2/22/2013 11:00:00 AM

What in the Name of Beer is Going on at 5 Rabbit?


If the owners of Chicago-based 5 Rabbit Cerveceria give up on the beer business, they would make excellent subjects of a reality show. In January co-founder Andrés Araya sued co-founder Issac Showaki, claiming Showaki attempted to defame his co-founder by accusing him of misappropriated funds and engaged in an extramarital affair with a former intern. Said intern fired back with a lawsuit at Showaki for making a false accusation.

Rather than lose the brewery in a back-and-fourth legal battle, Showaki left the company yesterday after selling his share to Araya. "The only way for the company to survive was for one of us to go," Showaki told Crain’s. "I gave Andre the opportunity to buy me out or for me to buy him out."

According to a press release we received last night, Cesar Garza, a businessman and restaurateur from Monterrey, Mexico, will move to Chicago to act as commercial director of the brewery. He will be working with founder and CEO Andrés Araya, and creative director Randy Mosher. They have officially opened their brewery in Bedford Park at 6398 W. 74th Street and plan to have a taproom open in the next year to two years.

“Randy and I are so thrilled that Cesar has joined 5 Rabbit to further our mission to create and market innovative, exciting craft beers inspired by Latin culture and cuisine. Latin culture is rich and layered and we hope to recreate that spirit with our team and in our beers,” Araya said in the release. Let’s hope they all can just get along, for good beer’s sake.

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