Craft beer maker Celis Brewery will open a 22,000-square-foot production facility in Austin, Texas – and in doing so revive a craft brewer that hasn’t made beer in more than 15 years.
Described as ‘Austin’s first craft brewery’, Celis was founded by Belgian brewer Pierre Celis in 1992. Now Christine Celis, his daughter and a partner in the original venture 25 years ago, has acquired the right to use the Celis trademark again.
Production at the new brewery will start in the spring, brewing the original Belgian recipes and employing members of the same founding team that made the brand’s beers in the 1990s.
“Rebuilding the Celis Brewery has been a labour of love that has taken me many years to accomplish,” said Christine Celis. “We have a new location and new state-of-the-art brewing equipment, but will brew the same great Celis beers like the famous Celis Wit and Celis Grand Cru, to name a few.
“This new brewery has the capacity to brew more than 50,000 barrels per year, including Pierre Celis’ recipes from both the original Celis Brewery and his earlier days in Belgium.
“It’s an honour to carry on my family’s brewing legacy with my father’s original 1965 recipes using the proprietary yeast from Belgium.”
Sushil Tyagi, president of Craftbev, which had originally acquired the Celis brand from Michigan Brewing Company and retained international rights until now, added: “We worked for years for this day to come when Celis is restored to its hometown and we look forward to helping further expand Celis beers around the world.”
An original copper kettle will form the centrepiece of the new brewery’s taproom.
A third generation of Celis-family brewers – Christine Celis’ daughter – will also be part of the new operation.
A large copper kettle that was the centrepiece of the original Celis Brewery has been brought back to Texas, and will be used as a bar in the new brewery’s taproom.
As it works towards reopening, the new Celis Brewery has installed a 50 hectolitre Braukon brewing system. The packaging line and fermenters are scheduled to arrive later this month, it revealed, while construction of the taproom is ongoing.
The move will be popular among craft purists, who argue that the term has been lost amid competition from mass producers.
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