By Sahid Fawaz
If you enjoy a good beer, the new tariffs might cost you more.
“When the CEO of Octopi Brewing gazes up at the enormous stack of aluminum beer cans in his Wisconsin brewery, Isaac Showaki sees potential for business growth.
But that stack is rapidly turning into an enormous headache thanks to aluminum tariffs.
‘We have all these big plans to invest or hire more people. But when we get these extra costs, we just can’t do it,’ said Showaki.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, intended to protect American producers, are raising prices for a swath of Wisconsin-made goods that use metal for product containers, from beer to green beans.
Octopi Brewing is one example of American manufacturers caught in the squeeze.
The brewery set up shop in Waunakee, Wis., three years ago. Riding the popularity of craft beer, it has grown into one of the largest craft breweries in the state with 32 employees.
But now, Octopi Brewing is struggling to adjust to increased operating costs after its U.S. supplier of aluminum cans hiked prices by 15 per cent, blaming the tariffs.
‘It’s terrible. It’s hitting our bottom-line … we probably could have hired almost two people full-time,’ Showaki said.
The company was able to absorb some increases, but this month, the brewery opted to pass the extra costs to customers.
That means American beer-drinkers will feel the pinch when they purchase their favourite Wisconsin-brewed six pack, paying 50 cents to a $1 extra, Showaki says.”
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