Celis Brand and Brewery Returning to Austin
After a long and tenacious pursuit of her famous family name, Christine Celis has successfully brought the Celis Beer brand back into the family fold. Christine, daughter of the world-renowned Belgian brewer, Pierre Celis, will be bringing Celis Beer and the brewery back to Austin, Texas.
“It has been my personal dream and passion to carry on my father’s legacy. After his death last year, we stepped up the intensity of our plans for a new brewery and re-acquiring the family name was the one thing we really needed to begin moving forward. Now that we have the right to brew my Dad’s famous recipes under our own name once again, nothing can stop me from making that a reality,” says Christine.
Established in 1966 in Hoegaarden, Belgium, Pierre revived lost recipes for wheat beer from the Middle Ages. In the late 1970s, Pierre exported his beer and, for the first time, introduced Americans to Belgian wheat beer. Pierre decided he wanted to move to America and created a new, state-of-the-art brewery in Austin in 1992. Over the next several years Pierre introduced clean, crisp and high-quality Belgian brews that quickly attracted national attention.
“Celis was the first craft beer founded in Austin and one of the most influential breweries in the country at that time. Pierre Celis not only introduced the White style Belgian Beer you see everywhere today, but also a whole portfolio of beers that were new to the American market. Pierre Celis encouraged, mentored and befriended many successful craft brewers around the country, and personally made me a Belgophile,” says Pete Slosberg, founder/creator of Pete’s Wicked Ale. “He helped turn the image of Belgium from a small country to the beer mecca in the world.”
“We are receiving a phenomenal show of support from the brewing community. I have been blown away by the wishes for success and the passion expressed for my father’s achievements and our unique brewing style. When I called my mother in Belgium to share the news, she went completely silent and I realized she was overcome with emotion,” says Christine.
Christine and her business partner Sushil Tyagi are in discussions with financial investors about building a specialized brewery in Austin; although they will utilize an existing brewing facility now to bring the new Celis to the market as soon as possible.
Christine says, “We have my dad’s original family recipes, famous Belgian brewers who worked for us over many years, and a robust distribution network. All we need to do now is start making the beer.”