Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Liked This Beer
4.15 w/ 10,234 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,234 |  Reviews: 3,468
Photo of BrewLou
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of lawlerj
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured direct from the frige, from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - pours a hazy amber with a big frothy off white to tan head. Very fluffy looking. Appears to leave a generous amount of lacing. It doesn't appear to be overly carbonated. A beautiful looking beer.

S - big hops upfront obviously. There is a nice mix of citrus hops and undertones of the juicy/fruity hops. There is a hint of a malt base, but the hops are what dominate here.

T - strong hops dominate pretty much through the entire flavor profile. Very strong citrus/grapefruit flavors. I'm not getting much in the way of a malt backbone when cold, but this comes out more as the beer warms, with some caramel and bread undertones that beging to show through.

M - medium bodied, moderately carbonated. A bit sticky feeling, but not in a bad way at all.

O - overall, a nice beer. I enjoy the winter seasonal IPAs and pale ales as a change of pace from the winter warmer seasonals (which I love), and this is a very enjoyable offering from Sierra Nevada. Very good, as always.

 1,056 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served right out of the fridge.

hazy apricot amber, decently carbonated produces two fingers of shortbread head that is leaving chunks of lace before my 1st sip.

Aroma: sprucey, citrusy, malty, clearly an American IPA. The evergreen aroma of the Hops is such a Christmas reminder.

Mouthfeel: Full.

Taste: restrained flavors of the Hops are joyful; Orange Marmelade and cedar or spruce are buoyed by a big malty bed.

Notes: tasty, invigorating, joyful. One doesn't think of an IPA as a Winter Seasonal but this one has the right balance between Hops and Malt and the senses are actually reminded of the smells of Christmas. Wow. This one is gonna be a keeper.

 710 characters

Photo of PhatAtUT
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Microbrewtaster
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:There is a nice yellow side of amber color with an off white head of about a finger and a half. there is a decent retention time and a good deal of lacing.

Smell: There is a loarge amount of hops in the smell and a hint of citrus to continue. maybe some caremel. this is a pleasent smell for thanksgiving.

Taste: There is a strong citrus smell and hops an a hint of grapefruit. There is a hint of pine and it is a solid beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied IPA that has a little more excess carbonation than i would have liked.

Overall: An enjoyable beer one that was reccommended to me but not one that lived up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

 668 characters

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

The beer poured a nice bright color with a very subtle red hue. The head was lovely and fluffly and is always a great indicator of a quality beer.

The aroma was of citrus hops mixed with basic malt aroma. A very pleasant and refreshing aroma for a holiday beer.

The taste was of sweet with a nice malt background. The finish was of hops and left the mouth with only a slightly bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was smooth and full bodied.

Overall this was a pretty decent holiday beer. I did not think it was an amazing IPA though. The hops did not have a lot of depth or variety. I would also have preferred something with a little more bitterness for an IPA.

 663 characters

Photo of ales4baldo
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of casualfan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of dsauter
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of troobie
3/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. 2011 Bottle.

Appearance: Bright and lively amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Huge six fingers of off white head that keeps growing after being poured. Very good retention and lots of lacing around the glass. Looks great.

Smell: Big aroma of fresh hops upfront. Strong presence of citrus hops with hints of grapefruit and oranges. Also a noticeable presence of oily pine resin. A strong aroma of bready caramel and toffee malts adds some sweetness to the aroma. Also a light hint of spices. Smells full and balanced.

Taste: Strong taste of citrus hops upfront with notes of grapefruit and oranges. Some of the hops taste like noble hops. Lots of pine resin that lingers into the aftertaste. The bright and bitter hops are quickly balanced midway by the bready and sweet malts with caramel and toffee. Flavors are fairly bold and balance each other great. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Sticky, oily, and somewhat creamy. Very smooth. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: A great IPA and one of the best seasonal beers out there. Great balance of hops and malts.

 1,178 characters

Photo of huadog
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of onechordwonder
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Gorgeous bronze color with a massive, sticky head. If i could paint my walls this color, I would.

S - Mostly sourdough bread, but a bit of citrus from the hops, really rather clean and neutral smelling.

T - Strong, grapefruity hops that attack up front and lead into a warming malty finish.

M - Really easy to drink. Not overly carbonated and quite smooth. It's pretty easy to kill a six of this, until you stand up.

Overall, something to look forward to every Winter. A true classic.

 492 characters

Photo of BTurn015
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glowing amber/orange hue with a massive clingy head. Huge hop presence on the nose. Really a wonderful looking beer. Simply gorgeous actually.

Anyway, back to the nose. Lots of citric and oily hops. Very clean smelling. Nothing too out of the ordinary here though.

Big hop flavors. Even getting them up front. Light to medium in body, high carbonation, very crisp. Slight toasted bready malt up front, lots of pine and citric hops. Bitterness is big, but doesnt really build as I thought it would.

It's amazingly clean and has all the right flavors an IPA should have but I can't give it too high of a score due to it's seasonal availability. Would make a great any time IPA but it in no way reminds me of something I'd have in the winter.

Fantastic IPA but not as good as the hype makes it out to be. Again, I'd score it higher if it wasnt a winter seasonal as well. Definitely for hop heads though who love that flavor.

 926 characters

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Chrisras
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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

what can I say about this beer that hasnt been said already? just cracked a new 2011 keg of celebration and I forgot how good this beer really is. Hops are spot on in this one. Not too overpowering but enough to enjoy the lovely hop flavor. 6.8% alcohol is slighty high for a session beer but I can see myself drinking many of them during the holiday months. I never really thought of an IPA as a winter beer but why the hell not? No doubt a go to beer during the cold winter months.

 483 characters

Photo of SDtastentune
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Darker orange with some yellow tints, more amber/orange. A nice cloud over of white sticky head, some lacing but not much .

S - Smell is pungent freshness of dark citrus, fruits and some boosy stuff going on. Little bit of pine, little bit of sugar/caramel/minty/sourdough bread.

T - Taste is great, starts bitter tasty grapefruit like, has a great malty citrus thing. Resiny pine aftertaste, but balanced to the citrus/grapefruit. Malty dark fruity and balanced on a DIPA level.

M - Sticky aftertaste and feel, medium to lower carb. Not too dry.

O - Overall this one surprised me for being cheap and everywhere right now, I like this. Lots of hop head likes and tastes. I would drink this all year. This is comparable to some DIPA's as far as taste goes.

 765 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sits an orange copper with a thick 1/4" head in the glass and leaves great lacing as you drink. Citrus hops, roasty malt, and sour bread aromas. Toasted bread malt and thick hop oil bitterness dominate the palate with some nutty bread flavors lingering a bit only to be overtaken by the hop bitterness. This has a big mouthfeel without being too syrupy. Yes, that's contradictory. Deal with it.

I heard this was an IPA, but I didn't know it was a fresh hop ale until I first drank it. I felt a sense of pride in myself for identifying it as such when I saw it was written on the label. Unlike other fresh hop beers I've had, this one was aggressive and I wasn't expecting that from Sierra Nevada. I couldn't believe that this beer is so well liked that they release it year after year. Not because it's a bad beer, but because of the aggressive hop oil presence. These hops had a more piney flavor and aroma than most other heavily hopped beers on the West coast. And I say good for Sierra Nevada for doing something different. It's a welcome change to see a fresh hop beer as a brewery's winter seasonal. Keep it up SN!

 1,121 characters

Photo of rsuske
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of cwps48
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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


A - Cloudy amber in color with a slightly off-white head that builds into a pillowy, soft layer and settles into lumps of bubbly froth.

S - Sweet fruit and hoppy goodness. Lightly caramelized sugar.

T - Perfect combination of malt and hops. The freshness of the hops is very noticeable and the malt profile comes in through the finish to keep them from being overwhelming. Great beer.

M - Light carbonation but very smooth and the sweetness never becomes cloying. Extremely easy to drink and beckons a second or third...

Everyone seems to think this is the greatest beer ever created. I've been annoyed by it the past few years but having tried it now, I kind of see what they mean. It's a very consistent and delicious beer. Many non-beer people would enjoy this as an introduction to craft beer.


Thanksgiving! Crystal-clear amber-copper in color with a big, fluffy, pillowy, off-white head. Fresh, fruity hops, toasted malt, and sweet sugary goodness. Taste is extremely balanced between bitter, oily hops and roasted, sweet malt. Goes down very easily and drinks like a charm. A bit of cloying aftertaste but that may be because it's my fourth beer of the day. Just an incredibly consistent and tasty brew that I will have no objection to when seeing it in 12-packs. It's popular and loved for a reason.


Thanksgiving again! Bottled on 10/13 so about 6 weeks old. As good as I remember, with a wonderful balance of fresh hop feel and flavor against a fantastic malt bill to make this a proper cool-weather fresh hop beer. Super drinkable and almost a tradition, now.

 1,594 characters

Photo of Yulles
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of spoonhawk
1/5  rDev -75.9%

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88.8% out of 100 with 10,234 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.