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: 10,201
Photo of barknee
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

SNCA pours a deep amber with a massive & long lasting dark tan head. Fresh piney hops and massive malts soar from the glass, beckoning one to taste. Beautifully balanced; bitter, slightly sweet and mouth coating, its hard to believe this brew originates from a micro-macro brewery having such massive distribution. It is a quality craft product all the way, a truly outstanding and impressive effort. So satisfying for a mid-weight brew, its fantastic with or without food, the taste lasts for several minutes in the mouth. Seek it, buy it, enjoy it!

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a rusty orange hue with a billowing 3 finger cream colored head.

Aroma: Sticky caramel, dank pine sap, grapefruit oil and lemon rind.

Taste: Upfront mild seeet toffe, notes of acidic coffee and savory caramel. Midpate bitter pine and grapefruit oil, followed by a dry aftertaste of tangy orange and delicate vanilla.

Feel: Smooth, dry, slightly sweet and creamy. 7% abv is hidden well.

Overall: Quite good. Malt bill is complex and savory - candy like flavors are in tune with the christmas season and balanced by a classic sierra nevada hop profile. A nice wintertime IPA.

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good tasting IPA with a fantastic appearance and a pleasant aroma. For whatever reason, the taste bends more towards bitter, which I don't usually mind, but there doesn't seem to be much balancing out that bitterness.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle with a bottle date of September 30th 2016 into standard pint glass.

L: Hazy amber with off-white finger width head with staying power.

S: Citrus, pine and floral hops with a caramel malt backbone.

T: Citrus and pine come through strong with a hint of floral, taste fades into a sweet biscuity malt flavor, keeping the bitterness balanced.

F: Light bodied, easy on the palate.

O: Pretty solid beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of DrQuantum
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really great IPA from Sierra Nevada - I'd have to say it's up there right alongside some of my favorite craft brewed IPAs. Great hop flavor and floral nose, with clear hints of pine and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is just right - not heavy at all, but perfectly balanced. Very reasonably priced selection that I'd highly recommend.

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

L: Pours our clear copper. In the glass, a slightly hazy, translucent amber with visible streams of bubbles. The head is tight, slightly creamy, and beige. The retention is fairly good, but dies down somewhat after a minute. The lacing is excellent, though. Sticky and splotchy.

S: Bright and hoppy; spruce tip and pine sap, lots of grapefruit flesh and peel, spicy with an almost minty herbal thing, and then a solid malt backbone that is both caramelly and toasty.

T: Like biting into a grapefruit. The bitterness and the oils of the peel and pith, and the juicy, tart, sweetness of the flesh. This blends with a bright, green spruce character. The malt backbone is sweet, but not detracting. Caramel at first, and then toasty to balance it out. Instead of detracting from the hops, the toasty sweetness of the malt combines with the hops, lending an even sweeter red grapefruit flavor, and almost a tart cherry kind of thing. The finish is more earthy, spicy pine, like the pine resin, which makes this beer very balanced, and then there's just enough of dryness and a lingering citrus bitterness to demand another sip.

F: Medium-bodied, but feels full and oily on the tongue, yet with ample carbonation to push it quickly across the palate and scrub your taste buds clean.

O: I haven't had this beer in two years, and it still tastes as good as I remember despite how much my palate has changed. When it comes to freshly hopped, old school west coast IPAs, Sierra Nevada still nails it.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle packaged 09/29/16 poured into a pint glass.

Look: Beautiful amber color with an amazingly thick, off-white, two finger head. Excellent head retention.

Smell: Light malts, hops, and then citrus finishing with a sharp hop bite.

Taste: Very well balanced. There is a slight hop bitterness on the swallow but this is pretty laid back for an IPA.

Feel: Almost creamy mouthfeel, medium body. moderate carbonation and a bit dry.

Overall: An excellent beer.

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Photo of erk0607
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Orangeish, goldish red with an offwhite head that lasted a minute or two and reduced to finely bubbled lacing
Smell: Hops, pine
Taste: Like you'd expect out of a Christmas IPA... hop forward, bitter, sweet, red fruit
Feel: Smooth, small carbonation bubbles, resiny, oily/syrupy, heavy and foamy
Overall: Very good. For not liking IPAs all that much, I dig it and wouldn't turn one down if offered.

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Great head leaves superfluous lacing over a red body.

Taste is light and fluffy. Hops are upfront and prevalent but quite tasty, general citrus followed by some bitter pine

Quite good.

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Photo of ab63587
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unique look that is a little darker than other IPAs. Spicy citrus aroma with a full glass, but more of an earthy aroma when empty. Fresh and flavorful, with a smooth swallow. For me, the post swallow revealed the Chinook hops, with a spicy pine aftertaste. A must have for your winter beer selection. Light a fire, play some vinyl, pull your girl close, and split a sixer of Celebration Ale. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of TigerSweat
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my all time favorites. Dark amber in color with a beautiful cream colored head. Lacing is also solid. A hoppy brew thats perfect balanced with sweet malts. There's no spices or dark fruit used in the brewing process which is a plus for me. I have to believe that this beer inspired many breweries that are popular today. Of the 100's of beers that I've tried in my day, Sierra Nevada celebration is probably still the best. Buy it - you won't be disappointed

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Photo of joekoz007
4.91/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into an IPA glass.
Pours a crystal clear dark copper color with 3.5 inches of thick, off-white head. Some of the head was still in the bottom of the glass after I finished the beer. Gobs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is all hop. Citrus, pine, minty notes abound.

Taste at the start and finish is a terrific hop bitterness with a touch of bready malt in the middle. Moderate carbonation and a pleasant, slightly oily mouthfeel.
Overall, this is a superb beer. Definitely my favorite Christmas brew. In my top 3 favorite beers ever. Seek this out.

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Photo of DattMavis
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

L: Dark golden color, small head that lingers for a minute or two, slight lacing left behind

S: Earthy and piney hops, a tiny bit of citrus and malt

T/F: Sweet and piney at first, fades to bitter (but not overpoweringly so) with a lasting aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation with a smooth finish.

O: I'm still fairly new to IPAs, but I'm glad I tried this one. Probably not something I would drink more than one of in a sitting, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down if I come across another.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich dark amber pour with beige cap that fades to a ring. Aroma is earthy hop, floral notes with a hint of pine and just-noticeable bready malt. Flavor follows identically as the well-balance ensemble of flavors meld with a slightly hop-forward advance throughout the sip. Super tasty, and very pleasant aftertaste. I usually have this each year and enjoy it, but don't remember it being damn good.

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Photo of Jesterr44
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Damn, is this frothy! Gave it a nice pour & it provided me with a nice thick frothy head which I've had to wait longer than normal to die down so I can have a sip. I can certainly smell the hops as I wait. Now minutes later, the head retention is incredible. Impressive. Now let's see how it tastes. There is definitely a good strong hop kick, but not as many flavours as I'd like. Mostly pine & some spice, not much else but quite a bit of bready maltiness in there as well which doesn't quite do what is needed to balance out the harshness of the hops. Not a bad drink, full marks for head retention, but not a taste that I will seek out when there are so many tastier IPAs out there. If you like hops first & don't care much for a more complex blend, you may like it more than I did.

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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 DraconusDesanctus666
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle,into a Cigar City pint glass.

Thick,frothy,off white,2 finger head.Copper in color,with heavy carbonation.The head retains well,as does the carbonation,leaving a beautiful lacing on the glass.It is a pretty clear beer,bit also has a decent amount of haze to it.

On the nose i get mostly pine,and earth from the hops.Maybe a little bit of sweet malt scents,but not much.Maybe a little bit of spices.

The palate is very hop forward,with an earthy/piney taste.There isn't much sweet malts to speak of,just enough to make it a well balanced IPA.I'm also getting some spices mixed in.Very nice bitter aftertaste.

The body is medium,I get a lot of fizzling on the tongue,from the hops and the carbonation.Nice dry finish...Pretty smooth.

This is a pretty damn good IPA.Not something I would drink regularly.But a very nice IPA for the winter time.

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Photo of foglemgs
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An excellent winter ale! Next to Torpedo, this is probably my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. They don't try to dress this seasonal brew up (as other brewers do) with too many different flavors. Sierra Nevada sticks to what they're good at: hops, and it's damn tasty.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a far more amber (a far darker) color than anticipated, with a relatively thick 1.5 finger head. The nose is relatively standard SN IPA, but the palate is something somewhat different. They definitely bring out a better hop blend than their base pale ale and single hop beers (something more akin to hop hunter), but an unusually malty base is present that plants this beers much more squarely in the East Coast IPA camp than any of the beers I have tried from them to date. Not a bad beer. Very pleasant as far as ECIPAs go. Just not a beer I'd go out of my way to buy.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Copper Amber gold color with a medium creamy light tan head and nice lacing around the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S: Earthy and Piney hops, some notes of fresh grass, can definitely notice the fresh hops, some sap, the malt isn't too noticeable, definitely hop forward.

T: Piney and bitter hops, some notes of caramel malt, some floral and sap. Malt isn't too noticeable this is the beer for those that like hops, definitely a little unbalanced forward hops.

F: Medium body and carbonation.

O: A beer if you like very hop forward beers. Solid but would like a little more balance

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Photo of NastyNorseman
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a winter beauty in the stout and porter season. Definitely carries its own. Pours amber with nice light-khaki head. Smell of pacific hops, pine, and roasted malts. Wonderful bitter sweet balance in this IPA that hits the mark. If I am pining for an IPA this winter, this medium-bodied one that sticks to your cheeks and coats your palette with hoppy evergreen is it.

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark hazy copper with a nice thick frothy tan head. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass as well.
Smell is very floral with a citrus note. Something like a pineapple smell here also. A bit of dank grassy smell in here as well.
Flowery citrus taste with a burn of hops across the middle of the tongue and a bunch of bitter on the back of the swallow. There is just enough malts here to counter a massive over rush of the hops.
Mouth feel starts at an almost medium and a bit oily but on the back end finishes pretty dry with some bitterness following.
Overall this is a very refreshing and tasty IPA. It seems interesting that this is only offered once a year as I could see this selling quite well. Perhaps Sierra Nevada does not want to compete against other offerings in their lineup.

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Always enjoy seeing this one on the shelves this time of year. A reliable classic from one of my favorite breweries; the price to quality ratio is just damn impressive. From a 12 oz bottle into a chalice:

L: Pours with a beautiful brownish amber color and about one finger of fluffy beige head, with very fine bubbles. Carbonation persists fervently and the lacing forms very attractive wavy rings around the glass. Beautiful. I'll call this a 5.

S: Piney, peppery and a little sour, with a rich malt profile--including toasty french bread and nutty oat notes.

T: This is the second time I have been surprised with how tasty this beer is. One of the few IPAs I have tried that opens with malt flavors (which I strongly appreciate): the first that hits me is a caramelly sweetness, which immediately blends with bitter-piney and peppery-spicy hop oil, but is fought back against by complex roasted barley malt profile. Nothing fruity about this beer, but I certainly don't miss the overdose of grapefruit rind I find in almost every west coast IPA.

F: Perfect. Thick but not sticky, carbonated but not frothy, smooth but not oily. An expert balance.

O: Perhaps the most affordable seasonal beer worth getting excited over. Cheers!

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have been drinking this beer every holiday season for decades, & this years batch was excellent as usual. Coppery colored with a tan, foamy head. Streak lacing. Aroma is light citrus and tropical fruit with some caramel malt. Citrus and pine and some grass notes, well balanced with a sweet malt base. Medium body with a dry finish. Pleasant hops aftertaste. A great holiday tradition

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Photo of Furgoose
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Fascinated by this beer. What they put on the label is a perfect description. It has a unique balance of pine and citrusy hops as well as a full malt. If you love both IPAs and other, more malty, Ales you shouldn't be disappointed. There are some other European IPAs I'd like to taste next to this one, I feel like they may have had some inspiration from some specific ones.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,201 ratings.
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