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Contract disputes disrupt craft beer business

Entering contracts may be an essential part of doing business, but a breach of contract can destroy what had been a promising relationship between Missouri business owners. One contract dispute in the beer industry is currently drawing attention after craft brewery Monkey Paw was put back on the market in May. This comes less than one year after larger beer manufacturer Coronado had purchased a majority stake in the brewery, pledging to expand its offerings and distribution.

The action to put its interest on the market comes less than one month after a brewery founder filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the business. He alleges that he was promised a payment of more than $1,000 each month beginning in October 2017 according to a promissory note from the company signed in September of that year. However, he alleges that he never received any of the payments. He resigned as an adviser to the company in January 2018 and filed suit, seeking $33,534 in damages as well as interest. The plaintiff in the contract dispute is still a minority owner in the brewing company.

The larger brewery company argued that its decision to sell Monkey Paw did not come from the lawsuit. Instead, they said that Coronado had faced difficulties in marketing the brand and had seen year-to-year losses in terms of sales and distribution. The company said that it may sell the brand name and the company's equipment and property separately.

While the brewing venture had seemed positive for both parties, the contract disputes that emerged may have permanently soured the relationship. Whether selling a business or building a home, the details of a contract can be critical to a project's success. A business and commercial lawyer may help their clients to negotiate and review contracts in advance and to take action in case of a breach.

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