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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,386 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7386
Reviews: 3152
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%

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: 7,386 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wjbaxteriv


4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ahh Celebration. An old friend.

Pours a dark lightly cloudy orange color with a lovely pale khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Excellent lacing like most Sierra Nevada brews.

Smells great with floral notes dominating. Some definite citrus notes. Pine represented as well. Well rounded hop aroma.

Tastes great, just like I remember, with grapefruit dominating the flavor profile. Malt takes a backseat, of course, but is very present with a light, caramel-like sweetness.

Body is very much as expected. Not too heavy, not too light. In the Goldilocks zone for IPAs.

A fantastic beer that I look forward to every year. Like most beers from Sierra Nevada it's all about balance and craftsmanship which is very evident. A welcome relief from all the over spiced holiday beers. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 05:44:46 | More by wjbaxteriv
Photo of shalowlou


3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack and started the celebration...

Appearance: It is quite the beautiful brew, nice and amber, very very handsome.

Smell: the cannabis (not that cannabis guys...the hops!) family meets the rose family in a feast for the nostrils. It smells amazing, but the problem might be the taste...

Taste: Ok people...flowers smell good...but they don't really taste so hot. The brew is quite extraordinary but I must admit that I gave this beer three tries over a couple of weeks and the first two I was simply disgusted. It's bitter and has a taste which inflames the senses but is hard to describe as being good. I finally had my third bottle about a week after I had first tried it and was able to appreciate it. It was a shock at first, but after my taste buds were able to anticipate the taste, it became quite an experience and I can safely say now that I am going to try this again next year.

Mouthful: A litter thicker than the pale ale.

Drinkability: If hops are your thing, this brew certainly can be a session beer.

Notes: I had quite an experience with this beer, almost as if my palate had matured through the experience of a six-pack of Celebration Ale. For that, this beer will always have a special place in my heart.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 20:36:18 | More by shalowlou
Photo of goonster


3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


I bought a case of 2001, when I thought I was buying 2004. Doh! This is still an interesting exercise, and I can't say I regret the purchase.

Pours turbid with a thick, off-white, creamy head, that is not very persistent. Some lacing. Color is light amber to dark orange. Clarity is poor. Overall the apperance is, ahem, "chewy."

Aroma is gentle and sweet, like wildflower honey. Some hops is definitely present in the nose, but very mellow. No alcohol in aroma.

Flavor is full and balanced. Highlights of hop bouquet (normally the featured characteristic of this beer) have faded, but this is still very drinkable and very good. No alcohol flavor or warming. Hop flavor still bests malt sweetness by a smidge.

This beer has aged well, but is presumably quite a bit past its prime. My first bottle was in very good condition, with no oxidation or skunking. This reminds me of a very good ESB with American hop character and no mineral harshness.

Carbonation is moderate and mouthfeel is full, but not heavy. Good, moderate hop bitterness that lasts into finish. Very mild astringency becomes apparent in aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2005 04:19:29 | More by goonster
Photo of MoMaMe


4.91/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has become one of my new favorite winter ales and favorites overall.

It has a really nice color and lots of head (which I like)

The taste is very fresh and hoppy - bright citrus and pine notes.

Just a note... I tried the 2013 bottle. I highly recommend this one!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 23:11:54 | More by MoMaMe
Photo of reillybeer


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear, amber hue. Pours a pillowy white head, about 1/2'' with lacing like your mom's undies.

S- Pungent sweet hops.

T- Initially a pleasant hoppy taste but finishes with a smooth, wheaty kind of aftertaste.

M- Just the right amount of carbonation at first, with a smooth finish.

D- Very tasty and nice to drink!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 04:52:35 | More by reillybeer
Photo of livedrinkbeer


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was a little aprehensive about reviewing beers but after falling in love, drinking more than my fair share of good beer and actually remembering things about the beers i drink, I feel Ive gained enough knowlege to comfortably and confidently review beers so here it goes.
A- clody straw colored w/ inch of off white head, laces glass as drunk.
S- strong hop aroma
T- delicoiusly hoppy for any kind of beer let alone a christmas beer.
M- how its supposed to be for an ipa no complaints
D- A definate good solid choice especially if you like hops, this is at least my my forth time drinking this and will more than likely purchase again, even if I have to collect change from around the house again!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 02:45:40 | More by livedrinkbeer
Photo of Rustoleum


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Gold Jerry, Gold. Pours with a nice 1" white head and good lacing.

S- Floral hops dominate the nose.

T - Very nice balance of hops and malt. One of the more balanced IPA's i've tried

M - Excellent mouthfeel.

D - This is a highly drinkable IPA and one of the best i've tried lately. A pleasant surprise from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 17:35:30 | More by Rustoleum
Photo of George24

New York

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle drank from Sierra Nevada pub glass on 8/21/08 (this beer is probably over 9 months old).

Appearance: Good head, lacing, carbonation. Beautiful dark copper color.

Smell: Floral West coast hops (Chinook bittering, Cascade & Centennial finishing & dry) and sweet, bready malt (two-row pale & English Caramel).

Taste: Much of the same, though not as sweet as aroma. I love the hop profile, and the malt is spot on for a West coast IPA. I love that it's not that sweet, and I love the hop bitterness and flavor. I love this beer!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Mouthfeel is thick, and coupled w/ the good drinkability and the rest of the brew's characteristics, it's great.

I love this beer. Furthermore, I'm of the opinion that the different parts of a beer need to be judged in relation to each other and the whole... and this beer is thoroughly harmonious.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 04:56:19 | More by George24
Photo of alumley


4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Ale. Got it in a 6 and poured it into my fav. glass. The color was very good and dark copper. Smells like a great hoppy beer with slight pine overtones. As far as xmas goes I am happy to be hoppy! Overall I would give this beer a shot if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 00:10:02 | More by alumley
Photo of dstrand


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Copper with a cream/off-white thick head.

S - Very fruity and spicey, pine with some malt.

T - Fruity at first, then hit with some spice and finishes with a good hoppy flavor.

M - Medium-bodied, creamy taste from the thick head. Grapefruit hoppiness is definately tasted.

D - Good drinkability. Graet balance off fruitiness and hop spice. A great winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 03:04:16 | More by dstrand
Photo of chuke


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a pint glass...so much carbonation I nearly "beer commercial-ed" it. Nice head, great copper color

S- Piney, slightly woody hop aroma with a little malt scent

T- Smooth...almost too smooth. Very easy-drinking for a 6.8-er. More hop aroma than taste...easy, not too bitter finish.

M- Silky!

D- Almost done...think I'll head to my local spot for a 22 oz. draft refill! You could probably do a couple of these but I'm sure it would sneak up on you.

This is one of the better seasonals I've had this year. I'm not fond of the big alcohol presence - none of that here. Another solid beer from SN.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 22:07:41 | More by chuke
Photo of maestrophil


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass from 12 ounce bottle. 2009 printed on neck label of bottle.

A: I noticed the sediment swirling around before this was even out of the bottle. Hazy bright amber-orange, with grainy swirling sediment. Tight soapy cap with floating blobs leaves nice film of lacing.

S: Hops evident upon opening the bottle. Not as strong as it initially seemed, but nice notes of pine, citrusy grapefruit, and grassyness. Faint caramel and bready spice.

T: Big citrus hops, then something deeper, pale and caramel malt, grapefruit peel, bitter finish. Nice balance from a surprisingly round and full malt sweetness. A bit spicy and sweet like a good holiday bread.

M: Medium body, carbonation more creamy than prickly, nice and full in the mouth, but finishes clean with lasting hop scrub.

D: High- great balance! Plenty full and satisfying for the winter, but fresh tasting and refreshing. IPA fans could drink these for a long time without getting bored or tired.
A very solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Recommend!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 02:23:31 | More by maestrophil
Photo of dsw4b

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was an impulse buy prompted by a surprisingly low price. I took note of the brewery and little else. It should come as no surprise, then, that I expected a very malty beer with little hop presence and a very full body. It seems a large number of beers brewed for the holiday season fit into that mold. The initial aroma did little to convince me otherwise. My wife disagrees with the mild aroma assessment, so maybe I'm imagining that (or have a cold or something). Anyway...

Wow. Lurking beneath the mild aroma was a mouthful of hops. The body is medium-light and the head is soft and seems to last forever. But the hops... There is almost no balance contributed by the malts, and for me, that is a good thing. A little more in the area of aroma might be desired (if for no other reason but as a warning to unsuspecting drinkers), but overall, this could easily be my favorite beer for now.

Had I known at the time of purchase that this beer was this good, I would have picked up a case or seven.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 02:07:45 | More by dsw4b
Photo of qdeguchy


4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass

A. A true caramel color with hints of orange tinge. Left a two finger creamy head with orange hop oils layered on top of the off-white head. Beautiful, sticky lacing left after each drink. This is a gorgeus looking beer to say the least.

S. Piney, grapefruit citrus with hints of orange zest. There is also a mild caramel sweetness that is quite subtle.

T. Initially very bitter with a punch of tartness form the citrus hops that is sustained throughout the drink. This is followed by a sweet undertone which holds the hop bitterness together.

M. A medium bodied beer with nice texture that can be attributed to the fact that it is bottle conditioned. Carbonation is nice and the finish is dry.

D. This is a highly drinkable beer for the well evolved palate, particulary if you are an ipa enthusiast. I can easily consume a sixer without hesitation or effort.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 22:57:53 | More by qdeguchy
Photo of chrismg


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this from a local Whole Foods.

A - Copper color with an off white head.

S - Fresh hops up front. Not a very full or strong aroma.

T - It doesn't hit you over the head with hops but there is a presence there. Not too complex.

M - Medium carbonation with a slight thickness to the consistency.

D - I could definitely have a few more!

This is a very good brew. I'm not the biggest fan of IPA's but this one proved to be very well balanced and drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 04:07:47 | More by chrismg
Photo of bookem


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at OZone Pizza Pub. Served in a imperial pint glass.

A: Rich. A one-finger head which settles into a thin layer that stays throughout the pint. The beer itself is a perfectly clear medium copper. The remaining layer of foam grips the sides of the glass in snowy sheets of almost solid lacing.

S - The hop presence comes across immediately with a piney nose and hints of citrus.

T - Taste was fresh, crisp and rich with a well balanced hop bite.

M - Again, crisp. Well carbonated and not much aftertaste.

D - To really appreciate this beer you must drink it on tap. A excellent session beer which is well crafted with a generous amount of hops.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2010 16:12:15 | More by bookem
Photo of JaYsOuL


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass after letting it sit out of the fridge for about 10 minutes. Presented a beautiful reddish-orange color with a finger and half frothy head. The nose was very citrusy but also I got a hint of spice, which made the anticipation of the taste heightened as a result. The taste was very consistent to the nose with decent carbonation. This is one fine IPA if I might add. Celebration good times! If you can get your hands on this by all means do so, especially for IPA fans. This stays in my fridge, well atleast while it lasts.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 10:12:53 | More by JaYsOuL
Photo of canuckns


4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- copper orange in color white head. Good lacing all the way down

S- Hoppy. love the hops

T- The bitters is in the front and end

M- Medium to light bodied

D- An easy drinker.

Tried this when it was given to me by a beer club member. Never paid much attention to Sierra Nevada before, now aI am a fan. Have gone out of my way to find celebration and other SN beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 14:42:11 | More by canuckns
Photo of thenewflesh


4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours with an admirable head that will stick around for the entire beer if you pour it right. This reddish amber elixir looks almost as great as it tastes

S: Floral, sweet aromas that take the reins of your senses and get you ready for the ride.

T: Definitely something to write home about. A bready, full-bodied IPA that really hits the spot on a cold night. So fresh and tangy that it tastes like biting into a magical beer vegetable.

M: Full, crisp, sudsy deliciousness.

D: I can put back 6 of these in a few hours, which scares me considering the alcohol content. They're just so damn delicious that it's hard to stop... My favorite seasonal beer, can't wait for next winter to come around.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 06:03:04 | More by thenewflesh
Photo of Messiahbolical


4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, red-tinted copper color with an off-white creamy, fluffy head that sticks around. Lots of lacing on the glass. Looks great in the glass.

S - Lots of hops... pine, floral, citrus... this beer smells like it will be balanced. The smell isn't THAT strong though. Wish it was a bit stronger. Still good though.

T - Mmm... delicious. Right away up front you get that citrus hops kick, backed with a noteworthy honey malt sweetness. Then fades out to a nice, strong pine bitterness that sticks to your tongue but not for too long. One of the most balanced, if not the MOST balanced, IPA I've ever had. It has every taste you look for in a good IPA.

M - Medium bodied but silky smooth on the tongue with a creamy feeling carbonation that rolls on through your mouth to the back of your throat and finishes really clean and feels refreshing going down.

D - It's an IPA, a strong style of beer, so of course it's not going to be the most drinkable beer in the world. This one is pretty damn drinkable though. Doesn't fill you up too much and has a relatively average-to-low ABV% for the style. I can see putting a few of these down in one night. And the bitterness doesn't seem to get old, since it fades away at just the right time.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 07:52:55 | More by Messiahbolical
Photo of iamsemigloss

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/31/10, taken from notes.

Appearance: A large impressive head leading to an amber beverage. Body was clear and the lacing good.

Smell: A hop bomb, complex sharp citrus, herbal and perfume notes, even some pine. Light malts present, toasty and caramel.

Taste: Caramel hits the palate first, leading into the barrage of citrus and a little pine. A warm bitter alcohol kick on the finish. I detected faint hints of dish soap, which honestly was a real distraction...

Mouthfeel: Creamy and drying.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer but probably wouldn't buy another. It's my understanding that this beer changes somewhat from year to year, and I liked it enough that I will revisit it next year, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 16:19:45 | More by iamsemigloss
Photo of plasma


3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice head, floral and citrus aroma with hop notes. Grapefruit and citrus notes on the tongue, crisp, fresh and smooth with a slight bitter finish. Great taste, complex, well balanced. It's a seasonal brew, but but i'm not sure why. It could be consumed at any time of year as any other ipa.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 02:04:17 | More by plasma
Photo of lechowski


3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is definitely my favorite batch of SN's Celebration brews. I believe this is the first year that they have fresh-hopped and I think they did a decent job considering the quantity they put out.

A - Beautiful amber color, decent head and good lacing.

S - Not sure if it's just my nose tonight, or the fact that I'm using a pint glass, but I'm having real issues getting a good wiff. Some notes of Cascade and Centennial still coming through though.

T - Strong West-Coast style hoppiness coming through. A bit boozy on the backend however, especially for only being 6.8%

M - Smooth medium body.

O - Nothing to write home about, but still my favorite beer from SN.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 05:34:30 | More by lechowski
Photo of sinkfloridasink


4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Copper. More depth then your standard IPA. Great carbonation visibility.
S - Hops and dry fruit. both warm and soothing. no booze.
T - Hop forward, dry fruits finish. Spice and vanilla are detectable.
M - Creamy as a milk stout. Thick but drinkable, coats the mouth like pork fat. pleasant.
O - Very fine IPA, best from sierra. Worth the wait for winter time.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2011 15:13:02 | More by sinkfloridasink
Photo of darrmitchell

3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Didn't blow me away like it did others. Pours a nice copper brown with one of the thickest heads I've seen personally, and fairly impressive lacing. At first it was seriously bitter with a lot of flavors swirling around in the background. The most prominent to me was a pine flavor with a hint of grapefruit and a metallic aftertaste. I let it sit for a few minutes and tried it again, which resulted in more grapefruit and less bitter pine taste, so I'm thinking I may have tried it too cold. Overall a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 02:48:52 | More by darrmitchell
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,386 ratings.