New beers mark 20th anniversary of Sunderland's Vaux Breweries' closure

Two new beers are to be launched to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a historic brewery’s closure.

Sunday, 16th June 2019, 20:10 pm

July 2 marks two decades since Vaux Breweries’ landmark Sunderland city centre site shut, with the loss of around 700 jobs.

Maxim Brewery, which was formed in the aftermath and purchased the rights to brew many of Vaux’s favourite tipples, has pledged to release 20 beers throughout this year as a tribute to the treasured company and its workers.

Maxim Brewery owner Mark Anderson with the new Dray & Horse and Gold Tankard beers.

The names of the latest – Gold Tankard and Dray and Horses – have particular significance to Vaux’s 193-year past.

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Gold Tankard, a 4.2% golden ale, acknowledges the brewery’s community links and the trophies awarded to the winners of sponsored horse and pigeon races.

Dray and Horses, a 4.5% English pale ale, toasts the dray workers and horses who used to deliver beer around the city.

Mark Anderson, managing director of Maxim Brewery, based at Houghton, said: “The dray and horses were the public face of Vaux and a familiar sight delivering beer to pubs around the city. Given the drive for zero emissions in cities today, their role would be even more important if they were still around today.”

A Vaux dray with horses in 1962.

Both beers will appear in Sunderland pubs on cask within weeks and are expected to be available at the Vaux reunion night at the Chesters pub, in Chester Road, on Friday, July 5, from 7pm which is open to both former employees and "anyone with a love of Vaux".

Vaux closed in 1999 after a new board narrowly backed advice from City of London financiers to concentrate on the company’s portfolio of pubs and hotels. They too were soon sold with its legacy in jeopardy until Maxim Brewery began brewing mainstay brands such as Double Maxim and Samson.

The tankards, which disappeared after Vaux’s closure, are about six-inches tall. If you help, contact Mr Anderson at the brewery on (0191) 5848844.