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

9,295 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,295
Reviews: 3,344
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 293
Gots: 1,223 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 9,295 | Reviews: 3,344
Photo of grayburn
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great idea...in a seasonal market flooded with winter warmers and old ales, Sierra Nevada comes out with a good old ipa. Way to be original, just because it is winter does not mean tongue doesn't need hops!
Pours a light orange with an off-white head composed of small bubbles that cling to the glass for dear life.
Smells of piney hops, the pine dominates the scent and flavor profile. There is a decent malt backbone that the hops ride in on.
The taste is the same, a pine front with a sweet finish, I am beginning to understand more why this is a winter seasonal. Like a lovely christmas tree in a glass.
The mouth is smooth and creamy with perfectly played carbonation.
This beer is very easy to drink, and the moderate abv means you can have a few.

Photo of schroederm
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a goblet:

Really great webby lacing and a decent head over an attractive dark amber hue. Head looks a bit sticky and holds on tight to the class. The nose involves common IPA aromas of lemon and grapefruit, with a bit of clove in there. The taste is quite floral with an extremely pleasant bitter aftertaste. The body is unfortunately thin, but is well carbonated. The brew is not overwhelming to the palate through its subtle use of fruit flavor and good level of bitter, making it both delicious and drinkable.

Overall: I reviewed this beer when it was at least 4 months old, but the argument has been made that this IPA holds up well to aging. This is definitely a beer to stock up on: great value for an exceptional IPA.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from a bottle into a glass. The color is medium-brown with a slight white lacing, with little retention. The flowery smell of the hops is pleasant and not overpowering. A nice, hoppy flavor hits the palate up front. There is a slgiht bitter that lingers after each sip, but overall the flavor is great for an IPA. The mouthfeel was average, but nothing impressive. Only a slight hint of carbonation, but it works well enough for the beer. For an IPA from Sierra Nevada, I expected this beer to be less drinkable, but surprising, this does not overpower with flavor or alcohol content.

Overall, this was a really good to great IPA. One of the best winter seasonals out there. Worth a try.

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

A: Poured a reddish amber color with a generous 3 finger beige head. The retention was fantastic, as was the amount of lacing left on the glass.
S: Piney, citrus,hoppy, caramel malt, and brown sugar.
T: Sweet with a very hoppy spicy finish. Pretty decent and tasty.
M: A bit thin bodied, but a good amount of carbonation.
D: Fairly drinkable, the hop taste is good. The price is pretty good too. Overall, a decent IPA at a decent price.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper amber color with about a finger and a half of beige head that slowly subsides and leaves some nice lacing.

Lots of pine and citrus from the hops show up in the aroma.

Hops definitely come through in the taste with notes of grapefruit, pine and also some subtle caramel notes. Mostly hoppy with a very faint malt presence.

Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. At first, I found this to be a little too bitter but I quickly warmed up to it. I would definitely drink these again but I probably wouldn't care to have too many in one sitting.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear light amber color with a huge reddish-tan head that slowly fades to a fluffy mesa surrounded by sheets of lace. A great looking beer.

Aroma is superbly fresh grassy hops and just enough honey-sweet caramel maltiness. Hints of clover, pears and Kix cereal.

Floral hop flavor profile while not going overboard on the bitterness. Smooth caramel and toasty maltiness provides just enough balance to keep it from being a hoppy mess. What I love about this beer is that there is no indications of oxidation or any other off flavors. A great beer and is quite possibly my favorite SN brew.

Photo of Jimbo87
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear copper color. Big off-white sudsy head.

Smell is awesome barley and hop balance. Citrus, maybe earthy?

Taste: I didn't get a very remarkable barley taste. As it warmed I could taste a slight toastedness. Hops are pretty much just bitterness. In accordance with the style, the balanced was tilted toward hoppy.

Mouthfeel is good. The head was very nice and creamy. And the beer has a substantial body for the style.

Pretty high drinkability. A very good beer.

Photo of william5586
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a great burnt orange color with a one finger head that recedes to a ring and leaves sticky lace. Ohhh, the smell of pine hops puts a smile on my face. I first had this beer in early December and it instantly reminded me of a fresh cut Christmas tree. The taste is dominated by pine hops and finishes with that great bitterness. A hint of sweetness fights though, but I had to search for it. Medium bodied and good drinkability.

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

Woho! My 100# review here on BeerAdvocate! Oh well, let's get on with it!

Sierra Nevada is a really nice American Brewery, and I think this is my 3rd beer from them! Anyway, here goes the review:

The beer pours a deep amber color with a slight haziness. There's a large beige foam that settles to a nice but uneven lid of foam after a couple of minutes in the glass.

Aroma holds lots of American hops, and some herbal-like notes that I can't really put my finger on, quite nice though.

Taste is nice and bitter with those herbal notes. There are also some hints of caramell and dried fruits.

A nice beer that I would love to try on-tap.

Photo of br3wmeister
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Big off white foamy head that is very sticky and leaves great lacing. The beer is a translucent copper color. Head dissipates to a thin cap that lasts almost to the bottom.

S- Nice light maltiness, hints of table sugar and earthy sweetness. Light hop character, nothing special going on in the nose here.

T- Lots floral and piney hops with some earthy herbal spiciness going on. Some malty balance but definitely not the focus here. Some caramel and hints of fruit, overtaken by piney hops and dry bitterness.

M- Medium bodied with lots of hoppy bite. Could use a little more malt to thicken it up a bit.

Overall- This is a decent beer but could use a bigger malt profile. Good display of hops.

Photo of Chapter40z
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Light amber color, completely translucent. Poured 2 solid fingers of off white head into a tumbler. Extremely appealing to the eye.

S. Some sweet citrus hops, Slight bitterness on the nose.

T. HOPS! and Christmas. All joking aside this is a great example of the American IPA. Definitely a hops-head beer but a solid beer all around.

M. Mid-full body on this on. Mild carbonation with a smooth lingering bitterness.

D. I'm not exactly a hops head and I still liked this beer. Strong representation of the style. After this beer ill have to try more IPA's in the future.

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

12 oz. bottle tried 8 Feb 2009. 2008 version.

Poured in shaker pint glass. Very large peachy foamy head. Well carbonated. Clear orange copper color. Aroma is pleasanty earthy with a vanilla caramel sweetness. Starts caramel sweet, pecans, vanilla. Quickly becomes dry and citrus bitter. Lingering bitter finish. Medium body. Moderate ethanol.

A long time favorite of the Christmas season.

Photo of kittylitter
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice head. Lovely smell of grapefruit and freshly mowed grass, and maybe a hint of blackcurrant! If you swirl it vigourously, you can feel a smell of pines, and juniper.

Perfect bitterness with a clear taste of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced bitterness, fruitiness, and a tiny sweet note. The best beer I have bought in Sweden.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: One of the more classic labels of the season; quite festive; this is the 2008 vintage; I bought it just a few days after release, I have no idea why I haven't gotten to this until now

Appearance: Beautiful bright burnt orange; tons of superfine sediment in suspension, I think I poured a bit overzealously...capped with a super fluffy whipped cream head that lasts and lasts and lasts...amazing sheets of lacing

Smell: No surprise here; fruity, zesty hops, hops, and hops! There's some spicy, bready malt character in the background, but this is all about the hops.

Taste: Bam! There it is. Big citrus hop bitterness right up front; this is big, sharp, and somewhat dry; the hops seem almost juicy though in the way they make your mouth pucker. Malt is somewhat balanced, but the hops are definitely this beer's raison d'etre.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly puckering sharp finish

Drinkability: The hops are just slightly aggressive and the abv is a bit high to make me want more than a couple of these...but a couple, especially with a hearty steak and roasted fingerling potatoes, would be delicious

Conclusion: Classic West-Coast IPA...a little sharp, but overall quite pleasing...I make sure to pick this up every year

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

Pours a beautiful reddish amber color, with a nice two finger head that reminds me of a Chimay.

Appearance is near perfect, the head's pale color is my favorite part, which has good retention, lasting nearly the entire time.

Has a fairly hoppy smell, with hints of fruitiness.

The taste is very well balanced, with an excellent hop taste that recedes to a sweet, but not too sweet aftertaste, which is the best part IMO.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Carbonation levels could not have been more on par here, goes with the taste flawlessly.

As for drinkablity, it is damn good. I could easily put down a sixer of this in a few hours.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby red with a three finger head that laces along the edge of the glass in a dense pattern.

Aroma of grapefruit and other citrus peel-like characters. Faint hints of woodsy pine and spruce.

Taste is hoppy bitterness that's a bit unbalanced. Not enough malt or sweetness for my taste.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Refreshing and seems to be a good fit for hot weather.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out amber with a huge off white head, great retention and lacing all the way down. Smell isn't as strong as I'd expect. Taste is a hop bite up front. Not too much, just right. This is a great average IPA. It's a little twist of Sierra Nevada's IPA's that make it great for the winter. Warms you up a little.

Photo of maximum12
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So my wife & I have a date night a couple weeks ago & wander southward from the Twin Cities, randomly, no particular place in mind. We happen upon this nice place in Rosemount, MN, Rudy's Redeye Grill, & stop. You know the kind of place. Wine list longer than your arm, four beers. Fine. We're going to a place later where they have a great beer list (our house).

I ask what the "seasonal" is & she says "Nevada". I say, "Sierra Nevada? What type?" & she wrinkles her nose & repeats "Nevada". OK...guess I'll have one of those. NOTE: she was otherwise a superb waitress.

It comes. My wife sips & says "Pale Ale". I sip & say, "No way. What is this?" I wander up to the bar & if you haven't fallen asleep yet: a tap handle for Celebration. My first encounter. Much better beer than I expected with a very nice dinner.

So I needed to have one in a bottle to see if it's really good or just tainted by my euphoria of having a non-sucky beer that evening.

I have to say it was a little of both. This is a good, solid beer, with plenty of IPA flavor & some subtle spices to give it that wintery feeling. I understand the drinkability - it is a sublime piece of work, created to be lovingly downed in multiple bottles.

Photo of bcastine
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I love this beer, perfect winter New England beer, just tastes so damn good regardless.

A: amber with frothy, tight bubbled head that last the duration of the beer, the lacing is world class- bottom to top.

S: citrus, pine and hops, lots of hops

T: Grapefruit, pine, hoppy, balanced nearly perfectly by the malt

M: medium bodied, perfect balance of carbonation.

D: This beer hits me harder then its claimed 6.8%, seems higher to me, but never tastes boozy. It just tastes so good and balanced, is so beautiful to look at it must be poured in a glass. A great achievement, when I can get it, its in my fridge. A very under rated brew imho.

Photo of mjryan
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to the release of this beer every year. A straight foward American Style IPA. A benchmark of the style. If anyone is confused, this isnt a winter warmer, or spiced holiday beer either...its an IPA. Pours a nice clear amber colour with a substantial head. Nice sticky lace coats the glass as the beer is consumed. Smells like grapefruit juice, tastes like grapefruit juice and may as well be grapefruit juice. Gotta love those Cascade and Chinook hops. Bitterness is abrasive, just how I like it. If you are into grapefruity beers, this is it. I absolutly love this beer!

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

12 oz. poured into a 16 oz. pint glass. Amber with a small bubble and light carbonation. It has a slightly hazy appearance. Nice balance between the hops, malt, and alcohol content. Medium body with a medium hoppy/bitter finish. Lacks the distinctive aromatic aroma and taste often found in other higher IBU AIPAs, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

As a regular DIPA drinker, I find it very drinkable. That being said, for those who prefer a less hopped beer, one might be enough.

Photo of akokandy
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- 12oz brown bottle poured into an American Pint glass. Pours a close-to-transparent copper with a significant, thick, spoon-able head. Good head retention and tons of lacing.

S- Everything's really muted here. Hard to detect, but citrus hops are present, dominated by lemon. Really hard to get much out of the smell.

T- Beats the hell out of the smell. Hops are the first thing that hit me, with a grapefruit note in it. Pine notes are noticeable. Some malt shows up in the aftertaste. Almost no sweetness. Very sharp, bitter finish. As it warms, some bready and grainy malt notes are detectable.

M- The beer has enough malt to make it medium-bodied. There is very little carbonation.

D- Pretty easy to drink. I could take down a six-pack of this brew no problem. Not the best IPA I've had, and definitely not balanced, but a good session choice if you like hops.

Photo of Chugmonkey
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish/brown with massive pillowy off white head. Exploding with piney/citrus hop yumminess and flavor.

Solid mouthfeel. Get six cuz one ain't nearly enough. Does get a little sweet/full feeling after a couple. An outstanding beer. I love it.

On the darker/fuller feeling of the IPA spectrum, almost winter warmer like in the fullness. But if ya got that hop itch, this will satisfy.

Photo of remllof
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to review celebration. Pours a decent offwhite creamy head. Color is red/ almost orange with good clarity, just wonderful. Smell is and nice hit of piney hops, not too powerful but good. Taste is right there with citris hops. Finishes up with a nice bite of bitterness. Mouthfeel is about medium bodied, not too heavy. Overall a great from Sierra Nevada which I will buy again next year.

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

2008 Celebration

1'' off white/eggshell head. Great retention and thick, fresh lacing. Copper color with good clarity. Wonderful aroma of creamy, sweet malts and piney, citrusy hops. Classic Sierra Nevada nose. Hop bitterness form start to finish...lots of pine needle and bitter orange peel/rind. Nice malt backing - faint caramel in finish, still - a hop showcase. Medium body with tongue tingling alcohol and bracing hops - decent level of carbonation. One hell of a beer.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,295 ratings.