Vaux beers go on sale in Sunderland for the first time in nearly 20 years this weekend.
A new company named Vaux Brewery has been formed by four Sunderland friends and its first batch of ales hits city pubs on Good Friday.
The new brewery's 3.8% Session IPA ‘Decent Days and Nights’ and‘Ernest’, their 4.5% Best Bitter - dedicated to Lt Col. Ernest Vaux, whose return from the Boer War inspired the first Maxim ale, named after the machine guns his unit operated - will be available in The Dun Cow, The Engine Room or The Peacock.
The company's other two brews - ‘Alter Ego’, a 5% Köln Style Lager which is matured for 42 days and ‘Kicks Like A Mule’, a 7% New England IPA (NEIPA) - will be available on Saturday.
"In designing the recipes for these beers we focused solely on making the best beers we could, even though that ended up costing us more money than we needed to spend," said managing director Steve Smith.
"We didn’t look for which hops were the cheapest or want to cut any corners because that’s not what we’re about. We've brewed beer that we would want to drink – hop forward beer that is full of flavour.
"For us, the essence of craft brewing is about being passionate about what you’re making and not solely focusing on profit margins.
"We’re hoping that this is just the beginning. We want to keep up the momentum and keep pushing the brand forward to contribute to Sunderland’s beer scene as much as we can.
"Now that our beer is going on sale we’re reaching the end of the first phase of our plan to relaunch the Vaux brand and get Vaux beer back on sale again in pubs.
"We’re now going to be working hard on developing new recipes for the summer and we’re going to be stepping up our search for somewhere to open a brewpub in Sunderland.
"There’s a lot of properties out there but finding the right venue in the right location is not easy. We want to create something unique so we are taking our time to make sure we find something that is a good fit for us.”
Steve , who is a solicitor, is backed up by finance director Michael Thompson, 37, communications manager Matthew Jackson and creative designer Ross Palmer, both 36, in part-time roles.
The St Aidan's Catholic Academy schoolmates have been working with Sunderland brewing expert Brewlab to develop four original beers.
Taster sessions for invited members of the public are likely to be confirmed shortly with the company hopeful that the first keg and cask beers will be ready for distribution in April.
"Everyone involved in this project is Sunderland born and bred and, as such, we all have an emotional connection to the brand, as have most people in the area," said Steve.
"Despite it being 20 years since the closure of the brewery, the brand is as strong as it ever was and is still close to people's hearts."
While the original Vaux Breweries folded in 1999, the rights to the brand's famous names such as Double Maxim and Samson were purchased by the Maxim Brewery, now based at Rainton Bridge, which has no connection to the new Vaux Brewery. on the quality of the beer and can scale up quickly as demand increases."