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Historic Beer Birthday: Pierre Celis

A true brewing legend, who was treated like a rock star in Belgium where they care about their national beers, Pierre Celis would have been 97 today. Celis single-handedly revived the style witbier in the 1960s when he was a brewer at Hoegaarden. He later moved to Texas to start a microbrewery with his daughter Christine, which was sold to Miller in 1995. He later made three cave-aged beers under the label Grottenbier at St. Bernardus in Belgium. Unfortunately, Pierre passed away almost ten years ago in April of 2011. Pierre was a terrific person and his absence is still deeply felt. The last I heard, his daughter Christine was working on a great-sounding project that will honor her father’s memory and also produce some terrific beers, too. That project, originally was going to be called Flemish Fox Brewery, and was announced as being open, but it appears Christine instead opened a new Celis Brewery. Join me in drinking a toast to the memory of Pierre Celis.

Pierre, shortly after his biography, “My Life,” was published.
With Pierre at the Craft Brewers Conference in New Orleans quite a few years ago.
At GABF in 2006.
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