Iconic Sunderland beer Samson on sale in the House of Commons

A familiar friend is now on sale in the renowned Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 11:15 am
From left, Mark Whale, Bridget Phillipson and Mark Anderson.

Classic beer Samson is available this week in the Parliamentary watering hole thanks to the efforts of Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson.

Ms Phillipson arranged for the Sunderland stalwart to be a guest tipple in the House of Commons and went behind the bar herself to pull one of the first pints.

With her were Mark Anderson, the managing director of Maxim Brewery, whose Houghton headquarters are in her constituency, and Maxim head brewer Glen Whale.

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Mr Anderson said: "Originally produced under Sunderland’s iconic Vaux brand, we’re proud here at Maxim to be continuing the rich heritage of Samson from our brewery in Houghton-le-Spring.”

“It’s thanks to Bridget Phillipson MP that Samson can be featured in our national Parliament.

“At Maxim we have a dedicated team committed to producing fantastic tasting beers and this will be a great opportunity to showcase their efforts to a wider audience."

The brewery also presented Ms Phillipson with a copy of the new A Passion for Vaux DVD, which has been released to mark the anniversary of the city centre brewery’s closure on July 2, 1999.

Ms Phillipson added: “It’s excellent to see Maxim’s Samson take pride of place behind the Strangers’ Bar as a featured guest beer.”

“I’m always delighted to support local businesses like Maxim Brewery, who have a long history of producing quality beer in our area.”

Around 700 people lost their jobs when Vaux bosses followed City of London advice and closed their brewing operations to concentrate on pubs and hotels.

When they too were quickly sold or rebranded, the famous name began to disappear from Sunderland’s streets.

Its memory will be toasted with help from Maxim Brewery at a reunion night for Vaux staff on Friday, July 5, at the Chesters pub, in Chester Road, Sunderland, from 7pm.

Organised by Vaux enthusiasts Richie Morgan, Peter Heslop and their families, entry is free with the event open to “Vaux lovers” as well as former staff.