Christmastime is when the red cans of Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA start showing up on shelves, a beer the company has brewed yearly since it was established 40 years ago. Launched to celebrate not just the holidays but the arrival of fresh hops, the classic IPA is made with a mix of Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and is designed to be consumed soon after release.
It’s a solid IPA — not too bitter, not too earthy, not too fruity — a balanced exploration of hops that comes across as slightly grassy and floral, with a healthy slug of pine underneath. Fans of Sierra Nevada’s classic Pale Ale will find this a familiar experience on the whole, running on the finish to more of a brooding forest floor character, slightly mushroomy — and a bit less “fresh” than other seasonal offerings, like Stone’s Enjoy By series. That said, no major complaints here. Drink it while it’s, er, cold.
A- / $10 per six-pack / sierranevada.com