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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.

9,257 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,257
Reviews: 3,335
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,196 | 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: 9,257 | Reviews: 3,335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wmtxbb
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into goblet

Appearance: Clear dark amber with head that dissipates into a light layer of lacing. Small amount of carbonation that finds its way to the top.

Smell: Sharp oak with a mixture of different hops. Very solid smell for an IPA.

Taste: Crisp hop and malt mixture. Citrus and pine flavors from the hops. Very spicy and fresh. Best american IPA I've had in a while. The variation of hops gives this beer a sort of dry aftertaste that layers your mouth with that hop zing that IPA's have. It has a very specific mixture of hops that don't leave my mouth with a real bitter aftertaste like some well hoped beers do. I can barely tell this IPA has an alcohol content this high. It's very well hidden.

Drinkability: Well above average drinkability, if you like IPA's. If you don't like well hoped beers, then this beer will most likely be a turnoff. The variation of hops, malts, and alcohol give this beer a type of harmony that really shouldn't be referred to as "balance". That's really what makes this beer awesome, it isn't really balanced but it works for this beer.

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

35th review on BA
draft to a pint from T.Phillips in Glendora

App- Amber colored with highlights of mahogany brown. Bartender did a standard 1 finger strong thick head, nice lacing as the drinking commences.

Smell- Hoppy pine with scents of some citrus. With all the smells in the bar it was hard to pick between orange and grapefruit.

Taste- It's got a hoppy piny taste with a slightly bitter finish to it. I pick up little malt notes on the back of the tongue.

Mouth-Nice balance of flavors. I remember having the 09 celebration but never reviewed it and being so new to beer didn't appreciate it as much. Nice to try it again.

Drink- Def. a nice sessionable beer at the bar.

Photo of SamN
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Beers pours a rather flat and pale brown amber color, a tad cloudy. Erupting foamy head swells to 2+ fingers and is plenty dense and long lasting. Sticky, resinous lacing already clinging to the side of the glass. After a big whiff, I come away with big-time piny hops with a noticeable sweet fruit finish, like sweet berries. Some bready malt background. Taste is seriously hoppy, starting sweet and piney, then quickly fading to an almost sour bitterness with a hint mild malt sweetness. Semi dry finish, light-medium body, substantial enough for the big character. A little sticky and a very bitter aftertaste. Loads of whole cone hops, powerfully hoppy.

It's simply too much for me, but I can see how hops heads will go for this. Lots of hop complexities. Drinkability suffers in my case, this is just overpoweringly hop forward.

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

Bought this from a local Whole Foods.

A - Copper color with an off white head.

S - Fresh hops up front. Not a very full or strong aroma.

T - It doesn't hit you over the head with hops but there is a presence there. Not too complex.

M - Medium carbonation with a slight thickness to the consistency.

D - I could definitely have a few more!

This is a very good brew. I'm not the biggest fan of IPA's but this one proved to be very well balanced and drinkable!

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

Picked up yet another case of 2010 Celebration. Having this a lot earlier than I had it last year. Hopefully the hop presence is impressive.

Pours from a 12oz. bottle into my Stone IRS snifter a beautiful copper orange hue with crystal clear clarity. I poured this beer 10 minutes ago, and still have a huge chunk of foam floating around with HUGE amounts of lacing. Lacing is rivaling Arrogant Bastard status, and that is not an easy feat.

Nose is prominent with strong whiffs of pine, ripe grapefruit, orange peel with just the slightest kiss of biscuit malt. Slightly bread like but just enough to let you know that "hey, I'm here to!"

The flavor is a lot better than I remembered. The main attraction for this beer is definitely the hops. Bright notes of pine, citrus, and a hint of pineapple sting the palate accompanied with a nice sweet and spice malt backbone, bread like as predicted from the aroma. There is some lingering bitterness, but its pretty subtle and recedes fairly easy.

Mouthfeel is bordering on creamy. I usually don't like it in my IPA's but it works well here. Slightly dry, but easy drinking in the finish.

Drinkbability is another highlight worthy to mention. Great taste with incredible balance and mouthfeel makes this beer a cut above others. For an IPA, I could down these in a blink of an eye, and had to pace myself with my first beer to make this review. Scary!

PS. This is even better fresh than it was last year. Looks like I will get another case in the foreseeable future.

Reviewed on 11/17/2009


My very first Celebration Ale. Picked up a case to age.

Pour produces a unique amber with a off white 2 finger cap. I say "unique" because I've never seen an IPA this dark. Retention was superb, followed by lacing in ample supply.

Aroma was full of caramel malts, herbal hops, grapefruit, and a light touch of orange peel.

Flavors of cool zesty hops come forth with grapefruit and orange taking center stage giving pine a back seat to citrus. Hops fade and give way to a fantastic caramel malt that really thrust this beer above other west coast IPA's. I really enjoyed the strength of the malts and the crispness of the hops. I can see why this beer is called "Celebration" cause its damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is a medium with a nod towards creamy.

Drinkability is great. The alcohol is tucked away well, but its the aging aspect that makes this beer even better. I can't wait to try my first aged bottle of Celebration next year.

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

Pours a golden orange body with a nice rocky slightly off-white head, about an inch thick to start. Left behind is a very wet but sticky looking lace.

Aroma is pungent with piney/herbal hop aromas and a bit of citrus thrown into the mix too. Little room is left for the malt to come through.

Hops, oh glorious hops. SN Celebration is one of those IPA's that takes super fresh hops and blends them perfectly into the beer with skill. A palatable bitterness with plenty of piney and citrusy hop flavors to go around. A slight hint of pale malt in the background comes through, but doesn't last for long.

Mouthfeel is not too heavy, but provides enough body to carry this much deliciousness. Overall, this is one of my favorite IPAs. It presents the perfect balance of a variety of hops and truly defines what it means to be an American IPA.

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

A few minutes ago, in a room not so far away...

Sierra Nevada: Celebration Ale
Round IV

It is a period of severe thirst.
Me, avoiding poorly brewed beer,
from a hidden cafe, has won
another victory against
the evil Mass Market Beverage Empire.

During the battle, Rebel
spies (me) managed to avoid purchasing
the Empire's ultimate weapon, the ALUMINUM
PINT, an armored twist off
can with enough power
to destroy entire tastebuds.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Majesticsock
drank a wonderfly fresh hoppy mix
(with a flowery aftertaste)
aboard his pint glass.
I slowly enjoy the mouthfeel as I take my time
being the custodian of an
amber looking, hoppy smelling beverage
that can save my tastebuds and restore
freedom throughout the galaxy....

Photo of DJED69
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm, fresh SN Celebration. To me, this is a classic IPA. Great copper color and lasting, creamy head. Smells of fresh hops and malt. Taste is bitter hops with a kiss of malt sweetness. I also find a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel. Gets better as it warms, don't drink this too cold. I stocked up with two cases that were about two weeks old. Look forward to this brew every year!!

EDIT: Had another bottle and all the above holds true---I did find that the brew has a touch of orange flavor---just a touch---that sits very nice in the mix. 50-55 deg is prob. an ideal temp for this beer---really shines as it warms a bit.

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into shaker. From notes.

A great looking, clear amber brew with nice fluffy white head. Lacing was consistent and lasting. It smelled like a muted down IPA with a stronger malt presence and a bit of citrus and pepper. This beer is a great tasting IPA whose hops are distinct but not overwhelming. This allows the malt and some sugar sweetness to be profiled. Some orange and other citrus also comes through.
The mouthfeel is medium and a bit sticky. Very good drinkability and excellent for the season, although I'd rather have it year round!

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

12 ounce bottle that's about a week old. Pours a nice bright amber with a thick cap of long-lasting foam and plentiful lacing, typical of the source.

Citrusy aromas courteously allow the caramel to say a few words, but there's no doubt where this beer is heading. It's certainly more malty than its siblings in the SN IPA family, but the malt lends more of a bready than a sweet backbone, plus a certain element of thickness to the feel. Just a notch shy of Bitter as Hell; let's call it Pretty Damned Bitter. Loads of citrus and leafy hop flavors up front, loads of prickly bitterness as the finish dries out.

Overall impression: A Celebration of hoppy goodness. Easy to take for granted, but not to be missed.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a very clear shade of orange with a 2 finger white head. Head is very huge, fades quickly...lacing is alright. Would like to see more lacing, but the beer itself looks gorgeous

S- hops! Piney, resiny aroma with slight (very slight) hints of citrus in there...would like it to be a little stronger. But good regardless

T- super bitter, just the way I like it...and the bitterness doesn't linger too much, either. The aftertaste is slightly sweet, but you're mostly getting pounded with those centennial hops. Fantastic

M- its actually a tad bit syrupy, which is a slight turnoff...but overall, its nice. Nothing outstanding, just "nice"

D- yes. Oh god yes. I'm going to buy a case this weekend. Only thing is, because its a bitter IPA...you can't really pound them too quick if you're looking for a day of great drinking. But this is a GREAT beer

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

12oz bottle of the 2010 version. Pours a light amber color that is somewhat translucent. Thin ring of head. Minimal lacing. Nice aroma of hops and a citrusy orange smell. Full flavor of hops. Orange as well as a nice bitter taste. Not overly heavy but a great amount of hoppy bitterness to this beer. An easy drinkable and delicious IPA that makes the winter months better.

Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a honey color with tinges of amber, about an inch worth of head that shows no signs of going anywhere. Pretty clear with a slight chill haze.

When it put it to my nose i smell some kind of funkiness, a sour, grassy type of smell, and then the malt.

Very bitter, and quite spicy. Rather than citrus fruits or flowers, this IPA has a really spicy, herbal character, somewhat resinous. Very hop forward, i have a tough time picking out much malt.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, finishes dry, and leaves a lingering bitterness.

Overall a good IPA, but not a favorite. I probably wouldn't drink more than 3 of these in a session.

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

2010 Bottling

Pours a nice golden amber color, with a 1/2 inch of creamy white head that fades fairly fast, but leaves some sticky lacing. Fresh floral hops are prevalent in the nose, along with some lemon zest, orange, even some pine. Also a bit of a toffee malt aromas. A very fresh tasting, hop forward IPA that isn't overly bitter or sweet - a very nice balance. Its quite smooth and refreshing, and very drinkable - not a hint of the nearly 7% alcohol at all. Always look forward to the fresh batch of SN Celebration as the winter months approach.

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

The beer pours a nice amber color with a white head. The aroma is great. I get a lot of orange and resiny hops with some bready malt mixed in. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of bitter orange and papaya and some pine. Medium bitterness. There is a bit of bready malt in the flavor to keep things a little bit balanced, but the beer is all about the hops. Very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Excellent.

Photo of geryeb624
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a fairly dark amber color with a ton of off-white head. Eventually settles down to about 2 fingers worth, leaving tons of lacing of the sides of the glass.

S- A fairly piney hop aroma, with some buttery malt in the background. Maybe some orange marmalade type aromas as well.

T- A bitter, almost spicy hoppiness dominates, with the pine notes showing up pretty well.

M/D- Nice mouthfeel, smooth and creamy. Could drink a few of these no problem.

A nice IPA, though not much to separate it from the pack IMO. A good beer just the same though.

Photo of thebrood1987
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells of leafy green hops with some grapefruit and then the pine smell as it warms. You also get some sweetness from the malt in there as well. I like this IPA because you can tell they use top notch fresh California hops with some really nice roasted caramel almost cherry like malts. The mix of the two is what makes this beer one of the best IPA's out there. I kind of forget what this tasted like last year but I just remember it being really hoppy. It still has that but since I'm so used to trying IPA's now that I'm used to that sort of bitterness. To the average beer drinker this will come across as bitter. To people who always drink IPA's this will come off as bitter mixing in with that sweet flavor to create a balanced but still ending hoppy beer. It sort of reminds me of a HopDevil from Victory but I'm enjoying this one a bit more. This is definitely in my top 5 IPA's. This is my favorite beer from Sierra Nevada.

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

A - Clear, tawny orange color with a very large, fluffy, foamy, sticky, light yet full, white head. Very good retention with a nice lacing left.

S - Nice mix of hops and malt. Floral and slightly citrus hops along with a slight spicy hop, also some other spiciness along with citrus rind. Malt has a caramel and amber aroma, and some breadiness.

T - Just like the nose, a good balance of hops and malt. Fairly bitter taste. Floral and spicy hops with just a touch of citrus. Sweet caramel malt with an amber/red taste. Leafy bitterness on the finish as well as a touch of mineral. A touch of spiciness persist throughout.

M - Lighter side of medium body with slightly above average carbonation. Sticky with a definite drying finish.

D - Pretty drinkable beer. bitterness and dryness may end up being a bit much. Sweet and stickiness also hurts it a bit. That said, I had no problem finishing a bomber of it.

Notes: Typically I think of IPAs reminding me of summer/heat, but this did a great job as a winter ale. Sweet malt and bitter hops pretty well balanced, but bitterness outweighs the sweetness. Reminded me of a mix of an IPA and a Red/Amber Ale. Another nice, affordable option from Sierra Nevada. Pick one up for the winter.

Photo of Frosty80
3.46/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: hazy caramel

Smell: some citrusy/grapefruit hops and a clean malt aroma. well balanced. so much so everything is pretty much canceled out.

Taste: again hops and malt are in harmony. nothing really stands out. if they were aiming for that ultimate balance in a brew, they came goddam close. slightly dry finish with a minor bitterness that doesnt stick around too long

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation. light-med body

Notes: this is a perfectly balanced IPA. nice, easy aromatics and taste. well rounded. nothing dominates, but then again it loses some complexity. NOT the Celebration i remember and reviewed in the past

Photo of lovindahops
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Celebration. An iconic representation of craft beer

A- a clear reddish amber with a great head of foam that has fantastic lacing along the sides. The carbonation dances throughout the glass with the head of foam is completely rocky

S- the hops are no doubt the main feature of celebration. Pine and tropic themes at the same time. The malt is established with some caramel too. There is even an abundance of pineapple right at the end. Freshness is the key to this!

T- the same hops dominate the taste of the brew. Very bitter in the beginning and very bitter in the end. In between is some grapefruit and earthy elements to keep the bitterness in check. Some sweetness is involved as the malt component as well. The alcohol does happen to take a swing at you as well

M- very creamy and smooth. It's good

D- Celebration is smooth fresh drinakable stuff. The bitterness keeps it lively and not absolutely slam dunk drinkable. Still very good!

Photo of beercat11
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 12 pack of this years batch. I have enjoyed this beer for many years but I must say that last year and this years version are not up to par as in previous years. Not sure why but the flavors are off from what I remember. Its still good as most brews from SN but too close to some of their other offerings such as the Pale Ale and Torpedo. It just doesn't stand out like it used to. The hop bitterness is there but it seems as though they are using different flavoring hops then they used to. My friends have also noticed this. Maybe SN is getting too big and loosing touch with the importance of consistency.

Photo of soze47
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here is a 2010 Entry. I love this beer and think it is heavenly that is so available and so cheap during the holiday season.

Appearance: Golden orange in color. The body is very clear with a lot of carbonation bubbles. A big head on a somewhat subtle pour.

Aroma: Very balanced aroma. Earthiness hops and malt balance quite a bit. Not quite grassy or floral, this has a hop forward presence is nicely balanced by a rich malty smoothness.

Taste: Hop forward, but not aggressively bitter. Very herbal and spicy hops play well with a substantial malt back. Malt provides body and balance, but not sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and somewhat thick going in, but it definitely goes down as a light bodied offering.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable and pleasant. There is a substantial taste that is at once complex, but not demanding of your palette.

Overall: Very tasty and another success from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of nickhiller
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark amber-ish brown, almost like a cherrywood color with a thick one finger head that settles to an eighth of an inch around the edges. Really good lacing.

S: a surprising amount of malt for a beer that is so hoppy, sweet even, a little vanilla, fruit.

T: fruity hops, some melon, sweet malt. Finish is pretty intensely bitter and warming, perfect for a cold winter night.

M: medium body, medium carbonation, with a very dry finish.

D: delicious. Really one of the best winter ales around, even if it's not technically a winter warmer. I'm interested by the contrast between the sweet fruity nose and the dry bitter taste. I can, and will, drink many more of these.

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

Late night review, done on my phone under the cover of darkness and a Seinfeld dvd for the 100th time.

A- Quite a nice looking beer. Foam and lacing come in surplus, they are supported by an orange-copper colored ale. Its on the darker side of ipa.

S- So far I haven't been awfully impressed with fresh hop ales, but I think I can trust Sierra to show me the way. The malt base its noted with faint cracker dryness. The real star of the show is a citrusy hopping. The fresh hops lend a fleshy, lemony, leafy character.

T- Very citrusy, but not the exotic, sweetened citrus I prefer. Its more of a bitter, grapefruit and rind type of citrus. Fresh tangerine sweetens up the finish just before a lingering bitterness.

M- Highly carbonated but it mellows out quickly.

I hadve this before and I will be having it again. This us my recommended fresh hop ale.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, though I'm sure J have had this nearly 50 times.

Pours a brownish amber color with a nice white head and that sticky hop type of lacing. Nose brings a good dose of citrus and pine hops plus some caramel and sweet bread. Nice combination of hops and malt for the colder seasons. Drinks quite well and is a staple in our fridge every time it is available.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,257 ratings.