Finland brewery launches NATO beer with ‘taste of security’

May 18, 2022, 8:20 PM | Updated: May 19, 2022, 8:22 am
Beer cans with writing OTAN inspired by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) logo by Olaf ...

Beer cans with writing OTAN inspired by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) logo by Olaf Brewing Company are displayed in Savonlinna, eastern Finland, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Sweden on Tuesday signed a formal request to join NATO, a day after the country announced it would seek membership in the 30-member military alliance. In neighboring Finland, lawmakers are expected later in the day to formally endorse Finnish leaders’ decision also to join. The moves by the two Nordic countries, ending Sweden’s more than 200 years of military nonalignment and Finland’s nonalignment after World War II, have provoked the ire of the Kremlin. (Soila Puurtinen/Lehtikuva via AP)

(Soila Puurtinen/Lehtikuva via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — A small brewery in Finland has launched a NATO-themed beer to mark the Nordic country’s bid to join the Western military alliance.

Olaf Brewing’s OTAN lager features a blue label with a cartoon version of a beer-drinking medieval knight in metal armor emblazoned with NATO’s compass symbol.

The beer’s name is a play on the Finnish expression “Otan olutta,” which means “I’ll have a beer,” and the French abbreviation for NATO, which is “OTAN.” The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has two official languages, English and French.

CEO Petteri Vanttinen told The Associated Press on Thursday that the craft brewery’s ad hoc decision last weekend to start producing the beer was motivated by “worries over the war in Ukraine” and its consequences for Finland.

He described the new lager as having “a taste of security, with a hint of freedom.”

Finland and Sweden on Wednesday submitted an application to join NATO at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

Olaf Brewing said its new beer also honors the eastern Finnish town of Savonlinna, the brewery’s base located a few dozen kilometers from Finland’s border with Russia.

Savonlinna is known for St. Olaf’s Castle, a medieval structure from 1475 that serves as a venue for an annual international opera festival.

“Our small hometown Savonlinna has always lied in the borderlands between East and West. Many battles have been fought in the town area and at St. Olafs Castle” the brewery said in a Twitter post.

Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border with Russia, the longest of any European Union member.

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Finland brewery launches NATO beer with ‘taste of security’