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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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3,440 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
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Reviews: 3,440 | Ratings: 10,104
Photo of brewmine
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

When you have something to celebrate (frequently, if if you like beer) a Celebration Ale sounds better then say Voices in My Head Insane Hops or suchlike. Good claim stake to a name - Celebration Ale - and a tough one to live up to. Been waiting for this favorite IPA of mine and here it comes on Nov 2 (package date 9/30/14). Amazing consistency and flavor for a mass-produced beer. If a small craft brewery made this it would make its fortune; from Sierra Nevada, it's as if Ford mass-produced the GT40 for the price of a Toyota. Cheers.

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Photo of Brewsky29
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass

A. orange to slightly red with two and a half fingers of fluffy head.

S. wonderful grapefruit citrus notes.

T. smooth nicely bitter with good grapefruit flavor and slight malt and great aftertaste that keeps you drinking.

MF. smooth with very light carbonation.

O. love this beer very favorful and delicious, very easy to drink also

This is my first review hope as a newbie everyone likes it.

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Photo of colingaiser
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass (after my Broncos beat the undefeated Patriots)

L: A beautiful beer ... nice transparent amber/gold with a thick, frothy head and gorgeous lacing ... super inviting

S: As advertised, it has a "fresh" aroma ... orange peel, pine, caramel, honey, a little fresh-baked bread

T: Just delicious ... a solid malty, caramel-esque base with notes of fresh-squeezed citrus juice and pine ... finished with pleasantly bitter notes of grapefruit and lemon peel ... refreshing and dynamic

M: Medium mouthfeel and fairly light on the carbonation, but that just helps highlight the awesome flavor profile

O: An incredibly tasty, malt-forward IPA that has become a winter classic for good reason

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Photo of beerman599
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i sat down with five coceutive years of this and found out that as the hops subside this becomes a great english still old ale. this year was full hpppy and wonderfully bitter, 2003 was still full bitter and hoppy 2002 starts to mellow and the hops start to fall away and expose more fruity character , the 2001 really starts to become and old ale with ripe fruit character and rich malt quilty, make no mistake their as still a great hop character its just becomes more sutle and allows the other flavors to come through

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Photo of soilguy
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 vintage - Nice big hoppy aroma is a most noticeable feature. The color is a golden amber - very small head when poured. Has a nice malty sweetness that is immediately offset by a citrusy hop bite. This follows into a pungent aftertaste. The mouthfeel is nice and full. I can hardly wait for the 2003 version!

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Photo of drugsbunny
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the perfect beer. Color, head, taste... everything. I even like the fact I have to wait until Winter to enjoy this wonderful ale. Perfect hop character, wonderful Cascade aroma. I could drink this forever. I can't wait to find this on tap somewhere.

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

Appearance: Nice dark amber in color. Light fluffy head that stays a while.

Smell: Very refreshing smell-hops and malts. A nice combination and foreshadowing of what lies ahead.

Taste: Balanced with a slight egde to the hops. Earthy, grassy taste of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodies-carbonation is about perfect. Slightly oily.

Drinkability: One of the easiest beers to drink. Very easy to keep em coming.

Overall an excellent beer.Wish it was around all year.

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Photo of willgro
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great new generation brewery in the US and is in the mountains, near Chico, California. The brewery is known for beers full of character and complexity. This one is for winter and is aromatic and lively in flavor, with hints of oily dark chocolate and lots of lemony hop bitterness. I personally don't like a lot of hops, but this one is pretty good. Sierra Nevada is famous for India Pale ale, which to be honest, i'm not a huge fan of. But check this one out, it is a good christmas ale. Not quite St. Arnolds, but close.

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Photo of Scriba
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber, with a high beige head. A little cloudy. After a while, the head leaves a finger thick lid and a lot of lacing.

S: Malts, caramel and American hops.

T: Follows the smell. A very bitter aftertaste (and that's ok with me)

M: A lot of CO2, and it leaves a little sticky felling in the mouth. Still not bad at all.

D: Yes!

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Photo of Brewnami
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep reddish appearance with a small head and even lace.

S- Pine, citrus, malty scent.

T- Spicy and hoppy. Tastes like a winter lager and an American IPA beat the piss out of each other and this was the remains.

M- Bitter, spicy, malty... Tastes pretty similar to the scent.

D- Very drinkable. Not something I would fight over in the summer time, but an awesome winter brew. I am a huge fan of both IPA's and seasonal brews so this combination was great. Not something I would expect from Sierra Nevada... and that is a good thing!
Absolutely recommended for anyone who likes winter lagers and IPA's.

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Photo of jaycount
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a dark, golden, almost amber hue. Lots of foam on this one. Plenty of lacing as well. Smells like light hops, dark fruit, spices. Tastes are similar. Like a fruity/spicy pale ale. Some citrusy undertones. Maybe nutmeg or clove, some other spice. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Bobby12many
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brilliant amber hue with a huge billowy head. Plenty of of frothy lacing.

S - Robust flowery hops with a light and zesty citrus note.

T - Bright lemon and grapefruit up front that transition perfectly into fresh hop bitterness that lingers. Somewhat spicy, in the finish with a nutty malt tinge that really evens everything out. Very tasty.

M - Fuller bodied than I expected. Enough to do away with any resinous bitterness.

D - Crisp, fresh, and easy drinking while still being interesting to the palette. A delicious, highly sessionable IPA. I will definitely visit this one again.

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

Tried in a growler a few weeks back but it was kinda flat so I had to give this another try in bottles.

A-Nice light copper color with a thick 3 finger head that hung around the whole time. Ton of lacing that held onto the glass. Very visually appealing.

S- Large fruity hop smell up front. I see a lot of other reviewers describe it as piney? I'm still trying to distinguish piney smells in hops. Either way, you can tell this is gonna be a hoppy one.

T- The hops hit you up front as most IPAs do. I'm picking up lots of citrus flavor that attack the tongue. Very tasty caramel malts to balance it out.

M- I struggle with reviewing mouthfeel, but this one stands out. Because of the thick head that remained throughout, this had a great creamy mouthfeel on the way down.

O- Very tasty beer. Above average IPA for sure, I'm just trying to figure out where all the hype has come from. Personally I prefer Torpedo but maybe it's the limited availability that has everyone worked up.

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Photo of MirImage
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Poured into a Pint Glass.

A: Light copper color with a frothy white head. good lacing. Head sticks with beer as you drink it.

S: Citrus hops. Doesn't smell too hoppy.

T: Pretty balanced for an IPA. I kinda wish it was more hoppy. Easy finish on the back of the pallet.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Pretty drinkable. I would have few. I could drink more of these in order than say Torpedo.

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Photo of tobeerornottobe
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep golden colour, not exactly clear, looks like a heavyish beer. Great head, thick with lots of nice bubbles.

N: Not terribly full but subtle and nicely balanced. Hints of tropical fruits.

T: Milder than I expected given appearance and taste. However, nice bitterness moving through from mid palate to back palate.

M: Pleasant and well balanced, nice that it's not too overcarbonated.

Very good session beer, loved how it is so well balanced.

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Photo of KTeamLSU
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Nice hazy orangish color, reminding me of the fall.

S: Great hops profile, nice spice in the nose

T: Solid flavors throughout, nice hops malt balance with a smooth slightly bitter finish

M: Well carbonated

O: great seasonable IPA and very sessionable

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Photo of WTexas
3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 2005 Celebration Ale appeared a light amber color with a promising thick beige head of foam. It smelled exceptionally hoppy – not surprising given its IPA heritage. I anticipated a complex mixing of flavors, but found only an almost brackish bitterness which was consistent throughout the session. I did not detect the spiced accents that I’ve come to expect in other “holiday beers”. I only found a resin and pine aftertaste. Mouthfeel was also disappointing -- oily and thin are the words that best capture it for me. Sierra Nevada’s 2005 offering is an adequate IPA, but not one that I’ll be using to ring in the holidays.

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Photo of stodbrew
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 Edition.

Pours a very slighty hazy deep copper, borderline red, color. Nice white head that lasts and lasts.

Aroma is all hops. Piney, citrusy, and a bit grapefruity.

Flavor is more hops. Grapefruit again, and some hop spiciness. All balanced with a very nice malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is full and round. Perfect carbonation.

This is a phenomenal beer. I look forward to this beer every year.

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Photo of calir1
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. It is the best damn beer for the price hands down. $12 for the 12 pack and could not pass up.. I actually have had may 30 of these or so this season and I love everyone of them. I am not going to say how it tastes, because nobody cares, so I just want people to know this beer is fantastic and I will buy every year that I am still drinking beer.

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Photo of krausenman
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-The beer pours into the glass the color of a copper penny. While it is clear that is a slight haze from the yeast. The head that caps the beer is an off white color and lasts for a considerable time while the beer is consumed.

S-Initially, there is a combination of aromas that I can smell. Citrus/Marmalade/Grapefruit, floral and herbal or pine-like aromas are prominent. The citrus aroma is dominant but there are also fruit-like aromas of ripe tropical style fruit mixed in also.

T-The first taste on the tounge is a sweet syrup/malt taste that is backed up by a solid bitter componenet. There are herbal and astringent flavors from the hops that seem balanced with the sweetness of the beer. The beer swallows with a refreshing cleansing taste of bitter hops.

M-Celebration Ale definitely has a fuller body than I would expect from an American IPA. I would characterize it as being somewhere in the "medium" range for mouthfeel. The carbonation is on the lighter side making the beer refreshing.

D-The beer is well balanced and dangerously drinkable while having a fuller mouthfeel. Overall it is packed with flavor and aroma and packs a bitter punch that makes for a great combo.

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Photo of jcompton
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: pours a reddish, very comparable to a red rye ipa. a 2 fingered head with fantastic retention

smell: hop dominant, with no questions about the style of this winter seasonal

taste: hop up front with a great finish. this is a west-coast IPA that isn't just hops kicking you in the teeth. well balance for the style

mouthfeel: once again SN has the ideal amount of carbonation to compliment the great flavor

drinkability: it's no wonder this is one of the highest "looking for to one of those this winter" beers. give me a sixer and i'm happy, give me a case and i'll send you a Xmas card every year for the rest of my life.

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

This beer is great. It has generated a lot of hype this year and all of it is deserved. About as far away from your typical winter seasonal and I give SN a lot of credit for creating this gift around the holidays. Hoppy, mixed with spice and maybe a touch of cinnamon. I have been picking up this beer for the past few months and still find myself wanting more. Hopefully this will turn into a year round brew. Awesome.

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Photo of bobjonesSD
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Celebration - I've been waiting for this one to come around again - always a favorite. The head on this beer from simply pouring it into a pint glass from the bottle is amazing. Beautiful tight lacing on a nice amber beer. The aroma could actually be a little stronger - maybe it needs to warm up some more to release that. Lots of piney hops - no citrus or skunk notes. Good malt backbone without being cloying. Super well-balanced and solid IPA, glad to have picked up a bunch on sale.

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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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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,104 ratings.
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