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Beverage company sues Milwaukee Brewing Co. for allegedly supplying contaminated products

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Posted at 5:11 PM, Apr 15, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewing Company is being sued for more than $100,000 for allegedly supplying a beverage company with a massive amount of contaminated products. Milwaukee Brewing Company is denying those claims.

One of Wisconsin’s largest brewing companies based in Brew City is facing a federal civil lawsuit a month after it announced plans to sell its business.

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The complaint filed by Florida-based Kona Gold Beverage Inc. states the company entered into a supply agreement with Milwaukee Brewing Company last year to have them make a low calorie lemonade drink called ‘Ooh La Lemin’ in Milwaukee.

But when the finished product, including more than 123,000 cans, arrived at Kona Gold’s facility, the lawsuit says the company "immediately noticed an issue with the taste."

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Kona Gold says it contacted Milwaukee Brewing Company and ''it was determined that the product was contaminated by yeast via the filling stations at the Milwaukee Brewing facilities,” the lawsuit states. Kona Gold alleges "Milwaukee Brewing never disputed that the contamination occurred at a Milwaukee Brewing facility."

Kona Gold sent Milwaukee Brewing a bill for more than $97,000 for damages last fall as outlined in their business contract, but "In multiple instances, Milwaukee Brewing claimed that it was awaiting word from its insurance carrier as to coverage for the contaminated Product,” the complaint states.

Kona Gold allegedly made one last effort two months ago to demand payment from Milwaukee Brewing Company to no avail.

Milwaukee Brewing Company’s attorney provided TMJ4 News with a statement that reads in part, “there is a dispute over a flavor variance of one of their products. Milwaukee Brewing disputes this flavor variance was caused by yeast contamination."

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Milwaukee Brewing Company says this issue is completely unrelated to its decision to publicly announce its business is up for sale. Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Margaret Naczek has been covering Milwaukee Brewing Company’s efforts to find new ownership.

When asked if Milwaukee Brewing Company has explained why it’s up for sale, Naczek replied, “No, the easy answer is no. There are certainly speculations, but Milwaukee Brewing Company has not disclosed more information other than they have been doing this."

Naczek says Milwaukee Brewing Company is coming off two years of growth and expansion of its brewing equipment and product line. She reports the operation is considered a ‘turn-key investment’ for a new buyer to take over.

“This could very easily mean that Milwaukee Brewing name is not going away in Milwaukee,” she said. “I think that's the biggest thing the viewers would be concerned about.”

Milwaukee Brewing Company says this lawsuit should have no effect on the sale of the company and that it anticipates this claim will be resolved shortly.

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