Legendary Vaux brewing name set for Sunderland return
Around 700 jobs were lost when the city centre's landmark Vaux Breweries shut in July 1999 in controversial circumstances.
Now a new company named Vaux Brewery has been formed with its first beers provisionally scheduled to appear as early as Easter.
The business, founded by Sunderland friends, is also looking for premises within the city for a micro brewery and adjoining tap room bar.
Managing director Steven Smith, 37, said: "There is still a certain amount of mourning at the loss of the brewery and our mission is to help to heal that wound by ensuring that Vaux beer is made in the heart of Sunderland once again."
Mr Smith said: "While there are one or two historic Vaux beers that we are planning to resurrect, we are very much focused on the taking the brand forward and making beer for the modern beer drinker.
"Our focus is 100 per cent on making the best beer we can rather than on being faithful to old Vaux recipes.
"Vaux Breweries had a history of innovation in respect to beer. For example, Vaux was the first UK brewery to brew a wheat beer.
The first beers, as yet unnamed, will be two India Pale Ales, a German-style lager and a bitter.
Mr Smith, who praised Brewlab for its support, said: "Our goal is to build a purpose-built brewery in Sunderland.
"However, we are initially going to be brewing our beers at selected local breweries as that way we can focus on the quality of the beer and can scale up quickly as demand increases."