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

9,262 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,262
Reviews: 3,335
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 289
Gots: 1,197 | 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
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: 9,262 | Reviews: 3,335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been drinking a lot of beers, but slacking on theses reviews. But I did buy this beer for review, this is the 2011 version. The 2012 just came out, which I will get and review as well.

A: This beer pours a dark orange color with a 1 1/2 inch soapy off white head, which almost overflowed out of my glass.

S: I get an initial aroma of grapefruit and pine, with some hop characteristics. Very potent smell that is complimented by some sweetness from honey and malts.

T: Very earthy taste consisting of grapefruit and pine up front. As I get into the flavor I get a dryness from the yeast and sweetness from the malts.

M: Very sweet flavor, a bit tangy, but the hop bite is not severe. Minimal carbonation, but very sessionable.

O: This is the 2011 Celebration ale, so it might have lost some of its characteristics over the course of the year, but I didnt notice. I got a very quality IPA, and from Sierra Nevada, I would expect nothing less than quality. Did not disappoint, even after aging a year. Look forward to trying the 2012!

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

Pours a nice copper color with a good creamy head that leaves a nice lacing. Smells of hops and freshness. Very good taste. Hoppy. Some hints of grapefruit perhaps. Finishes very clean and is highly drinkable. The high alcohol content is masked very nicely. Another great selection from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of Packforever1976
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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 mtbbaboon
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer after reading such good things about this on BA. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a copper color, slightly darker than what I'd expect with an IPA. Finger thick head that settled down quickly. Smells slightly hoppy with some citrus tones. Not a very powerful aroma compared to other IPA's I've had, but still smells pretty good. Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, some stick, medium bodied. Oddly, the taste is a lot more robust than the aroma. Starts off slightly malty with citrus, followed up by a real nice hop taste...REAL nice. The hops and citrus linger for a bit and bitterness rounds out the taste. Drinks really well and goes down easy. This is why I love BA...I'm not a huge fan of winter seasonals and would not have bought this had I not read the commentary on BA. This an excellent IPA. Then again, I expect nothing less from Sierra Nevada.

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

2005 vintage, purchased as a six pack from Chesapeake Wine in Bmore.
No discernable difference from previous years. You will receive a beautiful copper brew with a sticky off white head. Great carbonation, lacing, and retention. Big grapefruity piney aroma bouyed by a hefty caramel/bready malt body. The flavor will be full of Cascades, but expertly matched agains a caramel malt and slightly alcoholish background. You will want several. Though on the heavier side, this one will be enjoyed by non-beerknerds during holiday parties.

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

Poured a nice frothy, 1 finger off white head. rich amber color.

Smells like citrussy hops, not much else.

Tastes like hops first, then a little malt sneaks in, only to shoved out of the way by more hops, then a sweet hoppy aftertaste. a little hint of wintery spices.

Medium to heavy carbonation, foamy mouthfeel.

excellent overall drinkability. this is definitely one of the more hop forward winter beers, and one of my favorites.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

Celebration has thick rock head that reminds me of hand churned French vanilla ice cream. Off white and rocky, it really looks as if it may need a spoon. The retention does hold well and each gulp of this amber-gold IPA leaves cakes of dense lacing. The body is hazy from the amount of hops and is lightly populated with a fine dusting of yeast.

Aromas of grapefruit and floral soap merge with pale malt. Spashes of caramel and toffee are present, more so than the glint of booze. Hop aromas come no finer than the Cascade and Centennial. Both hops are "celebrated" perfectly. I look forward to this release every year, and have never been let down.

The taste is rather bitter at the start. The tip of the tongue is greeted with an unbalanced explosion of citric hop flavor. Orange, grapefruit with soapy floral delights. The finish while still bitter does come with a taste of caramel and toffee. The toasted grains are dry and non cloying. The carbonation may seem a bit high, but perfect to keep aftertastes from lingering. The aftertaste last only long enough to remind you to have another quaff.... Its cold out man, pour the last one!

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

A- Really nice amber red with a thick tan head that is staying put, pretty good lacing throughout, and a slight fogginess

S- Orange and cherries at first with a very sweet scent as I dug closer

T- Earthy and sweet with some citrus and some cherries

M- Rich, creamy, and smooth with just a slight bite at the end

D- This beer is great! Excellent flavor and texture and it only costs two bucks in the Phish lot. It's worth getting a bunch and stretching them out until next Christmas.

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

2005 edition.

Reddish amber pour with high frothy white head. Nice lacing.

Sharp citrus nose, grapefruit.

Piney, citrus bite up front. More hops on the finish. In between, hops. This is absolutely not what I expected from a winter seasonal, but I like it! Some spice flavors hidden in there too, but hard for me to pick out from the hops. I guess I agree with the black pepper mention from other reviews, but the glory that is Cascade hops is the star here.

Mouthfeel is typical of a good IPA. Crisp, sharp, highly carbonated and tasty.

Drinkability is great! I will be getting a couple of more 6 packs for a birthday party this weekend, cause I know it will be a hit. Or, if not, I won't mind drinking them all myself.

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

Just found my notes from this. Dated 11/15/2008

Pours a deep amber with some signs of copper bursting out the sides of the glass. Rocky limestone head sitting on this one. It's gonna be lovely.
Smells very citric. Bits of pine, some sweetness floating around in the nose as well. Quite impressive.
Tastes yummy. Grapefruit, bits of grass, some strongly bitter green tea all floating in hop oil flavor. Sweetness is similar to subdued caramel. Very delicious, very nicely balanced.
Great mouthfeel. Has some nice body to it. Goes down very smoothly as well. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Photo of MustyDusty
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Surrender2theFlow
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of tzchandler
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was drawn to this beer hearing that is dry-hopped. The aroma and flavor are a big step up from the more common India Pale Ale. The aroma is very nice. I can think of no other mass produced IPA that comes close to this except for Little Creatures Pale Ale (Australia).

Possibly a bit darker than I would expect in a IPA but for the price this is an outstanding value and wish it was not just available during the holidays.

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

Bright, new-penny copper, not unlike the company's pale ale. Decent sized head that didn't last terribly long.

Smell seems quite sweet, with the earthy maltiness that begs one to drink it. There is some hop presence here, but it doesn't seem aggressive. Mostly the bready, crackery, and caramelly malt dominates the nose, at least to me.

The taste, on the other hand, is very much hop dominated. The sweetness detected in the nose hardly makes an appearance in the taste at all. There's a good, sharp bitterness right up front, followed almost immediately by the wonderful citrus and vegetable taste of the hops. Any sweetness is only detected as holding the bitterness in check. The hop flavor finally starts to fade at the end of the sip, allowing the same initial bitterness to once again take center stage, and slowly exit, stage left, with the aftertaste. It seems to linger on the tongue, in a sort of muted "pop rocks" type tingle. It's drying, as well, making you reach for the glass again long before the taste dies down in your mouth. Quite nice.

The mouthfeel is probably thicker than one may perceive, due to what seems to be higher than normal carbonation levels, and the dryness of the hops. Appropriate for the style, though.

Overall, this is very well done. It can be a bit of a shocker if you spend a great deal of time with the aroma, as to me, the aroma and the taste were almost polar opposites. They compliment one another quite nicely, however. This is a very drinkable beer, and I'm certain I'll have another before it disappears for the year.

Photo of Kin
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

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

Pours a solid orange with a white head that dissipates quickly.

Smells of bready, biscuit, cracker malt and pine hop character.

Taste is up front cracker malt with some pine hop that fades into some grapefruit character and ends on a bitter and sweet kick with a lasting malt/hop finish...hard to describe but that's what makes this beer so great.

Lighter to medium body with medium carbonation work well for the style. The alcohol is well hidden.

A great IPA that mixes pine hop and bready, cracker malt perfectly. There is a unique quality to this beer that doesn't quite sink in until halfway through the beer....I look forward to this every year of course.

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

A - Pours a golden amber with a fluffy head. Carbonation working up from the bottom, a bit of lacing.

S - You can smell the hoppyness of this beer. The malts are sweet, a bit of a flowery scent.

T - Very good. Good amount of hops, the taste is quite flowery. It's a little sweet in the beginning and middle and then turns a good bitter on the end, it's spicy without the spice.

M - Not too much thickness there, coats the throat a bit, but nice and dry in the mouth. A little less carbonated than I expect

D - It's easy to drink, but I prefer to enjoy it over a while. The hops are pretty strong in this one so as to not become overbearing, it's better to just take small drinks and savor the flavor.

Overall - Simply delicious. I love the hoppyness of the beer. Flavors are great, as it's able to give that spiciness without the spice. A wonderful winter seasonal.

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

2011

A- Hazy amber red. Great looking IPA. 1 finger white thick head. Nice lacing throughout.

S- Malt and hops. Really a nice smelling winter seasonal, extraordinarily different smelling IPA.

T- Hop forward. Delicious, follows with malt. Balanced, excellent, this is something I would drink on the daily.

M- Crisp, warming, nice carbonation. Just drinkable in every way.

O-Of course SN would have an IPA as their winter seasonal, and of course it would be legit. Is it fair to say SN is underrated? I have been drinking Celebration since I was a teenager and damn it's good.

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

Very good. I love a good IPA and this one was no exception. Absolutely delicious. I like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale but to me this is much better. I wish it was available all year round.

Appearance: Copper colored with about a half inch head.

Aroma: Citrusy hops, lots of hops.

Taste: Bitter/hoppy, citrus, a little malt.

I highly recommend it and will definetely be buying more before the end of the season.

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

Pours a very clear light amber/orange color with more than a finger of slightly stained yellow head; pretty solid retension. Lacing is clinging all over the glassware. Aroma is a nice mix of citrus, floral, spice and well kinda mint-like hops with a little backing of malt. Bitter in both the front and the finish with lingering hop character. Thin feel with a moderate amount of carb. Overall a very enjoyable beer. Only thing I would discredit this beer for is the lack of malt in the taste.

Enjoying this with some blocks of aged sharp cheese, absolutely awesome.

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

This winter seasonal had about a half-inch white foamy head, atop a medium-colored amber body. It left good retention on the glass.
Hoppy nose, and definitely some mild spice, but the taste is what really impressed me. Dry hop-bitterness to begin, wheat, malt and spice faded into a rather pleasant sweet, warming aftertaste. Balanced very well, it was clean and refreshing while being a good winter warmer. Overall a very good brew.

Photo of MarkDeming
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of LancetherealLeader
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,262 ratings.