Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

I thought I’d introduce myself since this is my first post, but then I realized your probably don’t care, so let’s get right to the beer!

This is a review of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California.

Though it is only available seasonally, and marketed “especially for the holidays,” this beer is used by the Beer Judge Certification Program as an example of an American IPA and not a spiced or specialty beer. At 6.8% alcohol by volume this beer will give you a nice warm feeling of cheer on a cold winter’s night.

Sierra Nevada lists the ingredients as two-row pale and english caramel malts with chinook hops for bittering, cascade and centennial to finish and dry hop. They just say they use a “top-fermenting ale yeast,” but it’s probably the Chico yeast. If you look at some of the more popular clone recipes, you'll see that's really all there is to it.

The beer pours a clear copper color with a thick, creamy off-white head. The aroma is hoppy with hints of flowers, spice, citrus, and pine with a faint malt sweetness. The beer feels smooth on the tongue with the right carbonation for an American IPA and a crisp finish that leaves you wanting another. It has a good hop bitterness with a nice malt backbone, with hints of unsweetened chocolate and cherry, like biting into a Godiva cherry cordial.

Overall I really like this beer. The wife an I stock up on it every year between Thanksgiving and New Years.


BeyondThePale said...

Celebration Ale - Gods be praised! I love this stuff. It does tend to the IPA side (which is typical for SN) but it does have a bit more caramel flavors IMHO. Even so, I could care less about the style designation, I just love the taste.

Anonymous said...

I haven't bought a 6 pack yet this year. I still have a bottle left from last year and I'm going to do a side by side in the next few weeks.

Mark (the Brush Valley Brewer) said...

McKBrew, It would be great to hear what you find in a side-by-side tasting. Let us know what you find out!