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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.

3,403 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,403
Hads: 9,929
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 350
Gots: 1,731 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,403 | Hads: 9,929
Photo of SaltofOH
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 10/07/15. DFH Tulip.

A: Remarkably dark for an IPA. Looks like an amber ale. Pours a hazy amber with just under 1 finger khaki head that fades to pretty much nothing. Moderate carbonation. On a second pour, retention was much better. Lacing was good, but not great.

S: Grapefruit and sugar. Very sweet nose, some resin and pine. Smells like a malty IPA, but not really getting much complexity.

T: Initially a dry and malty arrival, with some pine. Mid palate fills out with resin and slight sweetness, closing out with a very firm and lingering resiny bitterness. Bitterness really lingers. Very traditional resin/pine hop character; not much in the line of tropicals or citrus on the palate for me.

M: Heavier side of mid-weight, but with little viscosity. Lighter carbonation.

O: I first had this been knowing nothing about it, and drank it from a nearly-three-month old bottle. I thought it was an okay, hoppy brown ale. Now knowing that it is a holiday IPA (and having it a lot fresher) I can see why it has the cult following it does. It comes off to me as a low-alcohol DIPA. But I am a fan of maltier beers, so I like it and would certainly buy it again. Just not an annual must-have beer for me.

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Photo of rjd722
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: What a classic. Pours a beautiful deep reddish-amber with a slightly tan rocky foam head.

Aroma: Light biscuit, floral and slight citrus hops accompanied by pine.

Taste: The flavor is somewhat malty upfront, but quickly yields to the robust hoppy bitterness you would expect from a longstanding IPA favorite. There is a pleasant level of spiciness throughout, it's just right for this variety of seasonal beer - definitely not overdone.

Feel: The bitterness from the hops lingers for a while, but doesn't make this beer any less drinkable; nice carbonation and very smooth.

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Photo of Tee76
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As far as an IPA goes this is exceptional. Great lacing, great taste, very drinkable. My only complaint is its marketed and sold as a winter beer. There's nothing "Christmas" or winter about this brew. Sierra Nevada should sell it year round. I could easily drink this on hot day.

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Photo of rand
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked up a couple of 6 packs of fresh, 2015 vintage, and realized I hadn't reviewed this. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear, amber appearance, with a small, fluffy head. A couple rings of lacing are left after a few sips.

S: Hop-forward nose with a citrusy, floral bouquet. I just went through a lot of fresh-hop brews from the September harvest, adn this smells very similar.

T: The hop essence defines the flavors but it's floral, grassy and nuanced rather than bitter. NOtes of green apple and citrus rind are countered by honeyed biscuits and toasty grains. There is some bitterness toward the back of the sip, joining a touch of warming alcohol. Closes with a medium finish, with lingering bitter residuals.

M: Medium-light complexion with an oily slick mouthfeel.

There's good reason everyone clamors over this brew this time of year. It seems all of the fresh hop IPA's available have only made this more popular. Get it while you can.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada Celebration

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 36/40
Feel 10/10
Drinkability 20/20

Overall 93/100

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Photo of Whiteturtle
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/02/15... consumed on 11/23/15. Wishing I got to try this a week or two after it was bottled, but wishes don't always come true.

Pours a nice transparent orangey-ambery colour. About a full finger head (pointer finger, not pinky). Some decent lacing building on the sides just from the head, haven't even moved the glass yet. **About halfway through the beer and there is still a misty foamy .0001 inch head on top. I love it when beers can pull this off. Ive noticed some of Sierra Nevada and Deschutes beers having this ability.

The nostrils pick up grapefruit, orange, pine, apricot, plus a wash of sugary malty goodness. There's actually not a strong aroma accompanying this ale, but I concede that this could be due to the style (fresh hop) and the time spent in the bottle.

First couple of sips are met with a lemon zest and grapefruit blockade. I know grapefruit is probably the most overused describer of IPA's.. but it is front and center for this celebration. With warmth, I start picking up a some caramel, some buttery biscuits, beechwood, and anise.

I love the body and mouth-feel that is the result of whole cone hoppage. It's like every nook and cranny inside my happy little cheeks (you know I mean face cheeks...come on guys) get the creamy yet bittery goodness. Landing on a 6.8% abv, it's a little stiff for me and needlessly heats up a would be remarkable feel.

I have had this beer for the past several years, but this is my first time reviewing it. Like I mentioned earlier, this review is from a beer that is almost two months old. While that may not be a big deal for most styles, I believe it does affect a fresh hop ale. It was still really really good. Celebration is one of the most accessible and well rounded fresh hops you can get. I wouldn't have minded the alcohol being tuned down just a tad. Otherwise: celebrate hops, celebrate tradition, and celebrate good beer.

Happy Holidays

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An IPA that focuses on bitterness, first and foremost. Definitely not for the uninitiated, this is an IPA that packs a punch in flavor and dominates the palate.

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Photo of tempo013
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would purchase this again. Very good ipa. A bit more spicy than other ipas. Drank from a 12 ounce bottle while watching a lifetime movie with the wife.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into IPA glass. The color is a lovely honey-orange with a thick, two-finger, creamy milk-colored head and thick lacing that did not dissipate. It's a beautiful pour. The smell features pine and floral hops; not a lot of citrus. The taste follows the nose: bitter, piney, with light citrus, and subtle malty sweetness at the finish. This is a light, crisp, refreshing ale and very drinkable at 6.8% ABV. This is a great ale to enjoy outdoors, at a sporting event or with a nice meal. It is ideal for tailgating! Another excellent offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Olympic. Served in pint glass. keg tapped yesterday. Glad to finally try this. Nice flavorful hops that aren't very bitter. Well done beer by Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of bobstockwell
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

great seasonal treat. Dark for an IPA. Really nice balance between malty backbone and piney/citrus of hops.

Very good beer, great beer for the price. $12.99/12pk

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Photo of exposd
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a different take on the normal traditional holiday Christmas ale that we see all the time nowadays. It's simply a fresh hop IPA brewed seasonally for he holidays and it really is a good brew for the season, but it doesn't have the spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. that most Christmas ales have. It's refreshing but also a beer you could enjoy in the cold winter and savor the flavor of the fresh hops, the first hops of the season to be exact! It's worth checking out if you come across it, but not something I would bend over backwards to find.

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Photo of JLaw55
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Exceptional is the first word that comes to mind. I know an IPA can't necessarily be 'balanced' as far as beer is concerned, but this is the best way to describe this one. It is possibly the most balanced IPA I have ever had.

The color is a rich vibrant red/amber color. You can still see through it when you hold it up to the light, although just barely. A nice finger of white fluffy head. The aroma is that of pine, fruit, and malt.

The flavor is amazing. Layers of malt, citrus zest, pine, floral hops, and a bouquet of spices. It really tastes like the holidays in a glass. The malt is so supportive that the malt and hops really do dance on your tongue in harmony. Neither overpowering the other. The hops are still present and contribute a nice fresh profile to the beer, but they do not overpower or punch you in the mouth either.

Mouth feel is surprisingly light for a beer of this color and depth. It is very drinkable and smooth.

This beer is awesome. it isn't like all the other fresh hop beers out there, it seems like a labor of love and something that took a great deal of time and care to brew. Not like some of the options out there that seem like the hops were thrown in and it was bottled and shipped out immediately. This seems more like a beer that was brewed slow and steady, but still showcasing the fresh hops in the process.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of mirp1
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Celebration Ale is one of the first holiday beers ever released in the U.S. I first had it many years ago, and was blown away by it's classy simplicity. It struck me as an in-your-face, rock solid craft beer, having no intentions on faking anyone out. I looked forward to it's annual November release, and not just for the quality of the beer, but also for the striking holiday-winter theme packaging. Like many reviewers, I have had all kinds of beer over the years, from EKU 28, to Scaldis, to Heady Topper, Pliny the Elder, Ghandi Bot, Hi Res, KBS, Bourbon County Stout/Barley Wine, Bells Hop Slam/Mars, Seeking Alpha, Flower Power, Creeker, etc, etc. Consequently, my palate is conditioned to not be as impressed as I was with the more regular craft beers of the world. When I was told last week that Celebration Ale was now in stock at local beer stores here in Utica, NY, I quickly went out and grabbed some. Modern holiday beers have become spice crazy, and so have jumped the shark. Celebration Ale is that rock solid holiday craft beer that never sold out. Great color, malty, crisp, with cascade, centennial, and chinook. Nuff said.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look - Amber color, somewhat opaque in appearance
Smell - Floral, piney, earthy
Taste - Pine, floral, spice, earthy, some malt sweetness, very slight hints of citrus

Overall - Tastes like a hopped up SNPA to me. Nothing outstanding about this beer to be honest. Easy drinking but not mind blowing in any way.

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle: deep amber color, transparent, dense head of foam. The smell is amazing; lots of citrusy hops. It is balanced by some malt on the aftertaste. This is a different take on a winter beer, as it is essentially an IPA, but one of the best IPA I have had.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque amber, with lots of pale particulates swimming about, producing 2+ fingers of tan, frothy, lasting head that leaves a nice coating of clumpy, webby lacing. Aroma is biscuit, light toast & caramel malt balanced with leafy/floral, pine & citrus hoppiness. Taste is similar but sweeter & more intense with bready & toasted caramel malts imparting a toffee sweetness that is dominant over the orange, pine & black tea like notes of the hops which lasts beyond mid-sip but finishing with a nice full bodied balance of malt & pine/citrus hoppy bitter-sweetness which rockets forward aggressively to become a very bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slick, with a minor prickle, light dryness & slight astringency.

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Photo of chuckpalka
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Just picked up one in Chicago
L: Poured in a Goblet a medium copper with a very light tan foamy head that settled some but never went away.
S: Pleasing moderate smell of a easy mix of pine and grapefruit.
T: Slightly bitter as expected but not overboard. Maybe just a little more than I care for.
F: A soft mouth feel and dry aftertaste and a empty glass with plenty of lace.

A good beer as expected from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in November 2015. Nice that it is dated. Drank about 1 month after "Packaged" date.

Appearance: Deep amber with tan head. Beer is clear and not cloudy. Head is thick, and leaves a nice film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with a strong hops aroma, and includes citrus and pine smells.

Taste: There is a noticeable hops flavor, as expected from an IPA. There is good bite from the hops along with other flavors like citrus. There is not much sweetness from the malts. The aftertaste provides a variety of flavors over time.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Soft alcohol.

This is a smooth medium-bodied beer. It is an interesting example of an IPA, and I would drink this again.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This winter seasonal is an attractive beer, if on the dark end of the range for an IPA: a clear, deep amber body capped by a giant (but brief-lived) pillowy off-white head that leaves huge slabs and clouds of lacing everywhere it touches. The aroma is moderate in intensity: fermented pineapple over a nice blend of pine and dark florals, with more subdued caramelly malt notes. The flavor is a bit more strongly expressed, but still pretty modest for the style: moderately bitter pine, pineapple and spicy citrus over a very apparent, slightly caramel bready malt foundation. The finish is hoppy: pine and floral notes, followed by the onset of a very bitter, amazingly resinous clinging piney bitterness that coats the tongue and the roof of the mouth, lingering for a good while. The mouthfeel is biggish for the body, and the texture is moderately creamy and faintly peppery from the soft-for-style carbonation. The prominent malt character and the intense resinous bitterness provide some very nice dynamic tension, making this an interesting beer and one to look forward to. (12 oz bottle, 44 days after pkg)

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

A fantastically solid IPA. Pours a coppery color, smells hoppy and piney. Tastes like a mix of pine and citrus, with a good dose malts thrown in. 2015 is the first year I had this, and for some reason I was expecting it to taste more "Christmassy," but the fact that it doesn't taste that way is actually probably for the better. Medium bodied and overall one of my favorite IPAs I've had. Actually now that I think about it, this may be the best score I've given to an IPA up to this point in my BeerAdvocate career.

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Photo of drew42e
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber and is fairly dark for an IPA these days. Aroma is not terribly strong but getting some grapefruit and pine. Not sure why but expected this to be a lot maltier, this has strong grapefruit/citrus flavor and very balance malts. Slight bitterness on finish, fresh hops noticeable. This is a very nice beer and while i was expecting more of a spicy holiday ale this is an IPA I will look forward to drinking and seek out. One of my favorites from Sierra

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Photo of aobrehm
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into chalice.

L- Thick, moussy off white head that is very well-retained. Rich copper red color with brilliant clarity.

S- Hop-forward aroma with juicy fresh hop aromatics. Aroma develops fruity and caramel complexity as the beer warms.

T- Balanced flavor profile. Great depth of hop character with notes of citrus, pine, tropical fruit, and some resin. Assertive bitterness is well balanced by bread and caramel malt backbone.

F- Full bodied for an IPA with a crisp dry finish. Carbonation is substantial.

O- This year's Celebration may be my favorite yet. Great hop character superbly balanced with other ingredients.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look- pours a copper and amber color; darker than your typical IPA. Modest head and an interesting lace that starts off as thin and ring like and then patchy and frothy as you move along.
Smell- clean at first, then, a big biscuity malt aroma takes over. As the drink warms, I detect orchard fruits as well as some mango. Further still, there is some alcohol.
Taste- hoppy but not overwhelming with a dry resiny finish. Bready malt backbone.
Feel-crisp and medium bodied. Quite drinkable.
I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of MACrist
4.93/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 10/09/15 from 12 pack.

LOOKS: Hazy, red amber. Small, slow streaming bubbles rising. Tan head that sits like whip cream on top and lasts forever. Great lacing you expect with most SN beers.

AROMA: Pine is the main scent. Citrus is there, orange, grapefruit, lemon.

TASTE: Grapefruit, lemon, pine. Balanced sweetness and bitterness throughout gulp. Finishes with a pleasant bitterness.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice carbonation brings out flavors. Medium body, dry and refreshing.

Really nice IPA, first time having it. Similar to Flipside Red IPA, but better. Can't go wrong with this. There is an amazing balance between sticky sweet caramel malt and pine/citrus hops. Lingering!
Will be back for more.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,403 ratings.