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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: BrewingRover on November 03, 2011, 12:51:47 AM

Title: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: BrewingRover on November 03, 2011, 12:51:47 AM
Picked up a six of this at my local market this evening. I think they changed the recipe ;D

I love this beer and look forward to its release every year. It's such a great balance of malt and hops. I'm buying a couple of 12s as soon as I see them this year. It disappeared pretty fast in my neck of the woods last year. My market still has some 12s of Tumbler to get rid of, unfortunately.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bluesman on November 03, 2011, 01:14:16 AM
I'll be buying some of this beer in the coming Holiday season. I love SNCA...what a great recipe.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: The Professor on November 03, 2011, 02:24:12 AM
Haven't seen it around these parts yet, but I always look forward to SNCA.  It's a real gem, pretty darn close to perfection.
I always hear, every year, comments that they've changed the recipe....but I wonder if it isn't just year to year variation in the raw ingredients.
Has anyone at SN ever commented on whether the main recipe has actually changed (or not) over the years?

In any case, this beer has never disappointed me.  It's been a fave of mine since it first became available in NJ.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: denny on November 03, 2011, 03:57:30 AM
I just came back to my hotel room after drinking it at the brewery.  I can tell you that the recipe is the same as it's always been.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: punatic on November 03, 2011, 04:01:03 AM
A few years back they must have double hopped it.  That year was twice as good as usual.

I love this time of year.  Celebration has arrived and Big Foot is #1 on the runway!
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: blatz on November 03, 2011, 01:48:16 PM
but I wonder if it isn't just year to year variation in the raw ingredients.
Has anyone at SN ever commented on whether the main recipe has actually changed (or not) over the years?


i really think that is all it is - according to SN, the recipe has always been to use the first of the newly dried hop harvest - so there is bound to be natural variation - couple that with a little taste amnesia since we don't have it year round and there you go.

hell I remember Centennials being subpar in either 2009 or maybe even last year - made my Centennial heavy beers a lot more resiny and harsh than in year's past.  No reason it doesn't happen to the pros.

Bought my annual case last night, though I had a few bottles last weekend - great as always - its super fresh right now and is really nice and complex if you let it warm up a bit before indulging - looking forward to enjoying it more this fall!
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bo on November 03, 2011, 02:11:47 PM
I keep reading all of these comments and laughing. Since this is a homebrew site, make your own SNCA and you'll have the consistency you want. It's a very simple recipe and all over the web. Dean ????, last name fails me, has nailed the recipe, IMO.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: blatz on November 03, 2011, 02:18:34 PM
I keep reading all of these comments and laughing. Since this is a homebrew site, make your own SNCA and you'll have the consistency you want. It's a very simple recipe and all over the web. Dean ????, last name fails me, has nailed the recipe, IMO.

its Dean Larson.  Good recipe, but I am more inclined to try the CYBI recipe given by Steve Dressler next time I'm inclined to brew a clone - seems more intuitive.

As for buying it - this is one of the beers I just enjoy purchasing -  I do brew SNCA-ish beers on occasion, but I usually get my fill once a year for $30/case.  Its a very different beer than my house IPA which is much more southern california style.  Perhaps its just nostalgia.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bo on November 03, 2011, 02:21:23 PM
I keep reading all of these comments and laughing. Since this is a homebrew site, make your own SNCA and you'll have the consistency you want. It's a very simple recipe and all over the web. Dean ????, last name fails me, has nailed the recipe, IMO.

its Dean Larson.  Good recipe, but I am more inclined to try the CYBI recipe given by Steve Dressler next time I'm inclined to brew a clone - seems more intuitive.

As for buying it - this is one of the beers I just enjoy purchasing -  I do brew SNCA-ish beers on occasion, but I usually get my fill once a year for $30/case.  Its a very different beer than my house IPA which is much more southern california style.  Perhaps its just nostalgia.

Yes, it's Larson, thank you. How is the other recipe different? Do you have a link to it?
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: BrewingRover on November 03, 2011, 02:33:06 PM
Yes, it's Larson, thank you. How is the other recipe different? Do you have a link to it?
Here's the CYBI recipe and another based on an interview with SN's brewmaster, Dave Dresler
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/jamil-show-tastys-sn-celebration-clone-176201/

I brewed something similar  to the second recipe and got pretty close. The real key that isn't mentioned there is that they use English crystal malt, which has a much different character than domestic crystal. I used Simpsons medium.
Here's a link to the interview:
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/660
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: blatz on November 03, 2011, 02:36:12 PM
that's it.  Its Steve by the way, not Dave.

And you're right - Simpsons Medium English Crystal is important - I made it once with Briess C-60L and it lacked that sumpin-sumpin in the malt flavor.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bo on November 03, 2011, 02:44:37 PM
That's Jamil Show recipe is completely different. 5# of crystal vs. 1#. I think I'll stay with Larson's. It's a good one.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: blatz on November 03, 2011, 02:50:29 PM
That's Jamil Show recipe is completely different. 5# of crystal vs. 1#. I think I'll stay with Larson's. It's a good one.

Bo - the second post in the link, not the first.  That one is the one I meant - and its not that different from the Larson recipe.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: BrewingRover on November 03, 2011, 02:51:52 PM
that's it.  Its Steve by the way, not Dave.

And you're right - Simpsons Medium English Crystal is important - I made it once with Briess C-60L and it lacked that sumpin-sumpin in the malt flavor.
That's what I get for posting before the proper amount of coffee has been  imbibed.

It looks like they've tried again since that was posted, but I haven't listened to the show. Maybe while I'm brewing today
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/717
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bluesman on November 03, 2011, 05:06:50 PM
As for buying it - this is one of the beers I just enjoy purchasing - 

+1

I'll pick up a case of this fine brew.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bo on November 03, 2011, 05:09:36 PM
That's Jamil Show recipe is completely different. 5# of crystal vs. 1#. I think I'll stay with Larson's. It's a good one.

Bo - the second post in the link, not the first.  That one is the one I meant - and its not that different from the Larson recipe.

That one looks a lot better and you're right, it's not much different. I might give it a try next time. Thanks
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: punatic on November 03, 2011, 06:58:46 PM
I have a standing order for several cases of Celebration and Big Foot with the beer maven at the store where I buy most of my beer.  I give her a reminder that they are coming when the season arrives (plus samples of my homemade beverages as a tip).  She calls me when they arrive, and applies multi-case discounts where possible.  Good system - exellent beers!

Interesting theory that Celebration's recipe stays the same, but the ingredients' characteristics vary from year to year.  This would seem to suggest that they brew it by rote, instead of to taste.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: blatz on November 03, 2011, 07:45:08 PM
Interesting theory that Celebration's recipe stays the same, but the ingredients' characteristics vary from year to year.  This would seem to suggest that they brew it by rote, instead of to taste.

if you mean rote in that they use the same measurements, regardless of yield or alpha acid level, that wasn't want I meant to infer - not that I know anything,  but I would find it hard to believe that they don't target the same gravity and IBU levels each time and thus make adjustments to the new crop data.  What I was getting at is the other idiosyncrasies - there is certainly a lot more to hops than alpha acid which I know you're aware. 

that's just my speculation.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: punatic on November 03, 2011, 08:36:54 PM
No criticism of your theory intended Paul.  I was thinking out loud, as it were.  SG, IBUs, and SRM are all objectively quantifiable, but flavor and aroma are unavoidably subjective.  The yearly variations in aromas and flavors sounds like a reasonable explanation to me.

European winemakers blend their wines, to maintain the flavor profile that their chateau is known for, from year to year.

I'm happy that it's Celebration time once again!
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: morticaixavier on November 03, 2011, 08:41:13 PM
I am a little concerned with the apparent desire, even among self admitted beer geeks, for computer like consistancy from year to year or batch to batch.

When dealing with high end, small batch, 'craft' wine one not only expects variations but hopes for them. obviously you hope to avoid nasty undrinkable batches, which should be pretty easy to do with beer as there are so many more variables than with wine but If I always got the same old think when I picked up some bigfoot if it tasted exactly like last years it wouldn't be nearly so much fun. I think that this is part of why Fullers changes up the recipe for the vintage ale every year.

The big boys have consistancy all wrapped up and no craft/micro/nano brewery is ever going to compete with them on that front. What the industry needs (If it really NEEDS anything given it's level of growth) is to abandon this idea of consistancy and aim, every year or every batch, at perfection. One may never acheive it but by aiming at that instead of consistancy more better beer will be made.

Just my .02. And I recognize the desirability of being able to buy a sixer of SNPA and have it taste more or less the same as the last sixer. But when I drop 30-40 bucks on a bottle of three year old burbon barrel stout from 50/50 I don't want the same beer I already have in my cellar (yeah right like I have a cellar... or that bottle of 50/50 heaven hill I bought last year. Damn that was a tasty stout)
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: dannyjed on November 03, 2011, 10:03:47 PM
I just bought a six-pack and I really like this beer ;D ;D  Thanks for posting the recipe.  I made a fresh hop beer this year with homegrown hops (Cenntennial and Cascade) and it was the first beer that I ever made that soured.  I was disappointed, but some of my friends liked it.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: BrewingRover on November 04, 2011, 12:36:26 AM
So I'm recycling my six pack carrier tonight and I see that Glissade is being replaced by Ruthless Rye IPA. Nothing on the web site yet, but I did find this
http://beernews.org/2011/10/sierra-nevada-mega-update-ruthless-rye-ipa-and-a-peek-at-2012/

Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: denny on November 04, 2011, 12:55:52 AM
Interesting theory that Celebration's recipe stays the same, but the ingredients' characteristics vary from year to year.  This would seem to suggest that they brew it by rote, instead of to taste.

They kinda do both.  I just spent the day with SN brewers and in the lab.  They extensively quantitatively test every aspect of the beer almost continually throughout production.  But they also use a sensory evaluation panel because 2 beers that measure the same might not taste the same.  So, they measure to make sure the color, IBU, microbial levels, etc. are in spec but taste to make sure the beer is what it should be.  As soon as I have time, I'll post pics of the warehouse here with Celebration cases stacked to the ceiling.

I love Celebration and look forward to it every year.  It's a treat to taste it fresh on tap at the brewery.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: denny on November 04, 2011, 12:57:39 AM
So I'm recycling my six pack carrier tonight and I see that Glissade is being replaced by Ruthless Rye IPA. Nothing on the web site yet, but I did find this
http://beernews.org/2011/10/sierra-nevada-mega-update-ruthless-rye-ipa-and-a-peek-at-2012/



We'll get to try the rye IPA tomorrow as part of the sensory evaluation training at Beer Camp.  I'm looking forward to it.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bluesman on November 04, 2011, 01:02:39 AM
We'll get to try the rye IPA tomorrow as part of the sensory evaluation training at Beer Camp.  I'm looking forward to it.

Denny, I sure am jealous...I want to go to beer camp. Hope you're having fun...I'm sure you are.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: denny on November 04, 2011, 01:17:59 AM
We'll get to try the rye IPA tomorrow as part of the sensory evaluation training at Beer Camp.  I'm looking forward to it.

Denny, I sure am jealous...I want to go to beer camp. Hope you're having fun...I'm sure you are.

Ron, you can get here by making a video and submitting it.  If it's wild and crazy enough, you're a Beer Camper!

sierrabeercamp.com/
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: pinnah on November 04, 2011, 02:18:03 AM
Dang, hangin in Chico.  Nice.

Huh, I liked the Glissade, but I guess Ruthless might fit my tastes better.  Thanks for the scoop Rover!
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: punatic on November 04, 2011, 03:22:53 AM
As soon as I have time, I'll post pics of the warehouse here with Celebration cases stacked to the ceiling.

You can take pictures in Heaven?!  Yeah baby!  Who knew?

I love Celebration and look forward to it every year.  It's a treat to taste it fresh on tap at the brewery.

I am so wishing that I were you right now!  Celebration is my favorite SN beer, available during my favorite season.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: tschmidlin on November 04, 2011, 04:31:43 AM
Ron, you can get here by making a video and submitting it.  If it's wild and crazy enough, you're a Beer Camper!

sierrabeercamp.com/
Where's your video Denny?  :)
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: denny on November 04, 2011, 04:38:45 AM
Ron, you can get here by making a video and submitting it.  If it's wild and crazy enough, you're a Beer Camper!

sierrabeercamp.com/
Where's your video Denny?  :)

I didn't make one, Tom.  I had contacts!  ;)
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: tschmidlin on November 04, 2011, 04:48:19 AM
Ron, you can get here by making a video and submitting it.  If it's wild and crazy enough, you're a Beer Camper!

sierrabeercamp.com/
Where's your video Denny?  :)

I didn't make one, Tom.  I had contacts!  ;)
must be nice :)
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: punatic on November 04, 2011, 05:40:23 AM
Ron, you can get here by making a video and submitting it.  If it's wild and crazy enough, you're a Beer Camper!

sierrabeercamp.com/
Where's your video Denny?  :)

I didn't make one, Tom.  I had contacts!  ;)

It's good to be King!    ;)
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bluesman on November 04, 2011, 10:27:08 AM
Ron, you can get here by making a video and submitting it.  If it's wild and crazy enough, you're a Beer Camper!

sierrabeercamp.com/
Where's your video Denny?  :)

I didn't make one, Tom.  I had contacts!  ;)

It's good to be King!    ;)

I'm even more lealous now.  :)
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: tschmidlin on November 04, 2011, 05:37:51 PM
I'm even more lealous now.  :)
I'm lealous too.
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bluesman on November 04, 2011, 05:48:32 PM
I'm even more lealous jealous now.  :)
I'm lealous jealous too.

OK...I lixed it.  ;D

Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: blatz on November 04, 2011, 07:47:19 PM
I'm even more lealous now.  :)
I'm lealous too.

Tom, I'm sure you'd be banned from Camp  as soon as you started haranguing them about "wet" and "fresh" hop incorrect labelling  ;D
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: tschmidlin on November 04, 2011, 07:51:16 PM
I'm even more lealous now.  :)
I'm lealous too.

Tom, I'm sure you'd be banned from Camp  as soon as you started haranguing them about "wet" and "fresh" hop incorrect labelling  ;D
Ah, but to be the first person banned from camp for being pedantic . . . ;D
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 04, 2011, 08:57:54 PM
I need to buy a 6-er of Celebration to drink, while viewing Denny's pictures.

Beer Camp is the best 2 days a homebrewer can spend.  Drop everything and go if you have a chance!
Title: Re: 2011 SN Celebration
Post by: bluesman on November 04, 2011, 09:11:00 PM
I need to buy a 6-er of Celebration to drink, while viewing Denny's pictures.

Beer Camp is the best 2 days a homebrewer can spend.  Drop everything and go if you have a chance!

I might try for the video contest next year. I'd love to go to beer camp.