our love for this Winter seasonal. Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop Ale takes a somewhat different approach to the Winter beer. Instead of bringing dark, roasted flavors to the party, Celebration treats us to citrus, hoppy goodness.
Celebration Ale pours a rich marmalade-orange color with a thick, sticky head. I always tend to pour the first few servings a little too hard, until I again remember the strength of the foam. I think this year I'll keep my 20 ounce Sierra Nevada glass handy to help avoid any overflow. The aroma of grapefruit and pine foretells the flavor enjoyment to come. The bold taste of citrus, in the form of grapefruit and orange pithiness hits first. Freshly harvested Cascade hops are used to add to the richness. A balancing bitterness comes quickly into play, and there's just enough breadiness in the malt to round it all out. The mouthfeel is "thick" and "juicy." (If that sounds odd, once you've had the beer, you'll understand.) A fair amount of carbonation adds to the body and helps impart a crisp, clean finish.
I have no doubt that the seasonal nature of Sierra Nevada Celebration adds to the enjoyment and desirability. We like this beer, a lot, and if my bulk purchases are influenced by marketing, and knowing I can only buy it for a couple months of the year, I'm comfortable being manipulated in that manner.
Which reminds me, I need to get back to the store...