IT has the same level of alcohol as a ripe banana and, according to makers, could be your breakfast drink – Scotland’s first booze-free brewing company is toasting the launch of its first beer.

Yardarm, which has an alcohol content of less than 0.5% – around the same level as a large ripe banana – is the initial release by crowdfunded start-up Jump Ship Brewing.

The Edinburgh enterprise is the brain child of keen sailor Sonja Mitchell, who raised £15,000 to float the venture through crowdfunding.

The five-figure cash boost came in over just 28 days in October after the proposal secured the support of more than 170 people.

Two months later, the capital company has now released its first tipple.

Mitchell hopes this will help consumers avoid hangover horrors this Christmas.

She 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.”

Currently sold online through Drydrinker, the biggest alcohol-free vendor in the UK, the beverage is also stocked by independent retailers.

“At least” 10% of the profits will be given to charities nominated by customers.

Mitchell left her marketing career to launch the venture after hitting upon the idea last December due to her “love of beer” and “horror of hangovers”.

She says the extent of support for the crowdfunder shows there is a gap in the booming craft beer market.

There are as many as 130 craft brewers across the country, which has also experienced a massive increase in gin production in recent years.

According to the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, beer and pub activity sustains as many as 66,830 jobs and is worth £1.66 billion to the economy.

Breweries alone were responsible for 8550 of these jobs, paying out £203 million in wages.

Charting the course of her small venture, which is supported by RBS initiative BackHerBusiness, mother-of-three Mitchell stated: “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.”

On the benefits and challenges of running the business, she went on: “Brewing an alcohol-free beer is a finely balanced process and it’s been an incredible journey to produce the kind of well-hopped, finely-balanced lager that I love – and a far cry from my previous desk-bound job.”