On today's episode of On The Spot, we sat down with Christine Celis and Daytona Camps, the beer-drinking and beer-making mother-daughter duo of Celis Brewery. In 1965 when Christine was four years old, her father Pierre, opened Brouwerij Celis in his hometown of Hoegaarden, Belgium. Then in the early nineties, he flew to the United States smuggling in his tube-socks the original yeast strain he had been using to brew his world-famous Belgian-style Wit beer for the past 30 years. The first Celis Brewery, and also the first craft brewery in Texas, opened in 1992 to instant success, but after over a decade, he begrudgingly sold the brewery to a mainstream company. After nearly 17 years of fighting for the name back, Pierre's legacy lives on through his daughter and granddaughter and Christine is now the owner of Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas.
_"After my dad passed away in 2011, I really wanted to continue his legacy because I wanted to make sure that he was not forgotten.
He contributed too much to the culture, not just in Texas or the US, but actually worldwide." _
For Daytona, legacy is what it’s all about.
"I was junior in high school, and at the time everyone was trying to figure our what they were going to do and I actually had no idea what I wanted to do. And unfortunately at that same year, my grandfather had passed away and there was bunch of people that would contact my mom and give their condolences and share their stories and their experience with my grandfather and all this inspiration that he gave just really motivated me. I was just so interested in the concept of beer, it’s pretty much like an art form. You know you can pretty much create whatever you want with four main ingredients, but you can add this and be creative, innovative."
On speaking about how much the beer indistry has progressed for women, Christine says,
_"When I started in the 90 here, that’s when it was a no-go, women were absolutely not accepted in the brewing industry. It was so hard to find a woman in that field… Now you’re gonna find a whole lot more brewers, it’s so much more accepted. And actually, there’s a lot of men that really appreciate women being in this field."
As younger woman in the beer industry, Daytona explains that the industry is more of a community.
"It’s nice though at the end of the day, we all hang out, we all support each other. If you need some malt, I mean, I can give you some of that. It’s nice that it’s a very communicative industry, and that’s what, I think, really sets us apart from a lot of other industries out there."
What's next for Celis?
In this episode they reveal what their next plans are to improve the ATX brewery by building an outdoor biergarten with an area for food trucks and a family area and even a museum featuring the original equipment from the Brouwerij Celis brewery.
_"Never ever take any short cuts. Make sure you do this, again for the right reason. Just make sure that your product is always consistent and it has high-quality product.
Just make the product like it’s supposed to be." _
Daytona attributes her success to the role models her mom and her grand-father were for her and their determination to make their dreams come true.
"Never give up, no matter long how long it takes."
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Tune in next Thursday when we sit down with Brittany Packnett, known for her work as the National VP for Teach for America, co-host of Crooked Media’s Pod Save the People podcast, and outspoken intersectional #BlackLivesMatter activist.
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