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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

7,897 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,897
Reviews: 3,158
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 220
Gots: 484 | 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:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,897 | Reviews: 3,158 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice find in the middle of summer,a 2002 offering.Pours a nice copper clor with light to medium head that has some nice staying power,the aroma is hop zesty with a slight sweet background.The taste is very hoppy and citrus like but there is caramel malt taste that lingers as well.Very well done stays real well.

oberon, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

JAHMUR, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-colored, fairly good clarity and with a solid off-white head that retains reasonably well. Looks like beer, so it's successful on that front I suppose.

Smell: Generously hopped and pleasantly citrusy, grapefruit and blood orange come to mind. There's a touch of tobacco in there as well.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very clean and hop-forward. Citrus and tobacco, notes of grapefruit being particularly strong. Fairly light bodied for being near 7%, and perfectly dry for the style, but the hop flavor could use a bit more oomph - it's good, but not enough to make me celebrate. In any case, I'll have no trouble finishing my six pack.

largadeer, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

It pours a clear straight amber topped by a firm finger of cream foam. The nose comprises a nice level of citrus hops alongside a pleasant bit o' sweet caramel. The taste generally follows, but the hops, which add a bit o' pine to their repertoire here, seem to dominate the caramel, which is no longer as sweet as it once appeared. The new piney-ness lingers on through the aftertaste. The body is pretty light, with a moderate carbonation and a very easygoing feel. A very solid IPA, a credit to its style.

TMoney2591, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.8%

SocalKicks, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007

Purrs into a large Spaten mug, really nice deep amber coloration, with 3-4 fingers of foam initially. The head deflates after several minutes, but is ever present. there is a soapy ring of drippy lace hanging around the edge.

Caramel, bready malts in the nose, some vague citrus.

Full bodied, it feels really silky and rich. Not especially harsh, but there is a good deal of hop flavor, more resiny and herbal. The malts seem to have stolen the show, after sitting half a year in the bottle. Toffee, caramel, spicy hop, and citrus rind.

Really balanced, verging on double IPA. Tasty stuff. I'll be looking for the '08 this winter.

emerge077, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, many thanks to DoktorZee for fulfilling a longtime beer want of mine for Christmas 2012.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of rocky, chunky off-white head, which leaves some decent fuzzy cogwheel lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of somewhat musty citrus rind and pine tips, lightly toasted bready caramel malt, a touch of toffee, and softly sassy grassy hops. The taste is more orange and grapefruit pithy fruitiness, a wee bit of lemongrass, some leafy spruce resin, and a somewhat overmatched bready, almost crackery malt, the caramel morphing into a echo of lingering expectation.

The carbonation is averagely competent, being all that I want it to be, the body a sturdy, just reconstructed medium weight, and smooth with that tacit acknowledgement of hoppy interlopers. It finishes off-dry, sure, but in a general, brown sugar sense, as the various hoppy notes play on and on and on.

I may have just given off an air of hop fatigue, but that's just not the case. What is true, however, is my weariness of late of brewers who claim an all-satisfying balance in their big-ass bitter offerings, in the hope of worldwide acceptance, I suppose, when nothing of the sort is actually on offer. So, to summarize, this is indeed a pretty stellar IPA, but there's nothing particularly wintery, in terms of malt-upsizing, about it. Glad to have finally made its acquaintance, though, certainly.

biboergosum, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of zeff80
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out an orange/amber color with a one-finger head. The head has great retention and left some nice lacing.

S - Smelled of hops and malt.

T - Malty and hoppy. There was also a pine-like taste and it became spicier as it warmed.

M - It was very crisp and light to medium-bodied.

D - It was very good. It lived up to all the hype.

zeff80, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With so many reviews available it would seem stupid for me to add my standard analysis. I would, however, like to simply note what makes this beer as good as it is. The hazy borderline-copper body is quite welcoming, but it's the magnificent creamy head that holds all the way through the glass that clearly shows how well made it is. The beautiful lace throughout the entire glass also adds to its majestic appearance - it's almost as if it were a nitro-beer! The beautifully fresh nose expresses an herbal, citrusy and spicy character that's as if you'd just stuck your nose into a bag of fresh hop flowers!
But it doesn't stop there; a juicy underlying fruitiness from the yeast adds to its vibrancy. The body is light enough to be highly drinkable, but also full enough to combine with the very fine natural carbonation giving it an exceptionally smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor, like the aroma, is dripping with fresh floral and citrusy hop character - but it's not so bold that it's over-powering or minty. Instead, it's delicately balanced against a softly sweet, nutty and bready caramel-soaked maltiness that emphasises the hops. It showcases the soft, and almost sweet character of the Cascade hops! Balance is what this beer is all about, and it's bitterness is no exception. It's not intense (which would ruin the palate and overshadow it's supple maltiness, but it is quite solid and becomes drying in the finish. It pushes and pulls throughout the pint but never becomes the centerpiece. Finesse, not bravado, wins the prize here!!!

NeroFiddled, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

has a finer looking glass of beer ever been poured? i doubt it! absolutely sensational festive red color with a 2 inch head that resembles the first big pillowy snowfall. smells like whole cone hops, delicate and passive, but confident and obvious. resiny, floral notes hit the nose, with none of the spice warmer stuff the packaging suggests. taste is less than a standard american ipa in terms of hop bitterness, in fact its not bitter at all, but just a good well balanced ale, perfect for any season in my opinion, not just christmas time. a really well crafted beer, with a perfect mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation that lets you taste it all. nice finish as well with one last hop kick. really fresh and delicious. as big as sierra nevada has gotten, its products only continue to get better. great great brew. looking forward to the other 11 bottles left in the box...

StonedTrippin, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of nickfl
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 1.5 fingers of slightly off-white head on top of a slightly hazy, copper colored body.

S - Strong resiny, piney hop aroma. Citrus, caramel, some pine... spicy, peppery.

T - Strong hop flavor and bitterness up front. Black pepper and lemon flavors. Slightly roasty caramel. A little bit of alcohol.

M - Medium body and high carbonation.

D - For such a bitter beer this is quite drinkable. There is a good bit of hop flavor and especially aroma, but this one is really all about the bitterness. I am normally a bit cynical when it comes to super bitter beers from the west coast, but this is a classic. The bitterness is overwhelming, but characterfull. This beer pairs magnificently with rare, tuna soft tacos and hot mango salsa.

nickfl, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of Jason
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with a vintage 2010 date on the label.

What an impressive head, very few beers show a thick lacing like Celebration does. Brassy amber color shows a bright clarity. Sharp citric and minty hop notes in the nose with some toasted grain in the back, a pretty big aroma. Medium bodied with a deep crispness. Hop bitterness is pretty sharp as it easily cuts through the malt from sip to sip. Hop flavors range from tobacco to mint, grapefruit peel to green tea. Toasted grain and a mild caramel maltiness lay deep beneath the hop character. Warming alcohol pokes through with a quick fume and clean fruitiness. Finishes bitter with a quick kiss of malt. This is the typical veteran hophead's first pick for winter seasonals and a great pick at that.

Jason, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SNCA 2003

Appearance: Immaculatey forms with deep copper amber tone and a two finger sized cream colored head leaves behind scattered lacing very nice brew. Aroma: This one doesn't take you by the hand, it just wallops you with cascades and a huge layered malt profile, floral and piney with a caramel malt like sweet scent this one is amazing. Taste: Well, I this beer and I met early in my beer journey a few years back when I was first getting into beers I ran into this on tap in Fuel and Fuddle in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh. To this point my brother Dante' and friend Kolby had tried many different beers together, however after ordering the SNCA my bro and friend were totally turned off making statements like "this tastes like pine sol" and "that's overkill on the hops" well I am proud to say I didn't have that reaction. I absolutely love this beer from the first time I tasted it. Cascades slide upon the palate with an oily resin given them their lubricant capable of being so silky and smooth, while the hops do steal the show I still find this one balanced enough with caramel sweet sticky maltiness so good. Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, hop burps come after only three or four sips medium bodied well textured I love it. Drinkability: Definitely need to pick up a case of this beer this coming winter enough hops and malt to keep me happy for a long time.

WVbeergeek, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 release on-tap at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: It has a very hoppy aroma, as expected, along with caramelized malt and hint of citrus. Overall, however, the smell is kind of faint.

T: Good hops burst up front, which is quickly followed by a very sweet citrus flavor and then goes back to the hops bitterness that stays in the after-taste.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily isn’t filling, this is definitely a beer to stick for an evening.

TheManiacalOne, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a Stone IPA flute.

Pours a somewhat cloudy orange amber with a big poof of tannish white head that left some good lacing. Aroma is pungent hoppiness, citrus, spices, and sweet malt. I swear that I even picked up a little menthol smell (mint?) as it warmed.

Taste matches the flavor profile. Hops are dominate and provide a sharp tingling bite throughout the sip. That's nicely balanced by a underlying layer of spicy malt that keeps things in check. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice crisp snap to it. Some alcohol beefiness is present but not overly detectable.

Ah, nothing says Christmas like a bottle of Celebration Ale. Fresh pungent hops, spices, maybe even some mint? It's all there wrapped up in one nice package. Happy Holidays and enjoy.

Kegatron, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006. Off notes from 12-15-2006.Pours a clear very clear amber. Nose is a hop head heaven. Tan head. Flavor continues on the apparent hop theme. Hops. I don’t need to say more than that. Feel is basic and standard. Typical stuff. Drinkability? High. You could down a lot of these all night…or day. Whichever your preference may be. Whereas it is nothing special or unique as far as offerings go, it is very well crafted. Smooth and even and worth trying. Or worth buying more than one of.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a six pack of this at the Ft. Indiantown Gap PX.
Decanted cool at approximately 50 degrees into a goblet.

A - A brilliant honey color of ale, deep amber w/ a copper shade. The off white head is a big 3 finger and creamy is appearance like cool whip w/ spaces along the sides and an indented center that formed like a beer head atoll. Th lace is smooth and clings well.

S - Whoo Whee! - such a special hop aroma, so fresh and intense. The allusions to the quality of this beer seem to be on the money. Such a big aroma w/ a citrus and oily hop quality. A slightly candy like sweet malt note is there under the green piney scent. It is an aroma so big you can almost see it.

M - A gently astringent feel w/ mild acidity and a rich malty feel w/ a lemony zesty citrus and leafy oily hop texture that has just the right amount of carbonation.

T - When great hop flavor and beautiful malt flavors collide they make a very, very flavorful ale. The yeast just amplifies the beautiful marriage of malt and NW hop character just brings an inner smile wih each sip. I have tasted this beer almost ritually over the years but this version really hits the mark. A great winter beer, IPA that could be something I would drink year-round. 2007 is a great year of SN celebration, better than I have ever remembered.

D - Just magnificent and was well worth the $6.85 I spent at the PX to get the sixer. I will definitely need to pick up a case or two of thes wonderful beers, just get a Celebration ale for a great taste - I'm a believer. Is 2007 the year of the hop?

2008 - bottle
A -4.5 S-4 M-4.5 T-4 D-4.5
A -Fiery amber w/ bone white cap - great lace! only slight haze
M - Mild bitter, full med carbonation, crisp and slightly resinous w/ a nice acidity/sweetness balance

S- The aroma is a c-fest, lots of grapefruit w/ subtle floral elements

T - The taste is slightly strong at first w/ alcohol and a nice citrus rind-like astringency w/ the july sweetness of a clementine and the bitter pinch of ruby red. The malt supports the hop intensity well w/ the kind of backbone it needs

D - A great IPA, substantial beer overall w/ west coast hoppiness. I want more w/ each sip - this is excellent w/ simple foods like a starchy baked potato and butter.
Sierra deserves love from hop heads for the awesome consistency -a beer you can rely on yearly

Slatetank, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will probably be the first beer I max on reviews, that ought to tell you what I think about it. Let's see how this year's stacks up:

Pours an effervescent amber with 4+ fingers of sand colored. fluffed out head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Some citric & herbal hops

T: Piney hops & chewy caramel up front. Resiny & grapefruitty hops dominates a this warms along with some caramel & cakeyness. Finishes dry with tangerine & grapefruitty hops along with a bit of baker's chocolate & cakeyness. A hopheads delight

MF: Medium-bodied, chewy & low carbonation. I detecting a bit of softness & stickyness, weird.

Drinks very easy, hops are asserting themselves this year. Not a perfect offering, but well worth stockpiling

russpowell, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Binny's. Served in a Pisgah pint glass. 2011 edition (obviously).

A - A finger-plus of white foam settles to a thick cap that features excellent retention and plenty of sticky lacework. Lightly hazed gold-amber body with visible streams of bubble.

S - As soon as I popped the cap the room filled with fresh tangerines and grapefruit rinds. In the background is a sugar cookie and icing sugar malt backdrop. There's a bit of festive pine for good measure, and the faintest soapy Cascade note.

T - The taste doesn't quite have the same punch, but it's a delicious mix of clementines and sugary pie crust malts. There's some medium-low bitterness, but this actually finishes surprisingly clean with a bit of lingering orange flavor.

M - Extremely resinous, with tons of lingering hop oils. Medium-light body, with moderate-to-low carbonation. Dry finish, with the aforementioned enamel-coating sensations. Never would have guessed this was 6.8%.

D - This year's celebration is great. Shame on anyone who questions the hoppiness this year. I remember being lukewarm on some previous iterations, but this one is a real winner. Get out there and grab a sixer.

MasterSki, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a dark amber,edging into red, with a huge, handsome, off-white head. Aroma explodes with hops, calling forth sensations of citrus, grapefruit, orange, peach, lemon, a beautiful, albeit bitter, fruit bouquet. Texture's tasty, body's light/medium, finish is quite delicious and lasting,. Overall, an exceptional overboard IPA!

My tiny complaint, though this is a brew that I sample and enjoy every year, like all beer lovers, is that it's character doesn't offer much than you'd imagine of a super-hoppy IPA. When I think of seasonal wintertime beers, I expect something darker, with extra flavors, suitable to the chilly days we have have to endure. (At least, those of us who have winter...). It's a pity they don't release this year 'round as an IPA, as that's the only staple missing from their portfolio.

feloniousmonk, Feb 04, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into a conic pint glass. Beer is copper / amber in color. No haze, it is clear, the head is thick and yellowish and collapses leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is primarily hops but it is way too subtle for my tastes. Mostly citrus like hop aroma.

Time to drink, its a good IPA. There is some nicely balanced hop bitterness in the back, it is not in your face as you might expect. Some sweetness in the front makes it easy to handle. I'm a hop head and this isn't the hoppiest IPA I've ever had but its really good. The bitterness kind of coats your mouth. No aftertaste, but the residue builds as you drink it.

Mouthfeel is good, there is nice palate continuity and there is no real after taste. Drinkability is high. I would recommend this beer.

drabmuh, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of oline73
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt up front with some citrus hops coming into the fold as you take a whiff. A little bit bready with some citrus fruit notes in there as well.

Taste: The malt and hop balance in this beer is really nice. Just enough bready malt to back up the fresh citrus peel hop flavor. I'm getting more orange peel than grapefruit in this one. The hop bitterness stays with you through the finish.

Mouthfeel: This one is just on the thick side for the style if you ask me. Aggressive carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I look forward to cracking one of these open every holiday season. Great balance and hop profile. I'll definitely have more in the future.

oline73, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

This review is for the 2010 batch, served in a bottle.

Poured into a pint glass, a clear amber, with reddish highlights around the edges, and a finger of merry white head. Floral and citrus notes in the aroma, hoppy, with a malty sweetness in the background. Much like the previous batch, a good balance of sweet malts and bitter but smooth hops, floral and slightly herbal, with a tad of spice. Medium mouthfeel and sessionably drinkable.

Rifugium, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber in the pint shaker. Nice foam on top and sudsy mouthfeel. Nice aroma of flowery Cascade-like hops.

Spicy and flowery hop flavors. A distinct touch of the IPA kind of bitter burn, but it's well balanced by a load of malt. Some roasted flavors, a touch warm fruitiness, and a fair amount of sweetness. Really an ideal winter brew but a good thirst quencher. I've been drinking this for years but somehow never reviewed it before. I used to be very fond of it, but it seemed to get overly bitter in recent years. I'll be looking to try it next year.

Crisp and refreshing. On tap at Green Chile Kitchen in San Francisco.

mactrail, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.8%

mendvicdog, Nov 20, 2012
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,897 ratings.