Why Now’s a Great Time to Be a Harley Owner & American Whiskey Drinker

by Jon D. B.

Shares are soaring for Harley-Davidson and American whiskey brands once again, bringing back the Age of the Outsider.

It’s been a rough couple of years across the board. The more time passes, the more we realize that every aspect of life has been impacted, too. Take some of America’s most iconic brands, for example: Harley-Davidson. Jack Daniels. Maker’s Mark. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These are brands that get us through these tough times, too. We’re in no way condoning drinking those Pandemic blues away, but hey – a dram and/or a country ride on the Harley never does anything but help. (So long as those two always stay separate, of course.)

Through crippling foreign blockades, these household names – and Outsider favorites – would take a nose-dive in profits over the last three years. The culprit? A European tariff. But it’s finally come to an end.

How such iconic American brands wound up suffering the brunt of a deal meant to help the U.S. economy is still baffling, but the numbers don’t lie. In former President Trump’s dispute with the European Union over steel and aluminum resources for the aircraft industry, many American whiskey makers would reportedly lose all foreign exporting abilities for European business. Bigger names, like JD’s Brown-Forman Corp., were able to survive with dents to profits. Smaller, home-grown brands, however, nearly sank.

It would’ve gotten worse, too. The tariffs sat at 25% – but were set to increase to an unbelievable 50%. But a whiskey-flavored rainbow appeared this weekend over Rome’s 2021 G-20 Summit as the US and EU decided to rupture the dispute – ending the tariffs altogether.

Let the Whiskey Flow and the Harleys Ride Once More, Outsiders

As a result, Harley-Davidson shares are up 7.1 percent Monday ($39.10), cites New York Post. As for ol’ Jack’s wallet? Brown-Forman rose 3.7 percent, ($70.41), as well. In short: if you’ve been thinking on making the leap from taster/rider to investor – now’s the time. Ride the train while she’s hot, boys.

 “Today’s news is a big win for Harley-Davidson and our customers, employees and dealers in Europe,” says Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz in the company’s Monday statement.

Echoing this is Distilled Spirits Council Chief Executive, Chris Swonger, adding: “With the removal of these EU tariffs, we are energized and ready to ramp up our American Whiskey promotions in the EU to re-introduce America’s native spirits to EU consumers and resume a great American export success story.”

To get a deeper sense of the impact these tariffs had, it’s important to know that American whiskey is the #1 largest export of any US spirit to Europe. That whole industry plummeted 37% down to $440 million over the last three years. Ouch.

Now, however, Jack Daniels, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, and every beloved American brewery in-between is set to make a comeback. And Harley-Davidson is set to ride that wave through, too. The world’s most famous motorcycle maker was hit hard by the European near-all-stop, too. But according to their numbers Monday, this Outsider favorite is expecting a $61 million loss. Moreover, the loss is down from the $64 million expected if the tariffs had continued.

It’s a step in the right direction, and a massive win.

So let the whiskey flow and the Harleys ride once more, Outsiders.