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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.

9,194 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,194
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 283
Gots: 1,127 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,194 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass a pretty copper with yellow highlights. A fluffy off-white head facilitates this brew's fantastic lacing.

Big sweet and citrusy hop profile, followed by a nice malt and caramel scents.

The taste reflects the nose, but with the slightly roasted characteristic. Assertive hop bitterness and taste pleasantly accentuated by the perfect level of carbonation. Medium-body, and very sweet. High drinkability.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. I have drank this brew many times but never completed a review of it. To me this beer is much better fresh than with a couple months under it.

The Celebration Ale pours an orange to amber color with a nice bubbly head atop that leaves some good lacing. Aromas are sweet with malts, toffee, and caremel. I am also picking up some meaty notes that I haven't sniffed before with this brew. Taste brings out some citrus notes and is very smooth. Not overpowering in any way. Also plenty of malts and pines. Not much hops for being an IPA. Mouthfeel is fairly thin and sort of watery. Drinkability is very high for this brew. Kind of a mixture of several different styles and with that it is truly unique. This is my session beer for the winter months.

Photo of aaron12
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so, after trying this again, i like it way more. all i remember from the last batch i bought was grapefruit... this tastes much more balanced to me. very tasty... i remember liking the 2008 celebration ale a lot, and was surprised not liking 09's. i think i got a weird batch, or maybe my taste was off that day, who knows. this shit's good, so i revised it.

A. light red/golden, white head.

S. to me, it smells exactly like grapefruit juice poured over hops. it'd be like pouring grapefruit juice into a glass that had a strong ipa in it before, but you didnt bother to wash it out.

T. GRAPEFRUIT... sour hops. ...grapefruit. alot of grapefruit.

M. I don't know, last year was the first time i had this beer, and i remember liking it more... i'm kinda bummed, i don't think i'm diggin' this that much.

D. There's alot of pine, sour citrus, and bitter hops goin on in this beer, it's not the easiest ale to put down the hatch... (not that it should be)

wow, i need to try a few more of these, (not all at once), but if i change my mind, i'll revise this. until then, sorry sierra nevada, but this one's low on my ranks for you.

Photo of icetraxx
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours and orange-reed color with significant bottle conditioning-like haze. The creamy three-finger head has excellent retention and laces like crazy.

S: Resiny hops, that sort of remind of a Christmas tree, not too much else. Not as aromatic as other IPAs.

T: A strong kick of hops, hops, and more hops. A relatively strong bitterness gives way to a quick and rather clean finish with minimal lingering bitterness. A tiny amount of malt goes through due after the bitterness subsides. Hops are more on the pine side of things than the tropical fruit side.

M: Thick and creamy compared to similar IPAs.

D: Good, but doesn't have the super clean finish of other IPAs that immediately make me want to take another sip.

O: A solid IPA that is on the hearty side, rather than the refreshing side. Excellent for those cold winter months.

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

A: Deep, coppery amber with a faint bit of haze. Big rocky head with great retention and spectacular, uber-nice lacing.

S: Sniff - not a gingerbread cookie beer! I think I know what SN's favorite "spice" is.... Grapefruit and other citrus notes, resin & pine, some herbal, a bit of floral, and even some spicey & peppery. There is a lot going on and it is quite aromatic. Caramel malt is there, but it is in the background.

T: Holy hopucopia! Like the nose but even more complex and intense. C-hops are certainly there, but so are others - a great hop profile with lots to tease out and savor. Not to say this is some hop monster - it is not. It has a good malt base that supports the hops without either balancing the alpha acids or remaining in the background. Malty sweet caramel, nutty, bready, toasty character forms the backbone with some more robustly roasted malt notes of toffee and even darker stuff. A touch grainy and faintly husky toward finish. Also a fruity note that seems to be yeast derived.

M: Slightly above medium body. Plenty of carbonation, but not fizzy - more like jubilantly effervescent. Almost sweet and sticky, but also spicy, crisp and drying in the finish.

D: Immensely drinkable, if a bit dangerous at 6.8 percent. Hops are prominent, but not in a way that overpowers other elements. Instead, the supporting parts of this brew serve to showcase the complexity, nuance, intensity, and (getting a bit hyperbolic) the glory that is Humulus Lupulus.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in a short-necked brown 350 ml bottle. The red label got a picture of a cottage in a snowy landscape.

This is the 2009 edition.

A: It pours hazy amber with an enormous white sparkling head (almost like a head from a Tripel), the dissipation takes it's time before it leaves nice rich lacings.

S: Nice caramell malt together with nice american malt, not to rude. Very nice balanced. Floral and citric. Perhaps a bit piney.

T: Sweet caramell malt, with some faint buttery notes. The malt is almost only floral, and then very American, eventhough they're a bit held back - but there's everything you want in American floral hops; pines, citric notes and a flowery touch.

M: The aftertaste is long-lasting and both very sweet and still very dry/bitter. The body is smooth medium and the carbonation is strong with small smooth bubbles.

D: The thing with this beer; Everything ise in great balance.
I really love the American hops, but if the balance with the malt isn't right the hops then can be bit rude. This great beer has a really well-balanced mix between hops and malt - the american hops really blooms! Greatness!

Photo of zoso493
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. glass into a straight-sided pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy orange-amber color that's difficult to see through. It has a huge four-finger, billowy head that falls all over itself while leaving some thick portions of itself behind on the glass.

Smell: This has a nice aroma of fruity hops up front with a lot of spiciness to found all around. This is one of the spicier IPA's I've had and it seems like the yeast is even apparent in this one.

Taste: As in the smell, the fruity esters are probably the dominant taste in this one. After that, there is a big taste of spices and grains that seems a bit out of place in an IPA. It finishes with a good bittering burst of hops, but this is a pretty bitter beer all around because of the sharper spices.

Mouthfeel: A nice medium-bodied beer with an adequate amount of carbonation . The hops cloy at your palate just a touch.

Drinkability: This is a nice-drinking beer, but it's very bitter which impedes upon the drinkability, for me. I like my bitter beers and IPA's, but I probably wouldn't have more than two of these at a time.

Overall, Celebration Ale is an impressive beer from an always impressive brewery. It's a really nice IPA but the graininess for me is a bit strange for the style. I don't want to sound too harsh, though, as this is a good beer that is definitely deserving of being purchased in a six pack.

Photo of Buckmaister
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours an amber/copper color with a 2, almost 3-finger cloudy head that shrinks to about half it's size leaving a good bit of lacing behind

you can c smell the malts, slight citrus

somewhat bitter...the hops! The slightest caramel/creamy complexion. A taste that lingered at the back of my throat for a while...

nothing overly exciting about it...a general feel of faint carbonation which finishes pretty quickly

drinkability is a bit above average. This beer seems like a heavy one so more than about 2 servings would be pushing it.

Thoughts: All around decent. Nothing jumps out at me for this one but nothing offends either. So far the least liked Sierra Nevada brew out of Big Foot, Wheat, and Pale Ale.

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

A: Brilliant red-orange with a full white head. Great retention.

S: Resinous piney hops balanced with bready brown malt. The hops are doing okay, but are slightly less impressive than earlier in the season.

T: Big hit of grapefruit, along with some pine over sweet bready and caramel malts. Fairly simple, but clean and well-done. Long dry finish leaves plenty of bitterness lingering.

M: Thick and creamy for the style. Plenty of fine carbonation.

For me, this has been one of those beers that you look forward to the release of each year. Just a great winter stand-bye.

Photo of foxmul924
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A cloudy golden-orange color, excellent head retention and lacing on glass.

Smell: Floral and Citrucy--a direct result of the Cascades, Centennials and Chinooks. A bit of a Bready/yeasty characteristic as well.

Taste: Bready/Yeasty with an underlying sweetness from carmel malts, which is quickly suppressed by a burst of flowers and citrus acidity as it flows over the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full-Bodied. A bit of a yeasty slur which is soon followed by lingering citrus notes. Somewhat of a thick buildup of residue on tongue that entices the drinker to wash it down with another sip (a proverbial Catch-22, indeed!)

Drinkability: Delicious, to be sure--but I might only care for two at most at any given time.

Other: Yet another find product from Sierra Nevada with a little more kick than their traditional Pale Ale. Looking for an American style IPA??? Look no further.

Photo of dqrull
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber with some red tints to it, a lightly hazy liquid with a huge airy, long lasting head.

Smells just how I want my IPAs to smell! Fresh piny grapefruit and citrus notes, with a noticeable malt backbone.

Taste follow suit with resiny, floral hops that are less heavy on the overal citrus, but more so on the grapfruit in particular. The hops are really well balanced with a maltyness that doesnt stick out, it leaves the scene to the hops, but it really provides a great background for the hops to excel in.

Mouthfeel is okay, nothing special, would hav eliked it a bit less creamy, and the carbonation is a tad weak.

Photo of OskarL
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Appearance - Clear copper/amber color with a big fluffy head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell - Hops, flowers, citrus and caramel.

Taste - Citrus and grape hops. Bread, biscuits and a lingering bitterness. Very well balanced!

Mouthfeel - Medium body, creamy with carbonation that fits just perfect.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. 2009

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful thick, clumpy, porous, off-white head that settled to about one-finger in height. It left tremendously thick lacing on the sides of the glass. Otherwise, the Ale is a nice opaque reddish-amber color.

Very interesting sharp minty and citric notes in the nose upfront, with some toasted grain lying further back.

Crisp, bitter and well carbonated. The hops pack a powerful punch, especially at the finish. Noticeable pine and grapefruit peel hop flavors dominate, while toffee is also quite noticeable. Finishes dry and with a mild warming from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Creamy but with zing. Really drinkable.

A fantastic winter seasonal. It's not at all balanced -- very hoppy and bitter -- but it just works so well here it's hard to find fault.

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

A: A smooth copper color, lots of thick rocky head with tons of lacing - 4.50, S: Nice hops on the nose, grapefruit and a touch of bubblegum, a bit of carmel and possibly some pale malt aromas - 4.25, T: Solid hop bite with pine and grapefruit pith, noticeable toffee flavors, finishes quite dry and with a bit of warming from the alcohol - 4.50, M: Medium to heavy body with a touch of creaminess - 4.25, D: A very good beer overall with a great balance of hops/malt, one I would gladly drink again - 4.25

Photo of JMD
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a huge frothy white head that dissipates very slowly, leaving a nice cap at the bottom. Heavy lacing down the glass. Very nice.

S: Big citrus aroma. Fresh hop oil and touch of carmel sweetness.

T: Huge blast of citrus hops, fresh grapeftuit and oranges, with hints of lemon. Earthy hop oil with some residual malty sweetness. Nice balance and very well crafted.

M: Full bodied and smooth. Great texture.

D: This is a robust IPA with great balance and makes for a nice winter seasonal. These are highly drinkable, and I look forward to these every year.

Photo of rarbring
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy amber fluid with an off-white head leaving a good lacing.

The smell is abundant citric and floral, grapefruit and summer grass. Some sweet notes from caramel and bread.

The beer is dominated by the bitter oils from the hops, balanced with some toffee, Seville oranges and sweet biscuits.

A medium carbonated beer, smooth yet refreshing texture.

A good choice, if you are into hops.

Photo of Pahn
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Moderately careful pour yields a 1/4 inch white head that dissipates immediately to a ring around the glass. Beer is opaque amber brown. Minimal spotty lacing.

Smell: Mild citrus and grassy hops, with some cake-like sweetness.

Taste: Sharp citrus hops (grapefruit, with some hints of orange and lemon), some sweetness, with a clean finish. Nice flavor; sharp, but not too bitter. As the beer warms, a vague maltiness appears in the background, ultimately becoming a strong, tingly, bready finish. The hops stay strong, but the citrus notes sort of blend together and become a balanced, sweet and fruity flavor. Hop / malt balance is very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, juicy but never watery, with lively carbonation. Good vessel for the bright, hoppy flavor. As the beer warms and the maltiness comes out, feel gets a bit creamy.

Drinkability: I can see why this beer is a standby for a lot of people on BA. Alcohol isn't very present, and the flavor is solid and pleasant.

Celebration Ale is a solid, well-balanced IPA (a little on the sweet side, but not cloying). Would be perfect for a long Winter outing at a bar with friends.

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

Poured into a tumbler it produces a 1 inch head that leaves good lacing. The appearance is amber and clear. The aroma is of spicy hops with a little citrus. The taste is bitter with hops and somewhat malty. The feel is medium bodied with a clean finish.

This is a very good IPA, very refreshing and enjoyable.

Considering the name and the label I was expecting a winter ale. I was surprised to find another great IPA.

Photo of Pittsburgh
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfect beer for the holiday season, never disappoints. Great dark color with a nice bite to it, you can taste the quality down to the last sip.

This is the be-all end all for me when it comes to holiday beers, nothing rivals it.

The consistency is good, smooth finish, and great taste. I feel like the ingredients are of a high quality and you can taste it.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a slightly cloudy amber with a small amount of white, fluffy head. Some visible carbonation.

S - A sweet, hoppy nose with hints of citrus and pine.

T - Hoppy but well balanced with sweet citrus. Some floral notes too. A very well balanced ale.

M - Medium body; slightly chewy. Some carbonation but not too much.

D - An excellent ale that almost seems like an IPA at times. A must try and winter time staple.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a beautiful golden amber color. This is not what I expected from a winter seasonal. This is in fact an IPA. It has an aroma of cascade hops. There is only slight head retention and lacing. It is malty to start and finishes bitter. The bitterness lingers and gets stronger. This is a very drinkable but very flavorful beer.

Photo of Stunner97
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- brown and murky with low carbonation, slight sediment off the pour and nice thick white foamy head,

Smell- nice smell of hops really dominating the nose, slight spice or cinnamon malt smell,

Taste- bitter hops balanced out by a decent malt back bone, this is a very nice beer actually achieving a moderate finish but enjoyable balance

Mouthfeel- thick and creamy yet smooth

Drinkability- I would have to say overall i reallly liked this beer, the hops are strong but not so overwhelming as to hurt its ability to make a nice yet slightly strong session beer, one I certainly will seek out again when craving that bitter hop style beer that they do so well a winner

Photo of IAmNinjor
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber color. Pretty good head size and retention.

Very strong citrus/hop aroma. A little bit like poinsettias, which might put you off, but I liked it.

Really solid IPA flavor, but with a smooth rich malty undercurrent. The taste is built on two levels: the IPA on top, and a smooth, malty ale on the bottom. The spiciness of the hops complements the ale taste, and the malt balances the bitterness very nicely.

Solid taste on every level, with the sort of lingering hop flavors you should expect from an IPA.

I'm a big fan of this one. It somehow operates as a holiday ale and an IPA at the same time. It drinks well and is very satisfying. Unless you hate poinsettias...

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big buttery colored head after a moderate pour. Head retains excellent and leaves thick sticky lacing (standards for SN beers). Slightly cloudy amber color.

Strong piney/woodsy hop bouquet.

Intense citric hop flavor with a nice malt backbone. Bitterness lingers long into the finish.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation even after a stiff pour.

Drinkable and enjoyable. Unbalanced as hell, but tasty if hops are what you're looking for.

Photo of Ryan011235
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 12/2/09

A - Deep amber/copper color; slightly hazy. Pours a one finger head of off-white foam; thins over time but maintains decent retention. Lacing is spotty toward the top of the glass but forms decent rings by the end.

S - Sharp pine & citrus hop aroma. Grapefruit & hints of spice. Balanced by a malty blend of caramel & biscuit.

T - Bitter pine upfront with citrus worked in as well, though to a lesser degree. Spicy hop bite. Malts play an integral part without detracting from the hoppiness; as with the nose, a blend of caramel & biscuit.

M - Medium body with ample carbonation that brings the bitter & spicy characteristics to the foreground. Some resiny grit & bitterness lingering on the finish.

D - Quite good. It was nice to have a different "go-to" beer, albeit for a relatively short amount of time.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,194 ratings.