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Thursday, January 15, 1739   Henry Pepper

Johann Heinrich "Henry" Pepper (Pfeiffer) Jr. was born near Straßburg, Germany.  He and his wife Catherine arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania aboard the Ship Minerva on October 13th 1769 and were made a subject of the Crown of England that same day.  The young family settled in the Lebanon County hamlet of Schaeferstown where he and his wife began raising the first of their ten children. 

In 1774 the Pfeiffers moved 86 miles east to the city of Philadelphia.  The family anglicized their name to "Pepper", and Henry engaged in land speculation in the growing, exciting, revolutionary city.  In around 1786 Pepper had earned enough to purchase from Joseph Potts his ale brewery on South 5th Street.  He brought his oldest boy Philip into the firm, renamed the business Henry Pepper & Son Brewery, and from then on devoted much of his time to the lucritive art of breweing beer.  Eventually  his other son George was brought in and the firm was duly renamed Henry Pepper & Sons.  Pepper became one of the wealthiest men in Philadelphia and it was said that his beer was favored by none other than Thomas Jefferson.

Henry Pepper died at the age of 69 on March 11th, 1808.  As Phillip Pepper had also recently passed, ownership of the brewery passed to Henry's youngest son George.  The brewery stayed in the family until 1840 when it was sold to Robert Smith.  The Robert Smith Ale Brewing Company would dominate the eastern Pennsylvania brewing scene until Prohibition, and its reputation would endure into the 21st century.

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Associated Breweries

Robert Smith Ale Brewing Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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