Maxime Dumay launched Brasserie No Science in 2016 with a humble dream and a desire to make artisanal beers in Brussels, Belgium. Now, he is still a one-man operation, with a portfolio of 10 beer styles and a volume of 400 hl a year, pre-pandemic. It is as he wants No Science to be.
It was brew day when the Beer Idiots interviewed him at his brewery at small space at Greenbizz.brussels in the Brussels area of Laeken. With the help of a student brewer, he was starting to make 800 litres of his Heavy Porter, which he describes as a traditional porter with a cocoa smell and and coffee flavour with a “low 6%”.
The big easy
“I call it traditional, easy drinking,” he said. “You drink it easy but it tastes like a big stout.”
Dumay hails from Chimay, so he has beer in his genes. He started brewing at home and testing his beers with Moeder Lambic’s customers. His beer started selling which gave him the idea to start his own brewery.
Moeder Lambic provided the initial start up money in exchange for beer for him to put his big idea in a small space at Greenbizz.brussels, which was itself just launching itself as an incubator of sustainable businesses for the green economy.
He had a partner to help with operations, but that relationship soon ended.
He was the first in place, he said. Now he is surrounded by other businesses that moved to the neighbourhood, including brewers En Stoemelings, La Senne and La Source.
He is inspired by English beers, which he characterises as low alcohol with fine bubbles, while he characterises Belgian beers as high alcohol with big bubbles.
“But I still put our Belgian touch in it,” he added.
Music and beer
His first brew, Noisy Pale Ale, he characterises as having a malt body that’s very bitter and very fruity at the same time, while not being an IPA.
Given that he also worked for at time at Magasin 4, Dumay names his beers after music styles and bands. So we have Psycho Table Beer, Heavy Porter, Noisy Pale Ale and Stoner Witch.
He keeps operations low key: “I don’t like publicity. The beer gives the name of the brewery.”
Covid-19 has affected No Science as 80% of his brews went to the local bars. Now he is selling through webshops, takeaway customers and delivery services. He has received a little support from the government “so I don’t die”.
However he is sure to survive as he remains small and does not have a large overhead.
His future? “I want a family business – 3 or 4 people that’s my max. I want to stay artisanal,” he said.