History: Benjamin F. Haley

Haley, like many other pre-prohibition brewers, didn’t originally start out with a career in brewing. He married Elmira Seavey in 1854 when he was about 23 and the two lived on a farm in Limington before moving to Biddeford in 1859.


Haley’s first brewing location was at 29 Elm (roughly where the word ‘store’ appears on the street in this image). Image from Sanford, Everts, & Co.’s Atlas of York County ME. 1872. Courtesy of AncestryLibrary.com

Twelve years later (1871), he started his brewing operation at 29 Elm Street in Biddeford. He brewed beer and soda. Business boomed and he moved to 8 Pine Street. At that location, he sold small beer, champagne cider, ginger ale, root beer, and a specialty noted in Biddeford Weekly Journal: Spruce Beer.

Haley’s final brewing location is shown on this map, labeled as “bottling works.” Sanborn Map Company, Oct. 1891. Library of Congress.

He brewed with the help of his sons Alonzo and Charles until he sold the business in 1897, ending a more than 25-year long career. Two years later, in February of 1899, Haley passed away.


Will Anderson, The Great State of Maine Beer Book (Portland: Anderson & Sons’ Publishing Co., 1996) 43.
Augusta, Gardiner, and Hallowell City Directory, 1870-1877