Baltika, the Russian brewer owned by Carlsberg, has launched two new variants of the Tuborg brand in Russia as it looks to reinvigorate growth on the country's beer market.

Baltika said that it has begun production of Tuborg Lemon and Tuborg Black in Russia. It plans to launch them on the market at the end of the month.

News of the launch comes as brewers struggle to maintain growth on a Russian beer market hit by poor weather conditions and a weakening economy.

Baltika, is owned by Carlsberg subsidiary Baltic Beverages Holding and is the largest brewer in Russia, increased its market share by 0.7% to 38.3% in an overall flat beer market in 2008, Carlsberg said in its full-year results today (18 February).

It added that the group held flat volumes in the fourth quarter, despite a decline of more than 5% across the country's beer sector.

Baltika said that the planned double launch of Tuborg Lemon and Tuborg Black would save on marketing costs and also target growing demand for "speciality" beers in Russia.

Ludmila Yakushina, director for development of licensed, low-alcohol and non-alcoholic brands at Baltika, said: "Now we are seeing a steady increase in consumer interest in special varieties of beer. We are certain that the new sub-brands will help strengthen the leading position of the Tuborg brand in the licensed segment and will increase its premium image."

Tuborg Lemon is described as a light beer, while Tuborg Black is black in colour, but has the taste profile of a light lager.