Launch date revealed for first beers by Sunderland's reborn Vaux Brewery
Drinkers have only weeks to wait before they can taste the first new beers by a reborn brewing legend.
Vaux Brewery will unveil its first two creations to the public on Friday, April 19, at the start of the Easter bank holiday weekend.
An Indian Pale Ale (IPA) and bitter will be available on keg in three Sunderland city centre pubs.
They will be joined the following weekend by a second IPA and a German-style golden beer.
The original beers, whose names are a secret for now, will be released nearly 20 years since the city's historic Vaux Breweries closed with the loss of around 700 jobs in July 1999.
Their launches will also coincide with the final two Sunderland football club home matches of the League One season.
They hope eventually to open a micro brewery in the city with an adjoining bar.
Mr Smith, 37, said: "It is fantastic to see our ideas coming together after months of planning and that we can finally see some beer.
"We are hoping the public will like it when they get to taste it."
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Mr Smith praised brewing expert Brewlab, based at Sunderland Enterprise Park, for its support in creating the first four beers.
He said: "We could not have done it without them. They have the experience of listening to people, knowing what they want and offering their own ideas."
Brewlab, which moved to Sunderland from London more than 20 years ago, offers a range of services to the brewing industry such as training courses, project support and and product analysis.
Employing 12 full-time staff, it has helped more than 2,000 clients from 60 countries stretching from America to Japan and manufactures its own beers through its sister business Darwin Brewery.
Brewlab manager Dan Vecsey said: "As a Sunderland-based business it is good to be associated with the Vaux name as we know how much emotional attachment there is to Vaux in the city."
Taster sessions will shortly be held to gather public opinion before the beers are launched in the Dun Cow, Peacock and Fire Station pubs.
Mr Smith is joined at Vaux Brewery by finance director Michael Thompson, 37, who has worked in commercial finance for banks.
Matthew Jackson, 36, a communications manager, and Ross Palmer, 36, a creative designer, occupy part-time communications and branding roles respectively.
The friends, who all attended the city's St Aidan's Academy, also have longer term plans to reintroduce beers produced by the original Vaux business.