By Jari Tanner Associated Press
HELSINKI – A small brewery in Finland has launched a NATO-themed beer to mark the Scandinavian country’s bid to join the Western military alliance.
Olaf Brewing’s OTAN camp has a blue label with an animated version of a medieval knight drinking beer in metal armor decorated with the NATO compass symbol.
The name of the beer is a game of the Finnish expression “Otan olutta”, which means “I will drink beer” and the French abbreviation for NATO, which is “OTAN”. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has two official languages, English and French.
CEO Petteri Vantinen told the Associated Press on Thursday that the craft brewery’s decision to start brewing beer last weekend was motivated by “concerns about the war in Ukraine” and its consequences for Finland.
He described the new camp as “a taste of security, with a touch of freedom”.
Finland and Sweden applied on Wednesday to join NATO at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
Olaf Brewing said the new beer also takes into account the eastern Finnish city of Savonlinna, the base of the brewery, located a few tens of kilometers from Finland’s border with Russia.
Savonlina is famous for the castle of St. Olaf, a medieval structure from 1475 that serves as the venue for the annual international opera festival.
“Our small hometown of Savonlina has always been on the border between East and West. Many battles have been fought in the area of the city and in the castle of St. Olaf, “said in a post on Twitter by the brewery.
Finland has a common border of 1,340 kilometers (830 miles) with Russia, the longest of all European Union members.
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