Celis Pale Bock | Michigan Brewing Company

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Celis Pale BockCelis Pale Bock

Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-26-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 96
Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours out as a nice amber color with. Yellowish tan head on it. The smell of the beer is sweet and had a slight funk to it. The taste of the beer was of sweet roasted caramel and rich malts. I found this to be decent to say the least. It wasn't something I'd need to have again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a huge rocky head that fades quickly that retains well and leaves layers of lace

Smell: Rich fruity caramel aroma with hints of cocoa

Taste: Starts out with a mouthful of toffee character that moves in a herbacious directon by mid-palate, with orange peel elements as well; after the swallow, an earthy fruitiness takes over and overwhelms the sweet malt

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A whole lot of flavor for a low alcohol beer; I think this beer is mis-understood as many ratings here are looking at this as a Belgian and downgrading it - read the label (it says it is a bock) and go to the website (it has Belgian spice) and then wrap your mind around what this beer is about; it is clearly a hybrid and a pretty interesting one at that

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a deep orange color with medium head that left quickley.Smelled of caramel,fruit,and had some underlying buttery notes,taste was malty and fruity,almost orangy.Pretty darn drinkable,great to see Pierre Celis tradition living on,a small brewery here in Michigan giving it a try.Good job guys and keep goin.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can only assume that Pale Bock was intitially intended to compete with Shiner Bock, as Michelob's ZiegenBock now does. But I'm not sure of that. What I am sure of is that Michigan's version is slightly different, and more harsher than Pierre's was. It has more bitterness (Pierre's was in the 22 IBU range, but this seems more like 28-30). Of course, that could just be perception due to the hardness of the water, or something else (spicing level, residual malt, etc). It does have it's good points though. It pours a deep copper color, and the creamy ivory head holds fairly well. The nose is delicately sweet with a touch of caramel malts, candyish with a hint of clove, and generically herbal and spicy. The flavor is fuller, and adds a spark of citrus that helps to enliven it; and the spicing is fuller. It's dry and herbal and spicy with yeasty phenolic undertones. Not a bad tipple. Makes a good apertif or after dinner drink.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from plaztikjezuz, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, some Belgian yeast, fruit, caramel, spice and a bit of hops.

T: The taste malty but light with flavors of caramel, Belgian yeast, spices and some fruit. There's a mild hops presence that provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easy, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, it's a nice lighter beer with a little substance but it wouldn't be my first choice even if I were looking for something easy-drinking.

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Photo of mactrail
2.26/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Golden amber in the glass with very little foam. Aroma is wet cardboard. The long bitter and dirty aftertaste is the deal breaker for me. Flavor of flat soda water. Strangely bitter, and then the metallic taste you can't get out of your mouth. No date, so maybe this has been around a while. Tastes like the flavor was wrung out of it by some chemical process, like a really bad near beer.

This is baffling. I like decent low-alcohol beers, but why would you want to brew a lite version of a style that needs some warmth and malt?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Celis Pale Bock isn't all that pale and it certainly isn't a bock. It's dark coppery orange with a reddish tint and sports an oatmeal colored cap that is firmly creamy and is tacky enough to leave an attractive array of smeary lace on the glass. A good look in spite of the style confusion.

The nose was better at two feet than it is at two inches. It's moderately toasted malty with an indeterminate fruitiness that may be due to ale yeast (if this is truly a BPA, then I assume an ale yeast was used). No hint of Belgian yeastiness makes its way to my nose. What the hell style is this beer again?

Pale Bock tastes like a well-hopped English ESB to me. In fact, it's a dead ringer for an ESB and is more ESB than many ESBs. The malt backbone is bigger than it has a right to be in a 3.9% offering (kudos to the brewers) and is impressively toasted and bready. A mother lode of bitter, tea leaf-like Brit hops swarms over the tongue with each mouthful. The hops are a guess since I have no knowledge of the ingredients.

There's still an overripe apple fruitiness underlying the 'bitter brown bread toast' flavor, but it's overwhelmed by what is turning out to be a smack-me-silly amount of woody, drying bitterness. I applaud the decision to go heavy on the hops, although it effectively puts the kibosh on sessionability. The body/mouthfeel is a fraction ligher than medium with a tongue scrubbing alpha acidity.

Celis Pale Bock is quite the odd little beer and is not at all what I had expected. Both the name and the (BA) style designation need to change though because neither one of them comes close to the mark. I like Celis White and was disappointed with Celis Raspberry. This one gets things back on track to some extent.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper amber hue with an off white colored head as it dwindles fine scattered lacing clings to my pint glass. Aroma has mildly metallic tone with strong malty layers and a flowery herbal hop mix the malty nose brings a touch of alcohol with apple notes in there. Taste has a vibrant flwoing malty layer matched with herbal grassy hops a touch of caramel and tart apples in the finish very nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied brew although the carbonation was sorta harsh it didn't hurt overall drinkability too much flavor stays on the palate it's resilient. Drinkability is good and I find this one to be refreshing and flavorful there are flaws here good be a bit smoother but I still enjoyed it definitely worth the experience...now it's time to try the new Celis brewery in Austin, TX where he'll be marketing his wit as Brussels witbier.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, amber-reddish coloration, large, creamy, rocky head. Lookin' good.

Fragrant nose, herbal and malty, but not too sweet, rather dry. Smells of cereal.

Dry on the tongue, too, then wet....and smooth. Clean. Some malty flavors, hints of spice. Does feel like a Belgian pale ale done as a lager, maybe, but not much like a bock. Strange name.

Grainy grit in the texture lays on the tongue at first sip, then fades slowly. Minimal hops in this, and a bit too light in body for me. Extremely drinkable, and subtle. Enjoyable in it's way, but a little disappointing for me.
Just a little, though...

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. A bit of head forms and recedes to a fine film. Slightly cloudy pale orangeish.

S. Smells of bready roasted malts. Some caramel malt and burnt brown sugar sweetness. Slight coffee in the background.

T. A fairly flavorful beer, though a bit watery around the edges. Some toasted grain and caramel malts. Hop is medicinal and barely noticable. Bock beer? I've had better.

M. A bit slick but good level of carbonation. On the light side of full bodied.

D. This would be a good session beer towards the end of the night. Not the best Ive had from Celis, I would reccommend the Grand Cru.

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Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale bock isn't so pale, clear copper color with a small white colored head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a strong fresh bread aroma. Bruised banana scent and a little almond. Hops are of the Nobel type.

Starts out a little sweet with a nice toasted whole grain bread flavor. Slight bitter bite in the aftertaste but is by no means harsh and is about right. Slight banana flavor but not quite Banana Bread.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall , Impressive for the low alcohol content. Tasty let something you can drink all night.

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Photo of Derek
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked this up from the brewery.

A: Copper/amber with an off-white, yellowish head. Very little retention, hints of lace.

S: Malty (caramel & bread).

T: Caramel & bready malt, some earthy spicyness, slightly metallic.

M: Moderate body is slightly syrupy, and doesn't seem to be quite all-together.

D: Easily approached, but the flavour starts to wear...

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Photo of weeare138
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a 3 finger off-white head that slowly fades into a chunky head of sea foam. Sticky streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of grain, cocoa, toffee, warm peanuts, and mild cream.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some bitter grassiness interfering with the malty grains and cakey yeast. This needs to actually be less complex, IMO, to be a standout beer. Keeping it simple isn't always bad.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a feel akin to a small porter. Light sweetness, and a gummy dougheyness makes for an odd blend.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.76/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Color bordering on orange and yellow, good head. Couldn't put a finger on what I was smelling, lots of stuff, old fruit, alcohol, wood, chemicals.

Taste was all over the place too, metallic, pruney, then dry apples? Unique I guess, but nowhere near as good as their white ale. Kind of a weird aftertaste too, you just never know which aspect from the profile will hit you, and they aren't consistent with any style altogether, and definitely not a bock. I mean, if you're gonna throw all that out the window, the least you could do is add some hops.

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Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy copper with off-white head. It smelled like rich roasted barley and sweet caramel malts with a bit of lemon hops and wheat. It tasted like barley and caramel malts blended with sweet citrus hops. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste (briefly bitter, then lasting sweetness). Overall this had a very nice and clean flavor - I couldn't decide if it was simple or very subtly complex. But either way, it was really easy to drink and to enjoy.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy pale amber color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of caramel, toffee, and anise. The taste is yeasty with a mild earthiness, and some caramel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriately high carbonation. Overall, this is a nice beer, but there are better Belgian Pale Ales out there.

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Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a deep coppery orange in color. A white head stands about one finger tall without ever really fading away and leaves fairly thick, spotty lacing down the glass as the beer recedes.
There's a bit of fruity sweetness on the nose beneath a toasty malt and a touch of herbal spiciness. Overall it's a bit faint up close and could use just a bit more balance.
The flavor is also mainly sweet and spicy beneath a malt backbone. There is a bit more hops presence in here than in the nose and balances better with the toasty/bready malts. There's a bit of odd spiciness lingering with hops in the finish.
The mouthfeel starts off with a crisp bite and gets smooth in the finish, but not before hitting a rough patch of graininess. The body is on the light side of medium and carbonation is moderate.
This beer has an impressively low ABV, and given that it's pretty good overall it's highly drinkable.

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Photo of argock
4.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date stamped on bottleneck.

A: Soft leather-brown shade with tall light caramel colored 1-2 finger head with lots of lacing.

S: Abundant sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar aromas.

T: Sweet bock lovers will have a great time with this beer. Great sweet candy malt flavors mix with buttery caramel and just enough hops to mute the sweetness a little.

M: Medium-to-full bodied with even carbonation and delicious sweet caramel aftertaste.

D: A really great bock beer that blends the best features of a lager with sweet caramels to produce a smooth, very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to a small off white head. The beer is amber colored. The aroma is spicy with sweet malt. The taste is spicy up front and finishes with caramel malt. This is a pretty bland beer. I guess I could drink a lot of it if I was in the mood for something boring and tastless.

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Photo of tgbljb
2.48/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a rich deep color with sparse white head.
Smell is very mild for bananas and a slight yeasty scent.
Taste is nothing like I expected. It is so dry as to almost burn the mouth. This burning sensation overwhelms any other taste.
The burning sensation lingers in the back of the mouth and makes the beer even less tolerable.
Drinkability is poor.
I don't know if this beer went bad. It looked fresh and poured fresh. The glass will be difficult to finish.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.93/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours a transparent amber colored body with thick foamy off-white head. Head subsides quickly and becomes very thin. Decent retention. Lots of lacing left behind in the glass. Pale bock. Doesn't look like a bock or a blonde maibock...has a color similar to dead guy but this one is one dimensional and completely transparent.

S- not to much to pick up. Some grainy malt and hints of hops. Rather boring.

T- not too much here either. The big taste is the malt. Tastes similar to a bland cereal. Hints of hops pop up but not too much. Finish is clean and dry.

M- Medium carbonation and very watery.

D- This beats a macro anyday but is rather bland. Its quite drinkable but not enjoyable. Very unoffensive and there's nothing to hate about it.

Not sure what style this would fall under. Not belgian-not bock either.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color, with quarter inch of froth atop it. Smell is sweet malt with a fair amount of fruity yeast nose. Decent bitterness at the front, accompanied by a floral hop flavor and a touch of ripe apple fruit flavor. Moderately malty, but finish is dryish.

Not a traditional bock at all, this top-fermented beer is still a quite drinkable session brew. It's too bad it's no longer made down in Austin, though.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear, light amber, forming a good-sized light beige head atop small to medium-sized bubbles with decent retention and lacing. Aroma is odd with cotton-candy, astropops (does anyone remember these?), and butterscotch. Carbonation is mild with a slick, smooth mouthfeel. Taste is nice enough..delicate munich and amber malts with a lightly husky note towards the finish. The finish is wet with a well-balanced earthy bitterness and hint of grain husk. Interesting, but not something I would care to drink much of.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium amber color with just a touch of haze. The head is off-white, about a half-inch in size; it slowly fades to a paper-thin layer. Lots of quite small bubbles rise lazily to the surface; the lacing is quite good.

Aroma: Strong caramel, home baked bread, and nutty notes; quite pleasant.

Taste: Intensely rich toasted malt flavors usher in the taste, followed by a masterful use of mild citrus hops, which play off the malt especially well. Finishes with spicy, peppery notes and nutty flavors.

Mouth feel: Very smooth and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This beer seems as good as it was when it was brewed in Austin by Celis; although I have no data to support this conclusion. At that time, I lacked even the barest rudiments of beer tasting ability, alas. This is an excellent beer that will reward the effort of seeking it.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass; best by 5/17/09.

From the label:
Celis Pale Bock--Authentic Belgian-style Beer.
Dual emblems of Texas, but brewed in Michigan.


Blatant paradoxes aside, this beer pours beautifully with a bright, fiery orange body laced by tiny chunks of yeast and pushing a hefty carbonation level. The eggshell-creme head builds to a sizable 2" before slowly receding to a thick cap of tight foam; good lacing to boot. Aroma starts out with sweet adjunct corn grains that balance with notes of toffee malts and fruity yeast esters (apple, raisin, and prune).

The flavor profile starts out quite nicely, actually, with some toasted toffee and caramel malts and a pinch of floral hops. A good burst of fruits from the yeast, too. The finish could use a bit of work, as it leaves the palate with notes of semi-stale grains and wooden vegetation. Mouthfeel does little to help: although the body packs a good carbonation level and crispness, the watery-thin finish leaves much to be desired. Nevertheless, this is a fairly good beer that could go great with a light summer lunch. I probably won't be having it again, but I'd recommend it as a good intro brew for newcomers to the craft scene.

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Celis Pale Bock from Michigan Brewing Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 96 ratings.
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