Lawsuit Over Bacterial Infection in Spiked Agave Cold Brew
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After Failed Pabst Brewing Company Deal, Lawsuit Filed Over Bacterial Infection In Thousands of Spiked Agave Cold Brew Drinks

Spiked Agave Cold Brew

A $20 million lawsuit alleges that a bacterial infection found inside spiked agave cold brew drinks destroyed a deal with Pabst Brewing Company. (Photo: Cafe Agave)

Alcoholic coffee producer Cafe Agave has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Missouri’s Crown Valley Winery over an alleged bacterial infection that forced them to destroy thousands of their beverages and pull out of a lucrative deal.

According to the suit, Cafe Agave contracted the winery to can their line of Spiked Cold Brew beverages, ingredients of which included cold brew, agave sweetener, an alcoholic cream base and grape wine.

Throughout 2018, Crown Valley bottled the drinks at their winery. Over time, however, Crown Valley allegedly became aware of a spoiled yeast bacterial infection known as Zygosaccharomyces bailli that rendered the beverages inconsumable.

The suit alleges that Crown Valley failed to notify Cafe Agave and continued to can the beverages for around a month.

At the time, Cafe Agave happened to be working out a 15-year distribution agreement with alcohol giant Pabst Brewing Company. The deal was contingent on Cafe Agave’s ability to distribute spiked cold brew across the country by the end of 2018.

As a result of the alleged infection, Cafe Agave was forced to renege from the agreement.

“Ultimately, and despite Cafe Agave’s hope that the alcohol in the Vanilla Cinnamon, Mocha Wine Specialty and Espresso Wine flavors would eventually eliminate the contamination, all flavors coagulated and became unsaleable, and Cafe Agave was left with no option other than to destroy all 14,294 cases of its Spiked Cold Brew beverages,” says the suit.

Though Cafe Agave wasn’t able to pull off the distribution deal, their products are still available across the United States (minus the bacteria).

We reviewed their Spiked Cold Brew Caffe Mocha back in October with mixed results; the flavor combination of white wine, cold brew and agave sweetener is an acquired taste, to say the very least.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.