Minocqua Brewery meeting ends in mayhem

Tempers flare over permit to serve beer on the patio in the Northwoods
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MINOCQUA, Wis. (WBAY) - Chaos erupted during a meeting Wednesday afternoon as Oneida County considered revoking a permit for the Minocqua Brewing Company to stay open. The two sides have battled over zoning requirements and other issues for the past several years but the owner claimed it’s selective enforcement because of his progressive politics in a deep red area of the state.

The meeting was called to potentially revoke a business permit for the Minocqua Brewing Company based on numerous violations like customers being served outside without proper approval from the county.

However, no decision was made after a shouting match erupted.

Known as a gathering spot for progressive politics, the Minocqua Brewing Company is now fighting to stay open as its owner Kirk Bangstad went before the county to respond to violations he maintained are politically motivated and selectively enforced.

“If they all vote no to giving me six parking exemptions to build a beer garden but they said yes to another brewery a mile away and give them 30 parking exemptions, they said yes to a bar two blocks away with 47 exemptions, they know they’ve opened themselves up to a lawsuit,” said Kirk Bangstad, owner of the Minocqua Brewing Company.

However, as Bangstad attempted to speak, he was accused of going off-topic which led to a back-and-forth shouting match, and eventually, chaos ensued.

“At this time, I’m adjourning this meeting. We’re done for the day. The meeting is over,” remarked the Oneida County Supervisor.

“I just want to be treated fairly and not being able to speak in public when there’s a hearing that shut my business down I believe is not really fair,” Bangstad said.

Once the meeting was called off, we attempted to ask county supervisors about Bangstad’s allegations.

However, an Oneida County supervisor simply said: “I don’t have any comment right now, please.”

Confronted by our reporter asking “He’s saying it’s selective government, is it? Is it?” Karl Jennrich, Oneida County Zoning, responded, “I have no comment. I mean I have no comment.”

Those holding the meeting also couldn’t say when it would resume.