Welton's Brewery was conceived and designed by Ray Welton, with help from Fred Martin & Jim Sargent, then built and installed in a renovated milking parlour on Rugge Farm in Capel near Dorking by Ray and his associates Alistair Spence and Roger Wilton.
The first beer brewed was North Downs Bitter 3.8% abv. Old Cocky was the second and came into production two weeks after brewing started and has been brewed regularly ever since.
The first anniversary in November 1996 was notable in that for the first time, we actually sold more Old Cocky than Ray could drink!!
Right from the start, the aim was to brew beer that was as natural as possible and in brewing we use just local water, malt, local hops and yeast. There are no chemical additives, brewing aids or preservatives used. We only use finings in the draught beer, but the bottles are pure as the driven snow. This does have the benefit in that the beer always has a very clean crisp flavour
We also brew beers made entirely from organic ingredients and these will be widely available in bottles. All of our bottled beers will be suitable for Vegans, in that there are no animal ingredients at all in these beers.
Soon after brewing started in 1995, it was obvious to us that there was a need for some different beers on a regular basis, so we set to work and came up with TOWER POWER. This was stronger at 5% and immediately sold out. This set the tone and we have now brewed over 150 different specials with more new ones to come. We provide pump stickers for all and posters for some.
The strength varies from 2.8% to 8.1% abv, so far. The recipes are all different, using up to fifteen varieties of hops and a possible twenty five different malts & grains.
During the course of 1998, after having listened at length to what our customers have said, we developed Pridenjoy. It is a full bodied 2.8% abv beer which is consistently thought to be 4% abv in tastings we have had throughout the trade. In 2005 the beer writer Roger Protz wrote of it that "it is a most remarkable beer". He then thought fit to include it in his book, "300 Beers To Try Before You Die". Quite an accolade for such a low gravity beer. It is quite unique in the trade and is a serious attempt to provide a refreshing, healthy beer drink that doesn't necessarily make you drunk.