The new Celis Brewery in Austin, finally opened earlier this year. This Flemish beer specialist – glorious, robust yet refreshing and slightly sweet white in the Belgian tradition was, and is, their standard-bearer – is a re-boot of the famed Celis Brewery that brewed in Austin during the 1990s before succumbing to financial issues, selling out and then disappearing from the scene. Celis White and outdoor seating at The Ginger Man during one of the many warmer months seemed like an almost perfect pairing. The Celis brand was somewhat sullied by the small Michigan brewery that held the label most recently with beers that never quite tasted as the original Celis, and often much worse.
Christine Celis, the daughter of the legendary Pierre Celis is heading the brewery this time. She worked at the initial one. Hopefully, the company will be better managed then before. And, even more, that beers taste as good as they did in the past. A friend in Austin who used to drink an obscene amount of Celis reports that they are very good and seemed like they once were. During Pierre Celis’s tenure, Celis White and the estimable Grand Cru were not Belgian-style beers; they were Belgian beers, just brewed in Texas. Unibroue in Quebec and Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York are current breweries that come close to that mantle, but are not as good as Celis was. And, hopefully is once again.