SCOTLAND'S biggest lager brand has set out to reach a part of the beer market where rivals have failed by launching a lower-alcohol beer.

Tennent's is convinced the 2.8% alcohol by volume (ABV) Lemon T will strike a refreshing chord with drinkers this summer.

Supermarkets will be the first to sell the new beer, with packs of four 330ml bottles going on sale in Tesco stores next week. It is expected to sell for around £4 per pack.

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The beer is then due to hit the shelves in Asda, Sainsbury's and convenience retailers such as Co-op, Scotmid, Spar and Keystore from the end of April.

There are no immediate plans to sell the beer, which builds on the tradition of mixing lager with citrus flavours, in pubs.

Previous attempts to launch lower-alcohol beers have met with limited success. But Paul Condron, marketing director at Tennent Caledonian Breweries, believes the time is right. He said: "Looking into the marketplace, the first thing that struck us was consumer insight telling us that people are genuinely open to trying new things. Over 60% said they were open to trying new things in the lower-alcohol segment. The bottom line, though, was that choice was limited.

"There were some odd products out there that perhaps don't resonate particularly well with a Scottish consumer, and there is no brand in beer that resonates with Scottish consumers than Tennent's."

Mr Condron said the beer will tap into a trend towards moderate alcohol consumption, and noted that its 2.8% strength attracts a lower duty rate than standard beer.

But although it is light in taste it has not been brewed to be low in calories. The calorie content is 60 calories per 100ml. The new beer will be promoted on outdoor advertising from May.