Nationwide Shipping available | Free collection from Taproom


Sunderland’s VAUX Brewery has secured private financial investment from TV presenter and acclaimed architect, George Clarke, following the rebirth of the iconic brand in 2019.

After re-establishing the brand in 2019 by collaborating with some of the best breweries in the area, co-founders Steven Smith and Michael Thompson, both 39, confirmed that Monk Street in Sunderland would become home to their first brewery last year. The brewery became operational in December 2019 and they have struggled to meet demand from pubs and independent bottle shops ever since.

Clarke’s backing of the brewery comes at the start of a new era for a name already etched with a rich history, as Smith and Thompson prepare to open up the City’s first taproom and vow to make it a source of pride once more for the people of Sunderland.

Steven Smith comments: “We are thrilled to have George on-board as he’s so passionate about the city and totally understands what we are trying to achieve.”

Michael Thompson adds: “I’m delighted to have George on board. George’s heart is still in Sunderland and he’s determined to help with the regeneration of the city and like us he wants to see Sunderland meet its potential and thrive.”

Proud of his own Sunderland heritage and roots, news of Vaux’s comeback struck an immediate chord with Clarke and it was driven by pure passion that conversations ensued around playing a small part of the next chapter for the beer brand.

George Clarke explains: “I’m thrilled to see that Vaux is back and when I had the opportunity to invest I jumped at the chance. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be part of the rebirth of one of the most amazing brands in Sunderland.

“With so much regeneration planned in the city centre and along the riverside across the old Vaux site, this is such an exciting time for Sunderland. I’m buzzing about it. What we are doing with Vaux is one important part of that new story.”

Clarke's passion for the brand is undeniable as he recalls his first encounter with a pint of Vaux: “I’ve known the Vaux brand since I was a small boy. You’d see ‘Vaux’ signs everywhere in Sunderland whether it was on pubs, on delivery vans or on pint glasses in people’s hands. The first pint I had when I reached legal age was a pint of Vaux. I went to my first Sunderland football match in 1985 and Vaux became the shirt sponsor in 1986. Vaux was a huge part of my life from that year. For nearly 200 years it was a major employer in Sunderland in the heart of the city by the river wear just a few minutes walk from where my grandparents were born and raised. Vaux as a brand ran just through our veins.

“I like the fact that the guys have moved the brand forwards, while respecting the legacy, to create a modern brewery that the people of Sunderland can be proud of once again.”

The new tap room on Monk Street is set to open to the general public on 31st May and will serve up a selection of the brewery’s current craft beers including favourites such as A Hazy Shade of Citra pale ale and oatmeal stout Black Wave, as well as a range of merchandise. Online purchases also available with nationwide shipping at

For further press information, please contact Nikki Murray at Storyfolk / or
call +44 (0)7725 131389