Diageo is trialling a mid-strength version of its Guinness beer in the UK, in response to calls for drinks with a lower alcohol content.

Guinness Mid-Strength, which has an abv of just 2.8%, compared to the normal 4.1% for regular Guinness, is being trialled in 13 pubs, bars and hotels in Scotland.

The move is part of Diageo's involvement in the Alcohol Industry Partnership and Fife Alcohol Partnership, which exist to bring together the Scottish Government and drinks firms in order to work on new ways to tackle excess drinking and alcohol-related harm.

Guinness Mid-Strength has "the same distinctive taste, texture and unmistakable look as regular Guinness", Diageo said this week.

Current trials, which are taking place in Fife and Edinburgh, follow "positive" feedback in Guinness' Irish homeland, where Diageo tested the lower strength version in Dublin and Limerick, the firm said.

Steve Hamilton, director of innovation and nurture at Diageo Great Britain, said: "We believe that by trialling Guinness Mid-Strength, we are offering consumers in Fife and Edinburgh a choice on those occasions when they want to cut down on their alcohol intake but still enjoy their Guinness to the full."

Scotland's Government welcomed the trial, which comes as the ruling Scottish National Party prepares to unveil controversial legislation to tackle alcohol-related harm in the country.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Giving consumers this kind of choice is crucial in creating a culture where it's acceptable and normal to opt for lower-alcohol products."