Edinburgh-based Jump Ship brewing (Scotland’s first alcohol-free brewery), recently released their first beer, Yardarm lager, and Soundbite PR kindly offered to send me some to taste. It came with a lovely personalised note from Sonja Mitchell who owns the brewery, saying she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts since we met earlier this year at an event I was working at, which was very sweet!
Sonja, who successfully met her crowdfunding target of £15,000 in just six days, started her new business due to a love of beer but a hatred of hangovers. At just 0.5% ABV, Yardarm is “brewed with Citra and Styrian Bobek hops for the full-flavoured finish you might expect from a well-balanced IPA”, which is a pretty accurate description if you ask me.
Yardarm has a heavy malty aroma, some hop bitterness and character, and a well-rounded taste which I enjoyed. I’ve tried some no/lo beers before, most of which were disappointing – and therefore left me skeptical about them as a concept – but this was actually really nice. Yes, it’s a bit watery and has very low head retention, but because of the intense maltiness and the addition of hops, it manages to retain a lot of flavour which would usually be lost in the traditional brewing process of no/lo beers (see this article which explains it – I assume this is similar to what Sonja/Jump Ship have done!)
It’s a very pleasant and refreshing drink if you’re looking for something tasty but less boozy over the holidays – especially if you’re conscious about over-imbibing due to all the parties and gatherings, which tend to be saturated with alcohol. It’s also a great option for those taking part in Dry January, or generally for those who, like Sonja, love to drink beer but not get drunk.
On the business side of things, I love that Sonja/Jump Ship is donating at least 10% of the profits to a charity that she picks annually from whichever ones have been nominated by drinkers. It’s always great to give back whenever you can.
Anyway, with two more beer ideas in the pipeline, I’m excited to see what the next brew is and how it tastes!