Story last updated at 2/19/2014 - 2:32 pm
The city and borough of Sitka is spending $350,000 on beer.
Last week, the city and borough assembly approved a $350,000 loan to the Baranof Island Brewing Company using funds from the Southeast Alaska Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund, also known as the Stevens Fund.
Borough officials said the loan fulfills the purpose of the Stevens Fund, which was created to encourage the economic diversification of Southeast Alaska.
In a statement, brewery owners Rick and Suzan Armstrong said the loan will be used to purchase a grain mill and establish a canning line.
The brewery expects to hire two new employees in order to use the new equipment.
Baranof Island Brewing Co. was founded in 2010 and has already received $352,080 in loans from the Stevens Fund. According to documents released by the Sitka borough, the brewery has used previous loans to increase its beer production from 992 gallons (in 2010) to a forecasted 2014 production of 37,975 gallons.
Under the terms of the loan, the brewery will be required to allow the Sitka Borough to inspect its financial records on a quarterly basis.
The brewery currently distributes beer in 22-ounce glass bottles and kegs, and the addition of a canned beer line will cut shipping costs, the company's statement read.
Baranof Brewing Co. products are distributed throughout Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. With increased production, the company expects to regularize distribution in Interior Alaska and Seattle.