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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: 293
Gots: 1,222 | 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 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.

Photo of ToddT
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly cloudy copper color with a thin off white head. Head is a little sticky and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S- Mild aroma of pine hops and malt. Very little aroma.

T- Bitter notes up front with a biscuit middle. Bitterness returns for the finish which is dry and crisp.

M- Medium in body and with crisp carbonation. Slight bit of oily resin at the finish.

D- Easy drinker and the 6.8% ABV is well hidden.

Solid effort, and well priced, nothing to go crazy over though.

Notes: 2009 vintage.

Photo of Crazy4LegMoose
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy copper hue with 2 fingers of light golden brown creamy head. Good amount of lacing as well.

S: Clean pine hop aroma with the sweet smell of their signature pale ale malty goodness

T: Bread like and nutty flavors that blends with a good amount of citrus to finish with a slightly sweet and a little tangy finish. very good.

M: Medium bodied creamy ale.

D: Good drink ability for a full flavored ale. Not to heavy on the palate.

Photo of qdeguchy
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass

A. A true caramel color with hints of orange tinge. Left a two finger creamy head with orange hop oils layered on top of the off-white head. Beautiful, sticky lacing left after each drink. This is a gorgeus looking beer to say the least.

S. Piney, grapefruit citrus with hints of orange zest. There is also a mild caramel sweetness that is quite subtle.

T. Initially very bitter with a punch of tartness form the citrus hops that is sustained throughout the drink. This is followed by a sweet undertone which holds the hop bitterness together.

M. A medium bodied beer with nice texture that can be attributed to the fact that it is bottle conditioned. Carbonation is nice and the finish is dry.

D. This is a highly drinkable beer for the well evolved palate, particulary if you are an ipa enthusiast. I can easily consume a sixer without hesitation or effort.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured a 2009 Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada's signature 24oz bottles. The color was a hazy maply syrup with a big and dense foamy head.

The smell is pleasing. Some piney hops with a rich caramel and molasses malt. It smells warm and cozy.

The taste is pretty good. The flavor of the malt is key to this beer. I feel the hops are second since (1) they aren't really as pronounced as much as I'd like it and (2) the warm caramel, vanilla, gingerbread and molasses flavor coming from the malt is delicious. It doesn't seem as hoppy as people say it is. This is my 3rd year having it and either the average amount of hops isn't doing it for me anymore or it tasted hoppier in previous years.

The mouthfeel is a little creamy but then goes down watery. This is a nice brew to drink a lot of. The price you can't beat for the quality. I feel that this is a cross between an IPA and a Winter Warmer. I just wish it were a little hoppier.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. 2009 release.

Appearance: Has a rich amber color. Produced a thick, fluffy head that stayed for a long time. Looks like the beer has a good amount of carbonation.

Smell: One whiff of this lets you know it was brewed by Sierra Nevada. Lots of Cascade hops and that signature yeast scent, all of which I like.

Taste: The hops are very prominent. A good amount of bitterness is present throughout a sip, with an resiny finish. It has a nice malt profile, but the hops are the main focus. Nice!

Mouthfeel: Overall...pretty good. This beer feels pretty thick, but there's nothing wrong with that. That carbonation is just about perfect for this style.

Drinkability: I could easily put a few of these away on one session, but I don't plan on it. The thickness of this beer would start to be noticed after a couple. I could see the 6.8 ABV creeping up on me as well.

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

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass. Beautiful golden/copper color and slightly hazy. Large, frothy off-white head about two fingers thick that lasts quite awhile. Nice even collar of lacing on the glass as well.

Smell: Bright hoppy aroma here with some citrus notes and and underlying malty sweetness. Maybe a tiny bit of yeast and spice in the nose as well.

Taste: I was pleasantly surprised at first with how creamy the taste was with this one. There is significant hop bitterness, but the beer finishes smooth and is quite a treat for the palate. Good malty character and an almost a bread-like back-end help balance out the citrus notes and bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, with good carbonation and a very smooth finish. Right amount of bitterness and a warming quality make this one a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for an IPA and I'm sure I could knock back a couple of these. The ABV might sneak up on you though.

I really enjoyed this beer. The creamy flavor and bread-like quality were a pleasant surprise and not something you typically see with an ale of this variety. It was like an IPA wrapped in a comfy Christmas sweater, sitting by the fire.

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

A: Celebrate the bottle poured into the pint glass!

S: Smells like hops and cloves.

T: Tastes like Christmas! An IPA + cloves basically. Not too bitter but quite tangy.

M+D: Very drinkable, with a pleasant thing mouth feel. Not too thin. Not quite a session beer, but several of these could be enjoyed in one evening.

Photo of Telix
3.06/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams Sensory glass. These are some sketchy notes because I simply didn't have much to say about the beer...:

A: Pours a nice deep copper, that's fairly clear, with a good head that slowly dissipates.

S: It's fairly mild with sweet malts and cat piss hops. I wish it were less bitter and had a greater amount of depth.

T: Some good malt sweetness, but a bit bitter and sharp. It's milder and a bit more piney than I'd like.

M: A bit thin, but more or less average for the style.

D: Eh, this was about as average an IPA as you can get, if you ask me. I wouldn't drink another one of these.

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

Pours a very clear light amber/orange color with more than a finger of slightly stained yellow head; pretty solid retension. Lacing is clinging all over the glassware. Aroma is a nice mix of citrus, floral, spice and well kinda mint-like hops with a little backing of malt. Bitter in both the front and the finish with lingering hop character. Thin feel with a moderate amount of carb. Overall a very enjoyable beer. Only thing I would discredit this beer for is the lack of malt in the taste.

Enjoying this with some blocks of aged sharp cheese, absolutely awesome.

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

Snagged a 6er of this fabulous brew (2009 vintage) before heading out to dinner at a killer Chicago BYOB BBQ place called Smoque. The beer and the BBQ are both highly recommended!

Appearance- Pours slightly hazy, intriguing orangeish/reddish/amber color with a big frothy light beige head that just doesnt want to go away...Loads of sheety lacing with each sip!

Aroma- Huge citrus hop nose with grapefruit, lemon zest, as well as spicy and piney hop notes. Some bready caramel notes and a hint of yeast (maybe from bottle conditioning) are well hidden but slightly noticeable. Slightly floral. Aromas make me wonder if the bite is as big as the bark...

Flavor- Yep. As always, Sierra Nevada makes another delicious brew just dripping with hop flavors! Starts with a spicy hop bitterness that lingers through the middle, finish, and well into the aftertaste. Middle shows some signs of citrusy hop flavor, a breath of alcohol, and piney, almost resinous hops. Some green/grassy/herbal notes appear in finish along with a nice supportive but subtle maltiness. A touch of caramel, but mostly bready malt flavors help to somewhat balance out the intense hoppiness of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Moderate to high CO2, medium-full bodied (though almost sessionable), low residual sugars, slightly pungent/drying finish from loads of hops. Lingering finish- burpin up hops 30 minutes after I finished the beer!

Overall- One heck of a beer and the piney/spicy notes really do help make this a delicious beer to enjoy during the winter season- though, I have to admit that I would probably love this any time of the year! Very tasty. Very Sierra Nevada!

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

Only during the winter does one beer push SNPA out of my fridge as my standard session beer and that is SN Celebration Ale.

As with every SN beer I've ever poured from a bottle, this IPA pours with a billowy head that lingers and leaves nice lacing down to the bottom of the glass. It's a coppery amber in color.

While this IPA has some malt backbone, it's a little hop bomb. It has the smell and taste of citrus and pine with just the right amount of bitterness.

It has just the right amount of carbonation to make this go down easily. Spent many a winter night watching TV and quaffing a number of these down. This is what I take when I go to winter holiday parties.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottling date of 10/1/09. Was a hazy amber color with lots of yeast bit floaters. Slight carbonation. It had a large white head that settled into a foam cap and thick collar. Lots of sticky white lace.

The aroma is excellent. Plenty of c-hops, grapefruit, pine and toasted malts. Slight bitter hop aroma. The flavor is also excellent with good hop bite from the start to the slightly bitter finish. Some malt balance at the end to offset the bitter. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy but lacks a bit in carbonation. Not too bitter after-taste.

Overall, an excellent AIPA that I'm glad I finally tried. For some reason, I kept thinking this was a winter warmer which I generally try to avoid these days. Highly recommend. Rotation - winter seasonal avail here in TX. Couple 6 packs per season.

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

This beer is my all time favorate seasonal i absolutly love it. pored into pint glass.

Appearence - Pours a beautiful orage amber with yeast particles present makes for a cloudy wonderland. Nice hoppy head with amazing retention on the glass.

Smell - Celebration smells very toasy to me hops are apparent but not overwhelming.

Taste - An amazing IPA indeed gets better as it warms a little. Has citrus tones and a perfect hops combination for an amzing palate dance. Also not crazy crazy bitter like some IPA brews can be, amazing to pair with Thai food.

Mouthfeel - The bottle conditioning sierra nevada uses rocks makes for a perfect active carbonation that feels nice as well.

Drinkability - Wow easy to drink but sneaks up behind you and stabs you. just like their torpedo this IPA is absolutly nothing far from amazing to me. I hate winter but when the celebration ale is gone im always dreaming of a snowy night...

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

A- Really nice amber red with a thick tan head that is staying put, pretty good lacing throughout, and a slight fogginess

S- Orange and cherries at first with a very sweet scent as I dug closer

T- Earthy and sweet with some citrus and some cherries

M- Rich, creamy, and smooth with just a slight bite at the end

D- This beer is great! Excellent flavor and texture and it only costs two bucks in the Phish lot. It's worth getting a bunch and stretching them out until next Christmas.

Photo of BDJake
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- clear bronze with chunky eggshell headleaving good retention and lace

S- earthy hops, spicy and malty

T- plenty of hops, spice, with a good malt backbone that gives a little bit of balance- it wasn't very good cold, but as it warmed up the different notes really came out

M- medium body, decent carbonation

D- not too harsh, but didn't scream out "gimme more"

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

12oz bottle I bought about 2 weeks ago.

Pours a little darker than most IPAs. Decent head and lots of lacing. Smell is a little weak as I don't notice a lot of hops in the nose. A more balanced smell. The taste is very bitter from the hops and I get a lemony goodness. Tastes really good! Light and refreshing but at the same time gives that malty, earthy backbone underneath it all. Mouthfeel has lots of carbonation and tickles the tongue. Drinkability is great due to the refreshing qualities of the beer. Very enjoyable seasonal beer and one I will definitely look for again during the holiday season.

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

SA Celebration Ale rules.

A-Pours amber hue.Thin white head,

S- Has a strange metalliic smell . Also smell citrus... I won't get hung up on the metal

T- I love this stuff.Year after year, this NEVER dissapoints. Every year I stash a bottle of this in my fridge for the following Xmas season.

M-Smooth. GREAT mouthfeel. Sits nicely on back of tongue.

D-I can easily knock back a few of these at the end of the night. SA makes the holidays special !!

Photo of kbeals
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass reveals a slightly hazy, deep copper colred brew. Two fingers of sticky, off-white, nearly tan, head float atop it. Very sticky head results in fantastic lacing and excellent head retention. This is what an IPA should look like.

S- A very one sided smell with a lot of earthy hops. Sort of reminds me of iced tea. A bit of a sweet, toffee-like backbone appears as the the beer warms up a bit along with maybe a hint of alcohol which was surprising.

T- Again, reminds me of iced tea, pretty earthy. A very bitter and dry finish. Some sweetness to it, but not much. The boozy smell doesn't show up in the taste.

M- A very crisp mouthfeel, light-medium body with plenty of carbonation.

D- Good, I guess. I easily drank the entire beer and could definitely drink another one. This is a very solid IPA and a good example of the style. The tea-like qualities were very pleasing and a change from the normal citrusy IPA's I've been having.

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

This is a good IPA, but I don't see it as brilliant or worthy of the very high marks that others are giving it. It is a clear amber color with an okay off white head, thin retention, some lacing. The beer is moderately carbonated. The nose is leafy hop, some floral hop, some sweetish malts, but it isn't pungent or overly characterful. I disagree with the bros. on that one, the nose is good, but not exceptional. It is an AIPA for sure, but it doesn't stand out.

The taste is by the book. It has a nice balance between slight leafy bitterness, floral hop, some grapefruit acerbic citrus notes in the hop, and nice malty backbone, some drying hop elements, some nice graininess in there too. This is a very traditional interpretation of an AIPA, but it doesn't have the exceptional orangey hop burst, or the ripe oily and estery hop presence dripping from the vine, it doesn't make a grand statement. It is traditional, good, solid, but I wouldn't rate this as exceptional, just very good for the style. In some ways the beer is just too clean, too conformist, too by the book. It seems that other brewers of AIPA styles are a bit more inventive and more aggressive in their interpretation and have passed SN by somewhere along the line.

Photo of boogyman
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into my tulip glass a beautiful copper with a good 2 finger head that sticks around. Lacing is fairly sticky. Overall a good looking beer.

S- Starts off with plenty of citrus. Orange peel, grapefruit, lemon, the standard stuff for an IPA but none the less enjoyable. Definitely can smell the hops to come in this one.

T- Definitely bitter hops right off the bat and it is great. Got a lot of the nose and citric flavors. Also I can get some decent maltyness coming through which balances everything out nicely.

M- The hops leave a nice bite that lingers on the palate for a while until you refuel it with the next sip. I have had IPAs that went down a bit smoother but this one isn't bad it still goes down good but with just a little more carbonation and bite.

D- Definitely a beer I would have many of. Its a beer I wouldn't mind bringing to a party to share or to just have for myself. As a regular IPA goes, this is definitely a winner in my book.

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

2009 Edition. Poured into a beer mug, which left a ~1cm pillowy head on top of an amber-red beer. The head left substantial lacing through the session. Their was substantial hops of the nose with strong floral overtones, which disappeared as I drank the beer, which I account to my palate being overrun by the hops in the beer lowering my olfactory gland's ability to perceive the subtleties.

The beer comes across the palate with a well balanced amount of hops and malt with the bitterness crashing on the tongue as you swallow and lingering upon it... There were also notes of pine which I perceived further along into the drink. The beer was well carbonated and coated the mouth with its tasty goodness. I am saddened this was my only bottle.

Photo of Squam256
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a stem-less wine glass.

Appearance: light copper-colored with thick head and lacing.

Smell: Malty, very light citrus

Taste: Much like the smell, I'm not detecting a strong hop presence although it is there. Malty/bready best describes this one.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, not much of an aftertaste

Drinkability: Much more drinkable than Tropedo as far as SN's IPA's go. A very sessionable beer in my opinion, I could drink a few of these without issue.

Overall: not as good as last year's Celebration, but always a nice, 'milder' alternative IPA, especially for people who aren't that big on hops (though I am)

Photo of twaddlac
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Burnt orange, caramel color with light brown, yeasty head. Graded bubbles with many nucleation points. Sticky head that never gets too big but it doesn't disappear quickly.

S- Very hoppy, a pinch of citrus and undertones of toasted malts. Very smooth smelling, not very astringent.

T- Mild hops with a very nice malty taste, balanced very nicely. Toasted malts are very strong in the after taste, with a touch of caramel.

M- Sticky and a bit dry and mildly carbonated; the right combination to enrich the flavors of this beer.

D- This is one of those beers that everyone should try. I could quickly put away at least a 6 in one sitting because the taste is just that good! If anyone says: "I don't like the beer you drink!" give them this beer (obviously you will have to wait until it's in season).

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