The India Wharf Brewing Company was formed in 1880 to brew beer, ale, and porter. Their initial capitalization was $1,000,000. According to Wine and Spirit Gazette of that year, the company was formed with a plan to share profits with liquor dealers who would buy the beer and the employees of the brewery. It is not certain that they followed that scheme, but they did have trouble working with unions in their early years.
One of the founding directors was Leonard Michael, formerly head brewer with D. G. Yuengling. The brewery was located on Atlantic Basin's India Warf, bounded by Hamilton Avenue and Conover Street.
In 1909, Louis B Schram, president and general manager of India Wharf Brewery, described his business in court:
"The India Wharf Brewing Company receives its materials and supplies for manufacture by lighters and canal boats moored alongside of the dock. It has been the practice of the defendant to receive its material and supplies from vessels moored alongside of India Wharf, ever since the company began to do business in 1889. They ship from India Wharf the product that we manufacture, beer, ale, &c.; but there is a great deal of it delivered by wagons through the streets."
At the beginning of Prohibition, the India Wharf Brewing Company planned to make near beer but in the end used their buildings for storage.