For the first time in more than 10 years, Amstel Light, a brand of Heineken USA Inc., Amsterdam, introduced a new product to the U.S. market. This month, Amstel Wheat Bier, an authentic European wheat beer brewed with Amstel’s signature craftsmanship and brewing tradition, launched on-premise in seven U.S. cities: New York, Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and Providence, R.I. The company plans to make the product available nationwide by the end of this year.

Amstel Wheat has a golden color with orange and amber hues, the company says. Its aroma is rich with fruit and floral notes and a hint of freshly baked bread, while the taste is slightly fruity with soft hoppy undertones, it adds.

To support the launch, Amstel will host consumer sampling events in select bars and restaurants in which Amstel Wheat will be served in authentic European wheat beer glassware that highlights the visual and taste appeal of the new brew. The Amstel Wheat signature glass is tall and sleek to showcase the color of the beverage, while the glass’s wider, gold-rimmed mouth protects the thick head, which seals in the beer's flavor, the company says.

"The wheat beer category, at plus-25 percent sales, is growing three times faster than import, craft and micro beers [in all channels in the United States for the 52 weeks ending March 29, 2011, according to AC Nielsen],” said Amanda Hawk, brand director for Amstel Light, in a statement. “Combine this impressive growth with Amstel's strong consumer awareness and stellar reputation of quality and craftsmanship, and the result is a wheat beer that offers consumers a great new product from a trusted brand. It's a natural fit and a win, win for all."