New ale unveiled to celebrate two Sunderland beer anniversaries

A new ale has been unveiled to celebrate two landmark anniversaries within beer circles.

Sunderland's Maxim Brewery has created 1040 to mark a decade since it started brewing within the city's boundaries and as a toast to the Sunderland and South Shields branch of the Campaign for Real Ale's (Camra) 40th birthday.

Maxim managing director Mark Anderson toasts the two anniversaries with a glass of the new beer.

Maxim managing director Mark Anderson toasts the two anniversaries with a glass of the new beer.

1040 is also the original gravity required during the brewing process to produce the 4 per cent ruby ale.

Beer lovers can taste the resulting creation for the first time today when it debuts at the Camra branch's annual beer festival.

Described as containing “refreshing and mildly spiced blackcurrant flavours” and leaving “a smooth creamy finish on the palette”, it will be joined by around 40 beers and 12 ciders.

Mark Anderson, the managing director of Maxim Brewery, said: "We thought it was a good idea to do something to mark both anniversaries as we are the only full commercial brewery in Sunderland and South Tyneside and the Camra branch are supporters of ours.

"It is the first beer we have produced for them and we are looking forward to how well it be received this weekend."

Mr Anderson was finance director at Sunderland's Vaux Breweries and part of an attempted management buy-out of the business before it was closed in 2000 on the advice of city financiers.

He was then one of three people to found Maxim Brewery and buy the famous Double Maxim and Samson Vaux brands.

Production was sub-contracted outside of Sunderland before the firm opened its brewery at Rainton Bridge, Houghton, in September 2007.

Mr Anderson said: "It's been a busy but rewarding 10 years and I would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last decade."

Sunderland real ale lovers host milestone beer and cider festival
The Camra branch was founded in 1977 at the former Salem Hotel, in Salem Street, Hendon, Sunderland, after local members broke away from the County Durham branch.

South Tyneside members joined in the early 1980s after leaving the Northumberland branch.

Touted as Sunderland's own Octoberfest, the festival has moved to The Point, in Holmeside, Sunderland city centre, and takes place from noon-11pm both today and tomorrow and from noon-7pm “or when the beer has gone” on Saturday.

Entry is £10, including a souvenir tankard and three beer tokens, with further details available from www.sundfest.camra.org.uk
The event will also raise cash for nominated charity the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).