Celis Grand Cru | Michigan Brewing Company

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Celis Grand CruCelis Grand Cru
217 Ratings
Celis Grand CruCelis Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 04-28-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 |  Reviews: 183
Reviews by goatgoat:
Photo of goatgoat
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear straw yellow with a bit of chill haze. Pure white, single finger head disappears almost immediately. Carbonation very evident. Aroma is pretty spicy, but with a musty undertone. Taste continues with spices, plus some citrus and clove. A bit of an alcohol bite in the aftertaste. Generally very light feel with lots of tingling carbonation.
Decent brew. The alcohol bite is a bit more than I'd like.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazed light gold with a real orange hue with a thinner but well retained white head,very concentrated aromas quite spicey with big notes of tropical fruits with a noticable alcohol zing.The word concentrated can be used flavor wise as well somewhat spicey/clovey but those intense fruity notes and alcohol to me almost became wine like in character pretty acidic in nature and almost became to much.The big flavors are there but can it be to much?It was one and done for me I really didnt think it would go well with a Pizza Plant chicken parm stuffed pizza.

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Photo of Marty
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was so surprised by this beer! Bought it on a whim, mostly because it was cheaper ($1.50) than most of the bottles at the store. The name "Celis" registered vaguely somewhere in the recesses of my brain, but it wasn't until I logged on to BA that I remembered: this is the brewery that used to make a great white beer, then was either bought or actually moved to Austin, TX. Now it's being brewed in Michigan? Whatever.

This beer was great! Slightly hazy, golden yellow with a big head of crispy bubbles. And by crispy, I mean that the bubbles were popping pretty loudly... like Rice Crispies. Yeah, there, I did it. I just compared a beer to Rice Crispies. What I mean is that the bubbles were slightly larger than normal, and the head dissipated fairly quickly and loudly.

Anyway, moving on. I was first impressed with this beer's taste. What a great, spicy beer! It smells great, too. Reminds me of other, more expensive, Belgians.

I don't know how strong this beer is, but I'd guess it's over 7%. The alcohol is not the overriding characteristic of this beer, though. Overall, very balanced, VERY drinkable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of boston2bburg
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a skinny tulip glass goes this extraordinarily pale, translucent, and effervescent ale. A quarter inch of head settles to a thin blanket covering the ample bubbles shooting upward beneath it. Lacing is present, intricate but not hugely abundant.

The bouquet is primarily of pale malt with just hints of citrus and lemon zest pulling through initially.

The flavor is very nicely balanced, with a strong pale malt foundation, slightly candied, and just enough lemon, citrus and perhaps coriander present to provide a bite without making you pucker. The nutty citrus of the coriander comes through more with warmth to provide more depth. Spicy hops with a slight herbal character make this one of the more refreshing ales for it's strength, a perfect pair for a warm August night when one has grown wary of standard wheat ales. The hops actually contribute to the nose with warmth. Good stuff.

The feel on the palate is almost spot on...if anything it could be a touch drier but with the amount of malt they were using they did well to give it the bite it has. Another minor gripe would be the addition of some yeast character. I was surprised the beer wasn't bottle-conditioned, as is typical for most Belgian ales I've tried. Some clove would have done it well. Drinkability is exceptional; careful, it sneaks up on you.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Clear medium gold color with an orange hue. Minimal head going quickly to a little ring of white bubbles. Very little lacing.

S: Great mix of spices like coriander mixing in well with light but fragrant floral hops. There's also a hint of caramel on the nose that I'm guessing comes from the malt.

T: First to the tongue is the light to medium maltiness but coming in right behind it is the unique combination of spices that make this beer special. Most Grand Cru styles that I've sampled have a mix of coriander & orange peel and this one is no different, although there does seem to be more focus toward the coriander. There is also a taste that I just can't pinpoint... it may well be the yeast or a flavor given off from the yeast in the brewing process. It gives it a unique flavor that is very light on the tongue but flavorful at the same time. Spices rule the palate on this one.

M&D: Light in the mouth but still full flavored; springy on the tongue with no real strong aftertastes. The finish is a touch on the dry side with the slight lingering of spice. Carbonation is well matched with small springy bubbles to enhance the mouthfeel. Very nice brew.

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Photo of Todd
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Pours a very pale, hazy straw beer with a thin white lace. Moderate retention and stick.

Soft aroma, light herbal, lemon rind, zest and phenols. Faint medicinal and soft soapy and bubblegum notes.

Creamy at first, with a grainy/coarse feel underneath. The overall character is a bit bland, at first, but allow the beer to warm-up a bit to unlock the nuances. You'll find a light bready malt character of, orange sweetness, some lemon rind and splash of zest smacks the palate, followed by notes of herbal, clove and coriander. Hint of grass. Alcohol spice and warmth, especially as the beer warms-up. Finish is dry, with notes of grain and a yeasty character that coats the palate in a rougher dry feel.

A decent example of what is really a "Double Wit." Could use a bit more depth of overall character, but it's still rather refreshing ... and powerful.

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Photo of TurboChief
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with the familiar old graphics from when this was brewed in Texas. Pours light and clear, a wit beer? I dont know, this one seems more like a Belgian Pale or Triple style brew. Notes of crisp apples, gin, yeasty phenolics, Belgian all the way. Alcohol quite present in this tasty Belgian style sipper from Michigan. Worth a try.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having no prior experience drinking a wit grand cru, this one appears a fizzy yellow deep golden with a fizzy white head carbonation seems high. Aroma has upfront banana, pear, and other tropical fruit notes with alcohol infused with apple tones and finishes with a nice grassy hop finish. Taste has a syrupy malty touch of honey with all of those fruit tones shining through, in addition a flowery grassy hop mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation a bit high the head dwindled quickly a bit sticky on the palate. Drinkability very tasty treat quite an experience I hope to try more of this style, a solid version in my unexperienced opinion...I liked it.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thorough notes are from last night...

This brew is a pale yellow-gold. Consistent bubbling activity remains after the pour, which produces a soft white head just less than one finger high. Retention is good and some thin but consistent lacing remains on the glass.
The nose makes evident the coriander and spices spoken of on the label along with an evident Belgian yeast strain, grains (wheat), bubble gum, and citrus rind. Alcohol is surprisingly not evident given its later appearance.
Underneath a soft malt are flavors of candied sugars, coriander, clove, orange rind, Belgian yeast, and a strong but not overwhelming alcohol presence that mingles nicely throughout.
The body is medium and a crisp bite gives way to a smooth creaminess in every swallow. Carbonation is lively and adds to the smoothness. Spices and alcohol linger in the finish.
I have to say, something about this style speaks to me. I'm a less exclusive lover than some (superhopped or it's an F), but I can recognize that this is a good beer.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy golden color into a pint glass. There was a medium thickness white head that listed for a little while. The nose is a bit of citrus and some wheat with a touch of alcohol at the end. The taste is very nice. There is a good blend of the citrus and spice notes. You get a good mouthfeel and wheat character that is impressive. The beer has medium body so I found it pretty drinkable.

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Photo of SMark
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at 47 degrees. Pours a nice head that gives out quickly but leaves nice lace work. Bubbles come fast and furious and quit just as fast. A nice pale golden color.

Has a clean somewhat burnt malt aroma but is not an off odor. Makes it kind of interesting and invites you to try a sip

Same curious taste as smell which I cannot quite put my finger on. Not sure if it attributable to the malt. Little bit of apple and maybe citrus. Lacing is not as noted from the original pour.

Hangs with you for a little while but not overpowering considering the alcohol content.

A good beer which seems to be very well made considering the alcohol and this being a witbier. Polished off two tonight so would consider it a success.

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Photo of Metalmonk
2.02/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Sorta dead looking in the glass, poured with hardly any head. There's a thin crown and a mild skim over the top after just a few seconds, and hardly any visible signs of carbonation. Sits in the goblet like apple juice. Bah.

Aroma is fruity, with pear and apple at the front, and a hint of the yeast eking out its place amidst what is ultimately a pretty weak and unimpressive aroma. No depth, certainly nothing that keeps me going back for another sniff.

Tastes like watered-down cologne. Some fruit gets through, as does some yeast, but everything's dominated by a way too medicinal, aftershave-esque alcohol. Astringent and boozy, without even having the decency to deliver some enjoyable flavors to offset the madness. Iron/copper and wet cardboard. Maybe this is just a case of oxidation, but whatever it is, it's terrible.

Texture is fine, a bit soft and buttery while also having enough carbonation to deliver a lively bounce. Still, I fear repeated sips to check this, as I cannot stand the flavor.

Somehow this turned out to be the worst of the three Celis beers I picked up recently. Wouldn't have guessed it before trying them, but their Raspberry and Wit beers were much better than this aftershave disaster. Haven't been real impressed with this brewery overall. It's not that there's no substitute for the real thing--there are some super-good Belgian ales brewed by Stateside brewers. These guys aren't on that list. PASS!!!

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small brown bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear golden color with a small white foamy head that doesn't retain for long and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeasts with sweet citrus, bananas clove and spice scents. Very nice.

Taste: Pretty much like it smells, yeasty with some sweetness and spices. A very good American interpretation of the BSPA style. Well done, Michigan Brewing Company.

Mouth feel: Sweet, crisp and slightly dry on the finish. Good carbonation balance.

Drinkability: I love the BSPA style, and this is one of the few American versions of the style I would seek out and drink again. Very drinkable!

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Photo of RonJon24
2.26/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Light gold, almost yellow color. No head what so ever.

S - Great Belgian smell, cant pinpoint what that smell is but it does smell intriguing and reminded me of some great Belgian beers Ive had in the past.

T - Does not come through from the smell. It was a little sweet, almost an essence of grape and/or honey.

M - Slightly syrupy

D - I like a good Belgian beer, but this one doesn't come through.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden, almost clear, with a fluffy 1/2 finger head that soon reduces to a collar and only a few bits of wet lace arcs.

S- Fresh and green with an outdoorsy barnyard scent. Yeast and loads of crisp spices. Green bananas and a whif of alcohol.

T- Very assertive and powerful taste. Rich banana and clove with other spices. I can feel the alcohol pleaseantly burning my throat. Very sugary at first, with a nice dry finish that conplements the alcohol warmth.

M - Full bodied and somewhat chewy. Feels like even higher than 8.0% ABV.

D - Despite the very present alcohol content, I could drink alot of these. This is sort of a poor man's Duvel, very similar but not quite as intriquing....but far cheaper.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear. Golden. Somewhat effervescent. Short but creamy bright white head. Average retention. Decent lacing. Coriander is obvious in the nose, backed by yeasty phenolics and a hint of orange peel. Medium bodied. Gently crisp. Full flavored. Sweetish, wheaty malt with a candyish side is brought to life by yeasty phenolics (clove, bubblegum) and spice. Coriander helps to dry it, as does a spritz of alcohol. Orange peel becomes apparent at the swallow, and it finishes spicy and dry. Very nicely done! Almost exactly as I remember it used to be.

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Photo of RickS95
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Resembles grapefruit juice in a glass. What head there is doesn't last long.

Smells Belgian, lots of spices and citrus notes. Some oraange and pineapple fill the nose.

I was surprised by how much sweetness this had, without being too sweet. So many spices I couldn't pick out just one, but orange seemed to be the dominant flavor.

A lot going on regarding mouthfeel. There's some sweetness, a little bitter from the spices, and a general cleansing feel.

I'd like to think I could go through several of these because it's pretty good, but with all the spices, I might not be able to. Plus, while you can't tell it by taste, it's full of alcohol.

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Photo of prototypic
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Celis Grand Cru is a little hazy and gold in color. It's topped with a white head that looks whipped and stands about two fingers tall. It's pretty quick to recede, but leaves a nice sticky lacing on the glass as it goes down. Not bad.

The nose could use more strength. I'm hoping it opens a little as it warms. We'll see how we go. Initially, it smells grainy and grassy. Light spices work their way into the forefront and smell pleasant. Pepper, coriander, and orange peel seem to be the primary components. It smells a little fruity and features some nice apple and pear notes. I'm not picking up much past that. It's not bad, but needs a few more watts.

The flavor is easily better and earns a bump in score. A nice mix of orange peel, pepper, and coriander spices start things out and resonate throughout. Tastes like there's even a little unexpected clove, but that's more subdued. It works. Light apple and pear give it a solid fruit presence. Light grain and grassy flavors are noted about midway through. It has a nice yeasty flavor that's very reminiscent of Belgian yeast. That's a nice, artful touch. Alcohol is noted, but doesn't have a warming effect at all. It finishes spicy and yeasty. Celis Grand Cru has a surprisingly impressive flavor. I'm actually close to pulling the trigger on the next highest score, but just can't do it. It's very good, but not quite special.

Its body is light-medium and is nearly smooth. Carbonation is active and gets in the way justalittlebit. But, it's pretty good here. Drinkability is good. This is a surprisingly good beer that goes down easier than it should. Ultimately, alcohol is just a little too prominent and it's a bit too strong to take down too much. One bottle will be enough, but I'm enjoying it.

Michigan Brewing surprised me quite a bit with this one. Celis Grand Cru has been sitting in the fridge for a while. I wasn't excited about it and wasn't expecting much. Other than a slight weak nose, it's pretty impressive. It's not a special beer by any means and doesn't have any qualities that will blow you away. Rather, it's a solid, well-rounded BSPA. Pick it up. You'll be surprised.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have I said yet that beer fans should definitely make MBC's taproom a stop on any journey through Michigan? The folks here told me Peter Celis, who is no longer involved in the US operation, did drop by recently and said it this the best beer he'd ever had. Definite complex Belgian body, with cinnamon taste, coriander and grains of paradise. But it's also lighter on the malt than a dubbel. Slightly citrusy and tangy bitterness. Makes friends out of enemies.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Off white head atop a clear, pale golden brew. No yeast evident at the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma is yeasty and spicey. Bready malt, alcohol, and a bit vinous.

Taste shows a bready malt backbone. Yeast, spice, and alcohol have plenty to say. Bit fruity. Some dryness and crispness, but sweet overall. Reminded me of a tripel in many ways, but I liked this better than most tripels I've had.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability, although a bit sweet for my liking.
Overall, a good beer. Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the bottle!

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Celis Grand Cru from Michigan Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 217 ratings