From the Bottle Collection: Celis White, Celis Brewery, Austin, Texas


By Ken Carman

  Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

85 at Beer Advocate: but, was the Michigan version the same as what I had from the Austin bottle?
61 at Rate Beer, 80 for style. But this was the product when brewed in Belgium. The same? Don’t know for sure.

Not really sure how long ago I got this one. Claims to have been a Belgian style wheat beer. Not sure which one, probably Witbier, especially since it claims to have had herbs and spices. Which ones? Who knows.

Here is what Wiki says about it…

The microbrewery started in 1996. The Celis Brewing Company was purchased by Michigan Brewing in 2002. Pierre Celis, who is credited for the Wit beer revival in his native Belgium, and founded the Hoegaarden Brewery there and the Celis in Austin Texas, was hired to continue his famed style of beer.[

Apparently there is a plan to return Celis to Austin, according to a 2012 article.

The family-owned craft beer company specializes in Belgian wheat-style beer made from centuries old recipes. Started by world-renowned brewmaster Pierre Celis, the company had moved brewing operations from Belgium to Austin in 1992. But in 2000 the brewery was sold to Miller Brewing Corporation, and after struggling with output it was quickly taken over by Michigan Brewing Company in 2002.

After founder Pierre passed away late last year, his daughter Christine Celis reclaimed the rights to the family name and decided to bring operations back to the ATX.

Obviously this was bought during their first incarnation on this side of the big pond. I haven’t seen it on the shelves, so I assume it’s either on the way, or plans never quite solidified. Whatever the case it should be welcome in a market that has been Belgian Boom since they first started selling this here in the 90s.

The Local Malt Issue That Can Change Craft Brewing

halloran-localbrew1Local sourcing is an increasingly mainstream priority for restaurants, chefs and almost anyone producing food or beverages. But it’s not such an easy proposition for craft brewing. Unlike butchers who know their pig suppliers or jam makers who know their berry farmers, craft beer makers have a hard time finding local sources of hops and other beer ingredients.

“Everyone talks about local beer, but probably only the water and the brewer are local,” said Robby Crafton, brewer at Big Alice Brewing, during the recent Brewer’s Choice event at New York City’s Beer Week.

Truly local beer is hard to make. This is not the brewers’ fault. Blame it on a regionalized agriculture system that has centralized areas of grain production and processing.

want to read more? Please click…


Self Identifying Beer Snob’s Beer Glasses

Pretentious Beer 1 set all PG glasses

When you’re selling beer glasses in sets called The Pompous Set or The Snobby Set, it’s just a simple formality to call yourself the Pretentious Beer Glass Company. Coors Light would feel out of place in the presence of such malty arrogance.

Owner, artist, and designer Matthew Cummings explains,

The PBGC originated from a small drinking club at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville, KY. Each Friday afternoon, we would take off work early to sit in the courtyard and drink great craft beer. After a couple too many (all good ideas start this way, right?) the club decided that I should make beer glasses for everyone.

Cummings spent months perfecting his designs before launching his product line and is now working 7 days a week to keep up with orders as he still runs his shop largely on his own. He maintains the pretentious tone throughout the site, including recommended beer pairings with each glass. Descriptions about which types of beer each glass can get to “really sing,” how they can enhance the “aromatic qualities,” or ways in which “you can smell the bouquet of both beers” will either leave you feeling right at home or have you reaching for a Bud Light.

See some of Cummings’ creations below and visit his Etsy page to order one (or a set) for yourself…

The complete “Pretentious Set”


Want to read more? Please click…


Beer Profile: Hopbloem by Ithaca Beer


Profiled by Maria Devan for PGA

Beer-Profile1-258x300 Pours the color of sunshine. Yellow gold. If it weren’t for the particles in suspension to offer haze, you would need sunglasses to look at this bright beer. Fat white head of foam that fell slowly and left great lace.

Nose is decadent with hops. Fruity hops run the gamut from citrus and citric tartness to mango and stone fruit softness and depth, to a graceful pineapple that screams hops,with a touch of twang. There’s the brightness of citrus zest and this yeast is the funkiest of the entire box of Belgians. Dry earthy yeast. mango, pineapple with it’s bit of acidic tang, and mango with it deep stone fruit soft sweetness. A floral like flower petals.

Now let’s have some…

Taste is IPA all the way. Light body. No slickness no heaviness. The malt is crisp dry wheat that offers a bit of sour and a refreshing middle. It almost puckers but not quite. Delightful! The fruit is stellar. With so many fruits to create the idea of complexity, until you drink it and realize that without the characteristic IPA bitter this was fruit punch. Light wheat cracker malt brings you a crisp dry floral with a bushel of fruits that do not realize their intense sweetness because on their heels is an IPA bitter. It swoops in like a predator and takes the finish but you are satisfied.

Craker-y, crisp wheat with a touch of natural sweetness, dry and crisp from carbonation. Beautiful. Congratulations Ithaca. The bit of funk did this beer good and I enjoyed it immensely. It’s as though the sun came out today and I put it in my glass.


Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


_____________________________________________Beer HERE

meMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.