When news broke last week that the daughter of Pierre Celis, a renowned Belgian brewer who opened Austin’s first craft brewery in the early 1990s, is reviving her dad’s legacy with a brewery of her own, many longtime Austinites probably salivated at the thought of the Celis beers they used to enjoy.
Many of these beers, in particular the witbier that started it all, are going to be brewed again at Flemish Fox Brewery & Craftworks, the brewery that Christine Celis is opening next year.
But that’s not the only exciting element of Flemish Fox, located at 2013 Rutland Drive in North Austin. Christine is hoping to bring the original equipment that her father used to brew with to the U.S., preserving all of it as a museum piece showcasing a far-away time when fermenters were open and coolships were far more commonplace. Once the old brewhouse is restored at Flemish Fox, Christine also plans to brew on it a couple of times a year.
For now, her father’s equipment is stuck in Belgium because the costs are too high to transport it across the Atlantic. Fans of Celis beers, however, can help — Christine has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com that aims to provide the vital funds.
So far, the campaign has raised about $2,500 out of a total $450,000 with two months to go.
“You can have a hand in preserving the heritage of witbier’s brewing origins and bring Belgian legacy to Texas,” according to the Indiegogo campaign. “Your generous contribution will not only make sure historically significant equipment is preserved, but the very brewing techniques that are only feasible with this kind of equipment are likewise preserved.”
Christine, who has fought tirelessly to make sure her father’s memory endures, plans to “also bring the original yeast and brewing methodologies perfected in the early days in Hoegaarden to once again revive witbier in Austin for all to enjoy,” the campaign text reads. “This is a process rarely used outside of Belgium in modern brewing to continue a beloved style that deserves to be saved.”
For more information, visit the brewery’s Facebook page at facebook.com/FlemishFox.