One of the most acclaimed names in Texas beer will soon return to Houston after a 17-year absence. Celis Brewery is bringing its brews to Houston beginning next week.
Founded in 1992 by brewmaster Pierre Celis, the brewery earned a cult following across Texas for its authentic, Belgian-style beers, but a buyout by Miller Brewing shuttered the business. In June, Pierre’s daughter Christine Celis opened a new brewery under her family’s name that utilizes both her father’s traditional recipes as well as some developed by her daughter Daytona Camps.
In less than six months, the revived Celis has already spread from Austin to Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. Celis partnered with Silver Eagle Distributors for the Houston area, and the beer will available on draft at 180 locations across the Houston area (retail sales will begin in March). So far, Texans have been excited about Celis’ return.
“It’s been great,” Christine Celis tells CultureMap. “After three weeks, we had to start brewing twice a day just to keep up with demand. The response has been phenomenal. When people taste it, they (say), ‘I remember this from so long ago.’”
The brewery’s core lineup includes the Celis White, a traditional witbier made with a proprietary Belgian yeast strain, the Celis Pale Bock, and the Citrus Grandis IPA. Seasonal beers will also rotate in and out of the offerings.
As the inclusion of the IPA demonstrates, Celis doesn’t want its appeal to be based solely on nostalgia — they’re also courting the current generation of craft beer drinkers who were too young to have experienced the beer in the ‘90s. Drinkers can expect Celis to keep up with current trends.
“I want to try anything and everything,” Camps says. “Down the road, we want to try barrel aging; we want to try sours. The sky is limitless. We’ll have a pilot system for fun experiments with new beers.”
Both Celis and Camps will be making the rounds next week to introduce the beer to Houstonians. Events include both Flying Saucer locations on Monday (December 4), Hay Merchant on Tuesday (December 5), Axelrad on Wednesday (December 6), and Revelry on Richmond on Thursday (December 7).
“We’re here to stay,” Celis says. “We’re going to brew the best beer there is.”