Celis is a beer brand. Originally an independent based in Austin, Texas, it was owned by Michigan Brewing Company for a decade, and sold in 2012.
In 1966, a milkman named Pierre Celis in the town of Hoegaarden decided to revive witbier, a regional beer style that had become extinct almost a decade earlier when the town’s last brewery closed.
Pierre Celis's first brewery was in his father's stable. In 1972, he relocated to an abandoned soft drink factory, and by 1985, he was brewing 300,000 barrels a year. His Hoegaarden Brewery burned to the ground that year, and Celis, who was underinsured, wound up selling his Hoegaarden brand to Belgian giant Interbrew. That company, now known as Anheuser-Busch InBev, continues to make Hoegaarden to this day.
Celis, at the age of 67, founded a microbrewery in Austin in 1992. At a Brickskeller tasting, Celis, who spoke English haltingly, remarked that he chose Texas because its inhabitants speak with a slow drawl, making them easier to understand. Celis White received a perfect four-star rating from the British beer writer Michael Jackson in his Pocket Guide to Beer. Celis Brewery made several other varieties of beer in addition to the celebrated White, including Dubbel, Grand Cru, Pale Bock, Pale Rider and Raspberry. These types have been carried on by Michigan Brewing Company.
Celis Brewery floundered after ownership was purchased by Miller Brewing Company, and the plant was shuttered on the final day of 2000. In 2002, Celis White and other brands were acquired by Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville, Michigan, which continued to produce until it closed in 2012.
Pierre Celis died on April 9, 2011, at the age of 86.
The Michigan Brewing Company was foreclosed upon and its assets sold at auction.
Among the assets was the Celis name, which had been acquired by Bobby Mason for Michigan Brewing in 2002. Sushil Tyagi, of Craftbev International Inc. acquired the Celis brand. He said, "I have been building a brewery with the Celis family. We've already been building the distribution network. We're making all the plans for marketing and branding. This [brand name repurchase] is just the one missing piece".
On June 20, 2012, it was announced that the trademark for Celis was sold to Craftbev. On June 25, 2012 The Austin Business Journal reported under the headline: Family brings Celis brewery back to Austin "Christine Celis, daughter of Belgian brewer Pierre Celis, plans to use an existing facility to begin producing beer as soon as possible. The family has been developing plans for a new brewery for some time and can begin to move forward since the family name has been reclaimed, Christine Celis said. “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,” she said." In an update to that article the Austin Business Journal reported that: ''Celis brewery hires The Ampersand Agency to develop all branding aspects for Celis, including planning social media events.1992 Celis White – GABF /Gold
1993 Celis White – GABF /Gold
1994 Celis White- GABF /Silver
1995 Celis White – GABF /Gold, Celis Grand Cru – GABF/ Silver
1996 Celis Grand Cru – GABF /Bronze, Celis White – World Beer Cup/ Bronze
1997 Celis Grand Cru – GABF /Silver
1998 Celis White – GABF /Gold, Celis Grand Cru – GABF /Gold, Celis Grand Cru – World Beer Cup /Silver
2003 Celis White –GABF /Gold, Celis White- World Expo of Beer/ 1st Place
2004 Celis White – GABF/ Bronze, Celis White –World Expo of Beer/ 1st Place
2006 Celis White –World Expo of Beer /1st Place
2007 Celis Grand Cru – GABF /Gold
2008 Celis Grand Gru –World Expo of Beer/ 1st Place
2010 Celis White – World Expo of Beer/ 1st Place
2010 Celis White - U.S. Open Beer Championship / Silver