Dylan inspiration for new Welsh ale
DYLAN Thomas has inspired a new beer, and no doubt Swansea's most famous boozer would approve.
The Swansea-born poet is famously reported to have said "That's 18 straight whiskies, I think that's the record" before slipping into a coma shortly afterwards and dying a few days later following a drinking session in New York's White Horse Tavern.
During that trip to America, in 1953, Thomas had debuted his masterpiece play for voices Under Milk Wood, and it is Willy Nilly, a character taken from that play, the postman, that has given the new tipple its name.
Willy Nilly, a bottled beer produced by Cardiff brewer Brains, is available from any of Sainsbury's 370 supermarkets across the country.
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Its makers are also hopeful the brew will get through to the final of the Great British Beer Hunt.
Sainsbury's has already announced the 20 regional winners of this year's Great British Beer Hunt following five heats in which the supermarket's customers and beer experts judged more than 100 beers from across the UK.
Willy Nilly was voted through and now goes up against the 19 other finalists.
The best-performing beers will then be entered into a grand final on October 5.
The winning beer will be awarded a six-month minimum listing, with the runner-up winning a three-month listing.
Paul Harvey, of Brains, said: "It's great for us, but it's also great for the beer category. All 20 beers have been developed exclusively for the competition and offer customers an unusual and varied range.
"We hope customers enjoy Willy Nilly as much as we do and help put it through to the grand final in October."
Dylan Thomas expert Jeff Towns, who is currently writing a book about the pubs of Dylan Thomas, said: "I remember Brains bringing out a Dylan ale years ago and his son attended the launch in the Dylan Thomas Centre and said, "my father loved pubs, he loved beer, I'm sure he would be honoured to have an ale named after him".
Mr Towns added that there was far more to the poet than drinking and that it was time people concentrated on his work, but added: "If this new beer makes people want to read or watch Under Milk Wood, then it's a great thing."