Originally brewed to celebrate the return to Sunderland of Major Ernest Vaux, and the Maxim Gun Detachment. It would seem that the brewing process began around the time that Major Vaux left Sunderland, on 27th January 1900.
In 1938, the strength of the ale was increased, leading to a name change of Double Maxim.
"Major Ernest Vaux and his comrades of the local Maxim Detachment of the Imperial Yeomanry arrived at Southampton this morning in the transport Assaye, and left for the North about 10 o'clock." Sunderland Daily Echo, Tuesday 11th June 1901
"The inhabitants of New Herrington district did honour last night in enthusiastic fashion to Major Vaux and his comrades of the Maxim Gun Detachment of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery.....In New Herrington the crowd near the Miners' Hall was particularly dense. Inside the building a company, which numbered about 300, sat down to a first-class repast. The caterer was Mr George Davison, and everything was served in tip-top style, the meal being accompanied by Maxim ale of exceptional quality, and said to have been brewed when the Major left England for South Africa." Sunderland Daily Echo, Wednesday 3rd July 1901
I wonder how much a bottle, whether empty or unopened, would cost.
The Maxim Brewery, which dates from 2007, following the closure of Vaux Brewery in 1999, acknowledges the ABW-connection on its home page.
(You must be aged at least 18 to enter the site) It now brews Double Maxim.
Postcard with artwork by "E. Storm 1903": "DRINK MAXIM ALE".
Sunderland Daily Echo, 11th June 1901
ARRIVAL OF MAJOR VAUX.
The Reception in Sunderland Tomorrow.
GOLD MEDALS FOR THE MEN.
Major Ernest VAUX and his comrades of the local Maxim Detachment of the Imperial Yeomanry arrived at Southampton this morning in the transport Assaye, and left for the North about 10 o’clock. They will arrive in Newcastle this evening, probably about nine or ten o’clock. The exact hour of their reaching Sunderland was not definitely known at noon today, but, as there will be a fair amount of work to do at Newcastle, it is not expected they will be here until midday tomorrow. Under that assumption, AN OFFICIAL ORDER has been issued asking all members of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery who wish to join in the welcome to their comrades to proceed to the Central Station in uniform about that time. The band has been ordered to parade at 11 o’clock at the Drill Hall, The Green, to await orders. The arrangements, so far, are that the detachment shall be met at the station by the Mayor (Conn. Kirtley), as well as by the battalion, which will be under the command of Col. Vaux, who is at Harrogate, but is expected to return, or Lieut.-Col. Barker. The Yeomanry detachment will be marched with the battalion to the Drill Hall, The Green, where they will be formally welcomed home by the Mayor and the battalion, and they will then be disbanded. It is felt by the officers that the men have had enough of eating and drinking, and that their return should be marked by a more lasting token than a banquet. Accordingly, they have arranged that A GOLD MEDAL shall be presented to each of the detachment. It will be of appropriate design and will have a suitable inscription, showing the circumstances under which it is given. This medal is to be the gift of the officers. After the formal reception at the Drill Hall tomorrow, the men will go to their friends, but they will meet again on Sunday and attend a church parade at the Parish Church, Monkwearmouth, and after that the gold medals will be presented to them. On the evening of Wednesday the 19th (tomorrow week), the detachment, together with the Rifle Volunteers who arrived home previously, will attend at the Town Hall, where the Freedom of the Borough will be conferred upon them, and they will then be entertained to a banquet.
Full details of the Sunderland men Major VAUX has with him are not quite known. The men who went out with him were – Sergt. C. McDONALD; Bombardiers C. BOLDEN and J. GRAHAM; Drivers C. COLLINS, J. TWEDDLE, C. JOHNSON, and H. HUGGINS. McDONALD died the death of a hero at Rooidam, and leaves a gap in the detachment which all will regret. Bombardier GRAHAM was invalided home some considerable time since, but the others are all expected to be with Major VAUX, with the exception, perhaps, of HUGGINS, who is now understood to have left the detachment and to be sergeant in the Imperial Yeomanry. It is thought he may have remained in South Africa. It is also supposed that Corporal J.A. COGHLAN will accompany the detachment. There may be several other LOCAL MEN WHO WENT OUT apart from the detachment, because Major VAUX’s Company, which is the 15th of the Imperial Yeomanry, comprises 61 men, and amongst those from Sunderland who joined it are Messrs F.C. HUNTLY and Victor WILSON.
Gold shields were presented to:
15th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Bn. Imperial Yeomanry (Maxim Gun Detachment) –
Major Ernest VAUX
9994 Sergeant C. McDONALD (K.I.A., Rooidam, 06/05/1900 - did his family receive a medal?)
3265 Corporal John Ambrose COGHLAN
10001 Private Charles BOLDEN
10000 Private Joseph GRAHAM (invalided)
9998 Private [Driver] Charles Henry COLLINS
9999 Private Charles JOHNSON
9997 Private John TWEDDLE
Presentation made by Colonel Vaux, at the Drill Hall, The Green, Sunderland.