A little bit of Belgium in Texas is a good way to describe Celis Brewing in Austin. The great local water means the only water treatment used is chlorine removal via charcoal/carbon filtering. Grains travel from the Mill Room to the Mash Tun via a Grist Hydrator and onward to the copper Belgian Boil Kettles. Recipes except the Dubble and White get a DE filtering, all see lagering from three weeks to two months followed by pasteurizing. As is traditional in Europe, a centrifuge separates solids from the liquid both before and after fermentation. The brewhouse contains five 200 barrel stainless steel fermenters along with seven glycol-jacketed aging tanks. More un-jacketed tanks support the bottling operation from a coldroom. The huge kegging/bottling room supplies the product mix of 80% bottles and 20% kegs. For a new system there's still a lot of hands-on attention required. Manual cleaning of the vessels means someone must climb into each one. 25 employees produce the six standard beers, each with its own yeast strain, along with the new Pale Rider now being test marketed. The White has won three major medals and comes in at 4.8% alcohol by volume (abv). The Golden (4.8%) is currently sold only in Texas. The Pale Ale is under 5% and labeled within Texas as Pale Bock. The Raspberry (4.9%) gets a shot of Belgian raspberry juice. The Dubble (6.5%) uses a new Trappist yeast while the Grand Cru comes in at 8.9%. Ingredients include Orange Peel from Puerto Rice, Coriander from Germany, Briess Malts, and Saaz and Willamette hop pellets among others. Stop by early for a tour and finish at the obligatory tasting room. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and who knows, you may even run into Christine or Peter.
2431 Forbes Dr.
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - March, 1998
NM Virtual Brewpub