Brewing and Malting in Early Philadelphia

On Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m., Morris Arboretum presents a lecture by Rich Wagner, Pennsylvania Brewery Historian, Brewing and Malting in Early Philadelphia. The cost for this lecture is $15 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members, which includes a reception with refreshments. Advanced registration and payment are required. Please call (215) 247-5777, ext. 125 or to make your reservation.

Anthony Morris, ancestor of Arboretum founders, John and Lydia Morris, became Philadelphia’s second brewer in 1687. The Morris family founded several breweries to supply ship captains with necessary sustenance for their long voyages and serve the city’s thriving tavern culture that supplied the growing city with food, drink and lodging. When Philadelphia was the second largest English-speaking city after London, and the largest seaport in the colonies, it produced more beer than the rest of the colonies combined.

William Penn and later the founding fathers promoted the development of the brewing industry as a solid foundation for a temperate society and as an engine for promoting industry and technological innovation. Brewing gave agriculture production a boost since brewers needed barley and hops, which encouraged their cultivation. Rich Wagner began interpreting the brewing process in 1990 at William Penn’s home, Pennsbury Manor. Since then he has constructed his own brewing system to demonstrate the brewing technology of the late 17th century. Using this experience along with primary source material, he gives a view of the city’s earliest breweries.