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: 10,576
Photo of josanguapo
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

From Decervecitas. 2017 version. In Teku glass. Playing Bloo Kid 2. Smooth feeling and great aspect, with a thick, persistent foam. Pleasant but surprisingly malty for a beer labaled as fresh hop IPA, with hops giving a soft bitterness but not much flavors

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

Rust orange color, just above average carbonation and body. Aroma is a really nice blend of hops with malt in the background. Taste is very similar, the bitter hops are there but really softened nicely by the malt. I'm not an ipa drinker typically but I found this to be really very enjoyable

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Photo of NRajtarski
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 1.5 bottles into a pint glass with a handle. The bottled on date was 10/10/17. The color was a deep orange/amber with a small amount of head. The taste was a little hoppy but, that is to be expected with a fresh hop IPA. The hop flavor really stands out and the alcohol warms ever so slightly. Overall this is my favorite winter seasonal beer and I always have at least 6 bottles of this beer in my fridge at all times during the winter.

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

How long have I been wanting to try this Celebration IPA! Ever since I read about it first and heard stories of its freshness...
Now finally I found this around and it was relatively still fresh, with a bottling date of 31.10.2017, about two months and a half ago (of course over in California I might have been get it when it came right out but now we're talking about Europe and small batch imports - I am happy that it got here at all).
Still it's quite fresh. Has an amazingly rich color, a vivid amber/dark golden that talks about the purity of this beer and its ingredients. And they don't let you down. Its smell tells you that Sierra achieved an outstanding balance between aroma and bittering hops and they are overflowing, still ripe with freshness. And the taste... I was dumbfounded by its smoothness. The way the hop bitterness flows, first dense and intense, grassy, piney, earthy aromas that are thick like honey - and turn to fruity, piney bitter bitterness in the end. A magical composition of hops.
It is a Celebration ale, to bow your heads down before the greatness of hops, the brewing genius of Sierra Nevada. It is perhaps not as in your face as you might expect such a beer but the depths, the complexity and the content is amazing. It is a beer that I was most happy to drink and would enjoy having it again and again. Sierra Nevada at its best. Bravo!

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

Very nice ipa. This usesmalt right. It doesn’t overpower or compete with the hop flavor, but takes a backseat and let’s the hop shine while still being there to give it support when it needs it.

Had it on tap and in bottle, and it is way better that hazy little thing and hop bullet.

Not as good as torpedo but still, try it! Especially if you like a bit more malt

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Photo of Snowcrash000
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery, brown coloraion with a large, creamy head. Smells of sweet, bready, bsicuity malt with a strong pine presence and just a touch of tangerine citrus. Taste follows the nose, with strong, biscuity malt and pine and just a touch of dank, floral, slightly citrussy hops: orange peel, tangerine and toffee, followed by a medium bitterness. This review is from a 2015 bottle which was about 2 1/2 years old. Would love to taste this fresh for comparison. I guess the hops have faded a little, but this is actually still quite nice with the strong malt and pine notes with just a hint of citrus. Actually reminds me a lot of Uerige Jrön, a fresh hopped Alt beer.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.65/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5


On tap at wildflowers too. Brown color. A bit flat.
Taste: soapy , Ashy, Spice, caramel.

Disappointed. I feel like this beer has definitely changed for the worse over the years. Used to be maltier, but it's been hopped up to apease IPA-folks.


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Photo of Jim67
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: beautiful amber. Thick golden head that clings to glass. Hazy.
S: Hints of malt and pine and citrus.
T: a little more bitterness than expected. Boozy for a 7%
F: Slightly thick on the pallet for an IPA. Very little fizz.
O: Not my favorite but ok for the price

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle (2017)

A: Citrusy hops with light pine, floral, balanced with moderate biscuit-like malt sweetness.

A: Amber color, totally clear with a moderate white head that quickly recedes into the glass.

T: Crisp, piney and light resin hop flavors, fruity, with a caramel, biscuit-like malt sweetness, moderate hop bitterness with a dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty; every year it's interesting to see how Sierra Nevada slightly changes up the recipe. Always enjoyable to drink annually.

l flavor is present. The taste was more assertive than the smell for sure. Was also bitter in the aftertaste with remnants of grapefruit peel. Altogether crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of dss27
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No need to add comments as this is obviously a very well-known quantity and one of the gold standards for American IPA (borderline DIPA by any reasonable standard), other than to add, should separate pages exist for each "vintage" (or any other limited edition/seasonal beers) as they vary from year to year? I have a bunch of these (plus Bigfoots, Thomas Hardy's, JW Lee's Harvest, some Bells products, and others--all on lees of course) going back quite a few years (some from the mid-'90s) and it's interesting how they change (not always for the better, especially for hoppy beers, but these hold up quite well). I had a New Holland Y2K (do the math) the other day and it was mind-blowing.

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Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a clear glass. Has a cherry-amber color (festive) and a thick dark-golden head that gradually dissipates. Good carbonation.

Smells citrusy, orange and grapefruit peel masking the nose. Also smells of pineapple. Other sweet malt and piney scents that may remind the drinker of Christmas trees and sweets. Floral notes. Faint biscuit smell. This all balances the hoppy smell which strikes the nose very well.

Tastes piney and very fruity, the flavors of cherry and pineapple being the most prominent. A light caramel flavor is present. The taste was more assertive than the smell for sure. Was also bitter in the aftertaste with remnants of grapefruit peel. Altogether crisp and refreshing.

This was quite exceptional. A very refined combination of citrus, pine, and floral flavors that makes the drinker imagine Christmas throughout the whole experience.

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Photo of drgonzo767
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Same as every year, hop bitterness with balanced malt. A fine Christmas tradition. Pours red-gold, smallish head, decent lacing, Smells of pine and biscuits. Taste is balanced again this year. Sure, there are better beers, and more hoppy beers, blah blah, we still look for it every year because it's damn consistent and goes down good on these cold days and nights.

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

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a becher glass. This beer pours out golden amber in color. It forms a one finger, rocky, off yellow/gold tinted color crown. The smell is sweet and malty with notes of toffee & caramel with slight pine notes. Almost smells like a hoppy brown ale. The taste comes in with a strong pine that I love and follows up with the sweeter malty backbone. Seems like it's got a lot more spice kick to it this year. Like a spicy rye character to my taste buds. Very good treat.

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

Celebration Ale is becoming a nice staple of the holidays for me. This pours a crisp amber color, and has a great piney malty smell and taste ....light hoppiness is a nice reminder that not all beers have to be the NE DIPA. Great beer....please never stop
Just had my last one from my 12 pack. Better tradition than Chris Truskey’s seasonal blueberry beers, which he buys after selling the donations from the ‘Toys for Tots’ boxes

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

Large head, a beautiful dark amber, almost perfect would get a 5 if the head wasn't so retentive
Smell is fresh and piny with hops, malt and alcohol underlying
Taste is amazingly hoppy, malt blends in perfectly and the alcohol is warming.
A near perfect brew

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Photo of Anayalator
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice copper brown body with off white, cream head. Crisp taste with the right bitterness. Not much in the smell. Great feel with little to no maltiness.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a clear Amber color. Head is white and 1 finger. Retention is moderate.
The nose has a nice hop presence. Citrusy and pine.
The taste is, well, pine forward. Quite hoppy, but it isn't crazy.
Feel has a hop feel. Maybe slightly lighter than I would expect, but bad.
It is a good winter IPA.

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

2017 edition - pours a deep clear copper colour with 1 finger off white head. Caramel malt with a bit of piney bitterness on the nose. Taste of hoppy malt followed by grapefruit/citrus rind with pine bitterness that coats the palate and hangs on. Really nice hop forward beer.

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

I look forward to this beer every year. It pours a dark red copper with a small foam head that lingers. Smell is sharp pine with hints of citrus and malt. Taste is bitter forward with malt backing. This is an old school red IPA. It could be “modernized” with a little more juicy hop flavor, and slightly less bitter. But somehow, the fact that it doesn’t change and remains true to its roots makes I like it after all these years. It might be somewhat of a relic from a past era, but it still holds up well.

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Photo of KennyDerenbecker
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Fresh Hop IPA is an excellent winter seasonal beer. Pours an amber color with a heavy off white head. Has great lacing all around the glass. Very fruity aroma with wonderful hops but nothing that overpowers the palate. The hops are present but are very delightful. A great IPA to have during the fall/winter season!

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

Celebration 2017 is a very enjoyable ale. Lovely dark amber with foamy white head and lacing. Pleasant aroma. It has a smooth taste with a bit of orange but not the accompanying bite that some IPAs have. Overall, a very tasty and palatable ale.

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

Sierra Nevada 'Celebration Ale' @ 6.8% , first tried in 2013 individual bottle's only $2.80 , fast forward to 2017 finally served in a 6pack of 354ml bottle's purhased for $17 , a rare find here in Victoria BC ,
A-pour is a pale gold from the bottle to an unclear amber in the glass with a medium white head leaving a streaky lace along the spiegelau ipa glass
S-fresh PNW pine forest , with a malt sweetness
T-big hoppy IPA , crisp & clean , you can still taste the freshness of the new hop
MF-good carbonation , feels full bodied , good beer buzz going(4pack) so far
Ov-great Winter/seasonal IPA , glad I got to try it , such a great beer still , buy it if you can find it & enjoy
prost LampertLand

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

What can I say about this brew that hasn't already been said? It has a nearly perfect balance of light yet almost chewy roasted malt sweetness and piney/grapefruity hops that linger yet don't overpower or sting the tongue. From the time you inhale and it passes the lips, across the tongue, down the throat, to a final exhale, this gorgeous rusty ruby hued ale is like it's making sweet love to all of my senses.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L - Pours a rich, clear, red-amber color with a generous inch of soapy, white foam. The head lingers throughout the session, with generous bubbles and a lot of sticky retention to the side of the glass. Probably the best-looking beer I've poured.

S - Smells almost like an amber or red ale. Sweet caramel malt, citrus rind, apples, pears, berries. The piney hops shine through all of the fruit and sweetness giving it a pleasant aroma.

T - A near-perfect balance of bitter hops and malty sweetness. Orange rind and apples up front, biscuity roasted malt follows, and a metallic alcohol bite at the end.

F - Drinks a typical west coast-style IPA--light-to-medium bodied with a creamy, smooth head. Fairly carbonated with an astringent mouthfeel towards the end. Sippable, though not something to gulp down.

O - A very enjoyable seasonable offering from Sierra Nevada. I love their pale ale, and this is like the flagship beer with a bit more oomph to it for the colder, winter weather. A very unique IPA with a lot of character, both in looks and in taste. Definitely worth trying, if not purchasing consistently throughout the holidays.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. '100317' is stamped on bottle.
Body is dark amber, pillowy off white head, and lots of lacing.
Aroma is caramel malt, pine, and citrus.
Taste is chewy malt, with pine and citrus hops. A little sweet, and a touch of bitterness at the end.
Medium mouth feel.
Very well balanced, with good looks, and very enjoyable tastes.

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Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 10,576 ratings