DERRY — It was a big showing of support for a local business brewing up more space to serve the community
Friends, business leaders, town officials and supporters filled the newly expanded taproom area at Rockingham Brewing Company Friday night to celebrate the brewery's new space while enjoying tastes of some hometown crafted beers.
The Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce led a ribbon-cutting with Rockingham's owners Rob and Ali Leleszi at the brewery at 1 Corporate Drive in Derry.
Rockingham is part of a community of brewing businesses creating their own unique products while also supporting what each does, Ali Leleszi said.
"We are all good, good friends," she said.
The couple first met in 2007 over a game of beer pong while working in Brooklyn. That was the first step on the journey to having their own brewery.
Rob had been a home brewer for several years and earned an associate’s degree in brewing science from the Siebel Institute in Chicago. He also worked as an intern with the Port Jeff Brewing Company on Long Island.
The couple chose Derry as the Rockingham Brewing Company’s home and opened in February 2015. Ali was also coming back to her home state of New Hampshire.
The couple found the location on Corporate Drive but always hoped to expand. Ali said they waited until the space next door became available and jumped on the chance to help Rockingham double its space.
"This was a big deal for us," she said.
The bigger space also allows for more seating where customers can enjoy flights of beer, special events, and food.
Rockingham Brewing Company brews are available at retail shops and is on tap at area establishments. Larger bottles, flights and cans are available at the brewery. The business also offers simple bar-style foods like sandwiches, cheese boards and soft pretzels.
And the unique symbol that marks Rockingham's products — a pig silhouette sitting happily in a rocking chair — often keeps people guessing.
The fun slogan is also a well-established part of some of the brewery's products including Cloven Hoof, Hog Wild, Guinea Pig, and even a bacon stout.
"Rockingham, it's local, it's fun and a play on words," Ali said. "And we love animals."
She added that having the business in Derry has been a great opportunity.
"It's been everything and more," she said. "We are so lucky."
Rockingham Brewing Company's taproom is open Thursday and Friday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.