Sunderland brewer creates pink slice beer - here's how to win bottles to take home

It’s the ultimate Sunderland snack – and now the distinctive taste of pink slices has been bottled.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 4:36 pm

Like many Mackems, brewer Josh Atkinson grew up on pink slices, a sweet treat that’s synonymous with Sunderland, and now he’s combined his love of beer with the snack to create a pink slice beer.

Josh, from Roker, swapped careers as a client relationship manager at a print company to set up his own nano brewery, North Pier Brew Co.

The gamble paid off and he’s already expanded from a small unit in Durham to utilising the brewing facilities at South Causey Inn, which has allowed him to increase production.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brewer Josh Atkinson with his pink slice beer
Brewer Josh Atkinson with his pink slice beer

His pink slice beer has proved a big hit, and sells as fast as he can brew it.

"I was making 250 bottles and they were sold by the next day,” he explained. Moving to South Causey Inn, in the Beamish Valley, who already had brewing facilities for their in-house beers, means Josh can up production from 80-100 litres per brew to up to 400 litres.

He’ll also be providing cans of his beers, which are currently sold at locations such as Fausto in Roker, Port Independent in the city centre, Blues Micro Pub in Whitburn and One More Than Two Brew in South Shields and on his website

Other brews in his range include an eponymous North Pier Pale session IPA, a Cold Brew Porter, a Rokerite pilsner and a Straight Outta Sunlun West Coast IPA.

The beer has proved to be the nano brewery's biggest seller

The Pink Slice beer is brewed with mosaic hops and lactose, with more mosaic and fresh raspberries added for a subtle raspberry finish.

Speaking about the sweet brew, he said: “I’m Sunderland born and bred and I love pink slices. They’re such a nostalgic thing and I knew I had to get them into a beer.

"It took a little bit of trial and error, but the result is a sweet raspberry beer that’s as close to the cake as you can get. It sells straight away and is definitely my most talked about beer.”

He added: “There’s so many small bottle shops opening up at the minute and it’s great for independent brewers like me. I have no chance of competing with supermarkets who sell beers from massive breweries, but it’s nice to see so many smaller independent shops opening up and supporting other independents.”

North Pier Brew co. owner and brewer Josh Atkinson with his pink slice flavour beer.

Josh, who named his brewery after Sunderland’s North Pier, added: “I think there’s a lot more interest in a broader range of beers than there once was, people are really interested in the stories behind them and supporting independent businesses.”


We have a six bottles of North Pier Brew Co beers to give away including two Pink Slice beers, two North Pier Pale beers and two Cold Brew Porters.

To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: where in Sunderland is the North Pier?

Josh uses brewing facilities at the South Causey Inn in the Beamish Valley

::A: Roker

::B: Seaburn

::C: Whitburn

Email your answer, address and DOB, to [email protected] by May 17. You must be 18 to enter and usual JPI Media competition rules apply.

Read More

Read More
21 Sunderland beer gardens back open for business - how to get a table

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on SAFC and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.