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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.

9,187 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 9,187 | Reviews: 3,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CoolJosh
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After all of the hype hear on BA, I felt inclined to try this one. I've always been a supporter of Sierra Nevada, one of the major craft brewing founding fathers.

A. Pale copper and amber color. 1 finger creamy low carbonated head that vanishes after the first sip. Great lacing on the side.

S. Lemon. Slight orange. Citrus hops. A carbonated smell manages to seep out.

T. Hops bite the tongue right away. Then leads into a smoothed out orange and lemon and grapefruit taste. To end, a great citrus and slight pine hop kick. Refreshing. Creamy texture, but a little on the thinner side.

Photo of bbeerman
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A..Nice amber color on the pour. Excellent Belgium lace that lasts and lasts.

S..Mighty hoppy, much like their India Pale Ale.

T..A good, albeit standard, IPA taste. Certainly not bad, but I was hoping for more wintry celebration in this one.

M..Nice full body. This beer makes its presence known.

D..I like the fact this beer is nearly 7% ABV. Easy to drink a few during a session. Something to enjoy on a cold winter's day.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle into a tulip; no freshness date

P: Pours gold from the bottle and sits deep amber with a slight orange tint. 2 fingered off-white head is creamy, yet rocky with large bubbles on the surface. Great retention and left globs of lacing as it sank down to form a halo that surrounded an island of foam.

A: Sweet bready, caramel malts, grapefruit and piney hops, honey, yeast, and some spices. Smells like christmas trees!

T: Starts with some good initial hop flavors that follow the nose, accompanied by sweet bread and caramel malts. This is followed by a great addition of spices and flavors including; a little cinnamon, (nutmeg?), honey, ginger, and what tastes like pine needles. As they become more pronounced, they really play off of the base of the grist quite nicely. Finish is adequately dry and features some prominent yeast and a citrusy twang that adds yet another layer of flavor, and another increase on the enjoyment meter. Very pleasant aftertaste lingers for quite awhile. Damn tasty!

M: Medium-full body, mouth-coating, smooth, crisp and sharp, and gently carbonated.

D: Through the roof. Incredibly easy to drink due to the great christmasy flavors that keep you coming back for more.

Notes: What a perfect beer to enjoy with my dad as we watch USC beat the living daylights out of the Nittany Lions on New Year's Day. This is the definition of a festive beer that is best enjoyed on such special occasions, as it reminds you why this time of the year is so magical. The best session beer on the planet when the holiday season rolls around!

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a deep red amber with a huge, fluffy light tan colored cap. The thick cap takes a while to subside and leaves huge gobs of sticky lace all over the glass. Awesome.

Hops jump right out of the glass and assault your olfactories. Huge grapefruit, pine, and spruce layered atop a toasted, sweet grain.

Taste is of grapefruits, orange peel, pine needles and a toasted grain. Sweet up front, then the bittering hops take over. A pretty classic ipa flavor in the west coast style.

This guy is big and chewy, yet soft and creamy. It leaves a hop oil slick coating the mouth. Full bodied, carbonation is at just the right amount to lead to the chewy, yet creamy mouthfeel.

The abv is on the north side of 6, but this is pretty well-crafted and as a hophead, I could drink this all night.

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

Poured a dark amber color into my Duvel glass with a rocky, soapy, two-finger off-white head which left prodigious lacing all over the inside of the glass. Aroma is fruity hops with a bit of malt, candy (red Jolly Ranchers), flowers. Mouthfeel is full yet not heavy, smooth, great carbonation. Taste is orange and caramel up front, with some nuttiness and toffee flavor towards the middle and a perfect hop bite toward the finish. At first I was skeptical of the hype surrounding this brew, but after tasting it I can honestly say that this is by far the best IPA I have tried and has greatly deepened my appreciation for hops.

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

I bought a sixer of this ale because historically I have been a holiday/winter beer snob. This winter, I have decided to delve deeper into the realm of winter beers.

Although I love beers with hops, and truly enjoyed this ale, I do not know why this beer has been labeled with a winter theme. The hops and grapefruit are front and center on this beer. There is no real presence of holiday spice or winter flavors. So, why exactly they call this a celebration ale, I am not certain.
I do recommend this ale though. I find it to be affordable and very drinkable, if you like hops.
Heck, I would even compare this to an Arrogant Bastard Ale at a much lower cost.

Pour: The pour was a gentle amber/orange with a two to three finger head that slowly dissipated and left a nice lace on the glass throughout the drink.

Smell: The smell was grapefruit/citrus right up front with a nice hop spice mixed in.

Taste: The drink starts with a hop kick up front and goes quickly sweet with a fruit tone. The finish is nice hops that linger, but not too long. The hops are there but not oily, just a nice hop flavor.

Drinkability: This is a good example of an IPA. Good for a person that is new to IPA's and great for a seasoned beer drinker. Great flavor, great look, very drinkable.

Photo of Packforever1976
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled into a british pint.
2008 vintage

A: Pours a medium-dark amber with nice clarity. Fluffy 2-finger off-white head. Decent retention. Nice lacing.

S: Nice blend of floral/citrus/pine hops. Some sweet malts as well. Very nice.

T: I get some malts right away, but the hops come roaring in immediately. Nice sweet biscuity malts, followed by some bitter pine/citrus hops. Finishes very bitter. Delicious.

M: Nice level of thickness. Feels very creamy in my mouth. Carbonation level is just a tad high, but still good. Balanced.

D: Drinkability is very good. This packs some punch with the flavor, but is still very sessionable. I was able to score another half-case of this, which I plan to cellar. I plan on revisiting this same vintage when the '09 comes out. Tasty stuff.

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

Sorry, I just find myself a raving fan of this brew. It looks great, with a big flaffy light tan head floating on the bronz brew, but I found it went down hill from there. It's hoppy, with an earthy, resiny bitterness that just wasn't to my liking, and which I think clashed somewhat with the nutty and slightly caramel malt. Lot's of hops on the nose, this one is pretty aromatic. It's good, but I didn't find to as great as many people here found it.

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

Beautiful appearance, rich copper color with a creamy off-white head. Citrusy and piney hop aromas, tanginess as well.

Pretty damn hoppy and bitter, with a great biscuity and caramel malt structure. Great hop flavor, I get a lot of grapefruit. A malty IPA as well. Bitter, toasty aftertaste. Delicious overall, too bad it's a seasonal. Ideal carbonation (not too much) and balanced, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Overall impression is that this is a fantastic IPA and one of a kind winter seasonal.

Photo of felipe2toes
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color was an orange-copper hue with a nice creamy head. The lacing was nice on this beer as well, clinging to my glass till the last drop.

The nose was very piney, not much citrus that I could detect. The taste was piney as well, the hops really come through. The carbonation was nice on the tongue too. I liked this beer very much, though I'd say the drinkability is OK as the hoppiness got to my palate pretty quickly.

Photo of evanackerman
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a deep orange copper color with a creamy substantial head that leaves beautiful wispy lacing as the beer is consumed.

Aroma is pine, citrus, caramel, lovely!

taste is a truly exceptional balance of citrus and floral hops with a solid backbone of caramel malt. outstanding!

mouthfeel is medium bodied, very nice for style. no complaints.
carbonation is just right.

overall, I have to say this brewery sure knows how to do pales and IPAs, absolutely outstanding American IPA here, very enjoyable, worth seeking out or making a special trip to acquire. the only thing keeping this beer from a perfect score is that the Sierra Nevada Hop Harvest Ale is even better!

Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a straight pint glass. Pours a lovely dark copper color. Poured a small, tight head that disappated quickly. Leaves a nicer lacing than the head would lead you to believe. A sharp hop aroma. Tastes matches aroma. Basic, solid hop flavors. Little to no floral flavors, all sharp flavors. Lacks body and backbone, but is in line with most American IPAs. Nicely drinkable, I suffer palate fatigue after 2-3 so not really that sessionable. A solid IPA, and I generally have some around when available, but this beer does not run away from others of this style.

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

Had a bottle to ring in the new year! Poured into a pint glass as the ball dropped.

Appearance: Gorgeous plummy amber with good carbonation running throughout and a 1-finger tan head that shrinks to a skim quickly. Good lacing remains throughout.

Smell: Great citrusy hop smell, big on grapefruit and pine, combines really well with a warm, toasty grain tone.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The hops present very directly in this beer - there is strong citrus rind presence with a great balance from toasty, almost crunchy tasting grainy maltiness. The alcohol comes through, but isn't too strong. The mouthfeel is light and bright thanks to the good level of carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink this all night. Nuf Said.

I have to mention that I've had plenty of these before, but I just got around to reviewing it because I enjoy it so much that I've never wanted to sit down and actually think on it enough to write it. I figured since my stock for the year is almost gone, I better get to it!

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

A - Clear, light copper, with a 1-finger pillowy, off-white head that is holding up well. Nice lacing left on glass as I drink.

S - Citrusy hops, cracker-like maltiness, sprinkled with a piney-type scent.

T - Firmly bittered, rich and malty. Lots of crackery malt flavor, grassy/citrusy hop charcaters. Finishing dry with a lingering bitterness and hints of resiney/piney hops.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

D - The kind of brew I can easily drink a sixer of. Well-balanced, pleasing dry finish. Plenty of hop kick and bitterness lies atop a densely-crafted backbone of malts.

Photo of Bagman007
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Brown copper coloring with more than a finger's width of head.

S- Has a hoppy scent. Kind of sweet. Has a light hint of malts as well.

T- Great balance of hops and malts. A few spices also give this beer a kick.

M- Excellent carbonation. Not too bitter, but it does have a little bit of a bite at the end.

D- Hoppy, but still fairly drinkable. You should be able to have a few of these in a sitting.

Overall one of the best Winter Warmer's around. A must have around this time of year. Highly recommended.

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

Wow. Really impressed by it's appearance. Nice thick and foamy with tons of lacing on the sides of the glass. Coppery orange color. Smell is wonderfully hoppy. Notes of grapefruit and other citrus smells. Not much in the way of piney fragrances. Taste is really nice as well. Grapefruit bitterness is well balanced by a malty sweetness. Quite smooth and very drinkable.

Photo of bataround
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful orange/copper with a nice, off-white head that sticks pretty well.

Smell: Aroma of cascade hops: grapefruit, pine, and a slight floral note. Great nose on this beer!

Taste: Has a good malt background, but this brew's all about the hops! Despite this, there's still of good balance of flavor. This is beer with cascade hops done right. Does a great job of arousing the appetite.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good for the style. Light to light/medium body. Sits more to the dry side. Nice...

Drinkability: Very high if you're a hop-head. If not, stay away because the incredible flavor will only come across as blinding bitterness.

This is my first year trying this brew and I must say that I'm quite impressed. It's like their fantastic Pale Ale, but taken to the next level. I'll look forward to this next year...

Photo of Rayek
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber with good clarity and minimal carbonation. Rocky off-white head starts out large, retains well and leaves generous lace.

S: Pine, grapefruit and lemon hit the nose in order. Some toasted malt aroma sits in the back.

T: The beer is dominated by a moderately high bitterness. Grapefruit and lemon make up most of the bitter flavor, with an extra earthy kick along to help. A toasted biscuit flavor from the malt rides underneath. Finishes tart and dry.

M: Medium body feels oily. Initial carbonation felt high, but settled down as the beer sat.

D: A nice IPA, but I think I'm starting to suffer from IPA burnout. Good, but not spectacular and sort of nondescript. Still worth a revisit next year.

Photo of UDbeernut
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, poured into my dog fishhead pint glass

A: copper color with a 1/4" head that last the entire glass full. Lots of lacing a carbonation

S: floral hops dominate nose, hint of malt

T: floral hops hit the palate first. Also citus notes and carmel malt

M&D: extremely drinkable beed despite slightly higher ABV. Light to medium bodied.

I have found a new favorite during the winter season. I also wished this was a year round offering as this is the best IPA I have had.

Excellent beer.


Photo of IBUnit63
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed in commemoration of my very first purchase from Belmont's first off-premise beverage store...since I picked up a case of 2008 at Costco and have been working these off for a while, time to give the 2008 its due. 12 oz. into a Duvel tulip...

Huge 3-finger dulce de leche head tops crisp copper body with almost soapy consistency (a little proofing dough too). Retention is excellent; beginning of Florentine lacing emerges. Quick, moderate carbonation. Good chunky seam. Not sure if there's anything wrong with this deal's look at all.

Powerful soapiness to overabundant hop profile; remainder is quite floral. Oiliness meshes with slightly metallic and carbonated tinge - stewy boiled crystal-ish malt is in the background with maybe a small caramel note. Looking for morse viscosity here. Despite the abundant nose, pulling back the onion leaves a little missing. Ruby Red grapefruit rind comes out slightly with warmth, along with an almost Saaz-ish silage feel.

This is very accessible...oiliness of hops comes through with a small amount of cinnamon and clove - crystal malt pokes through with a bit of caramel. Soapiness and floral nature of hops dominate - could use a little more citrus.

Of course this is quite good but I can get past the soapiness. It seems to be as designed but the package needs more balance on the malt side to round this out. Slightly astringent.

All told, a good sessionable brew - good for the gateway and readily available. Still, could use a little more steak than sizzle.


Original text of 2/3/2008 review (2007 vintage):
A- / 4.1
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4
First beer I ever purchased at the first ever off-premise liquor store in Belmont, MA. Talk about something to celebrate! $7.99/6 price tag too! Anyway...2007 edition. Deep, dark amber/caramel color with nice, frothy head. Bountiful scent of hops and spice capture the olfactory. Warm, solid effort for this vintage - excellent hop character well-blended with mild spice notes. Nice warming sense on the palate. For something that packs this much of a punch it drinks fairly easily. Well-done.

First beer I ever purchased at the first ever off-premise liquor store in Belmont, MA. Talk about something to celebrate! $7.99/6 price tag too! Anyway...2007 edition. Deep, dark amber/caramel color with nice, frothy head. Bountiful scent of hops and spice capture the olfactory. Warm, solid effort for this vintage - excellent hop character well-blended with mild spice notes. Nice warming sense on the palate. For something that packs this much of a punch it drinks fairly easily. Well-done.

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

Appearance: Nice dark amber in color. Light fluffy head that stays a while.

Smell: Very refreshing smell-hops and malts. A nice combination and foreshadowing of what lies ahead.

Taste: Balanced with a slight egde to the hops. Earthy, grassy taste of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodies-carbonation is about perfect. Slightly oily.

Drinkability: One of the easiest beers to drink. Very easy to keep em coming.

Overall an excellent beer.Wish it was around all year.

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

Actually, my serving types were many bottles...had to drink one a few days later to do the write-up.

Appearance: This ale poured cloudy with a nice deep amber and plenty of carbonation visible through the glass. A very effervescent brew with a beautifully creamy and frothy head. The head had great retention and left a substantial amount of lace in the glass.

Smell: The bouquet of this ale was very fragrant - especially with the hops. The malts were omnipresent and smelled delicious. There were also aromas of caramel and spicey undertones.

Taste: The bitterness from the hops nicely pairs with the malt backbone of this beer. There were hints of citrus fruit rounding out each swallow, followed by an almost candied or caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, never too much, just right, keeping each taste crisp and smooth. Each swallow left an almost sweet caramel like coating throughout the mouth.

Drinkability: The drinkability of this beer is outstanding! This well crafted beer is too smooth, too easy to drink, and too damn tasty. So why exactly is it a seasonal???

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

FINALLY got this!

The appearance is very nice! A great head and a nice body! The head is an ivory white and a dark golden body!

The smell is very hoppy and great for the IPA! Its wonderful! The taste is crisp and citrisy.

This is very drinkable and refreshing.

Overall, its a very clean, hoppy, and refreshing brew! Well done!

Photo of PatrickJR
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Old Chicago in Wake Forest, NC; served in a pint glass.

A - Clear amber/copper with about a finger of white head. Retention is decent before falling to a thin cap. Great lacing.

S - Huge grapefruit aroma with elements of pine and earthiness keeping things intersting. Slight aroma of sweet malt is in the background.

T - Grapefruit is the dominating factor here with a hint of earthiness. Alcohol peeks through at times and semi-sweet malt kicks in near the finish to balance out a moderate to high hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Prickly on the tongue.

D - Celebration is certainly a great IPA, but I had hoped it would be even better on tap than from the bottle. Still good, but some of the harshness around the edges is still evident.

Photo of craytonic
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 version

Appearance: Shiny copper penny with nice chill-haze

Smell: Hops with a touch of spiceness and grapefruit

Taste: Hops with a touch of bread/caramel from the malt

Mouthfeel: Standard, neither outstanding or lacking

Drinkability: Its an IPA, would drink it for free but would not actively seek it out.

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