Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,466 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

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Reviews: 3,466 | Ratings: 10,211
Photo of Jesterr44
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Damn, is this frothy! Gave it a nice pour & it provided me with a nice thick frothy head which I've had to wait longer than normal to die down so I can have a sip. I can certainly smell the hops as I wait. Now minutes later, the head retention is incredible. Impressive. Now let's see how it tastes. There is definitely a good strong hop kick, but not as many flavours as I'd like. Mostly pine & some spice, not much else but quite a bit of bready maltiness in there as well which doesn't quite do what is needed to balance out the harshness of the hops. Not a bad drink, full marks for head retention, but not a taste that I will seek out when there are so many tastier IPAs out there. If you like hops first & don't care much for a more complex blend, you may like it more than I did.

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Photo of fuhkyou
2.26/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I can't believe how bad this beer is and how grossly overrated it is. It's not just Celebration either but most SN offerings... the power of icon I suppose.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle,into a Cigar City pint glass.

Thick,frothy,off white,2 finger head.Copper in color,with heavy carbonation.The head retains well,as does the carbonation,leaving a beautiful lacing on the glass.It is a pretty clear beer,bit also has a decent amount of haze to it.

On the nose i get mostly pine,and earth from the hops.Maybe a little bit of sweet malt scents,but not much.Maybe a little bit of spices.

The palate is very hop forward,with an earthy/piney taste.There isn't much sweet malts to speak of,just enough to make it a well balanced IPA.I'm also getting some spices mixed in.Very nice bitter aftertaste.

The body is medium,I get a lot of fizzling on the tongue,from the hops and the carbonation.Nice dry finish...Pretty smooth.

This is a pretty damn good IPA.Not something I would drink regularly.But a very nice IPA for the winter time.

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Photo of foglemgs
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An excellent winter ale! Next to Torpedo, this is probably my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. They don't try to dress this seasonal brew up (as other brewers do) with too many different flavors. Sierra Nevada sticks to what they're good at: hops, and it's damn tasty.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a far more amber (a far darker) color than anticipated, with a relatively thick 1.5 finger head. The nose is relatively standard SN IPA, but the palate is something somewhat different. They definitely bring out a better hop blend than their base pale ale and single hop beers (something more akin to hop hunter), but an unusually malty base is present that plants this beers much more squarely in the East Coast IPA camp than any of the beers I have tried from them to date. Not a bad beer. Very pleasant as far as ECIPAs go. Just not a beer I'd go out of my way to buy.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Copper Amber gold color with a medium creamy light tan head and nice lacing around the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S: Earthy and Piney hops, some notes of fresh grass, can definitely notice the fresh hops, some sap, the malt isn't too noticeable, definitely hop forward.

T: Piney and bitter hops, some notes of caramel malt, some floral and sap. Malt isn't too noticeable this is the beer for those that like hops, definitely a little unbalanced forward hops.

F: Medium body and carbonation.

O: A beer if you like very hop forward beers. Solid but would like a little more balance

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Photo of NastyNorseman
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a winter beauty in the stout and porter season. Definitely carries its own. Pours amber with nice light-khaki head. Smell of pacific hops, pine, and roasted malts. Wonderful bitter sweet balance in this IPA that hits the mark. If I am pining for an IPA this winter, this medium-bodied one that sticks to your cheeks and coats your palette with hoppy evergreen is it.

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark hazy copper with a nice thick frothy tan head. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass as well.
Smell is very floral with a citrus note. Something like a pineapple smell here also. A bit of dank grassy smell in here as well.
Flowery citrus taste with a burn of hops across the middle of the tongue and a bunch of bitter on the back of the swallow. There is just enough malts here to counter a massive over rush of the hops.
Mouth feel starts at an almost medium and a bit oily but on the back end finishes pretty dry with some bitterness following.
Overall this is a very refreshing and tasty IPA. It seems interesting that this is only offered once a year as I could see this selling quite well. Perhaps Sierra Nevada does not want to compete against other offerings in their lineup.

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Always enjoy seeing this one on the shelves this time of year. A reliable classic from one of my favorite breweries; the price to quality ratio is just damn impressive. From a 12 oz bottle into a chalice:

L: Pours with a beautiful brownish amber color and about one finger of fluffy beige head, with very fine bubbles. Carbonation persists fervently and the lacing forms very attractive wavy rings around the glass. Beautiful. I'll call this a 5.

S: Piney, peppery and a little sour, with a rich malt profile--including toasty french bread and nutty oat notes.

T: This is the second time I have been surprised with how tasty this beer is. One of the few IPAs I have tried that opens with malt flavors (which I strongly appreciate): the first that hits me is a caramelly sweetness, which immediately blends with bitter-piney and peppery-spicy hop oil, but is fought back against by complex roasted barley malt profile. Nothing fruity about this beer, but I certainly don't miss the overdose of grapefruit rind I find in almost every west coast IPA.

F: Perfect. Thick but not sticky, carbonated but not frothy, smooth but not oily. An expert balance.

O: Perhaps the most affordable seasonal beer worth getting excited over. Cheers!

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have been drinking this beer every holiday season for decades, & this years batch was excellent as usual. Coppery colored with a tan, foamy head. Streak lacing. Aroma is light citrus and tropical fruit with some caramel malt. Citrus and pine and some grass notes, well balanced with a sweet malt base. Medium body with a dry finish. Pleasant hops aftertaste. A great holiday tradition

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Photo of Furgoose
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Fascinated by this beer. What they put on the label is a perfect description. It has a unique balance of pine and citrusy hops as well as a full malt. If you love both IPAs and other, more malty, Ales you shouldn't be disappointed. There are some other European IPAs I'd like to taste next to this one, I feel like they may have had some inspiration from some specific ones.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A bit surprised that I am a bit lukewarm on this very highly reviewed beverage. Good? Yes? Amazing? Not really. The usual high quality you expect from the folks at Sierra Nevada, just not a game changer on this overdone style.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- Pours a murky, rustic orange with a thin, off-white bubbly head. Lots of carbonation.
S- Piney hops and lots of malt, and spice.
T- Wow! Piney hops with tons of malt balance that allows the resin to stick around. Spices add to the taste. I get a slight cinnamon taste.
M- A medium bodied APA that gives a nice warming feeling from bitterness and spices.
O- Very good and unique APA. Lots of good things going on.

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

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine hybrid glass from a 12 oz bottle

A - a deep dark copper red, one finger off-white head and some serious legs/lacing

S - Christmas/thanksgiving and fall/winter comes to mind right out of the gate, lots of creamy sugar, dry and sweet malt/grain, slight citrus, nice pine, sap, soil, very earthy, baking yeast, holiday spices, crisp, fruit cake and just smells as fresh as the season.

T - huge malty awesomeness (the malt/grain is very dry and sweet at the same time), huge pine, the hops is super bitter in the best way, lots of earth, soil, baking spices, baking yeast, ripe fruits (dates, figs and the like), fresh everything and sexy as heck

M - full bodied, great balance, great complexity, medium carbonation, medium plus acidity and a hoppy-malty-sugary finish.

D/O - For how rich and creamy this IPA is it is somehow warming and at the same time refreshing. Each and every year I know it is the "holiday season" when this ale shows up in the cold boxes around town. Whether it is a six or 12 pack this ale is just a wonderful delight. Taste and looks like fall/winter and fall/Christmas. Grab a glass pour some ad enjoy the sounds, tastes and weather of the season! It's not your usual winter warmer but, awesome indeed.

Final thoughts - the price of this awesome ale is seemingly inexpensive at $8-9 a six pack and $12-15 a 12 pack. The 6.8% ABV is perfect and age or drink straight away, your choice.

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Photo of ABabbidge
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 version poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Almost could have used a Wiezn glass for all that head!

L: Dark amber/ copper color. Very large off white head with great retention. Very sticky.

S: Earthy, dank hop aroma. Also some fresh mint and a little malt.

T&F: Very hoppy, but not overly bitter. Very earthy hop flavor along with fresh mint like the nose. There is a good malt flavor in the background that is covered up by the hops, but not in bad way. Gives a warming feeling in the stomach. Finish is dry and crisp, but does not have an unpleasant bitterness. Has a pine aftertaste that lingers for awhile.

O: This is probably my new favorite IPA (granted, I have not had that many). Very balanced. Manages to be very hoppy without being overly bitter. Goes down very smooth and easy and makes me want to keep coming back for more.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This has been an outstanding IPA for a REALLY long time. Earthy, grassy, spicy hops abound. The nose is beautiful. The taste lingers. The hops. So good.

If you've never tried this gem, get it. Don't let the ubiquitousness fool you. This is a top notch IPA.

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Photo of EMH73
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear deep amber with a one inch, we'll retained white head that left lacing all the way down the glass. Smells of citrus, pine, grass and a hint of sweetness from malts. Taste is dominated by the hops but offset perfectly by the malts in the background. Light bodied, well carbonated, slightly dry mouth feel, excellent beer.

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Photo of FFreak
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was very surprised by this beer. I haven't had a SNPA in a couple years and had never had this one. I saw a 12-pack on the shelf in the local supermarket for $14.99 so I grabbed it. What a deal! This is a great IPA at a super reasonable price. The mouth feel and balance of flavors are about as good as it gets.

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Photo of Riff
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber color with a thick off-white head. Smells of pine, a little of toasted malts, and a hint of tropical fruit. The first thing I noticed with the tastes was a hop bite, pine, a little toasted malts, and some citrus. Mostly the piney hops. Overall though it's a very solid IPA and I was finished with the glass before I knew it.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

bottle into glass, 2016 fresh hop

A: lovely deep red color with a creamy one finger heard with good retention, beautiful (really) lacing
S: immediate aggressive piney notes as well as some lemon
T: the first thing that is apparent here is the strong (toasted maybe) malt body followed by more subtle touches of the piney bitterness
M: i personally like my IPAs to be stickier
O: the more wintry IPAs are not my favorite kind of IPAs and IPAs are definitely far from my favorite style though I do like them. All of that being said, this beer is not really for me, but I did greatly enjoy it and would buy it again, hard to go wrong with anything sierra nevada puts out

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice amber color with caramel foamy head and good lacing. Smells of piny hops, some citrus, and a little floral mix. The taste is pretty good, you get a hoppy bite up front with a mix of molasses, citrus, and pine cone. The finish is pretty dry. This is a classic west coast IPA in my mind, very fresh hops and a good overall beer, 2016 is stacking up to be another good year for Sierra....

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,211 ratings.
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