Celis Brand Back to Texas and Celis Family

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by GregoryVII, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. GregoryVII

    GregoryVII Savant (370) Michigan Jan 30, 2006 Subscriber

    Chaz and Jakers90 like this.
  2. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Advocate (505) Missouri Dec 29, 2005 Verified Subscriber

    Seems right.
  3. Good to hear the family got the name back. He was a visionary that never really got to capitalize on his vision. He allowed Stella Artois to buy purchase 45% of his original brewery in Hoegaarden so he could afford to rebuild at which point their accountant brewers began pressuring him to cheapen the ingrediants to increase profit margins. At which point he decided to relinquished his remaining share and start a new brewery in the United States rather than struggle with the accountant brewers and now AB-Inbev owns it. Then after a few years in business in the states his partners got cold feet and wanted their return on investment sooner than planned and sold their shares to Miller which took over management and screwed it all up. They offered to sell it back to Celis but at 74 he was too old to risk it so they sold the naming rights to the Michigan Beer Co. One has to assume that with the right marketing and business plan he could have had a world wide brand probably similar to the likes of Sam adams. One thing is for sure though if you've read anything about Pierre Celis he definitly did it for the love of beer. He resurrected a dying beer style and introduced it to the rest of the world which apparantley really lilked it.
    ATA1K, BWM-77, creepinjeeper and 3 others like this.
  4. Danielbt

    Danielbt Savant (380) Texas May 4, 2012

    Awesome. Too bad Pierre Celis didn't live to see it, but I'll be happy to buy real Celis beer again.
    jeffwilliams11 likes this.
  5. Pierre also once said the only place he ever found water that was the same as Hoegaarden's was Austin, which is why after a long search he chose to open his US brewery there. Happy to see this story.
    BWM-77 likes this.
  6. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Pierre gave his personal thumbs up to MBC's version, so that was good enough for me. I considered their version to be real.
    BWM-77 and spartanfan like this.
  7. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (645) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    Hmm. Wonder where they'll be setting up in Austin....
  8. steebo777

    steebo777 Advocate (580) Michigan Jun 30, 2009 Verified

    They did a solid job with the Celis line. Too bad Miller bought the actual equipment and Celis only got the naming rights.
  9. Do you have any proof that it was Miller. That is the word on the street, but I heard otherwise from someone who bought the lot that had the kitchen, collectibles and other supplies. He was there and had a bid accepted, so he might know.
  10. steebo777

    steebo777 Advocate (580) Michigan Jun 30, 2009 Verified

    No proof, just going off what some reporters stated and another BA that was there.
  11. When Mr. Celis owned this beer it was WORLD CLASS!!! He is smiling with delight from this news.
  12. MillerCoors has confirmed that they did purchase the MBC trademarks and equipment. This has been confirmed by the Tenth & Blake division.
    Side note: who cares. Craftbev (the company made up of Christine Celis et al) has already built a brewery - they were just waiting for the name. I can't wait for the comeback.
  13. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (695) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    Kind of a weird twist to the Celis saga. Family gets the brand. Miller gets the equipment and the recent brewers brands. What's around the bend?
  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (825) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    That's not how their official PR put it (although it is vague as to whether they're buying the "existing brewing facility" or just contract-brewing):

    Christine Celis and her business partner Sushil Tyagi are in discussions with financial investors about building a specialized brewery in Austin; although, they will utilize an existing brewing facility now to bring the new Celis to the market as soon as possible.

    It also begs the question of what they would have done if MC/Tenth & Blake or another bidder had won the "Celis" brand auction.
  15. GRPunk

    GRPunk Advocate (635) Michigan Apr 5, 2007

    Pesonally, would love to keep Celis in MI. That said, going back to the family, and out of megabrewery hands is a great result too.
  16. Kevin_HayMerchant

    Kevin_HayMerchant Zealot (75) Feb 27, 2012

    Thats not true. The name was sold to Miller under the agreement that it would not be sold. Miller sold it to Michigan under the family's protest. His daughter has sworn that she will never forgive miller for this
  17. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    It is true. Pierre traveled to Michigan and worked with MBC and approved of their product. That doesnt mean they werent pissed at Miller.
    LiquidTable likes this.
  18. Kevin_HayMerchant

    Kevin_HayMerchant Zealot (75) Feb 27, 2012

    It is true that he traveled to work with them at the start but it didn't take long for them to make there own recipe adjustments based on price factors. This is all based on a conversation I had with Christine a few weeks ago
  19. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Not going to deny that, it could have happened, I just know that he, at one point, approved of it. Whether they screwed it up after that or not, I know nothing, but it doesnt surprise me, I guess.
  20. What you need to understand is that MBC, under former brewmaster Dan Rogers, was excellent. Pierre spent 6+months with Dan teaching him his ways of Brewing the style. When DR left to go heD up Big Rock, Bobby Mason (MBC) cut corners.
    Go to Big Rock Chophouse and Brewery in,Birmingham, MI, and you will taste what Celis once tasted like.
  21. All of Dan's beers at MBC had a well crafted taste to them. When he was no longer the brewer there, the beers lacked that taste.

    Dan is making some outstanding beers at Big Rock. I need to stop by sometime to try the Wit.
  22. raymo55

    raymo55 Savant (475) Michigan Oct 3, 2011

  23. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Celis would be proud to be back in Austin. Interested to see where they'll brew out of. I heard some rumblings about South Austin Brewing. They're the logical choice as they do have one of the few bottling lines in town.
  24. dedrinker

    dedrinker Savant (410) Kansas May 13, 2006

    yeah it only took twenty years and now it don't even matter. Boo.
  25. hughthenation

    hughthenation Zealot (75) Texas Aug 31, 2010

    This is interesting. Rumor also has it that the head brewer from Uncle Billy's on the lake is leaving to brew beer for someone in south Austin.
  26. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Brian Peters (former brewmaster for UB) is actually starting his own brewpub in South Austin called Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company.
    spentplanet likes this.
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (825) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    Looks like Christine Celis and "CraftBev" have given up and sold the Celis brand and recipes to importer Total Beverage Solution (which also bought the old Humboldt/Nectar brands from Firestone-Walker a while back).

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
    Chaz likes this.
  28. Chaz

    Chaz Champion (930) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002

    Maybe Total Beverage can find a solution to the missing Pete's brands (and bring back Bert Grant's while they're at it -- folks are still asking for all of these at retail...!)
  29. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (825) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    Interesting concept (<I can say that, 'cause I'm not shelling out the cash for the brands;)).

    I'm sure Gambrinus is willing to sell "Pete's" - and some wine company bought (and eventually folded) Grant's/Yakima Brewing, right?

    Sort of the craft segment's answer to Pabst (Pearl/General/Falstaff/Stroh/Heileman/Lone Star/Rainier/Carling-National/Olympia).

    Speaking of Pabst, Celis might be giving a run to some of their brands' contest for the number of former owners - up to 5 now - Celis > Miller > Michigan > CraftBev > TBS
    Gotta be a record for a "craft era" brand.
    Chaz likes this.
  30. Chaz

    Chaz Champion (930) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002

    Yeah, and "not that long ago*", as I recall.

    (* "Whadyya mean 2006 is eight years ago, now? It seems like only yesterday!")
  31. opwog

    opwog Advocate (640) Minnesota Jun 16, 2008 Verified

    It is a shame that this beer has had such a troubled life, given such an amazing early life. I always look at what they were able to do in the early 90's with their quality, price point and vast distribution; as something that many craft breweries today should be trying to set as goals. In '92 or '93, I was able to get this regularly around the SF Bay Area for $4.99 or $5.99 a six pack.
  32. Christine did a collaboration (Gypsy Belgian IPA) with Adelbert’s Brewery (http://adelbertsbeer.com/) in November. I spoke to them last week at the brewery if they knew what was going on with Celis - they said they had no idea.
    Austin Chronicle did an article with interview with Christine on Nov 1 (http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2013-11-01/celis-brewery-back-home-where-it-belongs/) and no mention was made of the Nov 25th sale. So, Craft Bevs' other owners must have got tired of waiting...??
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  33. shnsajax

    shnsajax Savant (415) Idaho Jul 2, 2013 Verified

    Can they help get us more St. Bernardus Wit in Texas too?
    Chaz likes this.
  34. teledeluxe

    teledeluxe Savant (425) Illinois Nov 21, 2013 Verified

    Was the same in Chicago. I really liked that beer at the time (mid '90s). Wonder what I'd think of it today...
  35. opwog

    opwog Advocate (640) Minnesota Jun 16, 2008 Verified

    I had some on tap about a year ago, from what the family had been producing. I am not going to pretend that my memory is so good to make an absolute comparison between that and what I was drinking 20 years earlier, but it was as I remembered it being...a very solid, straight up witbier. The funny thing is, that it is as rare in style to find now, as it was back then. Back then, there just were not many produced in the US and now, of those produced, most try too hard to be something other than a straight witbier. It is a benchmark for the style.
  36. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    I'd like to hear more about what happened... I spoke to Christine in September and she was looking forward to opening up again in ATX. Their collab with Adelbert's is still on shelves and was received well locally when it was released last month. *shrug*
  37. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Advocate (510) Illinois Feb 5, 2013 Subscriber

    Come on. Stop teasing us with this Celi's is back. No.. actually. Kidding. It's not. We sold it (again) nonsense.
  38. Dislike. :-(
  39. I sent an email to TBS:

    "I just read on the wire that you guys have acquired the Celis brand and intend on brewing under this label in 2014.
    According to many articles I have read it was stated that Christine Celis now owned the brand and was to start brewing in Austin Texas at a new brewery."

    Thanks for your inquiry – I’m happy to answer your questions.

    All information in the press release is correct. Total Beverage Solution is the sole owner of the Celis brand. We acquired the “Celis” trademark and recipes on November 25, 2013, from CraftBev International, Inc., who purchased 100% of the brand at auction in the summer of 2012.

    We recognize that some information reported by the press previously regarding Christine Celis’s involvement with the “Celis” brand was not accurate. Currently we have no affiliation with Christine Celis LLC.

    We are exploring options for brewing Celis in the United States, and we hope to reintroduce Celis beers to the US market by mid-2014.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Thank you,

    Courtney M. Gibson
    Social Media Manager
    Total Beverage Solution
    Chaz likes this.
  40. Chaz

    Chaz Champion (930) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002

    Stan Hieronymous offered a pretty thoughtful piece on this developing story, yesterday.

    Come to think of it, I enjoyed Celis White some time (a year or two) before sampling Watou's Wit* at a local beer an food pairing (at an Irish pub, no less) and find the development of the Witbier style --and Pierre Celis's involvement with same-- to be remarkable, every time I hear the story told!

    Edit: I was always very surprised to see that the Celis family of beers from Michigan Brewing didn't become a runaway success and lead to expanded distriubution, as those were all technically good (if not outstanding) examples of their respective styles and were also as affordable as any other six-pack on the Craft shelf. On the other hand, perhaps the brand name had been sullied by its association with (and rough treatment by) Miller Brewing? I really wonder...

    * Nowadays I prefer St. Bernardus Witbier to all other contenders.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013