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Take a first look inside reborn Vaux Brewery's new Sunderland tap room and brewery

A reborn brewery has proudly produced its first beer at its new home.


Vaux Brewery, in Monk Street, behind Roker Avenue, Sunderland, has also unveiled a giant indoor mural dedicated to both its legendary name and the city’s heritage.
The artwork includes brewing pipework as a nod to the landmark former Vaux Breweries site, which dominated much of the city centre until the start of this century, as well as shipyard cranes, a Sunderland football club shirt and even seagulls.
Visitors will be able to admire the largely black and white mural and enjoy the brewery’s tap room beers once existing coronavirus restrictions ease.
Steven Smith, who jointly founded the brewery early in 2019, said: “We are hoping to be ready to open when the crowds start to return to the football at the Stadium of Light.
"As we are so close to the ground, hopefully people will come in on the way to the game.
"It is about creating something different. There is not a tap room like this in Sunderland at the moment.”
While the tap room has still to open, the brewery, which up until now has had its beers brewed at other breweries, has started production on site.
First up are Decent Days and Nights, an Indian Pale Ale named after a song by Sunderland band The Futureheads, pale ale A Hazy Shade of Citra and new oatmeal stout Black Wave.
They are expected to be available for purchase in cans or five-litre mini kegs by the end of the year.
Mr Smith, 39, co-founded the new Vaux brewery with St Aidan’s Catholic Academy school friend and fellow director Michael Thompson, also 39.
They have been joined in full-time positions by sales manager Lee Ellwood and French head brewer Yorick Pla.
Mr Pla, 30, who had to spend 14 days in isolation before beginning his role, is no stranger to Sunderland after learning his trade at city brewing expert Brewlab in 2016.
He said: “Coming back has closed the loop. I love the place and the people.”
The mural was created by Sunderland artist Kathryn Robertson, who designed Vaux’s beer glasses, with Mr Smith adding: “It is a Sunderland scene and she has done an excellent job.”
Gavin Ledwith Sunderland Echo 03/01/2021