The phone rings non-stop at the Olaf craft brewery in Savonlinna, eastern Finland.
Owner Petteri Vanttinen has been receiving calls from around the world since he took advantage of Finland’s application to join NATO and created a NATO-themed beer.
“There are about 200 phone calls a day from all over the world. I’m so glad! ”He tells Euronews, as he packs beer orders to ship to local supermarkets.
So far, Savonlinna has been best known for its imposing 15th-century castle and annual annual opera festival, but NATO beer in distinctive blue boxes puts the city on the map of zythophiles, ie beer connoisseurs.
“The idea came to me on Thursday or Friday last week, and on the weekend I decided to make the labels and, fortunately, I already had some unlabeled beer at our warehouse. The timing was good, ”says Vanttinen, who founded Olaf Brewing in 2016.
So far, they have delivered about 8,000 liters of beer to supermarkets, but starting next week they will partner with the two largest store chains in Finland and make it available in stores across the country.
“It’s flying off the shelves and there’s a lot of positive feedback. I think it must be because this spring has been turbulent and maybe this has given people something positive about this whole war, ”explains Vanttinen.
A popular beer
The name of the beer is a play on words between the Finnish phrase “Otan olutta”, which means “I will drink a beer”, and the French abbreviation for NATO, which is “NATO”.
“The knight on the label is a cartoon, it’s just to celebrate the fact that Finnish security is getting a little better, and the message is something that people really identify with,” said Petteri Vanttinen, 42.
Queues formed at the Olaf Brewing this week, with the Finns trying to get hold of beer cans, and customers even came from other cities, hundreds of miles away, to line up to buy a box.
It may come as no surprise that Finns consume about 74 liters of beer per person each year – a figure that represents about the same percentage of people who supported NATO’s application this week.
Finnish breweries are also no strangers to such “fireworks”. In July 2018, the Rock Paper Scissors Brewing Company in Kuopio launched a beer called “Let’s Settle This Like Adults” to coincide with the Donald Trump-Vladimir Summin summit in Helsinki at the time. .
And in November 2018, Tornion Panimo sent shipments of Peacemaker Arctic Pilsner beer, specially brewed, to the north of Norway, where tens of thousands of NATO members were participating in Operation Trident Juncture, in case the troops were exhausted. .
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