Austin, Texas is about to witness the rebirth of its first craft brewery with the resurrection of Celis Brewery, which was originally founded by Belgian brewer Pierre Celis in 1992. Christine Celis, Pierre's daughter and partner in the original Celis Brewery, is restoring the family legacy with a new 22,000 square foot brewery in northwest Austin.
Our branding, packaging, and messaging was all developed with one goal in mind—to give the brewery a fresh start while reclaiming and celebrating the historical Celis family legacy.
Born in Belgium. Brewed in Austin.
Pierre Celis is a beer legend to many. His name is synonymous with the Belgian-style witbier, or “white,” beer style. The style was all but forgotten by the mid-1950's, but it was Pierre Celis, a milkman from the small Belgian village of Hoegaarden, who resurrected the style in 1966 when he founded the first Celis Brewery.
By 1985, Pierre Celis not only had brought the Belgian-style wit back to Belgium, but popularized it around the world.
Life changed drastically in 1985 when Pierre’s brewery burned down. The brewery was not insured. Celis had little choice but to sell what was left to what is now Anheuser-Busch Inbev.
He sold his shares in the new company and uprooted his family, which included Christine, to Austin, Texas, where Pierre opened Celis Brewery once again in 1990.
“When we arrived in the United States,” Christine says, “my father smuggled his yeast in vials that he had stuffed in his socks.”
Fast forward 10 years and Celis Brewery had reached a point where Pierre had difficulty keeping up with demand. Miller Brewing came calling and Pierre sold a majority stake to the brewing giant to help expand. Six months later, Miller pulled Celis out of 25 states, which signaled the end of the Celis Brewing line. By 2001, Celis Brewing was nonexistent.
The History Continued
Today, much like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, Celis is being reborn. Christine Celis, along with a few investors, and her daughter Daytona Camps, are reopening the iconic Celis Brewery in North Austin.
The brewery system inside Celis was specifically designed to reproduce the type of beer made in 1965.
The brewery uses the original yeast Pierre first introduced in the '60's, obtaining samples from the University of Belgium. Pierre also had original yeast samples stored and put on ice. Celis Brewery will serve four beers, including the Celis White, a Belgian-style witbier.
The Austin Chronicle - Read the article.
Food & Wine - Read the article.
KXAN - Read the article.
KVUE - Read the article.
Eater Austin - Read the article.
San Antonio Express - Read the article.