Celis may return to Texas

Belgian brewer reported in talks with Austin-area brewery

Jan 6, 2006 - Pierre Celis, one of the world's best known brewers, may soon return from Belgium to resume brewing in Texas.


Celis, who revived the lost "white" beer style in his native Belgium and later introduced the beer to American drinkers, sold his Celis Brewery to Miller Brewing in 1999 and returned to Belgium.

The San Antonio Express reports Celis is working on a deal that would put bring him back from Belgium to work with an Austin-area brewery.

Reporter Travis Poling indicates it could me months before an official announcement is made. Because of confidentiality clauses, neither the Austin-area brewery nor members of the Celis family will reveal the name of the brewery involved in the new deal.

Christine Celis, Pierre Celis' daughter and the former president of the Celis Brewery, said a deal could be reached that would have the brewer back to making beers in Texas in the next few months.

"We are negotiating and it's going very well," said Christine Celis, who still lives in Austin.

The first beers her father would like to make are Belgian-style beers that will be dubbed Brussels Peach, Brussels White and Brussels Grand Cru. The plan is to make the peach beer with peaches grown near Luckenbach in the Hill Country.

Celis, who is 80 years old, cannot use his name as part of the beer name because Michigan Brewing Co. bought the rights to the name from Miller. Miller closed the brewery in 2000, eventually selling the brand name and the equipment to Michigan Brewing. Michigan Brewing now brews makes Celis White, Pale Bock, Raspberry and Grand Cru.

"That would be great if Pierre would come back and do something. I'd do anything I could to help him," said Michigan Brewing owner Bobby Mason.

Celis founded his Austin brewery in 1992, first sold Miller a stake of it in 1995, then the rest in 1999.

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