Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

10,224 Ratings
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,224 |  Reviews: 3,467
Photo of metalgdog
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of kynap55
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Seanniek91
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 12oz bottle poured into a Grey Sail pint glass.

Appearance- Kind of hazy amber with fluffy one finger head that dissipated relatively quickly leaving nice lacing.

Smell- Absolutely incredible. Fruity plum and apple with floral and piney hops. Alcohol is present as well.

Taste- Piney, floral hops with some flavors of apple and alcohol sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Very nice carbonation with a nice resinous mouth feel.

Overall- One of my favorite seasonals. Great IPA with some nice alcohol warmth to warm you up in the cold NH winter.

 540 characters

Photo of DarthTremens
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of EigenBeer
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of robmoak
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of elkinbrown
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of wingnutz27
1/5  rDev -75.9%

Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Clear light amber with a beige head and great lacing.

Aroma: Medium+ pine and earthy hop with background notes of citrus peel.

Flavor: Intense hop character of pine, spruce, and grass. Bitterness is low. Malt character is low, but comes across a bit toasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, refreshing.

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Photo of meehandennis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of HopsandPots
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle poured into a 16 oz plastic cup

A- Reddish golden amber with good solid head and even lacing

S- Smells piney and sweet.

T- Tastes resiny, piney, and a bit medicinal. The malt finish is not nearly as sweet as it was last year and the hops aren't as bright.

M- A smooth viscosity. Goes down really easily.

Overall- Solid beer, but from how it was last year I am a bit disappointed. The sweetness and vibrant taste of the hops are not there. At least not to the bar that they have set previously.

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Photo of RoninTK3
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Weyerbacher pint glass.

A - Nice bronze/red color with a thin layer of white head. A bit hazy.

S - Florally, fruity hops. Smells like a great IPA.

T - Absolutely delicious. Very hoppy with a bit of sweetness. Fruity, bitter hops dominate this one.

M - A bit full and medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

This is a very drinkable, hoppy beer. This is one of my favorites and I look forward to it every year. It is very well balanced and absolutely delicious. One of the best IPAs around.

 523 characters

Photo of BeerNW
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of dubdrop
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of injuredreserve
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of hpeli
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of meanmutt
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

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

The color of this beer is absolutely spectacular. Hazy and orange/red in color. it has an off white head with nice lacing. Aroma of fresh hops, alcohol, yeast, and subtle nuances of spice. The taste starts off very hoppy and continues to be, well, hoppy. It has a very nice warming sensation on the palate, although it isn't too heavy. It truly is an outstanding IPA.

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Photo of Dbrag
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of RichieS2
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adam's glass.

A - A nice copper-orange that is translucent. Pretty typical for an IPA, the cloudiness adds to the character.

S - Like the appearance the smell is typical for an IPA with a pleasant floral scent. There is also a hint of holiday spices.

T - Respectable malt sweetness with the first taste that quickly gives way to the hops. Interestingly enough the hops are strong but not overpowering. On the way down I am debating with myself if I am picking up some holiday spices or if it just the placebo of a winter beer.

M - Satisfyingly full.

O - I really liked this one, so much in fact that I am going to have another one. Also would not mind this as a follow up to a Sam Adam's Winter Lager. A must try for the winter season,

 774 characters

Photo of lobos62
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of AcE311
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of flayedandskinned
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Myst
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Heard all the hype so I picked it up. Giving Sierra Nevada another chance to impress me. 6.80% ABV confirmed for the 2012 batch. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at BevMo! and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the hype, but I'm skeptical.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and good retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant copper-amber. Semitransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing.

Sm: Toasted amber malts, cream, floral hops, caramel, murky tangerine, and cloying sweetness. Surprisingly malty; I expected an overly hoppy bright aroma. I see now why it's a winter beer. Shaping up to be quite nice so far. An average strength aroma.

T: Pleasant floral hops until the climax, where the hop bitterness breaks through naked, without anything to help hide it. Pleasant toasted malt foundation, with even some cherry fruit up front. Too bitter in the third act, destroying the balance of both the flavour profile and the structure. Nice interplay between hops and malts but the finish just tanks it. I do like it, but I wish the last third could just be snipped away. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Some murky grapefruit and tangerine; I suspect citra hops. Where's the bright crisp citrus and pine that I want? It's nowhere to be found here. Drinks like a decently hopped winter warmer. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Mf: Too dry and coarse in the third act, but pleasantly smooth and wet up front. A bit sticky and chewy. Good thickness and carbonation. Good presence. Clean.

Dr: Quite drinkable, especially considering the above average ABV. It's an enjoyable little seasonal, but current ratings are obscenely high given the quality here. I'm glad I have a six pack, and I'd try this on draught, but I doubt I'll pick up any next year. A solid macrobrew IPA for what it is, but don't expect it to live up to its current ratings. At this price point and availability, I can see why it makes it into so many refrigerators. But its severe lack of balance really holds it back.

01/24/15: I found the 2014 vintage much more balanced and enjoyable. It had a great hop-forward flavour profile with ample complexity for the style and ABV. I found myself buying multiple 6-packs over the course of the season.


High C+

11/11/16: 2016 vintage impressions (bottled). 6 pack ran me $9.99 at a beer store in Brooklyn, NY.

Clear copper-amber body. Translucent and transparent. Frothy off-white cap. Nice lacing. ~7 minute retention. Looks decent for an IPA; not the usual vibrant clean copper you'd see.

Aroma hints at toastiness, with a more amber malt-driven malt backbone than most IPAs offer, putting amber malts on equal footing with pale malts. Hop profile is floral, somewhat piney, a little oily, a bit caters to eclectic tastes, ticking almost every traditional box in terms of traditional hop aromatics (everything except juicy/citrusy fruity hop notes).

A coating texture and medium body combined with an atypically coarse and dry somewhat dragging presence on the palate give the subtle bubblegum and oily piney hop notes more oomph at the expense of the cleaner floral and resinous hop notes (which would be better accentuated by a more smooth, wet, light feel). A slightly toasty slightly bready amber malt backbone gives this a slightly sweeter taste than most IPAs go for, which plays to its holiday theme to an extent - at the expense of drinkability. Deliberately imbalanced with a chaotic clash of hop bitterness and amber malt toasty sweetness in combination with a rough texture, Celebration is anything but a dialed-in beer, but I nevertheless find myself enchanted by it. It's far from great in terms of traditional style conventions, bending more towards an imperial amber (or heaven forbid a nonsense designation like "red IPA"), but there's an intangible element that keeps me returning to it year to year...and at a very reasonable $9.99 per sixer, that's easy to do.


 4,290 characters

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,224 ratings.
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