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
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Ratings: 10,234 |  Reviews: 3,468
Photo of Hophead717
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle of fresh Celebration poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: One of the more beautiful beers I've seen. Not sure if I just had a lucky pour, or if this was the perfect glass, but this is a beauty. A deep golden brown color, deeper than I expected actually, with a luscious, 1.5 finger, creamy head. The head stayed with this beer all the way through, with excellent lacing on the glass. I couldn't asked for a better looking IPA to be honest.

S: Lots of fresh hops in the nose-a great deal of piney notes as well as grapefruit and orange peel. Hints of sweetness from the malt are also discernible.

T: Upon taking your first sip, really fresh hops land on your tongue. The slightly bitter, piney hops are complemented by a significant, sweet malt backbone with a very well balanced finish. I was afraid the finish would be strongly bitter, but it wasn't at all. Of course, as the brew approaches room temperature, the bitterness level increases, so I'd recommend enjoying Celebration closer to fridge temp at first and experiencing the beer as it warms.

M: A nice and smooth mouthful, with high levels of carbonation. Almost too much carbonation, but it does work quite well.

O: I liked Celebration a great deal; the beer definitely lived up to the hype. I grabbed a six pack at the store today and I probably will head back tomorrow to pick up another...two or three.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

Clear, golden, glowing auburn and ruby with a thick, chunky, persistent light khaki head that sticks around for seemingly forever, eventually leaving thick chunks and sheets of foaming lace down the glass. I love the way Sierra Nevada beers look!

A well balanced aroma while still being fairly aggressive. There is a lot of earthy, citrusy, and piney hop character here, as well as a substantial amount of simple brown bread and light caramel character.

The hops lead the way in the flavor, though they are balanced significantly by caramel and bready malts. A relatively high level of bitterness disappears quickly, finishing relatively dry.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with moderate carbonation, though this feels far more velvety and luscious than most any other IPA I've ever drank. This bottle in ways feel like it was drawn from a cask.

A beer I look forward to every late Fall/winter. It's always better than I remember it being, a tough feat for any beer.

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

Celebration, this years is tasty. Translucent and deep amber in color with belgian (well not in this case) lacing cascading around my tulip. Fair head retention. The aroma, well it is pine atop citrus with caramel cent underneath. Fairly tasty, nice hop presence, pine, resin, citrus married to a more malty frame then I usually look for. Crystal malt adds a bit of sweetness to combat the bittering hops. Its is a well balanced beer with a bitter finish, clean, and well bodied. I'd buy this beer again, it is a nice tasting ipa that you don't have to over think. It is not overly complex, it is just an ipa that you drink and don't think too much about.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer features nearly an inch of frothy off-white that has excellent retention. Lacing is patchy but sticky. Color is a hazy dark gold/orange hue. Looks very nice!

Nicely hoppy but not overly intense aroma. Touches of citrus and pine backed up by a subtle malt undertone. Not the most aromatic IPA I've come across but certainly not bad.

Taste is quite bitter without a lot of the citrusy notes detected in the aroma. Some herbal flavors present, slightly grassy, a little maltiness underneath. Not really getting much of the sweetness mentioned in other reviews. I know this is a fresh bottle but the hops are mostly just bitter and resiny without a ton of other flavor qualities. Maybe some citrus peels in here too, a hint of grapefruit. Kind of reaching a bit.

Very nice mouthfeel, crisp and refreshing, with medium body and a lingering but not overly bitter finish. This may actually be the best part of this beer as you can pick up more subtleties of flavor as it fades in your mouth. The malt comes out a bit more here, with vaguely medicinal notes and the merest hint of spice. Alcohol begins to warm you as you work your way through the glass.

I liked this beer but found it maybe a little bit one-note for my tastes. I love the hoppiness, appearance, and finish but wish there were a little bit more vivid flavors besides the overall bitterness.

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Photo of adman08
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours slightly hazy amber color with lots of fluffy white head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.
S-Very crisp, fresh, citrus hop aroma, slight aroma of fresh cut grass. Slight aroma of malt sweetness.
T-Sweet malt flavor, crisp, fresh hop flavors of citrus, herbal and pine. Good balance of malt flavor and hops.
M-Starts fairly sweet with lots of carbonation and finishes slightly dry.
Overall, a very good wet-hopped pale ale. Excellent balance of malt flavor and hop bitterness. Easy to drink and a good mix of different hop flavors.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SN Celebration Ale, 6.8%, reviewed live.

A - Deep dark amber with a 1-finger head that recedes slowly leaving patchy bubbles and lacing. Looks great!

S - Piney hops, resin, caramel, molasses, nectar.

T - Follows the nose. Great piney hop profile on this one; just a hint of malt to round things out.

M - Moderate carbonation. Nice warming sensation from the alcohol, which is appropriate for a winter seasonal. Rich and medium-bodied.

O - Considering the price/quality ratio, this beer is off the charts (got a 12pk fresh for $11). Quality brew, highly recommended for hop-heads.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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"!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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