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: 10,208
Photo of aBeeraWeek
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You just need to take a quick whiff to instantly recognise that this is not your usual spiced winter’s seasonal ale. You will be hit with a refreshing burst of melon passionfruit and citrus, which can be most closely related to grapefruit.

The taste is equally powerful – bold and bitter from the outset. The citrus still continues but takes on more of a lemon taste. The aftertaste is less bold and you are left with a more floral hop bitterness that is nicely balanced with sweet caramels and honeys – now we are getting closer to a traditional winter offering.

The feel in the mouth is medium to full bodied and carbonation is light enough not to distract from the wonderful flavours.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale pours with a solid, thick, and bubbly off-white head. The beer is a dark rich amber and is filled with fine bubbles (about the same size as Champagne). The lacing on the glass is fantastic – it is fine and crystal like and has the appearance of falling like snow. How fitting for a holiday season offering.

As this beer has plenty of body and hoppy bitterness you need to be careful with the food to match with. You need something with enough punch to carry the flavour, but at the same time not be a filling main course. I would suggest an entree sized wild game selection. Venison is particularly well suited to the Celebration Ale.

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Photo of PatriotsRule
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop masterpiece
A: Super heady light amber with lacing that sticks around
S: Hops and pine, roasted nuts and a respectable malt presence
T: Hops hops and more hops. Pinecones, citrus and maple syrup.
M: Crisp and clean, refreshing and smooth. Hoppy aftertaste is strong
O: A quality bottle-conditioned fresh hop ale. compare with the Northern Hemisphere Harvest.

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Photo of joekoz007
4.91/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into an IPA glass.
Pours a crystal clear dark copper color with 3.5 inches of thick, off-white head. Some of the head was still in the bottom of the glass after I finished the beer. Gobs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is all hop. Citrus, pine, minty notes abound.

Taste at the start and finish is a terrific hop bitterness with a touch of bready malt in the middle. Moderate carbonation and a pleasant, slightly oily mouthfeel.
Overall, this is a superb beer. Definitely my favorite Christmas brew. In my top 3 favorite beers ever. Seek this out.

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Photo of leeenglewood
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 batch kind of weird seeing poinsettias on Halloween but oh well. Dark amber color with a head that is bubbly and coats the glass to the last drop. Smells of sweet version of pine resin very hoppy. Hops come threw full bore in the initial taste but a slight malt sweetness comes threw on the aftertaste. Not being a real hophead I fully appreciate this beer for it gives one of the best tastes of a truly hoppy beers where everything tastes like it is unison.

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Photo of hopman333
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't wait to try the 2008 batch and as usual it did not dissapoint.

Upon the opening of the first bottle out of my 12'er, A huge blast of fruity / citrusy hops shot into my nose.

When pouring into my glass I noticed the familiar beige head that rises quickly to the top of my gass that soon subsides with some beautiful lacing.

And the taste was a very intense hop flavor, grapefruit from the chinook's, and the sweetness and spiciness of the Cascade's and centtenial's,only to be followed up by the rich malt character that is imparted from the use of the english malt's that they use, as well as the usual crystal malt's. Absolutey perfect... Rich, complex and extremely satisfying.

One final note on this brew is the fact that sierra product's almost alway's have a nice crisp carbonation that so mant brew's lack, and I miss. What happened to beer's that are crisp and satisfying, as so many other beer's these day's have the carbonation of a cracked open coke that had been sittting there for at least a day LOL...

Oh yeah, I drank the whole twelver despite it's 6.7 percent alcahol content and never got bored with it. It's a shame you cannot get this year round... Flawless !!! Kick's some major ass !!!

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Photo of Caesar1pup
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brilliant! Top Notch! Oh how I will look forward to this every winter now as I look forward to pumpkin ale in the fall.

How do I love thee? A phenomenal flavor, enticing aroma, and addictive hoppiness that says “Merry Christmas ole pal!”

My advice to you young friend is get some while you can as next December is far too long of a wait to enjoy this holiday treat.

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Photo of mhaugan
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition served in a shaker pint

I hadn't tried any previous editions so this review is based solely on my experience with the latest brew.

Pours a reddish brown with a light head. Reminiscent of tinted SNPA. Slight spicy odor with a hops backer. Tastes quite smooth with the hops popping on the tongue. Finishes with a strong hop bitterness left in the mouth. Despite this, I actually find that the milder upfront hops make this a very drinkable beer for me.

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Photo of Hoopster4hire
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had it a couple times now, so I thought I would give it a review.

Appearance: Poured an amber color with good head that slowly dissipated.

Smell: Aroma of spices, sour notes and hops.

Taste: The spices make a noticeable appearance on the palate. Seems to have a dash of nutmeg and caramelized notes. Hops are prevalent and malt background is there.

Mouthfeel: Has a definite bite to it with the carbonation and spices.

Drinkability: This is a beer that should be enjoyed in small doses. More than a couple of these and your palate is numbed, but on the plus side, this is a good beer to toast a celebration with.

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Photo of johnnybravo
2.15/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Although not even exceptionally hoppy I think this beers is still too bitter, too dry. Especially in the finish it developes a harsh bitterness, almost medicinal. Leaving a very dry mouthfeel like you've been sucking on a piece of rusty metal. I shared the bottle with a friend and I'm glad I did because I probably couldn't have finished it on my own. Smells ok though, fruity and flowers, like most American IPA's.

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Photo of lynx1245
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: A rich dark amber with yeast sediment suspended throughout. Nice looking bubbles from the carbonation add sparkle. This is a really good looking beer.

Smell: Citrus, mostly grapefruit, and big hops are what I take away first. Giving it more time and letting my mind wander more I do believe I can detect some malt.

Taste: Starts off with a sweet citrus and malty taste and finishes with BIG hops! I would expect nothing less from Sierra Nevada. Still, the hops are delicious and I wouldn't change them one bit.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a dry finish and good carbonation. You can really FEEL the bitterness.

Drinkability: As I review this, I'm drinking the last bottle in the 6 pack. After drinking two of these about a week ago I've literally been craving more ever since. I've never been a huge fan of really bitter beers, but this one has converted me. Cheers to you Mr. Grossman!

I think I should also mention that I used to live in Chico a few years ago and never heard a bad thing about Celebration Ale. Well, in 2005 I decided to give it a shot with my friend so we went out and bought a case to last for the weekend. Being in college and new to beer we absolutely hated it because of the huge hop presence and ended up giving half the case away to others. Know what to expect when you're buying this beer; it's an IPA and a robust one at that! Now in 2008 I've tried it again, and after expanding my palate for these last 3 years I can say that this is an excellent beer!

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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 SerieDNo3
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this at a local Whole Foods. I've been looking forward to it since last year, when I barely missed out on getting some. 12 oz. bottle poured into an American pint glass.

Appearance: Dark copper/amber color with a light head that dissipates rather quickly, but leaves excellent lacing the whole way down.

Smell: Citrus-y and piney, just as I'd expect from a West Coast IPA.

Taste: Hops. Piney and a little bit of grapefruit, with just enough malt to provide balance.

Mouthfeel: Satisfyingly crisp, with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Eminently drinkable. ABV might be slightly high to make this a session beer, but I want to drink one after another. The hops give it a very satisfying crispness. I wish SN made this year-round.

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Photo of latackbeer
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a perfect copper with red at the edges. Poured a 2 finger head into a Pint glass and it climbed down the glass.

The smell is pine and woody perfect brew for our first snowfall.

The taste is the same as the smell just with some lemony notes.

Very drinkable, for the season it has become my favorite I.P.A.

Get it While you can!!

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Photo of TheGarvenator
2.68/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - A murky orange color with a remaining head

S - overwhelming citris smell from the hops

T - tastes extremely bitter with the sting of citris and hops

M - medium bodied with carbonation, sting from citris

I clearly am not a fan of IPAs since the taste immediately threw me off and it went down hill from there...Amazing color and smell but the bitter taste of the hops, pine, and other spices were just not balanced right for me...I'll stick with the pale ale...

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Photo of r0gueleader
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic! Had it on-tap at a local lounge and it did not disappoint. The color was a amber/copper and it had a citrus/pine smell to it with some warm malt sweetness. It was bitter but not overpowering, many different hop flavors with a malt caramel backbone. A very drinkable IPA; very smooth, not too overwhelming. Perfect for the festive season.

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

This beer poured to a very dark amber. I found this beer to have a very pleasant holiday aroma. This is one hell of a hoppy, fruity beer. Those two main tastes, along with some others, really combine into something very complex. I really couldn't finish too many of these as it is a very heavy, filling beer. Still, a nice treat for the holidays, enjoyed in moderation.

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Photo of kush6875
4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

celebation 2007 vintage

serving type : bottle poured into a DT goblet

smell: fresh crisp hops, pine, lots of citrus

taste: again very crisp, dry and hoppy. This beer begs you to drink more. it really knocks the palat for a loop but in a good way!!

mouthfeel: smoooth, crisp and deliciously hoppy!

drinkabilty: for a hop-heap its tops! now that the weather is changing i could drink this all night. this is a great beer to drink while you shovel the driveway on cold winter evenings!!!

In 04 father law and i finished a half barrel in 19 days flat!!! damn that was a great christmas!


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Photo of chefboy812
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured nicely with a big white head over a nice orange-amber with a descent clarety. Underwhelming aroma, that was very mild; maybe fruity?

It drinks very well, nice full mouth feel, with a warm chewyness, fom the 7.6 ABV. I don't know why there wasn't any aroma witha nice dry smacky hop preasence. piney and grapefruit pith dominate with a resiny linger.

A solid beer from SN, wish it was a year round bomber.

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

I was hopeing for alittle more malt flavor from a winter brew but the hops seem to make up for the lack of the malty "goodness".

The color had anice caramel hue with a perfect, thick creamy head that lasted to the bottom of the glass.Greatlacing was left behind to remind you to poor another.

The hops really stand out with a strong earty aroma. Leaving a bitter taste you can expect from an IPA.

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Photo of luciusgilmer
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Overall, this reminds me of a quality Pale Ale, though I have not had this brand's famous pale ale.
a: Color and head are gorgeous and rich.

s: not very distinctive; I didn't sense the citrus others do, but it's certainly a bitter, hoppy aroma.

t: nice flavors, rich and bitter, with some citrus aftertaste. Like others, I don't sense anything "spicy" about this, so I'm not sure how it's a holiday brew.

m: smooth and savorable, with enough pleasant taste to coat all parts of the tongue, and good carbonation.

d: a high quality beer that I would drink again and wouldn't mind having more of, though it's overall more bitter than I like (I've tried to balance this in my score since I usually find American IPA's to be like that).

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Photo of KSac4115
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an unfiltered copper color with a 1/2 inch slightly off-white foam head.

Smell is floral and hoppy. Smell isn't too apparent, but is light and sweet.

Taste is sweet. Slightly hoppy. Pretty good blend of flavors. Pretty good bitterness. Aftertaste is somewhat pleasant but the flavors tend to fade quickly leaving a mild bitter feeling on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Smooth in the mouth with just the right amount of carbonation. The bitterness is very apparent.

Drinkability is very good. Could definitely have quite a few of these. The higher alcohol percentage is not very obvious.

Overall a pretty good and drinkable beer.

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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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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,208 ratings.
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