Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

10,216 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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Reviews: 3,466 | Ratings: 10,216
Photo of AdamPenna
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber, cloudy, gorgeous. Nice creamy head--at first about two fingers but diminishing to a quarter inch. Lacing rings the glass. Poured into a mason jar. Smells of pine and citrus. Very refreshing and, well, celebratory. Excellent mouthfeel. A little oily, hoppy, and some malt--an excellent balance. Wonderful. A bite, too, but a pleasant bite. When I went to the beer distributor he bragged about having several cases. I'm glad because I mean to go back.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark copper, almost reddish hue, with an average head, but good lacing. The smell was surprisingly dominated by hoppy pine and citrus, and an ever so subtle apple essence. I was expecting more spiciness for a winter warmer/ipa. The taste did reveal more biscuit and maltiness, but it was also still heavily dominated by pine and citrus. Nice medium body and little carbonation resulted in a beer that rolled smoothly over the tongue. Drinkability was certainly apparent, but again, I was unpleasantly surprised by the lack of spiciness for a winter release.

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Photo of aquatonex
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pleasant burnt orange with minimal head, decent carbonation. Very good lacing throughout. Smells of toasted hops and a little dark malts. A medium-strong hops is most noticeable in the taste along with a heavier body than regular IPAs. Although I'm not a fan of the heavier hopped brews, this definitely had more to offer.

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Photo of Daddyrich
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy copper color with medium head. Some foam retention.

S-Not much going on but my sense of smell isn't the greatest.

T-Great hoppy taste all the way through. Grapefruit and pine tasting.

M-Perfect carbonation with the hops. Stays with you through finish.

Overall-One of my favorite IPAs. Big hop flavor right away that sticks around. I tend to see it in December-January for about $15 a 12-pack.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my De Garre snifter whilst watching my dogs play in the bed.

A nice looking beer: a semi opaque bright red body with tints of orange with a one finger off white head, It faded but left some sticky lacing.

Earthy and piney hops are at the center of the aroma. Fairly bright, but not much else here.

A slightly thin IPA, despite the low carbonation. This beer is very nicely hopped, with a decent malt backbone, but it could use a bot more body. This beer is ver nicely hopped though. Nice and earthy, I suppose this is a bit of a departure from their other more citrusy offerings.

A very drinkable, good tasting, yet unspectacular IPA.

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Photo of mkorpal
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a burnt amber color with a white fluffy head and plenty of lacing.

Smell is a balance of malt and hops, mostly piny hops. Too much malt in it though. Could also use a bit more citrus hop.

Taste is a harsh bitterness, more pine, some caramel. Solid taste.

The bitterness of this beer is pretty harsh, Chinook hop characteristic. They come through pretty heavy. it hurts the drinkability a bit.

Mouthfeel is average. Not much to say there.

My friend compared this to a less malty Arrogant Bastard. I can agree with that.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice mellow amber color with a slight cream head that dissapated pretty quickly, but pretty carbonated so it was bubly all the way through. Smelled like citrus and hops. I couldnt really nail down the fruit because the hops was so prevalent. Taste was hoppy with a little floral but mostly hops. To be completly honest, Ive read many people rave about this beer so thats the reason I went out and bought it. I was a little let down. I didnt think that it was all that complex. Its a good beer, but it couldnt be a daily drinker to me.

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Photo of fdkayti
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- A huge creamy white head is balanced atop a clear copper colored beer. Head is sloooowly dissipating into rocky craters and lacing is more than evident.

S- Strong, spicy pine notes right up front. Some citrus comes through along with a mellow sweetness. Very fresh.

T- Follows the nose, almost to a T. Mostly pine, with a moderate bitter kick. Very fresh tasting with a sweet caramel malty finish.

MF- Moderately creamy with adequate carbonation. I feel as though something could be amped up in this area, but I can't pinpoint exactly what it is.

O/D- A delightful offering by Sierra Nevada. This beer reminded me how good a simple IPA can be, and how happy it makes me. Drinkable and refreshing. Thanks, boyfriend.

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Photo of Mahgeetah527
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Allagash chalice.

Smells of fresh piney & resiny hops. There is a little bit of malt in the background to round out the massive hop presence.

Pours a golden amber hue with 2 fingers of white fluffy head There is significant lacing left behind with each sip.

The taste starts off with fresh bitter grapefruit. Some pine and more citrus come through in the finish. Much like the smell the malt backbone rounds out the hops making this not a true "hop bomb" but a pretty well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are medium.

Since I'm not really a fan of typical Winter Seasonals, this beer is one to look forward to this time of year.

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Photo of OldYoda
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 version. Poured from the bottle into my Duvel goblet with an nice head and some lace. A very pretty dark copper color.

Smell is more subdued than I expected from other reviews, and not nearly as hoppy as I expected. Some citrus and pine but also a nice malty character.

Taste closely follows the smell. A very well balanced offering.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp with a nice bitter finish.

Drinkability is fine - several of these would be just fine with me.

Note: I like this better than last year's version.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, thanks Ed! Clear chestnut with a fluffy head. Nose is fairly bright and pleasant with cirtus and hops, but kind of flat and one dimensional. Mouth is nice citrus, grapefruit, hop oils. Very quaffable and decent, but not much complexity or any sense of balance they're going for. Nice enough, would make a good 6-er when fresh.

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Photo of hawks10
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - 2010 Vintage - Poured into a pint glass...

Pours a glowing dark orange with red highlights, very clear. A huge cap of fluffy, meringue-like tan head forms and slowly recedes, leaving lots of lacing behind...

Beautiful citrus hop aroma assaults the nostrils. Very tropical, sweet, pineapple and grapefruit. The hops start to turn piny with a bit of spice, while the malts come forward as well, adding a bit of sweet, caramel malts, balancing the beer and giving it a bit more depth...

Earthy, bitter piny hops dominate the flavor on this one. Bitterness is drying and lingers long into the aftertaste. All that juicy tropical flavor I detected in the nose seems to have vanished. For maybe the first second this beer hits my tongue I can detect some sweet tropical hop flavors, but that is quickly washed away by a one sided, overly bitter and dry, earthy hop flavor. Malts are there but don't do much to cut into the hop bitterness (for some reason, the bitterness in this beer just isn't working for me like it does in other IPAs...) Spicing starts to show up after a few sips and kind of just blend in with the piny hops...Not bad, but a bit one-sided and slightly boring...

Light to medium bodied, thinner than expected. Carbonation seems a bit low giving the beer a slick, creamy feel. Dry and bitter feelings linger...

Not bad, but not as good as I was expecting. My first time ever trying this beer...

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A- Huge frothy 3 finger head, bubbly lacing, dissipates slowly, slight hazy brown/burnt orange color, decent amount of sediment.
S- Slight hops comes out in the aroma, citrus, slight grapefruit, the malts take over the aroma though, bready/nutty notes come out.
T- The taste is more hop forward, citrus, grapefruit, slight pine, breadiness comes out, big malt characteristics, decent bitterness.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, dry finish.
O- Solid beer, glad to finally try it, I see it all the time and always pass it up. Enjoyable but not a beer I would be craving to have again.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big buttery colored head after a moderate pour. Head retains excellent and leaves thick sticky lacing (standards for SN beers). Slightly cloudy amber color.

Strong piney/woodsy hop bouquet.

Intense citric hop flavor with a nice malt backbone. Bitterness lingers long into the finish.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation even after a stiff pour.

Drinkable and enjoyable. Unbalanced as hell, but tasty if hops are what you're looking for.

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Photo of Estocker
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into my 22oz. mug.

Leaves an absolutely incredible lacing on the glass, even when almost no head is present.

The smell is somewhat underwhelming as far as IPAs go. It has the typical SN aroma. A little piny, slightly floral, not much citrus unfortunately.

Taste is very easy-going. Although very bitter, it seems that there is not a lot of flavorful hop presence. This isn't necessarily bad, but when I look to have an IPA, I usually want to be pummeled with Citrus and pine. This one seems to be very well balanced, but with a strong bitter profile. It lingers nicely, like most SN ales do.

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Photo of Lepley
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured reddish tan, cream colored head with good lacing.
S: Hoppy, citrus, piney. Not too impressive.
T: Sweet, fruity, orange, citrus, hoppy aftertaste.
M: Smooth, good carbonation.
D: This is a pretty good IPA, but not amazing. There are better, even from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Crosling
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not the typical holiday time beer. I am definately not used to Holiday beers being IPA's so the pour and then the initial taste was somewhat of a shocker. This wasn't what I was expecting, somewhat of a let down considering I am not a fan of the style but it was still a pretty damn tasty IPA.

Poured a magnificent hazy rich golden copper with a head that lasted throughout the entire session.

The aroma was of citrus hops and a low malt presense.

The flavor was overwhelmingly hoppy with hints of grapefruits and other citrus flavors. Not a lot of malt presense in this beer. As my palate started to adjust towards the bitterness I actually started to enjoy this brew.

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Photo of patreely12
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011 bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - about 2 inches of pure white head at first. very fluffy. eventually settles to a lump film. a lot of clumpy lacing. some what cloudy, dark amber.

S - very hop heavy. lots of floral-y, bitter hops. some citrus and pine. some caramel or brown sugar sweetness, very faint though. there are some malts in there somewhere.

T/M - taste, like the nose, is very hop-heavy. more piney bitterness. some subdued malts on the back end. light brown sugar, caramel and spicy notes. lighter on the palate than expected, cleaner too. doesn't leave as much of the bitter aftertaste like most IPAs. mild carbonation.

Overall - I think I like the previous year's brew better than this. the body and flavor is a little watery. also I think that Celebration would be better as another style, maybe something with a little warmer feel to it. still a fine beer though.

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Photo of yamar68
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage poured into a snifter:

What a peculiar pick from the cellar. This thing pours an imposing amber gold with a finger of slightly off white head that dissipates within a minute. Wonderful lacing. The nose is dominated by sweet and vinegar malts - heavy caramel and milk chocolate with a touch of something special. I cannot believe how well this holds up after over five years. Instead of getting funky and offset, this beer goes in such a unique direction. It makes me appreciate the malty complexities involved in the original recipe. A delight on the tongue.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale -
a – 4.00 – Great looking IPA. Nice thick film of white bubbles that leaves a nice lacing on the glass on top of a crystal clear amber-orange almost red beer.
S – 3.75 – Fresh citrusy hop smell. Some pine, some floral notes. Little bit of spice maybe? There's definitely something extra there that I'm not getting.
T – 3.75 – Citrusy hop smell. Grapefruit, orange, floral notes. Pine. Again I think there's some extra spices in here but I can't tell what. It's nicely balanced.
M – 3.75 - this is definitely a medium bodied IPA, being a little bigger bodied than the rest. Alc is completely covered. Aftertaste is a piney, florally hop flavor, with some bitterness.
O – 3.75 – It's not the best IPA I've had, nor the best winter ale. But it's good. More on the floral side of IPAs.

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Photo of adammills
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber, color is very nice, it is topped with a two fingered frothy head. Smell is hoppy with a bit of malt and spicy. Tastewise it is a well hopped beer and there is enough malt to keep it balanced. The alcohol is really jumping out at me. The spice flavors dont seem to hit until the aftertaste. The hops are rather citrusy. Nice beer, not one to just sit cack and pour down however.

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Photo of chumba526
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears dark orange with a sizable white head.

Smells quite citrus like, there is a pine smell and a caramel smell as well. I also get a slight floral smell going on as well.

It tastes quite like it smelt. There are strong citrus flavors. I get a strong grapefruit flavor. There is a dank pine smell going on. There is a strong malt caramel present as well. There is a substantial hoppy bitterness in the finish of the beer. It is a pretty well balanced IPA.

The carbonation is moderate medium. It is about average for the style.

The drinkability is decent I could drink two of these no problem but would not want to drink more than two.

Overall a nice IPA that is better than most though it is not amazing. A great IPA for the price though.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear deep amber color, with an off white medium head that is very dissapating head that leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is nice with citrus and a little pine in the nose, and pale and caramel malt.

The flavor is not so much hops as is mild bitterness and toasty pale and caramel malts. A lot more hop flavor would be nice.

The palate couldv'e been a little more smooth, though I like the dryness in the finish.

A very, maybe too balanced IPA imo. This is an alright IPA by me, but nothing that really Wow-ed me.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass.

A--Pours a clear shiny penny body with a two finger egg-nog colored (for the holidays) dense foamy head. Head retention is first-rate, and the lacing is predominant. Actually looks like a slightly darker pumpkin ale, like Smutty's.

S--Doesn't smell like it, though! This is almost all honey and hops to me, specifically tropical fruit like pineapple and mango, rather than the more citrusy nuggetjuicebomb that is their Harvest Wet Hop. Sweet and biting on the nostrils at the same time.

T--Last description fits the flavor profile as well. Plenty bitter, with a definite Cascade hop presence that keeps your tongue (happily) dry with pine mixed with candied dried pineapple. The real story to me here, though, is the richness of the malt--this has roasty flavor behind the hops that's like whole wheat toast with honey on it. It's hard to discern but you can capture it at the very beginning of the sip, before the hop flume ride commences. The depth of the malt character makes this a standout winter beer to me, like a beefy, harvest IPA.

M&D--Mouthfeel on SN beers is insanely good. I don't think I've scored one below a 4.5. Keep em comin' in that dept. My only gripe is the alcohol level, which keeps my ability to drink vast quantities at a minimum, which keeps me sad...

A great representative of the dry biting windy winters of parts of California and the west in general. Great stuff!

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Photo of lstorie3
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a good beer, perhaps a great beer, but it's not what I want in a winter seasonal. It's about what you'd expect from Sierra Nevada in terms of taste and aroma. It shows off the hop harvest well, so I guess it's mission accomplished on that part. If I'm judging it on it just on taste, it's a probably 8/10, but as a seasonal I'm giving it 7/10.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,216 ratings.
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