Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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3,413 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 3,413 | Ratings: 10,016
Photo of noslenwerd
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright orange color, off white head.

S: Smell is strong with this one, but it was a good thing. A little fruity, clean, hoppy.

T: I am not one for hoppy beers but this one just straddled the line for me. Hoppy but the malt quickly covers up the hops. A slight caramel aftertaste with a ton of good carbonation. The more you drink this the more tasty it becomes, and the hops become a bit subdued (a good thing IMO)

Summary: If I am ever in the mood for a hoppy beer I will probably have to go with this one again.

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

A - Poured into a pint glass this beer forms a nice dense head that settles down to around a finger thick with a good amount of lacing. The color is a deep amber and is almost completely clear.
S - As with most of Sierra Nevada's beers the smell is almost completely dominated by Cascade hops, not that this is a bad thing. The clean floral smell of Cascade is one of my favorite scents.
T - The taste of hops hits you initially, it's strong but not as much as some of Sierra Nevada's other offerings. The hop bite is slightly muted by the higher malt content of the beer. After the hop taste subsides you are left with a slightly sour fruity finish reminicent of grapefruit.
M - The high hop content and relatively high carbonation of this beer give it a bit of a rough mouthfeel. The beer is down your throat before the tingling on you tongue subsides.
D - I find it very easy to finish a bottle of this beer but would question whether I'd have a second in one sitting. It's very enjoyable, but the sour taste wears on me a bit and leaves me wanting me to spread these out a bit over the Christmas season. But I still by a six pack of this every year when it hits stores.

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Photo of dutchlq7
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance-Deep amber, two finger head very creamy, with good retention and excellent lacing.

Smell-Piney and herbal hop smellwith some citrus notes in there. Not overwhelming.

Taste- Crisp quick hitting piney and herbal hop taste. Can detect a toasty malt flavor that gets stronger as the beer warms. But the hops rule this one.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, with a slight oily residue and a lingering bitterness.

Drinkability-Nice and Smooth, can definitly see myself grabbing a few mor sixpacks of this, and will pick it up in the coming years. gonna try and cellar a few of these for the future.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a Nonic Pint.

Appearance: Pours a very vibrant translucent amber with burnt edges. A wonderful slight off-white head rises up about 2 inches and clings to the glass beautifully all the way down.

Smell: As with most Sierra Nevada brews I am overwhelmed by the citrus aroma. The grapefruit seems to play a very prevalent role in this brew as slight notes of spice and pine reveal themselves. The smell is unique in that it doesn't exactly smell of any particular Christmas scent but consistently reminds of the holiday (if that makes any sense).

Taste: I have never spent Christmas in California but this is how I imagine it to be. The citrusy hops move to the forefront which eventually gives way to the bittering hops which are big, bold and bitter. After several sips I realize that there is an overall spruce-like sweetness that is barely noticeable but keeps all of the flavors together.

Feel: I love the warming sensation of this medium bodied ale. The alcohol and carbonation work well with the hops to give the tongue a pretty good workout.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could easily work through a 6 pack on Christmas Eve while sitting around the fire.

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Photo of Severdali
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Orange, orange rind, grapefruit, slight lemon, spruce and pine, medium body ( could use a little more body and mouthfeel), medium-ish carbonation (on the higher side) a very nice beer and worth picking up 1 or 2.

Impressive nose and micro-fine lace.

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Photo of Pete_2112
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is another good brew from Sierra Nevada (it seems that is a common statement about their brews). My 6 pack was packaged on 10/19/2015 and I just purchased it on 12/4/15. Some hop aroma may have been lost since I am drinking it almost 2 months after bottling day. But nonetheless, the aroma is piney and malty. It smells pretty dang good. A little weaker than I expected. But the taste is great: malty, bread, and decently hoppy. A little citrus, but quite a bit of pine, which I love. The finish is fairly dry. Carbonation is pretty high, but good. Overall, this is a great beer. The bitterness is perfect for the style. And you can really taste the freshness of this years just-harvested hops.

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Photo of BigPapaLager
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer that i've been tying to find up here for a week or so. Poured a medium head, receding slowly. The first taste was of hops and then spices as is typical of the season. The carbonation that i felt at first was replaced by a smooth finish. a very good seasonal.

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Photo of roscoehnj
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks great; much more amber than pale which has always caused me to wonder why it is classified as an IPA. Modest head but nice lacing.

Your classic IPA nose with some grapfruit and floral notes.

Love this beer. IPA bitterness with a touch of malt backbone - you have to probe for the malt though - it is more apparent in the appearance. Beautiful nmouthfeel and oh so drinkable - could drink this all night. And its a bargain for the quality.

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

Tasting this beer well chilled, poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A: When poured into the glass the carbonation is put to work, creating big and thick foamy head that stays for a long time. The color is amberish, and pretty turbid.

S: There are load of fresh and fruity hoppy tones attacking you when approaching this beer. The smell is very tempting!

T: The taste is just as the smell loaded with hops giving you lots of bitter tones. Contrary the smell where fruitiness could be picked up, there are nowhere to be found in this bitter taste.

M: The carbonation that was put to work when poured this beer into the glass is ready for round#2, now giving you a sizzling feel combined with the loads of hoppy bitterness creating a great feel!

O: A very fresh hoppy IPA that delivers exactly what it is promising!

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

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

Appearance: A gorgeous deep gold color. Super Fluffy white head with lots of lacing.

Smell: Very piney and grassy in the nose.

Taste: Piney hops up front and then a slight hint of malt at the finish. Hop bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Excellent balance on the carbonation.

Drinkability: Careful with this one! Goes down so easily for any hop lover and packs a surprising punch. Always an annual favorite of mine.

Good job once again Sierra Nevada!

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

Time to review celebration. Pours a decent offwhite creamy head. Color is red/ almost orange with good clarity, just wonderful. Smell is and nice hit of piney hops, not too powerful but good. Taste is right there with citris hops. Finishes up with a nice bite of bitterness. Mouthfeel is about medium bodied, not too heavy. Overall a great from Sierra Nevada which I will buy again next year.

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

This beer in a pleasant amber brown. Pours with a nice white head. Had this is a 30th anniversary Sierra Nevada Glass.

Has a great hoppy aroma to it. Nice herbal and floral hoppy aroma with touch of malt or ester sweetness.

Flavor is nice an bitter with some nice wet hop aroma. Very smooth, highly drinkable. Some citrus flavors. Maybe a little pineyness too.

I can see how some people believe this beer has spices in it, since has a lot of flavors going on. But I have read in interviews that it does not.

Amazing IPA, surprised it has taken me so long to try it.

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Photo of Hammer35
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Beautiful cloudy amber color with good carbonation, lacing and excellent head retention.

Smell: Light pine and citrus notes.

Taste: Fresh, citrusy flavor. Refreshing and hoppy. Not overpowering but certainly not lacking flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very nicely carbonated. Smooth and bordering on the thicker side.

Overall: An excellent seasonal! I love IPAs and had never tried this before reading on this site that it was a can't miss every year for so many of you. I then hounded my local beer shops until one got it in and I can honestly say it really is a can't miss seasonal. Sierra Nevada always delivers and this will definitely be on my list every year from now on!

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Photo of enjambed
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Serving: Fridge temp bottle poured into hefe glass (I need a tulip)

Look: Deep, dark copper, that's nearly brown at some points, but still somewhat transparent. Moderate pour produces a big off-white head that settles down, but persists all the way. Lacing is quite high and lingers forever.

Smell: fresh pine, citrus, grapefruit, and floral notes are abundant and dominate the aroma, with bready malts lingering in the background.

Taste: Like biting into a big, juicy grapefruit, and leaves a bit of that 'puckery' feeling in the mouth. Pine is also present. The malts are almost non-existent, but that's okay here. This is a hop showcase and it does it's job well.

Feel: Medium, but leaves a sticky finish. Carbonation is bubbly but not prickly.

Overall: Celebration is a wonderful seasonal IPA and I don't even care if it isn't balanced.

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Photo of ethosx19
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big head, dark copper color, hop/fruity cherry smell, and a great spicy hop taste. The 6.8% alcohol gives a nice kick without any alcohol aftertaste. This is a great beer that is moving to the top of my list.

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Photo of pgroove
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is a true holiday treat. It differs from other holiday beers because it doesn't have any of that spice nonsense, but focuses more on a strong, warming brew.

It's a hop-lover's paradise, from the moment it's aroma flows to your nose until the last drop is swallowed. While the hops are pronounced and intense, they are not overly dominating which provides a nice counter-balance to the maltiness from the high alc %.

It's seasonally available on tap as well, and makes a fine "black and tan" when mixed with Guinness.

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Photo of robmorris31
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great Ale! One of the most versatile seasonal Winter Ales on the market! The 2011 version is a little hoppier (is that a word, lol?) than the previous years, but this is due to the climate changes experienced on the California coast this past year.

Pairings are great with spicy food: wings, chili

Its bitter finish is perfect for quelling a fire.

The 6.8% ABV is pretty bold but worth the extra time to sober-up.

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Photo of beeritron
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Celebration Ale pours out of the bottle a deep copper color with a foamy tan head that lasts throughout. It lingers on the sides of the glass, creating lacing with every swallow. The smell is a little weak compared to the taste. You sense a nice hop aroma with a little maltiness. The taste, however, is great. It's got a great big hop character balanced by a mild sweetness reminiscent of dark molasses. On the back of the tongue I found that, along with the ruby red grapefruit flavor found in hoppy beers, I tasted maraschino cherries. Overall this is a gem of a Christmas ale. Many times, holiday ales are so sweet and spiced that if you have more than one you start to feel sick. The nice balance of sweet and bitter in Celebration Ale lends itself to being a very drinkable beer without fear of a stomach ache.

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Photo of chuckpalka
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Just picked up one in Chicago
L: Poured in a Goblet a medium copper with a very light tan foamy head that settled some but never went away.
S: Pleasing moderate smell of a easy mix of pine and grapefruit.
T: Slightly bitter as expected but not overboard. Maybe just a little more than I care for.
F: A soft mouth feel and dry aftertaste and a empty glass with plenty of lace.

A good beer as expected from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of buzzworthy
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label says 2007 Celebration Ale, with garlands and a snowy cabin scene to accent the season. The label also notes the brewer's tradition of special beers made for the winter season. Any disappointment that I feel is linked to this presentation. Celebration Ale is a solid IPA that I would happily drink again, but doesn't feel like anything special to me. There is a big, long-lasting head and and a nose and mouthful of hops that impart notions of grapefruit and herbs. It's enjoyable and would be easy to down several in a sitting - there's just noting special out of the realm of a good American IPA.

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

Reviewing this one is especially nice since I'm on my lunchbreak from work...

Pours a nice orangeish color with a small head in the 20 oz. tulip glass. Not much lacing.

Very hoppy smell with lots of pine. It carries right through to the taste. Lots of strong hops, lemony citrus and bitterness on the drink. Moreso than a regular SNPA. The bitterness lingers pretty strong but its quite nice.

The stronger flavor means sipping this one a little slower than a regular SNPA. A good wintertime brew

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an ale glass.

A: Copper colored with an awesome full creamy head that stays for at least a full five minutes.

S: Fresh citrus hoppiness. Some piney scent as well.

T: Much like the smell...full hoppy bitterness up front and finishes with a light malty ending. Delicious!

M: Creamy head with the first several sips. Medium bodied - what I would expect from a 6.8% ABV brew.

D: I can easily drink several of these at a time. The alcohol is hidden behind the full fresh hop flavor that characterizes this beer.

Summary: My favorite seasonal beer by far. This beer is readily available in my area and also a reasonably priced 12-pack. So happy that I have been able to have this in the fridge all winter. Just another fantastic beer from the masters at SN.

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Photo of bataround
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful orange/copper with a nice, off-white head that sticks pretty well.

Smell: Aroma of cascade hops: grapefruit, pine, and a slight floral note. Great nose on this beer!

Taste: Has a good malt background, but this brew's all about the hops! Despite this, there's still of good balance of flavor. This is beer with cascade hops done right. Does a great job of arousing the appetite.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good for the style. Light to light/medium body. Sits more to the dry side. Nice...

Drinkability: Very high if you're a hop-head. If not, stay away because the incredible flavor will only come across as blinding bitterness.

This is my first year trying this brew and I must say that I'm quite impressed. It's like their fantastic Pale Ale, but taken to the next level. I'll look forward to this next year...

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

Poured into a corsendonk tulip

A: Poured a thick (1 and a half fingers) off white head that was amber red and translucent with plenty of bubble action. There was a good amount of bubble action in this IPA.

S: Smells of fresh piney hops mixed with some smells of spices thrown in and a citrus background.

T: First taste is of piney, citrusey hops and then comes the subtle but great spicy finish. Tiny bit of bitterness with this beer in the after-taste and during the initial sip, but easily handled.

M&D: Medium bodied feel with medium carbonation. I can drink these so easily and drink many of them before getting even getting sick of them.

In the end, this beer is very enjoyable from the label to the drink. I would love to drink this during my winter break and take a break from stouts when I feel the need to.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,016 ratings.
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