Tariffs could affect local craft brewers

Published: Mar. 5, 2018 at 2:32 PM CST
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As President Donald Trump continues his push to impose new tariffs some local business owners are trying to prevent those increased costs from happening.

A 10% increase on tariffs for aluminum may not seem like much, but it could have broad implications for someone like Brad Stillmank, owner of Stillmank Brewery in Green Bay.

“I'd say about 50-55% of our total production goes out the door in aluminum cans, so aluminum is a major component to our business,” said Stillmank.

Stillmank said when it comes to the cost of aluminum, a tariff like this could put a premium on what he pays.

“This one could be potentially major. The Brewers Association, our national group, has come out and said this could be as much as a 25% price increase on aluminum, and as somebody that uses as much aluminum as we do, that will be significant,” said Stillmank.

What makes it tricky for business owners is, they don't want the customer to see that price increase, so they do whatever it takes to make sure they don't.

Some lawmakers, including Governor Scott Walker, have put in their two cents. The governor tweeted on Monday: “The unintended consequences of the POTUS tariffs are enormous. They will hurt Wisconsin companies like Harley Davidson and many others. I'll ask him to reconsider."

For a company like Stillmank, it already pays a high premium for small quantities of aluminum. If the tariff goes through, Brad Stillmank said the brewery will adjust.