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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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3,440 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,440 | Ratings: 10,104
Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look - Amber color, somewhat opaque in appearance
Smell - Floral, piney, earthy
Taste - Pine, floral, spice, earthy, some malt sweetness, very slight hints of citrus

Overall - Tastes like a hopped up SNPA to me. Nothing outstanding about this beer to be honest. Easy drinking but not mind blowing in any way.

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle: deep amber color, transparent, dense head of foam. The smell is amazing; lots of citrusy hops. It is balanced by some malt on the aftertaste. This is a different take on a winter beer, as it is essentially an IPA, but one of the best IPA I have had.

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

Pours an opaque amber, with lots of pale particulates swimming about, producing 2+ fingers of tan, frothy, lasting head that leaves a nice coating of clumpy, webby lacing. Aroma is biscuit, light toast & caramel malt balanced with leafy/floral, pine & citrus hoppiness. Taste is similar but sweeter & more intense with bready & toasted caramel malts imparting a toffee sweetness that is dominant over the orange, pine & black tea like notes of the hops which lasts beyond mid-sip but finishing with a nice full bodied balance of malt & pine/citrus hoppy bitter-sweetness which rockets forward aggressively to become a very bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slick, with a minor prickle, light dryness & slight astringency.

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Photo of chuckpalka
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Just picked up one in Chicago
L: Poured in a Goblet a medium copper with a very light tan foamy head that settled some but never went away.
S: Pleasing moderate smell of a easy mix of pine and grapefruit.
T: Slightly bitter as expected but not overboard. Maybe just a little more than I care for.
F: A soft mouth feel and dry aftertaste and a empty glass with plenty of lace.

A good beer as expected from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in November 2015. Nice that it is dated. Drank about 1 month after "Packaged" date.

Appearance: Deep amber with tan head. Beer is clear and not cloudy. Head is thick, and leaves a nice film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with a strong hops aroma, and includes citrus and pine smells.

Taste: There is a noticeable hops flavor, as expected from an IPA. There is good bite from the hops along with other flavors like citrus. There is not much sweetness from the malts. The aftertaste provides a variety of flavors over time.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Soft alcohol.

This is a smooth medium-bodied beer. It is an interesting example of an IPA, and I would drink this again.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This winter seasonal is an attractive beer, if on the dark end of the range for an IPA: a clear, deep amber body capped by a giant (but brief-lived) pillowy off-white head that leaves huge slabs and clouds of lacing everywhere it touches. The aroma is moderate in intensity: fermented pineapple over a nice blend of pine and dark florals, with more subdued caramelly malt notes. The flavor is a bit more strongly expressed, but still pretty modest for the style: moderately bitter pine, pineapple and spicy citrus over a very apparent, slightly caramel bready malt foundation. The finish is hoppy: pine and floral notes, followed by the onset of a very bitter, amazingly resinous clinging piney bitterness that coats the tongue and the roof of the mouth, lingering for a good while. The mouthfeel is biggish for the body, and the texture is moderately creamy and faintly peppery from the soft-for-style carbonation. The prominent malt character and the intense resinous bitterness provide some very nice dynamic tension, making this an interesting beer and one to look forward to. (12 oz bottle, 44 days after pkg)

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Photo of Kubishark
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fantastically solid IPA. Pours a coppery color, smells hoppy and piney. Tastes like a mix of pine and citrus, with a good dose malts thrown in. 2015 is the first year I had this, and for some reason I was expecting it to taste more "Christmassy," but the fact that it doesn't taste that way is actually probably for the better. Medium bodied and overall one of my favorite IPAs I've had. Actually now that I think about it, this may be the best score I've given to an IPA up to this point in my BeerAdvocate career.

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Photo of drew42e
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber and is fairly dark for an IPA these days. Aroma is not terribly strong but getting some grapefruit and pine. Not sure why but expected this to be a lot maltier, this has strong grapefruit/citrus flavor and very balance malts. Slight bitterness on finish, fresh hops noticeable. This is a very nice beer and while i was expecting more of a spicy holiday ale this is an IPA I will look forward to drinking and seek out. One of my favorites from Sierra

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Photo of aobrehm
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into chalice.

L- Thick, moussy off white head that is very well-retained. Rich copper red color with brilliant clarity.

S- Hop-forward aroma with juicy fresh hop aromatics. Aroma develops fruity and caramel complexity as the beer warms.

T- Balanced flavor profile. Great depth of hop character with notes of citrus, pine, tropical fruit, and some resin. Assertive bitterness is well balanced by bread and caramel malt backbone.

F- Full bodied for an IPA with a crisp dry finish. Carbonation is substantial.

O- This year's Celebration may be my favorite yet. Great hop character superbly balanced with other ingredients.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look- pours a copper and amber color; darker than your typical IPA. Modest head and an interesting lace that starts off as thin and ring like and then patchy and frothy as you move along.
Smell- clean at first, then, a big biscuity malt aroma takes over. As the drink warms, I detect orchard fruits as well as some mango. Further still, there is some alcohol.
Taste- hoppy but not overwhelming with a dry resiny finish. Bready malt backbone.
Feel-crisp and medium bodied. Quite drinkable.
I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of MACrist
4.93/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 10/09/15 from 12 pack.

LOOKS: Hazy, red amber. Small, slow streaming bubbles rising. Tan head that sits like whip cream on top and lasts forever. Great lacing you expect with most SN beers.

AROMA: Pine is the main scent. Caramel malt. Citrus is there, orange, grapefruit, lemon.

TASTE: Grapefruit, lemon, pine. Plenty of caramel/toffee malt. Balanced sweetness and bitterness throughout gulp. Finishes with a pleasant bitterness.

FEEL: Nice carbonation brings out flavors. Medium body, dry and refreshing.

Really nice IPA, first time having it. Similar to Flip side Red IPA, but better. Can't go wrong with this. There is an amazing balance between sticky sweet caramel malt and pine/citrus hops. Lingering!
Will be back for more.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, with a one-finger head which retains quite well - especially on the sides. Moderate-to-low carbonation.

The nose is dominated by a lot of citrusy pine-flavors. Smell is clear and striking, but not necessarily bombastic.

Piney hops dominate the taste, with the citrus making an appearance in the aftertaste. As with the smell, the taste is characterized by balance.

As with most Sierra Nevada brews, it is the price point which really makes this a great purchase. I would be willing to pay a lot more for a six-pack worth of this than its $8 price tag. Just like Torpedo IPA, this is a rock-solid beer for any price point - while potentially being one of the best beer-for-buck options on the market.

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Photo of pinyin
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Celebration 2015 bottled on October 30th.

Served 38F into a 16 ounce goblet.

Color is probably the best feature of this ale. Dark bronze, with little to no translucence. Typical Sierra Nevada carbonation.

Smell is very fresh and clean, but not a huge aroma here. I understand that this recipe is almost 40 years old, so I would assume no dry hop schedule used. On the nose I smell some light hop aroma, and a big bready malt scent.

Taste here is good, but nothing earth shattering or breathetaking. Very well balanced and the hops do not outshine the malt backbone. A little on the sugary side.
Not a very big fan of the hops blend used here though.

Mouthfeel is a little bit thin, slightly watery and doesn't quite match the color.

Overall this is a very solid ale in terms of balance and freshness. I get that it is the original hop season harvest Ale that every other brewery seemed to copy. I just don't seem to have the same level of nostalgia for it that many others here do.

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Photo of puck1225
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer! Poured from a bottle a deep orange brown. Nice head and great lacing. Earthy smell. Taste is a bit sweet and bitter. Also some malty notes and pine. A tasty fall beer.

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an IPA glass. A striking copper-amber color, moderately hazy, with a thick dense soapy light tan head that lingered for a long time. The aroma was surprisingly muted to me, with some pine straw, orange, and bread. The taste was huge as expected, with pine up front, followed by orange, grapefruit, bread and biscuit. On the bitter side even for an IPA but beautifully balanced by the malt. Clean bitter orange finish. Medium bodied with a really great feel, anticipated with the foamy head on the pour. Another masterpiece from Sierra Nevada.

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

Reddish amber color with thick brown-tinted off-white head and good lacing. Pine on the nose, with some citrus in the background. They carry over, to a lesser extent, into the flavor, pairing with some biscuits-and-caramel malt up front, and heavy hop bitterness on the back end. I remember years ago when the hops in this beer seemed like a (delicious) assault on the taste buds; today it comes across as pretty well balanced compared to many hop bombs. Somewhat light-bodied, but with a creaminess to it. A winter classic.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark red / almost red-brown color with a thick white head. the head subsides slightly but a solid white head remains, even after 30 minutes! great looking and lively beer.

smells like sweet roasted malts. a slight smell of sweet hops exist but it is not prominent in the aroma.

the taste is fantastic, nice combination of grapefruit and toasted malt. not overpowering but very solid. goes down very smooth, easy drinking!

overall this is a pretty good IPA, nothing mindblowing but it does everything right. not overly hoppy or malty, utilizes a few different tastes.

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

I had read all the hype and wanted to try it for myself. Bottled 10/14/15. Fresh. Good hop smell and sweet malt taste but not too malty. Not very bitter. Nice balance that finishes clean. Worth a try and will have again.

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Photo of Glengosch
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I seem to remember this beer being called Celebration Ale in years past, now it's called Celebration IPA, and hey, IPAs are all the rage, so why not call it that? But on to the taste and stuff...

*Taste - The flavor of this beer is primo, superb, deluxe, fasmatasmic - or some other word that is better than good. Seriously. One of my favorites. In a blind taste test, I don't know that I would know that this is an IPA. Normally with an IPA, (a good IPA) I am punched in the face with pine or floral citrus (and I don't mean that in a bad way). This here ale is the perfect balance that makes it almost unrecognizable in the field of American IPAs. Maybe it solidifies itself ahead of the rest.

On the back end, it's like you get the bitterness without the burn - if that makes sense(?). I guess what I'm trying to say is the taste is as pleasant as the minimal aftertaste.

You get a good balance of maltiness too. Bonus.

As far as taste/flavor is concerned, it's hard to find better.

*Smell - it smells great, but I taste the hops more than I smell them.

*Feel - it feels good. Smooth. Easy to drink with a high ABV.

*Look - Amberish/goldenish/a little darker than a Sam Adams BL (for your reference)

*Overall/bottom line - Depending on what I'm in the mood for, probably my favorite beer. Great hop taste, balanced with some (great) malt taste. Do yourself a favor, if you like beer, and drink this. You're welcome.

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Photo of TheWolf
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper nice fluffy head. Piney aroma with pepper and holly. Taste consistent with nose. I agree with a prior reviewer with the torpedo analogy. Sort of like a spiced up torpedo. I like it better than last year.

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

On tap.

A - Pours a clear copper amber color with a massive creamy white frothy head and moderate carbonation.

S - Citrus and pine aroma with minimal malt and a touch of light spociness. (Poured on tap and the serving temp is a little colder than usual so some of the aroma has been muted initially).

T - Minimal toasted malt presence with hops taking the front seat in the glass, pine and citrus abound from start to finish. Grapefruit, lemon rind, and lingering citrus pine bitterness to wash away any toasted malt on the palate. Bitterness is sharp but perfectly done.

M - Solid medium body with some carbonation pickles on the back of the tongue.

O - Haven't had this beer in awhile and it's better than the last time I had it (which was a few years ago).

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

The 2015 version is different or my palette is off. This tastes a little like Torpedo which I like so no issue for me at all especially getting a 12er at Publix for 13.49. Peppery, spicy and very slight fruit feel. Still, Torpedoish for me this year and will buy again!

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Photo of ihazabucket7
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a IPA glass

Look: Dark, amber, golden color. Clear with some bubbles and a frothy head. Poured aggressive.

Smell: Pine notes, citrus, little bit of malt, some spice notes to it as well.

Taste: Loads of hops, bitter, citrus, tad bit malty.

Feel: Mouthfeel is a little thick it coats the inside of your mouth with hoppy goodness.

Overall: Great beer, lots of character, always love the holidays when this comes out!

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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 Chris585
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best fresh hop ales out there. Still impressing me to this day. Just the right mix of hops and malt. Prior year releases at least in last two years were a little hot, this year is absolutely amazing.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,104 ratings.
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