Industry was located in the local town. Breweries purchased hops and barley from local farmers and shipped beer to taverns and grog shops around Ontario.
The history of Labatt’s Breweries is unequivocally linked with the history of London. The two have shared a long and prosperous relationship that dates back to 1828, when John Balkwill first opened his London Brewery on Simcoe Street. The London Brewery, as it was called, produced 400 barrels of beer a year, and much of it was sold through Balkwill’s own tavern. In 1847, Samuel Eccles purchased the operation from Balkwill and his brother-in-law, George Snell. Eccles later partnered with his friend John Kinder Labatt, an Irish immigrant who had returned to England to study the craft of the brewmaster.