Steel and aluminum tariffs are impacting local breweries

Breweries are expecting the cost of beer to increase in the coming year.

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 5:01 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Craft breweries in the Pacific Northwest are feeling the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs put in by the White House in June.

Staff with Coldfire Brewery in Eugene said aluminum and steel are key ingredients to their product. With the tariff's in place, they're already feeling some impact from the steel cost. Their fermenters are U.S. made, but usually come from imported steel.

CEO Dan Hughes said it should be a while until customers experience a raise in the price of the final product, but he hopes that they will be receptive and understanding of the changes when they happen. He said it’s important to them as a craft brewery to provide the best in terms of ingredients and packaging materials, and he knows that’s what his customers want.

“Anybody who runs a business is concerned about the increased costs of their goods, because you, ultimately, on some level, can only insulate the consumer from so much, and eventually it has to be passed on,” Hughes said.

He said they're feeling less of an impact with aluminum, though they do expect that to increase over time along with the steel. There's only about an 8 percent increase for now as the U.S. manufacturers are keeping the prices at bay for the time being.

Hughes said he’s not expecting any noticeable changes to the pricing until 2019, because that's when the manufacturers here in the U.S. will feel more of the impact of these tariffs.

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