InBev is aiming to introduce what it calls "a premium dimension" to the standard lager segment in the UK with the upcoming launch of Beck's Vier.

Beck's Vier - a 4% ABV version of InBev's global flagship brand Beck's - will hit the UK on-trade on 4 April.

InBev UK, the brewing giant's local subsidiary, said it would spend GBP4m (US$7m) on the launch of Beck's Vier, a third of the total UK marketing spend behind Beck's this year.

The brewer said the brand would be positioned at the "top end" of the standard lager segment to encourage drinkers to trade up.

Richard Ingram, InBev UK's marketing manager for Beck's, said: "We see a real opportunity to develop a new brand with premium proposition within the standard lager sector.

"Beck's is a well-known brand with a premium image and taste. The trials have shown that Beck's Vier has drawn on these credentials to grow value and margin within standard lager, as well as increase total lager sales.

In trials, Ingram added, some 70% of standard lager drinkers were prepared to trade up and pay 30p extra for a pint of Beck's Vier than its competitors in the segment.

InBev UK officials failed to return requests for further comment as just-drinks went to press.