Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,413 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,413 | Ratings: 10,021
Photo of MisterNic
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep amber/red color with a 3-finger white head.

S - Aroma is citrus with a little pine. Has almost a grassy hop aroma.

T - Taste is sweet, bready malt and a piney hop flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is average.

O - Overall, I would say this one of my least favorite IPA’s. A little to much bitterness for the amount of hop flavor and aroma. It also has a lingering piney bitterness that I feel could be better supported by more flavor and aroma hops or more of a malt backbone.

 480 characters

Photo of cnally
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Holiday kind of night tonight. This should be a good capper.

Big orange-red coloring in the beer. An off-white head laces like crazy after its initial rise.

Huge hop aroma, spicy and floral.

The flavor is a little overly bitter, and sour at the tail end. The beer wants to be a hop bomb, but isn't strong enough to really nail it. A bit of fruity flavor in there as well, as it does have some lingering grape and cherry in there as well.

Great carbonation and well tempered mouthfeel for an IPA.

Too unbalanced to make the drinkability level high, but still decent.

 570 characters

Photo of shererjt
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage 12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Poured a clear, medium copper color. Highly carbonated with a great, rocky head. Overwhelming cascade nose--classic resiny grapefruit. Just enough malt--the caramel shined through--to keep it together. Smelled very similar to Liberty Ale; I don't know if they were served side-by-side that I could tell them apart. Medium body and very, very hoppy in both the bitterness and flavor respects. Could have used a bit more sweetness. Some caramel is there, as is some earthiness and fruit. Mouthfeel was hard to appreciate with the massive hop presence, and the drinkabilty was okay but this was a little over-the-top for me.

Not your typical winter beer. Hop lovers, rejoice.

 724 characters

Photo of walleye
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle.at 5.99 a sixer not a bad buy poured a copper red. with a light tan head. aroma hops, malts, pine, citrus, some yeast. flavor, citrus, hops, pine, nice clean taste and finish. will get more of this was told that this ages well. bieristgut said he has a 2003 that we can compare.

 290 characters

Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Celebration appears a cloudy brownish amber color and has a fluffy, cream, off white head.

The smell has a strong hoppy smell with hints of pine.

Celebration has a bitter hoppy taste, but finish with a hint of caramel and malt.

It has a fully body with light carbonation.

Sierra Nevada Celebration has a great taste. It was the first time I got to try a this beer, and I definitely think it is a nice change from most winter seasonals.

 453 characters

Photo of Beertsipper
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First time since 2012. 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Golden/copper in color with a one finger tan head. Very faint nose of hops, citrus, maybe some pine. Surprised how little of a nose I was getting. Taste is hops, caramel, toffy, a little pine and citrus. Some bitterness on the back end. I remember this beer with a more pronounced hop bite with plenty of orange and grapefruit pith. This years version was somewhat of a let down.

 444 characters

Photo of dfourh
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've got a 2005 (kept in the fridge all year) open next to a 2006 and the difference is pretty substantial. I loved the 2005, and it is still beautiful. It starts out clean and bright with a silky mouthfeel and then comes a wave of light sweetness & autumn leafy hop complexity, and then comes the hard concentrated hop finish that lasts and lasts. The 2006 has a burst of pleasant hops at the start leading into a long lingering hop finish, but it is far thinner on the palate--there is a whole mid-range fullness/richness missing, and the overall hop impact, despite the nice long finish, doesn't have the same lush glory without the core complexity to play off of. The 2006 doesn't seem anything more than some typically pleasant IPA.

 737 characters

Photo of k75
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


It is past it's prime.

Aroma is amazing , but the body and especially the flavor is gone, gone.

1-2 year old remains my pick.


trying to reach the minimun here... I love the fresh article, it is just chock full of all good things pale ale...enjoy it younger.

 283 characters

Photo of peabody
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a really cloudy yellow ice tea color with three fingers of white suds.
Smell is very subtle. Some citrus hints. Malt and caramel.
Taste is very smoothe for a 6.8%. The Red Seal has a better flavor but this one has more character. Lots going on here.
Mouthfeel is very peppery and dry. This is one of Sierra Nevada's best. Highly recommended.!
This is a great cold brew.

 383 characters

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A-Pours a nearly transparent honey/orange with a 1 1/2 inch alabaster crown that left moderately sticky lacing.

S-Nose consists of white grape,pine and moscato.

T-Initial taste of orange pith,white peach,pine and dry spice.Lacked a little malt balance.

M-Medium bodied,sharp and dry.

D-This beer has decent drinkability.Not overly exciting but solid.

 368 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2002 Edition aged several years.

Appearance - slightly hazed, deep golden color. Creamy dense head of maybe a finger sits atop, holding well.

Aroma - mix of citrusy hops, fruitiness, and dark fruit late as the beer settles. Nice persistence for a 3 to 4 year old bottle.

Taste - the malt has gone a little lifeless but the hops help out considerably. I've had this fresh and it is intense and alive when new. It is more like a pale ale now, tasty but not as zippy. Ends with a nice bite and turns nicely dry.

Mouthfeel - still fairly crisp and medium-bodied.

Drinkability - well, it won't go *bad* in storage but it's yummier when fresh.

 652 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well the label looks like christmas so I will say this is my first christmas beer.

Poured into my chimay goblet the beer is dark orange brown. The off withe head is a least an inch high and fully envlopes the entire top of my glass. Lots of sticky lace clings around the rim after a brief rest.

The aroma is very hoppy. Plenty of grapefruit and pine sap. Some maltiness is there as well.

The flavor is subdued hops with loads of malt. Some grapefruit but not overloaded. The bready wheat cracker malt takes the reigns and drives this beer.

Medium body light carbonation. Nothing real noteworthy in the feel.

Overall a decent beer. I'm not sure what sets this apart from every other AIPA. Drinkable.

 706 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

friend brought it over while I was cooking. Love surprise visits.

pours a beautiful amber with a pillowy off white head that lasts quite well. decent lacing down the sides considering the glass I was using.
the nose brings the hops forth first and foremost. spicy pine tones lead off with almost a roasty hint underneath that I can't quite place.
the hops continue on the tongue just as they did on the nose, as that roasty malty note from above almost melts into a faint faint faint hint of butter. The citrusy hop taste is by far the dominant component here, though, and it lingers, coating the tongue with a bitter aftertaste characteristic of the style.
overall an njoyable IPA (coming from someone who is not a huge hop head). I feel like a late december night in the soggy northwest surrounded by conifers and earth is the perfect place to enjoy it (which is where I am now. convenient)

drink it.

 904 characters

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Consumer Beverages. Amber with a decent white head. Very spicy aroma which carries over into the taste. Lots of pine and citrus. The malts and hops are really well balanced in this. As it warms up it gets nice and resiny. This a great beer to enjoy anytime of the year.

 282 characters

Photo of walkinginplace
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours into a beautiful red amber color with a major white head. Once it settles, there is a lot of lacing and the white top remains. You can smell the hops and grapefruit pretty clearly with a significant pine smell coming through as well. Celebration feels a lot lighter-bodied than I expected with average carbonation. Finally, the taste is overwhelmingly grapefruit with some hops and caramel coming through as well. The bitterness of the hops really comes through at the end (honestly, it was a little more strongly than I would have liked). I can see why hopheads love this one but it's just a tad much for me. All in all, I like it but it's nothing particularly special when it comes to IPAs.

 708 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with a fluffy head. Strong hop smell and taste. I couldn't drink too much of this, bit hoppier than I would want for a session beer, but it is a tasty brew, especially for those liking a nice hoppy taste. Definitely worth a try.

 254 characters

Photo of tjkurz
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass deep ruby amber a little hazy nice thick head - fairly tight - nice lacing. Smell - floral, hoppy. Taste - hops hit hard and citrusy grapefruit dry finish. Mouthfeel perfectly average. Drinkability - good - dry and hoppy - can't see having more than one or two.

 285 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.25] Somewhere between amber and red. the beer pourrs with a ful 1 1/2 finger head of dense off white head. I noticed some yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Leaves fantastic lacing on the glass. Very easy to read born on date (9/30/14). No visible IBU or ABV listed

A: [3.25] Sweet brown sugar. Some citrus fruit. A little subdues - not in your face.

A: [3.75] Initially I got malty breadiness. Some sweetness from the malts. After a second sip I started to pick up a little more bitter on the back end.

A: [3.50] Slightly elavated carbonation. The beer itself nice. Good mouthfeel.

A: [3.50] If I was handed this glass and asked to say what was in it I would guess a nice craft lager. It has all of the qualities of a really nice lager. I am really enjoying it. I am guessing there has been hop fade since bottling (around 70 days ago). Still this is a pleasant beer I would drink again

 914 characters

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle comes in at 24 ounces rather than the standard bomber which is nice.

Pours a beautiful amber which is my favorite part of this brew. Also a nice head that stays all the way down.

The smell is kind of faint but pretty sweet of only hops.

The taste is bitter whith no to little malt backing. Piney with a dry finish.

This beer is good but doesnt do a whole lot for me. Id much prefer Torpedo or SNPA.

 415 characters

Photo of Duster72
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with less than a finger of head which leaves a fair amount of lacing. Aroma is pine and floral hops with a lean toward the pine. Taste is floral hops up front with the pine following through. Leaves a very dry, bitter taste. Not enough citrus hops for me. Not unlike GD's Titan IPA, IMO. Good IPA but I am not sure I understand the very high ratings on this one other than it being a seasonal/limited release.

 434 characters

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange and red paint the colors of deliciousness under a cloud of foamy head... All sorts of resiny hops hit the nose in a great way.Hop bitterness leads with a malty background. Bitter fall leaves, and nettle, black tea and pine tree sap. Interesting flavors but this one fit just outside my normal IPA palate descriptions. Nice medium body, good amount of bubbly.

I nicely put together IPA, pour another.


 417 characters

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Special Celebration Ale 2005 edition short stubby

This is a great looking beer, aggressively poured into a large pint glass, which left a nice white to off white head of moderate to good retention.

The immediate smell is strong grapefruit tinged hops, stronger than any IPA I’ve opened lately. Really quite unbelievable. My first thought was “over the hop” or “hopnoxious.”

The taste was sadly unbalanced in favor of hop aroma and bittering. This had a malty underbelly,. But the domination was hops. The finish was dry and bitter and left an astringent zip high on the palate.

Don’t get me wrong, if you like Stone Arrogant Bastard, or any of the hopped up 4000 minute IPA’s, you will dig this. But a “celebration ale in the ‘old world style’ ? Jesus Jones- only if the old world is Portland Oregon!

 823 characters

Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops. Taste is not mild, lots of hops up front, a bit of citrus, considerable bitterness, a touch of malts. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

 269 characters

Photo of bowersdm
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a german pilsner

A - orange color with a 2cm stiff white head. a small amount of lacing

S - spices, cherries, some other fruit, hops, definitely citrusy and spicy

T - some malt, but mainly hops, floral and citrus, i didn't get any of the spiciness that I found in the aroma which disappointed me.

M - about par for an IPA

D - this doesn't really seem like a winter beer to me, more like a normal IPA

 429 characters

Photo of FrothFanatic
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hop lovers will go nuts over this holiday celebration brew. Incredibly bitter thats the first thing that screams at you, and it gets evened out with a citrisy sweetness that is yet again overpowered by that forresty bitter flavor that I am not too fond of. This is a high quality premium beer but not one I don't think I would pick up again, still I can totally understand why people wait each holiday season for this annual offering, a spectacularly crafted beer from Sierra Nevada.

 483 characters

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,021 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!