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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.

7,832 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,832
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 204
Gots: 464 | 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: 7,832 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

lordofthewiens, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of jhu1995
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

jhu1995, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of TreeTopFlyer
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

TreeTopFlyer, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of brewingmonk
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

brewingmonk, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of Xadoor
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Xadoor, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of AJPainter
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

AJPainter, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

DevilDogBeer, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of skynxnex
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

skynxnex, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of deciding39
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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?

deciding39, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of SteveO1231
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, bright copper color, with an impressive head of white bubbles. Tons of carbonation leaves clumps of fizzy bulle lacing in my glass.

Smells great, crisp aroma of cascade dominates the aroma mixed with a nice malt sweetness.

Smooth as hell malt sweetness with an awesome bitter back end. The Bitter hop finish is both citrusy and piny. Very balanced.

Awesome brew from start to finish. Crisp and clean very balanced. Very drinkable beer.


SteveO1231, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer came an amber orange with a thin film of head. Smells primarily of different citrus fruits and dry piney hops. Tastes like a SN's pale ale with some cinnamon, a honey sweet malt and orange zest with a grapefruit rind finish. Mouth feel is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation.

DarkerTheBetter, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the liquor store in my town recently, in the midst of all the winter and holiday beers that I've been sampling. I'm a huge fan of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, so I eagerly anticipated this holiday offering. After downing half of the 6-pack I bought, I can honestly say that my expectations were met with flying colors!

All of the good qualties of the their flagship brew are present here. A wonderful pour - amber, bubbly, and with a wonderful floral aroma - is present here, and the lacing on the side of the glass is very remarkable as well. Floral, citrus, pine, and strong hop notes are present here, with a dry-hopped, pine, slight metallic, and oily aftertaste. It's not perfect, but it did warm me up and had the smoothness and subtlety of SNPA. Not too bold for me, but not as buttery and golden as the flagship brew. The lack of an overpowering hop bite is more than compensated by the muted notes of the background flavors, which work very harmoniously together. The flavor base is that of the SNPA, but unlike other beers which play off of the "variations of a theme" when it comes to seasonals and year-round concotions from the same brewer, there is enough of a difference between this and SN's other offerings. One will get the enjoyment of the Pale Ale's hops when drinking this, but there will be enough differentiation to make this beer stand out on it's own, as well.

I'd certainly buy this again and would put this near the top of the seasonal and holiday brews that I've consumed so far this year. Sierra Nevada's offerings never let me down and always amaze me with their quality, refining, and overall taste and aftertaste. A truly great IPA from a truly great brewery!

JerzDevl2000, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark yet crystal clear amber with a half-inch-thick foamy head that settles only slightly. Aroma is rich, hoppy and spicy with a small amount of caramel malt.

Taste is a blend of rich, luxurious malt and sharp, bright hops. Some mild spices weave in an among the citrusy, juicy, floral hop nature. This is a beer equivalent of freshly baked bread with the hops springing forward without knocking you over. Very good job of balancing the flavors so that neither side crushes the palate.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy, a little oily, but in a good way. Lips remain sticky after the drink is finished. Oddly, drinkability remains high despite its bold flavors. This is the gold standard in American IPAs, one I have sessioned on many occasions.

assurbanipaul, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of delicious
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in 2005

Pours a tall, fluffy head with a darker than amber body.
The hoppy nose has a great citrusy aspect.
The flavor is dominated by hops which leave a lingering bitterness after a bit of grapefruit and an initial hint of mandarin orange sweetness.
This beer is full-bodied and surprisingly drinkable given the remarkable amount of hops.
This marvelous beer does wonderful things with hops. It's interesting, tasty, and those hops really stay with you.
2007 notes:
Pours a clear amber body beneath a fluffy cream colored head that leaves lacing rings after each sip.
Fresh, bitter, leafy hop nose.
The flavor continues the pattern of dry bitterness. There's also a bit of citrus, but the bitterness is more prone to dehydrate the inside cheeks and tongue than to invoke any juicy analogies. I'd love to describe how this ale develops as it warms, but I sincerely doubt it will last that long. While I'm typing, the alcohol warmth begins to glow in my tummy and puts a smile on my face. This is one of those beers I look forward to every season when I can see my breath in the morning.

delicious, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of badbeer
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Edition

Beer poured a orange-red color with a half inch of head with left incredible lacing. Smells of hops that bring a citrus aroma as well as pine. Taste is of pine and citrus as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost a perfect amount of carbonation. Drinkability is very good, each drink invites you back for another.

badbeer, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of doppelmeup
2.83/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It poured with a 3/8 inch head and an orangish color into a pint glass. The head dissipated rather quickly, leaving a ring of foam around the outside edge of the glass and some nice lacing

Very fruity, hoppy aroma.

A dry, fruity, bitter taste that lingered a bit long after swallowing.

It left an aftertaste, and felt both dry and clingy at the same time.

This would be a good beer to have with some curry.

I don't like how the beer lingers in the mouth, even after several minutes have gone by since my last drink.

I have to say I'm quite dissappointed in this beer.

doppelmeup, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of WeymouthMike
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada and I can't wait to try it every year around Christmas time. This beer pours a beautiful golden brown with a nice white head .Smells of pine and citrus are the only two things I get from this one. Taste is best described as fresh, wonderful hoppy flavor that is so well balanced with a malty aftertaste. This one is not for the rookie beer drinker as the hoppiness tends to scare some away so I don't have to worry about anyone touching my six pack when I show up at a friends house.

WeymouthMike, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to write another review to counteract my lower bottle review earlier this month. Just yesterday I had this beer on tap. A surprising treat at The Corner Room in State College, PA. Yes, we all know most beers are better on tap, but this one was MUCH better. It was so smooth, balanced, fresh and beautiful that I was sorry we only had time for one. In my previous review I remarked about how I didn't think SNCA quite lived up to the hype, but now I think otherwise. It's definitely highly recommended to try on tap.

ski271, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Darkish pumpkin pie orange, slightly cloudy, with a fluffy, lumpy off-white head. Lots of carbonation and big bubbles give this excellend head retention (but no lacing).

Smell: Toasty malts and nice spicy hops. There's also an egg-like tone and a hell of a pine scent. Yum! Reminds me of wheat toast with just a touch of cinnamon sugar.

Taste: Strong, very leafy hop character throughout. Some alcohol comes through along with a subtle flavor of pumpkin pie spice (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.). Malts take a backseat, but somehow this beer is still on the sweet side. Hops turn citric in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, fairly clean, and a tad sticky.

Drinkability: This is the winter brew I've been waiting for! Complex and spiced just enough.

soulgrowl, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of willgro
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great new generation brewery in the US and is in the mountains, near Chico, California. The brewery is known for beers full of character and complexity. This one is for winter and is aromatic and lively in flavor, with hints of oily dark chocolate and lots of lemony hop bitterness. I personally don't like a lot of hops, but this one is pretty good. Sierra Nevada is famous for India Pale ale, which to be honest, i'm not a huge fan of. But check this one out, it is a good christmas ale. Not quite St. Arnolds, but close.

willgro, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of bahumutx
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Vintage: 2005

Appearance: Pours orange with a one finger head. Nice lacing is also present.

Smell: Picking out smells of citrus and pine and also a slight malt presence.

Taste: Starts off just like the smell with pine and citrus and then ends with a nice malt taste. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in sitting.

A great seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada. Keep up the great work!!

bahumutx, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of joeskirkie
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsener glass with little to no head but a nice brown to amber body. It looks fantastic.

It has a sweet citrusy aroma.

Tastes of bittersweet citrus and what is in my opinion mild bitterness, but it definately picks up as the beer warms a little. Theres a more bitter bite to it in the after taste too and it lingers.

The mouth feel is light to me and I can definately detect a good amount of carbonation. It feels like I could easily put away 6 of these on an empty stomach.

Nice job. Keep them coming SN!

joeskirkie, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of skizziks
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Celebration Ale poured from a 12oz. bottle into a nonic. Well carbonated, formed a 2 inch fine, and slightly rocky, head. Foam was long lasting and left a small amount of lacework. Color was a medium copper with a hint of amber.

Aroma is predominately citrusy Cascade hop closely followed with crystal malt. Hops and malt combine to give a slight suggestion of cinnamon. Very nice.

Taste is pretty much the same as aroma. Smooth, slightly more than medium bodied mouthfeel carrying citrus and medium crystal malt. Finishes decidedly bitter. Bitterness sticks to the tongue, but isn't overpowering. Well-balanced with strong bittering appropriate to style.

Overall this is a very well-balanced beer for an American IPA and a very easy drinker. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the malt and hops are both well represented with neither overpowering the other. This is much like a bit heavier Sierra Pale Ale. A little more of everything, but is still refreshing enough to not wear out the palate. After recording my initial impressions, this beer was used to wash down a roasted garlic white pizza which had four heads of garlic in the sauce and topping. The Celebration Ale stood up to it and was very effective in keeping my palate scrubbed fresh. A great combination.

skizziks, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of misterscooter
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 offering.

I like what Sierra Nevada has done and they have some good beers. This one is a good beer but still not one that I just love. When I had one of their first batches several years ago, I hated it. Maybe they've refined their recipe over the years or my tastes have changed enough so that I don't hate it anymore.

An orange beer with a thick cream head. The lacing sticks to the side as the head slides down.

The smell is a piney bark, almost musky soap odor. Maybe a little spiced orange, too.

The taste is dry and very hoppy. Very woody in flavor with some nutmeg and spices in there for that "winter" feel. Warms you up as it goes down. The alcohol level means it doesn't take many to really feel warm.

It does alright but I still don't love it. Probably a little too woodsy for me. But definitely a good beer compared to a lot of the winter stuff out there.

misterscooter, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: An aggressive pour creates a huge, frothy cream-colored head capping off a beer that is a nice bronze color. Leaves nice lacings all the way down the glass.

S: The nose is citrusy and piney. Oranges and Lime really stand out in the smell, lemons, and a little pineapple. Not fresh pineapple, but the kind that comes in a can. A sweeter version of hoppy.

T: That citrusy bittersweet-lime flavor really comes out in the taste. Lingers for a while in the aftertaste as well. Spicy and hoppy. The hop profile is wonderful. A very nice tasty and aromatic mix of citrus and floral hops. Quite extensive citrus flavors. Definitly has that tangy-ness on the sides of the tongue. Kick-ass Christmas time beer... Hell, this is a kick-ass ANYtime beer.

M: Excellent carbonation. A hair heavier and I'd call it medium-bodied. Its not thin or anything, actually very nicely done.

D: Awesome drinkability. Why did I only buy a single???

Quite similar to SNPA, maybe a tad fruitier? I've absolutely enjoyed this one, and will be enjoying it again as soon as I can. Very nice beer, I'm surprised its taken me this long to get around to it.

jasonpeckins32, Dec 22, 2005
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,832 ratings.