History: Asahel Penniman

Penniman lived and worked on Sea Street in Rockland, which ran from Main Street to the water. He is believed to have brewed small beer. His occupations are variously listed, between 1868 and 1880, as a proprietor of a confectionary and fruit store, a saloon keeper, a bottler of mineral water, and a grocer — all positions that might well have enabled the selling of his brews. His addresses were listed at different times as 9, 15, and 17 Sea Street.

Penniman was a Mainer by birth, ca. 1837. As of 1880, he was unmarried with no children, living as a boarder in a Sea Street house with another confectionary and fruit salesman, a master mariner, a joiner, their three wives (whose occupations are listed as “housekeepers”), and two children who were attending school.

Penniman's brewhouse in Rockland, ca. 1868-1892
Asahel Penniman brewed on Sea Street (now Tillson Avenue) in the 1870s (and perhaps longer). Sanborn-Perris Map Co., 1892. Fogler Library, University of Maine at Orono.

See the location of the Penniman brewhouse on the Maine Beer Map.


Will Anderson, The Great State of Maine Beer Book (Portland: Anderson & Sons’ Publishing Co., 1996) 34.

Rockland City Directory, 1868, 1875, 1878.

U.S. Census, 1870, 1880.

Maine Business Directory, 1869, 1871, 1874, 1876.