Pope Crisco: Celebration Fresh Hop Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Happy beer-thirty my friends. Only being Wednesday, it feels much later in the week in my head. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t had a job in a month, the increased volume of job interviews I’ve had of late, or another factor altering my perception, but I feel physically and mentally drained this hump day.

As Friday inches closer, as well as the hit counter on my blog getting closer to 15,000 unique hits (which I assume is good?) I feel it’s time to sit down and write a review of Sierra Nevada’s winter seasonal, Celebration.

You might be thinking “But Pope, it’s Spring! Shouldn’t this have been reviewed earlier?” And you would be correct, but as a beer blogger, I get distracted easily by one beer release over another, so a couple bottles of this “fresh hop ale” have been sitting in the cold, dark recess of my fridge conversing with some also forsaken green vegetables whilst I frolicked amongst other ales.

Today, though, the last two bottles of this six pack will join their four brethren in the hallowed halls of Ale-Halla, and join the beer equivalent of Odin in the fermentables’ equivalent of the afterlife (or become part of the Tarrant county sewer system after consumption, it’s pretty much the same thing to me.)

The beer pours a semi-cloudy, rich carrot orange hue, with a gloriously obscene amount of active carbonation, and a healthy off-white head. In addition to suds off the initial pour, the head remains throughout the beer’s consumption, offering sticky lacing and a cloud of beer that tickles the palate and throat at the conclusion of the drinking exercise.

Tons of CO2 and lacing make this a wonderful beer to look at, as well as consume.

A hop forward nose addresses the drinker with an upfront citrus, primarily grapefruit, introduction, but is rounded out with floral accents and a very light malt sweetness.

This introduction to the olfactory glands is indicative of the follow through on the palate, as a similar hop-forward, grapefruit body is most easily recognizable in the first brush with the tongue. Overpowered by an aggressive bitterness, the first few sips leave much to be desired in complexity, however, as my sense of taste acclimated itself to the beverage, a nice orange and spice accent opened up, and was rounded out by an underscored, light caramel backend.

To distill the beverage in brief, it was a fine beer that would have been better if greater balance could be found on the front end of the beverage, negotiating the brisk bitterness with a medium-bodied flavor profile.


I brew and drink beer, smoke pipes and cigars, eat till I’ve had more than my fill, and escape in pulp rags till my eyes turn buggy. I don’t claim any expertise in any subject other than the chase of my own earthly pleasures. I write to help others find their own pleasures so that together we will decay in spirit with these lesser pursuits.