Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: Celebration Ale

As the holidays fade into blurry memories so do many of the season's limited beer releases. Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale, should never be forgotten.
During the holiday season, Sierra bucks the trend of most microbreweries and releases an IPA instead of a traditional winter warmer. What's lost in malts is made up for in hops. And in taste.

Nothing against winter warmers (I love to reach for a Snow Cap, Winterhook, or Chirstmas Ale on any cold night) but this beer is a wonderful and dare I say, a superior replacement.
You may think an IPA should be a second choice during the holidays, but let me convince you otherwise: As an IPA, Celebration Ale has an darker orangier color than most india pale ales, so it won't look like your sipping on a summer beer. The brew also matches the raised alcohol content of most winter releases to give you that false sense of warmth on a cold night. It's flavor is also plenty strong to match any holiday feast. Most notably there is a very floral hoppiness which is the backbone of the beer. Despite the incredible flowery hops the aftertaste is surprising sweet and leaves a wonderful lingering feeling. Overall its everything you'd want from an IPA or any other winter beverage.

By mid February most winter beers are either sold out, their production shut down, or the remaining cases are stored away. If your local market is business savvy they may throw these remaining winters at customers with a discounted price in an attempt to replace them with the early spring releases. If so, snatch up some Sierra Celebration and hope for a blizzard. Cheers


Mattie said...

FYI: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is different than Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale - another Chico IPA. The Anniversary is twenty bitterness units less than the winter release and the difference is quite noticeable.

Nick Norman said...

I actually tried this one back in early January. I couldn't get through one...the floral taste was really offensive. All I kept thinking was "Get out of my hoppiness!"