1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,991 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,991
Reviews: 3,278
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 276
Gots: 973 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,991 | Reviews: 3,278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red-amber, with a one finger fluffy off-white cap that fades quickly into a thin layer around the edges. Nice lacing.

Nose is orange rind, clean, with a bit of resiny astringency underneath. Delicious.

Taste is caramel malt and bright citrus up front, a bit of resiny pine, with the finish bringing more of the resiny pine alongside a bit of a medicinal astringency. Long and bitter over the entire palate.

Full bodied and with an active but not overwhelming carbonation. A more robust malt backbone than often found in West Coast IPAs, this one is very nice.

Photo of webbcreative
2.48/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

pours nice. The first thing I notice is the citrus, tates like grapefruit. then at the end it is so incredible bitter its hardly drinkable, to me, and its stays on the sides of my mouth and wont leave! I dont see what the fuss is about on this one, but then again im not into overly hopped beers either. It does have nice carbonation though.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- The beer is nice amber color with a finger and a half of head. The head does dissipate quickly.

S- Grapefruity hops, with some apples and cinnamon mixed in.

T- The hop taste is good, not too over powering or palate killing. The apples and cinnamon taste is also there as well but just very faint.

M- Feels good in the mouth, not a palate killer in the least. The hop taste also doesn't linger for ages like some IPAs can.

D- Easy to drink to say the least.

Over all a solid beer.

Photo of drlumps62
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada once again has proven, if you build it they will come. Finding this years Celebration Ale was kind of a crap shoot. It left the shelves fast this year. I enjoyed the beer in a glass poured from a bottle.

A: Pours a rich golden brown color with a light tan 1" head, which slowly disappears. Loose yet consistent lacing.

S: Beautiful, bright citrusy smell.

T: Equal balance of malt and citrus hops. Ends with a slight grapefruit type bitterness. Very pleasant.

M: Definitely not heavy. Medium to bold maybe.

D: Share a six with a friend and call it an evening. At 6.8, this one can fool you into drinking more than a few.

I couldn't wait until the holidays this year. Next year will be no different.

Photo of icefisherman
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poored a nice orangeish red color with a huge offwhite head that disipated to a light cover with in minutes. Smells of hops spicey hops and an undescribable winter/x-mas spice blend? Taste of hops more spicy hops almost no malt to speek of. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth very good drinkability as well would deffinatly buy it again

Photo of dstrand
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Copper with a cream/off-white thick head.

S - Very fruity and spicey, pine with some malt.

T - Fruity at first, then hit with some spice and finishes with a good hoppy flavor.

M - Medium-bodied, creamy taste from the thick head. Grapefruit hoppiness is definately tasted.

D - Good drinkability. Graet balance off fruitiness and hop spice. A great winter beer.

Photo of AtlasBrew
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got home after a shitty night at work and decided to do something nice for myself. So, I went to the fridge and got this lovely holiday brew. I was lucky enough to get a case on sale for $20, what a steal!

12 oz bottle and a 20oz wide mouth pub glass.

Color: It pours a rich copper color with a cream colored head that lasts a long amount of time.

Aroma: Lovely smell of fruity hops and a spicy hint of something I can't quite put my finger on but I like it.

Taste: A sweet and spicy beginning with a fruit and spice backend that leaves you floating in those wonderful hops. A bitter finish that gets stronger as it gets dryer. Medium mouth feel.

Overall: Love that spice and hop flavor, I'm not sure what they used here but it works, a very pleasant brew. My only wish is that they layed off the bittering hops just a tad, otherwise, it's a great brew.

Don't miss this one!

Photo of roadhouse
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance is a copper orange with a one inch off-white head that holds up well throughout. Lots of lacing left behind on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is citrusy, lots of grapefruit, some pine, spiciness, and a solid malt backing.

Taste is citrusy first, some pine in the middle and lots of spiciness in the finish. Malt backing is there throughout, and balances the hops nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, very creamy texture.

I do think this is some really good stuff but I think people hype it up more than it is worth. I like the new Torpedo more than this.

Photo of strata39
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-orange, like a shiny penny. Poured aggressively into a pint glass. I got a good 1.5 inch head, super fluffy like a vanilla ice cream cone that dissipates quickly into a thin lacing that lasts to the end.

Smell: Bright, like a flower growing on the x-mas tree farm. Tingly on my nose hairs.

Taste: Smooth malts hit first, then the hop fruitiness, then the hop bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Cuts well, leaving a fresh coolness. The XL head is creamy.

Drinkability: 3 of 6 in one night, max.

I only tried this because it was on special, and now it's one of my favorites. The only thing I don't like is that it's not always available.

Photo of jgap
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked up a 24-pack of this after having a pint on tap. Light amber with a finger and a half of very nice looking, frothy head that lasts almost through the pint. Smell is very pleasent floral hops and pine. Sensing a slight pepper of centenials but i can't be sure. Taste is wonderful blend of hops dominated by a peppery hop flavor but not overpoweringly so like many lesser ipas today. Rather, it's a well-crafted blend of bitterness. Not much else to the taste... Just solid hops! Very good ipa.

Photo of mikereaser
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle thats to Brad Moyer
A - Pours a golden orangish brown with an inch of white foam that slowly faded leaving nice lacing down the glass
S - Very pleasant citrus hop aroma, not too overwhelming, very nice
T - upfront you're hit with a herbal and citrus hop blast, again, not overpowering, but nicely mellow and complex. There is a nice amount of bitterness that rounds this one out nicely.
M - crisp carbonation, malty, medium bodied
D - very nice flavor and quite enjoyable

2009 bottle
A - Pours a nice copper color with 1/4 inch of foam that left some nice lacing

S - strong sweet malt and lots of piney hops

T - nice hoppy bite up front with sweet malty flavor coming through but still plenty of hops that don't disappear

M/D - Nice mouthfeel with decent carbonation that makes this one a definitely must try.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, deep, dark copper body with a small, white head.

Smell: Fragrant blanket of hops with scents of citrus, soap, and pine overlaying a rudimentary pale maltiness.

Taste: Pale malts with a clean, though transient malt sweetness. Big push by the hops, with flavors of rosin, lemon-scented soap, and grapefruit pith. Moderate bitterness throughout. Oh, but the humble malts fight valiantly to regain some ground, but, sorry, it's game, set, match for the hop bitterness. Slight grassiness. Long, lingering bitterness on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very light stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A Celebration of brash, simplistic bitterness which, if that's your bag, is fine, but I never ever quite understood all the hoopla for this beer.

Photo of Troyone
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprised I have not reviewed this beer, it's been in my change up for a long time.

Appears to be an light amber color, close to copper, with an off white muti-colored head. The yeast is suspended and causes a hazy appearance. Lacing has already developed before I started to consume.

The citrus hop aroma overrides the maltly smells. I'm getting some pine and other esters with a malt background. I'm using a 16 oz Pilsner glass because I think the narrow portion, from bottom, will concentrate the carbonation so I can get all the aromas at the wide top.

I'm getting the grapefruit hops right from the first gulp. Hints of pine and a background of malt, well balanced. The caramel malt is toasty and blended well with the hop bitterness. There is also a hint of coffee.

A medium bodied beer that is smooth and fills the mouth with esters and a background of malt with hints of caramel. The finish is dry and lingers a crisp grapefruit aftertaste with a hint of coffee.

At 6.8 abv this is very drinkable only the grapefruit finish with hints of coffee may slow down the session.

This has been in my change up for a while usually in the winter months.
Although this is close to being a winter type of IPA there is just not enough abv for such therefore enjoy this year around.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.08/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 12/12/2006 (Bottle @ West Alabama Ice House, Houston, TX):

(couldn't rate the appearance very well) Very malty then very very hoppy aroma. Bitter hoppy taste, but mellows at the end. More mellow as it warms up: hops, some malt sweetness. A decent mellow ale.

Photo of angelmonster
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a small 1 finger white head. Golden in color, high carbonation, good head retention and great lacing

Smells of some sweet malt and resiny, piny hops.

Hops taste grassy, not too bitter or sour. There is also a bit of sweetness which is more than in most IPAs

Head has some creaminess, but a little too much over carbonation. Smooth, light, but not watery consistency

Good beer, not overly hopped, would drink again

Photo of jcipa88
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh boy - this has been a flavor flav for quite some time. Each year I can't wait till this comes out. Copper in color yes, but the taste is pleasant and mouth watering. The delicious taste is over the hop, and I luv it. This is not for the simple, just picture SN PA with a kick in the you know what!

Enjoy it!

Photo of rbbchbum
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Copper color with a nice head and some good lacing.

More hops than malt, but enough malt to balance out the hops. It's definately bitter but nicely balanced with toasty malt flavors.

Good carbonation that lasts. Great mouthfeel.

Too bad this is seasonal. It's one of my favorite beers. I bought a case in December, and I'm down to my last six-pack. :(

Photo of denflyr
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle (2008 version) into a pint glass.

A nice slighty hazy copper color with about a 1" head. That has gone down to a steady 1/4" head even after about 15 minutes and some lacing is there as well.

A very in your face nose of slightly sweet malt and tons of hops (piney esthers mostly). There is almost a dread dough aspect there as well.

Love the taste! A lot of bitterness on the front end. That tapers off into a balance of nice toasty malt flavors and still tons of hops that are assertive, but not over the top!

A nice mouthfeel as well. Nice carbonation that lasts even as the finish sails on.

The ABV is not bad, so while not a session beer, I could have several. I look forward to this beer every year! Can't wait for the 2009

Photo of TMB0424
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish orange body with a huge, pillowy white head. Head was persistent, slowly reducing into a half inch cap. Tons of sticky lacing.

Great smelling. Aroma hits you right in the face - pine, grapefruit, citrus, fresh hops. Floral. A hint of sweet malts as well. Very strong smelling, nice.

Taste starts off with a wave of citrus (orange) hops, evens with a good caramel malt backbone, then finishes extremely bitter. Outstanding. Grassy, piney, loaded with grapefruit.

Medium bodied, great mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot on. Very smooth with a touch of creaminess. Drank extremely easy despite the massive presence of hops - the only problem is you can drink them way too fast, despite the ABV. This is a great beer.

Photo of cpn920
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish orange color with a thick head that left awesome rings of lacing. Smelled of piney and grapefuit. Taste was really good with a nice balanced hop flavor with a subtle malt balance. THe beer is medium bodied and has adequate carbonation. This is one smooth beer and for someone that isn't huge on hop overload this was a really enjoyable beer. I'm hoping I can still scrounge a sixer or more if it's still available. Very drinkable but watch out for the disguised 6.8%.

Photo of deliriumfest
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 1/27/09

Poured a nice copper color with a thick, two-finger head from a 12oz bottle. Aroma is that of cascade hops, pine and citrus. Taste is an overload of pine, almost like drinking directly from a pine tree. There are no surprises here - the aroma permeates your nose all the while you simultaneously taste the same thing. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Drinking ability is great here and I don't really have anything to complain about. ABV is a little on the high end for an ipa which decreases its session-ability. This is a pretty straight forward but great example of the style. I get why this is all people talk about for the month of december.

Photo of beerman21
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I can tell you i've had celebration quite a bit but have yet to write a reveiw. Well here i go.

Apearence- blood orange in color with a impressive head that disapates to a thin lace. very sticky.

Smell- Dare i say it smells like a beer brewed by SN brewery. In all seriousness the smell was of floral hops and grapefruit.

Taste- Bitter, peppery and sweet grapefruit. Some malty background fade in and out give this beer a good balance. Almost a minty pine needle flavor as well pretty freaking good.

Mouthful- flavor lingers beer has a great bite to it. if your a hop head you'll love this beer. Have a sip of it and you'll still be tasteing it for five minutes or more.

Drinkability- good not great for me but i can knock back a few.

Photo of darklordlager
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rusty orange color, or perhaps more of a light acorn brown. 1 inch head initially, which recedes down to a pillowy 1/2 inch. Leaves a thick lacing as it goes down the glass.

Smell is a blast of citrusy hops, maybe some caramel and pale malt. Smells delicious!

Taste is off the charts hoppiness/happiness! It comes at you with an orangy hop flavour up front, and then shifts to a puckery but pleasant bitterness at the end. A taste experience.

Mouthfeel is perfect. It glides over the tongue with ease, while still letting you know it's there.

Drinkability is great. A little lower ABV would perhaps make it a bit more sessionable

Photo of ABOWMan
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: slightly haze and amber in color. A nice two inch head of creamy caramel color dissipated but left nice lacing on the walls of the glass.

Smell: Wonderful hoppy aroma with hints of orange.

Taste: Nice strong hop flavor with background notes of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, but this is not unexpected from sucha hoppy beer.

Drinkability: Very. This is a wonderful IPA that shouldn't be confused with a seasonal Christmas beer as indicated on the label.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

re review. One of the best IPAs on the market. hands down. adjust ratings...

Had this at a nice taproom bar and grille in Durham. Never had it but I like regular Sierra Nevada a lot. This was simnialr with just a little extra bit and ore color.

appearance: golden amber hues, nice reddish color

smell: loaded and more loaded hops, very plesant for a hop head,

taste: lots of backend bitterness, more pine flavor than citrus

mouthfeel: medium bodied and balanced

drinkability: very solid beer, a staple during the hoildays

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,991 ratings.