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Wellington Brewery, one of the oldest independent craft brewers in the country, has long built its reputation on brewing fine English-style ales since 1985.

But as beer drinkers’ tastes have changed, the Guelph brewery has slowly embraced the more creative side of craft brewing. It’s phased down production of old standbys like Arkell Best Bitter and Iron Duke Imperial Stout, and expanded its release of flavour-forward one-offs and experimental seasonals.

One of these new offerings in its Welly Re-Booted series is Quick Brown Fox, a New World take on an old British standard, the extra special bitter. I picked it up from the brewery as part of a four-beer mix pack of its most popular one-offs.

Dry-hopped with Fuggle, Golding and Willamette hops, it’s got a healthy bitterness and floral flavour, coming in at around 44 IBUs and 6 per cent alc./vol. That bitterness may be a new experience for some longtime Wellington drinkers, but it works nicely with the malty nut and toffee backbone of this beer.

It’s a good-looking beer, with a deep amber colour and frothy off-white head. A slight smell of apricot greets you as you sip. For now, Quick Brown Fox is only available from the brewery’s retail store, but that may soon change.

What the brewery says:

“Our take on a traditional British ESB (Extra Special Bitter), dry hopped with traditional English style hops. Quick Brown Fox has a biscuit and nut malt profile balanced with spicy and aromatic hops.”