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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.

9,191 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,191
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 283
Gots: 1,128 | 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: 9,191 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cudmud
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer has a nice rocky head of two fingers thickness. The head produces nice lacing. The brew is clear and has a nice copper color.

Smell: This beer has awesome hop aromas, and I detect a slight hint of cranberry and oranges in the nose.

Taste: Nice, complex hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: There is a nice level of carbonation in this beer. The liquid component of the beer morphs into thousands of bubbles when it hits the tongue; it's very relaxing and delightful.

Drinkability: Very tasty and thirst quenching.

Photo of righlander
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, first thing... it's 30 degrees outside right now. Frickin cold!! So I meant to buy a 6 of this before Christmas but, I ended up not getting it until now. And I'm sooo glad I bought a whole 6 pack!
Pours a nice slightly hazy amber from a 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass. Big foamy sticky head. Super clingy lacing going on here. Very pretty beer.
Smells piney...very piney! But also sweet malt chilling in the background. Maybe detecting some alcohol fuming around in there too. Smells like a bad ass beer. Very big smelling beer going on here. It smells absolutely wonderful! Very complex. It's hard to pick up on everything that is going on here. But none the less, it smells amazing. Maybe some oak or something in there too.
The taste is amazing! Beautifully hopped. A strong hop punch right off the bat...Yes it is really hoppy BUT, in no way over done. The hops just slam your tongue with wonderful punch. and at the end you get the sweetness of the malt followed buy more hop punch. It's really hard to explain everything that is going on in this beer but It's simply wonderful.
Mouth feel is perfect for this beer. The hops balance out the sweetness perfectly. This is a big beer. The drinkability is great! It tastes so good you have to control yourself! I drink them slow and enjoy every last drop!

Simply perfect.

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours amber in color with a thick two finger off-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing. This is pretty much a perfect looking beer.

Aroma had some floral and light citrus hops with some sweetness from the malt. Taste is both hoppy and malty. it has some citrus and pine from the hops but also some bready and biscuit tones from the malt. It's pretty well balanced between the malt sweetness and the hop bitterness, which makes it very drinkable.

Always a pleasure drinking one of these, this is one of my many regular purchases, and will continue to be.

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this for a very cheap price.

This is one of the most beautiful beers I've seen. It pours a hazy golden amber with an absolutely ridiculous, giant, off-white shaving cream head. That head doesn't go anywhere while you're drinking it. It leaves probably the most lacing I've ever seen. Absolutely world class in terms of appearance.

The smell is all hops, a nice combination of pine and grapefruit. The taste is an unadulterated hop bomb. Pine dominates. It's like a Christmas tree turned into a beer. The bitterness lingers forever. There's a bit of a malt counterbalance, but you have to go fishing for it. I think I can taste a hint of cinnamon, but I might just be reaching for it because of the label.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, perhaps a little too much so for the style. It's super sticky, which is unsurprising if the lacing is anything to go on.

Overall, Sierra Nevada does it again. I often take them for granted, since they are so ubiquitous, but they truly are one of the best, most consistent breweries out there, especially for a hophead like me.

Photo of zimm421
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark burnt orange to amber color, and is slightly cloudy. Has a nice thick, white, foamy head that leaves good lacing on the glass

S - Smell isn't overpowering, and there doesn't seem to be a lot going on, but there are hints of hops with a little bit of pine scent involved

T - A great tasting beer with hops dominating the flavor, just like the nose. Not very similar to the other holiday brews I had this season, but definitely a great one.

M - Full bodied and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation

D - Fairly easy to drink, but too many too fast will catch up to you and make it under appreciated.

Overall, one of my favorite holiday beers I had this year, and something I will probably get for years to come.

Photo of sicilian
2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

If you're a real Hop Head you will love this beer as it should be labeled as an Double IPA style. I really enjoy the regular SN Pale Ale and other PA's and even most IPA's are OK with me. I do enjoy the floral sharp hop flavors generally speaking.

This one has very strong flavors typical of a holiday brew, but they are totally overwhelmed by the bitter hop flavor and smell with little to no spice or malt flavors. This made it not so enjoyable to me as I wasn't expecting. About half way through my palate was numb enough to enjoy the remainder without wincing.

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For the life of me I can't figure out why it has taken me now to review this beer. Perhaps I love it so much that I never want to review it but rather just sit back and enjoy it. Either way, a nice afternoon with 30 degree weather and much of the nation gripped in bitter cold weather warrants it.
A 12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada logotype pint glass...
Appearance is a nice copper to amber body with a white head that sits well and sticks to the glass like a dusting of snow. The aroma is pungent grapefruit along with a caramel breadiness that pairs well with the bitterness of it. The flavor matches the aroma with a bitterness sticking to the tongue. With warmth, the bitterness subsides a bit as more residual sugars are allowed to display the caramel malt used in this brew. The mouthfeel is fuller without being heavy. For drinkability this one is no session IPA, but a sipper.

Photo of decasere
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this as part of a four way split with some friends, we usually get some every year.

Marked 2009 vintage on the bottle

Pours a dark coppery orange with a huge head and leaves lacing all the way down the Pint Glass.

The Aroma is piney with grapefruit, alcohol and a caramelly sweetness.

The flavor is a bit deceptive, grapefruity and piney with a maltiness i wasn't expecting, you can also taste the alcohol the aftertaste is that of fresh whole flower hops like biting into a hop flower.

All in a a fully enjoyable experience.

Photo of sbw138
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bottle from The Foodery and poured into a pint glass. Poured a nice brown/orange color, with a solid bright white head that was decently thick, left a good tracing on the glass.

Great smell. A nice blend of hops and malt really hit you. Also, you can notice a litte bit of the winter seasonal spices that are brewed in. Really, a pleasant smell.

Nice balanced taste and mouthfeel. Hops aren't overpowering, but you can definitely notice them.

Great drinkability. Tastes like a combination of an American IPA, and a winter warmer. Another great job by Sierra Nevada.

Photo of humuluslupulus8
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer was a translucent dark orange color with an average amount of carbonation bubbles. The off-white head was thick and went away after a while, leaving a little bit of lacing.

S: I loved the smell of this beer! The main aromas were floral and piney hops. There wasn't much else to the smell, but I loved the amounts and types of hops used.

T: The beer tasted very similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at first: a very good balance of malt and hops. However, this was quickly followed by a bitter aftertaste. The bitterness was strong enough to be noticed, but not so strong that it overpowered my palate.

M: The mouthfeel was a little thicker than expected, but it worked well for this beer. There was nothing notable about the carbonation.

D: Overall, this was a well crafted beer. The beer was easy to drink like Sierra Nevada's pale ale, but it had a little extra character because of the bitter aftertaste. Since the bitterness was not too strong, I think this would be a good beer for introducing someone to the aromas and flavors of hops in beer. Also, this beer would be good with or without food. I'm glad I bought a six-pack of Celebration Ale and not just a single. :)

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

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A - Rich, caramel brown color with slight cloudiness. Quarter-inch white head that settles to a thin, spotty film in a few minutes. No visible carbonation. Decent lacing.

S - Strong hop aroma only hints at the taste.

T - Dominated by hops. Slight, sweet caramel malt flavor that is not at all balanced with lemony hops but just enough to make sure the bitter hops are still pleasant. Alcohol lends some warmth.

While this is a Celebration Ale, there are no winter spices to distinguish this ale from other Sierra Nevada beers.

M - Pleasant, medium body. Very fine carbonation provides body without being syrupy. Hops leave a buttery oiliness on the lips.

D - This is a delicious, hoppy ale that is a welcome change of pace from other winter seasonals.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thomas Kincaid bottle art?

Clear, coppery gold with some bubbley action and suspended floaties (bottle conditioning?). Huge white head like a spoonful of mashed 'taters. More lace than I know what to do with.

2 words: hop stank. Sugary bubble gum with grapefruit and pine hops. Dry cracker malt. Taste is pine/citrus hop with a citrus hop oil mouth coating. Sharp bitter. Cracker malt, nice and dry.

Nothing particularly outstanding about this beer but it's a flawless archetype of an American IPA in it's own right. So says I.

Photo of guyforget
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, on sale for $3.99, poured into a weizen glass. not a lot of carbonation.

medium amber color, creamy head. dissipates to a small foam that leaves some (but not much) lacing as you sip.

smell is dominated by hops, slight caramel, not much spice or malt to my nose.

taste does not deviate from the smell very much. hops dominates the flavor, slight pine. not a lot of caramel or malt, and even less of the spice that some may expect from a winter / holiday brew, if any. there is a touch of that signature sierra nevada taste, a common ground between this and their signature pale ale around the middle of the palate.

mouthfeel is smooth from the minimal carbonation. finishes bitter but not puckering or oily / resinous.

while atypical for the style of a winter / holiday brew, this is a welcome departure from some of the spicier beers we find throughout the fall, winter, and into spring.

Photo of mobyfann
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid a mere $5.99 for a growler at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a clear amber colored base, large white head, excellent retention and lacing on the glass. Smells of oak and hops with a touch of maple syrup.

Low Carbonation, full bodied, incredibly smooth and high quality ingredients... perfect hops in this one. Easy going and smooth in the mouth and a perfect session beer, the only way it isn't is if you drink it too quickly, which is a possibility!

Final Thought: This is a great IPA from one of the big 3 in the micro-brew industry, fantastic!

Photo of crhensel
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(bottle into pint glass) Pours a beautiful amber color with a foamy white head that lasted almost the entire glass, falling from about one finger to a half with strong lacing. The nose was of the bitter hops with a hint of citrus. Like other Sierra Nevada brews, the bitterness of the hops dominates at first, but does mellow into a crisp finish. Once a year is perfectly fine for this one, I am not a huge fan, but do enjoy that, unlike other winter seasonals, the sweetness does not dominate, giving a nice break.

Photo of keifffff
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look forward to this Ale every season. It is one of those staples that is very easy to drink and very good on your palete. This one is highly recommended. Has the perfect holiday season taste. Always bummed when I can no longer find it around. That is why I buy cases of this stuff.

Photo of hylton44
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very frothy head - I received a six pack as a gift and actually did not know the style of beer it was before I poured my first glass. A pleasant surprise the frothy head, nice burnt-orange/brown hue and thick, toasty mouthfeel of a upper-echelon brewpub IPA! Reputation of SN's regular American Pale Ale precedes the brewery, of course, but this one did not disappoint. I don't normally think of the style as a Wintery style of beer, but it was sure welcome this holiday season.

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

12oz bottle

Pours a slightly hazy orangish/amber color with a huge off white fluffy head. Sticky lacing from the head coats the entire inside of the glass, and last all the way to the end. Smell is lots of sweet citrusy, slightly piny hops, and caramel. Taste is citrusy hops with a caramel malt backbone, and ending with a nice hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation. Overall this is another very good IPA from SN.

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

I poured into a pint glass to a large, fluffy head. It is amber in color. It smells of floral hops and grapefruit. It tastes bitter upfront but finishes crisp and clean. It is one of the best tasting standard IPA's that I have had.

Happy New Year!

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

A - Poured into a pint glass this beer forms a nice dense head that settles down to around a finger thick with a good amount of lacing. The color is a deep amber and is almost completely clear.
S - As with most of Sierra Nevada's beers the smell is almost completely dominated by Cascade hops, not that this is a bad thing. The clean floral smell of Cascade is one of my favorite scents.
T - The taste of hops hits you initially, it's strong but not as much as some of Sierra Nevada's other offerings. The hop bite is slightly muted by the higher malt content of the beer. After the hop taste subsides you are left with a slightly sour fruity finish reminicent of grapefruit.
M - The high hop content and relatively high carbonation of this beer give it a bit of a rough mouthfeel. The beer is down your throat before the tingling on you tongue subsides.
D - I find it very easy to finish a bottle of this beer but would question whether I'd have a second in one sitting. It's very enjoyable, but the sour taste wears on me a bit and leaves me wanting me to spread these out a bit over the Christmas season. But I still by a six pack of this every year when it hits stores.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light golden amber color with about 2 fingers of thick foamy head. Tons of foamy lacing down the sides of the glass. Impressive.

S: Nice piney hops mixed with hints of sweet citrus. Grapefruit and pineapples come to mind.

T: Subtle sweet citrus flavors up front give way to mildly bitter hops fairly quickly. This lacks the complexity of the more elite IPAs, but is still pretty good. Simple flavor with pretty good balance between the hops and sweeter flavors.

M: A lighter body leaning towards medium. Pretty smooth overall with not a whole lot of carbonation (but enough).

D: A sessionable IPA that is widely available. Not one of my favorites, but a solid offering from SN nonetheless. I'm happy to drink a few around the holidays.

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

A- Poured into a snifter... starts with a very nice off white finger thick head with pretty good retention and lacing. Beer is a dark amber ruby color with a decent amount of sediment and light activity

S- Just bitter hoppy goodness with a hint of sweetness

T- Very much like the nose. Starts out all hops, though not an intense hops flavor... somewhere in there you get an ever so little hint of sweetness

M- Medium bodied with light carbonation. Leave a nice after taste lingering

D- Excellent. Great taste, easy to drink, pretty easy on the wallet


Photo of jeffthecheff
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle code is 9286. This was bottled in mid September?

The pour is very foamy from the high carbonation. The head looks like a weizen. I was able to get the foam to rise 2 fingers high over the rim of the glass, and it took quite a while to settle down. The head is thick and hilly, and creates tons of lace all over the glass that you can't even see through. A lot of bubbles stream up the glass. There is a slight haze to the amber color.

The aroma has American hops with nothing getting in the way. It has a bright citrus hiding behind the pine and earthy, leafy character of the hops. The strength is good, and it's still fresh after 3+ months.

Carbonation is high, which is no surprise. The big, sweet body and creamy feel from the head contribute to accentuate the malt character, which has some nice, light sweetness to it. Maybe it's because of the interaction with the hops, but it has a red candy flavor to it. The hops taste dark and herbal and contribute a very strong, blunt, bitter finish that lingers. This is a nice big IPA. It's a good thing to have in the fridge for one or two pours, but I wouldn't make a session of this beer.

Photo of berley31
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a large, white, creamy head that exhibited fantastic lacing in nice, thick clumps. Body is a deep copper color, and almost completely clear (just a tinge of hazing is present).

S: Wow... that's a strong hop aroma, that is! There's lots of citrus present as well. Holy crap! Oh, guess I made that clear already.

T: EXTREMELY hoppy... again, there's citrus present as well, along with some malt, but the bitterness cuts through more than anything else. Long duration, of course.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, with soft-to-average carbonation.

D: The high bitterness would prevent me from drinking this beer all night, but it's so hoppy and aromatic that I would WANT to drink more if I could. A damned fine beer!

Photo of dsw4b
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was an impulse buy prompted by a surprisingly low price. I took note of the brewery and little else. It should come as no surprise, then, that I expected a very malty beer with little hop presence and a very full body. It seems a large number of beers brewed for the holiday season fit into that mold. The initial aroma did little to convince me otherwise. My wife disagrees with the mild aroma assessment, so maybe I'm imagining that (or have a cold or something). Anyway...

Wow. Lurking beneath the mild aroma was a mouthful of hops. The body is medium-light and the head is soft and seems to last forever. But the hops... There is almost no balance contributed by the malts, and for me, that is a good thing. A little more in the area of aroma might be desired (if for no other reason but as a warning to unsuspecting drinkers), but overall, this could easily be my favorite beer for now.

Had I known at the time of purchase that this beer was this good, I would have picked up a case or seven.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,191 ratings.