The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








The Flight Center 

The Flight Center is a family-friendly craft beer cafe located in the former Cooking Matters storefront at 97 Main St. in Nashua. A soft opening is anticipated for the weekend of Dec. 17, with an official opening the following week. Check for updates about the opening, or visit the official website at 

Ready for flight
New craft beer cafe offers full range of NH brews

By Angie Sykeny

 Craft brew lovers will soon have a one-stop destination to taste and buy beer produced by dozens of different breweries across New Hampshire. A new craft beer cafe called The Flight Center is set for a soft opening next week in downtown Nashua and will feature 48 taps of locally crafted brews, an accompanying bottle shop and more.   

The cafe was created by Seth Simonian, founder of the New Hampshire-based craft beer marketing agency Hop Head United; through his extensive work with local breweries over the last couple years, he realized that there was a critical need for a place like The Flight Center. 
“The industry’s supply and demand is extremely high, but there isn’t the infrastructure to support it,” he said. “The average bar … holds maybe one [tap] for a self-distributing craft brewer, and there are 60 New Hampshire breweries fighting for that tap. They don’t have the support they need to be successful, and that’s what we’re trying to provide — an establishment that supports the brewers and gives their customers a unique environment to experience their craft beer.” 
Simonian likens The Flight Center to a “Starbucks for craft beer” where people who don’t like the bar scene can enjoy drinking in a more open, lounge-style atmosphere. The taps will rotate constantly to feature beers that will be new to most visitors, including a variety of core beers and  one-off, limited and seasonal brews. The relationships Simonian has formed with New Hampshire breweries through Hop Head United have also inspired many brewers from remote regions to bring their products to Nashua even though they don’t typically distribute that far from their locations. 
“When you look into that innovative world, few people realize these breweries are producing some phenomenal beers that generally don’t make it out of their tasting room,” he said. “The craft beer experience is about having the chance to experience everything. There’s such a diverse array of beer out there, and I think it’s important to drive that.” 
One of the main things that distinguishes The Flight Center is its onsite retail shop where bottles or cans of most of the beers featured on tap are available for purchase. Unlike a bar, it provides visitors with an interactive experience in which they can taste new beers with the objective of finding one or more that they like enough to take home. 
After its official opening, the cafe will launch a calendar full of special events like tastings and promotions with various brewers, cult movie nights and more. A Brewer of the Month program will bring month-long promotions with four of the featured brewers’ beers on tap and a four-course beer pairing dinner with those beers. 
The Flight Center will also have a food menu with light lunch items including soups, salads and sandwiches, a few dinner entrees and a selection of small plates like bacon-wrapped scallops and homemade pretzels. Its specialty, however, will be a diverse dessert menu with beer-inspired items such as stout ice cream and a beer-based molten lava cake. 
“We’re not trying to compete with the dinner business,” Simonian said. “What we’re aiming to do is provide high-quality, non-traditional pub fare and food that ties directly to the beer.” 
While the cafe’s focus is on craft beer, it will offer a few locally crafted wines, meads and ciders as well as six taps with cold brew coffees. 
“We support craft beverages as a whole, and like craft beer, there’s some amazing wines, meads and ciders that don’t make it into the restaurants,” Simonian said. “And there’s people who like craft beverages but aren’t a fan of beer, so we want to have offerings that can meet the needs of everyone.”  

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