Founded in 1985
Wellington Brewery was part of the first wave of Ontario microbreweries that began after changes to Ontario law allowing small brewers to operate in the province. Phil Gosling, the founder of Wellington Brewery, envisioned a brewery that would produce English style Real Ales (also known as Cask Conditioned Beer). These cask-conditioned beers 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 beers 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 equipment was shipped from England to Guelph, Ontario. Many of these original recipes remain in our core brand lineup to this day including Special Pale Ale, County Brown Ale, and Arkell Best Bitter.
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 early 1990's, gradually adding tank capacity, and switching to the industry standard 341mL bottles in 1995.
The year 2000
brought major changes at Wellington Brewery, when long-time employees Doug Dawkins and Michael Stirrup purchased the brewery from founder Phil Gosling who retired. With nearly 25 years combined experience at the brewery; they brought passion, skill, and an intimate knowledge of the craft brewing industry.
With a focus on expanding business to bars and restaurants, Wellington Brewery hired an experienced sales team to bring our award-winning beers to locations across Ontario. In 2003, the brewery officially launched the “Try A Welly On” campaign which featured the iconic Wellington “boot” tap handle.