Pierre Celis (who died in 2011) was a milkman who lived outside of a town just outside of Brussels called, you guessed it, Hoegaarden. He wanted to bring back the near defunct style of Belgian witbier (or white beer) that was sadly missed in the area. He started Hoegaarden at his family farm. Unfortunately, the brewery burned down, but not before it gained some attention. He sold the brand to Interbrew. That’s now known as the beer empire InBev and they revived that brand and went international with it. Again, I won’t talk badly about InBev, just it’s AB division, that continues to cause me nausea.
Anywhat! Celis somehow found his way to Austin, Texas, of all places and started up Celis Brewery and it, again, did okay numbers, getting the attention of another World Power in beer, Miller. So Miller buys him out and then sells off the assets to Michigan Brewing Company and then the brewery basically nosedives and they close it, along with liquidating all the other MBC stuff. This was in 2012. At an auction a company by the name of Craftbev International purchased the assets and said they had been waiting for the purchase as they were already working with the Celis family, namely Pierre’s daughter, Christine. And they moved the production back to Austin and with the facilities that were still in place from the previous stint in that town. So this is the fruits of that labor of love. We’ll see how it turns out.
You, too, can see how this beer is by going to City Bev and grabbing some. Spencer told me about the Celis story whilst I was standing there getting mine. You can find City Bev at 915 Burke St in WSNC. Listen tonight (or tomorrow) to see how Eug, Tim Buckley (our Official Guest for the evening) and I liked it. Let us know by sending a note via the TLD Twitter or Facebook pages. Have a sip!
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“World renowned Celis Beer can be found in the hands of discerning consumers, carrying on the proud witbier tradition of the Hoegaarden region. The Celis story continues to inspire new generations of brewers and beer enthusiasts.” – Carton of the Celis sixer.