Celebration Fresh Hop IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
10,423 Ratings
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

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Ratings: 10,423 |  Reviews: 3,524
Photo of pheurton
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 edition bottled 11/02, sampled 06/03. pours a clear dark mahogony with a long lasting, tight, creamy head. roasty malts and citrusy hops on the nose. spicy, oily, roasted malty flavor followed by a lemony hoppiness. full, smooth, creamy body with a good level of carbonation. the hops have mellowed somewhat and aren't as "green" as upon initial relaese. i taste a more pronounced chocolate character as well. has mellowed nicely in 8 months while still retaining the characteristic hoppy snap. and all around great beer to look forward to at xmas, and one that seems to stand the test of time well.

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Photo of TPoling
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was my last coveted bottle of 2002 Celebration unless I get lucky and find some tucked away before late October when the 2003 comes in.

I still remember my first Celebration Ale several years ago. I thought I had found a close to perfect beer, and still go into ectasy when pouring the first one of the new batch each fall.

This ale pours an incredible bright reddish amber and has a creamy head that carries drapes of lace down the glass. Hoppiness is very pronounced in the nose and flavor, but does not take over the complexity of the malt.

2002 was not the best of the years, but was still one of the greats.

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Photo of DESTRO
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

celebration ale, you wonderous creation. pours ruby red and lovely with big aromas of citrus/piney hops that make you drool. the flavor, full and robust, some nice malt is there, but the whole story is about the hop. from the first sip, a mouthwatering twang hit the back of your jaws and from then on its a wonderful pine/grapefruit hop experiance. clean and crisp is the mouthfeel, lightly filling but in a comforting way. finishes with a tangy mouth puckering zip and the 6.9 % alcohol makes this brew so very deceiving. and thats just fine by me.

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Photo of ZAP
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm re-rating some of the winter beers I rated when I first got on board and have since tried several more times..

-"Hop-a-long" winter beer....very hoppy with flowery and citrus tones...creamy finish...not a lot of malt balance but hops seem to settle as you drink deeper..Very solid beer particularly if you like a "hoppy" winter style.

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Photo of BittRnessabounds
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had many of these fine beers from the 2002 batch. What a wonderful and warming beer. You don't need to be celebrating something to drink this beer, you should just be celebrating it's existence. I sure celebrated finding this beer (3 actually, shared with Marty and EmoBeerGuy) discarded in a dorm hallway next to a trash-can. I don't know who discarded it, but we were more than happy to give them a home. I finally drank mine, probably the last one I'll find until next year, today on a cool late summer day. It was just as good as I remembered all the others this year being. The wonderful deep amber and thick head with lace that does not quit is only a modest hint of greater things to come. The wonderful hop aroma is likely the most pleasant I've experienced. If you like very hoppy beers that are nearly perfectly balanced with malt and some fruit, you will love this beer. The medium body and near perfect carbonation make this beer a pure joy to drink. The 6.8abv doesn't hurt either, considering there is no hint at all of the strength of this beer. All in all this is just a great beer.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with an off-white head. Chill haze present.
Nice aroma of piney, citrusy hops with pale malts underneath.

Taste shows a big piney, spicey hop flavor. Pale malts try to keep this one in balance, but the hops win out.

Good mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a good beer and a nice change of pace from the usual winter seasonals.

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Photo of Loki
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2002 sampled in a 12 oz. bottle.

Poured a rich copper with a 1/8 inch think, bubbly head.

Aromas of malt, hops and fruit, poured from the nose.

This ale tasted of hops first and foremost, then malt with some fruit and hints nutmeg. Great mouth feel, low carbonation, and decent lacing. A great seasonal brew. Thanks tavernjeff for the samples.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this in a 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. There is a good 1.5 fingers of off-white foam, as I drink a fair amount of lacing is left on the glass. The color is a cloudy brownish red. The smell of spices and hops are very overwhelming, but exceptional! The taste is all spice and hops. There is maybe a little bit of clove or nutmeg in this one, and it has a good bitter finish from the cascade hops. The drinkability is very good for this style. The mouthfeel is heavy, yet smooth on the tounge. This is one great Christmas brew!

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Photo of frank4sail
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2002 Vintage
Signature fresh hop sweetmalt nose. Cystal clear reddish color and look, Thick sticky, rocky, head that lasts and a lace that clings to ya like your college girlfriend did... The taste is dominated by a hoppy, earthy, signatures and the brew has a chewy caramal malt backbone. This brew can '"take a lickin and keep on tickin" (and no referances to my college girlfriend again). As the beer warms the mouth smoothes more and more.. Smooth medium to fuller mouth comforts the tongue. This beer is the perfect way to celebrate if you love hoppy brews. At 6.8% very drinkable. You will fall in love with it without thinking (like you did in college)!

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Photo of marburg
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. More hops than a pogo stick, folks.

Fairly big, fluffy, white head. Farmer's market aroma -- fresh flowers and citrus fruits -- that includes the very floral and evergreen hop aromas. Nicely medium-bodied. The hops are definitely the predominant flavor generator in this brew; they creep over the tongue from start to finish. Very subtle -- a wee bit of an unbalanced flavor here -- malt sweetness upfront and through the middle, but this finishes with a clean, big hop presence. I had two, but I don't think I could have any more; it just lies a bit to far over the hoppy line to drink a lot, but the high alcohol content is very deceiving. I really love Sierra Nevada, and this is another great offering from them.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just finished drinking the first I've ever had of this Celebration, not only did it go great with my spicy sausage pizza for dinner, but is one hell of great beer. Quite a pleasant surprise, thanks SN.

Color is a golden orange with a off-white head about a finger high, top is lumpy with some big bubbles: settles to a nice even skimming with some nice clingy, patchy light lace.
Smell is a nice floral, lightly citrusy sharp hop, super clean and fresh. Taste is very smooth and bright with brightly floral hop thats a little bit spicy and bitter as well.
Feel is a lighter-medium body with a very crispy sweet dryness that starts in the middle and settles down through the finish and has a great evenly smoothed out bite with a very subtle but potent alcohol warming, which only now I'm starting to feel. Wow, some damn good stuff. I think I'll have another, yes I will.

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Photo of Marty
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! It's beautiful; pours a golden amber hue with a tall, foamy, lasting head that leaves a sticky lace down the inside of the glass. The taste is crisply hoppy and malty sweet. I was having trouble characterizing the smell, but one of my friends hit it right on the nose... peach! There are definitely hints of peach in this beer. One of my all-time favorites.

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Photo of EmoBeerGuy
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed a bottle of this years Celebration Ale (2002). A little late but it seemed to be kept fine by the guys over at the beer yard in Wayne.

Not the first time I've had this beer and certainly not the last. Deep golden-amber hue, deeper than most IPA. Nose is straight hops, to warn you of whats about to hit your palate. The flavor is a hop lovers dream. Straight hops all the way, classic over the top American IPA. What I think is so amazing about this beer is the ABV which is totally inconito. I would have never know. This is a beer that, if drank in large quantities, would surely sneak up on you. While IPA isn't may favorite style (I find it a bit too one dimentional) this beer takes that dimention and does it perfectly. Want an IPA. Drink this!

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Photo of Denali
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12 ounce bottle with a picture of house in the woods in winter. 2001 vintage.

Appearance: Slightly opaque orange-amber with thick off-white head that laces incredibly.

Smell: Very sweet malty aroma. Citrusy and hoppy as well. Alcohol is also noticeable.

Taste: Initial hoppy bitterness. Citrus flavor comes in next followed by a strong malt balance. Aftertaste is bitter and fruity, with some malt sweetness making an appearance every so often.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Wow is this smooth. Very easy to drink. It did not last long.

Comments: Very fine brew. Great flavors and extremely well balanced. Thank you Keith (stegmakk) for the "other two bottles".

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001--picked up at Blue Max.
Pours a dark orange with an initial sensational smell of hops and fresh fruit. The taste is primarily floral hops throughout with just a hint of orange peel, banana and very slight roasted malt, but overall powering on the hops. The ABV seems to be mixed in wonderfully for a nice, but not overpowering warmness. A wonderful beer all around, today I agonize over not buying the entire rack of this version.

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Photo of Scooter77
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’d been looking forward to trying this brew for the longest time and it was well worth the wait. Pours a beautiful reddish/copper color with fluffy 3/4-inch head, which leaves a medium-thin, sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is all about the hops! Hints of citrus peel were detected amongst the intense scent of hops. This is one great full-bodied beer that packs a full arsenal of hops. The sweet bitter aftertaste of orange peel and hops left me begging for more. I will most definitely seek this one out again, once it’s released next year.

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Photo of stegmakk
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001

Appearance cloudy dark orange with a terrific tan head where the foam stays...
Aroma....slightly sweet hoppy
Taste...VERY good...hint sweet malt floral hops but nothing overpowering...nice mixture
Mouthfeel...medium...not thin but not too thick...

I wish I could find more but I think there is no more...these were the last 3 bottles I found (gave 2 away to a fellow BA)...

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Photo of Valevapor
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, vibrant amber liquid. Fresh, citrusy aroma. A medium body and sharp carbonation transport a balanced fritterness (fruity & bitter) and maltiness over the fizzling taste buds and into the greedy gullet. A dry bitterness and raw, semi-grassy character remain on the tongue.

What we have here is a sturdy American-style IPA with a well-rounded personality.

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Photo of Darkale
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I look forward to this beer every year, and the 2002 version did not let me down.

Everyone knows the festive label on this 12 ounce brown bottle: the gold Sierra Nevada logo on unfurled parchment, with a log cabin in the snow below, poinsettias all around.

Inside is one of the best winter ales one is likely to encounter. Cheery orange-red color, and a nice, thick, frothy tan head. Excellent lacing and a slight hop aroma upon opening.

Taste is citrus at first, followed by hops. Then, a slow malty aftertaste, mingled with toasty caramel. Creamy, very creamy mouthfeel, especially as it warms, and this is a beer that you will not want to serve very cold.

Complex, warming, consistent, a great winter ale -- one whose passing I mourn every spring.

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Photo of Hobbz
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waiting on friends and having sampled the run of draft beers that I would order, I asked for an old stand-by Sam Smith's which was not carried any more. What other bottles, then? Celebration (and a host of mass-swill). Stared at the nice label graphics then poured into my waiting glass. Fine all-around look to this one -- deep hazy-brown and few, tiny foam bubbles of white, running for the sides. Bold, hoppy aroma. This beer held captive the Cascade hops that I love, only releasing the chain-gang busters once inside. And the flavors of this seasonal carried over nicely with each sip. De-lish hops, de-lish beer.

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Photo of scottum
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the few great beers that is affordable to buy by the case. This is a very hoppy brew. Almost like a Kangaroo on steroids. Pours out dark amber with a nice head. Tastes of hops. If you let it warm up a bit, it becomes a more complex brew, but still a hop monster. You should always have a few of these on hand.

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Photo of Bruiser81
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a copper color with sort of an amber color when held to the light. The head was off-white and about a quarter of an inch thick. The aroma was complex with hints of citrus, hops, and alcohol. The taste was basically the same as the nose with citrus up front and the spice of the alcohol in the middle. The finish is bittery with a nice bite, the citrus also comes back a little in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was nice with good carbonation and it went down smooth. This is my favorite winter seasonal and in my top three overall, what a great beer.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the classic strong pale ales out there. I'm a little surprised it's not a year round beer. This is a holiday beer for the hopheads if the sweeter seasonals are not your thing. This one pours a wonderful deep bronze color with a fluffy golden head. Citrus and pine jump out of the glass, most definitely a dry hopped beer. MMM
it has a solid malt base to play off the playful hops. It could do with a touch more body to equalize the bitterness but that's just nitpicking.This beer has a slight chewiness to the body that dances with the hops,maybe it is the yeasty fruitiness here with a tiny bit of caramel malt. The hops give a nice citrus flavor that's almost flowery and a nice long bitter finish.Nicely balanced.As it warms a very nice grapefruit flavor stands out. I like it.

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Photo of greebz
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that I actually seek out to buy every year. Unfortunately it's not readily available here on the east coast. Once again this yrs version did not disappoint if you like this type of ale. Nice copper color with decent head that leaves a nice lace on the glass. Slightly bitter, this is not the type of beer that you chug nor do have several at a sitting. Also it help to pair with the right food - spicy work well. I've never seen this on tap but would certainly love to find it, let me know if anyone knows where in the Boston area!

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Photo of Reidrover
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2002 bottle i got the very last one at my local store..all gone so happy i got it now.
Good appearance pours a nice murky brown with a smallish head that leaves a lace down the glass.
The smell is unbelievable..marvelous the last few nights I have had some great smelloing beers this is another!..malt and big hop smell combine, a work of art.
very treacly taste bitter aftertaste on back of tongue..strong coffee even..a meal in a bottle.
Lovelly over the tongue warming..
Very drinkable for such a strong brew..and none of the stringent alchol taste..great beer.

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Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 10,423 ratings