InBev is set to launch a lower abv version of its flagship Stela Artois brand in the UK, just-drinks understands.

The UK unit of the global brewer, which has seen the reputation of Stella Artois sullied in the UK of late, will unveil the 4% abv variant of the beer brand in the UK next week, sources close to the situation said today (20 June). When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for InBev UK declined to comment on the speculation.

Stella Artois has been in the news in the UK recently, with sales stagnating and the brands reputation being hit by the term 'wife beater' for the beer. Recently-appointed president, Stuart MacFarlane, has stood up for the brand in recent interviews, but Stella Artois has been the subject of two marketing campaign revamps in the space of a year.

The current campaign, under the strapline "Pass on Something Good", replaced the "One Family" campaign, which was slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK for implying that the beer was produced by a family-owned brewer. InBev was instructed in September to remove the claim "a family dedicated to brewing for six centuries" from its adverts, and not to imply in future ads that one family of common ancestry had been involved in the brewing of Artois beers for six centuries.

InBev UK confirmed that it would be holding a press conference in the country on Thursday (27 June), but declined to give specific details about what the event would cover.

Earlier this month, InBev announced a sponsorship deal in the UK for Stella Artois with an airship, offering rides over London in a branded zeppelin.