Bottoms up for Sunderland’s award-winning beer

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson
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Three cheers for an award-winning Sunderland beer.

Maxim Brewery is raising a toast after seeing one of its beer brands scoop a coveted regional title.

The Rainton Bridge brewery, which rose from the ashes of Sunderland’s famous Vaux Brewery, has seen its Maximus brew, the strongest beer in the firm’s line, named North East Champion Bottled Beer in SIBA’s 2016 Beer Competition.

The title, which is contested by breweries from the Midlands to the Scottish Border, shines a spotlight on the most flavoursome beers and ales produced in the country and is judged by an independent panel of experts from outside of the region in blind taste tests.

Maxim managing director Mark Anderson, who was employed at the city’s Vaux Brewery until it closed in 1999, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have seen Maximus recognised as Champion North East beer covering any style, flavour and strength.

“We are extremely proud to brew all of our beer in Sunderland, and we wholeheartedly believe in our products, so we always hope they will stand up against the competition in awards such as these.

“Winning a title like this one, judged by experts in their field, really is fantastic, and proves that we are producing truly leading products. It’s a great honour for the whole team and we’re incredibly proud.”

Maximus is affectionately known as the ‘big brother’ of the firm’s established beer brand, Double Maxim. It is a 6% ruby ale with hints of liquorice and is described by the company as ‘a strong and warming beer that is also smooth and easy to drink’. The ale is sold in cask and bottle to most pubs, clubs and retailers across the North East.

The brewery’s best known product, Double Maxim, has been going for more than 100 years, and was first made to mark the return of the Maxim gun detachment from the Boer war, which was commanded by Colonel Vaux, whose family went on to found the original Sunderland Brewery.

Maxim opened in 1999 and is based in Rainton Bridge Industrial Estate. It now produces one million pints a year, with a range including Double Maxim, Swedish Blonde and Maximus.

As well as being a SIBA gold medal winner this year, Maximus has won national titles for the best part of a decade, scooping awards in 2007 and 2015.

Gary Hutchinson, chair of Sunderland Business Partnership, said: “Sunderland is home to some tremendous businesses, and Maxim is most certainly one of them.

“The hard work of Mark and his team has allowed Maxim to produce products that are much loved in the city, and beyond, and we are delighted to hear of their success at the SIBA awards.”