Biting into a warm roll with fresh lobster pouring out is one of New Englanders’ favorite experiences. Now what if that wonderful taste could go on for nearly 160 feet?
The British Beer Co. in Portsmouth, N.H., on Sunday closed off the street where its restaurant sits and hosted an event for about 5,000 people to enjoy what the company said was the world’s biggest lobster roll.
“They were shocked. I think I heard the word ‘awesome’ a million times yesterday,” said James Gibney, executive chef at British Beer. “Their heads would turn when they walked by.”
Gibney, who spearheaded the project, said he found out that a fishermen’s association on Prince Edward Island last year had made a lobster roll that stretched 120 feet and claimed it was a world record.
Gibney said that in his quest to beat that record, he received plenty of help.
“We are a family. It’s like we’re all at a family table, and we all have ideas,” he said.
The lobster roll ended up being 159 feet, 6 inches long.
To make the roll, workers used 440 pounds of fresh lobster. About 110 pounds of lobster meat made its way into the sandwich.
Large amounts of other ingredients were also used. “We used three gallons of mayo, 10 pounds of celery, 20 lemons, and a quarter-gallon of hot sauce,” Gibney said.
“Last Tuesday we started boiling and cooking,” he said.
Gibney’s right-hand man was Jason Narinian, a regional manager at British Beer who handled the business side of things. When Gibney approached Narinian about the idea in March, Narinian was on board in seconds. “Let’s just beat this thing,” he said.
Narinian said the event was also about bringing people together and giving back to the community.
“It feels great being part of the community and trying our hardest to fit in the community,” he said.
All the proceeds from the event were donated to Hero Pups, a nonprofit organization that places therapy dogs to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Laura Barker, founder of Hero Pups, said she was excited about the event when she first heard about it — and even happier when she learned that British Beer was donating the proceeds to her organization. “I was speechless,” she said. “Yesterday was great weather, a huge turnout — and no leftovers.”