DraughtKeg is to retail at £13.29 and has already gained listings in Sainsbury's, Threshers and Makro.
Other major brands, including Stella Artois and Foster's, have withdr awn keg versions because they did not sell well .
InBev UK stopped producing draught barrels of Boddingtons and Stella
early in 2005. A spokeswoman said: "While initial consumer interest in the barrel format was high, its availability coincided with increased price promotional activity on bulk packs and it was difficult to compete in terms of price, with repeat purchase rates lower than we would have liked."
Scottish & Newcastle UK trialled Foster's CoolKeg in 2003-4, but decided against a full product launch.
Heineken customer marketing controller Chris Duffy said: "This is very different from any kegs that have been launched before because it has
that carbon dioxide lozenge inside so you are always ensuring that every beer is fresh and full of flavour."
He added that the keg has already been launched in 40 countries
and that more than 6 million have been sold in the
past two years.
Heineken is spending £8.8 million on a series of TV, cinema and outdoor ads
as part of a £20.3 million marketing campaign
to position it as a premium, continental beer.
Tried and tested
The keg pours very quickly, shooting out a glass full of froth which takes around a minute to settle to half liquid, half head. It has a very light nose and palate, but that may be because the keg I tested was overchilled. It also lost its fizz very quickly, leaving it almost completely flat after 10 minutes. A bottle chilled for a similar amount of time and opened at the same time had a much fuller flavour
and held its bubbles better. CB