Heineken has launched a different version of its Amstel brand for the Russian market.

Heineken, the third-largest brewer in Russia, has opted to unveil a lower-calorie and low-carb variant of Amstel, which it said would capitalise on growing health awareness among Russian consumers.

Heineken Russia CEO Roland Pirmez said: "Amstel is the first beer entering the growing vitality market in Russia. This is a unique product for modern beer drinkers."

The brand, which is initially being sold in Moscow and St. Petersburg, will be rolled out across Russia from January next year. The new Amstel has been brewed using a "special micro-filtration technique", Heineken said, "producing a premium quality Amstel but with the added bonus of significantly lower calories and carbohydrates when compared to other full strength beers".

Heineken Russia's vice-president for marketing Yuri Schwalbe added: "With the addition of Amstel in our broad brand portfolio, Heineken Russia taps into two growing consumer trends, an appreciation of accessible beer taste and wellness. We believe that this brand will appeal to people who want to squeeze the best out of life."

The brand will be available in a 33cl transparent bottle and sold for RUB24 (US$0.83).