Christine Celis, the daughter of the late Pierre Celis, can finally brew beer under her family name. In 1992, Pierre opened a brewery in Austin, Texas, which produced his eponymous Belgian white ale. Three years later, he sold an ownership stake to the Miller Brewing Company. The rights to the Celis name and beer recipes changed hands several times over the years, and most recently were owned by South Carolina-based Total Beverage Solution and Craftbev International Amalgamated, Inc.
Earlier this month, Celis reached agreement with Total Beverage to buy back the Celis name. Now that all the pieces are in place, she plans to reopen the Austin brewery this spring. She plans to use the same recipes and proprietary yeast strains her father used, and is recruiting members of her father’s brewing team. Celis’ 22-year-old daughter, Daytona Camps coming on board as a brewer.
Celis expects to produce 10,000 barrels in the first year of production. For now, distribution will be limited to Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Sad news on a beautiful Sunday. Pierre Celis passed away last night. He was 86 years old and, at the time of his passing, was still brewing beer.
Pierre Celis’s beer was born in Hoegaarden, Belgium and made its way to its current home, Webberville, Michigan, by way of Austin, Texas. John White, who blogged at White Beer Travels until his passing in 2007, has a detailed story about Celis, the man and the beer.
I’m headed for our cellar, where there’s a bottle of Belgian witbier, a style which, as Jay Brooks points out, Celis single-handedly revived. This evening, before dinner, we’ll raise a toast in his honor.