PORTLAND – Shipyard co-owner and Maine native Fred Forsley said he “doesn’t spend a lot of time drinking other people’s beer.”

He sticks with Shipyard, and prefers the Export Ale.

Forsley’s business partner, British-born Alan Pugsley, is less selective: His favorite brew is “the beer that is in my hand at the time.”

While their beer preferences may differ, Forsley and Pugsley have something big in common: Together, they’ve built Shipyard from a small brew pub into one of the nation’s top craft beer breweries.

Forsley, 50, grew up in Gray and Portland. His father, a World War II veteran and psychologist, and his mother owned the Gray Manor Boarding Home, a 30-bed center for war veterans with psychological disabilities.

Forsley attended Cheverus High School in Portland, and at age 19 started his own real estate company, Fred Forsley Realty. He later earned degrees in business administration and real estate from the University of New Hampshire.

Around 1991, Forsley was drinking beers at a pub in Florida with a friend, Gordon Hurtubise, who was looking for someone to run a restaurant and bar on property he owned in Kennebunk.

Forsley took the job, and shortly after converted the place into a brew pub called Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brew Pub. He hired Pugsley to make the beer.

Pugsley, 51, grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon, the English town where William Shakespeare was born, about 100 miles from London.

Pugsley’s father was director of an engineering company that made products including clothes washers and driers. His mother was a homemaker.

Pugsley earned a degree from the University of Manchester, and in the early 1980s took a job in Hampshire, England, at the Ringwood Brewery, which was founded in 1978 by Peter Austin, whom some credit with leading the rebirth of Britain’s craft beer industry.

Pugsley later traveled around the world as a beer consultant, working with some 65 micro-breweries and brew pubs in places like Africa and China as well as the United States.

Pugsley helped develop beers for American breweries including Magic Hat Brewing Co., Long Trail Brewing Co., and Portland’s D.L. Geary Brewing Co.

In 1992, Pugsley joined Forsley to launch Federal Jack’s. Two years later, the partners moved their brewery to its current location at 86 Newbury St. in Portland.

Pugsley is a fan of the Manchester United soccer team and enjoys playing squash and tending to perennials in his English garden.

His favorite part of beer-making is working with the raw materials. He likes the “smells and tastes, from the mash kettle to the fermenting vessel.”

“It seems to be in your blood,” he said.

Pugsley described his partner, Forsley, as a “true entrepreneur.”

“He’s not afraid to take a risk. He gets the right people for the job,” Pugsley said.

Forsley lives in Cumberland with his wife, Judy, and spends his free time jogging, boating and traveling. He frequently vacations in Aruba.

Forsley has one child, 17-year-old Eli, and two stepchildren, 21-year-old Jill and 18-year-old Jessica.

Pugsley, now a U.S. citizen, lives in Falmouth with his wife, Lesley. He has one daughter, 15-year-old Erica, and one stepdaughter, Samantha, 22.

Staff Writer Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be reached at 791-6316 or:

[email protected]