The New Jersey side of the Delaware River is officially home to one more craft brewery as a property with a boozy history has finally re-launched into a new business.
Descendants Brewing Company recently held a ribbon-cutting and official grand opening celebration at a historic three-story building first constructed in 1879. Located at 61 Bridge Street in Milford, the home was once a Prohibition-era speakeasy and a general store before operating as The Ship Inn in recent years.
The latter incarnation claims to have brewed the first craft beer in New Jersey back in 1995 and new owners Joe and Ana David looked to continue that tradition when buying the business over four years ago. The pair, along with several business partners, set out to transition the property into a full-fledged brewery before COVID-19 threw cold water on their planned April 2020 opening.
“Despite all the hardships we faced due to the pandemic, we felt it was important for us to be there for our employees and the community and try to keep the momentum going,” said co-owner and brewer Joe David. “We are grateful and excited to be able to finally realize our vision, launching as Descendants Brewing Company at the Old Ship Inn and celebrate with our extended family.”
A renovation of the property preserved the exposed brick wall and original tin ceilings while the former bowling alley at the property was repurposed to become the bar top. The space now features both indoor and outdoor dining areas plus a bier hall-style communal seating area for up to 30 people.
The brewery itself will continue to use a Peter Austin Brewing system, named after a British brewer who co-founded the Society of Independent Brewers. The 10 traditional taps and three hand pumps at Descendants feature selections like an Alexander Hamilton Porter, a Fluffy Bunny New England-style IPA, or Blanche de Sombreffe, a Belgian wit.
Executive Chef Brian Roskow, who previously helmed the menu at New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Brewery, has created a menu that includes Belgian and German cuisine plus some of The Ship Inn’s classics like signature fish & chips and Shepherd’s pie.
Descendants Brewing Company also features an extensive beverage program, featuring over 160 whiskeys, cocktails, and globally sourced wines. The business is slated to host weekly live entertainment and promotions that include Mugger Monday, which will see the release of a new beer of the week.
Descendants Brewing Company is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon until 9 p.m. They can be followed on Instagram at the handle @descendantsbrewingcompany.