The English

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After the English took ownership of Dutch holdings in Hudson and Delaware River Valleys in 1664, brewing remained a very small industry.  Beer was certainly being brewed in homes and taverns in the Delaware colony but no large-scale commercial enterprises were known to have existed prior to the establishment of Wilmington in the 1730’s.

18th Century Public Brew House (from "100 Years of Brewing")
18th Century Public Brew House (from “100 Years of Brewing”)

Several small malt houses are known to have existed outside of Wilmington prior to the Revolutionary War, some of which may have also been engaged in brewing or distilling. Examples include Joseph Nickols of Christiana Hundred, Samuel Corry of Millcreek Hundred, and Ezekiel Boggs of New Castle town. All three malt houses operated  in the 1740s and ’50s.

The first known brewery and malt house in the Middletown area was owned by Thomas Noxon in the 1720’s until his death in 1743.  The property was situated at the head of Appoquinimink Creek. After Thomas’ passing, his son Benjamin took over and business until the 1770’s.

Thomas Parry had a brick brew house and malt house along Little Duck Creek near Smyrna, also in the 1770s.  He produced a sufficient supply of hops and barley on his farm adjacent to the brewery.