Indiana craft beer industry pays attention to Trump tariffs
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – The operators of Indiana’s growing craft beer industry remain hopeful President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported aluminum won’t significantly impact their bottom lines.
Trump acted last week to impose a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum while allowing exemptions for Canada and Mexico.
The tariff will result in higher prices for the metal used in beer cans, but the increase might be as little as one cent per six-pack, said Mark Alstott, director of marking and business development for Mossberg & Co., a commercial printing company.
Mossberg receives shipments of millions of empty aluminum beer cans each year at its South Bend plant, where it places sleeve labels on each can. The operation has allowed Mossberg to branch into a new market serving mostly smaller craft brewers and other niche beverage producers nationwide, the South Bend Tribune reported .
“We want to help (craft brewers) walk out of the tap room and into the retail market,” Alstott said. “Canning allows them to grow their brand.”
Craft brewers generally prefer canning because it ensures freshness of the product, which isn’t exposed to light or air. Industry experts said consumers prefer cans in warmer months because they can be taken to more places without fear of breakage.
But brewers may have to consider bottling some beers if aluminum prices become too high to absorb, said Zach Blackwood, co-owner of Burn ‘Em Brewing.
“I’m just hoping the price increase will be minimal,” he said.
Alstott said it appears to be headed that way.
“I don’t think that it’s going to amount to much,” he said. “It’s not as doomsday as we were envisioning. We don’t see the wave crashing anytime soon.”