Pubmaster, Enterprise Inns and Scottish & Newcastle Retail have become the first groups to help two former Vaux Brewery directors to save one of the North East's oldest beers.
They have agreed to list Double Maxim, a bottled brown ale that was created by the Sunderland brewer 99 years ago.
The brand was nearly lost when Vaux closed its breweries last year and the rest of the company, renamed Swallow, was bought by Whitbread a year ago.
But Vaux's former sales and marketing director Doug Trotman and finance director Mark Anderson, who were part of a failed bid to save the Sunderland brewery in a management buy-out, bought the brand from Whitbread.
They have formed the Double Maxim Beer Company, based in Sunderland, bringing on board ex-head brewer Jim Murray to oversee production and packaging.
It is currently brewed and bottled by Robinsons in Stockport, Greater Manchester, where the water is thought to be similar to the original Wearside water used for the beer.
There are long-term plans to make Double Maxim the biggest-selling regional ale brand within five years and become one of the top six national bottled ale brands. The company may also extend the portfolio.
Sales of Double Maxim were more than 20,000 barrels in 1998 - about 5.7 million pints.