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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.

9,186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,186
Reviews: 3,322
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 284
Gots: 1,120 | 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: 9,186 | Reviews: 3,322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kegger22
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber with a respectable head that reduced to a skin. The aroma was typically citrus hops. The taste was also citrus hops with a bitter after taste. No significant malt taste was there. The feel was medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was good. Nothing particularly special about Celebration, at least in it's 2009 incarnation.

Photo of Blitzstyle
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Aggessive pour fills the rest of the glass with frothy head. Nice sticky lace every where. Perfect amber color great apperance.

Mostly piney in scent some citrus. Hardly any malty notes.

Nice and piney right from the get go, some citrus to follow. Not overly bitter at all has a good malt balance to it. The finish has a warming feeling to it.

Medium body low carbination glad I bought a case of this stuff!

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

Had on-tap at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, Maine. It pours a pretty, clear red with a thin head of white bubbles. It has a very hoppy aroma, with lots of floral and pine scents. The main flavor is of hops. It tastes woodsy at first. The bitterness of the hops begins to take over, lingering after you swallow. There is a smokey, wooden taste that is hinted at behind the hops. Overall, it tastes dry and refreshing. I'm giving the beer a 4.5 for flavor right now, as I believe it will improve as it gets a bit warmer (this glass was served slightly colder than I usually drink and review beers). The dryness and crispness of the beer lends itself to a great mouthfeel. It doesn't coat too much, nor does it tickle your throat as you swallow. I think this is a supremely drinkable beer. I could go through a six pack and not get tired of it. I only knocked it down half a point because I like to have a bit of a malty beer every once in a while when drinking something as hoppy as this. Still, I'm quite impressed with this beer. It's going to be the go to beer for our annual Christmas party this year.

Photo of gatorbreath
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

App: Light copper/amber color with a heavy frothy head with lots of lacing

Smell: Citrus, Piney, not overwhelming hoppy scent..some malty undertone

T/MF: piny citrusy hoppiness maltiness on the backend. This stuff is mildly to highly carbonated and thin to medium bodied.

Drink: Awesome. Could drink a lot of these and it is a fine offering from SN

EDIT: just got into my 1st of the 2011 batch and its all 2 the good. really enjoying this now..

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager Pint Glass.

A- Brilliantly clear and amber. Pours with 3+ fingers of creamy off white head, which fades slowly to a thin cap, leaving tons of lacing. Outstanding retention. Not sure how this could improve.

S- Citrus, herbal, piney hoppiness dominates, with only hints of sweet, malty notes.

T- Big hit of pine/herbal bitterness kicks things off, with hints of citrus/grapefruit. Fair amount of malt balance even things out nicely.

M- Moderate to slightly high carbonation give this a crispness. Medium full feel, with a bit of oily slickness.

D- Excellent. Nice flavor and feel, and quite an easy, enjoyable drinker.

Future outlook: Outstanding....I'm happy to have 5 more to deal with.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A=deep copper hue with ample off white head that lasts long and laces very nicely

S=grapefruit initially, with some malty backbone of roasted malts

T=hops and fruit balanced well with slight roasted character of the malts

M=crisp feel on the front with a minor oiliness on the finish

D=great, balanced beers are always very drinkable with this one having a sessionable ABV and great taste

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

Copper body with a huge off white head. I had to wait at least 5 minutes for it to die down enough for me to find liquid. It resulted in a sticky coat of lacing.

Good smell, but it was faint. Citrus and earthy hops with a toasty malt backbone.

The malt, which is both toasty and a sweet caramel, plays a major role in this beer. I would't go as far as saying it was a "balanced" ipa, but the malt definitely mellows out the hops. The hops are mostly citrus with a touch of pine. They are fresh.

I really dig the mouthfeel on this one. It's soft and oily, but still maintains a medium body to it. Carbonation is just right.

The alcohol is well masked by the fresh and sweet flavors of the hops and malt. This is one that you can sit down and easily have a few.

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

Fresh 2009 vintage poured from a 12 oz. shorty

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a massive rock white head that leaves spotty lacing behind.

S: Smell is predominately hops with pine and grapefruit taking center stage, but there is also a decent sweet, toasted malt presence.

T: Taste is again quite piney, but with enough of a biscuit maltyness to balance it out quite nicely . Very balanced and very smooth.

M: The carbonation is just about right on for an IPA and the mouthfeel is medium, which I am enjoying greatly.

D: This beer is eminently drinkable, I think I could probably go through a whole 6'er in a sitting if I was really thirsty.

This is a great beer that I prefer fresh, but it's still great with a year or more on it.

Photo of Pedro07
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 Oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Wonderful rusty, amber color with an amazing 1 inch rocky white head. Beer is rather clear with a little haze.

S- I get some fruity-ish citrus notes, but I get a TON of delicious earthy, grassy, piney goodness. It really is quite pleasing, I think aside from Bell's and Founder's IPA/DIPA offerings, this one is one of my close seconds!!

T- Very well balanced, mightly delicious. I just want more, the taste is fantastic. Hops roll across my tounge in grassy orange rhind and pine-cone beer-waterfalls. Mmmmm, next sip....:)

M- Quite smooth, and you can really tell there is a body to this one. It feels like it has substance and I like that!

D- Oh my, DANGEROUS...in all the good ways.

This one has been a seasonal favorite of mine for a while, and if you have not had it, GET SOME.

Photo of melloashello
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoy most of Sierra Nevada's beer and I enjoyed this beer but I must admit, and this may be just the two beers I had, but something just didn't taste right to me. More than likely, it was my specific beers, so I will give it another try sometime. As for now, I thought I would give it a quick review.
Poured a light hazy amber color with a beautiful IPA smell. Perfect amount of hops for my taste and it had a very slick feel in my mouth. I could taste some citrus in there too, which was great. But again, something in the taste, for the two beers I had, just seemed really strange and a tad displeasing. I still enjoyed the beer but the strange unidentifiable flavor kind of left me with a not-so-good aftertaste. Otherwise, I enjoyed the beer and I could probably drink these through the night, as long as they're not identical to the ones I had today. That being said, another pretty good job from Sierra.

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

From bottle no. 9272110-55. Sampled on November 20, 2009. Pours amber-copper in color. It is heady with a foamy beige tone. It settles down in a bit. The aroma is fruity, almost berry-like with a good dose of hops in there as well. The mouthfeel runs about medium-to-heavy. The taste is well-hopped with a strong berry hint in the background. It reminds me of an IPA with strawberries. A fairly unique recipe in my opinion and well carried off.

Photo of advill88
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange-amber color with a white one inch head.

The smell is dominated by that great typical IPA smell of piney hops and assorted fruitiness, with some hints of grapefruit.

Taste is a strong slam of hops, with some light fruity flavors and mellowed out by a touch of malt at the end.

Light to medium mouthfeel with a healthy amount of carbonation.

Overall, I'd say that this is an excellent antidote for that hop craving I sometimes get after drinking too many malty winter seasonals. Couldn't drink too many of these in a row because the strong hop profile would overwhelm my palate, but the great taste demands that I go back the the fridge for at least one more.

Photo of beertooth
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Three Floyds nonic.

This beer pours a slighty hazy light amber color and has a nice fluffy two fingers of white head. The foam fades to a thin layer and collar and leaves lot's of spotty lacing.

The nose is a wonderful balance of sweet doughy malts, floral and citrus hops. Grapefruit, orange, warm toast, a tiny bit of alcohol to round it out.

The first sip gives me those doughy malts up front. The bitter citrus comes next and keeps the sweet malt notes in check. This beer is extremely balanced even through the finish. The alcohol is a little warming, but hard to pick up on.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium to low level of carbonation.

Celebration is one of the only beers I'll actually buy cases of. There's a certin joy that fills me when I see those first white and red bottles of the season.

Photo of Lothar666
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 fl oz bottle into my Rapscallion Snifter.

A- Poured a ruby red amber orange with a creamy off-white head that receeded slowly, leaving a thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Faint hops and floral accents backed with notes of citrus- grapefruit perhaps, but with something spicy sweet in the background.

T- Very strong hop bitterness and an intense flavor of grapefruit in the finish, lending an uncommon tartness to the overall flavor. The tartness plays on the tongue long after the initial swallow. Impressive.

M- The hop bitterness in this brew is impressive, tingling the roof of the mouth and the inside of the cheeks.

D- Goes down surprisingly easy for a brew this bitter.

Photo of claykeller
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Bottle poured into the Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Amber with light head on top. Nice lacing the whole way down the glass.

Smell: Smell is piney with some malt. Smells more like a double ipa.

Taste: Nice hoppiness with malt to balance it out. Just about perfect balance in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Very silky, not slick. Leaves almost no bitterness on the tongue.

Drinkability: Due to the great balance and mouthfeel this is a very drinkable beer.

Notes: This is my favorite winter beer. Consistently good with a reasonable price compared to some other beers similar in quality.

Photo of Lldeegan
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burnt orange with a just barely off white rocky head. Leaves a nice lace as it recedes. Creates a beautiful bright orange when held up to the light. This is a really delicious looking beer. Some pine and then a wallop of grapefruit and other citrus notes hit the nose first. Has some sweet initially on the palate from the malt, which transforms into a floral hop flavor with citrus and a mellow bitter finish. It has a pretty light mouthfeel that is even creamy a bit sticky. I definitely had lower expectations for this beer, as I usually do with other Sierra Nevadas. Many people love all of their offerings, but what I've doesn't really jive well with my tastes, most notably the Pale Ale. However, this was a pretty balanced IPA, which I definitely did not expect from Sierra Nevada. I would drink this again and would suggest it to others. It is a nice winter ale.

Photo of anchordrinker
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours orange-amber with white head that dissipates for the most part. Nice lacing develops after every sip.

S- All I get here is piney and citrusy aromas

T- Sharp citric and herbal flavors give way to bready flavors near the end.

M- Medium-bodied with good carbo. Also, there is some warmth from the alcohol which I might usually object to, but with this brew it really works.

D- Like I said above, some warmth from the alcohol, but to me it really does not get in the way of drinkability at all. Very drinkable/sessionable stuff.

Photo of Squelch
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby read with an off white head. Slightly cloudy.

Smell: Citrusy hops with a complex malt aroma. Very nice:

Taste: Hoppy. Really tastes like Grapefruit. Excellent. One of the best IPA's I've had.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Not too harsh with the hops.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these. Too bad its seasonal!

Photo of Lunch
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD (11/18/09) into a standard pint glass at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a nice golden brown with one finger of a slightly off-white head leaving behind excellent lacing.

S: A decent aroma of pine hops, citrus, and malt, but all seemed to be slightly subdued.

T: Bitter hopes hit the palate first with a nice citrus and pine flavor leaving behind a decent bitterness that was carried throughout the finish. Again, as with the smell, the taste seems nice, but a little weak.

M: Rather light for an IPA with average carbonation that was a bit creamy.

D: Quite drinkable as this beer was rather mild on the palate and well balanced in a less than full-flavored way.

Overall this was a bit of a disappointment, but with this tasting being my first for Celebration, I will certainly revisit it again in bottle form and adjust my review accordingly if needed. I was really looking forward to this beer as I am a huge fan of American IPAs. Worth A Look.

Photo of likethetaste
1.45/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I cannot believe that I differ so much from most others that are reviewing this beer. I picked up a six pack at a Food Lion because i was in the mood for a nice holiday winter beer. I had not actually tried anything yet by Sierra Nevada and this looked like it might be interesting to try.

It poured nice. I large head and good color. But once I smelled it I knew this was probably not going to be a ale for me. Once I tasted it I was very disappointed. This has a very bitter taste. It is almost like drinking burnt rubber.

There is no way I will every get this beer again. As far as for my own taste buds this was just horrible.

Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 edition into pint glass.

Beautiful orange amber with nice foamy white head.

Hops, hops, and more hops. Touch of maltiness.

Sweet nectar of the gods. Pure bliss.

Smooth and glorious.

Six down and if I didn't have to go to work, I would drink these until I disappeared. Beer glorious beer. I raise my glass high.

Photo of skrib09
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


got a nice hazy copper pour with two fingers of cream colored head. good hop retention and lacing.

smell that pine. lots of citrus too.

you can really taste the hops they stack this one with. i get the piney taste right off the bat... the hops. then i can imagine the malts on the after taste.

i feel the carbination on my palate... the astringency. it's really nice.

good drinkability.


looking at a 2009 celebration ale. hazy copper hue with an extremely fluffy off-white head. the head looks sticky and resinous. plenty of lacing.

smells of fresh citrus and pine with a distinct caramel malt or bread thing going on. a hint of bitterness in the smell.

Taste is extremely well balanced. a hint of bitterness amongst the hop flavors balances with a sweetness from the malt. a small touch of floral and spice round everything out.

great mouthfeel. smoother than i remember from last years tasting. low to medium-low carbonation with a little crisp feel. good drinkability.

Photo of BigMike
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely dark tangerine orange peach color. Nice carbonation and a beautiful creamy foamy white head. Great amount of lacing clinging to the tulip glass.

Citrusy grapefruit and orange. A touch of pineapple and finishes with some caramel malts.

This is one of the most deliciously balanced IPA's i can remember. A great amount of citrus hop bitterness with the near perfect amount of sweet caramel maltiness. This is my first SN celebration ale so i can't compare it to previous years. All i can tell you is 2009's version is terrific.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth. Light feel and goes down super easy. Two things that SN seem to always do well are mouthfeel and drinkability. This one has both.

Drinkability is high. I could drink a lot of these and quickly. Very refreshing. SN consistently brews high quality beers. And for the price $8.99 a sixer. You cant go wrong.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage, chilled bottle into a glass.

Last year when I had this I didn't enjoy it; I was not a hophead and I felt it was imbalanced and bitter. My tastes have evolved immensely since then, and while I still won't call this balanced, I can give it more credit.

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber body with orange tones. The head is a finger of cream-colored head that retains for a minute or so before retreating into scattered bubbles on top of the brew and a thick collar. Nice lacing down the sides. That, and its viscous appearance (aided by slow bubbles up the glass) help it look very inviting and rich.

S: Grapefruit rind with a hint of pine needles and spice.

T: Starts off with grapefruit juice and caramel malt, which pulls into the mid-taste. It is then joined by an assortment of floral and spice notes. The finish is lightly dry with a definite pine character. These hop varieties combine in the aftertaste into a lightly bitter, long-lasting finish.

M: I prefer a cleaner finish in my IPAS, but this isn't nearly oily enough to complain about. Medium-full body with a chewy feel to it and creamy carbonation.

D: I'm quite happy having picked up a six-pack of this. It's a good beer and a great value. I'm not sure I'll get more than that; though. It's a good IPA but not head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.

Photo of Onenote81
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap for lunch today. Came out a dark amber/orange with a thin off-white head on top. Little retention, but it left perfect sip rings in it light wake. Smells of pine needles, grapefruit zest and toasted crackers.

The mouth is full and bubbly. Well-rounded. This is little harsher than I remember last year's from the bottle. Big bitterness right away that washes away with some light citrus sweetness and honey. My tongue is a little more torched from this, still, I can get through a few of these no problem. This may be one time I prefer the bottle to draft.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,186 ratings.