Why the curious name? Well, it’s all about science, apparently. The Solvay Conferences were founded by Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay in 1912, and brought together some of the world’s top bigwigs in physics and chemistry.
The brewery, established since 2014, “takes inspiration from this seminal meeting”, says the blurb, while also referencing founder Roman Hochuli’s scientific background and upbringing in Brussels (not to mention PhD in physics himself). Now a Londoner, he uses this boffin-like attention to detail to create his rather tasty range of modern Belgian-style beer recipes on a bucolic-sounding farm in Ilford.
Hence now opening a taproom a little further west in Leytonstone. The bar – its shutters barely up when we swung by late afternoon – is basic but charming: a sharing table, a dozen stools, bare bulbs, three beers on draft and a fridge full of bottles and cans.
And it’s not just Solvay’s selection of in-house pale ales, tripels and saisons, either; on our visit there was a guest draft from Seven Sisters Brewery and other London craft breweries repped in typically colourful cans. There are even a couple of Helles-style lagers.
With the taps being cleaned (or something) we had to settle for a bottle – but it was a good’un: Solvay’s IPA called Exotic Physics, its label bottle-green, all cold fizz, citrusy fruits and hoppiness, with a much-needed post-work alcohol hit of 6%.
Refreshing, for sure – and it goes without saying that we’ll be back regularly to work our way through the rest of the range. This sliver of a micro-bar is 100% worth your support. Let’s just hope – now it’s peak summer – they get some outdoor seating soon.
Main image: SE