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 | website

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: 10,014
Photo of DoctorD
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a distinctive red color, and with a very faint smell. The hop taste is very up front, with a decent bitter kick at the finish and a moderately thick feel. But what makes this beer work is the exceptional balance - the initial zing melds with just the right amount bitterness at the end. This beer shows that IPAs don't have to be citus-laden, bitter hop bombs.

 366 characters

Photo of TLWalsh
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden copper color, persistent creamy milky head. Definite citrus piney aroma. Has a complex balanced flavor, both malty and hoppy. Has a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Finishes peppery, piney and grassy from all those hops. This stuff is delicious, I'll be looking for some more as the season goes on.

 305 characters

Photo of cambabeer
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 12 pack of this and am thoroughly enjoying it. Fresh bottle date (about two weeks old). A nice balance of piney and earthy notes in the aroma and the malt backbone in the taste makes this beer full bodied and delicious.

 225 characters

Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This appears to be highly sought after, but here in Portland I'm finding the bottles a month old which is truly disappointing. The hop aroma is very faint basic forest scents, although the beer poured beautifully in the glass near perfection. After the first initial sips the beer does grow on you with a balance of hops and malt, and I can see what the fuss is all about.

 372 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 Sheppard
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper, reddish amber hue. The head is between cream and tan. Light aroma of citrus fruits. It's got a very creamy feel with tempered earthy spiciness, especially on the finish. While it's a distinctly west coast IPA, it doesn't destroy the palate. It's pleasant, but it doesn't really have distinct or outstanding qualities. It's a very good option and value for something you can find in your grocery store, but it's not comparable to the elite IPAs that we see nowadays.

 481 characters

Photo of anonymoose
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer has a red color. The aroma is mostly muted with some fruity and malty notes coming through. The taste is lightly bitter with caramel malt, and almost lager-esque malt quality. I might not guess this was an IPA in a blind taste test

 240 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: white, thick head which leaves a good amount of lacing. Almost amber ale colored, definite tinges of red.

S: characteristic Celebration ale nose - earthy, peppery, a hint of citrus, akin to Estate Ale.

T: also similar to Estate ale, sweetness and creaminess up front, fades to a nice earthy bitter bite, smooth around the edges and finishes crisp

F: creamy and smooth to start, bitter and crisp to finish, lingering bitterness on the tongue

O: one of my all time favorites, a killer amber IPA, Sierra Nevada rarely fails to impress (or do they ever?)

 557 characters

Photo of wumpshire
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$8.99 six pack. Very good Winter IPA. The fresh hops are there, but not overwhelming. The dark malt adds a level of caramel which balances out the strong hops. Definitely would buy again.

 187 characters

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

Poured cold into a wine glass. Bottled on 10/2/14 and consumed on 10/31/14.
Look = 4.5 Pretty, deep amber color; 1 finger of thick off white head with great retention and lace. Great color.
Aroma = 3.75 Very balanced, way more than I expected. I must be use to some big time hop bombs. I get pine and citrus hops balanced with sweet candy malts - more on the malty side though. I can almost pick up the fresh hop “spice” notes everybody claims they get with this.
Taste = 4.0 Also balanced; follows the nose. Sweet candy malts lead the way with pine hop notes providing some balance. Mild bitterness on the finish.
Feel = 4.0 Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp and fizzy, a little resiny. Good for style.
Drinkability = 4.5 Easy drinking, very balanced IPA.
Overall = 4.0625 A true classic IPA. Formally a hop bomb is now dwarfed by the hop explosion we’ve seen the last several years, but the balance and drinkability of this winter time brew can’t be understated.

 993 characters

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

The go to beer around Christmas time in my household! Even the guess seem to really enjoy it. It has a great taste and makes the celebrations come alive!

 153 characters

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

Amber with off white head, Fruity hop aroma, Good malt body with some caramel notes with a good hop profile with fruity tones and hints of peppers, Fruity hop finish that has some pepper in the back.

 199 characters

Photo of 1ale_man
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into pils glass. Dark amber orange. S:Caramel, vanilla, and a fruit. T: Caramel, small vanilla, and maybe plum on that fruit. Bottle dated 11-19-14. This is really good. If fresher is any better I couldn't stand. SN beers do last.

 254 characters

Photo of doktorhops
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada are like the Tiger Woods of beers - they play a sharp game of golf, and cheat on their Swedish wives... err, no, that analogy doesn’t work, how about Sierra Nevada are like the J.K. Simmons of beers - consistently undervalued for their work and quietly brilliant, plus they won an Oscar that they thoroughly deserved (or at least they would if there was a beer equivalent of an Oscar). I’m happy with that revised analogy. Now on to their Celebration Ale - this is a Winter Ale with a difference - all IPA, no spices. This will be awesome-sauce.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy toffee brown-tinged amber body with a sticky 1 centimetre off-white head. There’s a decent amount of protein in the head, Sierra Nevada have got to be happy with that, I know I am. 9/10.

S: Malt forward with a biscuit/caramel combo, followed by hints of piney/citric, it’s certainly not as big on the hops as Torpedo, we’ll see how it comes out in the flavour because sometimes you do get big hop flavours in brews without big hop aromas. In Sierra Nevada we trust. 7/10.

T: The good news: This is one smooth IPA. The bad news: Sierra Nevada’s own Torpedo IPA scuttles this brew [nautical puns anyone?] with hops, more and more HOPS! Palate-wise SNaCA (as I am henceforth calling this beer) has a big caramel/biscuit base with hints of pine/citrus hops and a rather sharp bitter finish on the edge of your tongue that carries through to the aftertaste. This needs more hop flavours and less hop bitterness (which is entirely possible - my last homebrew was all tropical hop flavour without bitterness). 7/10.

M: Medium bodied, slightly oily hop presence with a light but dense carbonation. Almost the exact same mouthfeel as the Torpedo. 9/10.

D: Missed opportunity from the makers of the mighty Torpedo. This is a fresh hop IPA that has bitten off more than it could chew - too malty, not enough hop flavour, unnecessary sharp bitter edge, above-average aroma. Those are the negatives, on the plus side it is a hearty, smooth and half decent IPA, I guess I’ve been too spoiled with Sierra Nevada’s other offerings (oh yeah and Founders, Deschutes, Ballast Point, the rest of the west coast, et al.) to give this a higher rating. [err, best before: 10.24.14... disregard my ENTIRE review now!] 7/10.

Food match: Staring at the label with the snow-cover log cabin made me think of a hearty beef stew by a nice warm fireplace watching the embers die, or cake.

 2,497 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm drinking and reviewing this a little late in its life, but it was well-stored and is a sturdy brew, so bear with me. Dark, hazy, amber in color with rocky, inviting, yellow-tan head that retains so well I'm having trouble pouring the rest into my glass (more than a film all the way to the end). Smells like oranges, then raisins or other dried or candied fruit. I also was just barely able to notice the caramel. Not very strong aromas in this IPA. Mild hop bitterness, grapefruit, citrus rind, caramel, and again raisins on the palate. Generally I would associate this last sensation with aging, but I think in this case (as in a number of other beers) it could be a combination of the hops with the caramel of the malt. Slight black pepper notes, also. Mouthfeel is as expected, a little stiffer and stickier than water at first but fizzing up and smoothing out if not swallowed too quickly. Overall, not a bad beer, a great one in fact, but overrated, not that I have any complaints. I say that having had it a few times when it was younger as well, enjoying it, but not being astonished.

 1,096 characters

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

Look: golden
Smell: floral, piney
Taste: similar to the Torpedo but with a more fresh hoppy taste
Mouthfeel: light, crisp
Overall: a very bitter fresh hop beer, great on a warm day

 180 characters

Photo of pat61
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant copper amber under a 3” thick cream colored foam collar that hugs the glass.
S: citrus, malt and some grass.
T: Big citrus and herbal hop entry supported by a sturdy malt backbone leads to a bitter citrus rind finish.
F: Creamy smooth, medium soft, medium full body.
O: A hop driven beer that is at its best young.

 334 characters

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).

 318 characters

Photo of MikeDL
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent IPA. The first time I tried it was today and it tastes great, it also gives off a nice smell. One of my favorite IPA's at the moment.

 154 characters

Photo of ARoman
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

*transferred from old notes - 1/1/2014*
12oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip. There’s a sweet, roasted aroma that emerges from the pour almost instantaneously before my nose was anywhere near the glass. As it settles, pine and citrus notes become noticeable, as well as a very faint trace of chalkiness. The creamy, foamy, egg-shell white head lingers for awhile and laces the glass as it recedes. The beer itself is a hazy, bright orange (pumpkin color) with noticeable particulate floating within. At first sip, it starts out with a heavy hand of hop bitterness that gives way nicely into a mild sweetness and a more subtle bitter quality. It’s mostly a crisp beer, but not as dry as other IPAs - there’s some stickiness to it which blends nicely with some malty richness at the swallow. There’s also a pleasant warming effect to it to go with the above average carbonation. The aftertaste lingers for a bit mainly consisting of pine and resin with some toasted malt flavors. Nothing about this beer jumps out as "Christmas-y" as the name might hint at, but I don’t get the impression that’s was Sierra Nevada was going for - definitely a pleasing cold-weather IPA to keep warm with.

 1,200 characters

Photo of CO-Bloom
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite IPA's and I love that it is a winter seasonal because it adds some variety in my malty selection of Imperial stouts, winter warmers and doppelbocks.

L: copper, amber
S: floral, piney and a hint of citrus
T: Piney, floral, balanced with a subtle sweet malt base with a hint of citrus.
M: medium/light
O: A well balanced beer that touches on everything I want from and IPA. Pine, Citrus and Floral. Not quite as good as some of the citrus/tropical bombs but that is personal preference. This is one of the best IPA's out there.

 547 characters

Photo of JeffBlue
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

(Draft; revisited) at Main St. Brewery in Pleasanton. Not as good as back in December; probably would've rated it in the 4 range. Getting a tad stale but not bad overall.

Pale Ale (favorable)
Porter (favorable)
Kellerweis (favorable)
Torpedo (favorable)

 262 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Deep orange colored and a little hazy beer with a huge 4-finger high beige, fluffy, head. A LOT of lacing stays on the glass!

Nose: Tropical fruit, orange marmelade, caramel malt, bread and pine.
Taste: Bitter hops, dried fruit, red berries, pine, caramel malt and grapefruit.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Great taste with balanced bitterness and sweetness.
Great beer!

 377 characters

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

This is the beer that got me info Craft in 2014. The first one I had I almost hated. A few later and everything changed. A year and over 100 beers later I'm drinking the 2015. This is a beautiful beer. The smell is smooth earthy pine. The taste is piney spicy hops followed by toasty malts and a bitter finish. yb

 313 characters

Photo of stickydankhop
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle. Wow. By far the best winter seasonal I tried. Love the head and mouth feel. Found the last sixer at local beer store . Do not want to miss this one

 160 characters

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,413 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.