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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.

9,263 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,263
Reviews: 3,336
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 290
Gots: 1,197 | 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: 9,263 | Reviews: 3,336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drperm
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into an Allagash footed glass.

Ap: Lovely glowing translucent reddish-apricot hue. Thick antique white/vanilla head reduces to nice lacing meringue foam.

S: Up front, something of a malt bomb. Nice biscuit notes with lovely grassy floral hop aroma coming through. As it warms, the hops take over big-time, with a big dry-hop note coming to the forefront. Don't take this one directly from the fridge into your gullet, because you'll miss out!

T: Excellent strong ale qualities (to me this is more of a hoppy strong ale than an IPA). Malty without being sweet, hoppy without turning my mouth inside-out. A slight metallic edge is present, but not unpleasant. Huge dry-hop Cascade action.

M: No complaints here. Fizzy, wonderful fat-scrubbing bubbles would make this great with rich, buttery foods.

O: Not my favorite SN (that one's still the Anniversary Ale) but I have no complaints AT ALL here. I suggest letting it warm up somewhat in order to unleash its full profile. Drink it too cold and you'll miss out on a lot. Excellent on its own; finicky with food (all that dry-hopping, perhaps?), but try spicy Senegalese peanut (curry) soup, or earthy cheeses.

Photo of Kaiser81
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Vons; poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy orangish-amber color with a little less than a finger-width of head. there are a lot of visible carbonation bubbles. The head dissipates to a ring on top after a few minutes, and lots of nice lacing is left on the glass.
Initially rated a 4.0, 2nd pour done a little more vigorously with lots more head...looks great. Changed to a 4.5.

S - Smells a little bit of pine with some light floral notes mixed in. A touch of malt can be detected to help balance the hops, but not much. Kind of lacking compared to recent IPAs had.

T - I'm getting an earthy type of grapefruit taste with some malt mixed in and a kind of off aftertaste that I can't place. It's not bad, it's just not on the Pliny/Sculpin scale that I'm so used to having.

M - Light to medium body with lots of prickly carbonation...perhaps a tad too much? Nothing a swirl of the beer in my glass can't fix.

D - I bought a 6 pack, so I definitely plan on having another tonight.

Photo of kzoobrew
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy orange body leaning more towards the red end of the spectrum. Majestic antique white head towers over measuring three full fingers. Recedes slowly into a meringue like cap, fantastic lacing left encompassing the glass.

Captivating bouquet of hops greet the nose. Largely citrus, more specifically grapefruit, dominate though a complimentary piny aroma fits in well beside. Subtle spiciness and bready malt base is also observed.

Though the hops are certainly the focal point the malt does its best to stand out. Low levels of nuttiness and grain play off the caramel malt to provide a solid backbone. Hop flavors are rather varied. The more juicy citric flavor hits initial, piny flavor picks up mid palate while the more floral flavors tend to linger on the tongue after each sip. Bitterness is assertive but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy. Medium bodied accompanied with crisp carbonation. Finish is rather dry.

Celebration is definitely my favorite of the Sierra Nevada IPA offerings. Well rounded and above average in every area. Drinks very easily. Great IPA to enjoy as the snow starts to fall.

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

Pours a bright amber orange with a stiff egg white head that fades to patches and numerous, webbed rings. Grand Marnier, tropical flower and pine nose. Prickly spice cake malts, almost like Dutch stroopwafel, with juicy candied orange hops and hints of mint and rind. Soft finish but comes back to tighten. Medium, lively, sticky, bit of burn.

Just enough spice in the malts to make it a holiday beer. Manages to be quite distinct from both Anniversary and Torpedo. Fruity, tasty IPA.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11/21/10, 2010 vintage, 12oz bottle, nonic. I needed to give this a re-review, score is for 2010.

I'm really not sure how Sierra Nevada would make their pale beers look any better. A glowing copper body in some shade and an organic eggshell head of an inch or more that isn't going anywhere comes standard. And that foam will coat the glass free of charge.

I think the nose is the biggest difference between this and last year's Celebration (and wet hop for that matter). I do realize that the recipe is exactly the same, but the hops from this year's harvest were definitely less pungent. Because of this, the rich, musty biscuit is obvious with orange marmalade and very slight pine and weed hops playing support.

Flavor does follow suite, however pine is more prevalent, as is bitter, oily orange peel. The malt is all biscuit and cake, not caramel.

Such a well crafted beer even in the mouthfeel. Slick and almost heavy weight with spiking carbonation that keep the balance just tipped in favor of hops.

A wonderful IPA that seems more special than maybe it should because it has brothers and sisters that measure up.

12/15/09, 2009 vintage, 12oz bottle poured into pilsener.

Only slightly hazy but brilliant copper. A quarter inch of off-white foam resigns itself to a milky, film. Lots of teeny tiny bubbles. Pretty good lacing for such an oily, dank smell and taste. 4

Your nose doesn't get lopped off by a needle laden branch that you did see coming but there is pungent pine and some citrus peel. Some heavy dank, wet notes. 4

Proceeding immediately to the back of your tongue the pine proceeds to envelope your sense of taste. A carbonation buzz saves you from a pummeling. Residual carmel sweetness, basil, a forest, orange. 4.5

Getting slick with excellent carbonation.4

Another winner from Sierra Nevada. I either love them because I'm from the Sierra Nevadas or because they brew such excellent ale, or both. Even the 6.8 abv wouldn't keep me from drinking three to six in a sitting. Very much like the harvest wet hop. 4

Photo of sophisticated
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) medium hazy amber with mounds of huge fluffy head, excellent retention, and lots of lacing

S) grapefruit, citrus, hops mostly

F) like the smell. Very hoppy, a strong IPA, but not over-the-top in bitterness. Some sweetness and fruit from the citrus flavor and a bit of caramel malts

MF) medium, sticky

D) High! Tasty and different for a winter seasonal. I enjoy IPAs and could have several of these.

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

Slightly dark orange/amber. Pretty cloudy. Big white head with lots of lacing. Lots of grapefruit and pine in the smell and taste. This is kind a tweener in the middle of their Pale Ale and Torpedo. There's a hint of caramel on the back end, but this is all about the hops. It's not intensely hoppy, just a nice steady dose. I tried in vain to detect any spices. I'd like to see this offered year round.

Photo of dpodratsky3
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Medium dark amber with some red hues, really good color, awesome off white head, almost butter like, and foamy like shaving cream, remains on top all the way through this glass like a dollop of sour cream on top and leaves good lace

S: Big hop presence, major grapefruit, appears to be slight malty breadiness, just enough to provide some contrast and backbone

T: Again big hops dominate, especially grapefruit, but not overly intense like some, good bitterness, balanced by slight breadiness, but very slight, does not cover hops at all, a little one dimensional as the flavors don't develop too much, but what it does provide is amazing

M: Semi light, but not thin at all, bitterness creates some dryness, but doesn't really linger

D: Good, nice bold flavors and easy mouthfeel won't let me stop drinking this

Notes: This is my first Sierra Nevada and it is awesome. I have been getting bogged down by spiced and sweet winter ales, and this is exactly what I needed, a blast of hops in a Christmas wrapper. I can't wait to try their other beers.

Photo of cagocubs
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with an off white 2 finger head. Laced the glass. Good color and head. Nice looking beer.

S: Hops, caramel notes, spice (earthy like clove or pine) citrus grapefruit.

T: Real powerful and bitter hops. Citrus grapefruit left the illusion of peppermint. The hops are the most evident thing in this Ale.

M: nice light bodied and crisp flow. Good coating and delivery.

D: This is a great ipa, but I couldn't imagine drinking this all too frequently with those overwhelming hops. Great beer, just drink in moderation.

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

A - Thick moussey head of mixed bubbles that persisted forever. A big tuft of foam balancing on the surface of the beer after 15 minutes. Dark gold/amber color, slightly cloudy.

S - Pure citrusy/piney American hop aroma. A hit of malt coming thru (65%/35% hops/malt aroma). Almost balanced. No alcohol.

T - Malt hop blend of flavors. Sweet upfront, fading to very forceful bitterness. Puckering. Flavors are nicely balanced. Clean.

M - High medium body. Alcohol hidden. Fairly smooth. Heavy bitterness, but no grainy astringency.

D - A pure classic American IPA. Nothing too complex. A Christmas staple.

Photo of maestrophil
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass from 12 ounce bottle. 2009 printed on neck label of bottle.

A: I noticed the sediment swirling around before this was even out of the bottle. Hazy bright amber-orange, with grainy swirling sediment. Tight soapy cap with floating blobs leaves nice film of lacing.

S: Hops evident upon opening the bottle. Not as strong as it initially seemed, but nice notes of pine, citrusy grapefruit, and grassyness. Faint caramel and bready spice.

T: Big citrus hops, then something deeper, pale and caramel malt, grapefruit peel, bitter finish. Nice balance from a surprisingly round and full malt sweetness. A bit spicy and sweet like a good holiday bread.

M: Medium body, carbonation more creamy than prickly, nice and full in the mouth, but finishes clean with lasting hop scrub.

D: High- great balance! Plenty full and satisfying for the winter, but fresh tasting and refreshing. IPA fans could drink these for a long time without getting bored or tired.
A very solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Recommend!

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

Another quality brew from Sierra Nevada. Bought a case this holiday season, and for some reason, this beer tastes quite differently than from what I remembered about 5-6 years ago. Either my palate has changed, the brewery tweaked its recipe, or I'm simply getting older & more forgetful. Anyway, back then I remember this beer to be much spicier & fruitier. Now, it tastes like another quality IPA that Sierra is know for. Not a bad thing by any means.

Definitely has some caramel & pine notes to it. Not overly hoppy. Simply a nice, pleasant drinking beer to savor.

Photo of therica
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't understand why seasonal beers that are variations or even totally different get clumped together like this one, but...

11-23-2010 review of Celebration 2010
4.5 / 5.0 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5

Spectacular! A true beer experience.

A= deep orange-amber, nice fluffy slushy off-white head with huge rimming and lacing.

S= massive nose of pink grapefruit and sweet malts up-front, a fantastic bouquet of scents. Various complex hops and malts ranging from sweet into the grassy become very evident. The mix seems to vary depending on serving temp.

T= luscious, nice body with plentiful malts balancing the massive hops, both hops bitters and generous florals are very apparent. Moderate carbonation.

M= a light sparkle on the tongue, plenty of hops to the point of a sting on my lips but also nice chewy malts and bitters.

D= if you like complex hops and malts, beg Sierra Nevada to decide to make this a year-round beer.

12-13-2009 review of Celebration 2009
4.0 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 4.0

Very typical West-Coast trendy piney bitter IPA using generous amounts of West-Coast trendy Cascade hops in the wort.

IBU 62 (compared to the standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at 37).

A= nice, typical amber copper appearance for a strong Pale Ale, nice head but very little head if poured carefully..

S= pine and caramel malts, with grassy hints, some malts evident when it's warmer.

T= pine, mild florals, caramel, slightly grassy, very nice malts. Nice typical offering by Sierra Nevada although I don't know that it's much different than their standard all-year fare unless it's the extra malty flavor. I guess I expected more of a seasonal twist to the taste, maybe there's a touch extra caramel but not much else of seasonal note. Still of great merit on its own.

M= clean, with slight syrupy effect on the tongue; dusty grassy dry malts that stay around on the palate for quite some time. Mild astringency.

D= very drinkable if you're an IPA fan who appreciates the inclusion of bold malts.

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

Nice red/orange color. Huge hop aroma. Great piney hop taste with ample bitterness. Such a great beer that I look forward to every fall/winter. Its pretty much my favorite thing about the season. I love this beer. I remember the first time I ever had it, way back as a real newbie to craft beer and hops and thought it tasted like what I imagined was drinking liquid christmas tree. Kind of comical looking back on it but really, this is a fantastic winter beer and overall, just a fine IPA.

Photo of cnally
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Holiday kind of night tonight. This should be a good capper.

Big orange-red coloring in the beer. An off-white head laces like crazy after its initial rise.

Huge hop aroma, spicy and floral.

The flavor is a little overly bitter, and sour at the tail end. The beer wants to be a hop bomb, but isn't strong enough to really nail it. A bit of fruity flavor in there as well, as it does have some lingering grape and cherry in there as well.

Great carbonation and well tempered mouthfeel for an IPA.

Too unbalanced to make the drinkability level high, but still decent.

Photo of coalcracker
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a medium gold color with substantial amount of carbonation and head.
Smell: Very aromatic hop aroma- can detect the piney hops a mile away. A mild spicy aroma also noted.
Taste: A nice blend of hops and spice present immediately with a general bias to the hops. The hops taste of grapefruit and a little citrus and magnify at the middle of the sip with an increasing bitterness that then gives way to a smoothness at the end. Biscuit-like and bready malts are there, but are hidden behind the hops. Clean aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied.
Drinkability: Quite drinakble for the ABV and taste. Reminds me slightly of Troegs Nugget Nectar. May be a bit of a surprise for some- as this is the hoppiest winter seasonal I've had.

Overall, a hophead seasonal for sure. Good alpha acid fix.

Photo of TeeCee
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick Review - yoyu know you're drinking a Sierra Nevada.

Appearance - honey gold like brewed tea. Lots of white head with a hard pour, slow to dissipate, leavng foamy lace as it goes away. I'm drinking this out of a New Belgium globe glass, and the little etched bicycle is doing it's job.

Smell - the fresh piney smell I expect from Sierra Nevada.

Taste - hoppy with some malt behind it, finishing off noticeably bitter. This is the type of beer I think of when I think Sierra Nevada. I've been more impressed with the recent big bottle releases, but to me, this is not as good as those.

Mouthfeel - medium in the mouth. I get a bit of foamy thickness, but not overly foamy.

This beer is rather sessionable, although on the bitter side.

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.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,263 ratings.