When it comes to holiday beer traditions, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is one worth reaching for every year. Brewed at Sierra Nevada headquarters in Chico, California since 1981, this fresh hop ale is a celebration of the holidays and the first hop harvest of the season. Unlike most holiday beers, no spices are added to the beer and it instead relies on a hop forward approach to satisfy IPA lovers. One of the first IPAs ever brewed, though never marketed as one, Celebration is a fantastic representation of consistency and tradition from one of the first craft breweries in the country.
The inspiration behind the newest pale ale from Stone Brewing comes from two places, both providing a different hop variety to the equation. Stone Brewing Ripper Pale Ale takes the citrusy, spicy Cascade hops from San Diego — the brewery's home town — and adds in gentle, tropical fruit forward Galaxy hops from Australia. The 5.6% pale ale taste more like an IPA thanks to the fresh hop combo, but everyone knows the best pale ales are hop heavy anyway.