Celebration Fresh Hop IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - American
Ranked #96
Ranked #2,169
4.17 | pDev: 11.27%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
Notes: Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

We first brewed Celebration IPA in the winter of 1981. Each year, we use only the first fresh hops of the growing season to create this complex and robust ale. Layered pine and citrus hop aromas balance delicately against rich, malt sweetness to shape this bold wintertime classic.
Reviews: 3,634 | Ratings: 10,775 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, are these bottle conditioned and sent to me by my good & former BeerAdvocate great Zimbo & a 2020
Pours a slightly hazy red body with good white head
Aroma is toffee
Flavour is leafy, apples, big bitter finish

Wednesday at 11:33 PM
Photo of KeithHartwig
KeithHartwig from Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Opened on 1-26-21 and poured into an Spiegelau IPA glass.

A: Clear amber with a persistent thick mousse-like head. Lacing clings to the glass as the head recedes.

S: Crystal/caramel malt and green/resinous hops. Some candied orange notes in the background.

T: Candied orange peel - very well balanced hop and malt flavors.

M: Medium body with a matching level of carbonation. Full but refreshing. Just enough lingering dryness to encourage another sip.

O: Extremely enjoyable beer, with an exceptional balance of fresh hop flavors, notably citrus and pine, and melanoidin malt character.

Jan 27, 2021
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Very dark gold/amber. One finger of creamy off-white head with good retention.

Smell: Strong piney hop scent, with a bitterness detectable even on the nose.

Taste: Mild, slightly sweet malt and citrus fruit followed by a resinous pine flavor. Slight papery tobacco flavor. Bitterness is average.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy, with high carbonation.

Overall: A quite nice IPA, with balanced properties.

Jan 16, 2021
Photo of RUSSRGR
RUSSRGR from Delaware

3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle it is a dark amber with a decent head. Nice malty aroma with a hint of spice and citrus. Taste follows the smell with a hint of pine. Medium to full bodied with a slightly dry finish.

Jan 12, 2021
Photo of Seamus_Hanrahan
Seamus_Hanrahan from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap (and later in bottle).. Dark golden color with creamy head with spicy aroma. The complex flavor is interesting with a strong malt yet hoppy presence. A mouthful holds big flavor with some pine, citrus and then a bitter hoppy finish. A wonderful winter beer.

Jan 11, 2021
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a bright orange-ruby red color with a white creamy head. SRM of 14-15. (4.25)

Aroma: Mild on the aroma of orange/tangerine soap citrus, some spice, and pine soap. As it warms faint cherry and nutmeg. It's dank and the citrus flavors are muted. Mostly wet blood orange and red grapefruit. Deep pine and sudsy before the showcase of malty caramel and spice come through. Mild aromas and leans malty overall. Sort of like dark sudsy pine and red grapefruit bath soap. (3.50)

Flavor: Vague flavors of blood orange citrus & grapefruit, nectar, spiced, piney caramel, toffee, and an undercoating of deep, wet pine. Strong alcohol behind the caramel gives it a Sharpie phenolic flavor. Some warm red apple juice. Then the undercoat of deep woodsy pine bitterness comes back around on the back end. Moderately bitter wood on the finish. It's like the nectar straight out of a red grapefruit, but leans more malty with spicy caramel with a woodsy/pine finish. (3.75)

Feel: Medium to heavier bodied. Moderate carbonation, but no match for the huge malt body and bitterness. Definitely resinous. Leaves a sweet, but bitter and spicy finish on the palate. (4.00)

Compared to Torpedo: Very similar and nearly indistinguishable. Pours a darker amber color. More spicy caramel, red fruit, and malt body. Less hop flavors, but more bitterness. Slightly heavier bodied and resinous. Sweeter as well.
10/30/20: Pours a slightly darker color. More malty and vague. Less citrus and pine soap for sure.

to Surly's Furious: Similar color. Less aroma. Less hoppy and piney. Much more smooth with dank nectar sweetness without the bitter piney finish. Yet similar body and sweetness overall.
12/7/20: Pours a slightly darker color. More spiced caramel malt sweetness. Less grapefruit, pine, pinecone bitterness and flavor. Heavier and sweeter with less bitterness.

to Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale 2020: It pours a lighter, brighter orange color. Nearly identical bears. Both lack flavor and aroma. More pine, nectar aroma and flavor here. Less bitterness overall.
1/2021: Pours a lighter and clearer oranger color. Milder aromas/flavors. More pine soap, spiced caramel, orange. Less

to Founder's Centennial IPA 3/25/20: Pours a nearly identical appearance. Aromas are duller and more of red fruit and citrus and pine. Less stonefruit and caramel. Similar body (maybe slightly lighter), but more bitter pine for sure.

to Lagunitas' Sucks 2020 11/2/20: Pours a darker color. More earthy aromas of citrus and pine. Less candied fruit. Darker, resinous, and roastier overall.

to SN Oktoberfest 2020 11/9/20: Pours a darker amber, less orange color with a darker off-white head. Aromas are milder and more of resinous vague malts, caramel, pine. Less orange and toasted bread. Flavor has more resinous caramel and pine.

to SN Pale Ale 11/23/20: Pours a darker color. More spiced caramel& pine. Less orange peel, citrus soap. A larger, spicier, and maltier body. Less citrus hop flavor. Stickier and more bitter too.

to Elysian BiFrost Winter Ale 12/13/20: Pours a slightly darker color. Similar mild aroma strength. Slightly more pine soap and less caramel and alcohol. Similar on the flavors too, but slightly less caramel malts and alcohol burn on the end. Overall, much more balanced. Winner: Celebration

to Goose Island's Christmas IPA 12/18/20: Pours a lighter, more orange color with a stronger head. Milder aromas. More citrus soap and airy pine. Less resinous tropic fruit with less brown sugar and toast. A heavier body with more bitterness.

to Fulton Sweet Child of Vine 3/4/21: Pours a similar, slightly lighter color. More resinous orange, orange soap, and caramel aromas. Less bitter pine and herbs. More orange marmalade & caramel malty, less roasted.

to Deschutes' Fresh Squeezed 3/23/21: Pours a similar tea color. Similar aromas. Slightly more caramel, citrus, and pine. Less nectarine, flower, and resinous fruit. More caramel and resinous orange soap sweetness. More caramel and less fruit sweetness. Similar bitterness.

to Summit's EPA 4/6/21: Pours a darker amber color. More citrus and pine. Less earthy caramel and dank herbs. Similar caramel profile though. Stronger with more bitter and toasty hops and malts. They were quite similar though.

Overall: Deep citrus, spiced caramel, and pine. Some red grapefruit, but mostly malts including SPICY PINE & CARAMEL MALT flavors. (But gets more resinous orange/caramel and less spiced pine as it ages) The hop flavors are subdued. Not unlike an amber IPA but more nectar-like the classic SN. It culminates into orange and spicy playdough. What gives this beer away is the signature Sierra Nevada pine flavor upfront followed by the signature Sierra Nevada caramel malts that they use. It's much like a tamed version or less bitter Torpedo as described above. It's growing on me though.... (Current: 3.80)

Jan 09, 2021
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-deep amber, clear bottle pour with a 1.5 cm foam cap and aroma of pine and caramel malt.
The flavor has malt sweetness, some fresh hop tanginess, resin and moderate to high hop bitterness.
This is a welcome seasonal favorite.

Jan 02, 2021
Photo of blazerkor
blazerkor from Nevada

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It smells just like it should. It's a Christmas tree in the forest, covered by a dusting of snow. I can smell both the sweet sappy pine and the earth that It's planted in both a bit muted by the fresh fallen snow.

The pine carries through on the initial taste but soon gives way to malty sweetness.

It's foamy and smooth with a bitter aftertaste that leaves your mouth dry and wanting more.

It's a pretty good IPA. It's got a different hoppy flavor than other Sierra Nevada IPAs. I give it a 4.7 out of 6.

Dec 29, 2020
Photo of Martin194
Martin194 from Iowa

3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Slightly cloudy amber with a big white head that dissipates slowly.

Smell: Hops, citrus, a bit of spice (nutmeg, maybe).

Taste: Quite bitter, heavy on the hops with robust, sweeter malts filling in.

Feel: Full body, dry finish.

Overall: Pretty solid IPA, almost a little overwhelming but great for one drink.

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of LoganFarinhas
LoganFarinhas from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

C: Amber/ red, nice head retention and about one finger pour, looks filtered, translucent

S: spices maybe nutmeg, hoppy dankyness, grassy, slight lemon deep down there, fruityness

T: Pretty bitter beer, the hop is good, finish is dry and malty, slight spice no fruit flavor

F: light not heavy, slight effervescence, pretty balanced feel, not too creamy not too sparkly; really good

Overall: $2.00, 6.8%ABV, 12 fl oz., Bottled on Sept. 28th 2020, 52.8ºF (11.5ºC), 65IBU, Mug glass

This beer is an essential new years beer/ winter beer/ Christmas beer in my opinion. The smell and feel is phenomenal and the taste is pretty good.One more beer to look forward too during the darker months. I give it a 95. Cheers!

Dec 14, 2020
Photo of RedBalloon
RedBalloon from Washington

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle dated 10/8/20 poured into a Teku.

Pours a thin, 1" creamy white head. Opaque amber/copper.

Aromas of caramel, pine, and sweet booze.

Tastes like caramel sugar and resinous pine in good balance.

Feel is medium-bodied and sticky.

The malt flavors and aromas are assertive but well-balanced with the piney hop characteristics. Sweet, syrupy, and tasty.

Dec 13, 2020
Photo of Danieljm
Danieljm from Missouri

4.61/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours into a pint glass a dark amber almost red color with a large white head which stays around leaving nice lacing on the glass
Aroma: is more malty with some citrus , piney notes
Taste: Nice malty flavor with some sweetness up front. The hoppy citrus does come thru and finishes with a nice dry hoppy slightly bitter finish.
Overall this is a great beer!!! Hadn't had for a few years, which makes me sad for what I've missed. It will be on my list going forward.

Dec 12, 2020
Photo of 10BenBrewReview
10BenBrewReview from South Carolina

4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love the look, smell, and taste of this beer. One of the things I look forward to every Christmas. It's not often a larger size brewer gets something so right, so often. I hope they don't change anything with this seasonal brew.

Dec 12, 2020
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Two 12 oz. bottles poured into a clear glass liter mug and what have we here? Well, it's foamy, let's pause bottle number two until the head ebbs a little. Until then it's a copper colored brew, with the afore mentioned copious head which is leaving a tremendously thick layer of glass lacing. It has a nice aroma of a good hop-malt combination. Time for the taste test: it's wonderful as it begins light on both hops and malts, then both emerge simultaneously. This is as earthy malt pronounced as Victory's Hop Devil and as well hopped. Truly full flavored with roasted malts and complex hop contributions, this is an outstanding AIPA.

Dec 09, 2020
Photo of b-ri11
b-ri11 from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an copper color with good head. Taste is definitely earthy and piney. Resembles a more of a red ipa with heavier feel. Love wet hop IPAs but Lagunitas Born yesterday is far superior.

Dec 06, 2020
Photo of TheBricenator
TheBricenator from Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Semi-clear blood red-tinted orange with a dense off-white head that pillows up and holds well, slowly receding and leaving great lacing behind
Aroma: Pine, rose petals, grapefruit-led citrus fruits, unbaked bread dough, floral notes, and dark bready malt
Taste: Pine, rose, flowers, and pithy grapefruit rind scream onto the palate at first and set the tone while rich and slightly sweet doughy and bready malt seep into the picture. More floral and citrus hop goodness grab hold and tango with the malt until a crisp hop bite closes it out
Mouthfeel: Full bodied – leans towards chewy but stops short, medium-high carbonation, and an evident bite and dryness on the finish
Overall: This is outstanding stuff. I love this beer and always have so I’m a total homer for it but it is a very well-made and balanced combo of what I would call half IPA, half hoppy red ale. Old school floral and citrus ‘C’ hops add to the nostalgia of this and a welcome and frequent addition to the beer fridge throughout fall and winter. Tasty and recommended – as if this beer “needed” my additional approval – a freaking classic

Dec 03, 2020
Photo of 86sportster883
86sportster883 from Maryland

3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I love the brilliant dark amber color of this beer. The first pour from my 64 oz growler produces a short-lived, off white head that left some lacing. There is no streaming of carbonation from the bottom of the glass, but the beer is not flat. The smell is subdued when at refrigerator coldness, and a caramel malt base dominates. Resiny hop aromas build as the beer warms and the taste follows suit with a toasty malt flavor that is dried by resinous hops. The mouthfeel is medium and the finish leaves a low level pine like bitterness on the palate. There are some citrus and floral hop notes too, but they don’t rise to the forefront. I’m sure this beer is different fresh out of the bottle vs. out of a keg, then to a growler, then to the fridge and eventually to my glass. It’s a smooth, malty ale with just enough hop presence to bring it all together and let you know you’re drinking an IPA. It’s a very good beer, and I would choose this beer over most winter holiday seasonal beer offerings, but I wouldn’t choose it often over other IPAs.

Nov 25, 2020
Photo of Piercan
Piercan from Wisconsin

4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Nov.2020. No need for a 150 word description: just rush to get two 12-packs and reserve some more for the season!
Every year comes this epiphany around Thanksgiving. Highly addictive, and the season is short.

Nov 22, 2020
Photo of brodyonthecorner
brodyonthecorner from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with a moderate lacy head
S: Not much honestly, some sweet malt notes and some fruity hops
T: great caramel roasted malt that transitions to piney and not very bitter hoppiness. Hints of pepper. sweet finish

Very good balanced beer and one of my fav styles due to the balance of the caramel malt and hops.

Nov 18, 2020
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 9/29/20

I'm shocked that after 2 years into my beer journey that I haven't yet tried this one. I always see it discussed as one of the best value beers around, and now I have to see what it's all about

Pours a cloudy orange/amber with a finger of white head that quickly fades to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing

This immediately smells very toasty and balanced. Notes of dark bread, fresh cut pine, general citrus, candied peach, and caramel malt

The front end of the sip is loaded with crisp malt and fresh citrus to cut through it. The swallow brings sharp pine, bready malt, brown sugar, and a touch of pepper

A hefty medium body combines with very mild carbonation for a very smooth drinking beer. Finishes mostly dry and slightly bitter

After drinking this one, all I can wonder is why I ignored it for so damn long! Just incredible stuff, absolutely in line with everything I've heard about it. I can definitely see myself stocking up on this one throughout the winter

Nov 16, 2020
Photo of highdesertdrinker
highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this yet, so here go. Pours a reddish copper with good head. Smells spicy, malty, toasty. The flavor is spicy with piney hops, toasted malt and citrus flavors lurking underneath. It is quite hoppy but very drinkable if you don’t mind a little bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and it’s not a monster at 6.8 but warms your innards and is very satisfying. Still my favorite holiday IPA. I bought a case of this at Costco in 2007 and drank it between Thanksgiving and Christmas and thought it was borderline undrinkable until I started getting used to them pre hop head days but now I just luuuuurve them, cheers!

Nov 16, 2020
Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
DarkSideOfTheMoon from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my favorite Sierra Nevada beers -- deep copper color that hints at the maltier backbone...and it doesnt disappoint. Not much on the nose, but the hop bitterness is played off of perfectly with the roasted barley and malts resulting in an easy drinking IPA that doesnt feel like the 6.8% ABV it sports. Just a great IPA for cooler weather

Nov 13, 2020
Photo of hops_for_thought
hops_for_thought from New York

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle (2020 release, 25Sep2020) into a pint glass

L: pours a perfectly clear amber with a thick off-white head. Moderate+ visible carbonation, quite small bubbles if that makes sense. As the head fades leaving some great thick lacing, solid layer of foam over the top of the beer ~10+ minutes post-pour

S: nice fruit-forward character (grapefruit?) of the hops leads, with a moderate piney note right behind as well as some malty sweetness. Not in your face aromatic (not comparing to some NEIPA, more what I recall from a SNPA/Torpedo/etc.) but perhaps that’s the deal with Celebration as this is my first

T: follows the nose very well - would say i get the malty sweetness at first, but followed very closely by those great hop flavors. Has this bourbon flavor to it almost, get this toffee/caramel note from the malt that flows beautifully into that citrusy grapefruit flavor and eventually piney bitterness. Medium+ finish

F: medium+ carbonation, medium- body, easy drinking, slightly drying

O: a very good IPA that delivers a great malt and hop experience. As always with Sierra Nevada, the fact they can make an excellent beer like this at scale is remarkable

Nov 13, 2020
Photo of realJohnnyHobo
realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my all-time favorites. 2020s version is just as big in flavor as it is anticipation for the release. As a fresh-hopped beer, getting the first bottles on the shelf is always a blessing. Piney citrus alongside a malted note is very outspoken. A bit of ale yeast lingers and is a very lively scent. Color of pure amber and an off_white brownish head.

Big bold flavors. That juicy west coast hoppiness, a bit of caramel and brown sugar, with a few toffee notes in the rears. Wow. This is just as great as I remember it. A lively 6.8% is well hidden and easy to drink. The sweetness is outstanding and the overall drinkability is medium - I think this would be a great 2-3 and relax type of beer for the holidays.

Nov 08, 2020
Photo of Iamaskier
Iamaskier from Idaho

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lovely reddish amber color. Head is mocha white and clings to glass, and sits over body well after pour. Aroma isn’t nearly as strong as other IPAs, mild Christmas tree hops. Taste is malty at first, growing to piney hops with a bit of spice. Slight alcohol warmth growing in the aftertaste. Not much of a hop punch, but that’s okay- overall, a pleasantly relaxed ipa, great for quiet holiday evenings.

Nov 06, 2020
Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 10775 ratings