Christine Celis, Uncle Billy’s brew up new Gypsy collaboration beer
While Christine Celis, daughter of renowned Belgian brewer Pierre Celis, continues to develop a new brewery that will honor her father’s memory, she’s also been busy crafting original beer recipes with local brewers.
This year’s Gypsy beer, done in collaboration with Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que and Austin Java, is quite different from the Gypsy collaboration, a Belgian IPA, that she partnered up with former Celis brewmaster Kim Clarke last year to create. The Dubbel Coffee Porter will feature organic cold-pressed Guatemalan and Peruvian coffee, a Belgian yeast strain and American hops and malts — “a nice blend of three different cultures,” Celis said.
It’ll be available first on draft at about 10 to 15 bars around town, including BB Rover’s, Hi Hat Public House and the Dig Pub, before it’s released in four-packs of 16 oz. tallboy cans. Like the IPA, only a limited amount of this Gypsy beer is being brewed, an intentional decision that hearkens back to the long-ago days when “brewers would travel around and experiment with other enthusiasts,” Celis’ Consulting CMO, Cindy Montgomery, said last year. “The beers they created together were typically produced for their personal enjoyment, and often brewed only once or twice.”
The Gypsy Dubbel Coffee Porter will debut at a special launch event at Uncle Billy’s on Nov. 6 with all collaborators behind the brew in attendance, including Celis, Uncle Billy’s owner Rick Engel, brewers Clarke and Brad Mortensen, and Austin Java coffee roaster Patrick Palmer. Teaming up with the Uncle Billy’s and Austin Java folks (Engel owns both businesses) on a new Gypsy beer had been a no-brainer for Celis.
“Celis (my father’s brewery) was the first craft beer brewery in Texas, and Rick opened Houston’s first brewpub since Prohibition,” she said. “I just knew I had to work with him to create another first.”
That first, the 7 percent ABV Gypsy Dubbel Coffee Porter, is “a robust yet smooth, deep chestnut-colored porter with demure chocolate undertones from the infusion of organic, cold-pressed Guatemalan and Peruvian coffees,” according to a press release.
There might be other Gypsy beers one day — but Celis ultimately looks forward to being able to brew her’s father’s old beer recipes here in Austin, in the same city where he originally lured people toward craft beer in the 1990s.
“I want to carry on (my father’s) legacy. That is the ultimate goal,” Celis said.