So why not raise a glass to just 10 of the area’s beers and breweries – while also toasting any absent friends we have missed?
1. Double Maxim (Vaux and Maxim)
Proudly touts itself as the only brown ale still brewed in the North East after production of its younger Newcastle rival moved to Yorkshire. First brand to be rescued by the newly-founded Maxim Brewery.
Photo: Picture by Kevin Brady
2. Samson (Vaux and Maxim)
Another old Vaux favourite to be resurrected by Maxim Brewery, this chestnut cask ale is enjoying a renaissance since returning to the region's bars following its 2005 rebirth.
Photo: Stu Norton
3. Lambton's (Vaux and Maxim)
Lighter and sweeter than elder sibling Double Maxim, Lambton's is another beer to be successfully reborn by the Maxim Brewery. Also appeared on Sunderland's shirts, as modelled by Kevin Phillips, in the 1990s.
Photo: Sunderland Echo
4. Lorimer's Best Scotch (Vaux Breweries)
Originally an Edinburgh brew which was more popular in the North East than in its homeland, it was eventually produced by Vaux before briefly taking its trademark frothy head back to the Scottish capital.
Photo: (Vaux Breweries)