Sunderland's Maxim Brewery launches new beer to celebrate Houghton Feast
A brewery’s latest creation is certainly sticking to its promise to launch a feast of beers.
Houghton’s Maxim Brewery announced late last year that it would release 20 tipples during 2019 to mark two decades since Sunderland’s fabled Vaux Breweries closed with the lose of around 700 jobs.
The latest, American India Pale Ale (IPA) Fairground, honours the annual Houghton Feast, which runs between Friday, October 4, and Saturday, October 12.
Maxim managing director Mark Anderson said: “Fairground pays tribute to the Houghton Feast and we thought it would be a nice idea to create a beer after something which takes place so close to where we are and is such a big event in Houghton.”
The 5% cask ale is described as “a heavily hopped American IPA with a nice malty backbone” and will be available in pubs in the Houghton area this week for the start of the 800-year-old celebration.
It takes the number of beers either created for the first time or re-released by Maxim during 2019 to 17.
September brought 4.6% Bavarian lager Hallertau Blanc while Fairground will be joined on cask during October by 4.2% “bitter and sweet” Lemondrop pale ale.
Mr Anderson, who worked as finance director for Vaux before later co-founding Maxim Brewery, said: “We have three more to do to reach our target by the end of the year.
“It has been hard work but we should do it. The final beer is likely to be an old Vaux beer, Winter Tipple, which is a dark winter warmer and which has not been brewed for about a quarter of a century.”
Maxim Brewery, now based at Gadwall Road, bought the rights to produce a number of Vaux beers following the city centre brewery’s closure in July 1999.
Double Maxim, Samson and Lambton’s were among the old favourites saved after the Vaux board followed advice from financiers in the City of London by concentrating on their pub and hotel portfolio.
With the business soon becoming Swallow Inns and Restaurants, the distinctive brewery signs quickly vanished from the Sunderland skyline.
As well as Maxim’s beers, July’s 20th anniversary was also marked by a reunion evening for former staff and “Vaux lovers”.