Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

AK Pacific extends banking to other towns

Alaska Pacific Bank will begin offering full-service banking in the communities of Hoonah and Yakutat in December. The announcement, made Aug. 30, coincided with KeyBanks announcement it would close its branches in Hoonah and Yakutat. Alaska Pacific Bank will provide former KeyBank customers with uninterrupted banking services and will retain the former KeyBank employees.

Alaska Pacific Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alaska Pacific Bancshares, currently operates three offices in Juneau, two in Ketchikan and one office each in Sitka and Wrangell.

GCI increases Internet capacity

GCI, Alaskas largest Internet service provider, announced Aug. 29 that it has increased its Internet connection capacity between Alaska and the Lower 48 by 50 percent.

Growth in the high-speed and dial-up markets in Alaska is booming, according to GCI. Surveys indicate that Alaskans use high-speed cable modem service at three times the national average, and the GCIs traditional dial-up services customer base has grown from 6,000 in February 1999 to more than 73,000 today.

Alaskan brewery releases new beer

Alaskan Brewing Co. has released a new seasonal beer, Alaskan Winter Ale, which is brewed with Sitka Spruce tips. Brewmaster Geoff Larson said spruce tips have been used in the brewing process in lieu of hops and in addition to hops for centuries. They have also been used for jelly and teas.

Marci Larson, public relations director for the company, said staff discovered Capt. James Cook used spruce tips in the beer he brewed during his trip through the Inside Passage. He expressed his affinity for spruce tips in the publications, "Sailors and Sauerkraut" and "Exploration of Capt. James Cook in the Pacific." Cook liked the flavor of the tips and they contained vitamin C, which Cook believed would help prevent ailments many of his sailors were prone to because fresh fruit and produce was scarce.

Whether he was the first to use the tips isn't known. Certainly, he wasn't the last.

"Homebrewers have used them (spruce tips) for years around here," Monroe said.

The copper-colored, full-bodied winter beer was designed to be served with holiday foods and in the winter season. The ale will be available in draft and on store shelves throughout the Pacific Northwest in October.

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