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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.

9,297 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,297
Reviews: 3,344
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,221 | 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: 9,297 | Reviews: 3,344
Photo of nickthegun12
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

not bad beer...
these guys sure don't want you to know what kind of hops they use....they hide them well...or should i say blend them well.

brownish orange color with not much head....but its a nice head....with big fat bubbles

smell is of some kind of hops...it really bugs me to not know what kind of hops...not really piny not really citrusy...strong hop aroma nonetheless

the taste is of hops for sure...kinda citrus hops....the malt character is def there too.

creamy mouthfeel...with damn good lacing

decent drinkability....although the abv % will catch up to you sooner rather than later....

Photo of pumptrick
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured carelessly into pint glass. 1 inch white head honey amber color. This is beer is much better than I remember, could be because Ive been focused on IRS' these days and straying from my norm of anything IPA. I like it quite a bit. Better than most SN that I have had, with exception of Bigfoot. Could use a bit more alchohol. Instant citrus and lingering grapefruit. Cheers!

Photo of misinformed
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottled 10/5/10, pint glass.

A- Poured with a 4" eggshell colored head. Beer is clear, medium orange brown. Decent head retention. It settled down to a large dusting and left some thick lines of lacing.

S- Medium strength scentwise. Sweet grapefruit/citrus, but also bitter citrus. Pine. Just a touch of caramel. Sort of sharp floral hop notes as well.

T- Citrus hops when it was cold, but later the pine hop flavors took more of a center stage. A bit of caramel malt, but it is quickly overshadowed by the bitter hops. Long, but mild bitter finish. Flavor was sort of watery to be honest.

M- Lighter side of medium. Smooth, with a light oiliness, but not mouth coating. The citrus and bitterness lingers which is nice.

D- So so for me. Flavor is nice and it goes down smooth, but I don't really find myself wanting more than the two bottles I had. Strong, clean hop flavors that makes for a nice bitterness. There are other IPAs I like a lot more, but this is good.

Photo of grittybrews
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a vivid orange-amber into a tulip with a finger of fluffy eggshell head (long retention). Hop-forward aroma with plenty of grapefruit, pine, and a touch of caramel.

Full-bodied with moderate carbonation and a creamy, resinous mouthfeel. Malty biscuit and caramel up front with a spicy, piney hop kick that develops more tart grapefruit notes as it lingers.

Great balance and really easy-drinking (alcohol is completely masked). If this were in a blind test with other IPAs I'd never associate this beer with the holiday season, but it's a nice reminder of warmer times!

Photo of bobjonesSD
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Celebration - I've been waiting for this one to come around again - always a favorite. The head on this beer from simply pouring it into a pint glass from the bottle is amazing. Beautiful tight lacing on a nice amber beer. The aroma could actually be a little stronger - maybe it needs to warm up some more to release that. Lots of piney hops - no citrus or skunk notes. Good malt backbone without being cloying. Super well-balanced and solid IPA, glad to have picked up a bunch on sale.

Photo of Satchboogie
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, dated 10/1/10, poured into my Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours a light amber that's transparent and almost a caramel mahogany when held to the light. 2-finger foamy white head that dissipates fairly quickly to a think frothy top, good lacing.

S: Lots of pine and floral hops, a little citrus, grainy malt.

T: Pine hops take the spotlight. The initial bite is fairly intense with a heavy dose of pine/floral hops that is very bitter. Smooths out to a rich caramel malt body that is very grainy and earthy. There's a hint of pepper. Finish is grainy, dry, and bitter.

M: Medium carbonation and body. Very chewy with a lot of bitterness, finish is almost mouth puckering.

D: This isn't the easiest IPA to drink due to how grainy and bitter it is. The ABV isn't anything out of the ordinary but it can catch up a little quicker than expected.

Photo of Bogforce
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Bought my first six pack of this tonight at my local shop after I heard it was good..

A: Nice, red and copper look. One finger head that goes away quick but keeps a small amount

T: Bitter! This is thing is really bitter, kind of caught me off guard. But tastes great, very pine forward. And small malt backbone to hold it all together

Love this beer! Always have something to get at my local grocery store during the holidays.

Photo of philbertk
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1997 Release--12 oz. Bottle--6.80% ABV. Sampled 12/1/1997.

1998 Release--12 oz. Bottle--6.80% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) Hoppy nose. Clear bright amber color like some IPA's. Hops dominate body and bitter finish. Light malt body and big hop profile is unique in a Winter Ale. Sampled 11/7/1998.

1999 Release--12 oz. Bottle--6.80% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Clear light thin golden red color. Hoppy spicy rich front. Light residual sugar in rich crystal caramel malt body. Spiced IPA character. Bottle fermented. Rich balanced hop finish. Best of Season. Sampled 11/23/1999.

2000 Release--6.80% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Light sediment from bottle conditioning. Clear bright true amber golden color. Rich floral hoppy spicy front. WOW! Malty head. Crisp balanced body and finish. Rich pale flavor. Hop spiciness. Winter IPA. Sampled 11/12/2000.

2001 Release. 6.80% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) IPA--Light bottle conditioned sediment dissappears in clear thin amber red color. Light creamy lacy head. Big floral hop front with pine spice hints. Malty sweet rich clean body. Spicy citrus hop end. Sampled 12/13/2001.

2002 Release--6.80% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) Light BC sediment. Clear thin bright red amber color. Very floral huge sweet hop spicy front. Dry sweet light cherry caramel malt body. Pretty with medium lacy head. Crisp spiced sweet hop citrus end. Nice. Sampled 11/19/2002.

2003 Release--6.80% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) Pale Light bottle conditioned sediment. Clear bright amber color. Lacy light head. Rich floral hop spicy fruit front. Crisp tangy dry sweet citrus hop malty body. Clean dry spicy rich citrus hop end. Winter IPA. Sampled 10/24/2003.

2004 Release--6.80% ABV--62 IBU's. (4.75 / 5.0) Mild lace head. Pretty clear rich thin red color. Rich floral hop front. Crisp sweet creamy not thick aromatic caramel butter cherry fruit complex body. Clean mildly tangy sweet mild hop citrus end. WOW! Sampled 10/25/2004.

2005 Release--6.80%--62 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Mild lace head. Clear bright rich golden color. Rich floral hop front. BC sediment. Crisp mild sweet clean caramel flower mild citrus unique ester body. Rich dry sweet hop spice end. Balanced tasty Winter. Sampled 10/15/2005.

Celebration Ale--New Bright Dark Red Base--2006 Release--6.80% ABV--62 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) -Foamy mild lace head. Clear bright rich dark gold color. Rich delicate floral hop front. Dry sweet delicate flowery crisp smooth caramel pils body. Clean balanced smooth mild hop spice subtle Holiday end. Sampled 10/28/2006.

2007 Release--6.80% ABV--62 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) 6-Pack--$6.99. Dense foamy lacy head. Clear bright ripe peach color. Mild fruit floral Winter hop front. Crisp smooth dry sweet mild caramel fruit BC ester body. Balanced mild tangy dry hop spice end. Complex Favorite Winter Release. Sampled 11/15/2007.

2008 Release--6.80%--62 IBU's. (4.75 / 5.0) BC sediment hint. Clear bright pretty amber gold color. Delicate sweet rich floral hop front. Zesty BC sweet fruit ester mild crisp caramel crystal vanilla hop pine hint body. Cloying clean smooth mellow hop spice refreshing delicious end. Classic Winter IPA. Sampled 11/24/2008. 6-Pack--$7.49.

2009 Release--24 oz. Bottle. Tasted Too cold.Thin mild lace off white head.Clear bright amber gold color.Sweet floral hop front.Mild sweet dry crisp delicate crystal malt mild fruit bread subtle grapefruit pine vanilla hint body.Balanced clean hop spice end.Classic mysterious Winter IPA!

2009 Release 12 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 65 IBU's. (4.35 / 5.0) Dense rich lacy off white head.Clear thin bright pretty amber red color.Rich floral hop mild vanilla front.Crisp mild textured dry sweet tangy light caramel pale malt balanced rich IPA mild Winter spice pine citrus hop resin body.Balanced hop spice end.Classic. 12/26/2009. 6-Pack / $6.99.

Celebration Fresh Hop Ale--2010 12 oz. Bottle with new name and label. 6.80% ABV. 65 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Lacy thin white chilled head. Clear bright rich amber orange color. Soft aromatic floral gentle hop front. Smooth well balanced mild creamy sweet light caramel IPA Winter Ale body. Soft smooth hop spice end. Delicious as usual! Sampled 11/7/2010 from 6-Pack purchased @ Fred Meyer, Ballard, Seattle fro $6.99 on 11/6/2010.

Photo of Dougal
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this had a strange taste.... it was hoppy but unbalanced... the malts were given to caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg hence the winter scene in the advertising. The first taste did not warrant a need for a second taste, it was a winter warmer type of product which now I know I do not like

Photo of WeimtimeBier
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its mid November and I wanted to make celebration the first winter seasonal beer of the year.

A- a clear caramel amber color with red hues. Nice head retention and good lacing down the glass.

S- pine like your typically IPA but this ones different. This hop profile is spicy and complex. some citrus in hop and a toasty caramel undertone.

T- Hop taste is piney spice with some lemon zest. caramel ginger malt behind the hops, a little drier then most IPAs with this caramel feature

M- good carbonation with a little bit of oil on the lips.

D- very good drinkability, not overwelming. higher abv that hides alcohol. not warming and quite refreshing. nice balanced taste.

Photo of industrialswill
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden amber with a thick amber head. There was a big pile of foam lingering long after I finished the beer. The head itself had more flavor than some beers I've had.
The smell is that of hops, mostly grapefruit peel.
Wonderful IPA, I could drink a gallon of this stuff...well, I'd like to be able to at least.
Celebration is deserving of an outstanding rating and at $7 for a six pack is one of the best deals in town.

Photo of Spider889
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful ruby to golden amber color. Had a nice head and wonderful lacing wrapped around my glass.

Smells of sweet resinous fresh hops. Bold citrus and pine, mild grassy notes and some caramel from the malt. Spicy character reminiscent of rye.

Very floral, lots of fresh pine flavor and plenty of bitterness for any hop-head.

Well carbonated, nice and refreshing. Crisp. Delicious.

A favorite I look forward to each year. And each year I dink more and more of it. I love the freshness of the hops and that it doesn't relent to the push from the community to produce fruitier and bigger IPA's. I love this beer as-is.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So it's that time of year again...stockings hung by the fire, Christmas trees all decked out with lights and ornaments, presents under the tree, snow days and perhaps most importantly, SIERRA NEVADA CELEBRATION ALE!

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.

A: Orange and gold with a reddish hue. Excellent head with an excellent retention. Lacing all down the glass.

S: Perfect balance of citrus, pine and floral hops compliented well by a nice malty note. Earthy honey and light corn come through as well, and they are welcomed, as is a very mild whiff of nutmeg hiding deep in there too.

T: Nice light piney hop blast at first but hardly any bitterness. Citrus zest in the middle; grapefruit. Slight hints of honey, red apples, black cherries and random dark fruit are in there. Lightly syrupy mouthfeel works well with the style.

D: Not as strong and overpowering as other IPA's; even my girlfriend can take down a couple of these. But that's not to say it's not complex. Buy yourself a couple sixers to get you through the holidays.

Value: At around 8-9 bucks per sixer, this one cannot be beaten for a beer of this quality. This beer is not a super hop bomb, so most IPA freaks will take some points away from the score here, but as an example of the style, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one. Two Hearted Ale comes to mind as a comparison beer.

Celebration Ale is definitely one more reason to look forward to the holidays. A ridiculous beer in my opinion.

Photo of ztaylor1
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance- nice fluffy, two fingered head that stayed a good deal longer than i expected. has a bit of cling that leaves a pretty lacing

smell- sweet, sweet hops. like maple syrup rubbed all over a pine tree.

taste- very crisp hops, very refreshing.

mouthfeel- fairly creamy. but about like any other ipa.

drinkability- a good beer, but im a little bit letdown.

Photo of ramseye4
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a 1.5 finger head, with a beautiful dark golden color. Excellent head retention, with the head lasting the entire way down, a fact made even more impressive by the fact that I was sipping on it. Smell is of straight hops, with a bit of a floral undertone to it. Tastes like hops, hops, and more hops, with an almost earthy taste to it. The bitterness is just right, and also masks the alcohol in the beer. The medium body feels incredibly smooth washing around the mouth, and the carbonation is very pleasant on the tongue. Drinkability is much higher than I expected, at first I thought I would only want one or two of them in one sitting, but as I finish them, I cant help but want some more! A very tasteful and well done IPA. Great job again, Sierra Nevada.

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

Appearance- poured into a pint leaves a nice creamy two finger, just off white head. Light amber in color with some streaming carbonation bubbles, looks inviting. Has good retention and left great lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell- Hops, hops, hops. Mostly of the pine variety with some subtle citrusy grapefruit characteristics.

Taste- Hop forward with a nice smooth malt backbone. Mostly resinous pine with a bit of citrus fruits. Finishes dry but not overlly bitter.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and very creamy. Medium carbonation and body. Perfect.

Overall- Great fresh hop harvest IPA, very drinkable.

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

A - Light orange / copper in color. Large pillowy white head. Lace sticks to glass nicely.

S - Resiny piney hops with some floral and citrus hints. Almost smells like hop candy because of the underlying sweetness.

T - Big in hops, mostly pine and citrus in the form of grapefruit. A little bitter, but not overly bitter and the bitterness doesn't stick around. There is a malt presence but not much. No alcohol is really notable.

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Nice and clean IPA.

D - Didn't like this one a year ago, but now I can drink it a few times in a night easily. Pretty good drinkability with this one.

Photo of cdmop
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great Ipa.

Look forward to it every year. This year is no exception. Awesome head and great lacing the while way down. Dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

Taste is fresh oily hops citrus grapefruit and drinkability is very high. I have a case on hand throughout the season. Very refreshing. If you like the wet hop ale you will love this. For the price it is a steal. Too bad this isnt available year round or it may just be my goto beer. Well done.

Photo of ncfranklin
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010, and the first case off the truck.

A : Pours a nice caramel color with a good finger frothy off-white head that clings nicely to the glass. Lots of carbonation streams, slight haze. Very pretty.

S : Pine hope dominates, but floral and citrus qualities are present in light from. A biscuity backbone. Very much like the smell of crisp cold winter air in the country.

T : In step with the smell. A potent load of hops balanced with just enough malt. Quite bitter at first, but mellowing as it goes. Even a bit of woody, earthiness and spice on the end.

M : Medium bodied, and a good bit dry.

D : This "Fresh Hop Ale" is a yearly treat. And this years is as solid as ever.

Photo of homebrew311
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured into NB Globe.

A: appearance is a deep reddish orange with good clarity, 2 finger foamy white head upon pour, dissipates to a cm of head with retention through out, nice lacing

S: big aromatic piney hops up front, hops also provide a nice spicy profile on the nose which are a nice introduction to the malt back bone which provides some aromas of toast

T: things start off with a touch of malt sweetness, but this is quickly subsided by a huge does of piney bitter hops, the hops go from bitter to fruity about mid palate and the finish is nice and balanced. This beer has a huge punch of hop flavor but does not leave residual bitterness on the palate. Quite nice.

MF: high carbonation, medium body

D: this is is perhaps the best winter seasonal around, this is partly due to it being the only IPA of the class so to speak. Either way, it is a well done IPA that features the more piney side of hops without being too bitter.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Beer was a rich copper color, with a bit over a finger of fluffy white head. The foam really clung to the glass tight as it receded. There was a solid stream of bubbles racing to the top of the glass.

Smelled strongly of fresh and resiney hops, with some citrus and sweet malt aroma. The hop flavor is the first thing that jumps out when you take a sip. Pine, orange, grapefruit, pleasantly bitter hops up front, then at the end I picked up a subdued malty flavor.

It was medium bodied, had a fair bit of carbonation, and a slightly dry finish. It's very drinkable - assuming the corner liquor store cooperates and stocks this, it'll probably be my path of least resistance go-to for the coming months.

Photo of younger35
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer of this because every dude on The Beer Spot drinks the shit out of it and I've never had a bottle. Pretty reasonably priced too, just like most Sierra Nevada brewski's. Drank from my Port Brewing pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a nice clear yellowish orange with a frothy one finger bright white head. A nice cap and collar is left along with loads of thick web like lacing.
Smell- Nice light hoppiness that smells pretty fresh but isn't overly fruity or citrusy. It's sort of earthy and piney with a definite Noble Hop like profile (even though it says whole American Hops on the label). The lightest touch of sweetness from the malts mixes with the hops and gives an almost floral like scent.
Taste- Starts with a light bitterness upfront that's fairly earthy and grassy with just a touch of citrus. Definite notes of grapefruit and light pineapple that really linger. A touch of toasted malt adds a super light bit of sweetness to counteract. A bit of grapefruit and a touch of pine on the finish.
Mouthfeel- Pretty sharp carbonation and a surprisingly full bodied IPA.
Drinkability- Very drinkable beer and I'm assuming that's why it's such a hit. Not my favorite IPA by any means but it's definitely tasty and goes down way too easy. Glad I tried; it definitely won't be my last sixer.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle of 2010 Celebration into my Ommegang goblet. Huge fluffy 3 fingers of off white head and a nice light brown/golden hue. Smells cascadian, a little citrusy, floral, pine. Light sweet malt. Like the pale on steroids. Dry, bitter goodness on the palate. Very piney. Fluffy, creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Could put away easily half of this 6er. Overall, really makes me think SNPA with a Barry Bonds complex.

Photo of DaveHS
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 release. First time I've seen it referred to as a "fresh hop ale."

A-Pours light amber with nearly an inch of off white head. Leaves moderate soapy lacing.

S-Citric and fruity. Mandarin orange and sweet malts.

T/M-A wonderful fresh mixture of grassy, citric, and piney hops, all very fresh, sticky, and resinous, supported by sweet, fruity malts. Pretty standard IPA, with a sweeter than average malt character.

D-Nice to have a few bottles every year when it comes out.

Photo of nhindian
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

To celebrate an amazing Penn State comeback today and as a toast to Joe Paterno's 400th win, I crack my first Sierra Nevada Celebration to him in tribute.

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A - Pours a deep bronze, relatively clear but has some floaties in it. The head grows and grows... finally settling in at around 2.5-fingers high and sticks around to chat before making a quick disappearance several minutes later. Judging by the few bubbles rising, it seems to have mild carbonation at best. As I drink, I see the excellent lacing left behind and am quite impressed.

S - Smells of intense, fresh grapefruit and lush pine forests. Incredibly crisp and almost clears out the sinuses by how rich the smell is. I can best describe this as a relatively normal smelling IPA, but just more oomph, going the extra mile to deliver a bouquet that surprises and excites the olfactory. Light, crisp, flowery, and bitter.

T - I've had my share of Sierra Nevada in my days, and came into this beer with no real expectations. I've read that it is certainly not a Winter Warmer and is lively and fresh, which I found a bit strange as it's a Winter beer, but I'm glad I came in with an open mind. The best I can describe this beer is Torpedo, but much more robust, smooth, and drinkable. I definitely get the recognizable Sierra Nevada hop profile, but it's much more balanced by the malts to not overwhelm the palate. It has the citrus dryness and bitterness, the pine aroma, the sweet, sticky malts. I'm honestly taken aback by this beer. Just fantastic.

M - Mouthfeel, contrary to what I imagined based on the carbonation seen in the glass, is medium with moderate carbonation. Really active in the mouth and flitters on the palate.

D - Drinkability is insanely high. Goes down so smoothly and easily. I finished mine a little more than halfway through this review and am surprised. There's almost no hint of the 6.8% ABV that this beer boasts and the complexity and balance this beer delivers is a recipe for easy-drinking. Combined with such a low price point, this may be a go-to for the next couple months. Here's to Winter!

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,297 ratings.