Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

10,228 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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Ratings: 10,228 |  Reviews: 3,468
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%

Photo of danielp215
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of PostVinyl
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of honkduh
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of bbkd3b
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, I can't believe how long it's been since I've reviewed a beer. What better way to segue my way back into the old routine than something like Celebration Ale?

From the start, I can tell it'll be a satisfying brew. A shimmery, bronze/amber body fills up the glass, forming a beautiful, frothy head at the top. A nice swath of hops strikes the nose from the start - piney, grassy, and some grapefruit undertones. Getting close for that first taste reveals a bready undertone.

A smoothy body slides around the tongue. Very hoppy on the first drink, almost tongue-shocking it's so fresh. The carbonation gives this beer a real creamy character, which compliments the sprucy flavors really well. As it warms, a little more balance seeps into the flavors - some fruity undertones, and a biscuit-malt kind of taste that sneaks in at the end. Unsurprisingly, the beer goes down the tube with a bitter kick and a sort of blink-and-you'll-miss-it warming sensation. Not bad.

While an American IPA isn't exactly my idea of a winter beer, this is a really great brew. Strong flavor, beautiful lacing... I wound't call it well-rounded, but somehow, it doesn't bother me all of that much. Recommended.

 1,194 characters

Photo of quincyships
2.99/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This used to be my favorite beer, but this year they seem to have screwed the pooch.

Appearance: Poured 12 oz bottle into Sam "perfect pint" glass. All looks well, with appropriate head and carbonation.

Aroma: Celebration has never been exceptionally fragrant, but this year it smells vaguely dank (an ominous omen).

Flavor: What once was a rock-solid malt-forward IPA has been transformed, sadly, to some tepid form of cold tea. Somewhere along the line, some marketing genius decided to append the "fresh hop ale" tagline to this brew and the recipe changed to fit the program. Now, the flavor is unbalanced - where once there was malt complexity, there is now the blandest malt backbone. Where once there was a complex interplay of Centennial and Cascade hops, there is now ... I don't even know what. Yard rakings?

Mouthfeel: Perfectly fine. They f'd up the recipe, but they still have quality control.

Overall: My disappointment with this year's Celebration is rivaled only by the memory of realizing for the first time that there is no Santa Claus.

Have also had this on draft, with similar disappointing results.

 1,125 characters

Photo of pocwolf
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,228 ratings.
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