RUDOLPH the red-nosed reindeer has taken a new twist this year - becoming the red-nosed draydeer.

Two reindeer - Cupid and Comet - have been delivering beer by sleigh to pubs in Wiltshire in time for Christmas.

The unusual transport method has been adopted by the Box Steam Brewery, which is aiming to add a little festive magic to its daily rounds and reduce its carbon hoofprint into the bargain.

The traditional wooden sleigh, bearing casks of local favourite Tunnel Vision, Box Steam's award-winning real ale, made its first drop at the Cross Guns pub in Avoncliff on Tuesday.

The sleigh was driven by Tony Lockyear,

Usually behind the wheel of a diesel van, head drayman Tony Lockyear donned the obligatory Father Christmas hat and the fairy lights on the sleigh added an extra twinkle.

Andy Roberts, managing director of the Holt brewery, said: "We use an energy-efficient steam kettle to produce our ales, so this 'draydeer'-powered service is really just an extension of our commitment to maintaining a low carbon footprint.

"Small breweries like ours are meeting the public demand for authentic, well-crafted ales with personality - locals want local at their local.

"Having said that, we'd be delighted to export to the North Pole, and we can lend a helping hand if there happened to be any large-scale gift distribution businesses in that region experiencing a seasonal rush."