Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,465 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: 3,465 | Ratings: 10,201
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 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 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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Photo of cfergusn
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hopiness is present almost immediately. Slight lacing on the head, not a lot present. Appearance is light red/brown, body is full of hops as stated previous. I tasted a slight hint of woodsyness with what to me was pine. No mint with this one, but feels a little dry with a slight after taste.

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Photo of Adam5150
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel color with a medium sized tan head. There was a nice flowery hop aroma. The flavor was nicely malty, a bit sweet and had a strong flowery and grapefruity hop presence. There was a light hop bitterness on the finish. A nice IPA overall with a good malt balance.

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Photo of HoppyPeteSkolnik31
3.21/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Keystone in Whitehall, PA

A: Nice amber color with a thick head which helped to develop the lacing throughout the beer.

S: My nose was filled with malt, not hops which was a bit surprising after reading reviews that labeled this beer a hopheads delight.

M: The feel of this beer was rather full, led by that more malty than hoppy character which I really didn't expect.

T: The taste was similar to the smell, earthy malt and earthy hops. Not what I thought it would be, but not fully disappointing.

O: Don't think I'll be going back to this one and possibly not back to any Sierra Nevada IPAs again. In my opinion, each has been overrated for my taste. I consider myself to be quite the hophead and I have been let down by this beer as well as the Torpedo in the past. From the reviews I thought I'd love this beer. From my personal taste, it wasn't what I'd hoped. Their pale ale is fine, but I've come to question if their reputation is taking precedence over people's taste buds.

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Photo of mirp1
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Celebration Ale is one of the first holiday beers ever released in the U.S. I first had it many years ago, and was blown away by it's classy simplicity. It struck me as an in-your-face, rock solid craft beer, having no intentions on faking anyone out. I looked forward to it's annual November release, and not just for the quality of the beer, but also for the striking holiday-winter theme packaging. Like many reviewers, I have had all kinds of beer over the years, from EKU 28, to Scaldis, to Heady Topper, Pliny the Elder, Ghandi Bot, Hi Res, KBS, Bourbon County Stout/Barley Wine, Bells Hop Slam/Mars, Seeking Alpha, Flower Power, Creeker, etc, etc. Consequently, my palate is conditioned to not be as impressed as I was with the more regular craft beers of the world. When I was told last week that Celebration Ale was now in stock at local beer stores here in Utica, NY, I quickly went out and grabbed some. Modern holiday beers have become spice crazy, and so have jumped the shark. Celebration Ale is that rock solid holiday craft beer that never sold out. Great color, malty, crisp, with cascade, centennial, and chinook. Nuff said.

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Photo of pacothrash
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-brown color with a nice 1" head that leaves lacing around the glass. Smell is very nice with some hint of citrusy hops. The finish is somewhat bitter. Definately worth drinking every year. Unfortunately I am out of my 2007 bottles.

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Photo of Dougal
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this had a strange taste.... it was hoppy but unbalanced... the malts were given to caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg hence the winter scene in the advertising. The first taste did not warrant a need for a second taste, it was a winter warmer type of product which now I know I do not like

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

A few minutes ago, in a room not so far away...

Sierra Nevada: Celebration Ale
Round IV

It is a period of severe thirst.
Me, avoiding poorly brewed beer,
from a hidden cafe, has won
another victory against
the evil Mass Market Beverage Empire.

During the battle, Rebel
spies (me) managed to avoid purchasing
the Empire's ultimate weapon, the ALUMINUM
PINT, an armored twist off
can with enough power
to destroy entire tastebuds.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Majesticsock
drank a wonderfly fresh hoppy mix
(with a flowery aftertaste)
aboard his pint glass.
I slowly enjoy the mouthfeel as I take my time
being the custodian of an
amber looking, hoppy smelling beverage
that can save my tastebuds and restore
freedom throughout the galaxy....

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,201 ratings.
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