Carlsberg has launched one of its Eastern European beers in India.

Speaking to just-drinks today (14 June), a spokesperson for the brewer confirmed that it has released Okocim Palone, from its Polish portfolio, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

The brewer finally made its entry into the Indian beer market last month, when it bought Himneel brewery, a ten-year-old facility in Himachal Pradesh from local investors. Okocim Palon will be brewed at the brownfield site, which has an annual capacity of 150,000 hectolitres.

The 5.5% abv beer will be positioned as a strong beer, going up against the likes of UB's Kingfisher Strong and SABMiller's Haywards 500. "We believe Palone will match the demands of the Indian consumer," the spokesperson said.

When asked what plans Carlsberg has for its namesake flagship brand and for Tuborg, the spokesperson said: "We do plan to sell the two brands in India, but maybe later. Obviously, we want to use our jewels out there, but we are not ready yet."

Late last year, the brewer announced the formation of South Asia Breweries after months of speculation surrounding its ambitions for the fast-growing beer market. Carlsberg plans to build a greenfield brewery in Rajasthan with its partner in Sri Lanka, The Lion Brewery Ceylon. Carlsberg will have a 45% interest in the venture. The brewery is slated to be up and running by the first quarter of 2008.