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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.

9,197 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,197
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 283
Gots: 1,130 | 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: 9,197 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scol
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of sierra in general, but really like their seasonals too, like the anniversary ipa and this celebration ale. I wish they'd sell these two year round, but I like their regular pale ale also. This isn't the hoppiest ipa around, but its nice and balanced and a little thicker feeling than the anniversary ipa. I'd definitely buy it again.

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

Consumed 12/1

A: This beer pours a nice clear amber color with a one finger of creamy white head. Moderate head retention and leaves ringlet sheets of lacing.

S: Nose is of nice spicey hops with a mild caramel malt presence.

T: Taste is starts with a nice smooth caramel malt flavoring before slowly rolling in to the hop character. Touch of floral hops before a big burst of spicey hops and earthiness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily body with a dry finish.

D: Nicely blended and well balanced, not too filling and a highly sessionable beer.

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

Poured into a Frankenmuth brewery pint glass this brew is a dull copper that grows brighter around the edges. Tight slightly off-white head half inch in height that settles quickly into a foam ring. Moderate carbonation. Sticky thin lacing.

Smells like a lemon and a grapefruit screwed each other in a pine tree. Great hop profile, slight malt backing.

Taste is very reminicent of the smell. lemon zest follow by grapfruit bitterness with a piney finish. Fresh taste with no cheese in there.

Sticky but slick mouthfeel with a bitter bite.

Its a good drinker.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy red color with a huge thick head that leaves an ungodly amount of lacing as it dissipates.

The smell is of pine cones. Lots of pine hop aromas with some caramel malt scents also detectable.

The taste it cause for celebration (see what I did there). Big hop flavors smack you in the tongue, mostly pine maybe some grapefruit as well. Balanced nicely with a smooth malt profile, kind of caramel and bready, real nice.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, nice full bodied beer.

Very nice drinkability, perfect beer for a hop lovers holidays.

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

Hooray for the Xmas season because that means Celebration Ale is at the local liquor store. A few of these in my fridge has become an annual holiday tradition.

This beer poured a slightly hazy amber color in my pint glass with a wonderful big rich off white head leaving lots of lacing in my glass. This ale looked great. It smelled of grapefruit and pine.

The taste? If you love tons of west coast hops and some warming alcohol you have come to the right place. All kinds of sharp hop flavors such as grapefruit and pine are set for total domination. Just a touch of malt in the background with a little warming alcohol and bitter hops in the finish. This is hitting the spot on a cold Kentucky night.

The mouthfeel is rich and full. At first I thought I could only drink 1 or 2 of these but this is going down easier than I thought. Anybody who loves hops must find this ale in their fridge during the holidays.

Photo of thecarster1
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- bottle poured into a pint, half finger head that fades semi quickly to an uneven layer of spotty lace, clear bright light amber coloring.

s- wowzy, holy hops! tangy, peppery, sweet, citrusy hops jump out of the glass, with a solid 'back whiff' of warm and toasty caramel malt.

t- this was worth the wait big time! i was questioning how they'd get this ipa to fit into their winter seasonal slot, now i get it. both the malt upfront and the hops back are very pronounced, but each blend together so well. toasted, warm, nutty, sweet caramel malt come in first followed by big piney, bitter, grapefruity hops. sharp bitterness cuts through the ending and lingers seemingly forever. mmmm.

m- silky smooth, medium body.

d- really terrific drinkability here, now i see all the hype. glad i've got some more of these cooling in the fridge waiting for me. this stuff is downright delicious, this is my new favorite winter seasonal.

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

Served on tap at Croxley Ales in Franklin Square, NY. Was received in a Stellar Artois glass which, though it isn't technically the recommended glassware, looked amazing. Gorgeous dark copper color with a pure white, snowy head. Darker than your average IPA.

The inhale just consumes your nose with hop aromas. The floral and citrus aromas of West Coast Cascades are abundant and addictive, leaving me at the bar awkwardly sniffing away while trying to maintain casual conversation with my friends. I'm not sure if the hop make-up is the same, but the smell very much reminds me of Sierra's Pale Ale, only intensified 10 fold.

The taste follows through, with more similarities to the Pale Ale, but intensified. Very hoppy initially, but pleasantly so, with a burst of citrus zest flavors, which parts momentarily for a bit of sweetness from pale and crystal malts, then finishes with a medium to high level of lingering bitterness. The malt backbone seems emphasizes the crystal malt moreso than the pale, which is atypical for an IPA, but not surprising given the rich color. At the very very last moment of the finish, there is a slight bit of spice, but not the bright hop spice you would expect. It's more of a warming, cinnamon/clove/nutmeg kind of spice flavor. It's very very subtle, to the point where it might completely be power of suggestion, as this is a winter seasonal and it's frigid outside.

The mouthfeel puts this beer somewhere between an IPA and Double IPA. It has a bit more body than your standard Pale Ale, but isn't quite as viscous as the big beers like 90 Minute and Unearthly. Very nice balance.

Drinkability is great. I drove to the bar tonight so I couldn't have more than one. It had enough body, depth and complexity to nurse for a long time without it getting old. However, were it a different scenario, I'd have no problem putting back many, many, many more of these with pleasure.

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

09 edition. And so I add mine to the plethora of opinions on this one, as if it were not already established that this is a great beer. I enter this exercise with a profound bias, this is one of my favorites. Pours clear copper, active, 1 finger white head, great retention and thick lacing. SMELL gets better as it warms, but starts with a strong blast of west coast hops. Caramel maltyness becomes more prominent as it warms. Has legs. TASTE is hop forward, but again, as it warms, becomes much more balanced and smooth. Malty sweetness balances the floral and citrusy hop flavors and the fairly sharp bitterness, which is more prominent toward the finish and then lingers. Some booze is noticeable as well. FEEL rich, rull, viscous, some alcholic warming, dry bitter finish. OVERALL, this is a classic west coast IPA, and one that is very well done. Easy drinking, even sessionable, if you like the style.

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

a pretty orange american ipa with quite a sticky white head. nose is orange, tangerine. palate is quite nice and well balance with a nice resin hemp oil hoppy quality. quite nice and sweet citrus and rather bright summer hop. a bit of honey sweet malt finish... a bit of lemon zest. nicely balance. great beer from sierra nevada.

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

Sierra Celebration pours a medium amber color, is semi foggy with a long lasting frothy head. The aroma is light airy and hoppy. The taste it a little sweet, but has a nice crisp hoppiness to it. The overall mouthfeel is fine being a creamy, smooth, medium bodied beer. This is a pretty good beer that i could drink again and again.

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

poured it out into a glass from a bottle,one of six which i'm sharing a few with a friend.

a nice lite reddish hue with a creamy off-white head of froth .it's a little cloudy not clear with very low carbonation,almost not bubbles rising to the surfice of the ale.

aroma is very hoppy like an ipa ,piny and citrusy .some sweetness also ,suger and mild fruits,spices and malt .

the taste isn't to far from the scent, similar to an ipa, piny and citrus grapefruit,with mildly smooth spices .

a medium body feel with lots of bitterness in the after taste with a refreshingly dry finish.

a great winter ale bitter and smooth over all freshing i would pick up anothor six pack of this ale again before it's gone for the year.

Photo of CowboyNeil
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a - inviting deep amber color, foamy tan head, lacing throughout

s - light hop nose however this does not represent the taste here

t - grapefruit, citrus, pine, this has Double IPA all over it
I liken it to biting into a ripe grapefruit

m - excellent upfront carb for this style and drinks smooth

d - would have one or two more

Sierra Nevada's Seasonals are top notch!

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

Yummy....always one of my favorite "winter seasonals", although the hoppy IPA style is different than most, with very slight spiciness coming through the massive Cascade hops up front.
Poured into tulip style class, nice color!

A: very nice, creamy foamy head with lacing down the side of the glass, typical of SN brews

S: Wonderful smell, citrusy piney grapefruit, with tons of hop flavor, slight spice notes in vague backgroound

T: Delicious, so so good, could drink this one all the time, the alcohol does not hit you too hard...I am a lover of all things IPA style, so this one is a home run for me, always a wonderful holiday treat....will be getting at least one more 12 pk before they are gone!

MF: easy on the eyes, tastes like heaven, and easy in the mouth...this is one of the best of its type IMO

D: Goes down almost too easy...could easily forget about the 27 other winter seasonals I have collected while enjoying this knock out brew from SN

Give yourself a Christmas gift and pick up some from this great Chico CA brewery!

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is the 2009 Celebration Ale.

Appearance: bright brassy orange with big tan head, say two fingers. Quite nice looking.

Smell: big earthy, somewhat piney, slightly funky hop aroma; complex within its earth-tone context. I like it.

Taste: a pretty big malt flavor with a lot of bitterness to go with it. Well-balanced in that respect; it's big on everything. Hops themselves continue the earthy trend of the aroma.

Mouthfeel: quite good, in fact. A medium body with a nice, near-syrupy persistence, plus a pleasurable amount of carbonation. I'd say it's probably more carbonated than other beers of this style, but I like that face.

Drinkability: for a beer of this ABV and style, it is quite drinkable. The flavors are big but not overwhelming; the balance of ingredients keeps the beer from getting too boring. The ABV also makes me feel a little better about it being 22 degrees outside.

Photo of billshmeinke
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber sort of orange color. Incredibly fluffy and long lasting off white two finger head. Sierra Nevada's IPA's always look so good.

S: Piney hop fragrance. Not a huge nose on this.

T: Resiny, piney and citrus hops flavor mostly. Just a hint of malt. Kinda smoky too.

M: Very good. Creamy. Medium bodied.

D: You can totally pound this one. Very drinkable.

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

Poured from bottle to snifter.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber brown with some orange hues when held up to light. Poured with a very frothy and full 2 finger white head that leaves a very nice lacing along the glass.

Smell - Very citrusy and floral head with some nice grassy notes. Grapefruit and pine are evident with a hard sniff. I am getting some dark sweet caramel like malt.

Taste - Extremely clean bitterness in the form of pine and citrus right up front. A very biting bitterness right there right away. No sweetness to find what so ever, the bitter in this beer is awesome. Bitter grapefruit rind comes though. As it warms a bit of sweet malts come through with a caramel like sweetness.

Mouthfeel - One of the better mouthfeels, very very clean and light on the palate this one is a beauty. The bitterness is what I want in an ipa, I want the bite on the back and tip of my tongue this beer gives me.

Drinkability - Pretty good drinkability and could be sessioned with a few people around a fireplace. I love this beer and will definitely be getting more, hopefully to try and test my drinkability status.

Not your typical christmas beer but awesome nonetheless.

Photo of graebner3306
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the all time great winter seasonals. I've had it on tap and in the bottle in multiple years, and every time it packs the same delightfully spiced hoppy flavor into every mouthful! I look forward to winter every year if only for this beer starting to appear in every local bar and grocery store. It pours out a smooth and dark golden brown, and packs a nice punch of wet hops and winter spices. It drinks as smoothly as it pours, and it goes down smoothly enough to sneak in as a session beer (although at 6.8% abv I wouldn't recommend it). All in all, one of America's best beers!

Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 edition

pours hazy caramel orange with a huge 3 finger head that covers the glass with lacing

strong nose of both malts and hops

taste - again very balanced - although i am not digging the hops the used - i am guessing the chinock gives it that ashy taste (just too much)

mouthfeel is great light crisp yet you know you are drinking a beer

drinkability - great beer yet this years is just not as good

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

Had on-tap at Hard Times Cafe in College Park, MD.

A: Nice clear amber-orange with half a finger of thin but rock-solid foam head that just won't budge.

S: A good amount of hops, some citrus, lagery yeasts, and fruity esters. I detect some pumpkin pie spices hovering faintly in the background.

T: Hops! Good amount of sweet citrus (pomelos, maybe?), not quite as acidic or biting as grapefruit. Somewhat bitter hops at the end but not quite as overpowering as most other IPAs.

M: Juicy, with some malty body and a good amount of carbonation.

D: Great warmer from the cold weather. The freshness from the on-tap version is really nice.

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A wintry cold swept through the land,
a hearty brew was needed to bolster thy courage and had to taste far from bland.

A copper brown hue reminiscent of the holidays no doubt,
with a rich, ample head quite opposite of a drought.

A snow dusted forest of pine fills the air,
deep amidst the woodsy, resinous trees I walked like a dare.

A campfire beckoned with a smell of faint toast,
a small hint of malt rose through much like most.

Cold and in need of a drink I did sip,
A hoppy-centric brew with toasted malts and froth on my lip.

A swell of bitterness hit my palate which all but did break,
but toasted malts, molasses, caramel the blunt they did take.

Aggressive like the blizzard, so much so that I did not desire more,
but an enjoyable sipper nonetheless most worthy of lore.

If a heavy mouth-coating, medium/full carbonation and full hops winter warmer you desire,
then crack open a celebration ale and sit by the fire.

As for me my friend less hops and some spice,
thus would make it a brew oh so nice.

Photo of sweatpants06
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thoroughly enjoying my second 12-pack of this seasonal brew... will continue to look for this on sale while it's available.

A: Inviting and cozy, with a slight cloudy pumpkin-pie orange glow and solid 3-finger creamy white head. Scrumptious!!!

S: Sweet n' spicy... Citrusy for sure, and a wonderful bouquet of savory floral aromas. But just a tad more perfumy than I'd prefer.

T: Initial bitterness may be surprising (notice how many reviews mention grapefruit), but this is definitely a grower!!! Savory and best enjoyed at a slow pace.

M: Sticky and sweet... the flavors really linger. Each sip gives you something to think about! :^)

D: Far too rich for a session beer. Enjoyable in moderation as a nice holiday treat, and with the 6.8% ABV it's a good one to kick off the festivities!

Happy Holidays!!!

Photo of bnes09
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice hazy orange color with a thick, frothy, off-white head that leaves mountains of lacing behind.

Nose is very spicy from the hops. I can tell that I'm in for a treat.

What a flavor! Hops are assertive from the get-go without being overpowering and swim around the tongue with citrusy lemon and grapefruit notes. Taste is spicy overall and I can detect hints of cinnamon and ginger. Finishes dry and the alcohol offers a warming sensation that is perfect for this time of year.

A medium bodied brew with lots of tingly bubbles.

Sierra Nevada never fails to impress me. This is another example of a finely crafted beer and a great offering. I just wish it was offered year round.

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

A- Pours a gold/amber color with i nice, bubbly head that leaves behind a clingy lace. A thick ring after each sip.

S- Floral, grassy hops, with a hint of citrus.

T- Big hop presence with a stable malt backbone. Hints of citrus rind, with a strong bittering hop presence. Great toasty, bready finish to it.

F- Very smooth and rich, almost creamy. Pretty full-bodied for an IPA.

D- The body of this beer may deter me from drinking as much as I would a lighter IPA, but the taste is enjoyable.

Photo of wesl56
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 celebration ale

a- some sediment in the bottom of the bottle, so gave it a light swirl, pours really foamy with bubbles rising to form a large head, settling to a reddish dark amber with tiny particles present... heavy lacing all the way down

s- floral and citrusy, with a hint of spices and malts

t- strong floral hops, tastes like an ipa but has a very smooth, almost perfectly balanced finish

m- very pleasant, perfect amount of carbonation and after-taste

d- a moderately heavy slow sipping beer, excellent for cool weather

overall - i love this beer, since i first tried it last season, it has been one of my top five not just seasonal, but all time beers... its like an IPA at first but with a excellent balance, lots of hops there, but they dont overwhelm... like i said this is a perfect sippin beer for a cool evening, just relaxing around the holidays... i plan to pair this with a steak later, which i expect will go very well

Photo of GoalieRon33
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- orangish glow through a medium earthy-toned beer

s- citrusy. tart. almost piney like, in a good way

t= not overly hoppy, but still a ton of hop kick there. some maltiness; overall not very balanced, but a pleasant hoppy taste

m- medium body. somewhat creamy, but more along the lines of the standard pale ale

d- decent beer to drink. not outrageous, but not ordinary. a little much for malt lovers like me, but very drinkable pale ale

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,197 ratings.