Chelsea, the controversial soft drink that looks like beer and pours with a frothy head, will be reintroduced to its Virginia test market - but only the name will be the same, a spokesman for the product said yesterday.

Anheuser-Busch Inc., the world's largest brewer, withdrew Chelsea, an amber-colored "not so soft drink" which contained a hint of alcohol, after it came under attack from the Virginia's Nurses' Association, parent-teacher groups, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Health Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano Jr.

The beverage was sold to children like a soft drink, encouraging them to use alcoholic beverages, the products opposition charged.

A Busch Spokesman told a gathering of nearly 600 nurses in Washington that the company will either make the drink an alcoholic beverage by adding more alcohol or make it a soft drink by removing all its alcohol.

The company's decision will be announced within 45 days, Keith Jones, a Busch marketing official who had asked to speak to the nurses' meeting, said.

Barbara Nichols, president of the 200,000-member American Nurses Association, said in an interview yesterday she would not allow her children to drink the product as it was first introduced but will withhold judgment on the new Chelsea until after it reaches the market.

If the product is still directed towards youth and contains alcohol, the organization may oppose it again, she said.