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Finnish brewery launches NATO beer to mark membership application -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – OTAN beer cans branded by NATO are shown in Savonlinna (Finland), May 17, 2022. Lehtikuva/Soila Puurtinen via REUTERS


By Anne Kauranen

HELSINKI (Reuters – A Finnish small brewery is launching a new beer as a toast to its nation’s acceptance to the NATO military alliance.

Otan olutta – The first word is a play on French initials for North Atlantic Treaty Organization – is what the lager is known as

In Finnish, the full name means “I’ll drink some beer”.

Petteri vanttinen (chief executive, family-run Olaf Brewing) stated that the brew was “a flavor of security with a bit of freedom”.

On Wednesday, Finland and Sweden requested to be a NATO member. This was in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Moscow threatened to retaliate in unspecified ways at first. Vanttinen, a Finnish brewery owner, stated, “We are under bear’s arms here, soto speak,” in Savonlinna.

He said that no one was in panic mode. We can now have a beer, because we got so far. It reflects very well the Finnish mindset that you just need to keep calm. It is not a cause to be alarm.

These cans, which are blue and white in color match NATO’s scheme of colours, depict a knight holding a foaming bottle of beer and have the logo of NATO engraved on his armour.

This brewery’s name is derived from St. Olaf’s Castle nearby, which was a medieval stone castle built in 1475 to protect Finland (then a hinterland for the Swedish Kingdom) against invasions by the Novgorod republic. It’s a precursor of Russian modernity.