After months of delays due to the pandemic, the taproom can finally serve its first draught pints to customers from June 12 when it opens its doors in Roker for weekend trade.
The much-loved Vaux brand was brought back to life in 2019 and, after using other city brewing facilities, the team opened their own brewery in Monk Street in December 2020 making brews for online sale and trade supply.
Now, people will be able to sample their favourite Vaux brews, such as Alter Ego, Black Wave and Monk Street Brown, as well as six guest beers, straight from the cold store.
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Steven Smith, who set up the new Vaux with school friend Michael Thompson, said: “Pouring straight from the cold store means the beer is kept at the perfect temperature. Hoppy beer can deteriorate quite quickly and the hop aromas fall off. But pouring it this way means it’s as fresh as it gets.”
The draught lines were tested last weekend with a soft opening, but this weekend will be the first time the taproom has opened fully.
Bookings are already flying in for the space, which features a striking mural in honour of Sunderland’s industrial heritage by city artist Kathryn Robertson, and holds up to 60 people.
As well as enjoying beers, visitors will be able to watch the Euros on the big screen while also tucking into Neapolitan pizzas from Fyre Pizza.
Michael Smith, who owns Fyre, will be serving four different varieties, priced from £6.50, from his specialist Ooni oven in a gazebo outside of the taproom.
A different street food trader will be serving at the taproom each weekend, from Caribbean to Mexican-style traders. Beers on offer will also change each weekend.
Michael said it’s a great platform for independents. “I use the Pure gym at Roker and hadn’t even realised this unit was here, but it’s a great spot. It will be class for matches.
"I set up last weekend for the soft opening and it went really well. This weekend should be really good too, with the nice weather and the Euros on.”
The Vaux brewery has breathed new life into a former gaming store behind the McDonald’s in Roker Retail Park and was once used by another Sunderland legend as Sir Bob Murray ran his kitchen business, where he made his fortune, from the site.
During Lockdown Vaux was able to build its customer base with online sales of its cans and its modern take on a Mackem institution has been capturing people’s attention, with Washington-born architect George Clarke recently announcing his investment in the brand.
Taproom prices vary for pints, but lagers and pale ales on keg start from around £4.80 and cask starts from around £3.80 a pint.
*The Vaux Taproom will be open Fridays to Sundays every weekend from noon until 10pm. Bookings are recommended on the Vaux website www.vaux.beer, but there will be some allocation for walk ups each day.