Celis Grand Cru | Michigan Brewing Company

183 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 217
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 05.02.09 from a 12oz. bottle, poured into 14oz pint:

A: Almost perfectly clear. A small yellow/white head. Good carb.

S: Big belgian yeast. Light fruit, clove and banana abound.

T: Sweet w/some alcohol. Light & fruity.

M: Dry & some slightly warming alcohol presence. Crisp, clean, and light.

D: Alcohol is slight. A good brew.

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Photo of biggred1
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden and clear with a white cap of fine bubbles that leaves pretty lace on the glass. Coriander, soft lemon, alcohol and belgian smelling yeast in the nose. Tastes of coriander and candy sugar with a citrus fruitiness. Medium light bodied with a warm alcoholic finish. A fine beer but not really up to par with really great examples of the style.

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

12 oz bottle thanks to spointon. Served up in a goblet.

A: Pours a pretty thin golden yellow. Held to the light you get a lot of carbonation activity. The body is crystal clear. Held to the light it is a glowing ass yellow. The pour gets you about a finger of white head. Retention is a bit of a downer. This brew doesn't hold that head at all really. Falls to a really thin collar. Lacing is very spotty and really thin and wispy.

S: Smell is pretty damned fruity. Lots of citrus flavors: lime, orange and lemons. Then you get some nice green apple as well, little sour. There is a little bit of champagne coming through here as well, very light and airy. Touch of alcohol and a little bit of herbal goodness. Getting some coriander and a touch of clove.

T: Lots of apple coming out here in the beginning. I mean a serious green apple juice type flavor. Then comes that champagne flavor. More fruit comes out with a touch of plum along with some orange and lime. Touch of belgian yeast in here as well. Coriander rounds this out with just a light touch. Very nice.

M: This is near the medium side of light bodied. Pretty thin for sure. The carbonation level is pretty high but it works, especially with that touch of champagne flavor coming out. Really crisp and refreshing. ABV doesn't really translate at all in the feel. Has just a touch of dryness to it. Aftertaste is a really lingering apple flavor.

D: Its not bad at all. The high carbonation really makes this go down easy and smooth drinking. Sits pretty light. The flavors and aromas are pretty damned decent. I could easily kill a few of these and that might be a bad idea if this is actually 8%. A worthy brew that was a pretty good experience.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Appears a crystal clear golden color with a one inch off-white head. It falls to a cap quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma is very spicy, lots of coriander for sure with a fruity character similar to oranges. Some phenolic character as well. A slight alcohol tinge as well. Smells much like an amped up witbier.

Taste is quite sweet and sugary up front with the orangey citrus character coming in next followed by a fairly heavy dose of spicy phenols. Finishes up with another note of sweetness then dries up considerably.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good creamy consistency. Not quite effervescent like some Belgians, but it's approaching that. Fairly drinkable, but definitely not something to session.

I found this to be pretty good overall, but not something I would really seek out. I'd take their White over this any day.

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Photo of spointon
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This ale poured an extremely pale, extremely clear straw gold color with a 1/2" white head. The head dropped quickly to a patchy skim and left bahind a thin spotty lace.

S= The aroma was dominated by a phenolic / bubblegum character. I also found a citrus and herbal quality playing nicely with a fairly strong but completely tolerable alcohol blast.

T= After letting this one warm for quite a while, I found the flavor to be a bit thin, bit certainly pleasant and not without its complexities. I found a bakery malt sweetness underneath a lot of citrus and herbs. The coriander is nicely balanced throughout. Faint Belgian yeast flavors in there too. Near the end the alcohol made its presence known with a big amount of warmth. Finish was long and dry.

MF= Rather thin bodied, with a moderate carbonation level.

D= This is a very drinkable but odd beer, but that is by intention I suppose. The flavor was less pronounced than I would like, but then at this ABV, my mind kept trying to tell me this was a tripel even though it most certainly was not. Its also reminiscent of a Belgian wit, but without the benefits of the wheat malt. I will definitely be having more of this one so I can explore its intricacies some more!

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Photo of Riccymon
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark yellow from the bottle with about one finger of head that quickly dissipates. Nose is certainly of Belgian funk--apple, pear, citrus--but also reminds me of rubber, somehow. Taste is more pear, lemon, and orange, and spicy, with perhaps clove, ginger, allspice... the spices sort remind me of those in a winter warmer like Anchor OSA. The alcohol really never shows up, which is a plus. The beer is fairly thin-bodied and finishes a little dry and hoppy, and on the whole, it's drinkable.

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Photo of armock
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that fades quickly

S - Has a citrus scent to it with a touch of spice

T - Follows the nose with a citrus flavor with spice

M - This beer has a light body with medium carbonation to it

D - I liked this beer a lot it has a very good taste thats very easy to drink for the abv it would be easy to drink this one too fast worth trying sometime

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Photo of association330
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first beer I've reviewed that is classified as a BSPA.

A - Pours pale golden (yellow) with a tight, one-finger pillow of white head that lasts very nicely. Bubbles rise quickly like a glass of champagne. Some legs and patches of lace are left behind.

S - The inexperienced nose might think this is an American macro, but it's got that 'old barn' funk you tend to pick up often in the malt characteristics of imported witbiers, lagers, pilseners, and pale ales, with none of the corn/rice vegetal odors you get with macro lagers. Some clove and pepper, with hints of lemon and bananas. Very typical witbier spicing, actually. Some grassiness as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front, with clove, bananas, and pepper. Maybe a little coriander seed too? Bitter hops and a touch of lemon zest on the swallow, with some hoppiness lingering. A little alcohol prickliness as well.

M - Medium-bodied with average carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Numbing effect from ABV, which also warms the back of the throat.

D - It tastes pretty much like a hoppy, amped up witbier. Somehow, I doubt this is 100% correct for the style, but so far, it's the most impressive/interesting brew out of the sampler pack I bought.

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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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Photo of AndrewMcLemore
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours nicely with a quick-diminishing head and a body that is too transparent. Lacking the cloudy density of most great Belgians ales, the hay-colored Celis Grand Cru looks more like apple juice than beer, though its other attributes can somewhat make up for this deficiency.

At first, this beer has a wonderfully fulsome, tart scent with hints of citrus fruit and bananas, but this too soon fades into a shallow replica Belgian-beer smell.

The alcohol is veiled nicely with a slight warming sensation to remind you its there. Starting fruity and sweet with notes of cloves and , the taste moves smoothly to a bitter finish that begs for another sip.

The overall mouthfeel is somewhat grassy, with a lightness not pursued by the original Belgian ales that some find appealing. However, aficionados will be turned off by the pilsner-like quality of this attempt at Belgian ale.

Because most Belgian ales are made by breweries who have mastered the style over several hundred years, most American Belgian ales should always be taken with a grain of salt, with Victory's Golden Monkey and Avery's Reverend serving as notable exceptions in my experience thus far.

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Photo of icefisherman
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale golden goodness followed by small head and virtuly no lacing to speek of. Smells of asorted cooking spices of whitch none I can peg with a name. Taste of light hops just enough to balance the sweetness of a (wheat?) malt. Mouth feel a litle thicker than a normal beer as of late for me atleast but nice all the same good drinkability I only wish I know how I got this one perhaps greggy left it to me as part of his bar? anyways still good

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Photo of aeminter
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden yellow, very clean looking, effervescent, thick billowy white head at the initial pour, but dwindles to less than 1 cm... and decent lacing

The nose is spicy, herbal/floral/medicinal, fruity/bubblegum and a little malty

Alcohol is very present. There isn't too much of a hop bitterness...just enough to balance out the malt...slightly buttery after taste...some grain flavors...something else, citrus maybe

Smooth initial mouthfeel with an alcohol punch at the end

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Photo of kshankar
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden with a decent head.

Aroma: Citrus, some spices, some type of fruitiness other than the citrus notes. Sweet smelling too

Taste: Follows the aroma...the spices are noticeable, and then fruitiness and sweetness comes out as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium with some carbonation. Goes down alright to me

Drinkability: Higher ABV, but the taste and mouthfeel is fine. Its worth a try.

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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 KeefD
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear pale golden color with no head and no lacing into a tulip. Decent amount of carbonation bubbles coming up from the bottom, which surprised me as there was no fizz when I popped the top. Aroma is slightly tart, some wheat twang, witbier spicing, and a small amount of tropical fruits. If I smell hard enough, it almost reminds me of La Fin. Taste is lightly tart, more of the wheat sort of twang, an almost buttery tasting middle, hints of licorice, spicy, some coriander, and some light fruitiness. Mouthfeel is slick, light carbonation. I have a feeling this bottle is pretty old, but it's held up reasonable well. Not bad, but not good either.

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Photo of eporter66
2.61/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz Bottle to a pint glass. I got this as part of the microbeerclub.com beer of the month club

A - Golden Yellow, a bit hazy and poured to a two finger head. Good head retention and lacing throughout. Reminded me of a hazy budweiser in appearance. Bubbly carbonation

S - As soon as you open the cap, the smell immediately hits you. Sour, spice and fruit all come to mind. The fruit scent is there but definitely in the background. Reminded me of a mild Saison

T - Again, reminds me of a mild Saison. Sour upfront, and as it warmed the fruit flavors came out a bit more, but still in the background. Did not seem to get an overpowering alcohol flavor, good considering it has an 8% ABV.

M - Carbonation was a bit heavy, reminded me of a pilsner, light bodied

D- I like this better than a Saison, seems like a milder version. Still can't get past the sour flavors (taste & smell), the backend fruit flavor saves this for me, and makes it a bit refreshing. There is a hop bitterness but not overwhelming.

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Photo of Nattyp
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful honey gold color into my Delirium Tremens goblet, smells like a nice champagne with strong hints of apple, almost cider like with a bit of funk on the end. It tastes really interesting..a perfect balance between sweet and dry, with a little fruit, and spice. Like a lighter version of a tripel, and the abv is slightly detected, but matches perfectly with the other characteristics. Lingers..very good

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nose is ripe with creamy malt and a sour funk. Touches of honey and spice.

Pours a medium straw, good clariy despite some floaties, mild creamy head.

Lots of malt, mild sour funk, very fruity, hint of alcohol heat in back. Fruit ranges from ripe prune to pineapple and includes floral hoppy suggestions, semi-ripe banana, and the honey sweetness of a crisp apple. Creamy malt is central to this beer's essence; savory oatmeal notes, nutty, and lots of clean malty malt. Medium+ bodied with soft viscosity and delicate carbonation. Feels nice. Seems wheaty to me (despite mention of wheat on the bottle or the website) which would account for the nice creamy flavor and body. Spicy phenolic touches go hand-in-hand with periodic heat of alcohol flashes nodding to the Tripel. Tart hop notes, slight bitterness, leafy/earthy. Finishes slightly sour and spicy, but fairly clean.

Nice with pretty tight flavor profile. It's always refreshing to try an "Authentic Belgian-style Ale". I'm tired of finding fake Belgian-style beers, or fake ales for that matter. Rest assured, this is the real deal. But seriously, it's pretty good. It reminds me of a half-Tripel. I'll call it a One-point-Fivel.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.59/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A) Lemon yellow sun, pure clarity, wisps of cloudy foam slowly dissipate.

S) Belgian yeast, little orange peel and alcohol.

T) Belgian. Belgian Pils, Belgian Yeast, Belgian hop profile (leafy, earthy, Goldings maybe?), probably imported Belgian water. The style is close to a Trippel, but some Saison elements, a bit funky overripe peach with a bitter drying finish. Some fresh grain husky malt, bordering on astringent but with a cleansing almost defoliating quality.

M) Vermouth dry finish that leaves you smacking sticky residue from your lips.

D) Wow. Yeah, I want more, but this isn't a session beer at all. Half the bottle has me a bit heady. The alcohol is a little hot but matches the beer profile nicely. Think I want to cellar some.

I'll keep this brief: DAMN YOU MILLER. Just makes me pine for the days of Pierre Celis himself at the helm in his Austin Brewery, cranking out great beers like this. I boycott Miller Brewing for their role in this tragic loss.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with very little foam. Very little head retention or lacing. If this is supposed to be a Grand Cru Wit, which I think is the case, it's completely off.

Quite sweet on the nose, with citrus esters immediately evident. Sweet malt and some spices, along with a hint of alcohol are also there. The taste echoes this, but it's more subdued. The sweet malt is much more prevalent, and the nuances seem to disappear. Some hop bitterness to balance it out a bit near the end, and definite alcohol.

A pretty disappointing beer overall. I had high hopes for the "Celis" brew, but this was quite underwhelming.

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Photo of stumac
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brew pours up a clear golden color with a decent white head. Probably the "clearest" Grand Cru I've ever had.... the nose is a buttery lemon scent, smells like a Lager too, subtle honey, aroma is kinda like Duvel. the taste is bananas, lemons, sweetness, buttery texture, medium body, low carbo. Pretty decent brew

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Photo of acrawf6
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear dark straw with a very white head that drops to a thin but consistent layer of small bubbles on top.

Smell. The first thing i get is a grape aroma that is sweet. Reminds me a little of grape big league chew, or if talking about beer, a red stripe, as that gives a similar aroma to me.

Taste. A mild flavor for a bspa. Initial thought is a pilsner malt flavor. Alcohol warmness hits me quick, but is not overpowering. Has a small sweetness, but does not have much fruit flavors, and a spiciness flavor is more dominant. The lower carbonation and the lack of a strong sweet flavor really reminds me euro strong lager. But as it warms up, there is a stronger sweetness that comes out. And the aftertaste does bring out a sweetness that is close to a simple syrup flavor, but certainly on the milder side.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium. Carbonation has its presence, but is not as bubbly as others of its style. Has a nice balance though as i think it's hop character comes out a little more than other bspa.

Overall, i can't completely pinpoint this beer. I overall do like it, but i don't consider it a great example of the style. Nonetheless, I do think it has a nice drinkablility to it. I can't pick it out, but it really reminds me of another beer i have had in the past that is totally not in this style. I say it's a real good beer for its price (paid under $2/bottle), easy drinking, and very suitable in many occasions, but if looking for a great belgian strong pale ale specifically, look elsewhere.

I checked my score, which i will not change, but i do find it misleading. I think it is better than many other beers that i have scored at this level, but when comparing to the style and so many other great beers that fall under this style, I had to give it this score.

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Photo of Pencible
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a clear, light gold with a bit of white head. It smelled like salty lemon hops, wild Belgian yeast, and sour soy malt. It tasted like sour lemon hops, sweet Belgian yeast, and salty soy malt. The flavor sweetened as it warmed. It was watery with no carbonation, and had a sour aftertaste. Overall this had a fairly basic flavor for a Belgian light ale. It was clean but not tasty - hardly what I would consider a grand cru. It wasn't offensive, but it wasn't appealing either.

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Photo of BierFan
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

The sweet smell hit my nose from a foot away as I was pouring it. Very spicy sweet and herbal tasting. Can't quite put my finger on all the particular flavors in the beer but it's definitely pleasant. Leaves nice lacing down the glass as it's drunk. Very nice beer and worth the money.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This has to be the most boring beer labeled "Grand Cru" I've ever had. Appearance is a light golden color with minimal head. Aroma is like Sprite soda, with the addition of clove/coriander. Flavor is very mild and refreshing. Quite nice for a hot summer night, which is not typically when I'm reaching for a Belgian beer. Mouthfeel is quite light and refreshing.

If there was a big market for "Belgian style ale that drinks like a light beer," then this stuff would go over like crazy.

Still, I would weakly recommend. I got this beer via my guest subscription to the Microbrew of the Month club.

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Celis Grand Cru from Michigan Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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