Those in the growing craft beer business are keeping their fingers crossed that the 10 percent tariff imposed on imported aluminum won’t have too detrimental an effect on their bottom line.
Though a lot of concern was expressed regarding the tariff, it turns out the increase in aluminum prices might be as little as one cent per six pack, said Mark Alstott, director of marketing and business development for Mossberg & Co. in South Bend.
That estimate is from Mossberg’s supplier, which ships millions of empty aluminum beer cans each year to the South Bend plant at 4100 Technology Drive. There, Mossberg places sleeve labels on each can and then uses heat to get them to tightly wrap the can.
From South Bend, the finished cans are picked up or shipped to beverage producers across the country where they are filled with beer, wine or other beverages and then sent off to retail stores.
The operation has allowed Mossberg to use its printing expertise to branch into a new market serving largely smaller craft brewers and other niche beverage producers across the country.
In just under three years, the family-owned company has built up the business to the point that it’s helping to support about 20 jobs and generating about 2 percent of the Mossberg’s total revenues. From 2.5 million cans in 2015, the company is hoping to reach 10 million by the end of this year.
“We want to help them walk out of the tap room and into the retail market,” said Alstott of the craft brewers the company serves. “Canning allows them to grow their brand.”