Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,466 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: 3,466 | Ratings: 10,202
Photo of jakethal
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got a growler and have to say this is pretty good stuff. Very tasty and not overly hoppy. First time I've tried it and I will certainly be getting some more soon.

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Photo of youcantmakeme
2.84/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

look: a nice copper brown, it looks to me that the head has a drop of brown in it too.

smell: smell mostly malt with a little pine. I don't smell any fruit at all.

taste: hops, grassy, bitter, slightly sweet (cinnamon?) And a hint of tang, and dry.

feel: medium.

overall: a six pack of 12 oz bottles was $9.50 + tax and it's not available all the time so for what it's worth (to me of course) I would have to say that I wont pick this up again. To me it taste a lot like the sn pale ale not much difference but the color? It's drinkable you are not going to get any off flavors in this but it won't knock your sock of either, with lagunitas born yesterday being also available right now I think that I will take that over this. Maybe I have been just getting used to drinking too much fruity stuff which this isn't or maybe it's just not my style.

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Photo of mrfosters
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow. What happened? Maybe I got a mishandled six pack. Don't get me wrong this is not horrible ,but it's certainly nowhere near the past versions.It poured a dark amber ,but with very little head and the lacing was non exsistant.It seemed very subdued in all aspects ,not really spicy ,not hoppy, not much more than an average IPA.I look forward to this every year and sadly ,this year I was dissappointed.But as I said , maybe ,I hope, I just got a sixer that was somehow mishandeled . I'll see if I can still find this somewhere else and rerate it.

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Photo of boatyard
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this beer is a swwetheart of a brew. it has a nice amber color when poured, and leaves a nice white head. and it smells great too. starts with a real nice floral taste, the gets a little piney, and then bang like a grapefruit just popped inb your mouth. really great beer fro the boys at sierra nevada. go out and buy some.

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Photo of breyton490
2.85/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Update 2009 version

Nov 2009

I have had previous years Celebration and been much more impressed. This years version was a big disappointment. I did not find much in the way of aroma or hop taste compared to past years. I had a 24oz bottle, not sure if it was a bad one or not... may try a 12ozer to see if its any different.

App: Nice copper color, tight white head
Smell: Minimal hop aroma. Some malt notes
Taste: Med body, nice carbonation... just boring to drink
Mouthfeel: Nothing new or different than other SN beers
Drink: Average... good, but there are other beers I would go to first

2008 Version
A: Nice copper color with tight bubbles and a good foamy head. Bottle conditioned, so you may want to hold back on the final pour from the bottle

S: Lots of Cascade hop aroma, citriusy, Very nice. Clean.

T: Nice bittering up front. Lots of hop flavor. Caramel notes, medium body. bitter, but not overly so. Great drinkability. I am going back to buy the last few cases that are on sale at my local store.

M. Medium body, with a dry finish

Drinkabilty: Very!

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Photo of joeyels
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Edition

Dark copper or light amber in color depending how the light hits it. Tiny bubbles rushing to the top of a thin 1/4" beige head, light lacing throughout the entire glass. Subtle aroma, very balanced with hops and malt. Taste is hoppy, feels like a mix of pine and citrus on the back end, but very balanced with sweetened malt. Very smooth, crisp finish, perfect feel on the palate, extremely well carbonated. Wonderful balance of flavors, not too subtle yet not too overpowering. Delicious.

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

Been drinking celebration for years now. Never reviewed than again up didn't start officially reviewing until early this year(2013). While Sierra Nevada claims the recipe is the same year after year it is simply the freshest hops of the season that differentiate it there are subtle differences in the years. In my opinion of the past 8 years give or take, the 2012 edition is by far the best. This is however the 2013 edition and it is a solid brew. Pretty much outstanding across the board. No weaknesses and nothing that stands out. Just a solid example of what a fresh hop IPA is all about. The thing that amazes me and is rarely mentioned is the consistency of this brewery seeing as how celebration( to the best of my knowledge) is in all 50 states(57 if u are an Obama supporter) and for the brewery to maintain that awesome of a consistency with that volume of production speaks wonders. Amazing brew nuff said !

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Photo of doubleshovels
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those GREAT with food brews. Pours clean and tastes crisp, with a stand-up creamy white head. The hops are distinct on the tongue and beg to be backed up with a plate of seafood nachos or a zesty Jamaican burger and sweet potato fries. This beer is joyously missing the residual sugars which bog down many the winter season ales.

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

Classy, classy winter brew from Sierra Nevada. Though I love my winter warmers malty and spiced, I can really appreciate a full hopped beer that is crisp and clean. Most winter beers can only make it past maybe two glasses before I'm in need of hop relief, but this beer is sessionable and sociable. Bring a 12 pack over to my place and lets get bent!

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Photo of GlassFreeek
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a medium sized tulip glass.

A: Nice dark orange looking IPA. A little darker and richer looking than your average IPA. Off white, creamy looking head. Small-medium sized bubbles. Has a good amount of retention.

S: Nice citrus/piney hop aroma coming off of this one. A little bread sweetness in there as well.

T: Amazingly drinkable. You can put these down pretty easily but in a very enjoyable way. For the price, you can't really beat this IPA. This is a winner in my book. Slight bitterness but a good sweet malt backbone to make it very balanced and slam-a-ble.

MF: Really refreshing, the perfect amount of bitterness to help cleanse the pallet. Light-Medium body, IMO.

O: This is unbeatable for the availability and price. I'd pick this up.

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Photo of tozz8
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage 12 oz bottle into pint glass

A--Copper color body with ample white fluffy head that dissappated fairly quickly. Very little lacing

S--Floral Hops with mild citrus notes after a while

T--Very nice. Bitter like I like my IPAs to be. well balanced with some earthy malt sweetness. After drinking 3 six packs of this stuff over the past couple of months, i have detected some variation in the bitterness, but nothing that stood out as too strong or weak. Variation is the reason for the 3.5

M--medium body. slightly thick at first, but the body loosened up as it warmed

D--Super good. I'm definitely looking forward to next years batch.

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Photo of Hopalong29
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For being a seasonal, I was not overwhelmed with the presence of spice. Nice 1.5" head that lasted a good 15 min. Nice meld of spices. mouthfeel: surprisingly smooth taste does not linger in excess. Felt I could have had a couple and not been overly satisfied. Very tasty brew.... would definately do again.
Nice job SN

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Photo of jeff430
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada has always been a solid brew to me and this one did not disappoint! Very smooth in the middle with notes of barley that give it a great roasted taste, but dose not mask the hops and a great finish. Also pour quite nice into a glass and form a nice head.

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Photo of STEELERFAN2390
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5







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Photo of Kaapstadmk
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Celebration 2016

Look - Pours a hazy, deep gold colour with a 3 1/2 finger off-white/gold head. Good retention.

Smell - Malt and orange zest stand out from the beginning with a suggestion of potential spice and an inviting freshness

Taste - Now, I'm not a huge IPA fan, but I can tell this is a good one. Sweet malt balanced by a bitter hop. That being said, there's a bright orange peel taste to the bitterness and a green, grassy, herbaceous flavour behind it all.

Feel - I wasn't expecting much fullness until I saw the colour and, again, I am not let down. There's a bready fullness to it that coats your tongue with a thick layer. This is a better mouthfeel than I've seen in many darker beers.

Overall - I was hoping for something special and I was not let down. I wish this was more available than only on Christmas.

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Photo of newyawker
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a opaque bronze with a big haze and a great, big old head of cotton-candy froth. Smells like the hop forest. Other fruity things going on, and a beautiful, up-front hoppy taste. Bits of malted milkball meets caramel apple flavor notes, and then a bitter, hoppy finish. Not that easy to drink, but very good.

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Photo of dawatts
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Lovely off white half inch head already with a bit of lacing from it settling. A light amber color with a bit of haze to it.

S - What a terrific aroma or pine, cayenne, lemon, and cinnamon. Very inviting.

T - Taste is of grapefruit and evergreen with notes of butterscotch and orange towards the finish. Definitely a spicier IPA but that is what is so amazing about this where it still has the hoppy characteristics and the spice just seems to live in there happily with it.

M - Perfect carbonation with orange on the back of the tongue and into the throat. Creamy but dry.

O - A really nice holiday ale from Sierra Nevada. I bought a six pack and then went out the next day to get a case to make sure I had more on hand. Ive enjoyed it with pizza and Ive had it with steaks and it just seems to work with any food. I may pick up another case.

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Photo of dojobrewco
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent holiday beer. Nice copper amber pour and floral aroma. good malt balance as well. Gives you that hoppy after taste that lingers until you brush your teeth and rinse with scope. Overall a very drinkable beer. I was very excited to see this one at my local beer store.

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Photo of BigHeavy
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass. Beer enjoyed immediately.

A: Beer pours a beautiful coppery amber color with an off-white pillowy head approximately 1.5 fingers in height. The head persists throughout the entire glass and leaves sticky lacing all the way down. Celebration is nearly clear which showcases some pretty aggressive carbonation.

S: Smell is big on the piney hops. Despite the hop domination, it is possible to pick out some malty sweetness in the aroma. Do I detect a touch of alcohol as well?

T: Hops, hops, hops! Sweet lord my palate is bombarded with floral and piney hops. Said hops subside to reveal a tinge of caramel sweetness, only to replaced again by, you guessed it, an incredibly hoppy finish. Hop flavors are so incredibly fresh and crisp it's not even funny. Slight bite from the booze on the finish as well.

M: Oily and mouth coating, just how I like my IPAs. The flavor is carried to every nook and even down into the throat with each sip. Carbonation makes it very crisp.

D: Each sip makes you want to take another in rapid succession. Celebration looses just a half point because for whatever reason the booze creeps up on me something awful when I drink these.

O: Just an outstanding beer. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for producing my favorite American IPA. I look forward to this time of year every year. Can we BAs lobby for Celebration year round? I enjoy it fresh or aged. To borrow a phrase I have used a lot lately, I would bathe in it if it were feasible. Just outstanding.

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Photo of MQ4188
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not a huge reviewer and I am going far out on a limb with this ale.

This is the best large production bottled beer I have ever tasted. Sierra Nevada hit a "home run" with this one in 2010. This is real close to the Sierra Nevada - Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale they produced in 2010 in the 24 Ounce bottle.

The appearance was beautiful with a two finger, snow white head and a perfect copper color.

The smell had intense fresh hoppiness but floral and citrus notes as well.

The taste was amazing and hoppy and a bite that was not ridiculous.

Mouthfeel and drinkability was outstanding and one that was smooth and fresh with a lot of hop character that you don't see in an American IPA produced in volume.

If someone picked this one up thinking it was just like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale , then they got a big surprise! For the good; I must add.

If you are of the type that feel it is impossible to get all "5" ratings in a "mass produced" ale then I guess we will just have to disagree. I rated it as high because I wanted to give a "mass produced" beer the credit I feel it deserved.

Sure, I feel that there are many more that are different and better in, cask, limited 750ml, firkins, and the like, but this one was 12 ounce bottle and unbelievable for an ale which you can pick up in a grocery store. Find me another 6.8 abv. in a grocery store that is even close to the caliber of this, then we can compare. Until then, this one gets an A+ for an American IPA, in this category

Bravo, Sierra Nevada for taking it to the next level!!

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Photo of melloashello
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoy most of Sierra Nevada's beer and I enjoyed this beer but I must admit, and this may be just the two beers I had, but something just didn't taste right to me. More than likely, it was my specific beers, so I will give it another try sometime. As for now, I thought I would give it a quick review.
Poured a light hazy amber color with a beautiful IPA smell. Perfect amount of hops for my taste and it had a very slick feel in my mouth. I could taste some citrus in there too, which was great. But again, something in the taste, for the two beers I had, just seemed really strange and a tad displeasing. I still enjoyed the beer but the strange unidentifiable flavor kind of left me with a not-so-good aftertaste. Otherwise, I enjoyed the beer and I could probably drink these through the night, as long as they're not identical to the ones I had today. That being said, another pretty good job from Sierra.

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

Poured a nice orange amber color with good carbonation and a small, quickly dissipating head. Aroma is definitely piney with some spice scents. Flavor profile mimics the scent and is fairly well balanced for an IPA. This one does not overpower the hops but they are certainly there. Very nice IPA from someone who is not a big fan of the style.

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

Pours a copper color with a small white head that forms a nice lacing down the glass.
Nose is cascade hops, sweet malt, and light/fruity alcohol notes. Taste is sweet malt upfront followed by the fruity notes of cascade hops along with some citrus aftertaste. Body is on the medium side.

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Photo of Whiteturtle
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/02/15... consumed on 11/23/15. Wishing I got to try this a week or two after it was bottled, but wishes don't always come true.

Pours a nice transparent orangey-ambery colour. About a full finger head (pointer finger, not pinky). Some decent lacing building on the sides just from the head, haven't even moved the glass yet. **About halfway through the beer and there is still a misty foamy .0001 inch head on top. I love it when beers can pull this off. Ive noticed some of Sierra Nevada and Deschutes beers having this ability.

The nostrils pick up grapefruit, orange, pine, apricot, plus a wash of sugary malty goodness. There's actually not a strong aroma accompanying this ale, but I concede that this could be due to the style (fresh hop) and the time spent in the bottle.

First couple of sips are met with a lemon zest and grapefruit blockade. I know grapefruit is probably the most overused describer of IPA's.. but it is front and center for this celebration. With warmth, I start picking up a some caramel, some buttery biscuits, beechwood, and anise.

I love the body and mouth-feel that is the result of whole cone hoppage. It's like every nook and cranny inside my happy little cheeks (you know I mean face cheeks...come on guys) get the creamy yet bittery goodness. Landing on a 6.8% abv, it's a little stiff for me and needlessly heats up a would be remarkable feel.

I have had this beer for the past several years, but this is my first time reviewing it. Like I mentioned earlier, this review is from a beer that is almost two months old. While that may not be a big deal for most styles, I believe it does affect a fresh hop ale. It was still really really good. Celebration is one of the most accessible and well rounded fresh hops you can get. I wouldn't have minded the alcohol being tuned down just a tad. Otherwise: celebrate hops, celebrate tradition, and celebrate good beer.

Happy Holidays

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Photo of dweideman
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Anam Cara on 11/4/03

Poured a frothy average size white head. Clear amber hue. Moderate malt and moderate-heavy hopped aroma. Initial flavor had hints of apricot, vanilla and spices. Finish was well balanced between sweet-bitter with the distinct chinook hop staying on the palate for quite a while. Medium body with a dry texture and lively carbonation.

"This is a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, this is a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on hops". Great representation of an IPA.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,202 ratings.
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