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Drink up: Part-owner of San Diego brewer files breach of contract suit

Just across the bay from downtown San Diego, sits Coronado Island. Perhaps most famous for Hotel del Coronado, it’s also known for its sparkling sandy beaches and gentle ocean breezes. The island is also known as the home of Coronado Brewing Company, a craft beer maker with a nationwide reach.

Less than a year ago, Coronado bought a majority stake in Monkey Paw Brewing. Coronado has just announced that it’s selling off the smaller outfit; news that follows the revelation that Monkey Paw’s founder, Scot Blair, filed a lawsuit against the company for breach of contract.

Blair is still a minority owner of Monkey Paw, a beer industry publication stated recently. He claims in his lawsuit filed in California Superior Court of San Diego County that the Paw owes him $33,534 (plus interest) as part of a promissory noted dated September 1 of last year.

According to court documents, Blair says he has gotten any of the monthly payments of $1,005.04 that were scheduled to start October 1.

Coronado CEO Brandon Richards says the litigation played no role in the decision to put Monkey Paw up for sale. He said that instead, the decision is part of the effort to refocus on Coronado’s slightly declining business. (Richards said Coronado’s distribution business is down 4 percent from a year ago.)

He said it simply made sense to focus on Coronado’s 40,000-barrel brewery over Monkey Paw’s 600-barrel output.

When Coronado bought Monkey Paw about nine months ago, Richards believed the smaller outfit could be scaled up to 4,000 barrels this year – growth that has not materialized.

Contact an experienced business law attorney to effectively resolve disputes that include breach of contract, as well as shareholder disputes, and disputes with lenders or between partners.