History: Forest City Brewery (II)

A second “Forest City Brewery” (not to be confused with John Bradley’s Cape Elizabeth brewery of the same name) opened in 1870. It produced a pale ale, and amber ale, and a porter.

John Harrison, a longtime grocer, partnered with Robert B. Henry, a former sausage maker, and James McLaughlin, a merchant. The original address was 206 Fore Street, though today that would be located in the Munjoy South Townhouse complex; it was the same location where the Heald Brothers brewed after relocating from in 1866.

Casco Brewery on a map of Portland, Maine in 1871
The second “Forest City Brewery” opened in 1870, is marked here by the first owner, “J. Harrison,” and located between Freeman’s Lane and School House Lane. The McGlinchys’ Casco Brewery is located just a few doors up Fore Street, across from the Portland Company Works. from Atlas of Cumberland County, Maine (New York City: F.W. Beers & Co., 1871)

Harrison was born in England, ca. 1823. At the time of the brewery’s opening, he lived in Cape Elizabeth, owning $3000 in real estate and $3000 in his personal estate—a considerable bump over his $200 personal estate a decade earlier.

Harrison placed advertisements in the Portland Daily Press from September through October of 1870, seeking ten thousand bushels of barley, to be delivered to the brewery. Harrison was also a grocer, working out of 15 Fore Street. Henry and McLaughlin had bought Harrison out by the fall of 1871. By the end of 1872, however, the brewery had gone under.

Advertisement for Forest City Brewery (Harrison & Co.), 1870
Advertisement for Forest City Brewery (Harrison & Co.) in Portland Daily Press, 1870

McLaughlin had been born in Ireland, ca. 1822. Like Harrison, he lived in Cape Elizabeth in 1870, with a personal estate of $8000. Henry, born in Maine, lived in Portland’s Fifth Ward, owning real estate valued at $10,000 and a personal estate of $5000 in 1870.


Will Anderson, The Great State of Maine Beer Book (Portland: Anderson & Sons’ Publishing Co., 1996), 16.

Portland City Directory, 1871

Portland Daily Press, Oct 27, 1870

U.S. Census, 1860 and 1870