BREAKING: Oneida committee voted to shut down Minocqua Brewing Company
But delayed making a decision on his beer garden request?
An Oneida County committee Tuesday, following some confusion, voted to revoke the permit that allows Minocqua Brewing Company to operate, effectively shutting the business down.
The decision came after hours of testimony that included many supporters and some detractors of the Minocqua Brewing Company, and plenty of back and forth between the committee’s chair and the brewery’s owner.
The day began with Bangstad organizing supporters for a Facebook live event/protest in which supporters read the speech Bangstad had scripted for the previous meeting, which ended abruptly in chaos before any decision could be reached. That was so it could be put on the record in case he wasn’t allowed to speak, Bangstad explained.
He also introduced his new attorney who, he said, would be taking his case to a federal district court in Madison.
In the previous meeting, Bangstad ignored the acting committee chair’s admonitions to stay on topic, continuing his speech more loudly until ultimately the meeting was shut down.
But on Wednesday, the speech was heard as people read in order his speech in the 3 minutes each speaker was allowed, along with support for the brewery and its progressive viewpoints.
Speakers also included some detractors, who railed against Kirk’s violations of the permit rules.
Bangstad himself on Wednesday admitted to violating the rules but said they were grey areas, and that he didn’t think serving customers on his connected patio constituted true outdoor sales. He said he did what he had to do because the county held up approval of the permit that would allow his outdoor beer garden, and he needed to make up money to cover his expenses while the committee decided.
Confusion arose when the chair of the committee, Scott Holewinski, moved to suspend the permit versus revoking it. Someone explained that if he wanted to suspend the permit, it would be appropriate for him to provide guidelines on what Minocqua Brewing Company and its owner would need to do in order to comply, and would need to set a date by which those conditions would need to be complied with.
After arguing that he had originally voted to revoke the permit, Holewinski made that motion, and the committee voted to revoke the permit.
After a 10 minute break, the committee reviewed the beer garden permit request for Minocqua Brewing Company, despite the fact that the brewery’s licenses was revoked at that point.
Oneida County Zoning Department Director Karl Jennrich read additional violations that occurred since the July 26 meeting.
Holwinski told Bangstad that nothing about the decision was political, and that Bangstad said he was talking in circles and blaming others for his problems. Holewinski told the committee he was adjourning the meeting without a decision after the county attorney advised him to lay out the reasons why they committee was denying the application - presumably because of Bangstad’s threats to sue the county in federal district court.
That was at 5 pm, some four hours after the meeting started.