Finland brewery launches NATO beer with ‘taste of security’

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. alliance / əˈlaɪ əns / (n.) – a union between nations, groups, or organizations formed to achieve a certain goal

    The United States and South Korean forces formed an alliance during the Korean War.

  2. lager / ˈlɑ gər / (n.) – a light-colored beer that contains a lot of bubbles

    Lager is my favorite kind of beer.

  3. medieval / mɪdˈi vəl / (adj.) – relating to the Middle Ages, or the period between the 5th and 15th centuries

    Many castles were built in medieval Europe.

  4. emblazon / ɛmˈbleɪ zən / (v.) – to write or print something on the surface so it can be seen clearly

    The school’s logo is emblazoned on our uniforms.

  5. ad hoc / æd hɒk / (adj.) – created or done for a particular purpose or task

    We’re forming an ad hoc committee to organize the company event.


Read the text below.

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. Olaf’s 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.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Olaf Brewing launched the new beer product to mark Finland’s bid to join the Western military alliance. In your opinion, is it appropriate for a business to be vocal about its political stand? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • As a consumer, would you support a business whose political position is different from yours? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think launching themed products is an effective way to increase a business’s sales? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What themed product in your country has become successful? Why do you think it has become successful? Discuss.