The New Jersey side of the Delaware River is officially home to another craft brewery, as a property with a boozy history has finally relaunched into a new venture.
Descendants Brewing Company recently held a groundbreaking and official dedication ceremony in a historic three-story building first constructed in 1879. Located at 61 Bridge Street in Milford, the house was once a sweatshop of the era Prohibition and a general store before operating as The Ship Inn in recent years.
This latest incarnation claims to have brewed New Jersey’s first craft beer in 1995 and new owners Joe and Ana David looked to continue this tradition when they bought the business over four years ago. The couple, along with several business partners, set out to transform the property into a full-fledged brewery before COVID-19 threw in cold water when it opened in April 2020.
“Despite all the difficulties we have faced as a result of the pandemic, we felt it was important for us to be there for our employees and the community and to try to keep the momentum going,” said the co-owner and brewer Joe David. “We are grateful and excited to finally be able to realize our vision, launching as Descendants Brewing Company at the Old Ship Inn and celebrating with our extended family.”
A renovation of the property has preserved the original exposed brick wall and tin ceilings while the property’s old bowling alley has been reused to become the top of the bar. The space now includes indoor and outdoor dining areas, as well as a beer-style communal lounge area that seats 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. Descendants’ 10 traditional faucets and three hand pumps feature selections like an Alexander Hamilton Porter, a New England-style Fluffy Bunny IPA or Blanche de Sombreffe, a Belgian spirit.
Executive Chef Brian Roskow, who previously ran the menu at New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Brasserie, has created a menu that includes Belgian and German cuisine as well as some of The Ship Inn classics like fish & chips and shepherd’s pie.
Descendants Brewing Company also offers an extensive beverage program, including over 160 whiskeys, cocktails and wines of global origin. The company is expected to host weekly live shows and promotions, including 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 to 9 p.m. They can be followed on Instagram at @descendantsbrewingcompany.