Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

10,228 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Winter

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

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Ratings: 10,228 |  Reviews: 3,468
Photo of greengorilla
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, dark copper/red from a stout 12 oz bottle with no ABV or freshness date on the label. Solid, solid frothy head that stays for an eternity. The piney hoppy aroma hits you the moment the bottle is cracked open. Beautiful lacing as you keep taking mouthfuls of this beauty. Strong on the hops, with a hint of sweet caramel, but the pine-hops flavor overpowers in a perfectly balanced way. Hands down one of the best IPA's around. It will leave you with a nice buzz, drinkability is good, but I would recommend keeping the consumption in check. It is a very delicious brew, which leaves you wanting more. A solid beer from Sierra Nevada, highly recommended.

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Photo of Boto
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle: This is a winter beer. It pours quite dark, with a tinge of red to it. The aroma is quite good, with aromas of citrus hops, malts, spices, floral notes, and quite possible some others. There is a full, rich taste with quite a nice hop kick to it. A very well balanced beer. Very, very good!!

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Photo of grittybrews
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a vivid orange-amber into a tulip with a finger of fluffy eggshell head (long retention). Hop-forward aroma with plenty of grapefruit, pine, and a touch of caramel.

Full-bodied with moderate carbonation and a creamy, resinous mouthfeel. Malty biscuit and caramel up front with a spicy, piney hop kick that develops more tart grapefruit notes as it lingers.

Great balance and really easy-drinking (alcohol is completely masked). If this were in a blind test with other IPAs I'd never associate this beer with the holiday season, but it's a nice reminder of warmer times!

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Photo of Sweasty
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden copper with a creamy off white head. Good head retention that ultimately leaves sticky lacing the whole way down the glass.

Smell - Herbal citrusy/grapfruity hops, with bit of piney edge. A bit of sweet caramel struggles to make an appearance.

Taste - Follows the nose. C-hops and lots of em. Citrus/grapefruit hops. Followed by a solid bready malt backbone. A long lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and Creamy

Overall this my favorite holiday seasonal. Its a well balanced and tasty IPA. A must drink every year for me.

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Photo of rbenitez25
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic IPA. Lots of maly and bitter balance on the front end. Strong bouquet of flowers on the front and back end. Great IPA.

128 characters

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Celebration

1'' off white/eggshell head. Great retention and thick, fresh lacing. Copper color with good clarity. Wonderful aroma of creamy, sweet malts and piney, citrusy hops. Classic Sierra Nevada nose. Hop bitterness form start to finish...lots of pine needle and bitter orange peel/rind. Nice malt backing - faint caramel in finish, still - a hop showcase. Medium body with tongue tingling alcohol and bracing hops - decent level of carbonation. One hell of a beer.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Medium dark amber with some red hues, really good color, awesome off white head, almost butter like, and foamy like shaving cream, remains on top all the way through this glass like a dollop of sour cream on top and leaves good lace

S: Big hop presence, major grapefruit, appears to be slight malty breadiness, just enough to provide some contrast and backbone

T: Again big hops dominate, especially grapefruit, but not overly intense like some, good bitterness, balanced by slight breadiness, but very slight, does not cover hops at all, a little one dimensional as the flavors don't develop too much, but what it does provide is amazing

M: Semi light, but not thin at all, bitterness creates some dryness, but doesn't really linger

D: Good, nice bold flavors and easy mouthfeel won't let me stop drinking this

Notes: This is my first Sierra Nevada and it is awesome. I have been getting bogged down by spiced and sweet winter ales, and this is exactly what I needed, a blast of hops in a Christmas wrapper. I can't wait to try their other beers.

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Photo of psinderson
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a pint glass at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse.

Appearance: Nice amber color, very clear. Slightly off-white head that has some staying power.

Smell: Definite citrus hops and some caramel. I also detect a hint of vanilla.

Taste: Very hoppy, yet smooth. Not too much holiday spice here, but there is a definite caramel note that differs from a typical IPA.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium bodied feel. Pleasant to drink.

Drinkability: For a hoppy brew, this is easy to consume. It also hides the ABV well...could be a dangerous thing!

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Photo of HopDerek
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a vintage 2005 series into a pint glass.

Appears orangish copper in color with a nice 2cm of foamy white head and good lacing. Some sediment. Smells of holiday spices like nutmeg and clove, along with a citrus smell and caramel. Taste is bitter, very much pale ale, with spices and pine, but with a malty finish. Very little citrusy hops though. Medium in body and smooth. Definitely a beer I will continue to grab for the winter months, a nice twist on standard winter brews with the nice hoppiness.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well haven't written a review in a bit but this brew is surely worth it. 2004 Release. Pours a deep copper color with a fluffy offwhite head that just sticks around nicely. Aromas are super hoppy, giving off some citrus, a little pine, and just a hint of malt. Initial flavors start of very hoppy with a piney resinous like flavor. The mood of this beer quickly changes over with a nice creamy malt backing that portrays a bit of biscuit and just a hint of caramel. This brew progresses back to the hops thereafter, giving off a slight crisp bitterness followed by some juicy citrusy flavors that just linger on the tongue sip after sip after sip. The body of this beer is magnificent while the carbonation plays on the tongue in just the right way. This IPA is truly magnificent, and a true testament to what Sierra Nevada can do.

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Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deanhead
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and rich Red, almost crimson in color. Poured with an amazingly frothy head.
Aroma is earthy and pungent, almost turpy.
Taste- clean and bitter, rich with viscosity citrusy almost lemony finish with lingering bitterness that just seems to coat the mouth and tongue
Fabulous beer by SN. These guys have got this beer dialed right. It's an amazingly easy drinker despite it's 6+ % abv. Get some. Hands down one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of ski271
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to write another review to counteract my lower bottle review earlier this month. Just yesterday I had this beer on tap. A surprising treat at The Corner Room in State College, PA. Yes, we all know most beers are better on tap, but this one was MUCH better. It was so smooth, balanced, fresh and beautiful that I was sorry we only had time for one. In my previous review I remarked about how I didn't think SNCA quite lived up to the hype, but now I think otherwise. It's definitely highly recommended to try on tap.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was looking forward to having this beer! Last year around this time I was just getting into craft. Pours a clear amber color with a medium head that diminishes quickly. Scent is DELICIOUS hoppy goodness with just a bit of malt. A lot of pine and grapefruit aromas. Taste is very delightful. It reminds me of a very fresh Torpedo with a bit more malt character. At first I get some pine, followed by grapefruit and sweet apricot flavors. Then followed by some hop bitterness with a bit of caramel malt. Very well-balanced IMO. Mouthfeel is nice and full bodied with great carbonation. Drinkability is very high. I could see why people would complain about having an IPA as a Christmas/Winter ale, but I have no complaints. Love this beer!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had two of these in my beer fridge since November and have somehow managed to resist them. I've been reading about how hoppiness decreases over time, which probably means (since I'm of the 'hoppier the better' school) that I should have had them as fresh as possible. Anyway, I'm about to remedy that oversight tonight.

Medium orange-amber with a moderate haze. The head is very large and is dark cream edging into ecru. Stiff and rocky, then lumpy, it sticks in chunks to the inside of the pint glass. It looks for all the world like a thick, frothy milkshake. Ultimately there are chunky rings of lace on the glass and a thick, lumpy film on top of the beer.

The nose is primarily grapefruit peel-like. Upon tasting, a soft (yet insistent) wave of hops hits the taste buds. Several varieties are probably present and I'm betting that Cascade is among them. The hoppiness is primarily citrusy and floral, with a hint of pine. There is also a background spiciness that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

There's a fairly large malt load as well. Alcohol is noted, especially after the initial wave of hops subsides (alcohol is almost undetectable in the 2007 Celebration). The finish is long, decently hoppy and ultimately dry. The body/mouthfeel is creamy and is reasonably full.

There's no question that Celebration Ale is an excellent IPA. It doesn't get extraordinarily high marks from me, however, because the hops aren't quite prominent enough. I know that this isn't a DIPA and that it would undoubtedly have been hoppier if I had drunk it sooner after bottling, but even so...

If you love IPAs that are hoppy with a nod toward balance, then start the Celebration early. Next year I'll crack open my first one on the day I buy it.

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I never drank 2005 Celebration Ale, thought 2006 Celebration was more maibock-like than IPA-like (woefully underhopped) and just enjoyed the hell out of a bottle 2007 Celebration a few hours ago. (re-reviewed 12/29/07)

When done right, this is clearly an expertly brewed ale. The malt backbone was nice and sturdy (mostly pale with a hint of caramel) and the citric hops were right up front where they belong. I was equally impressed with one of the smoothest, creamiest mouthfeels that I've experienced in a beer of this style in quite some time. So *this* is what Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is supposed to taste like!

scores for 2004: 4.5, 4.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.0... ... 4.15
scores for 2007: 4.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5... ... 4.3

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Photo of jeffreyjpa
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NCBeernut
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Words don't do this beer justice but here it goes:

Full fluffy two-finger off-white head that doesn't want to leave, coppery orange color. Tons of lacing.

S: A complex blast of hops, what else?

T: Delicious. I could drink this 7 days a week. Hops up front of course, mostly citrusy grapefruit, with some lingering orange zest. A nice strong malt profile compliments the hop bouquet and starts coming through after the initial smack of hops: bready with some caramel and suggestions of toffee.

Smooth and creamy, but with a hoppy bite. Not too much for my hophead palate. If you haven't had it, go buy some now.

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Photo of MoreIPAs
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Blksab99
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of kaips1
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- a reddish amber for about 3/4ths of the glass and very pale at the bottom, clearer in the pale sectors at the bottom and gradually getting more opauge as you get to the top. Had a 2 finger head of whitish thick froth. Looks very lively in the glass.

S- very immediate hoppiness, followed directly by citrus. Slight possible grapefruit too. Some malt hints that sneak through the citrus.

t- not far from the smell at all, very hoppy lots of citrus, nice bitter ending to the beginning of a nice easy sip

m- light, very viscus, tingles the tongue, very smooth

d- this is a very hoppy beer and it may be a bit much for some people to be able to drink more than a couple, most "hopheads" I wouldnt doubt crush a 6er easy. I feel its very drinkable like most Sierra products but I also have a slight biased opinion because I love a hoppy beer.

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Photo of xpatriate
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into 20oz. pint glass hazy burnt orange with beautiful head and smell.pretty carbonated.tastes amazing.i could get carried away and drink these all package with the look,smell,and taste!
my limit a night is 2 beers.recently i have been having an anchor christmas and then a celebration in that order.last two nights i did the reverse and drank celebration first,then the anchor.much better to my palette in that order.
happy holidays indeed!!!

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Photo of dayswonder
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 version pored into a goblet

After being pored into the goblet, the head starts off small than continues to rise to about 2 fingers. The head then subsides until it becomes a think creamy top to the beer. Definite notes of spice, citrus and pine in the nose.
The tastes starts off rather spicy but gives way to a slight biscuit backbone. The hops hide the alcohol well.
This slightly creamy beer is very easy to drink.
I look forward to this one each celebration season.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, with the usual festive scene

Pours a pretty coppery orange color. A slight haze, and big frothy white head that retains well. Lacing is fantastic - a thin broken sheet over part of the glass, and a thicker ring with each sip. Hmm, the rings appear to be rather far apart tonite...

Nose is the usual citrus and floral driven hop bomb, with some pine. Already this vintage is living up to the previous versions. A little alcohol is noticeable after this warms. Together the spiciness of these two aspects covers any malt that may be trying to assert itself.

Quite bitter. I remember many years ago how my palate recoiled at this, my first taste of the style. Now I love it. Bready caramel malt makes a cameo appearance before being shoved out of the spotlight by refreshing bitter and sweet citrus flavors. And again this seems spicy, although I know of no spices added to it. Well done! Body is on the full side of medium, and carbonation is pleasantly low. I'm enjoying the lingering bitterness and slight drying finish.

More bitter than many, but drinkability is still very high. A must have for the holidays, and too bad they don't brew this year round. Although it ages better than most IPAs, so why not stock up and enjoy it throughout the year?! I certainly do, and all I have to "celebrate" is that the taxes are done.

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Photo of Superheatnsubcool
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,228 ratings.
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