1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

9,187 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,187
Reviews: 3,323
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 284
Gots: 1,125 | 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
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: 9,187 | Reviews: 3,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerthulhu
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a copper-orange with a moderately lasting sudsy white head that left a good lacing behind.

S: a dry floral hop bitterness, earthy notes, citrus and dry pine.A nice hearty maltiness crosses the nose.

T: The flavor was bitter from the hops with a dry palate and nice maltiness. There was a sense of holiday spices that also coated the tongue. A nice hearty malting the was rich and thick with some warming alcohol comes about as well.

M: full bodied, lively from the carbonation, with a slight creaminess and some spicy alcohol notes.

D: A great heavily malted xmas style beer with a good hop bitterness that still drank smoothly.

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

After 1,700 reviews, what's left to say?

Celebration is a delicious, well crafted beer. The 2008 version is crackling: a fine over-hopped amber brew that looks great, smells great and is rather dangerous on top of all that. Wonderful head and lace, fine retention, flavorful blend of sweet malt and juicy, oily hops. Mouthfeel is full, creamy and bittersweet in all the right ways. It's hard to find fault with, really.

Find it, drink it, love it. Sierra Nevada makes some solid beers, but this is surely one of their best. I look forward to it every year. Highly recommend to have around the house.

Photo of bowersdm
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a german pilsner

A - orange color with a 2cm stiff white head. a small amount of lacing

S - spices, cherries, some other fruit, hops, definitely citrusy and spicy

T - some malt, but mainly hops, floral and citrus, i didn't get any of the spiciness that I found in the aroma which disappointed me.

M - about par for an IPA

D - this doesn't really seem like a winter beer to me, more like a normal IPA

Photo of morebeergood
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a six pack at Trader Joe's because I've never had the chance to try this beer. Poured into a standard pint glass. Bright orange color. Ivory white head. Decent lacing. Hops really stood out in the smell. And yes, after the first sip, the hops hit me. Now, maybe it's my fault, but this is not what I expected. I thought this beer was more along the lines of a winter ale, with the very festive label and all. Not being a huge hophead, I was looking for something a bit more smooth to drink. Sierra Nevada has made quite a nice IPA here, but it's a bit overly hoppy for my taste.

Photo of rlparker3
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-Jan-2009 Home

2008 CA poured a beautiful orangy brown with a fine, creamy head. Aroma of pine and (cascade?) hops. Flavor is rich with malt and clean hops in the mouth's back. It drinks warm with the malts stronger early but finishes with overwhelming (in a good sense) hoppiness.

In a side note, my father saved some 2007. The family beer drinkers tasted them blind side by side. Almost all of us preferred the 2008. After a year 2007 is still a good beer, just not as "bright" as 2008... and 2007 carried an additional flavor characteristic... something similar to the hoppiness of Fuller's ESB.

Photo of ThirdLap
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'08 Celebration, $13.80/12pk from the local discount supermarket.

Pours a very dark amber leaving a creamy white ~1cm head. Head retention is relatively low, lasting a few minutes at best.

Screams cascade and centennial hops... they really jump at you here. Very citrusy and spicy nose.

I suspect that the character of this beer is very susceptible to poor storage and aging, as this one seems to be a bit more fresh and crisp ('bright' comes to mind) than previous tastings. The hops are extremely well balanced by the present but unobtrusive malty backbone.

I love the big carbonation bite of Celebration. I've found that like hops and malt, carbonation is an integral part of the balance of a good beer. The finish is just dry and clean, leaving just enough bitterness on the tongue.

Drinkability is quite high. I'm already craving another.

If SNPA is a great 'gateway' beer and Double Bastard is a great extreme beer, this is probably one of the best 'transitional' beers I've come across. A great introduction to what lies ahead for an unbeatable price.

With this review Celebration officially joins Old Rasputin on my list of incredible beer bargains.

Photo of Schwarz04
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium golden brown with a nice two finger head that holds for a while. Nice lacing as well. Slight carbonation present.

Smell: Nice and complex, a bit nutty. Floral, hoppy notes are defiantly present..

Taste: Slightly bitter, hoppy and grassy in a uniquely pleasant way. Tastes like an IPA but more complex....

Mouthfeel: A little dry, just dry enough to make you want to take another sip! The bitterness lingers a bit too. Very smooth finish as well.

Drinkability: Very smooth and easy drinking. Very impressed with this beer. Highly recommend!

Photo of freeeekyyy
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I just had a bottle of Celebration for the first time ever. Which is amazing considering I've been pretty into beer for several years now. Always figured it was a middle-of-the-road, avoidable beer. Man was I wrong. Celebration is great stuff. I'll definitely be getting it again next year.

Photo of dqderrick
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper, clear in color after pour. Color seemed very close to their new ESB. Celebration's head after pour seemed more off-white/cream colored (compared to ESB). The head was larger at about 1.5". Lacing was impressive.

Smelled great! Nice hop smell and a touch of sweet from the malt.

Hops! Oh, I definitely tasted the hops but it came across very balanced and made me follow my 1st sip with a nice gulp. Excellent medium-strong hop balance.

I'm buy this again... and again. It is a great brew. I'd taste their Pale, Celebration and new Torpedo side-by-side.

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

A - Poured into pint glass, a nice dark translucent amber, about a finger's worth of white foam. Leaves a veritable sheet of lace down the glass.

S - Oh wow, what a beer. A heavenly perfume (this coming from a cologne reviewer!) of scent, tinges of orange, pine and cedar, and exotic spice on a bed of luscious malt. Absolutely wonderful. I wonder how this would do in an atomizer. Eau de Celebration, anyone?

T - Sold. One sip was all it took. Big and spicy opening, this is what a winter warmer should do for you. The malt and hops are in a good balance, keeping smooth until the end when it finishes with a nice hoppy kick.

M - This is a full-bodied ale, make no mistake. The finish is clean and definitely on the bitter side. That bitterness persists for a good while, a couple minutes if you can manage to set this beer down that long. You're not exactly going to be able to down this like water, but given how rich the beer is it goes down very smooth. Very sippable. Alcohol is completely masked, which is scary considering the slightly above-average ABV and how good this is.

D - Seems like a great session beer with fellow beerophiles. Seems like a near-perfect warming brew after being out in the snow and cold.

Photo of BigIrishman
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Nice dark amber with a creamy white head that sticks for a while, then leaves a lot of lace.

Smell: Where to begin, a fruity ester hits up front with a whole bunch of spices following quickly.

Taste: One-ups the smell by taking the spicy/malty/fruity/hoppy to the extreme, leaving you wanting more.

Mouthfeel: Dense but yet smooth on the palate, leaves a dry, thirsty feeling afterward.

Drinkability: Just one is clearly not enough and at 6-7%, dangerous.

Notes: Excellent winter seasonal, with all the winter warmer/wassail/spiced beer winter seasonals, this IPA is nice change of pace.

Photo of heath1agnew
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance- nice copper colored appearance and good head retention and lacing.

smell- great hops, floral and pine scent.

taste and mouthfeel- great hops flavor with a nice floral citrus flavor at the end. the mouthfeel was a little too harsh with the carbonation. what i mean with that is that it wasn't as smooth as i would have liked.

drinkability- great tasting beer and easy to drink.

Photo of dudecandle
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As soon as I opened the bottle, I was smacked with a heavy hoppy smell, easily reminded me it's an IPA I'm dealing with.
A: It poured out clear, copper color into a 12oz pilsner glass, nice thick off-white one-finger head which dissipated low pretty quickly, but still stayed at least a bit while leaving a nice lacing all along the glass.
S: An amazing combination of hops, pine, citrus, maybe some grape.
T: Interesting, with the token IPA hoppiness being the most notable aspect of it all. The fruit plays a part as well, rounding it out pretty well. Higher level of alcohol is unnoticed, a big plus.
M: Almost offensive, moderately thick, nice low level of carbonation, and it never seems to leave.
D: Daunting at first, especially for me, not a huge fan of IPAs, but I have to respect this beer. The dynamic flavor-smell combinations are remarkable, and though it's not my favorite, the never-departing flavor may be the reminder that it is something to be reckoned with. Not for the faint of palate.

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

Just finished a 12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass. It was a clear, dark amber color, with a nice white head. Not much effervescence after the head died down.

The bite was immediate and sharp, but otherwise very clean and not overpowering. It lingered on the palate long enough that I wouldn't be inclined to drink it very fast, as you get more mileage out of it savoring it between sips.

I will definitely try this again when it is next in season next year.

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Dig Pub.
Poured into a pint glass with about 1 finger head that dissipated slowly.
Color is a rich amber, very clear.
Aroma: citrus (grapefruit), piney, some caramel malt, a little biscuity.
Taste: The sublime hop presence of this beer is announced! A perfect balance of malty sweetness and back of the tongue bitterness.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this beer is remarkable. a "Comfort beer".
Drinkability: This is my go to beer for the winter months. But, alas, Bigfoot and Torpedo Extra IPA will soon be out and I'll have to find something else to session. I'll be looking forward to next year's batch.

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

Pours out of the bottle a deep hazy copper color with an pillowy white head that sticks to the glass producing some excellent lacing as I drink. Smells of citrus hops. A very clean crisp scent that matches the flavor of clean hops with some malt in the backround. A bit thicker than most IPAs but all in all an excellent beer. Drinkability is good. I could have a few of these. Yum

Photo of CMW
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep copper color which turns more orange when held up to the light. There is a good amount of carbonation present which adds to the brew being mostly opaque. There is a nice white two finger head that left lacing throughout the entire glass.

It comes as no surprise that the aroma is dominated by hops, hops, and more hops. The sweet malt is also present along with some citrus fruit. I am picking up grapefruit or some sour lemon.

The first thing I noticed was the sour citrus fruit. However, this was immediately overpowered by a blast of hops. There is a hint of malt but it is dominated by the hop flavor. I can catch a bit of spice toward the end, but very little. The beer finishes dry, very clean and simply refreshing. The aftertaste brings back a tad of the citrus fruits mixed with the somewhat bitter taste you come to expect from the style. Even at 6.8% abv. the alcohol is barely noticeable.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my last bottles from a 12 pack from Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours amber colored with a white head....good lacing on the glass

S: Smells hoppy, fruity, citrusy

T: Tastes similar to the smell with some hop bitterness at the end with a crisp, refreshing finish...i have notice this tastes WAY more bitter when drinking while eating

M: thick for an IPA with above average carbonation

D: Highly drinkable, it's refreshing and solid flavor without tasting alcohol makes this a great session beer

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

A - Pours an amber color with great head retention. Lacing forms as the head recedes! Foam looks very frothy and thick. The beer itself looks clear with mild carbonation.

S - Instant hoppy aroma consumes the senses. Citrus and some spicy node follows suit.

T - Malts surround the palate, though bitterness ensues fairly quickly afterward with a lasting tingly feeling on the palate.

M - Almost creamy taste rushes over the tongue at first and thereafter numbs the sensation with hops. Though not spiced, some sort of spice comes across the palate, so possibly a specific type of hops or malt.

Conclusion - Great beer, very drinkable. Seems to taste better at cooler temps than when warmer. As always, great quality from an amazing brewery!

Photo of fosterific
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer looks great poured into a glass. It has a translucent golden-amber color with a solid custard colored head.

The glass explodes with the dominating crisp aroma of hops, lot and lots of hops.

As the smell foreshadowed, my palate is submerged in the bitterness and teasing of hops that encourages just one more sip before I set the glass down.

The carbonation level gives the beer a light, crisp mouth feel.

I always enjoy a well hopped beer such as this and am curious as to how this AIPA will age. With any hoppy beer though, I can only handle so many before needing a break of malty goodness.

-peace

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

2007, aged a little over a year.

A- murky dark golden/amber color with a foamy off-white head with great retention and lacing as the beer goes down.

S- citrus fruits and malty. a hint of hops, so they are still there, but they have definitely degraded over a year.

T- orange up front with some malts and a sweetness that i cant quite place. the hops are only noticeable in the finish when it leaves you with a lingering bitterness.

M- Medium bodied and smooth.

D- i could (and have) drink celebration all night. it goes down easy and begs you to have another.

overall i would say that i like them fresh more than aged. that being said, this is the third aged one i've had and ive found them all to be very good. with a year on it, it tastes more like a hopped up APA than an AIPA.

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Every winter I look forward to this beer, and now that I'm drinking my last one while listening to the hockey game I suppose I should review one. Of course I'll have another couple weeks of finishing off the stray bottle that the local bars have leftover...

A: I've always enjoyed the color of this beer. It's dark for your average IPA, maybe flirting with an amber a little. Pours with about a half inch of head on it.

S: I can really smell the cascades in this one, a very enjoyable wave of pine and citrus.

T: Kind of like winning the Stanly Cup, it never gets old. Hops hops and hops, with a little bit of malt too it.

M: If there is one problem with the mouthfeel, it's a little overcarbonated for my taste.

D: As I lie in bed each morning and ask myself why I should put both my feet on the floor there are precious few reasons I've been able to come up with. The chance to escape my girlfriend's morning breath, sure. Celebration Ale? It's too early to drink but people it is never to early to think about it.

Photo of Willamette
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 - 12oz - 45~50 deg. - nonic

This was among the ugliest beers I've drank (or is it drunk?). It had head, color and lacing so it wasn't all bad, but the iced-tea amber color with suspended grit and roaming chunks made it look really home-style. It's a good thing 'looks aren't everything', the aroma and taste easily make up for the appearance. Hops forward, followed closely by caramel and then malt. Tastes very much like it smells but has a strong, enjoyable bitter edge. It's getting prettier...
It's been a while since I've had Celebration and I don't remember it being this good. I want to say that this could be THE standard for an American IPA. Not too much west coast hoppyness (barely), and a clear caramel /malty core that I associate with eastern styles (as if I actually had a clue).
Others here have described it far better than I can but this is well worth drinking and should be sought out.

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

Not having any more Wet Hop Harvest, I switched to the Celebration Ale.

A: A really deep dark amber color with a very nice and distinct off white head. Lots of lacing that is long lasting.

S: Mainly a hoppy scent of pine, citrus and other fruit. Some spice and malt undertones.

T: At first the beer tasty a little malty, but soon thereafter, the hops hit you. Not overly balanced, but very distinct flavors.

M: A little slick, left the mouth feeling a tad oily.

D: A very nice IPA, worthy of multiple in one sitting.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. I'm not sure what we're Celebrating, but I figured I'd snag a six pack since there weren't many left and see what the Celebration is all about.

Pours a very nice clear see-through amber. Huge foamy thick tan head that leaves abundant lacing. This one was an over pour.

Aroma is of piney hops and spice. There's also some fruity sweetness in there.

Taste is entirely hops. Slick, oily, piney hops. The malt is present enough to provide some balance and keep this from being ultra-bitter. Nice dry finish, with a little spicy aftertaste.

This is a beer that definitely leaves you wanting more. It clings to your tongue just enough to remind you that there's still some left in the glass and whispers gently for you to drink it. And then another. And then another.

This beer is definitely worth Celebrating.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,187 ratings.