Founded in 1985, Wellington Brewery was part of the first wave of Ontario microbreweries that began after changes to Ontario law allowed small brewers to operate in the province. Phil Gosling, the founder of Wellington Brewery, envisioned a brewery that would only produce English style Real Ales (also known as Cask Conditioned Ales). These cask-conditioned ales are unfiltered, naturally carbonated and served at cellar temperature. Wellington Brewery was one of the first modern brewers in North America to produce traditional cask-conditioned ales which have become increasingly popular in the last decade.
Our original recipes aimed to match the world renowned flavour and character of traditional English style ales. To ensure that the beer matched the style, the original brew house and most equipment was shipped from England to Guelph, Ontario.
BREWERY CIRCA 1989
By 1987, our beers were winning local and national brewing awards, and were packaged for the first time in 1 litre PET bottles. We continued our steady growth through the 1990's, and switched to the industry standard 341mL bottle in 1995.
The year 2000 brought big changes at Wellington Brewery, when long-time employees Doug Dawkins and Michael Stirrup took over. With nearly 25 years combined experience at the brewery; they brought passion and an intimate knowledge of both our products and the craft brewing industry.
Their plan was to focus even more on licensee business, both in Guelph and throughout southern Ontario. This meant hiring an experienced sales team to bring Wellington's fine ales to the pubs where they should be served. They were supported by the "Try a Welly On" marketing campaign, which featured the now-famous "boot" taphandle. These factors led to a period of substantial growth with licensees, and brought Wellington beers to a much broader audience.
In 2010, we celebrated our 25th anniversary, a significant milestone for an independently owned craft brewer. To mark the occasion we held a huge party at the brewery as a thank you to our loyal customers and our local community who are at the heart of our success.
BREWERY CIRCA 2013
This milestone also marked the retirement of Michael Stirrup as President, with Doug Dawkins taking over alongside Brent Davies. As a former employee and a history of sales experience, Brent has brought energy and vision to our growing brewery.
Our 25th anniversary also marked the start of our Welly One-Off series, a year-round series of small batch specialty beers brewed in small batches. Our One-Off series is a way for our brewers to have fun and experiment with new and exciting recipes.
In 2011, we began to reach the limitations of our existing brew house with our plant operating at capacity for most of the year. In October 2011, we began the first phase of construction which focused on expanding our brewing capacity by installing two new 150HL tanks in order to increase our brewing capacity. Shortly after in January 2013, we added four more tanks in order to keep up with growing demand. In the coming years, we are looking forward to growing and expanding our brewery while maintaining our commitment to producing our delicious award-winning beers.