Celis was born on 21 March 1925 in his family home on the edge of the Hoegaarden town square. He grew up working on his father's cattle farm, but also helped out in the brewery of his neighbour Louis Tomsin. Tomsin brewed wit beer, which was a speciality in the region around Celis' home town.
Becoming a brewer
After Tomsin closed his brewery in 1955, wit beer disappeared from Hoegaarden. Celis, who became a milkman after he married, took up beer making in 1965. The first year he started out with a wash tub in the barn of his father. With a loan from his father he bought equipment that came from an abandoned brewery in Heusden-Zolder. His first batch of Hoegaarden beer was made on 19 March 1966 and he opened Brouwerij Celis (Celis Brewery). In 1980 he opened Brouwerij de Kluis as he transferred the production to new buildings. In 1985 his brewery burned down, and because the buildings were not insured, he was forced to sell his company to Interbrew, now AB Inbev. He then founded the Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas, which was managed by his daughter Christine. After Celis was acquired by Michigan Brewing Company, he went to work for them to maintain quality of their beer.
- Cook, David (April 20, 2011). "Pierre Celis: A Conversation in Hoegaarden". Belgian Beer and Travel. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Lisheron, Mark (February 21, 2001). "Last call for a Celis: Whether you blame the beer big boys, Texas tastes or marketing mistakes, a great little Austin brewery is gone". Austin American Statesman. Archived from the original on March 11, 2002. Retrieved April 26, 2012. at Wayback machine
- Jackson, Michael (August 10, 2000). The Running Press pocket guide to beer: the connoisseur's companion to more than 2,000 beers of the world (Print Hardcover) (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Running Press. p. 208. ISBN 0762408855. ISBN 978-0762408856.
- Celis' obituary (Dutch)
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