History: Geo. Wilson/B. Bellecour

B. Bellecour bought Geo. Wilson’s Confectionary and Brewery on Exchange St (which, in the early 1800s, stretched from Middle Street to Fore Street) in 1818. In an advertisement, he promised “that he will continue that branch of business in a manner to please those who will honor him with their custom—assisted by L. Champrosay… They will keep always on hand an assortment of Strong Beer equal to the Boston Beer; also, Table and Small Beer.—They will also supply familes [sic] with table and small beer and send it to their residence at their own expence [sic].” Strong Beer cost $7 per barrel and Small Beer was $1 for 12 gallons, in kegs of six or twelve gallons. A British beer barrel would have contained about 36 gallons in the early 1800s (it’s now 31), and there are eight pints to a gallon. Strong beer from Bellecour would have cost just over two cents per pint; a pint of small beer would have been about one cent.

Plan of Portland, from the Library of Congress, ca. 1800



“Confectionary,” Weekly Eastern Argus, 28 Apr 1818, p.3.

“English Brewery Cask Units,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_brewery_cask_units, accessed Aug 8, 2017