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Last orders: Redbridge's only craft brewery changes owners

PUBLISHED: 16:56 12 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:56 12 February 2016

Chris Penny and Gavin Happe are selling Ha'penny Brewing Co after seven years of making ales and bitters in Aldborough Hatch.

Chris Penny and Gavin Happe are selling Ha'penny Brewing Co after seven years of making ales and bitters in Aldborough Hatch.

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The borough's only craft brewery has switched hands, and the bitters and porters will be replaced by dark Belgian beers.

After seven successful years, Ha’penny Brewing Co in Aldborough Hatch is selling its kit, but has made sure it stays with independent beer makers.

Its Cuckoo Hall Brewery, in Aldborough Hatch Farm, Aldborough Road, will be taken over by Hackney-based craft brewers Solvay Society.

Gavin Happé, 36, who started Ha’penny in 2009 with childhood friend Chris Penny, told the Recorder they had not sold because the business was failing, but for “personal reasons”.

“It was going pretty well actually,” he explained.

Gavin and Chris, who both attended Seven Kings High School, began home brewing together before setting up Ha’penny.

“We were the fourth craft brewery in London, and now there are 100. I think we started at just the right time,” he said.

Gavin, who now lives in Brixton, says he will most miss Ha’penny’s Springfield Jack porter, but is confident Cuckoo Hall is in safe hands with Solvay Society.

New owner Roman Hochuli said: “We were brewing small batches, 100 to 150 units, below a pub in Canonbury, and my business partner and I decided we wanted to increase production.”

Roman, 26, and co-owner JP Hussey heard that Ha’penny was selling, and decided to move their base to Aldborough Hatch.

Solvay brews three Belgian beers, influenced by Roman’s upbringing there, with Coulomb Saison the most popular.

“There’s only really one other craft brewery selling Belgian beers in London, and we really want to work to getting them into local businesses,” said Roman.

He expects Solvay to be up and running by mid-March.

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