Madison-based Great Dane Brewing Company is encountering supply chain-related delays and higher costs as it gears up to open a new brewery in Japan next year.
That’s according to brewmaster Rob LoBreglio, who yesterday discussed the company’s plans for the new brew pub in the city of Sendai, located about two hours north of Tokyo. He spoke during a trade policy virtual luncheon hosted by WisBusiness.com, WisPolitics.com and the Wisconsin Technology Council.
“We started this process over eight years ago, and finally now after eight years we broke ground last month,” he said. “Going over next week, we’re going to have a groundbreaking ceremony and hopefully we will be open by late spring or summer.”
Other speakers representing Japanese firms with operations in Wisconsin touted the benefits of trade ties
Tech Council President Tom Still, who moderated yesterday’s discussion, noted Japan is Wisconsin’s largest foreign investor with about $2.4 billion in direct investment in the state since 2014. And a fact sheet provided by Still shows 58 Japanese companies operate in Wisconsin, with 80 facilities supporting 8,500 jobs.
But Frank Fan, head of biology for Promega Corporation, said “we can still do a lot better.” Still describes the biological testing products company as the “grandfather” of Wisconsin biotech, anchored by its operations in Fitchburg.
Fan expressed hope that U.S. companies will continue to expand relationships with Japan as well as other Asian nations including China. But he also touched on the “uncertainties around China,” referencing the potential for conflict around Taiwan and the severe technology supply issues that would follow.
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