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Archive for September, 2008

Brewery Tour No Comments »

Hey guy’s and gals

For all you people in Toronto who long and yearn to visit us at Neustadt (but don’t have transport) good news!! Oliver Dawson from the beer lovers tours has organized a superb day trip

check out Unfortunatley he is not as good looking as his companion (the beer lady) Mirella who will be joining the party. He has an action packed day for you. Come see the oldest original operating brewery in Ontario, step back in time and take a peek at what life was like in Neustadt in 1859, learn the secrets of this famous brewery and the people who make it tick. I know you will not be dissapointed. So sign up today!!

Looking forward to meeting you all.

Cheers and taste the difference!

The Speaker of the house 1 Comment »

the-speaker.jpg  pianting.jpg

We felt honoured that the Speaker of the House (Steve Peters) chose Neustadt Scottish Pale Ale as his beer of choice for 2008/9.

 The fact that he was making history, by choosing only Ontario Craft beers to be served in Queens Park was a big step forward for our industry.

We felt he deserved to be recognised for promoting Ontario Craft beers, so we commissioned Gary McLaughlin from Riversong Gallery to paint a picture of the speaker. But we wanted to keep it a surprise, so we worked closely with his office manager Anna who was sending us e-mails and pictures secretly. We then had to find a pretext to have him visit Neustadt.  Lo and behold we managed to do it all without him finding out, when he came to visit last Friday and was presented with the portrait he was over the moon.

Up Close and Beersonal – With Mike Stirrup – President & Brewmaster at Wellington Brewery 2 Comments »

For those looking for a little ‘inside scoop’ on one of the many beer personalities within the OCB – we hope you enjoy this ‘snapshot’ of Mike Stirrup of Wellington Brewery

What are the origins of Wellington Brewery?
We’re actually the third craft brewery in Canada to commence production, in 1985, second in Eastern Canada after Brick Brewery in Waterloo, and the initial premise behind the brewery was to produce this cask-conditioned beer — beer that was driven on hand pump, beer that was non-filtered and naturally carbonated, like the beer you would get in England, served at a warmer temperature. So that was the original business plan behind the brewery. We still do that, but within about two to three years we needed to get the product into a more accessible package for the Ontario market, so we started to filter the product, and carbonate it. Originally we were in a 1 litre plastic bottle, and then eventually we went to glass in the mid-90s.

What does craft brewing mean to you?
I think what the difference is between us and, say Molson’s and Labatt’s, is that when you use the term “craft” we really are hand crafted – we’re not as automated as those breweries. There’s a lot of the personal input of the brewer put into the recipes and the brews, and also our beers tend to be more of a traditional style or recipe. We here are very influenced by English styles and recipes — some brewers are influenced by German or Belgian traditions — so that’s what separates us, I think, from the mainstream.

Walk us through the products that Wellington produces.
Our two original products were Arkell Best Bitter, which is a 4 per cent bitter, and that’s what we term as a session ale. County Ale was one of our original two products, probably one of our best selling products over the 23 years that we’ve been in business. We also have Iron Duke, which was originally a seasonal product … it’s a strong ale, almost a winter warmer, and almost verging into a barley wine at 6½ per cent alcohol. We also have a special pale ale, which is traditionally based on the great British pale ales, like Bass pale ale. We have an Imperial Stout, which is also influenced by some of the great Imperial stouts that were produced in England in the 1800’s, and we have Trailhead Lager, which is our mainstream product, and is based on a European style of lager. That’s basically the six products that we produce.

Where did your passion for beer and brewing come from?
My father had a passion for wine. When I was in my early 20s, just finishing off my schooling, we went to Europe, and went to Germany, Belgium, and England, and I noticed there was a fair difference between the beer that was being produced over there and what was in Canada at the time, and I think that was a real eye opener for me, and at that point I could really see myself becoming that [a brew master], and I started out probably a year after that trip taking the steps towards apprenticing to become a brew master. I started that in England in two breweries – one in Blackburn, Lancashire, called Thwaites, and another one in Southampton called Ringwood — and that’s where I learned a lot about the traditional brewing process of making English ales. There’s a lot of tradition there, and it was basically going back to traditional methods, and also encompassed a lot of the real ale movement. The term “Fosterization” was being used in England at the time, and they were being sold a lot of multinational mainstream type of taste — all beer had to be a certain spec, and had to taste the same way – and there was a revolt from the beer lovers and beer consumers over that.

Tell us about your relationship with Guelph.
Guelph has the interesting distinction of having three breweries … and we have very very good water that is perfect for making the style of beers that we brew, it’s very hard, and is excellent for making bitters and pale ales. Guelph has been a tremendous receptive market for us, and without them we obviously couldn’t have grown. One thing about most small breweries is that we tend to produce smaller batches for a smaller distribution area so what we tend to do, and you’ll see this as a common thread for all small breweries, that freshness is very, very important for us. We’re not shipping beer across the world, or across the nation, so at times we’re producing a product that is being kegged, and at the same day it’s at a tap at one of our licensees, and you’re getting absolutely the freshest product that you can get.

Anything else you’d like to add?
The future for Wellington is we’re looking at new markets. Right now we’re in about 750 outlets — so that’s The Beer Store, LCBO, and licensee trade in Ontario — but next year we’re going into Alberta, which is a privatized market. This year we’re in our first year of having a canning line, which is very exciting, and we’re doing our own business, as well as some contract business as well, so that’s really what the future is holding for us. The cans have been received extremely well by the marketplace, particularly by the LCBO, and it really fits well with our product line, and we’re looking at expanding possibly more of our brands into cans. We’re very fortunate to be able to supply not only cans, but bottles, to our consumers. Not too many small breweries are in a position to do that. We’ve been here now for 23 years, we’ve always had a very good reputation for quality beers, and our catchphrase is “Try a Welly on.”

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