Hinchliffe Brewery
Architectural Context, Integrity & Significance
The Hinchliffe Brewery site is the last of Paterson's historic brewery industry that remains. The complex was designed as a high output modern facility of its time at the close of the nineteenth century. Its proximity to the railroad gave it the advantage of storing large quantities of grain and hops in large terra cotta hollow brick holding tanks that occupied the area adjacent to the tracks, where materials were offloaded in stored directly out of the train cars. A three story ice making facility (state of the art for 1890s) was constructed behind the main five-story brewery building and large cold storage facility.

In the twentieth century, it is not known for what purposes the complex was reused after the brewing industry was shut down during Prohibition, however it did remain intact until it was devastated by a fire in 1997.  The fire caused the loss of the brew house and a good portion of the site, but spared the massive cold storage building, the silos, and so forth. Thereafter the property was used as a major dump site for the area. Due to the unsafe nature of what remained and of all the accumulated trash, there was a push by the owner to get the site cleared of the debris as well as unsafe structures. What remains on the site today is a small portion of the entire historic complex, but are architecturally significant structures, featuring a brownstone foundation, water table and belt courses. Further embellishments included terra cotta foliate blocks and brick corbelling.

Historic significance, context & association
Hinchliffe BreweryThe Hinchliffe Brewing and Malting Company was formed in 1890 by the well-known Hinchliffe brothers, the three sons of the English founder of the Eagle Brewery in 1861.  The Eagle was likely the earliest medium-scale brewery in Paterson. John Hinchliffe began under the name Hinchliffe & Co., and was later changed to Shaw, Hinchliffe & Penrose in 1867 following association with those gentlemen. While business did well, in 1878 Penrose withdrew from the firm to which then the name changed to Shaw & Hinchliffe. Soon afterward in 1881, Shaw went abroad due to illness and died there, leaving the firm under its founder, John Hinchliffe, who again was alone in the endeavor until his death in 1886. His sons John, William and James inherited the property and the business, to which they put their minds and in 1890 set out together. They hired the well-known firm of Charles Stoll & Son of Brooklyn to draw up plans for the city's largest and most modern brewing facility. The brew house stood five stories tall, built of brick and iron and trimmed with granite, and behind was a modern ice making facility three stories tall. A four-story cold storage facility was also constructed at the time fronting Governor Street.

The 1890s was the high time for the brewing industry in Paterson. The four main breweries in Paterson consolidated as the Paterson Consolidated Brewing Co. and in 1899 the Hinchliffe brothers also joined and became board leaders of the organization. John Hinchliffe died in 1915, the same year that more than 30 of Paterson's saloons were closed due to the lack business. The brewing industry in Paterson was soon thereafter crippled and dissolved by the Temperance movement and prohibition era of the 1920-30s.


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Paterson Daily and Weekly Guardian, "City of Paterson, N.J." 1898.

Associated Documents

Hinchliffe Brewery Site Form
Maps of Hinchliffe Brewery
Additional Photographs of Hinchliffe Brewery