Thursday, February 13, 2014

Breaking News: Baranof Island Brewing Receives $350K Loan from City of Sitka

I received this press release yesterday, just a bit too late to make it into my regular blog.  However, it's such big news that I don't think it can wait a week:

Baranof Island Brewing Company Receives Major Economic Development Loan

February 12, 2014

Sitka, Alaska:  On February 11, 2014, Baranof Island Brewing Company was granted a $350,000 development loan by the Mayor and City Assembly of Sitka.  The loan was granted from The Southeast Alaska Economic Development Revolving Loan, also known as the Stevens Fund. 
This loan will allow the microbrewery to purchase a new grain mill and establish a beer-canning line. 

Baranof Island Brewing Company was founded in 2009 by Rick and Suzan Armstrong, in a garage 2 miles outside of downtown Sitka.  According to Mr. Armstrong, “Right now, our 310 gallon system is simply not large enough to meet the growing demand for craft beer from Sitka.”  Mr. Armstrong notes that demand for Baranof Island Brewing Company beer has been growing, and last summer, the company was only able to fill half the Alaska orders for its various styles.  “With growing Alaska demand and with our expansion into Washington State” Mr. Armstrong said, “this loan is crucial to help us scale up our production facilities.”

The Armstrong’s predict that new grain mill will increase current efficiency and will allow for 1,356 extra gallons of beer to be produced per month. New fermenting tanks will also be on the shopping list. These new tanks will allow the fermenting and conditioning process to occur in the same tank, reducing labor and cleaning costs.

The most important investment will be a canning line. Canning is gaining favor in the craft beer industry as an economical method to distribute beer while preserving flavor. Glass bottles are expensive to ship to Sitka empty and even more costly to ship out full. Aluminum cans will drastically lower shipping costs and will increase the shelf life of Baranof Island Brewery beers.

Baranof Island Brewing Company’s beers are available for sale throughout Alaska and in northern Washington State. The company currently produce six main unfiltered and unpasteurized American style ales, with an additional rotating list of seasonal ales. 
Contact:  Nick Feurey
(914) 656 7319 - cell

As I said, this is big news, especially about Baranof Island purchasing a canning line and joining the ranks of breweries in Alaska using that packaging.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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