Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,465 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

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Reviews: 3,465 | Ratings: 10,193
Photo of likethetaste
1.52/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I cannot believe that I differ so much from most others that are reviewing this beer. I picked up a six pack at a Food Lion because i was in the mood for a nice holiday winter beer. I had not actually tried anything yet by Sierra Nevada and this looked like it might be interesting to try.

It poured nice. I large head and good color. But once I smelled it I knew this was probably not going to be a ale for me. Once I tasted it I was very disappointed. This has a very bitter taste. It is almost like drinking burnt rubber.

There is no way I will every get this beer again. As far as for my own taste buds this was just horrible.

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Photo of TheOtherMike
1.69/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I just cannot drink this beer. Beer? It seems more like a spiced cider or something - which seems appropriate for the holidays, but still something that I cannot drink. I 've tried twice but there will not be a third try. It is readily available during the holidays.

It's not the worst beer I've ever had - I think that was in Valdez, AK.
Some "Buzzard" brew I think. Thus I did not give this one the lowest scores for taste/smell/drinkability.

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Photo of Guden
1.97/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Dark coppery color with a coppery white sticky head that fades to a low layer but sticks around. Looks good but a little bit dark for an IPA.

S- Big grassy pine with a little fruitiness. Not very pleasant.

T- Super strong bitter pine flavor. There's also a little light malt and spicy character. Never had a "fresh hop" beer before but I don't like this one.

M- Dry and high in carbonation. Pretty standard for an IPA but with this flavor it just fills my whole mouth in a way I don't like.

D- Bleh. Don't want any more. A one dimensional IPA with that dimension being one I don't like. Made my stomach hurt too, won't be coming back to this one.

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Photo of Stoutanddark
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Having lived on sixth street in Chico ca when Sierra Nevada first opened its brewery, am positive the hops being used are nowhere near as good these days. Very piney and bitter . The hops drowned out the malt leaving bitter beer face.. Some like the piney flavors however would prefer to taste some malt backbone to round out the flavors.

Also seems quickly brewed , not allowed to develop and bottled before its due time. A trend with big name brands that have to push out volume under deadlines.

World Class? Bros are usually pretty dead on however would strongly differ on this one.

Good enough to drink if offered by a host but would save my legal tender for something more celebratory as the $8.99 a six pack is expensive for the quality here.

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Photo of Opethsprite
2.08/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Taken from a written account a few weeks back...

The bottle claims that this ale is unique, and....well, I suppose it is. (Not that this is a good thing.) The nose was a whacked-out combination of cedar, bitter orange, and menthol. I should have quit right there. I can't figure out why everyone loves this stuff: the taste of burning wood and mint leaves with a powerful jolt of alcohol was too much for me. There was a perfect level of carbonation, though! For me, this beer is not worth the hype. It's good for keeping around to drink once in a decade when you're just bored with the usual beers. Gross!

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Photo of auxiliary
2.13/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Orange type of color with a nice head.
S - Has a fruity smell l
T - Very bitter, taste like grapefruit and I don't like grapefruit. Wou
M - Bitter
D - l wouldn't mind drinking it every xmas. I only had a small glass of it, but you need to like the bitter taste of grapefruit to enjoy this.

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Photo of biophiliadude
2.14/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tap to a pint glass

A: ruby red, minimal white head, orange hues in the light.

S: slight spice.

T: spices, hops, on top of a strong lager taste as well as cardboard and paper = oxidation

F: Smooth, then foamy.

D: Better as it warms up. Overall flat and unbalanced, like someone made a bad lager and threw some spices in at the end.

I was really disappointed with this beer and on this review would not recommend it at all. I'll have to try it in bottle form because it's getting such rave reviews - perhaps the keg was just poorly tapped.

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Photo of johnnybravo
2.15/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Although not even exceptionally hoppy I think this beers is still too bitter, too dry. Especially in the finish it developes a harsh bitterness, almost medicinal. Leaving a very dry mouthfeel like you've been sucking on a piece of rusty metal. I shared the bottle with a friend and I'm glad I did because I probably couldn't have finished it on my own. Smells ok though, fruity and flowers, like most American IPA's.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.18/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep brown orange color with a thick white head and a little lacing. Smells of oranges and piney hops and more hops and more hops. Tastes mostly of hops and a little wood in there somewhere and some caramel malts or something. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Drinkability is low.

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Photo of theBubba
2.23/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Celebration. Nice amber color...nice head...nice lace that sticks to the glass long after it's empty.

After that it's all hops that will leave your mouth searching for a piece of cheese and a good oatmeal stout or wit to "celebrate". Or some toothpaste. Your choice.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a slightly spicy overly hopped adventure into a very bitter realm. For "hop-heads" only.

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Photo of fuhkyou
2.26/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I can't believe how bad this beer is and how grossly overrated it is. It's not just Celebration either but most SN offerings... the power of icon I suppose.

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Photo of Mitchel
2.26/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I initially was very excited about this beer, having heard so many great things about it. But….I found myself a little disappointed in the end.

Poured a clear, orangy, red with a great creamy head which held for a long while. It leaves a little lace and the head is still holding….will it ever quit? The world may never know!

This beer smells like wet hops and plastic. Sorry guys, just my opinion. Upon another inhalation, it has a spicy citrus smell which is quite nice once you get passed the plastic.

This ale is strangely creamy and, as anticipated, very hoppy. I don’t personally have a soft spot for hoppy beers, so this one doesn’t stand out as one of my favorites. It has lots of things going on though. This beer reminds me of grapefruit and lemon peel. Bitter and spicy makes for a great winter warmer. That ABV might catch you off guard, watch out.

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Photo of RevDru
2.28/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Light to medium brown with a half-inch of foam. Foam breaks down at a moderate rate.

S - Spiced milk.

T - Citrus and mild spice. Hints of vanilla. As time goes on, the taste turns very metallic.

M - Makes my tonge feel swollen, as if it is filling my entire mouth.

D - The initial flavors rated a 3.5, but as it wore on, it became a 2. I guess if you slam this beer, it wouldn't bee too bad, but then, what is the point? I was unable to finish this beer.

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Photo of kneeland
2.28/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I thought this was going to be a winter ale, since the bottle never said anything about it being an IPA. But even with being surprised, I didn't like anything about it.

Very barky with a wanna be cinnamon taste. Tasted very flat and chalky. The head disappeared quickly, and it's too heavy to drink fast enough. Just very bad mouthfeel.

I was excited to have it with my Thanksgiving dinner, but I actually had to switch to Bud Light instead. Yea, I know.

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Photo of champ103
2.31/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: A deep orange/amber color with a nice foamy white head and good lace.
S: Piny, floral, and grapefruit aroma. A little disappointing. I usually love the smell of an IPA, and think that it is the best aspect of the style. I was not impressed with the aroma here however.
T: Very bitter grapefruit and pine flavors. Oh man this is bitter. If there is any malt to balance the flavor, I can not taste it.
M/D: Thin and watery in the mouth. Did I say this was bitter? It is very hard to drink this beer. I had to share this with a friend that usually likes IPA's and we both had problems finishing a 12 oz bottle.

I hate writing reviews like this. I feel like I am bashing this beer too much, but I did not enjoy drinking this. This is not something I will revisit.

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Photo of claytri
2.31/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The ale poured a beautiful bronze with a georgeous rocky white head. The aroma was essentially of hops very floral. The taste was really pretty one dimensional it was sharp and hoppy and nothing else. The body was medium dry finish. This beer was a real disappointment. I was expecting something complex and maybe spicy instead I got nothing but hops. It was also very unpleasant to drink with chilli.

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Photo of bc2208
2.33/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I had a hard time with this beer.

Appearance: Nice golden-reddish color. Pour produces a decent head, but it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Fruity, hoppy smell.

Taste: I don't know what to say. My first reaction was good - up front it is fruity and floral and quite pleasant. Unfortunately, there's a lingering aftertaste that sticks to the sides of my mouth. It might be cinnamon, but it's really just medicinal. I wanted to like this beer, but I had a hard time finishing it.

Drinkability: Don't know if I'll be drinking the 5 I have left over.

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Photo of Maerzen
2.33/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was really surprised when I read the other reviews on this beer so I tried it again and I just can't get past the bitterness. It pours nicely and has a nice color and looks like an enjoyable Christmas/Celebration ale but I was really surprised by the taste. Most holiday ales that I have tasted seem to play with the mixture of spices. It is always fun to try and figure out what the brew master was playing with, and they are never the same. The bitterness is so powerful in this ale that it completely masks any other spice. Sorry, I did try.

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Photo of DevAJ
2.36/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I either am just not into hoppy beers yet, or I haven't found the proper hops. It's not bad for the first 1/4th of the beer, but after that, it's just too much for me. I guess I just don't like a ton of American hops, because I don't find Schlafly's Tasmanian IPA to be that bad (it supposedly uses Australian hops).

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Photo of Dougal
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this had a strange taste.... it was hoppy but unbalanced... the malts were given to caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg hence the winter scene in the advertising. The first taste did not warrant a need for a second taste, it was a winter warmer type of product which now I know I do not like

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Photo of DarthVorador
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

An intense Hop BOMB. Very bitter and resinous, a hop-heads delight...but not so much for rest of us! To me it is unnecessarily bitter with a lack of the myriad fruity flavors of the hops from a GOOD IPA/DIPA, not to mention a complete lack of even the faintest hint of balance! Not SN's best effort, I'm rather disappointed...

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Photo of heartofgold
2.46/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed is a 12oz bottle, labeled "2010 Celebration Fresh Hope Ale"

Poured this into a pint glass. Minimal head was created which dissipated rather quickly. The color was a clear bronze amber.

The aroma was very mild, with a hint of pine, very subtle for a fresh hop IPA.

The taste was of toasted malt with an element of burnt chocolate and pine, with a medium bitter-hop finish. The lack of aroma seemed to hold back any complexity in the taste.

This is a moderately drinkable beer. I'm a big fan of SN but this didn't hit the mark for me.

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Photo of webbcreative
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

pours nice. The first thing I notice is the citrus, tates like grapefruit. then at the end it is so incredible bitter its hardly drinkable, to me, and its stays on the sides of my mouth and wont leave! I dont see what the fuss is about on this one, but then again im not into overly hopped beers either. It does have nice carbonation though.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.53/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle says 2011, so i have to assume that its this fresh batch to get it out before the holidays.
Pour is a dark amber color, some bubbles and thin lacing around, dark for an IPA, but i guess that is what a holiday ipa is i assume.
Aroma is less aromatic then i expected, does not jump out at you, and has some standard C hop aromas amid some biscuit. less then exciting, sub par for an ipa.
Flavors are more citrus, the carbonation makes it brighter, and the obligatory pine is noted, more balanced then other IPAs, i would say this is more balanced then most "east coast" ipas, really borders the Pale Ale territory, which is what i always thought this beer was.

I remember liking this beer more when i was just getting into craft, either my palate has matured past C hops as a preferance or i got a lame batch.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.58/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass:

A - presents a hazy, burnt orange/copper color with a 1.5 finger white head. Retention is poor and there's hardly any lacing.

S - Grapefruit, pine, floral perfume and citrus notes built on a caramel malt foundation. Standard fare, I'd say.

T - Grapefruit and pine from the standard centennial/cascade hops combo open (typical Sierra Nevada) and stay throughout its entirety. Bitter from open to finish, with some caramel malt buried somewhere under there. Completely imbalanced (even with the style in mind).

M - Coarse on the open, but smooth and wet finish. Light bodied.

D - I'm not a fan of this one at all. It's a mediocre beer at best. Sierra Nevada is capable of far more.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,193 ratings.
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