1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Celis White - Michigan Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Celis WhiteCelis White

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

311 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 311
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 8
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  3.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 311 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

White head. Pale, brownish golden in color. Yeast is not readily evident at the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma is yeasty, bready, spicey, and tart. Orange and wheat are readily evident with a hint of lemon as well.

Taste is tart and fruity (orange and hints of lemon). Wheat and bready malt backbone. Slight yeast and spice. Crisp and refreshing.

Mouthfeel is just a tad fizzy.
Good drinkability.
Overall, a good witbier. Tastey, light and refreshing yet clearly different from the mainstream. Big thank you to AKSmokedPorter for the bottle! I'd been hoping to sample this one and it didn't disappoint.

PhantomVodoo, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of chriscolby
2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My beer pours out a very clear, light yellow -- not the hazy white/yellow I remember from when this beer was brewed in Austin. (I based my appearance score on this.) Very light head. My bottle is also severly oxidized, with a heavy wet cardboard nose. Lightly tart flavor with a hint of coriander and the taste of dead yeast. Nothing of the lively, but not overpowering spiciness, of the former incarnation of this beer. Clinging aftertaste of of dead yeast.

I really hope this is just a bad (or very old) 6-pack, because what I'm drinking now is not very good. Celis White used to be a world-class beer; now I can barely choke this down. I'll give this a try again in the near future because I really don't want to believe this beer has fallen so far.

chriscolby, May 29, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a cloudy pale golden color. The head is decent, but not as large as I would expect from a wheat beer. The aroma has some sweet citrus to it. It has a slight spice to the taste, but it is sweeter than I would have liked. There are also some perfumy/flowery/honey notes as well. It finishes somewhat sweet with a little of a spicy kick. Not bad, but not great.

ark57, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a hazy yellow-orange color with three fingers of fluffy white head. There is a bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of lemon, orange, wheat, and coriander. Lots of refreshing aromas. The taste has lots of malt and fruit, slightly tart at first. The finish is peppery. The mouthfeel is fairly nice and smooth. The drinkability is pretty good too. Not a bad witbier.

SheepNutz, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of Razor
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - The appearance is an average yellowish haze for a wheat beer. The head is what made the appearance for me not that good. There is little to no head and for a wheat I would expect a nice full white head.

Smell - There is a powerful spice smell and is very welcoming to the nose.

Taste - There is a fruity lemon? spicey taste to this beer. It's got a bitter taste to it also.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is average, not too much excitement when it hits every part of my mouth.

Drinkability - This is a beer that I could drink on average, it has a refreshing feeling to it and the taste is great. Overall this is a good beer.

Razor, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of BeerAngel
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazed pale yellow with minimal head to speak of. The smell consists of a musty yeast and spicing with a common wheat beer aroma in the background. The taste is a light and refreshing wave of coriander spicing with a perfect balance of wheat, hops, and a trace of alcohol. This would be nice in the heat of the day. This is a light bodied brew with a mild sticky mouthfeel that finishes out with a hint of sweetness. Very nice! Cheers!

BeerAngel, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy super pale yellow color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has an intense wheat scent with a nice fruity yeast aroma. The taste is great. I've always been a fan of the Celis line of beers. It has a light and refreshing wheat flavor that goes down easy. It is fruity on the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer drinks well. It is true to style and good tasting; a fine wit.

WesWes, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a goblet. The color is a hazy golden, with a wispy white head. The smell is a heavily spiced wheat. The taste is very heavily spiced wheat..a lot of corriander with a good bit of citrusy tartness as well. Mouthfeel is well-carbed. As for drinkability, could have a few.

Thanks to trbeer for the bottle. A solid wit, especially for those who like the heavily spiced wits, and a nice tribute to a true beer innovator. Quite good, and certainly one I hope to get again!

beergeek279, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of FFudnam
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at home after a long day at work....

Pours a hazy straw-color with minimal head, what little there was appeared cream in color. Tiny yeast particles float happily in the bubbly concoction.

Smells of coriander, ORANGES, lemons to a lesser extent.... a yeasty breadiness asserts itself throughout.

More of the same in the taste, although more tart than I expected. Only a minute flash of hops shows itself in the finish. Very effervescent, almost too bubbly. Overall, very good, tasty authentic Belgian witbier.

Very refreshing, an excellent session beer. Can't wait to try it on tap very soon.

FFudnam, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: So far dead on as far as appearance looks like a hazy glass of lemonade with a big fluffy white very carbonated at that head leaves behind thick full patches of lace. Aroma: Sharp spritzy sweetness from the malted wheat with the coriander, zest, and yeast driven citrus like tones all there classic aromatics much like the original witbier. Taste: However varies a bit much more pronounced tartness with a creamy slightly chalky yeast profile lightly hopped in the finish with citrus and the coriander coming to play on the palate. Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Extreme carbonation tickles the back of the throat lighter bodied session ale made to be drank in number as refreshing summer brew, nice.

WVbeergeek, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 2003 GABF Gold Medalist.
Not my style, but even I can tell it’s excellent. A whitish yellow body brings in a fine wheat and creamy taste. More hoppines than in others I've tried in this style, which adds to the citrusy aspect. Also plenty of coriander and grains of paradise spices. A refreshing summer beer dressed up a “special occation” brew.

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of yen157
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty standard looking Wit, slightly hazy, paly yellow body topped off by a moderate, but fleeting, fine white head. Citrus is most obvious spice addition, but mild hints of corriander tie the orange peel in with the sweet-ish pale malt. The aroma is mirrored by the taste. No surprises here, just a good, faily simple wit. Soft mouth feel is very nice.

yen157, Dec 03, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light gold color. Large Head. Aroma is malty, fruity and sweet yet there is a touch of a slightly burnt undertone (?) A medium bodied wit. Malts are sweet and fruity. There are hints of orange and coriander. Rolls around on the tongue with an aggressive spiciness and lively carbonation. Nice. Hops are a touch spicy. Well balance. Lively, bright and flavorful. Very drinkable. Hope this one gets into wider distribution Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

beerguy101, Oct 08, 2003
Photo of HardTarget
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Strong sour like smell with background of lemon pepper.
Appearance: Very light yellow, clear with a modest head that thins, but hangs.
Flavor: A classic wit taste. The sour in the aroma isn’t overpowering, but it’s there. I get a lot of citric acid, lemon notes again. This is strong enough to trigger a bit of the saliva glands in my jaw, but I could take stronger.
Mouthfeel: Light, bubbly, refreshing.
Overall Impression: I too knew and respected the Austin Celis White (Damn you Miller, Damn YOU!!) and this is a close approximation. Up the coriander a bit more (this is a bottle I’ve been saving for a bit, so it may have faded) and beef the body up a touch, especially the protein for better head retention. Kudos to Michigan Brewing for saving this one from the abyss of beers gone by.

HardTarget, Oct 04, 2003
Photo of Dubblebock
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh, Celis, how I've missed you these past few years. Other reviewers have already chronicled the past for this storied brand. I've lived in Texas all my life, and in the Austin metro area since '96. I remember many a summer afternoon spent nursing a cool mug of Celis beer. Until Miller bought them and shut the doors. NOT a good day.

But let me tell you, Celis brewed some monster beers, and the witbier was one of their finest. And now it's back, sort of. Michigan Brewing Company is one of the licensees of the original recipe, and they don't do a bad job with it at all. I drank gallons of the original Austin version, so I feel qualified to say that while it doesn't quite live up to it's predecessor, it'll do in a pinch.

I picked up a six-pack in San Marcos and took it home with some trepidation. Celis has been back on the shelves here for a while, but I've avoided them out of respect for the memories of the original brews. But I was pleasantly surprised. It poured cloudy and with a fragrant aroma of spices and citrus. Not much head, though. I remember the original having more head. Tasted a lot like I remember, but the wheat really displays on this version. Cloudy appearance gave way after a while as the beer settled. Not an overpowering mouthfeel. Finished dry without wasting away...aftertaste was bittersweet and spicy.

It's a good beer and I can recommend it, but it's not the same as it was. The Austin version was truly a world-class witbier, this is just a really good witbier. Still lots of fun, though, and I'd hoist a few of these with some nice seafood or chicken/pasta dishes.

Dubblebock, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of Sixpack595
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong Citrus flavor and aroma. This seemed more like sprite than beer. Nice thirst quencher, but I prefer my beer to taste a bit more like beer than 7up. Cloudy and pale yellow with moderate head and an almost overpowering orange aroma. Not something I would normally drink, but it can cool you off during the summer.

Sixpack595, Sep 15, 2003
Photo of putnam
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pastel manilla-folder yellow with a lively white head that resolves into a loose splatter of islands.
The aroma is mostly of bitter orange peel. Not orange liqueur. Not oranges. Not orange juice. Orange peel. Breathy clear coriander lifts the edges up nicely, emphasizing clean images of linen, branches and cut grass.
Broad-textured, it rains tart orange, bitter seed and sugar flavors onto my palate. Slightly briny too. Pretty aggressive, hungry yeast here. I say that because of the vigorous gas and the very dry, carbohydrate-poor texture. And yet, there is an impression of residual sugar. I'm afraid of what might have hapened to this beer since it left the brewery.
Still, nice wit fix.

putnam, Aug 13, 2003
Photo of freed
2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I picked this beer at OBF when I was to walk from one end of the venue to the other. It was a poor choice for travelling with.

The ale poured a hazy white with very active carbonation, almost like seltzer. The smell was ripe fruit and sugar. The taste was overwhelmingly of white grape, and unpleasantly sour. The aroma and taste were accurate reflections of each other. The body of the beer was clearly missing as there was no detectable malt sweetness, rather just the almost grainy sweetness of fruit. The further I walked, the flatter it became, and oddly enough, the more drinkable. The last sip, quite warm and flat, was probably the best.

freed, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of GreenCard
2.33/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Let the flaming begin? I can't be the only who feels this way...

Appearance: light straw color, lustrous snow-white resilient head, bubbly, tasteful amount of haze (after swirling the last bit of beer and dumping it in)

Aroma: very subtle aroma of honey, coriander, wheat, some appley fruitiness, wet cardboard (oxidized), musty

Flavor: tastes sweetened, some orange coriander and a whole lot of orange-peel, a strange sourness followed by an even stranger bitter aftertaste (like a bar of soap) that hits in the back corners of my tongue, little to no hop flavor (but that's expected in this style)

Mouthfeel: light body, zesty carbonation

Overall Impression: Man, was I disappointed in this beer! While I never tried the original Celis, I can't say whether or not the new owners botched it up, but I do like Hoegaarden Wit. The aftertaste is very off-putting, somewhere between chewing on orange peels and sucking on a bar of lye soap -- seems to me like this would stem from using way too much bitter orange peel. Also, it seems llike it's been sweetened slightly with artificial sweetener. I actually had to dump it! I wonder of Pierre has tasted this version...

Perhaps it was a bad bottle?

GreenCard, Jul 21, 2003
Photo of marburg
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a couple months of not seeing this around Detroit stores, I picked this up sometime in June and just had it the other day. I must say, this one's so much better on tap, I think. It still has that kick ass citrus flavor that's present in the draught version. But it -- or at least my bottle -- was just a little bit of a lesser version of itself. Carbonation seemed a tiny bit weak, and this seemed just a little thinner. Wits are by nature thin, so it's hardly a significant knock against this beer. But nonetheless, I think if you spot this in a bar, it's a sure fire winner. The bottles are great too, but it's not quite the same beergasm.

marburg, Jul 21, 2003
Photo of granger10
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this because it was pretty cheap and I didn't have much money on me. I was told by the worker at the store where I got it that this wasn't that good of a beer. I don't think he even drank it, because this was an amazing wit! I can't believe that this comes from the Mich. Brewing Co. They're a little substandard with most of their beers except this one. Pours beautiful with a creamy white head. Smells of lemon, orange, and some coriander. Tastes very citrusy mixed with some spicyness which comes from the yeast and from other spices. A bready yeasty goodness comes forth. It finishes with a dry yeastiness and a little sour which makes me want more. A simple, refreshing, and amazing beer all in one!

granger10, Jul 21, 2003
Photo of MJR
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dull, pale yellow with lots of suspended yeast. A big, foamy white head quickly settles to a small cap. The standard 'wit look.'

Smell: The nose is packed full of wheat and musty yeast. Lots of orange in there, as well as a touch of lemon.

Taste: Fresh and delicious, with a suprising amount of sourness. Lots of orange peel and phenolic clove overshadow a fair amount of spiciness. Coriander shows up, but to a lesser extent. Some bready, musty yeast rounds out the balance. Finishes like it started...sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, with a soft, yet spritzy, mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty good... This sourness is a bit high for the style, but it's still a good wit.

Thanks go out to 'Realale' for the bottle.

MJR, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of Realale
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy light gold. Huge very fine rocky head settles slowly to a thin full cap.

Nose is quite wheaty with a touch of phenol and a big whack of sour orange.

Light and grainy in the mouth. Substantial sour orange component. Good spiciness, and a touch of yeast. Quite sour on the palate, but in a very refreshing manner. Very soft carbonation gives a silky mouthfeel. Long and refreshing, with a lingering sour orange finish. Very nice.

I, frankly, drank a lot of Austin Celis and this is pretty darn close to the best of my recollection. It definitely has a touch more orange, and comes across as more sour, but its a damn fine beer in its own right.

Realale, Jul 07, 2003
Photo of bushwhacker
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

While in Austin, Tx in March, and learning I was 'two years' too late to drink 'Celis', I stood in the local market and there were the first bottles delivered to Austin from Michigan! Couldn't believe it! Unfortunately I can't draw on comparisons to the Austin brews, so the BA reviews are great to read.

A translucent golden-yellow pour with healthy white head, this aroma packed medium bodied wit releases the citrus, coriander and wheat malt attributes in full doses. The mouthfeel is weaker than expected, with a citrusy-malty finish. I'll be a fan of this wit, but still prefer Hoegaarden.

bushwhacker, Jun 11, 2003
Photo of Gump
2.45/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I heard about Celis White from a friend, and after reading good reviews, I had a friend from Texas send me a 6 pack. I really enjoy the Belgian White beers, and had high expectations from Celis White. This bottled sample was from the Michigan Brewing Co.

At first pour I noticed a terrific aroma and classic color. The carbonation was good.
The first sip of this beer was not at all what I had expected. It's much more intense than Hoegaarden, or Blue Moon, but too citrus, and had a zesty sour lemon taste.
Although light and refreshing, this beer didn't suit my palette.

Gump, Jun 06, 2003
Celis White from Michigan Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.