The news surrounding the sales and transactions of craft breweries seems to keep getting stranger with each passing month. Coronado Brewing Company, which recently acquired a small nearby fellow San Diego brewery has announced that they are now selling it.
Coronado Brewing acquired a majority stake in Monkey Paw Brewing less than a year ago. But shortly after Monkey Paw founder Scot Blair filed a lawsuit against Monkey Paw for breach of contract, Coronado put out a press release stating that they have listed the brewery for sale “to refocus on its core business objectives.”
Blair is still a minority stakeholder but reportedly left the company in January. The suit claims that Monkey Paw has not paid him over $30,000 that was owed him as part of the acquisition.
“This decision allows us to refocus on all the exciting plans that we have for Coronado,” says Brandon Richards, CEO, Coronado Brewing Company. Coronado, a 40,000 bbl brewery purchased a majority share of the 600 bbl Monkey Paw last year. With the acceleration of intense competition in the craft beer space and over 180 breweries in San Diego county alone, it is getting harder to maintain and sustain even popular sought after brands. “While we were excited about the potential of Monkey Paw, the decision to sell came from the need to refocus our energy toward Coronado Brewing,” Said Richards.
This sudden turn to re-focus on a core brand may send a signal to other craft brewers looking to acquire fledging counterparts that this may not be the best time to expand.