Carlsberg has launched a new high alcohol beer from its Celarevo brewery, making it the strongest beer available in the Serbian market.

The Danish brewer said today (9 October) that its new Lav 7 beer, which has an abv of 7.2%, has been added to the brewer's portfolio following a "comprehensive survey of consumer needs and the beer market in Serbia".

Carlsberg South East Europe CEO Isaac Sheps said: "Following the launch of Holsten and Budweiser-Budvar beers this year, we have wished to add another high-quality product to the market, and owing to its specific features, we expect Lav 7 to accomplish best results at markets in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina."

President of the association of breweries of Serbia, Miodrag Maksimovic added: "Lav 7 is the only domestic beer with such a high rate of alcohol, and I think that it will promptly become favourite among consumers who know how to recognise what is best."

In September last year, Carlsberg announced to invest EUR20m (US$25.4m) in its Serbian business to build upon booming sales in the Eastern European country.

Serbia was Carlsberg's fastest-growing market last year with sales reaching 1.1m hectolitres in 2005, leaping from 570,000hl a year earlier. The money was spent on expanding capacity at its brewery in Celarevo, 120km north-west of Belgrade, as well as on a waste-water treatment facility.