History: Forest City Brewery

Forest City Brewery was founded in November 1858 in Cape Elizabeth (now a part of South Portland), by John Bradley and brothers James and Patrick McGlinchy. It was located at Highland Avenue and Ocean House Road. The brewmaster hailed from Taylor & Sons’ Brewery in Albany, New York, making a pale ale, an amber, a cream ale, and a porter. The brewery sold the spent grain to local dairy farmers, who used it as cattle feed. The McGlinchys left in February 1860 to open Casco Brewery in Portland. Forest City Brewery continued operation in Cape Elizabeth (now a part of South Portland) until ca. 1872. Bradley then moved to a smaller operation at 17 York Street in Portland ca. 1872. He quit that ca. 1875, though he was operating a saloon at the same address in 1881-82. The Cape Elizabeth brewery was redeployed as a canning factory in the early 1880s, before burning in September 1883. The building housing the York Street brewery (51-53 York, by current numbering) was replaced by a new structure in 1920; it currently houses the Portland Pie Company.

Forest City Brewery advertisement, 1859
Advertisement for Forest City Brewery in Cape Elizabeth, Daily Eastern Argus, 1859



Will Anderson, The Great State of Maine Beer Book (Portland: Anderson & Sons’ Publishing Co., 1996), 14-6.