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.
we installed our first canning line, making us one of the first Ontario craft brewers to introduce a 473 mL tall can to the LCBO. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2010, 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. This milestone also marked the retirement of Michael Stirrup as President, with Doug Dawkins taking over alongside Brent Davies. As a former employee with a background in sales, Brent Davies has brought energy and vision to our growing brewery. Our 25th anniversary also marked the start of our Welly One-Off series, a rotating series of small batch specialty beers.
In 2011, we introduced our new Wellington Brewery boot logo. As the craft beer market in Ontario continued to grow, the brewery added tank capacity in 2011 and later again in 2013. Around this time we began brewing 24/7, pushing our brewery to the limits of what we could produce.
As we marked our 30th anniversary in 2015, the brewery broke ground on a major addition that added over 12,000 square feet to the building as well as a new 40 HL NSI brew house and state-of-the-art Krones packaging line. This world class brewing equipment is more efficient, allowing us to produce twice as much beer in half the time, while reducing the brewery’s environmental impact.
In the summer of 2016
Wellington Brewery President Doug Dawkins passed away unexpectedly. As the brewery mourned the loss of Doug, the brewery banded together, to keep brewing and following our vision.
From our humble beginning as one of Canada’s first craft brewers to where we are today, a lot has changed. What hasn’t changed, is our focus on brewing award-winning, well-balanced beers that bring people together. Thanks for being a part of the journey. Cheers!