Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Celis Grand Cru

Michigan Brewing Company
Webberville, MI

Style: Belgian Strong Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Once again I pay a visit to a world style that I feel is the hardest for brewers to master, the abbey tripel or Belgian golden ale (technically they’re different styles, but to be honest, they’re pretty much the same in my book). Some of the best beers in the world fall under these groups—Duvel, Westmalle Tripel, Tripel Karmaliet, to mention three—and American craft brewers are still trying to find their bearings when it comes to them. So when I stumbled across another take on the style from a Midwest brewer—Michigan Brewing Company and their Celis Grand Cru—I had to grab a six pack and see how it stacked up to the Belgian masters.

The color is extremely pale—the beer gathers in my tulip glass a slightly hazy yellow. A finger of sticky snow white foam caps the pour.

Strong Belgian yeast phenols are the star of the sniff, with sharp spiciness in the background, fighting for attention. The sip starts with light (really light), dry malt mixed with herbal spiciness. This fades to an airy middle, into a nice tart, clean finish, letting only a hint of sugary sweetness to linger. The body is barely there, and even some restrained carbonation can’t keep smaller sips from disappearing at times. As it warms, the body opens up a tad bit, and some sweet notes start to form around the edges of the malt.

This is an admirable entry from Michigan Brewing, but their Celis Grand Cru is a little light and breezy to stand up to some of the masters of the style. Still, it’s a great beer to have on hand when you feel like quaffing a Belgian but are in a light and airy mood.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on May 4, 2010.
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