The Hippo


Jun 27, 2019








Photo by Matt Ingersoll.

Long Blue Cat Brewing Co.

An opening date is expected in early to mid-September. Visit the website or Facebook page, or call for updates.
Where: 298 Rockingham Road, Londonderry
Anticipated hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Contact: or 818-8068

All-natural ales
Long Blue Cat Brewing Co. preps for opening

By Matt Ingersoll

 Childhood friends Jason Knight and Shane Sorenson grew up building everything from two-story forts to BMX bikes and go-karts together. Years later, they’ve teamed up again to build their biggest project yet — a craft nanobrewery and restaurant.

The Long Blue Cat Brewing Co., set to open on Rockingham Road in Londonderry in September, is starting off with eight craft beers on tap that will include natural ingredients sourced from local farms, apiaries and other businesses. Some brews, like the spring blossom and fall blossom honey ales, will be new options to the area, Knight said. The honey used to make the beers comes straight from London Buzz Bees in Hampstead.
“We’ll use an unbelievable amount of honey … to actually get the sugars that then transfer into alcohol. So it’s a honey base, not just a honey flavor,” Sorenson said. “Other [breweries] might just flavor it at the end with a little bit of honey or extract. But we don’t use any kind of artificial adjunct flavoring at all.”
Other craft brews include a chocolate oatmeal stout, a porter, a German-style kolsch, and a Mexican-style lager fermented with pure agave nectar. Sorenson said a maple brown ale made with all natural maple syrup from Vermont is in the works for the upcoming autumn season.
Sorenson, who brings years of experience as a chef at resorts and brew pubs, is assembling a rotating menu of various appetizer items, flatbread sandwiches, paninis and more. Some limited specialty items may be integrated as well, depending on the product inventory at the time.
“We’ll have like a chicken and cheese sandwich with roasted red peppers,” Knight said. “We might do brisket sandwiches for a short time, as well. A lot of it will depend on what products we get from our sources, and the grain that we’re using to make our beer is also making our food. So for example, the grain we’re giving to our farms is building those pigs up, and when they are butchered, we’re going to be getting some of that meat back [to cook with].”
The new brewery will feature 68-capacity seating that includes a full bar area as well as both seating and high-top standing tables that came from the old Rockingham Park racetrack in Salem. 
“Instead of just coming in and being able to have a small area with some tasters, it will be a place where you can actually have a pint, and you can also get some food,” Knight said. 
To the far right of the main room as you enter will be a small merchandise stand where items bearing Long Blue Cat’s logo will be available for purchase.
According to Knight, the two-story building housing the brewery was once home to a chiropractor’s office on the first floor and a yoga studio on the second floor, but for the past few years had been a vacant space.
“We signed the lease last October … and we’ve been here ever since, working sometimes 14- or 15-hour days for months to get to this point,” he said. “The owners of the property had to do quite a few things to get it rentable and up to code.”
Knight said the nanobrewery’s name came from a drawing of a long blue cat by Sorenson’s then-5-year-old daughter. Sorenson’s cousin redrew the image now used as the official logo.
“Before we even knew we were going to open a brewery, we used to just brew over at Shane’s house, and his daughter used to draw these pictures of a long blue cat all the time,” he said. “We just decided that was what we were going to call the place.”
Several local restaurants and stores have already reached out to Long Blue Cat, Knight said, expressing interest in carrying their beers once the brewery is officially up and running.
The brewery joins an already growing community of craft brewing in the Granite State, located within a few miles of other local spots like Pipe Dream Brewing, also in Londonderry, and the Backyard Brewery & Kitchen, just over the town line in Manchester. But Knight said he and Sorenson see their neighbors as allies in the industry rather than competitors.
“We actually like this area because of the fact that there are other breweries,” Knight said. “The craft beer industry is pretty big right now, and places like this that have a little conglomeration of breweries attract people from all over the place … because they can drive here and go to one area and hit a bunch of different breweries in one day or two days. We’ve been working with places like Backyard and Pipe Dream to help us with what we need to open … and we may try to collaborate soon on events.”

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