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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.

9,295 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,295
Reviews: 3,344
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,223 | 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: 9,295 | Reviews: 3,344
Photo of CHADMC3
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper body with orange hues with a pillowy off white head that takes its time dissipating to leave a sticky white lacing behind.

Fresh hop aroma, floral and garden like, perhaps a touch of pine as well, and even some earthy or woodnotes.

Rich hop flavors including floral and earthy hops, again hints of pine and wood, but also including just a nice malty sweetness to support the generous hops.

Medium or greater in body with medium carbonation and quite a smooth, yet warming finish.

This is a great beer, plenty of character to take in, well balanced and all around a delight.

Photo of DarrellK
3.37/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been having Celebration for many years and the 2010 redition is continuing the slide downward over the last couple of years. The aroma is nil, the color is washed out and while the finish has some bitterness evrything else is a shadow of the time when Sierra Nevada brewed like a micro.
I've always been a fan of SN but the trend is toward acting like AB and producing everybody beer, too bad.
This brew is OK for those who want to encourage neophites to better beer but little else. SN go back to your roots!

Photo of mweso2000
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy amber orange color with an initial two finger head that dissipates into a thin lace that clings to the glass. Fresh hoppy smell with hints of pine and citrus. Nice sweet taste not too bitter but the hops come through. Really tastes fresh. Even a slight creaminess to it. The beer has a medium carbonation and goes down nice and smooth. Very drinkable. Great beer highly recommended.

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

Labled as a fresh hop this year, dont remember seeing that in years past. Had to grab a tap pour, never had it ontap.
Head production is fluffy like clouds in the sky, dallops form and recede to leave a clumpy thick generous topping. Lace is thin yet clingy, leaving random patterns.
Transparent amber color.
Aroma is pungent hops, earthy tones and spicie hops with bitter pine and hemp. A touch of malt sweetness although mostly drowned out by hops.
Flavors upfront are mildly sweet and cereal grain like, but then quickly pushed aside and hops now bite. Bitterness strength combined with pine, earthy tones and a little hop spice, as well as a leafy mild minty quality, as well as a small amount of aspirin.
Finishing dry and leaving a very bitter taste.
Mouthfeel is a touch slick and evenly carbonated.

Year after year this is a terrific ipa and I love it. No balance really, but a hop lovers dream, much on the bitter dry end.

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

A - Pours a very nice translucent amber color with a nice 2-finger off white head that left good lacing as it fell. There were also quite a few carbonation bubbles visible.

S - Smells hoppy, but there is also a sweetness to it. I am also getting hints of caramel, cinnamon, and alcohol.

T - Taste is very hoppy. It tastes a little sweet at first, then the hops really come into play and they keep intensifying. The finish is bitter and slightly spiced. I also noticed some notes of grapefruit and cinnamon.

M - Medium body with good carbonation. It went down pretty smooth.

D - This is pretty drinkable. It goes down good, and I could put down a few of these quite easily. I'm not sure why this is a winter beer, but I think its a great regardless. I would drink it all year round.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at 42* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This pours a clear, dark red color with a finger of creamy head, and terrific retention and lacing.

S: There isn't too much to smell. Some notes of mild hoppiness, citrus, and a caramely mellowness show.

T: The taste is an insanely balanced intermingling of citrus, floral hoppiness, and a caramel malt backbone.

M: It has a medium body and a crisp and clean finish.

D: It's really tough to imagine a more drinkable IPA.

Photo of stonermouse
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Poured nicely, looking pure golden with a solid, dense, bright white head. Quite impressively, the head replenishes itself with the agitation of each sip. Every time I put it down, a 1/4 inch head just bubbles up waiting for my next sip. Cool.

Aroma is mild. I get a faint, nondescript maltiness, and mild hops. Decent, but doesn't tell me much.

Crikey, this thing is good. This flavor is phenomenal. Nice, steady malt backbone. Not at all overpowering. There are so many subtle flavors here on top of the malt. The hops are present certainly, but there's a lot more going on that I can't quite identify. That's a good thing, really, because the ingredients meld into an excellent, fairly potent, warm, complex, sip-by-the-fire IPA. Just wow.

Mouthfeel is quite good as well. Flavor envelopes my entire palette, front to back. Has a nice, dense body that is just short of syrupy.

Drinkability is quite high. I could see drinking these in the dead of winter, but also in the spring, early summer, and perhaps even after mowing the lawn in mid-July. But best of all, I can't wait until the weather gets nasty cold, and I can sit inside with two or three of these. I'm heading back to the store right now to stock up...

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

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with a hint of red with a frothy 2-finger off-white head that laces well.

Smell: A sweet caramel malt, big hop presence citrusy with a bit of spice.

Taste: A tart IPA with some nutmeg and possibly cinnamon. Has a woody taste and some grapefruit presence. This beer is warmer than it is bright in flavor. It has some sharp pine notes to it though. Pretty interesting.

Mouthfeel: Pretty frothy/creamy, the carbonation is about right and it is pretty smooth. Definitely a oily resin left on the palate, but that fits well with the seasonal warmth feeling.

Drinkability: This beer has bite, but the back end is smooth. Over a nice bit of extremes that balance quite well. It is definitely drinkable.

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

Very nicely carbonated with a light amber/orange color and a nice sized head. Faint smell of piney hops. taste is similar. slight bitterness, dry finish. it's a good, decent IPA and one for the price that isn't bad. There isn't anything inherently "winter" about this beer. They could release it anytime, but it's good.

Photo of alli4051
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby 12oz bottle into a pint.

Pours a dark, tarnished copper color. Pour produces an average sized slightly off white head. Head recedes pretty quickly a leave a bit of lacing. As one would expect there's lots of hops to the nose. Taste is again very hop-centric. Lots of piney hops up front, the malts kicks in towards the end for some balance. Has a nice earthy finish. Mouthfeel is a bit stickier that I would have liked but otherwise pretty good. This is my first Celebration and now I can see why people look forward to this every year.

Photo of musicforairports
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber, with a fluffy head that lasts a bit. Very clear-looking, but darker than a lot of IPAs.

Smells like resiny pine hops with a hint of citrus.

Taste is very unique for an IPA, I think. There's a lot going on, and it takes a lot of sips to catch them all: a significant malt backbone of caramel; strong, fresh hop flavor; and a spicy, peppery character. Finishes bitter, for sure, in a way that's not like the usual hoppy beer. The hops are there for sure, but this doesn't taste like a citrus bomb at all.

A bit thick in mouthfeel, but without having that syrup-y character some IPAs have. Seems fine to me.

Insanely drinkable for its ABV, and, given its seasonal status, something I want to drink a lot of before its gone. Distinctive and great.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't even been digging IPAs of late, but this one is so good that it turned that around.

A - It pours an orange-gold, translucent, and with a big white head.

S - Big hop presence, resiny, evergreen and citric in aroma. The pale malt has a slightly toasty presence, though it could actually be the influence of some C-hops.

T - There is a big and vibrant hop flavor that is nearly world-class (and is truly astounding for a mass-produced brew such as this.) The malt is very crisp and a bit toasty, setting the table for a feast o' hop. Big evergreen and cypress woodiness, citrus pith and zest and coriander-celery-savory notes are some of the impressions I am getting from this delicate and complex brew. Sierra Nevada continues to astound me; they remain at the forefront of the hop-bomb/IPA game.

M - IPA. Quite good.

D - Few things are better than fresh Celebration. 2010's batch is particularly phenomenal, and it is definitely leagues ahead of 2010 SN Estate.

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

Poured into a snifter.

A - nice orange amber color typical of the style with a fluffy white head that sits atop.

S - a lot of fresh hops, some spice, maybe a touch of cinnamon, more hops.

T - just as the nose indicated, a lot of hops, some spice, a slight sweetness on the back.

M - great carbonation and hop amount that wakes my palate up!

D - a really nice brew for this time of year. Can't wait to put a few back next to the fire this winter.

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.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,295 ratings.