Celebration Fresh Hop IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA

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.

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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,569 | Ratings: 10,581
Photo of DeuilEtoiles
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quite possibly the best IPA I have had. I don’t know what the IBU rating is but I did not find this to be very bitter at all. Good hop flavors with some malt balance. Very nice!

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

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a custom taster pint; packaged 10/23/18 -- 2018 production year.
A: Pours a hazy, amber to light copper color with orange highlights, a one finger, off-white foamy, white head, spotty cap retention, and decent Belgian lacing.
S: Tangy/tart initially. Caramel, toffee, dark bread rind, and honey.
T: Tart and semisweet to semidry. Flavors of caramel, molasses, toffee, bread, honey, and citrus. The hoppiness is really exceptional with strong bitterness successfully offsets the sugars.
M: Medium bodied with excellent retention of effervescence. Maybe a bit chewy.
O: This was a great beer, but given that this is more than 6 months old, I acknowledge I am a bit late to this party. Wish I had gotten this sooner, but it was still really good.

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Photo of Manta200
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I love Hefeweizen!!! But I respect other types of beer, so here it is:
Poured out of the bottle into an Erdinger wheat glass (sorry IPA guys ;-)
Got a very nice head that retains for quite a while, I like it!!!
Smells hoppy like it should for an IPA but does not bite your nose.
The taste is smooth and the hops are not overpowering.
Carbonation is just right, feels good!
In the end, well it's an IPA and not my kind of beer! But I think this one is not bad at all ;-)

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Photo of Calarice
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I have gotten something that's been on the shelf for a long time but there are bits of orange dust looking pieces floating around and settling in the bottom of the glass. Enjoyable to drink regardless. Nice Ballance of malt to compliment this hop forward beer.

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Photo of Attlebridge
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: This poors a beautiful amber color, very clear and pleasing to the eye.

S: Slightly hoppy, but not overly done.

T: I'm enthralled by this one. For a seasonal IPA, Sierra Nevada has hit this one out of the park. I purchased a full case at the end of the season because I didn't want it to end.

F: Smooth mouth feel. Well carbonated and pleasing effervescence.

O: Overall I am in love with this beer. This is THE beer to convert me to IPAs.

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Photo of Buckeye55
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared a 6 pack, among other beers, with a buddy on New Year's eve a few years ago. While many events of the evening are hazy, I recall this being the star of the shown. It was, for lack of a better term kinda peppery spicy but not in an unpleasant way. It is a perfect cold weather brew.

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Photo of tjhuot
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am not a very good reviewer, but I do enjoy this year's batch even more than usual it seems. The 2018 version seems to be an almost perfect brew to me. I am also a Sierra Nevada Torpedo fan, but this seems a bit less overwhelming. To me it is just the right amount of hoppiness, carbonation and body. These days there are so many over hopped IPAs that I will definitely miss the 2018 Celebration when it is gone.

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Photo of stevepat
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very old school deep orange/amber for an IPA. Nice off white head with great retention and great carbonation.
Smell is brightly piney with light citrus notes and a pleasant crackery sweetness. Again showing a very old school bent compared to the tropical fruit salad of modern american IPAs.
Taste is pleasantly balanced between sharply bitter pine hops and rich bready malt. Reminiscent of a hoppy amber or red ale. The sweet/bitter flavor dance plays out well across the whole flavor.
Mouthfeel is nicely crisp with an adequate body. This is definitely a classic crisp IPA.
This is a classic and an old favorite of mine but I do feel like it's showing its age. Not so exciting as it once was and certainly not the best fresh hop beer available anymore. A nice yearly treat none the less though.

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Photo of jmc65267
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Based off the look i was very excited about this ipa but the taste was a slight let down. It's not bursting with flavor it is pretty mild, still enjoyable, but not what i was expecting. Given the opportunity i would drink it again but would first check my other options.

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Photo of Jhops217
2.42/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I haven’t ever tried an ipa before this and wasnt convinced with this guy. The reviews are high on this, so I don’t know if I grabbed a bad one. It came off really bitter and tasted like paint with a bad after taste. Maybe just my palate. Glad people can enjoy it, just wasn’t me.

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

Consistently awesome seasonal - beautifully balanced IPA. This beer will stand the test of time and trends.

You never have to worry about a bad bottle, because it is only around a short while.

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Photo of nosho
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

i don't know about nose, finish, or notes but my feeling is that this is a confused ale, in general. i like specific things, particularly body and color - but the flavor, based on those two aspects which elevatec my expectations, was surprisingly bland. to my palate, i expected a little more tang (fruit forward?) and on the tongue, more zip. on the other hand, it accompanies and complements a meal rather well so i will buy more of it.

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Photo of iguanodon
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours clear copper with a small tan head, good retention. Steady fine carbonation from the bottom of the glass. Aroma: not much, I just can’t get much more than malt and a hint of citrus. Maybe my smell sensor is in need of calibration. Taste is roasted malt and citrus, with some pine. Bitter finish. Good but not great.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle (2018)
Bottled: Oct-15-2018

Pours a crystal clear, ruddy amber with a monstrous root beer float head. Great retention; doily lacing. (4.5)

Bright pithy, piney West coast hopping and a little spicy, caramely malt. (4.25)

Follows the nose. Hops and brown bread with a little spice and a light caramel flavor to finish it off. (4.25)

Medium body with active carbonation a meaty feel with the malt and a fairly dry finish. (4.25)

Excellent beer. Pleasant seems like the best descriptor to me. I can't believe I've never managed to have this before.
Lovely looking in the glass. The nose is pungently hoppy but not overbearing. Bright pine and bitter citrus. There is also some nice malt character and both carry over into the flavor. It is easy to drink and we'll balanced between the various parts of the proverbial whole. An excellent beer that I will seek out in future years. Sucks that it isn't more available outside the US as a seasonal (or in Quebec at least). Glad I have 5 more to drink. (4.25)

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Photo of osheamatth
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This season delivers most years as the perfect harmony between malt and fresh hops. It's a welcome variation on the typical winter seasonal beers that are often over spiced.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle pour. Frothy, blooming tan head on an amber body. Grapefruit juice, berries, pine, grassy fresh hops, toast, light strawberry. Medium sweetness, tangy and tart, with slightly dusty, zesty medium bitterness. Slick medium body with natural carbonation and a deep, caramel, hoppy and slightly dusty fresh hop feeling. Very nice!

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Photo of ipeters1017
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/4/18. Pours a somewhat hazy amber with a tightly packed white head. Subdued grapefruit and lots of pine on the nose, definitely a strong hop presence. Super clean hop-forward taste, lots of pine and a slightly fruity aftertaste. Medium-bodied, good amount of carbonation, slightly sticky mouthfeel. A solid IPA that I wish I bought two months ago!

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a white head with decent retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. Smells of bready malt and floral, citrusy hops. Citrusy, floral hops lead the way with lots of grapefruit flavor. A bit of sweetness in the strong malt backbone is overshadowed by the firm bitterness. Medium bodied.

This is an exceptional IPA that I look forward to every season.

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Photo of Mandpasbury
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber color with a nice 2 finger foam head with a mildly stubborn lace noted. It has a beautiful hoppy aroma, filled with fruit and bread wrapped up in slight piney scent. It tastes even better. It has an incredible hop taste-bready with fruit and pine throughout-that has a slight burn on the roof of my mouth. Having this brewed just once a year makes it a true "Celebration" to have, but if Sierra Nevada wished to brew it year-round, I would gladly buy it VERY often. Yet another phenomenal hop-filled offering from Sierra Nevada!

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

Crisp IPA. Pours reddish amber with good white head. Smells of fruit and pine. Tastes of cirus with good mouthfeel. Very drinkable beer despite being not my style.

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Photo of izraelc
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My absolute favorite winter seasonal. I look forward to this one every year. Copper pour with thick foam. Strong hoppy aroma. Very flavorful. Has a slight malty balance with a bitter finish. Perfect on a crisp Christmas morning.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clean, crisp IPA that pours a nice amber color with decent fluffy white head and spotty lingering lacing. Smells of nice fruity and piney hops. Tastes of fairly juicy fruit - orange, pineapple, lemon - as well as fainter piney hops, caramel, bread and a great malt backbone. Clean smooth thin mouthfeel, good carbonation. A nice, easy to drink IPA but not that exciting - and that makes it a little disappointing considering the other reviews here.

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Photo of KS_Augsburg
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just another brilliant example of Sierra Nevada. Their beers are, in my opinion, are particularly clean. So much there to enjoy, nothing there which would distract. Pours a beautiful amber color, a bit unusual for the typical IPA. The hop aroma is very front and center, citrus and pine, a mild yet assured bitterness, At 6.8 ABV this is definitely higher in alcohol, but you won't even notice while drinking. Perfect balance between hop and malt. The fresh hop character is beautiful, it appears I fall in love with everything from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of lastmango
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful copper color with a three finger tan frothy head. The head lingered and dissipated to a nice film that remained. Heavy lacing was present. Aroma is light and fresh piney citrus. Balanced malt and hop flavor with a bit of pepper and citrus mixed in. Moderate body and carbonation. Overall, a very good IPA.

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Photo of Reef
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Draft pints. It's always on tap at restaurants in town this time of year.
Pours a dark amber with two fingers of creamy head. Full curtains of lacing.
Faint piney scent along with bread and caramel notes.
Well balanced hop and malt flavors. Pine, pepper, and citrus in the background. Very faint spice.
Full smooth feel, enduring head and carbonation, slightly sweet finish.
Glad to see this in wide distribution and I enjoy having a few each year, but I'm not buying six packs.

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Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 10,581 ratings