An Ode to Celebration
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
One of my favorite things about beer is how it becomes part of our lives. It is a favorite lifelong friend at the end of our days, on our weekends, at our gatherings, in our moments of solitude or in our moments of pride and accomplishment. Somehow beer seems to imbue these times with sparkle and a sense of festivity, connection, and mirth. Now I have drank a lot of beer some are part of my own personal lore. There are the cans of Genny Cream I stole from a family picnic, the cases of Coors I purchased in high school because it was the big deal beer of the time, the countless cases of Meister Brau I drank in college, the pitchers of Red Dog I drank on the first date with my wife, and the pitcher of Bass I bought with literally my last $12 (and I mean I had $.39 left to my name). But the beer I hold with fondness is Celebration, Sierra Nevada’s winter offering and in my estimation the finest beer for this time of year.
Celebration is a fresh hop IPA, a refreshing change from the flood of spiced beers and malt forward high ABV winter warmers that fill our shelves this time of year. While the terms fresh hop and wet hop might be used interchangeably, for Sierra Nevada a fresh hop beer means the hops are used within two weeks of harvest. The results are a sultry mix of some citrus notes enveloped into a subdued resinous bitterness that much like the holidays is both bracingly pleasant and slightly off putting. And as the season requires, Celebration delivers a subtle, slow moving alcohol warmth that makes enduring another winter somehow easier.
Much like the beers I mentioned earlier Celebration has found its way into my personal life. It single handedly made me an IPA lover. It introduced me to the pains of a delicious seasonal that would disappear. I remember the sadness I felt when my beer store clerk told me that it was gone and would not return for another year. It was the beer of choice sitting solo around the firepit as I burned sticks and branches I had collected from the yard all year long. And a few years ago, when my wife told me we were “freshening up” the kitchen for Thanksgiving (which was two weeks away) it was the yardstick for all the tasks. Painting was a six Celebration job, laying the flooring down was a two-and-a-half-day, full case of Celebration job. And that is how I measured each task required, with the number of Celebrations they required. In hindsight, Celebration was my most useful tool.
If you haven’t tried Celebration I highly recommend you do. If you are already a fan, stop in and get some and spend some quality time with this beer.
Author: Joe Elia, Manager @ King of Prussia Beer Outlet