetness provides a solid base. The finish is long and smacks of whole-grain bread. Everything here is so well balanced. It's got depth and sessionability. A stellar example of an American IPA.

geexploitation, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of clabaugh
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear pale amber with a bubbly, cream-colored head. Retains lustily, with faint lacing.

Smell: Pungent, piney hops complimented with some hearth-roasted malts. Floral and vinous, accented with spice.

Taste: Intensely bitter as piney hops inundate the taste buds. Beyond the hops, there is a bountiful roasted maltiness. Some burnt chestnut emerges through a bitterness that is really persistent.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some palate-deadening properties. Soothing and smooth on the tongue, and warming on the way down.

Drinkability: Richly flavored, but perhaps overly bitter. Deceptively inebriating, but ideal for providing sustenance for the long winter months. Above average brew.

clabaugh, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition

a - deep amber color with a slight reddish tint, small white head with moderate retention and good lacing, pretty clear, only a slight haze

s - lots of floral, piney hops in the nose, but there is also a distinct maltiness that indicates this is more than just a hop bomb

t - sweet maltiness right up front with loads of piney hops hitting the palette soon thereafter, very good bitterness with a finish that has a nice alcohol burn, very interesting, balanced taste

m - medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, finish not overly dry

d - very drinkable, abv might be a little high to classify this as a session beer, but I could enjoy - and I have many times - 3 or 4 of these while watching a game

Very good IPA from the folks at SN. This is the brew (along with SNPA) that really got me into craft beer, and I have been looking forward to its release for awhile now. Regardless of what others have been saying, this year's batch lived up to my expectations.

WeisGuy, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of jslot38
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember this one from last year, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to this year's version.

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz stubby into an american pint glass. A lovely copper colour with a fluffy pillow of head. Head is slightly off white and you can begin to see some lacing forming immediatly. Head slowly diminishes to a finger.

Smell: Hop overload. Citrus hops, earthly foundations... what more is there to say.

Taste: Not as much hops as I expected but still a good amount. Hits you right up front. Earth ridden hops mostly, pine and such... some citrus. Rounds out nicely with some biscuit malts.

Mouthfeel: Sits nicely, not harsh at all as you may expect with something of such a hop profile.

Drinkability: Could certainly drink a few of these, not a six pack by any means. But in terms of a seasonal IPA, this is drinkable.

Notes: One of those beers that makes winter seasonals such a great event.

jslot38, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of pbr85
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage
A: Pours a orange gold, with a really nice frothy head. Beautiful looking beer.
S: Hops are everywhere, mostly floral. Pine hops and sourdough malts are in the background.
T: Hop fest in your mouth. Any hophead will rejoice when they first taste this. You can feel the pine sap sticking to the roof of your mouth. Not what I would call balanced, but certainly a lot of flavor in this one.
M: Perfect carbonation, and the hops are slick.
D: I'm drinking my second one right now, and I don't think I could drink any more tonight...too hoppy. But certainly a great beer to have one or two of before changing to something else. Highly recommended.

pbr85, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - deep amber color with a nice big fluffy of white head.

S - strong citrusy aromas of grapefruit, and some bubblegum. Not too shabby.

T - The hops are the forefront of this beer. Themalt flavor busts out in the middle. Bust out, may be a lttle too much. , or much else going on. It then melds into a hoppy bitter creamy sensation. Little bready on the end.

M - Very light, dry and crisp.

D - One of the better IPAs out there.

quasimoto, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of sloejams
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 edition

Sure, Halloween just ended yesterday. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, one of the most eagerly waited annual beers, was in stores last week. And no surprise here, it's delicious.

It pours an orange-copper with a slight head. Robust hops - pine and floral are balanced by a roasted malt aroma. There's a slight sweetnesss - caramel / cinnamon. The taste has citrus (lemon / orange) notes, but mostly - it's very balanced. Perhaps, because it was only bottled quite recently - it tastes extremely fresh. This is what fall tastes like. It's very crisp, thorough palate coverage, with bitter finish.

Easy drinking, time to stock up. Last year's got better with over the past year. I have a feeling this one is best right now. Drink up.

sloejams, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of rarevos
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. I've never had this beer before, and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

A: Pours a coppery-amber with lots of fluffy, very light tan head. Head has great retention, and leaves sticky trails behind in abundance as it recedes. It's not in a hurry to recede, though.

S: Malty sweet grapefruit aroma up front, with some toffee behind that. Somewhat sugary.

T: Some nice citrus (grapefruit, lemon zest) with a good malty presence. Caramel, candi sugar. There's a bit of pine and some lemongrass. Finish is nicely bitter and fruity with a long, bitter tail.

M: Medium-bodied.

D: This doesn't drink like a 6.8% abv beer, that's for sure. But it perhaps suffered from too much hype. It was a good beer, but it didn't change my life. I will say that the one really nice thing about this beer is that it's not reminiscent of winter at all, but it IS warming. It's fruity, flowery, piney, and bright, so it's reminding me of some warmer/nicer days from a few months ago.

rarevos, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of bgraney
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden/honey color, dramtic carbonation, full fluffy white head, one to gaze upon.
Citrus aroma over a malty background.
The hops are most notable at first taste with the malt flavor lingering, followed by a lemony finish, excellent.
Smooth mouthfeel filling the mouth with citrusy hop goodness.
I was expecting more of a cinnamon/nutmeg type flavor considering the season and the label but it seems like more of a summer beer to me. Nonetheless, I would drink this any time of year and I could definitely get enthused about more than one.

bgraney, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of phisig137
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle pours a brilliant copper orange color, and a two finger head. Decent retention slowly falls, leaving behind tons of lace.

Aroma is well balanced between malt and hops. Slightly sweet, and a bit of citrus aroma from the hops, this is an enjoyable nose.

Flavor is mild, yet full. Malty, caramel sweetness up front, followed by a nice punch of hop flavors and bitterness. Again, slightly citric hop character, seeming using all the usual suspects of the "C" hops in a typical American IPA. No alcohol present. Mouthfeel is full, and slick. Drinkability is excellent.

One of the better beers from Sierra Nevada IMO. Not nearly as interesting as Bigfoot, but still one that I look forward to each year. Good overall, but not the greatest IPA out there....

phisig137, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of gbarron
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 version from a 12 oz bottle.

A - hazy, glowing orange. Head is frothy, slightly off-white. Thick, heavy lacing; retention is excellent.

S - orange, citrus, lots of flowery notes. Some spice - cinnamon, allspice, although I'm pretty sure this is not a spice beer. Light, sweet bready malt. Beautiful smell.

T - well balanced, extra-large IPA flavors. Tart, dry citrus, pine, mixed with a strong, slightly sweet malt backbone of caramel, toffee, bread.

M - creamy, mixture of dry hop tartness and creamy malt.

D - one of the great seasonal brews of all-time. Wish they made it year round. Tasty, well balanced IPA.

gbarron, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of thagens
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good. I love a good IPA and this one was no exception. Absolutely delicious. I like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale but to me this is much better. I wish it was available all year round.

Appearance: Copper colored with about a half inch head.

Aroma: Citrusy hops, lots of hops.

Taste: Bitter/hoppy, citrus, a little malt.

I highly recommend it and will definetely be buying more before the end of the season.

thagens, Oct 31, 2006
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,919 ratings.