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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.

9,255 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,255
Reviews: 3,335
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,193 | 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: 9,255 | Reviews: 3,335 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Appearance - Medium amber/fantastic head/very inviting.

Smell - Quite a nice mix of hoppy and pine.

Taste - Wonderful strong hop and citrus flavors, but the malt is still present.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy but at the same time cleansing, only downside is it's a bit high on the carbonation for me.

Drinkability - Definitely have been enjoying this year's version of Celebration and will look for it again next year.

Photo of AstroAcks6
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Pint Glass

Gold appearance with a 1 finger head in a snifter glass.

Citrus and the awesome smell of Hops.

Tastes like I would expect a beer from Sierra Nevada. Caramel and spice notes are great compliments for one another.

Medium-bodied and well-balanced feel.

It's too bad this beer is a seasonal, I'd drink it year around without a doubt.

Photo of badenglishihave
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Typical IPA. Wonderful thick head and white lacing, looks better as you drink it.
S: Citrusy and dry, lots of hops presence.
T: Initial bite and then the hops hit you hard. After that subsides you get a tinge of spices, cinnamon/nutmeg. IPA's aren't my favorite but I can appreciate this as a good example of its kind.
M: Smooth and foamy... almost too foamy, but not bad enough to be unpleasant.
D: Pretty easy on the tummy; plus relatively low ABV for an IPA.

Not really up my alley but a good holiday IPA.

Photo of backfat
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

love when this one comes out. this beer is for the people that want a 'hoppy' holiday. sure i enjoy cinnamon, caramel, and other flavors associated with the winter season, but this one is 100% sierra nevada. bold, citrus hop flavors. woo! this one pours a beautiful brass copper with a finger of off white. want to take a picture of it and put it in my wallet. have a hoppy new year!

Photo of tetonka4kzoo
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish, copper appearance with a 1 finger head in a snifter glass.

Citrus, pine, and hoppy scent. I notice a hint of sage.

Taste is hoppy and bitter, like most Sierra Nevada beers. Has hints of caramel and spice. Has a great grapefruit citrusy taste.

Medium-bodied and well-balanced feel.

A tasty bear that I look forward to every Christmas season. The alcohol is well-hidden. Easy to drink that isn't filling. This was the perfect beer to sip on Christmas Eve.

Photo of alysmith4
2.78/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Decent holiday beer, nothing special though. Very similar to the pale ale in appearance and mouthfeel. A lot more clove, cinnamon, and all-spice notes in the smell and taste. Would probably go well with pumpkin or sweet potato pie. It's a decent beer reminicent of the holidays, but not one that I would crave or necessarily want again.

Photo of juhl31
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-golden copper in color with a n off white tall head with some lacing up in there

-malt, hops, with some subtle caramel and banana

-piney hops up in there, with a touch of caramel hopiness. definitely tinkered with this recipe to make torpedo

-pretty strong bite at first on the tip of the tongue and molar area. semi dry too

-pretty darn good beer, better than i remember it being for sure. not really an holidayness to it, but a good/drinkable beer indeed

Photo of jgasparine
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A careful pour from the bottle yielded a 3/4" creamy well-retained head with fabulous lacing. The body was a well-carbonated bright light amber. Picture perfect!

S- Piney and herbal hops dominate the nose. Lesser pale malt aromas kick-around in the background. Simple, yet elegant.

T- Hops dominate the palate. Once in the mouth, the hops are reminiscent of grapefruit rind. The crackerlike malts are almost completely eclipsed by the hop dominance. The bitter grapefruit flavor lasts through the long/lingering finish. Very unbalanced, yet still quite tasty.

M- Thin to medium body... well-attenuated with some moderate carbonation. Nothing too special here... not bad at all, but it could use a little more backbone.

D- Goes down easily. The grapefruit rind flavors are big, but never seem to become overpowering. Drinkable indeed.

Photo of rfgetz
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pleasing orangy amber color, fairly clear with only light haze. Rocky white head, great retention and lacing. Smell is strong of piney, earthy and spicy hops. Faint kiss of floral and citrus plus a hint towards a nice malt presence. Taste is a big punch of piney, earthy hops - very cologne like, which is a slight turn off - faint floral and citrusy hops noted right before a slight malty backbone presents itelf. Finishes very bitter and dry with a noticible aftertaste. Not in my wheelhouse as far as IPAs go, had higher hopes for this but the hop profile just turns me off from full enjoyment. Still i respect this as an IPA.

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

Pours a dark amber with two finger so of head into a normal pint glass. Lots of lacing left over. The smell is a ton of flowery hops that smell absolutely heavenly. The last celebration I had was over six months old and was very tasty, but nothing like this. As hoppy as any IPA I could want, but with some malty backboneto follow it up, this is an absolutely fantastic beer all around. Maybe not the best beer for someone who is not a hop fan, and definitely not the samew type of winter seasonal we get in the midwest. This is fantastic and always worth it.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,255 ratings.