Some beers are made more special by their rarity. These are the big imperial stouts, aged in even bigger bourbon barrels before finding their way into a very small number of bottles and sold for top-dollar. These are the beers for which people trade, stand in line, and sell their souls through blood-signed pacts.
And then there’s Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale.
Celebration is the antithesis of such beers. It is affordable, readily available, and the only line you’ll have to stand in to get it is that of your local grocery store — such is the far-reaching distribution of Celebration. For nearly 30 years, craft beer lovers have welcomed the cold winter months knowing that Celebration Ale would make them that much more tolerable.
Well, it’s here — Christmas came early. An early hop harvest has Celebration Ale landing on shelves across the nation. Anyone that’s had Celebration Ale knows that hops are at the forefront of this American IPA, which is dry-hopped with Cascade and Centennial hops. Some mistakenly assume that Celebration contains holiday spices, but it does not. It’s a winter beer in that it’s released every winter, but it is a well-brewed IPA, not a winter warmer.
The beer shipped out to the east coast on October 18th, so you could see it as soon as next week. The same goes for the west coast, though Celebration Ale is currently on tap at the brewery in Chico.
Just as Celebration Ale plays a part in the holidays of beer drinkers across the nation, it also plays a part in the last of Sierra Nevada’s 30th anniversary series. The first three in the series have been collaborations with craft beer pioneers, but for the fourth and final beer, Sierra Nevada has kept everything in house. Sierra Nevada Our Brewers Reserve: Grand Cru is a blend of the brewery’s Celebration Ale, Pale Ale and oak-aged Bigfoot, which is then dry-hopped for good measure. Like Celebration, you could see Grand Cru hit shelves as early as next week.