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
Reviews: 3,569 | Ratings: 10,581
Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My most anticipated season brew. This beer defines IPA for me. 12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Hoppy, balanced, and bitter. Yummy. In my top 10.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - light brown/amber with a nice light tan head that sticks around - nice amount of lacing.
S - citrus, pine, malt
T- citrus and pine mixed with a smooth and sweet malt backbone - finishes with a nice hop bite. Very clean and pure tasting.
F - full body with medium carbonation - very smooth
O - A very solid winter IPA. Nice citrus and pine notes with a malt backbone.

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Photo of Easton70
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I bought a 6-pack of this in Trader Joes in Bellingham. It was a month before Christmas and I wanted some US beers for the festive season so I was sold on this beer's snowy label. As a result, I was expecting a spicey, sweet ale but it's not. To that extent, I was initially disappointed when I tried it one evening with other winter beers but, take Christmas out of the equation and this is an amazing beer.

Firstly, that head lasts forever and I love constant lacing on the glass u till the last mouthful. It's darker than most IPAs and that's the only element that fits Christmas.

I found the aroma lacking but I've been suffering from a nagging cold so it's perhaps that.

The taste is full and the mouthfeel is great. The bitterness really hits you in the finish but you expect that with a fresh hopped IPA.

Bottom line; this is a great great beer regardless of the time of year. I may keep one to see how it ages; whether the bitterness fails over time or the caramel notes improve.....: who knows.

Definately worth a try.

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Photo of Ankylosaurus
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This will please your tastebuds to no end. .. at least, that is my opinion . The look is rather pleasing as well. Although I am new to this site I am thinking the bottle is incorporated into the "Look" score? Oh well.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky copper color body with an off white, frothy tan head. Its apperance reminds me of autumn.
Smell is very mild malt and citrus hops.
Taste is a great mouthful of piney hops with pops of flavor from dank resinous fruits. Followed by that light malt bready backbone that i always detect in SN brews. Body is well balanced and full. Med to high carbonation makes this easy to drink.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is such a classic ipa that has really stood the test of time.

The appearance is a really pretty copper/amber with a billowy two finger white head that lingers with good lacing.

The aroma is a classic west coast ipa with pine and citrus hops along with a sweet bready maltiness.

The taste follows the nose with a
piney citrus hop note along with a bready caramel malt sweetness that balances out the hoppiness.

The palate is medium with lingering piney resin and bready malt sweetness.

Overall this is a classic of the craft beer world that is still one of the better winter seasonals around.

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Photo of barknee
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
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
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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 +1.2%
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
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz short bottle into Spiegelau IPA glass. Bottled on September 28th, 2017.

L: Clear copper, three finger off-white head has magnificent retention.

S: Super dank, herbal and citrusy. Just a wondrous aroma here.

T: Again, a lot of dank pine and herbal and citrus. Wonderful IPA.

F: Light, crisp, dry.

O: Wonderful IPA.

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Photo of DrQuantum
4.67/5  rDev +12%
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 +4.3%
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 rypkr
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its remarkable how peppery and spicy these hops are. Last year I called it stale and rated it straight 3.75s. This year (2017) I still see where I was coming from but I'm enjoying it more. Straight 4s for 2017.

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
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 +1.9%
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 Impetuous
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
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 +1.4%
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%
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 +17.7%
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 -10.6%
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 +2.9%
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 -5%
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 -45.8%
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 +2.4%
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 +16.8%
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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Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 10,581 ratings