Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,444 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,444 | Ratings: 10,112
Photo of Jblackfish
4.81/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

This limited brew has a gorgeous clear, amber color and a piney, fruit aroma. Taste is piney with a hint of grapefruit - a great balance with a little lean toward the citrus hops. It's an outstanding refreshing brew and one of my favorites.

 240 characters

Photo of NickMunford
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a nice thick frothy head, with excellent retention and lacing. The aroma is light compared to the bolder flavor. Basically, it smells nicely hoppy. You could say floral, but not nasty perfume floral. Piney, but not overtly so. The best description I can think of is fresh green hops. It tastes like a great West coast IPA, with a more present malt base. Moderate bitterness. Heavy and smooth mouthfeel, with a dry finish.

 446 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a month-old bottle, pours a clear, deep copper. An inch of dense, off-white foam leaves lots of lacing.

Smell has an earthy quality along with hints of pine and grapefruit. Some malt on the nose as well. Taste is spicy, earthy hops balanced by the malt. Nice dry bitter finish. Feel is substantial but very drinkable.

Overall, this is an long-time favorite of mine, which I first enjoyed probably 30 years ago. Still really good, though what was cutting edge then has become an old-school classic. Like the Beatles, it's hard to explain how revolutionary Sierra Nevada's beers were back then, when all you had before were kegs of Bud and skunky green-glass imports. Crazy.

 681 characters

Photo of descobar
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh. Bottled less than a month ago. Pours deep amber with slight hazyness and a perfect 3/4 inch off-white head with excellent retention. Lacing is also very good. Aromas are piney American hops with some spice and some herbal overtones. Earthy yeast and some fresh baked bread from the malt is also present. So drinkable. Medium/light body, resiny texture and crisp carbonation and just a slight astringency makes for great palate. Flavors are all a close to perfect balance of hop flavors, mild malt sweetness, and enough bitterness to qualify it as an IPA. Beer finishes dry with the hop IBUs making a late appearance. This is an old-school IPA that contrasts with today’s IBU bombs and less bitter English IPAs. - So drinkable and a classic!

 749 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed copper color with a light khaki head. smell was spicy pine hops with caramel. taste had pine hops on the front end with tropical and citrus notes finishes with sweet malts , a smooth creamy and hoppy mouth feel, this one ages well also.

 250 characters

Photo of ChilliHeights
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

nice Christmas Ale though did not see the color as drank out f the bottle. Nice aroma of spices and good flavor. Not my favorite Christmas ale but a good one.

 159 characters

Photo of Malt_Man
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served cold (too cold really) from 12 fl oz bottle into tulip glass. I paid £4 for this and when I got it home realised that it is 5 months out of date. Hmmph.

L) Reddish-copper colour, hazy, head is off-white foamy.

S) 'Creamy' hops, reminiscent of Sweet Action by Sixpoint. Definite fruit sweetness but I fully appreciate this isn't a fresh bottle, so the original hops aroma may have diminished.

T) Nicely balanced, there is sharp bitterness for sure, but it has a soft sweeter side too.

F) Nicely drinkable, there is a nice fizz and a good bitter bite at the end. A nice creaminess too.

O) Really good, would love to try a fresher one. SIerra Nevada haven't made a bad beer that I have tried.

 706 characters

Photo of THSdrummer
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy, murky amber-orange. Thick beige head that retains for seemingly ever. Good lacing left behind. Aroma is composed of strong citrus, orange, and resin hop notes. Delightful. Taste is citrus forward, with resin hop notes following them up. Good solid orange/citrus taste at the end. Feel is medium in consistency, with good drinkability. Goes down easy, despite a more DIPA feel. Overall, an absolute fantastic rendition of the IPA. Really tasty, easy to drink, with an impressive look. Well done.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 535 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours amber with an off-white head. Lacing aplenty and solid retention. Candied pine in the nose with citrus backing it up. Medium bodied with a slickish, tacky mouthfeel. Bitter and piney on the palate with sweet malt underneath. Citrus and pine bark. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and resinous pine.

A great beer but the sweetness from the Crystal malt keeps me from have more than one at a time.

 421 characters

Photo of dtumminelliob
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This might be my favorite Christmas beer. To handicap that statement, I'm not a big fan of spiced beers. That said, the wet hop on this is spot-on with a nice, almost vegetal piney-ness that is wonderfully fresh. The look is a little light, but probably to be expected. Other than that, a fantastic beer.

 304 characters

Photo of do_ob
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A solid, all-around IPA, regardless of the subtext, calling this a "winter beer" or whatever. Light-medium golden in color with a big ol' fluffy white head. Citrus, dank hops, pine, and light tropical fruit on the nose and taste. Very little spice. More or less a traditional American IPA done right.

 300 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Celebration Ale. 6.8% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 10/19/15.

Look: Settles a hazy, deep red/copper color, with an impressive two finger off white head that slowly dissipates into sticky lacing.

Smell: Some floral hops, citrus, pine, malts, and caramel. It also does seem to have a somewhat spicy aroma like cinnamon, but since it's not brewed with spices, I have no idea what it's from.

Feel: On the lighter side, relatively smooth and creamy with a little carbonation.

Taste: Some light hop bitterness and bitter pine up front, but some sweet malt and caramel appear. The aftertaste is reminiscent of honey graham crackers.

Overall: This is a good change for a winter beer without all the spices (not saying either is a bad thing). This keeps it simple with hops, citrus, pine, and malt.

 844 characters

Photo of zshaft
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours nice thick red. can't see through the brew with nice thick head. not much nose maybe some pine and spice. taste is malt up front followed by some pine amd resin as well as maybe some clove. finished with lingering bitterness and piny resin. ive always liked this beer and as it warms the complexity expands. good solid ipa that I look forward to every year.

 370 characters

Photo of Garypuffer
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

All right, a winter/holiday season brew that isn't all "spiced up". Sure some of them, like Shipyard's Prelude, aren't super spicy, but this one isn't spiced at all. In fact, it reminds me of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and their Torpado extra IPA. Will be sure to look for it next year..

 285 characters

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

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear orange-amber color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is a refreshing smell of pine. The taste is a great hop flavor. An excellent seasonal.

 222 characters

Photo of Foyle
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass

Appearance: pours a 3" pillowy off white head that falls very slowly and leaves abundant lacing behind. Color is cloudy reddish-amber.
Aroma: strong pine and citrus dominate but there is an evident malt in the background.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, viscous and quite sticky with a quite dry finish.
Flavor: fine balance between the hop notes with a bready-sweet malt.
Overall: extremely well done. I am a rare IPA drinker but this one is definitely worth having.

 505 characters

Photo of kculrich
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz. Bottle, dated 11/03/15. Obviously, I forgot to look at the date.

Pours a deep medium-hazy copper with a scant finger of creamy head, decent retention and gobs of lacing.

Smells like apple juice... apple juice? Apparently so. Otherwise, the nose is very faint - some yeast, honey, something vaguely floral.

Tastes better than expected after three months. From the nose, I had expected sweet malts but what I get is undifferentiated bitterness at the start, with black pepper and balsam following and, finally, the apple juice taste which, I guess, must be the underlying malt shouldering through the fading hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, mouth coating and amply carbonated.

Overall, should I even be rating an elderly IPA? Well, yes. Ultimately SN is accountable for it's chosen distribution channel and the fact that I will never, apparently, get to try one of their beers before it's died of old age. I bought this bottle as part of a mixed sixer with five Smuttys that had all been bottled within the past two weeks.

 1,039 characters

Photo of ABVmeansnothingtome
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks great in red with a thick foamy yellowish head.

Smell is dare I say vomity.

Turning off the nose at this point but the taste follows.

Feel is far to refined for a Michigan beer lover.

In fairness I gave one of these to a friend in an effort to get rid of them. He reported back that it was DELICIOUS caps lock on in his enthusiasm. I have a few left and will experiment with temperature and glass shape but I felt obligated to review this because the score is so far from what I tasted here.

I love most of SN's IPA's. Perhaps I got an old six pack. Top shelf under the bright lights of a 24 hour Walmart. Last warm back washed swig just now tasted great, but who has time to wait. Gonna try my next one at room temperature.

If you want a solid ABV in a reddish IPA I say you should sniff around a Safety Meeting. ;-)

 846 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very nice deep golden orange color into a typical pint glass with plenty of off white colored head. Very good carbonation. The smell is much like their Torpedo but more settle. Initial taste is surprisingly smooth for being hoppy. The bitterness does not build up at the finish like many IPA's I've tried lately. The Lacing is very good also. Overall I feel that this is another solid SN brew that I would be glad to drink more of.

 445 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head is 2 fingers thick and off-white, with solid lacing, and a clear reddish brown body.

I smell a nice blend of the pine and citrus hops mentioned on the label.

Tastes pretty much just like the elements described above, with a very small malt sweetness. Very drinkable!

The mouthfeel I'm picking up is clean and smooth. No lingering hop oils.

Overall, I'll award Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. with a very solid 4.5. Definitely pick this up during the season.

 636 characters

Photo of kitch
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A 12 fl oz bottle with a packaged date of 19th October 2015. Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear dark copper colour with a two finger cream coloured head that had great retention and left lots of nice lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy lemon, apple, piney hops and sweet but slight biscuit malts. There was also some herbal and spice here and there.

Taste: Light citrus and hop bitterness before it kicks in with some strong maltiness and surprising booze but nice spice.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This was definitely more malty and boozy than I expected (and not in a good way). However, I will retry this again to make sure, but at the moment, I definitely prefer Hop Hunter and Torpedo IPA over this.

 768 characters

Photo of jw4free
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful looking ale. Excellent hop flavor. Not over hopped, Not too citrus or pine. Malty warmth shines through and delivers a nice crisp mouthfeel.

 150 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit on the red side for an IPA, nothing wrong with that.. just different.

Aroma: lots of pine,

Taste: a great balance of hops and malt backbone. pine and slight citrus.

Feel: slightly thick body and mouthfeel.

 218 characters

Photo of golf_sierra
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite dark copper orange, hazy.
Much darker and malty for an American IPA.
Nice bitterness but balanced against the grainy sweetness from the malt.
Good balanced IPA. Perfect for colder winter conditions.

 205 characters

Photo of BottleOfPills
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a I guess a standard pint glass. It was a cold bottle, produced a small head that quickly dissipated. Dark coppery in color.

Smells citrusy, smells pretty good in my opinion. Maybe I can smell the pine like others below, but isn't pine kind of a citrus smelling scent??

Taste - I'm not typically a season type of beer person. Most beers I taste it seems like we're throwing all kinds of seasonal spices in the mix just because we can. Yes there are some that stand out for me and Seirra Nevada's Celebration Ale is going to be one in the future. It's pretty damn good. I like the grapefruit flavors that take over at the end. The malt is there and some hops of course like any IPA, just not over powering like some I taste. Then you throw in just the right amount of seasonal spices.. This is pretty damned good.

Mouthfeel is like all my other reviews if I like that crisp carbonation I give it a high score, and this beer is definitely crispy and plenty of carbonation if that's your thing.

Overall this is a pretty damned good beer - least that's my opinion - I would say it's easy drinking and heck would be a session beer for some of my friends. I hate to knock it because of the looks and smells but otherwise I like it.

 1,263 characters

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,112 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!