Pierre Celis’ name is synonymous with the Belgian-style witbier, or “white,” beer style. In 1966 Celis resurrected the style when he founded the Celis Brewery in Hoegaarden, Belgium, the epicenter of witbier for the last 400 years. Prior to Pierre, witbier had been last brewed by the Tomsin Brewery in Hoegaarden where Celis apprenticed as a teenager.
By 1985, Pierre Celis had not only brought witbier back to Hoegaarden, but the style had also spread all over Belgium and the world. In 1991 he moved his brewery to Austin, Texas becoming the city’s first craft brewery and changing the face of beer in the United States, introducing witbier to a whole new audience. 2001 saw Miller Brewing close Celis’ doors. Miller had purchased shares of Celis in the 90’s.
In 2017 Pierre Celis’ daughter Christine, along with multiple investors, re-opened the iconic brewery in North Austin. Joined by her daughter Daytona, Pierre’s grand-daughter, Christine Celis was back brewing her father’s legendary Celis White witbier, Pale Bock, Grand Cru, and many other new styles.
Recently the Celis Brewery has undergone the same financial challenges that plague many new breweries. With reports of a public auction looming next week, many fans are worried.
Christine Celis advised me today they are filing Chapter 11 on Monday July 1st, so they can restructure the brewery’s finances. The filing also halts the public auction scheduled for July 2nd. “All brewery employees will keep their jobs, and we will continue to bring Austin great craft beer” said Celis.