Lads may be happy to down a can of Foster's when they're with their mates but it's a different story when there are ladies around.

That's the theory behind the launch of premium bottled lager Foster's Gold, which has been designed to make a good impression at social occasions such as parties and barbecues.

The 4.8% abv beer ­described as offering a ­refreshing taste will be available exclusively in the off-trade from the middle of this month. It is packaged in a stylish bottle featuring embossed detail to make it easier to grip, and will be available in a range of formats including a £5.50 price-marked six-pack. The launch will be supported by a multimillion-pound marketing campaign, including TV and outdoor ads featuring Aussie brand ambassadors Brad and Dan.

"Young men strive to create the right impression at social occasions and Foster's standard can format isn't meeting these needs," said Heineken UK customer marketing head Doug Walker.

Understanding the changing attitude of consumers was the only way of increasing share in the crowded lager market, said Richard Buchanan of branding agency The Clearing. "This is designed to impress," he added. "It's a pulling partner. It's saying 'I'm not cheap, and I'm not a lager lout'." He added that Gold was unlikely to cannibalise standard Foster's sales as consumers probably wouldn't take cans of Foster's to a party.

According to Symphony- IRI, 'mixed-sex drinking ­occasions' are expected to account for 30% of value growth in the long alcoholic drinks market by 2015.