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: 3,568 | Ratings: 10,578
Photo of ckval1972
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Superb IPA with a unique and delightfully malty hoppy taste. I'd be hard pressed to point to a better winter IPA - and at $13 a 12 pack at Total Wine - there is no better deal. In an ever widening sea of great IPAs - Sierra Nevada still stands out on quality and value.

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Photo of Pilsnerlover7
2.26/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Too bitter without being compensated by interesting aromatics or malty goodness. I have liked this beer in previous incarnations, but this years iteration just didn’t cut it.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - crimson body with beige head

Smell - pine, citrus: grapefruit, caramel

Taste -citrus, headlined by grapefruit, pine, caramel

mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium plus carbonation, citrus upfront, piney/bitter hops at the back end

Overall - nice IPA here, well done & worth a try

Price Point - $1.99/12 oz single

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Photo of eluvah
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I look forward to this beer every year and it never disappoints. Outstanding creamy head with great lacing. Nose is a little light this year but great hop forward flavor and resinous finish.

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

Picked-up a twelve pack of bottles at Bradford's in Plymouth for about sixteen dollars. A fan of Sierra Nevada, but don't typically seek it out, with so many good brews in NE. I have had this beer before, but never reviewed it. Solid brew, unique taste.

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Photo of Miles_in_beer_city
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I always look forward to the Celebration release, and this year's release lived up to my anticipation, and some. Maybe it is a little better than previous years, or my anticipation has enhanced my enjoyment of this years.

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Photo of MoreBeer4me
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a good one folks and if you've never had it, get some. Has a little bit of many things going on. Malty, hoppy, slightly sweet with a little spice but nowhere near as spicy as some other holiday brews. I always buy some extra to crack open in the Spring.

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Photo of rudiecantfail
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Slightly hazy, rich amber color. Thick, slightly off-white head with very good retention and excellent lacing.

S---Pine & citrus, as advertised. Not very strong, but they hit what they aimed for.

T---A touch of dankness. Rich with pine & fruit (orange & grapefruit). A bit of resin as well.

F---A little sticky. Full mouthfeel. Alcohol isn't noticeable. Full carbonation leads to a creamy feel.

O---Excellent beer. Can't believe I've never had this one before. Hopefully, there's some more at my shop so I don't have to wait until next year.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks amber/honey colored with a creamy head. Nice lacing in Spieglau IPA glass. Smells like pine cone, tangerine, buttered biscuit. Tastes piney,tropical, earthy. Feels sharp and almost dry. (Which is good), who wants oily,viscous IPAs. Overall this is a solid beer as always. (I used to believe there was actually some cinnamon, nutmeg) This is a fantastic fresh hopped ale which I am surprised I never rated-

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Photo of PMakowski
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 Oz bottle poured into glass
Look - dark amber color, massive foam head with lots of lacing on glass
Smell - dank hops, very earthy and fresh. A little pine and a little fruit. Can pick up some of the malt sweetness as well.
Taste - It's just a very good IPA. It has the typical hop to malt ratio that balances it out real nice. The hops taste super fresh, not all that bitter but it's certainly going to be bitter with the amount of hops they added. It's medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. I love this beer with my Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, it's not too heavy that it fills me up but it's smooth and adds some different flavor to the meal.

Overall, this is a very hoppy beer. If you don't like it, you probably don't like the taste of hops. I love this beer and to me it's hard to beat this time of year. Grade is an A+

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Photo of Livyatan1996
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

talk about solid. you see that logo you know it's worth checking out. a tad over a month old, dumped into a pint glass a deep clear copper color with a nice foamy head, tons of lacing. nose is a ton of sweet caramel malts and piney/grapefruit hops. nothing else needed there. taste follows, earthy, piney and slightly citrus hops with a good sweet malt base. medium bodied with a lasting hopiness. i'm two deep in the past 45 minutes, but hey it was affordable.

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Photo of SABERG
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle 10/02/18 into the test pint glass.
A - Deep copper color, wonderful clarity, active carbonation, a pillow of off white resides topside
S - Sweet malt, surrounded by earthy hops, some hints of caramel, and white pepper.
T - Follows the aromatics to perfection.
M - Wonderful feel, just bossy enough without being overwhelming. Semi sweet start, malt waves ridden by fresh hops. Finish is dryer and delightful.
O - I appreciate the annual offering , this fresh is outstanding.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Maybe the hops just weren't as good this year, but here's another green/wet hop beer that disappointed me a little bit. Decidedly earthy and malty like an amber, it simply lacks pop. slightly musty like an old beer, but this is fresh. Doing get me wrong...It is still a pretty solid beer. It just isn't special. On the other hand, I'll still buy it next year.

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Photo of BuddyPal
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the first whiff and sip, I liked this beer. I bought a case with only BA reviews to guide me in my purchase. I knew it was a score, though, because, Sierra Nevada. A very pleasant beer to imbibe, indeed.

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Photo of Cdriver0414
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is an exceptional value as well as flavor. It has all the qualities of a great ipa with a winter warmth. Very enjoyable and the price is unbeatable.

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Photo of waterwaywilly
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

SN excels at making IPAs, and one would be hard-pressed to find a better one than Celebration at any price. When you factor in price, nothing comes close to Celebration!

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

Rating IPAs is tough. Here in New England we have brewers like Tree House that turnout exceptional craft beers. But for many/most of them you have to drive an hour or two, stand in line, and pay $4 +/- a can. How can you compare that to beers like SN Celebration that, in season, are available almost everywhere at about $1/bottle? If money is not to be considered, and drive time is not to be considered, and standing in line time is not to be considered, then Tree House Alter Ego or Green or etc is a somewhat better beer than Celebration. But those factors have to be considered.

On a value basis, considering all above, this beer stands with the best. Easily. It's great fresh, in November thru January. But I just had a bottle now in August. The character has changed but not the satisfaction. Smoother, richer, still unique. Don't be afraid to buy several cases in late Fall and if you don't finish all of them you'll still have a treat 9 to 12 months later (I'm going to cellar a few and see what happens after a couple years, a la the Trader Joe's/Unibroue Christmas beer).

Spectacular value.

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Photo of AleManDan
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites. A red IPA and when fresh, a tastebud tingling sensation overload. Piney and hoppy and fruity but also backed by a toasted caramel malt foundation that brings out visions of Christmas hearths and pine trees and sweets.

Perhaps my favorite beer by Sierra Nevada and my excuse to drink IPAs during the holidays!

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Photo of blevinsaj
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It had a weird skunky smell, not sure if it is actually how the beer smells or just something wrong with that particular bottle. The taste was pretty good but the smell was overwhelming.

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Photo of Radarryder
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is by far my favorite beer. I wish it wasn't a seasonal, but maybe that is one of the reasons I appreciate it so much. Every year around Thanksgiving I start looking for this to show up at the liquor section at Hyvee. I was also fortunate to drink it on tap this year at one of my favorite alehouses. Wow...nothing better. Rich in dark amber color, Perfect blend of 3 different hops, and an amazing balance of bitter pine, citrus, and caramel toasted malt will satisfy any fan of a true American IPA. the only downside is that when it is gone...it is gone for about 10 months...that makes me sad!

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Photo of davisrs
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada's Fresh Hop IPA was surprisingly smooth and citrusy with slight pine throughout the palate. I had this at a restaurant.
This gives a 2 finger head.
The color is a medium cloudy straw, because some yeast is left in the bottle.
The aroma is a slight piney citrus.
The taste is a distinct citrus crispness with light notes of ptne. Bitterness is moderate toward the middle to back of the palate with a hint of malt which offers a smooth finish. I just find this to be one of the best palate cleansing, refreshing beverage any time of the year.

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Photo of Nass
2.89/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I noticed that there are no spices are added to this beer, they could have fooled me. This is very bold tasting even for an IPA. I am not too keen on this one. It's okay but I don't see myself celebrating with this beer again. Cheers! C

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Photo of pirateclem
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Like a cross between a Scottish ale and an IPA. A bit of caramely sweetness crossed with citrusy and piney hoppiness. It was good, would drink again but probably not buy again. There’s just things I like better but it was a good change up.

The look of it is awesome though. Deep caramel like like a heavy IPA with a thick lacy white head.

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Photo of Donovanj
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome, awesome beer! One of my favorites from SN.
Abundance of fresh hop taste and aroma. Surprising balanced taste as it smells like complete hops overload! Color is an awesome deep red amber color. Everything about this beer is so much better hop bullet which I have now as well.
A few others have pointed out that this beer does seem different year to year. I remember it being a bit more malty a few years ago.

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Photo of joedvegas
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber color with a nice thick white head that laces well. Lots going on with the nose. Plenty of tropical fruit and some hints of forest, violet and honey. Taste a little on the weaker side compared to the smell hints. Front palate of pineapple, lemon and lime with a malty, earthy finish. Medium feel with a lingering finish. Overall a nice woodsy winter IPA.

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Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 10,578 ratings