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In the 1990's, Austin was home to the Celis Brewery. I don't think their distribution reached far outside of Central Texas, but they were much beloved here in The City with the Violet Crown. Prior to the arrival of Celis, local favorites were more or less Shiner Bock and, while we had Lone Star, it was sort of reserved for "we're cooking burgers and it's 100 degrees out and no one cares" drinking.
I wasn't much of a beer snob (I still definitely am not), but I knows what I likes. And I was a fan of Celis, particularly Celis White. Also, Celis Pale Rider, but we're not here to talk about that one today. If you read the picture above you'll note that Celis was brewed in the Belgian style. I didn't know much about that then or now, but in our poor college and post college days, it was a bit of a premium beer that folks agreed upon, and if someone brought it over, it was like a sign of respect.
Eventually, as happened with many fine beers of the 90's, the brand was purchased by a larger company, they attempted wider geographic distribution but it didn't take. So, instead of just giving it back and letting us live our lives, they shut it down. Why? Why do that? Just let us have the beer.
Anyway, flashforward to 2016 and it became clear Celis was coming back. The family had re-obtained all the legal necessaries, they got a brewery going again, and last week when I was walking through HEB (the Texas-based grocery store chain that is to Texas what Publix is to our friends in The Sunshine State) and one of those PR folks was handing out samples. I mean, I didn't need a sample if I properly remembered the '90's, but it was a happy exchange and I walked away with a six-pack of Celis White, what I consider (and I assume they do, too) the flagship of Celis.
This week was bananas. I could have just popped a beer, but JimD, also a product of 90's Austin, suggested an old-school Taste Test (this was something we did from time to time at the League of Melbotis blog). So, here we are.
|Lucy, underage, will not be participating in this nonsense|