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December 4, 2019

These are interesting times for alcohol. Especially in Scotland.

Rightly or wrongly, Scotland has long had a reputation as a country that likes a drink.

Fair enough. It's just that we haven't always been sensible about it as we might have been. But perhaps things are changing.

A few blogs back, we mentioned that The Gate bar on Glasgow's Gallowgate was running a booze-free drinks menu every Monday.

More recently, Vin Cru opened in the Merchant City last week. Specialising in wines which are natural, biodynamic and low-intervention, they suggest that they just might lead to an easier hangover if you overdo it.

Maybe they are right.

What we are certain about is that Yardarm, the first beer from Jump Ship Brewing, really won't give you a hangover.

Same alcohol as a ripe banana

In fact, at less than 0.5% ABV, it contains roughly the same level of alcohol as a large ripe banana. We're not going to get into the difference between alcohol-free and low alcohol beer here. Drinkaware have more info here, if you want.

Sonja Mitchell, pictured above, founded the company after a successful crowdfunding campaign, supported by RBS BackHerBusiness, reached its target of £15,000 in only six days. More than 170 people backed the campaign from right across the UK and internationally.

Sonja, who brewed this beer from her own recipe, describes Yardarm as a zesty, biscuity and discretely bitter lager. It is brewed with Citra and Styrian Bobek hops for a full flavour finish, similar to a well-balanced IPA.  The beer is gluten-free, vegan and lower in calories than standard beers.

Horror of hangovers

Yardarm: lots of flavour but just 0.5% alcohol.

Yardarm: lots of flavour but just 0.5% alcohol.

Commenting on the business and the new alcohol-free beer Sonja Mitchell, said:

'It’s been incredible to see the response to the crowd-funding bid. Having the backing of so many amazing people, not only gives me the financial resources needed to get to market, but I also know that there's a crowd of people looking forward to drinking my beer. The wind is truly in my sails. It’s time to Jump Ship!'

A keen sailor, beer-lover and mother of three, decided to ‘jump ship’ from her marketing job to launch the business. The idea behind Jump Ship was born in December 2018 out of a love of beer but a horror of hangovers. Keen to enable more people to enjoy great beer without the booze, Sonja set out to discover if she could produce a world-class alcohol-free beer in Scotland.

Charity donations

Explaining the name of the first release, Sonja said: 

'The yardarm is the edge of the spar (or yard) on a mast where sails are set. It used to be a tradition in the navy that sailors were given their first ration of rum when the sun reached over the yardarm (about 11am in summer in the North Atlantic).  "Sun’s over the Yardarm" is a common call out for the first drink of the day, and at only 0.5% ABV, you could even enjoy our Yardarm lager for breakfast if you liked!'

Jump Ship Brewing is also keen to ensure the business has a strong charitable focus with Sonja committed to donating at least 10% of the profits to a variety of charities, which will be nominated by Jump Ship’s customers or ‘ship mates’ as they are aptly called.

Available in 330ml cans, Yardarm contains 40 calories per can with roughly a third of the calories found in an equivalent can of 4% ABV beer.  

Beer lovers can buy Jump Ship beers online at selling via Drydrinker, the UK’s biggest alcohol-free online retailer. At a RRP of £1.99, their beers can be shipped nationally and internationally and at selected independent retailers in Scotland.