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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,228 |  Reviews: 3,468
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I have tried this beer, 2011. I bought a 6 pack then went back for a 12 pack a few days later. A truly excellent beer. This beer has a large tan head that stick around until you finish. It treats your taste buds to a piney citrus flavor and a medium mouth feel and goes down extremely easy for tan IPA. This beer is available, affordable, drinkable and delicious. Get them while they're fresh!

 416 characters

Photo of bierbrauer
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New arrival in SE WI. 2011 edition, bottled on 9/24, 2:24 pm. 12 oz. bottle into tulip glass.

A: Mostly clear, deep gold/light amber, with very dense & fluffy 1.5" off-white head that settles quite slowly and leaves thick lacing on sides of glass.

S: Citrus and pine, though more subtle than I expected from a fresh hop ale.

T: Caramel with vanilla replaced quickly by hoppy bitterness; spicy, pine resin lingers.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy and very smooth. Pleasant, dry finish.

O: Highly anticipated, this ale does deliver. Seems less "fresh" and "green" than other wet hop ales I've tried, though I believe SN defines "fresh" differently than some other brewers. Hops are well integrated. Very solid overall. Super value @ $7.00-7.99/6.

 765 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage, bottled 29 Sep 2011. Not quite as fresh as I'd like, but it took some time to get here. Just hit shelves about a week ago, IIRC.

Pours a deep, slightly orange amber. Mostly clear, not quite see-through, but I can see in enough to notice numerous bubble streams. Orangey-cream head, 1.5 fingers, good retention and lacing.

Smell is a burst of fresh hops. Quite piney, with a bit of citrus (mostly grapefruit) behind that. Malt base feels fairly weak - I can detect it, but barely.

Taste is a whack of bitter - hits hard and is gone quickly. I don't pick up much else in it. A bit of malts filling in. But the lighter hop flavors are totally covered by that sharp, persistent bitterness.

Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation. Fairly sticky. Long finish; that hop bitterness just holds on forever.

Liked the look and the smell, but not impressed by the taste. I prefer more balanced IPAs, or ones that showcase more of the positive hop flavors. This one is a bitter-bomb, with little supporting or accenting it. Becomes less so as it warms up - more balanced, with less sharpness and the malts coming through more. Okay, but not my favorite.

 1,159 characters

Photo of GlassFreeek
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a medium sized tulip glass.

A: Nice dark orange looking IPA. A little darker and richer looking than your average IPA. Off white, creamy looking head. Small-medium sized bubbles. Has a good amount of retention.

S: Nice citrus/piney hop aroma coming off of this one. A little bread sweetness in there as well.

T: Amazingly drinkable. You can put these down pretty easily but in a very enjoyable way. For the price, you can't really beat this IPA. This is a winner in my book. Slight bitterness but a good sweet malt backbone to make it very balanced and slam-a-ble.

MF: Really refreshing, the perfect amount of bitterness to help cleanse the pallet. Light-Medium body, IMO.

O: This is unbeatable for the availability and price. I'd pick this up.

 786 characters

Photo of SeaOfShells
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into Duvel Tulip

A: A beautiful red/orange body resting underneath a fluffy, tight bubbled eggshell head. The beers leaves some nice lacing along the side of the glass. Carbonation streams up the glass. Great looking beer.

S: Oh man, sweet bready malts underneath a clean piney hop scent. It smells....almost medicinal? Kind of like a drug store. It's really nice, however.

T: Mild bitterness up front, which yields to sweet biscuity malts on the swallow. Finishes moderately sweet and moderately dry. Hops stick around well after the beer has been swallowed. Exceptional taste. Very clean and refreshing. We have a winner.

M: Feels nice in the mouth, with a decent amount of bubbly carbonation. A coating effect takes place, and the beer lingers long after you take it down.

O: Amazing. This years batch is just as good, if not better, than last years. I look forward to it every year, and this year does not disappoint. This beer is dangerously drinkable. Just fantastic stuff.

 994 characters

Photo of bobhits
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There are a few beers every year I buy and just can't put my thoughts down on. This is certainly one of them.

The perfect sticky creamy lace coating head you'll see. A nice light amber color that's dense from I would assume bottle conditioning. Light shines through no problem, but you can't see through it.

Sharp fresh citrus hops as expected. They bite the nose and make you beg for me.

The hops here bite, they linger, they're citrus with a hint of pine. This beer has an interesting spicy kick at the end, not sure where it comes from but it keeps this one on the very aggressive and dry side. The malt is here but the hops just obliterate it.

I'll have another...need I say more?

This one is a bit aggressive and the dryness and the bite to it will turn people away who don't enjoy that. I however am not one of those people! If you don't like the aggressive bite a month or two will leave a still wonderful beer with more malt standing out. I can vouch that this isn't a bad IPA after a bit of age hits it. I'd still drink early!

 1,041 characters

Photo of jcartamdg
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with a two finger head that sticks around to leave impressive lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney hops, with malts as an afterthought. Taste follows the nose, the hops really shine in this beer, fresh and crisp. This is a smooth and refreshing beer. Screw seasonal, make this all year!

 310 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. There is a large 2 inch fluffy white head atop a red orange body. There is a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is full of citrusy hops and a bit of melon and candy malt.

The taste starts out smooth with some nice melon flavor. There is a great citrus finish with a touch of bitterness as well.

This is light drinking in body, with smooth carbonation. This is dangerously drinkable.

This is a great beer; not the hop bomb that would earn an A+, but definitely worth looking forward to and drinking every year.

 536 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber with a mountain of dense, foamy, pillow-like head that has great retention. The nose is all hops; earthy, piny, spicy. The taste is light bready malt; faint citrus; piny, spicy hops, and a clean bitterness that lingers on the palate after the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and quite smooth.

I love it! Every year I pick up a case. I wish this beer was year round. What a solid, balanced IPA that really does warm you up on cold days.

 487 characters

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color beneath a huge billowy head. Traces of the head last through the entire glass, and leave lots of lacing. Gorgeous. The aroma of grapefruit and pear with a bit of freshly baked bread makes some pleasing sniffs. The taste is wonderfully balanced. Caramel and biscuit from the malts provide a solid backbone while piney hops build to a crescendo through the finish. Yet another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. They've never let me down yet.

 458 characters

Photo of Beerdregs
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Not overly hoppy. Can actually smell some maltiness and yeast in there.

Taste: grapefruit hop bitterness balanced quite nicely with a sweet maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Moderated bodied beer with modest carbonation.

Overall: An outstanding pale ale! My only knock would be that it lacked dry hopping to truly celebrate the "hop"!

 332 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a slightly haze, golden orange color with one finger of ecru head. Strong retention and lace.

S: Earthy, resinous pine, a little mango also.

T: Mellow pine, powdery biscuit underneath. Gentle pine bitterness on the finish. Earthiness from the smell carries over into the flavor, but no mango here. Finish becomes spicy over time-- cinnamon?

M: Light, fluffy and creamy, a bit astringent.

O: Interesting flavor profile, intense and subtle at the same time, kind of hard to imagine without experiencing it. It is good and I will buy it again.

 605 characters

Photo of coldriver
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass. Two finger head which faded a little faster than what I remember from previous releases. Nice clean aroma (reminds me a little of Pinesol (in a good way that is)) with a bit of apricot. Peppery, piney hops with malty bread underneath. Mouthfeel has a nice carbonated bitter hop bite, resinous oils hang on the tongue. Overall I'm pleased with this year's release, although it seems a little more peppery and less citrusy.

 465 characters

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

A - Hazy amber with orange and gold and a beautiful two finger off white head that sticks around and eventually leaves those nice ice berg things, lacing was great also, covered the glass.

S - Lots of floral, citrus and pine hops with some malt in the background, but the hops are the main attraction.

T - Floral/piney hops hit you with some citrus/orange notes leaving a slight bitterness in your mouth that is quite tasty. There is a bit of malt in there but the delicious hops are the stars.

M - Medium body beer with moderate carbonation, very nice consistency for this type of beer.

O - Even though SN is a big company they still make great beers. I love IPAs and this is a very good one and one of the reasons why I believe American craft beers are the best in the world.

 785 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 batch poured into a SN pint.

Is an amber color with a 1/4 inch head. Carbonation is lively, coming directly from the laser etched hop cone on the bottom of the glass.

Smells wet hopped, but in the best way. As usual, Sierra Nevada shows us how to use piney hops. Nice bitering hops in the background.

It definitely feels like a West Coast IPA. Nice use bitter, piney American hops. Bittering hops give it an edge, which can be overlooked in some IPAs. The taste focuses more toward the bittering hops, and less on aroma hops, which is the only downfall of this beer.

Aftertaste feels bitter and hoppy (so I guess it feels like an IPA). Sweet malt backbone lingers in the shadows.

twaddleac was right, this is one damn fine IPA, and something to look forward to every year.

 783 characters

Photo of LtCracker20
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear amber body with a good 3-finger off white head that shows very good retention and nice lace.

S- Nice piney hop aroma, slight grassiness, and a touch of a bready smell. Not extremely strong, but mild and all the smells meld together nicely.

T- Just like the aroma. Nice piney hops, followed by slight citrusy grapefruit.

MF- Medium bodied beer that has flavors that last quite a while on the palate.

 418 characters

Photo of FLOglida
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aaaahhh its that time of the year, everytime the celebration ale comes out i know the winter warmers are on the way. But lets focus on the celbration. This years batch is better than last years imo, the smell is better all aroun. The lace in the glass is sticky stick icky lace, and that makes me happy. I wish i could get this year round, it is not one to miss.

 362 characters

Photo of Avantyawn
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Unfiltered, deep orange red, nice huge frothy head with much retention.

S: Roasted barley, dough, slight booze and spices. Slightly medicinal.

T: Spicy, hoppy, toasty grains. You can detect some alcohol in the mouth which I am not crazy about at this moderate APV. A very spicy aftertaste. A very balanced brew however.

M: The best thing about this beer to me is the nice creamy thick mouthfeel. Nice carbonation and zingy zest.

O: Overall, this beer is slightly plain, but very refreshing and drinkable. I don't find it very exciting, but it's definitely decent. It has a similar vibe to torpedo in it being slightly boozy and harsh. Spicy hops linger in the mouth. Unique.

 681 characters

Photo of Holland
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a nice clear amber-orange color with a sizable head that goes after a minute but leaves a thin lacing on top.

S: smells of fresh piney hops with some malt in there. Awesome!

T: taste is first the piney hops, hop bitterness, a slight fruity taste, and then the hefty malt flavor that stays for a while.

M: awesome smoothness until the moment the carbonation hits, then it's crisp to the end. Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: very good beer, and at $9 for a 6-pack I'll be sure to grab it again some time. Just have to be careful that it's not too old. I hate that they release it so early. Delicious, drinkable, and readily available.

 656 characters

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

Wonderful hop aroma. Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Nice inch of foam that seems to last forever. Half way through there's still a 1/4 inch left. Dark cloudy yellow color. Did I mention the smell? First taste is crazy. Fruit, tart, apple, watermelon and apple. I'm also getting some apple scent now. Mild bitter finish. Good carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Overall wonderful beer. Something to look forward to during the holidays.

 435 characters

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

I look forward to this perfectly balanced winter ale every November, and have never been disappointed. Scout it out, buy it, drink it. You will be glad you did. Guaranteed.

Sierra Nevada, despite how big it might be getting, continues to deliver some of the best beer available. Skol!

 285 characters

Photo of dbmernin83
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first of many of this season. This is one of my go-to winter seasonals.
A stiff pour yields a big, fluffy three finger head over a copper brew. Lacing that Victoria has told secrets about.
Huge piney hops on the nose. Smells amazing.
Big piney hops, with a touch of bready malts and light booze warmth. The hops leave a lasting bitterness.
Fluffy, well carbonated, and very drinkable.
Definitely not your typical winter seasonal. This is however, a big, piney hop bomb of an IPA that would taste good sitting by the fire and a Christmas tree.

 547 characters

Photo of muletrane
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery tulip.

A: Slightly hazy amber/copper colour. 2 fingers of off white fluffy head. Dissapates slowly

S: Biscuity malt and piney hop notes. Hints of citrus as well

T: Very similar to the nose. Biscuity malts up front and all hops on the back end. Nice lingering piney hop bitterness.

M: Moderate body/carbonation. Crisp and clean. Very pleasant.

This a solid IPA that I'll revisit year after year until I croak. I always look forward to this release and this year did not dissapoint.

 539 characters

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

12oz bottle (2011) poured into a tulip. Rich amber color w/ a thick eggshell head that holds up well & leaves behind nice sticky lacing. A gorgeous beer to behold.

Aroma is piney American hops and pale/caramel malts.

Taste is hoppy, biscuity, caramelly, fruity - perfectly balanced and well-rounded. No single element dominates. Supremely drinkable.

Nice smooth full-bodied mouthfeel, crisp semi-dry finish.

This is quite simply a timeless winter classic.

 459 characters

Photo of tcampbel1
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle on 11/1/2011. First time I've noticed "Fresh Hop Ale" on the label (might just be me).

A- Golden pumpkin orange with thin head but excellent lacing.

S- Fresh citrus and pine. Really fresh hop aroma.

T- Hop bite with sweet malty overtones. Like biting into granny smith apple. Sweet up front bitter in the back.

M- Medium bodied. Sticky hop resin coats the mouth.

O- Outstanding beer. Complex without trying to stand out from the crowd.

 452 characters

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