Carlsberg is expanding its San Miguel brand with a beer developed in Spain specifically for the UK.

Rolling out to retailers this month, 4.4% abv San Miguel Fresca is described as a crisp, light lager best served with a wedge of lime - which pits it against the likes of Corona and Sol. Carlsberg said the word Fresca was often used in Spain to describe a thirst-quenching, chilled drink.

Carlsberg UK and Spanish brewer Mahou-San Miguel spent about 18 months developing the beer, which will be brewed by Carlsberg in the UK and supported with a £6m marketing push including outdoor posters, press ads, digital activity and sampling.

Last week, Carlsberg announced it was reducing the abv of Carlsberg Export from 5% to 4.8% to reduce the duty paid on the beer, but it said tax concerns were not the reason Fresca had a lower abv than 5% parent brand San Miguel.

“Duty is always a consideration for brewers but the abv of Fresca is purely down to positioning - we were looking to play into a particular part of the market,” said Carlsberg customer marketing director David Scott. “The starting point for any new product development is to look across the portfolio for gaps, and we realised there was a need for an easier-drinking sunshine beer.”

Research by the brewer had shown the beer would attract ABC1 consumers on occasions such as al fresco dining or barbecues, he added.

San Miguel Fresca will be available to the off-trade in four-packs, 12-packs and 24-packs.