Celebration Fresh Hop IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
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Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #93
ABV:
6.8%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,058
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 11.27%
Reviews:
3,619
Ratings:
10,728
From:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  405
Gots
  2,184
SCORE
93
Outstanding
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: 3,619 | Ratings: 10,728 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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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.

Wednesday at 11:43 PM
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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
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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. 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper appearance with a big ole beige head and prodigious lacing. Resinous, piney somewhat muted, aroma. Blast of the fresh hops right from the first sip. Hearty, bitter flavors with a touch of citrus in the finish. Lingering aftertaste with a continuing hop bite. Something I look forward to in the fall to help flush all those Octoberfests out of my system.

Nov 05, 2020
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imnodoctorbut from Texas

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

2020 edition; bottle

pours clear dark amber body with a billowing burnt-cream colored frothy foam head with moderate retention that leaves thick patches of sudsy lacing as it settles to a patchy cap

aroma is resinous pine up front, thick and sweet caramel malt kicker

thick and chewy caramel malt and resinous pine. straight forward enough. slight pine hop inherent citrus-by-way-of-grapefruit spotted in the peripherals.

moderately high carbonation and medium-light body, slightly boozy with a smooth dry finish with an earthy hop bitterness that sticks around

overall:
fantastic. can't believe I am just now having this one. I will be looking forward to it yearly!
a very straight forward and "simple" west coast IPA - but as it happens, I love IPAs that play with varying balances of pine and caramel malt. this may vary well be my favorite brew playing that particular game

Nov 05, 2020
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moodenba from New York

3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draft Sierra Nevada (SN) Celebration Fresh Hop IPA ordered with a snack in Patchogue, NY, in November 2020. This is a traditional American style ale that has avoided the juicy hop fad. I hadn't had this beer in a few decades, having lived outside the primary distribution area for much of that time. This day was a double winner, with two classy amber beers: this Celebration by the well-established SN and "The Stillness" by Darling, a small recent startup.

Nov 05, 2020
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RR_BeerMan from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to this beer every year! Just grabbed the 2020 brew yesterday and it’s as good as always. Nice dark amber color and pine hop scent and flavor to match. It really makes me think of the holiday season, excellent beer and highly recommend.

Nov 03, 2020
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mschrei from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been drinking this one for years, and I cannot believe I have never rated it until tonight. It’s almost 4 months old, and you’d think a fresh hop beer at that age would be quite faded, but I think it’s still pretty spot on and hasn’t lost much. A very red/tan color with frothy head and lacing. Smell is piney and mildly citrusy, as is the taste, with a bit of maltiness. Medium body, sharp, crisp, mouth watering, juicy, slight booze presence. What’s really great is it’s amazing year in and year out, which says something about their hops. I really love this beer. I’ll try to remember to revisit my rating with my first one of 2020’s edition to see what i think of it fresher.

2020 note: I’m drinking my third of this year, bumped the taste up from 4.25 to 4.75 and thus affected the entire rating. It’s a classic IPA in this day and age when everything has to be happier, juicier, and more in your face. It’s got that old West Coast bitterness that meshes well with the raw fresh hop taste so well. I find myself buying a lot of this every year, and it NEVER disappoints.

Feb 04, 2020
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Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice deep, rich amber with a big, sticky ivory head that clings to the glass. Awesome lacing. Looks beautiful in the glass. Strong smell of pine, resin, sweet caramel. Taste is hop forward, but enough malt to keep it balanced. A nice bitter finish that keeps this in the old school west coast IPA family. It's really a nice finish. Sticky but in a good way. It's a medium bodied brew with nice carbonation that is evident enough to keep hold everything together, but not overly done. Overall: I tried this beer when I was new to craft beer and didn't appreciate it. Now, I really enjoy it. It's a "comfort beer" given its history and longevity; a definite throwback to IPA's of old. I really enjoyed it this year through the holiday season and into the winter. Just delicious.

Jan 12, 2020
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MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, bottled a month ago

Pours three fingers of just off white head into my can-style glass, quickly swells to nearly 2 fingers over the rim, somehow not pouring over. Very creamy; pillowy would be an understatement. Body is a dark burnt orange, nearly brown. Medium amount of bubbles coming up. Looks very good so far, albeit one of the most peculiar heads, especially given the normal amount of nucleation.

While hard to stick my nose in the glass, the aroma does give off plenty off pine, earthy and spicy hops, light notes of caramel and toffee. A really nice aroma, balanced, quite full, and somewhat complex. It smells like a brew day, and I’m totally ok with that.

Hop flavor is pretty lackluster, not giving off much off any distinct characters. Malts have a little more, some caramel shines through. Falls off pretty hard entirely towards the end and finishes watery, maybe a tad metallicy as well. Not awful, but very flavorless.

Mouthfeel was ok. Carbonation for some reason blew up the head of this beer, in turn coming out of solution very fast, settling at not flat, but lower than normal carbonation. This is not a nucleating glass, and there weren’t a lot of bubbles, but it’s lack of carbonation very evident non the less. Pretty wet body. Bitterness is here but doesn’t shine that bright. Overall pretty watery.

Drinkability is ok I suppose.

Appearance turned out great, thick lacing, great head.

I have to start scratching my head here, am I drinking beer too slow? No matter the glass it seems, a lot of recent beers lose their carbonation. Must be a coincidence. Anyways, this was watery, somewhat flat, flavor disappeared, average beer to say the least. I’m confidant this is better out of the bottle.

I guess the last sip was nice, it was basically a mouth full of the left over head, which actually had “carbonation” but it was nice and malty

Jan 04, 2020
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Eapressocycle from Pennsylvania

4.81/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a lovely amber with a thick head. Smell is fresh. Flavor is sweet, bitter and spicy. Perfectly balanced yet unforgettable. I'm not much of an IPA guy but this is one of my favorite beers.

Jan 01, 2020
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SmokySignals from North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

For the holiday weekend 2019, bottled on 11/01/19, poured into ipa glass:
Rich deep golden body and a picture perfect dense shiny 3 finger head that lasts respectably and leaves good lacing.
Powerful fresh hop and malt scents are impeccable and unmistakably Sierra Nevada. Their best offering IMO.
Tastes exactly as I'd hoped and expected from the great nose, and with that full maltiness balancing all that fresh bitter. Great finish, not harsh or anything. This may be my favorite ipa to date! Caramel richness, piney tartness...clean, QUALITY!
I wouldn't;t mind if it was a little fuller on the feel, but it is so smashable for a 6.8, what a party brew it is.
Overall, a practically perfect IPA that is to be enjoyed! Absolutely grab at least a 6er!

Dec 27, 2019
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FireMedk from California

3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good seasonal IPA and tastes just like a Sierra Nevada IPA. Citrus notes with pine and malt, not to mention the hoppiness that has made Sierra Nevada famous over the years. Only huge complaint would be that they named this a celebration IPA but no mention of Christmas. Let those balls drop and go ahead and mention what we’re celebrating!

Dec 24, 2019
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Specialmick from Connecticut

4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look...reddish brown with no hint of haze, purity
Smell... not much smell but a hint of hops
Taste...an upfront tone of sweetness with bitter undertone that is eventually overwhelming dissipating to a great crisp finish
Feel. lips smacking stickiness with a nice lacing as you continue with the beer. Just damn nice
Overall ... I would eventually get tired of this but it might take several cases...this is so damn solid and a nice change of pace of all types of beer , a cleanser if you will(pallet eraser)

Pick some up it is good

Dec 21, 2019
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this on a tap poured in to a pint glass.
Nice foamy head and lacing, Amber color.
Smells citrusy.
Tastes citrus and piney. Hop forward, with a malt finish.
Smooth creamy mouth feel.
Overall, since it is the holidays, I would order again, especially since NC beers were $3.50 a pint on special at the local pizza place.
Overall a very solid seasonal

Dec 18, 2019
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Maltyhead from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a 2” head from a bottle, had a dark honey color and very mild citrus aroma. It’s a very drinkable, smooth beer but had a bit too much alcohol aftertaste for my liking.

Dec 16, 2019
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What makes this beer a notch above is the partnership of pine hop presence in the first taste to the sweet malt that rises up in the second half. Nice duality. Go celebrate.

Dec 16, 2019
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entheos from California

3.29/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

A strong beer from Sierra Nevada that is harsh to drink, but has a festive after taste. Would prefer a lighter fare, but then celebrations like these only happen once a year!

Dec 14, 2019
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HoodviewBrew from Texas

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very impressed by this IPA that brings out an appropriate pine and bitter taste without destroying the balance of the other flavors in the beer. There is a great earthy hop taste that pairs nicely with the mild sweetness of the beer. Excellent!

Dec 12, 2019
Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 10728 ratings