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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 12:03 GMT
Town says cheers to centenary ale
Man holding pint of lager
The ale has proved popular among lager drinkers
A special ale brewed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Merthyr Tydfil becoming a borough has gone on sale.

Centenary Ale 1905 is made by local brewer Rhymney Brewery Dowlais, which plans to make it for one year only.

More than 20,000 pints have been produced already, although its sale is not being limited to the town, with Swansea among other markets.

A number of events are planned over the year to mark the centenary of the royal charter making the town a borough.

Marc Evans, who runs the brewery with his father Steve at the Pant Industrial Estate, said he hoped that the beer would encourage people to think about Merthyr's history of Merthyr Tydfil.

"My father has a lot to do with Merthyr library and someone down there was telling him about the centenary and suggested that he brew a bitter to mark it," he said.

Cyfarthfa Castle
Cyfarthfa Castle was given to the people of Merthyr

The beer also reflects some of Merthyr's rich history, including its status as the crucible of the industrial revolution in Wales.

Pioneering Labour Party figure James Kier Hardie also became MP for Merthyr in 1900. He is remembered for saying: "This is yours now" as he opened the former ironmaster's castle of Cyfarthfa, which the council had bought and given to the people of the town after the royal charter.

"We've put a little narrative on the bottle labels of the history of Merthyr Tydfil so hopefully that will get people thinking about the history of the area," said Mr Evans.

"We are only going to brew this beer for this year but have been really surprised with the response we have had to it.

"It seems to be appealing to lager drinkers and of course I am sure a lot of people are drinking it because they see the name Merthyr on it and want to try it," he added.

Merthyr was also once one of the biggest towns in Wales, and larger than Cardiff which is also marking a centenary anniversary this year.

It is 100 years since Cardiff became a city and 50 years as the Welsh capital.


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