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

A - Hazy orange brown that is slightly reddish in the light with lots of tiny bubbles rising to a 1/2 finger tan head. Some huge swaths of lacing coat the glass.

S - Biscuits and toast with some sweet honey and caramel undertones. The hop profile is very mild.

T - Musty and dank hop oil with big burnt caramel notes and some very bitter leafy flavors. A bit mouldy and dank. It is pretty unique, I'll give it that. Gets better with warmth as grapey fruit flavors show themselves.

M - Feels thinner than I think it should be. The finish is extremely dry and bitter. Nice.

D - This is a near miss. It's almost good, but somehow falls short.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into large tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped on cap.

Cloudy,light copper color,creamy off-white head,very lively with lots a tiny bubbles stringing together racing to the top,with a retentative head..
A very fruity aroma,with notes of caramell and chocolate and a candy-like sweet smell.
A nice balanced taste that was nutty,fruitty.with hints of toffee,a bit syrupy a pleasing bittersweet finish thats clean and refreshing.
A medium mouthfeel,thats fizzy,slightly cloying,a bit dry at the end.
Drinkable,enjoyable,couldn't drink all night,but would enjoy more than one. Reminassant of a Cosendonk,but not quite up to par with one.
A beer i would drink again though.

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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 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 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 Blakaeris
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy caramel brown with a redish tint. Head dissipates quickly to a thin soapy ring.

Smell is on the sweeter side. Malty and slightly fruity.

Taste caramel malt, and a strong grainy bready presence. Finish is quite minerally, and has mild bitterness with lingering nut flavor.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and watery.

Overall a pretty average offering. Nothing to get excited about.

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Photo of bashiba
2.91/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark hazy amber with a small ring of bubbly head.

Smell was musty with a touch of oak.

Taste has a grainy malt quality with a slight yeasty funk and a bit of earthy hops.

mouthfeel is light and dry.

Bland and average. Nothing I would be seeking out in the future.

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Photo of phisig137
2.99/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear reddish dark amber color with a one finger head that lasts a decent while. Falls into a nice blanket over top of the glass.

Aroma is very faint, but smells bready and ever so slightly alcoholic. I'd like to smell a little more malt, and have a fuller nose... this smells a little thin. The flavor again is bready and dry, with notes of toasted grain, and a relatively hoppy finish. Very mild and light. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with large bubbled carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good.

Not fantastic, but not bad either. It's worth a shot, but I don't see myself buying much of this.

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Photo of stouty1
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rusty brown with a small foamy head. Not impressive, but too cold (I am still trying to cycle in my fridge). Nice lacing around the rim.

Smells sweet with apple the prevailing fruit.

Sweet tasting maltiness. A bit of caramel coming through. Leaves with a slight bitterness. Can definitely taste the hops in the final swallow.

Very light beer but fully carbonated.

Drinkable but probably would get overpowering after a second. Don't think I would order two in a row.

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

A: It pours an apple juice orange, with not much of a head. It is slightly cloudy and it reflects the light off of its orange body.

S: I am picking up on spices and some smooth floral hops.

T: It isn't terribly complex but I can taste spices, and maybe even mint? I say mint because of the minty burn that finishes the beer with the bitter hops. It isn't that bitter, it is still drinkable.

M: It is fairly thick and what I would expect from this beer.

D: Fairly drinkable, a good session if you a fan of this style, or beer.

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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 santoslhalper
4.29/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a simple copper with a thin bubbly white head. Nice carbonation and clarity.

Smell: The smell is a nice mix of rich malts and bitter, balancing hops. Some sweetness is present, with loads of fruitiness. Very complex and tasty smelling.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Simple malt flavors, balanced by simple hop flavors. Nothing over-the-top or crazy. The malt flavors are grainy, raw, and rich, balanced nicely by a little bit of hop bitterness and citrus flavors Some sweet bubblegum and cotton candy notes as well. The mouthfeel is full bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: Definitly achieved it's goal: an easy drinking, full-flavored, session brew. Nothing special or stand-out in anyways, which makes this one special, and stand-out to me. Simple, subtle, and delicious.

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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 Frozensoul327
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good offering. Poured out to a dark and clear amber color with a short lived medium bodied head. Medium low carbonation. Aromas of dark fruit, malts and yeast. Taste was along the same lines as the smell; fruit, bread and malt blended well with some bitterness toward the finish. The mouthfeel was slightly weaker than I would've liked, as it was on the thin side, but still good enough. High level of drinkability, this could be a great session brew considering the low ABV. Hopefully the bottled version is as good as the tap. Recommended.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated 12oz poured into a tulip.

Clear amber with minimal carbonation and an off white head that, despite its small size and short lifespan, leaves a decent broken sheet of lace as it goes down.

Buttered biscuits and some caramel malt in the nose. A pinch of dry hops underneath.

The hops are more pronounced in the taste. They don't dominate as there is just enough carmel malt to give it a backbone. Overall its pretty dry. Nice crisp clean finish. Good flavor plus a low abv equals a really good session beer.

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2.93/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is fixing to be gone from our market (San Antonio). I have not had it since it was brewed in Austin. I was lucky enough to drink it at is freshest out of the brewery tap. I figured I better get 6 before it was too late.

The beer poured an amber-orange color and is clear. The head is decent, about 1/2" and retained well with good lacing.

The aroma was hard to pinpoint. The flavor was very good, malty without any cloying aftertaste. Not much of a hop flavor or aroma, but that is not missed on this style of beer. I seem to remember when it was brewed locally this beer tasted a little richer with a more pronounced caramel flavor, almost rich and buttery. This was lacking here, but this beer is no slouch. I could see this being a nice session beer. I am sorry this is not going to be available in SA anymore, but we will have Celis White and Raspberry (review forthcoming!) to fill the void.

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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 mschofield
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper gold topped with a two finger light tan puffy head. Leaves this webs of lacing.
Saaz like aroma, with toffee, herbs slight spice.
Tastes like a toffee flavored pilsner. Spicy and herbal hop. Toffee with slight butter. Good balance between the hop and malt flavors. Fruitier as it warms.
Medium bodied, not a bock at all, more of a Belgian pale (as agreed to by the BA listing.)

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Photo of marc77
2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Crystal clear bronze. Head settles readily into a loose, soapy layer that yields frothy lace. Grassy hop and vague whiffs of light toffee in aroma. Vague hint of biscuit. Underwhelming aromawise. In flavor, prevalent is a corn like sweetness bolstered somewhat by dilute, but perceptibly toasty Munich hints. Medium caramel notes augment as the beer warms, but the malt character is vapid overall. Mildly bittered, but very highly attenuated and dry. Watery mouthfeel with no appreciable viscosity. Finishes bland and parching, save a quickly fading trace nutty malt and simple maltose combination. A yawn inducing brew, akin to a helles bock diluted with seltzer water. Thirst quenching at best.

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Photo of faernt
2.53/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The name Celis still rings positively in my ears. I remember drinking Celis White in the mid-nineties and not being able to get enough of it. I enjoyed the Grand Cru and when the brewery was purchased by Miller and then closed I was sad.

So when the beers reincarnated themselves in Michigan I was eager to try them again. I forgot the taste of the Pale Bock and looked forward to trying it again. My trading buddy, Morris 729 sent me one (Thanks, Jim) and here we go.

The pour is golden amber (no redness). The head is short and subsides to a ring. The smell is slight but (this is me here) my nose seldom picks up a big bouquet.

The taste is a little bitter and stays that way. I await a little sweetness and almost none comes. I get a bit of bread and the sparkle of the persistent carbonation tells me that more flavor is approaching but, sadly, none comes.
I find this to be a Maibock and await a little spiciness and none comes. I'm disappointed.
I could try this with food but I know of other beers that are good alone and also with food. I think that in the USA today we have so many great beers that one that needs food to work is weak. I probably won't be trying this again soon. I'll wait a few years.

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Photo of chriscolby
2.82/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a pale ale, although it says "Pale Bock" on the label.

The beer is amber, with a tinge of brown in the hue. Clear and pours to a moderate head. There's a cheesy hoppiness in the nose mingled with some faintly "biscuity" malt notes. The malt/hop balance is good, although neither the malt nor hop character is particularly inviting. The beer has a moderate body, but there's something about the mouthfeel I don't like (but can't really describe adequately).

When the Celis Brewery was in Austin, they made one world-class beer (Celis White), a couple of really good beers (their Grand Cru for one) and some beers that, unfortunately, just weren't very good. The pale bock was one of the latter and nothing seems to have changed now that the brewery has moved to Michigan.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a goblet. The color is amber, with a wispy white head. The smell is fairly malty. The taste is a fairly dry malt with a good bit of hop to it, and leaves a very long and lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, maybe another.

Thanks to trbeer for the bottle. Not a great beer, but unique, and I'm sure there's people who'd enjoy this...I might have another if I saw it, but I wouldn't hunt it down.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The owner, Bobby Mason, told me this was actually a pale ale, but some quirk in Texas law requires it to be labeled as a "Bock," and most of their production is still shipped there. It's darker than the Amber Lager I had just sampled. Still and all, its profile is a rather plain ”beer,” but it is malty and a little roasty.

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Photo of marburg
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Someone wake me up when this beer is over.

Just not terribly exciting. May be an OK conversion beer because of its grainy blandness.

Hazed amber/light brown. Head was tough to form despite adequate carbonation. Eh.

Malty, mildly grainy, bread aromas. Slight caramel/sugar sweetness as well. Mostly bland. Eh.

Grainy incoherence. Very rich and powerful malts -- just not sure I like what they're saying. Finishes a little sloppy with a wet, bready sweetness that's uninspired.

Despite its lack of excitment, this beer is certainly drinkable, providing a decent early fall generic brew. Certainly not bad, but not exactly a triumph.

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Photo of granger10
3.01/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one poured an amber color with a nice sized tan head that stayed around for awhile. But the nose was of an off flavor, a mixture of yeast and malts that I did not like. I was hoping the taste would be different but it was similar to the smell. Strong yeast flavor mixed with medium strength malts. Very chalky in texture. I just had an aged Aventinus that was chalky in texture and was very good, but the chalkiness did not work well for this beer. In all respects it wasn't horrible and tasted good after my taste buds got accustomed to it. But I probably won't get this one again.

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