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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,455 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,455
Reviews: 3,217
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 258
Gots: 696 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,455 | Reviews: 3,217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MSchae1017
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tasted the 2005 and 2006 Celebrations at the same time from the bottles in separate pint glasses.


The beer poours a goldne amber with a fluffy just off white head and nice lacing. The smell is hoppy with some malt sweetness. The taste is a straight forward IPA taste with light malt profile and strong west coast hop flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. OVerall a good IPA and very drinkable.

After having aged for a year the 2005 is slightly darker both in body and head color. The head holds and laces better as well. In the smell, the hop flavor is much more subdued but the malt aroma seems much more complex. The taste reveals the complexity with a subdued hop flavor but very fruity and diverse malt profile. There is sitll a good amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and stickier than the 2006 version. Overall this is a very complex and much better beer than the 2006. It is almost like a lower alcohol barleywine and its very good.

MSchae1017, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

served into a nonic glass from a 12oz brown bottle twist-off cap.

Coppery,bit cloudy,supended particles floating.Thick,rocky head,retentative and lacing down the glass.
Intense citrusy,then piney aroma,carmelly as the beer warms,a bit nutty also
A nice,clean,inviting aroma.
Strong tastes of citrus and pine,grapefruit comes through as the beer warms.Sweet carmelly tastes. More balanced taste with every sip.
A thick mouthfeel,feels like a oil slick going down as the palate begins to pucker up for more of this tasty brew.
Drinkabilty limited to a few,very filling,good enough to drink till ya bloat!
A holiday beer not spiced up,just a very good IPA.

jcdiflorio, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a reddish golden color, whit a thick, fluffy off white head. The head fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a grassy hop aroma. It also smells quite citrusy. Also, it smells slightly piney. It is definately well balanced aroma wise.

This beer tastes like it smells. Grassy, with some pinsy flavor. It is citrusy. Lemon mostly. It has a slight caramel malt flavor balancing it out well.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a grassy hop aftertaste. It is carbonated perfectly.

I think this beer would be a good session beer. It is not too aggresively flavored, and it is not too high in alcohol.

Overall: The first time I had this beer, was about 5 years ago, before I liked anything other than Fat Tire. I got a pint of it at a punk show because it was on sale for $2. I hated it. I dont think I had it all. I thought it tasted like a flower. I cant believe how wrong I was. This beer is great.

OStrungT, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, bright copper with a huge head. The persistent head is big, foamy, and sticky.

Aroma consists of orange, pine, floral hops and a mild peppery spice character.

The taste is a pleasing blend of sweet malt, orange, red grapefruit and pineapple up front. This is a sweet, tropical delight of an IPA. The sweetness is well balanced by a huge hop character with bitter, piney hops. The alcohol is well masked, with the exception of a subtle spiciness. This is a smooth and extremely well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel includes a light/medium body, with excellent carbonation and very little viscosity.

This is a holiday favorite that I wish I could enjoy year round. This delightful brew sets the benchmark for what I consider to be wonderful IPA.

Estarrio, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of rsyberg01
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - 12 oz from the '06 batch.

A - A deep amber with a decent egg shell head that continuously covers the top of the beer, lacing isnt great but at point becomes somewhat chunky.

S - Floral,citrus, malty, and spicy. Very nice.

T - Bitter hop that is somewhat in your face, kind of biscuity, citrus fruit plays a decent part as well, malty backing really holds it all together well.

M - Smooth, coats the palate and the prominent bitters vut through, very enjoyable.

D - A sixer of this would compliment an afternoon of raking leaves.

rsyberg01, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

bluegrassbrew, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper-red body with thin offwhite head. Smell is mostly hoppy with a hint of malt. Hops dominate the taste - not surprising considering it's a Sierra Nevada... Some roasted malt is also evident. Flavorful and drinkable... Very good... For me though, it does not quite live up to the hype...

MrHurmateeowish, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of BBM
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The 2006 version, on-tap. The beer pours a clear burnt-orange color with a white head that disappears quickly. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma is citrusy fruit, floral, and apples. Very nice smelling beer.

Taste is very hoppy. Cascade hops, floral, citrus, all dominate the taste. There is a grapefruit flavor as well. It's bitter, but in a good and appreciable manner. Unfortunately I found the beer to be a bit watered down. I don't know if this was a result of the tap or the brew. That was dissapointing. Mouthfeel is clean with a dry finish.

Overall it's a fairly standard IPA. Good, not great.

BBM, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of Matthew
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangish copper in color, small white head that barely covers the top of the beer.
Big hop aromas hit my nose first, mainly citrusy, slight hoppy spice present as well with a sweet malty smell blended with faint hints of alcohol.
Sweet malt flavor leads to a pronounced citrusy acidic and spicy hoppiness. Alcohol is not as present in the taste as it is in the nose suprisingly.
This is a very drinkable IPA, it has a nice balance, a good crispness, and a tasty hop profile.

Matthew, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of jokelahoma
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

jokelahoma, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper color, not much of a head really and some decent lacing. Nice hop pressence in the nose. The taste is more of the same however, there is a decent malt pressence as well. Very good mouthfeel and pretty drinkable. Pretty solid IPA.

hckyfn9999, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a copper color with an off-white head. There's also excellent lacing with this beer. It smells mostly like floral and pine hops, and also a bit of malt and spicyness too. The taste is also mostly grapefruit and floral hops, with a little bit of breadiness. It also has a lasting bitter aftertaste (in a good way). The mouthfeel is slick, with a good body to the beer. The drinkability is good too, it's nice and smooth. I think this is a pretty solid beer, I need to go out and buy some more of this!

bluejacket74, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of gonzo138
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice clear amberish color with a white head that doesn't retain too well but does laces nicely

S- a first hints a clean sweet malt then a very nice strong, not overpowering citric grapefruit hoppy aroma

T- on tip of the tounge it nice sweet malt for the first second or so, then followed by a clean citric grapefruit hop bitterness

M- very good high carbonation crisp medium body

D- if not for the price (a little pricey but not too bad) and the fact thats it is only available once a year, this would be the beer kept in my fridge at all times, a great sessionable IPA

gonzo138, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz'er fall/winter 2006.

AP: Red hued Copper/amber color, totally clear and very lively looking with a frothy white head that is leaving behind some long, sticky lacing behind... More like clumps of lacing. Good lookin' overall.

Nose: fruity/leafy smelling hop hits the nose first then some sweet malted scent floats in too.

Taste: A sweet hop flavor turns to leafy, fruity and bitter hop flavor very fast, this is a very nice bitter hop though with some fruitieness and wheat/grains malted flavors mixed in. This is a very cascade-style hop oriented beer...the malt really takes a back seat to the big flavorful hop taste's. My girlfriend (she works in a brewery and knows her beers well) Stated: "Wow, wicked hoppy!" I can't disagree. The alcohol is noticable on the way down.

MF: Very Crisp and lively on this medium bodied brew, clean and fresh with a decent smooth effect caused by the extra foamy head that has great retention qualities.

DA: These are great for a celebration....of life!

GratefulBeerGuy, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of clickpush
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle, 2006 vintage, to tulip glass. Comes out as a rosy amber colored beer with a tiny cap of light tan head that reduces to thin lacings and a halo around the rim. Random bubbles meander from the base of the glass towards the surface.

Nose: Kitchen spices and bread. More fresh bread malt and yeast character than I anticipated, with less focus on the spices. A dark hint of hops at the tail end of the aroma spectrum, along with tinges of laurel and raspberry.

Mouth: Malts and fruit up front and strong hops in the back with some alcohol notes added to a long bitter finish. The most flavor shines through in this beer after the swallow, where more fruit and maple syrup mingle around with the spice. A bitter tinge remains that is not all that enjoyable. Mouthfeel is good at first but thins right at the end, making the finish a little less powerful.

clickpush, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 release reviewed on 11/8/06

a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a tumbler. bright amber color and slightly hazy. leaves a nice lace throughout.
s - citrus and piney hops hit you at first but floral tones begin to come through.
t - nice hop to it and the malt is also good. citrus and bready tones interchanging throughout.
m - crisp with a slick mouthfeel.
d - this is a good warming beer even though the alcohol content is not that high. the alcohol is definitely not evident. this beer is well-balanced and one of my faves.

i've heard mixed reveiws on the 2006 version. i hope it's at least as good as this one that i've been cellaring for about a year.

2007 release

a - poured a two-fingers thick bubbly tan head into a goblet that left great sheeting and lace throughout. the body was a bright amber color.
s - very strong piney hops with some cinnamon and other sweet spices and it had a nice malty caramel aroma too.
t -this is hoppier than normal, especially at first and they have a touch of spice. the malts come out a little more towards the finish.
m - medium thickness and tastes very clean.
d - another good offering, this seems much hoppier than past releases. i think this beer is as good as it gets after one year of cellaring so we'll see how this compares this time next year...

GPHarris, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of BusyNinja
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After all the Celebration bashing, my expectations were low. Yes, it does taste different - a bit more balanced, a little less in your face with the hops. But I really, really like this beer. It had plenty of hops for us hop heads, but I don't think it would over power the casual, non-geek. It poured gorgeously into the glass, with a beautiful head and just the right amount of lace all the way down. It was just plain hard to stop drinking after one bottle, something that I hope won't happen again. Go out, buy it, and enjoy a very pleasant, but not paradigm shifting, brew.

BusyNinja, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Version

A- Clear orange-gold color with a decent white head and good sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet and toasty malts go along with a great citrusy hop character that is very nice.

T- Hops are very upfront with their orange and grapefruit citrus flavors, but the malt provides a nice backbone with some sweet and bready undertones. Finish is fairly bitter, but not too much.

M- Solid mouthfeel, well-carbonated and a good medium-full body.

D- Pretty good here as well, although the alcohol keeps it from being a session type beer.

Definitely a good IPA. This one seems more balanced than last year's version, but I don't know if that's actually the case or if my tastes have simply changed. At first I didn't think I liked it as much this year, but after having a few, I can say that's not the case. A solid beer that any IPA-lover should pick up. Recommended.

vtfan77, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of rayjay
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'd like to dedicate this review to all the Celebration Ale bashers out there.

And, when it came time for my 100th review, I could think of no better beer! Released about 3 weeks ago. Served on tap from Tres Hombres, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Chico, CA. Keg was tapped yesterday.

What a great looking beer. Copper colored, and the head is off-white with a slight carmel color. The head persists for the whole beer and cakes the sides of the pint glass. One confident brew.

Nose is full of C-hops, which can also come across as Deep Woods Off bug spray.

This beer is the definitive C-hop beer. The first assault on your tongue comes in the form of fruitcake, with lots of dried fruits, pine, spicy carbonation, and hearty fresh-baked bread. About one second later, all is taken over by a dominant bitter wave, which persists through the relatively long fallout.

This one has a strong ale body, and is both balanced and taken over by the hops; balanced because it's heavy, but never sweet, and it gladly hands the spotlight over to the bitterness.

Maybe there's a novelty to drinking it in it's home town, a day after it's been tapped and 3 weeks after it's release and the chilly weather outside, but boy oh boy, this is one fine beer and I'm really enjoying it right now, and it's the absolute perfect pairing for these spicy fajitas in front of me. Perfect fall weather beer.

This would also pair perfect with fruity ice cream, like peach or mango.

Well, here's to another 100 reviews, and then some! Cheers!

rayjay, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of memory
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years version poured a nice white head with dark orange color.
At first the hop nose and hop on the tongue don't seem as pronounced as last years, but as it settles in time in the glass, both seem to appear to reveal its true original character. The grapefruit emerges and all is well. I love this beer.

memory, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of crayphish
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2006 Celebration Ale poured from a bottle into a pint glass to a dense two finger head. Very nice lacing. Looks deep reddish gold. Citrus hops in the nose. Mostly grapefruit. Spicy grapefruit taste at first with a grainy hop finish. Crisp and dry. Very drinkable, nice hoppy head buzz. A fine IPA.

crayphish, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of klewis
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 edition

A: Pours golden with a 2-finger frothty head with good sustain and lacing.

S: Subtle aroma of vegetal hops.

T: Strong vegetal hops flavor balanced well with a dry maltiness. The hop bitterness creeps through and finishes with a kick.

M: Meidum bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering flavor.

D: I remember this being better last year. Nothing offensive here, just nothing special. A very average beer IMO.

klewis, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a orange amber with a thick white lace that sticks to the glass with this offering. The smell is citrus piney hops, with a honey lemon candy sweetness. The taste starts with a citrus rind bitterness that leaves a smack on the tongue followed by a balancing sweetness of caramel, and faint presence of alcohal but in by no means overwhelming. This is a quality brew that is a hop lovers delight and gives you just enough balance to keep your palate coming back for more.

Franchise, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of boulevard2
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Celebration 2006 12 oz bottle with a cool house and winter scene going on in the background.

Pours a rich amber ale with a thick head that stands firm and ready to be taken. Scent of roasted malts and hopps are present. A floral essence along with a fruity citric bite. A nice ipa and great session beer next to the fire or just hangin with the fam for the holidays!

boulevard2, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2006 edition. Pours a very clear, brilliant dark amber with a yellow cream head that almost glows in the dark. Gorgeous. Grapefruity hop aromas mix with a slight carapils note in the aroma. On the tongue, initial citrus sourness mixes with distinct, saliva-producing bitterness -- just the right amount, not too little, not too much, not too harsh. Carbonation is substantial but not overdone as it helps all the flavors of this beer come out. Malt sweetness provides a solid base. The finish is long and smacks of whole-grain bread. Everything here is so well balanced. It's got depth and sessionability. A stellar example of an American IPA.

geexploitation, Nov 04, 2006
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,455 ratings.