Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale
BA SCORE
4.15/5
10,238 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,402
Reviews:
3,468
Ratings:
10,238
pDev:
11.57%
Bros Score:
4.35
 
 
Wants:
385
Gots:
1,965
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,238 |  Reviews: 3,468
Photo of kingslotty
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Sturmthis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of smbslt
4/5  rDev -3.6%

2012 I had this at 4.75. 2014 is good but lacking the oomph that a fresh hop should deliver.

93 characters

Photo of ChopsMeister
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of hoppytobehere
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been drinking this beer for years, first time I get to review it.

A: Pours a dark amber/ruby color. Opaque, cloudy. Generous foamy head that leaves nice lacing along the glass as it disappears.

S: Aroma shows up after the beer warms up a little. Lots of malt, some piney hops and spices.

T: You know it's a Sierra Nevada product as soon as you taste it. Bitterness up front, nice toasty malts to balance it out. Sublte hints of citrus and spice. Alcohol is noticeable.

M: Nothing to complain about here.

O: Solid beer but overrated.

 538 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just finished my last Celebration of the season. Time to rewrite this review. Pours a deep copper-amber hybrid color with some orange highlights. An absolutely huge, beige-colored head tops this one off - incredibly thick and creamy with extraordinary staying power, also coating all sides of the glass with fat, chunky lacing. Decent clarity, and you can see a nice stream of carbonation bubbles flowing from the etched bottom of my glass to the top of the brew.

The aroma is strong, with a super-fresh dose of hops. Sierra Nevada claims that these are "fresh" hops (not wet, mind you, but fresh) and you can definitely tell. It's like sticking your head into a recently cut field of grass, vibrant and alive. The character of these hops is largely resinous, piney, and somewhat floral. The pine aromas hit your nostrils with some power, very needley and pungent. Faint citrus hints, more so on the rind and pith side, as to not make things too sweet, rather keep with the solid bitterness profile. Some spiciness from the hops is also noticeable and works to tie everything together.

The taste is crazy delicious - despite the heavy load of hops, there is certainly a strong malt presence here that does more than just lay out framework for the other parts. Slight toasted malts, caramel, toffee, and a faint, musky, earthy presence can be found immediately. As soon as you start to appreciate this nice, malt-laden infrastructure (or maybe even before that), the hops come in and go buck wild on your palate. Pines, pine needles, resinous hop nuggets, Christmas trees, Christmas wreathes - yeah, I said it. Christmas wreathes.

The malt profile is ever-present for the duration of the hop take-over, which creates a nice cosmic balance, despite the hefty bitter overload of the hops. The spice character is not to be forgotten - there's a joke going around that SN adds spices to this beer, which they've debunked as false many times. But I can see where people are coming from. A nice, peppery, earthy, and warming "hop spice" flavor trills along for the entire sip, riding a wave right into the aftertaste. I really can't overstate how goddamn tasty this shit is. Medium bodied, carbonated to the max; not too sticky, not too dry, this beer is great in all aspects.

Whether you call this a malty IPA, or a hopped-up amber/red ale, or a winter warmer, or whatever - it doesn't matter. Call it a stout for all I care. Just know that this beer is delicious. And the fact that it's a seasonal release around my favorite time of the year (the joyous bridge from Thanksgiving to Christmas) gets me that much more excited to pick it up each year. The holidays would not be complete without this beer in my fridge. I always try to make it last far into the spring - usually doesn't make it that long.

 2,801 characters

Photo of Danny1217
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, translucent amber, with an off white head that has excellent retention and leaves lots of sticky lacing.
Smells of Citrus, caramel, toffee, and pine. Nice balance of earthy and citrus scents with sweeter malt smells.
Excellent balance on the taste as well. Hop bitterness and malty sweetness. Grapefruit and caramel. Pretty smooth drinking. Medium body and carbonation.

Drank this one as soon as it came in stock here. Only a couple weeks old, and it shows. This is one of Sierra Nevada's best beers, and that really says something.

 539 characters

Photo of Pinche_Oso
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of NeutronMan
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of
4/5  rDev -3.6%

You had this beer. Write a review.

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

12oz bottle into a tall tulip

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with three fingers of pillowy white head. Retention is extremely good - very merengue-like.

S: Lots of fresh hop aroma - a medley of hops really. I get orange peel and lots of floral aromas. Behind this, I get a bit of spices and caramel sweetness.

T: Balance here is the key. Soft bitterness is accompanied by a very floral hop flavor with a bit of fruitiness in the background. To balance I get a nice nice caramel sweetness and bready malts, though the bready malts come through stronger. There is also a slight spiciness that adds to the complexity.

M: Medium thickness with medium to high carbonation. Very good.

O: This beer is extremely well balanced and very tasty. There is a lot of hop aroma and flavor without being over the top. There is also a nice malt backbone to balance without getting in the way of the hops or becoming too sweet. Very well done.

 943 characters

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of WoodburyMN
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of markmccoy
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Steimie
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%

$8.99 six-pack bottles from Rouse's, New Orleans. Poured into a wine glass.

A: Arguably the sexiest-looking IPA I've seen. Huge cloud of a head and outrageous clumpy lacing left all over the glass. Also appreciably darker than the average IPA; this could pass for a red.

S: Not a hugely distinguished IPA smell. Not getting the piney quality of SN's hop-forward beers. A little citrus, but also some malty sweetness, which could be subliminal.

T: Almost aggressively assertive. Initially juicy and citrusy, then an almost medicinal dryness on the back end.

M: Really, really dry. Bitterness is overwhelming.

O: Definitely very good, but also kind of ruggedly one-note.

 673 characters

Photo of stickboy1125
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Okay, the moment I poured this in I immediately considered giving it a perfect score in appearance. This is a truly reddish looking ale, complete with an initial 2 finger head that never appears to fully recede. Carbonation gloriously climbs to the top, and lacing remains all around the glass as I drink it. This looks like a fresh batch of homebrew, made with lots of care and attention.

The aroma is filled with - as advertised - hop oil that contains warm citrus notes and a sweet, maple-like smell. There are scrumptious smelling toffee malts, and a crisp biscuit finish. The yeastiness is present, and while slightly fruity, it mellows out under the malts and hops. This is definitely a festival of different seasonal aromas, and while somewhat unbalanced, it's really fun and enjoyable.

The flavor consists of an initial citrus fruitiness that immediately is smoothened by the toffee and caramel notes present in the malts, and then finished with a fresh hop zest. This amazingly pleasant! It's very yeasty in the middle, but it's yet another testament to how fresh this batch is. Not watery in any respect, but definitely filled with seasonal flavors that create a complex drinking experience, despite the fact that it's unbelievably easy to drink. I cannot taste the alcohol on this one, and it's freshness and varied flavors would make this tempting to drink extremely fast.

This beer pretty much takes what Southern Hemisphere does and takes it to a whole new yet far simplified level. In a way, I prefer this, because as an avid hater of "seasonal beer," SN made a beer here that could be enjoyed at any time of the year, but it wouldn't be nearly as fresh if they did release it year-round. Great stuff, and a really adequate way to chime in the holidays. Another triumph for SN!

 1,841 characters

Photo of JSchock7
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BeerMeBrah
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Biffster
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is beautiful - a deep crystal clear amber/copper with a very persistent rocky off white head and lace that clings to the side of the glass.

The aroma has a fairly intense grapefruit and piney, resiny start. It is countered by a strong dark bread and fruity malt aroma, with some moderate graham cracker and low caramel notes. There is more dark ripe fruit notes as it warms.

It's fruity and sweet at the sip, but not overly cloying. It gives way quickly to an intense hoppy bitterness and a strong but not intense or overwhelming tart citrus, melon, and big piney hope flavor. It is bitter and lingering at the swallow. The finish is strong, bitter and a bit alcoholic, but not harsh or hot.

The mouthfeeel is moderate - an almost spritzy carbonation, but a fluffy, almost creamy body. There is no astringency or hotness, but there is some touch of alcohol warmth.

God I love this beer. I look forward to it every year. It actually isn't the most amazing IPA, but I've grown to look forward to it every year. I can't imagine decorating a tree or stringing lights without a Celebration. It's just part of the season...

 1,133 characters

Photo of Stumpy29er
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of baxter94
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Illmaticzx
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 10,238 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.