Beer Industry

Finland brewery releases NATO-themed beer

Image: Olaf Brewing (handout)

Finland, along with their Nordic neighbors in Sweden, have recently made the bid for official NATO membership. To celebrate this news, the Olaf Brewing out of Savonlinna, Finland has brewed a special NATO-themed lager, dry-hopped with Cold War military tensions. No, seriously — the brewery's CEO says the beer has "a taste of security, with a hint of freedom." From the Associated Press:

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.

The company did a Twitter thread about the beer as well:

An independent nation is about to make an independent decision about its security. 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.

Hopefully battles will never ever take place again in our beautiful city. Anyway – historic times are present in our beers – and again we live in historic times. Olaf is always there to raise a toast to cooperation and to beautiful new friendships!

OTAN Beer is now available at the brewery shop and ready for deliveries to shops and restaurants. Contact: And yes – the pun is intended. OTAN Olutta in Finnish = I drink beer.

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