The brewery that launched America’s obsession with Belgian-style witbiers is back again. And though the brewery’s original namesake – the man responsible for the recipes of legendary brews on two continents – is no longer with us, his daughter hopes she can bring her family’s brewery back to its original glory. But the biggest question will be does anyone care 25 years later?
Christine Celis, daughter and original co-partner of legendary brewer Pierre Celis, has announced she will be hosting an official grand opening party for the new Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas, on July 11 – exactly 25 years to the day that the original brewery opened. (The beers themselves are already pouring around the area.) Needless to say, a lot has changed since the ‘90s, and it will be interesting to see where Celis, which Christine bills as Austin’s first craft brewery, fits in as part of the modern landscape where Texas alone now has over 200 craft brewers.
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Celis’s historical importance is undeniable. Back before Blue Moon, introduced in 1995, became the 11th best-selling American beer brand, Pierre Celis – already known for creating another famous witbier in Belgium, Hoegaarden – moved to Texas and opened his own eponymous brewery in 1992. The witbier he started brewing there, Celis White, was one of the craft beer world’s early success stories. (It recently landed the #14 spot on our list of The 25 Most Important American Craft Beers Ever.) Everything from Blue Moon to Shock Top to even other fabled craft beers like Allagash White can be traced back to Celis.