by Zari Tanner | The Associated Press
Helsinki — A small brewery in Finland has launched a NATO-themed beer to mark the Nordic country’s bid to join a Western military alliance.
Olaf Brewing’s Otton Lager features a blue label with a cartoon version of a medieval knight drinking beer in metal armor with NATO’s compass emblem.
The beer’s name is a play on the Finnish expression “otn oluta,” meaning “I’ll have a beer,” and the French abbreviation for nato, which is “otn.” The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has two official languages, English and French.
CEO Peteri Vantinen told the Associated Press on Thursday that the craft brewery’s ad-hoc decision last weekend to begin producing beer was driven by “concerns 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 submitted an application to join NATO at the coalition’s headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Olaf Brewing said its new beer also honors the eastern Finnish town of Savonlina, 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 served as a venue for an annual international opera festival.
“Our small hometown of Savonlinna has always been lying on the border between East and West. Many battles have been fought in the downtown area and at St. Olaf’s Castle,” the brewery said in a Twitter post.
Finland shares a 1,340-kilometre (830 mi) border with Russia, the longest border of any European Union member.
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