Swimming Upstream While Trying to Hold Hands

Swimming Upstream While Trying to Hold Hands

“When you meet a real one you realize you were never asking for too much - you were just asking for the right person to come into your life and be willing to stay forever with Ambitious.”― Shaneika Marie
As the four seasons prescribe, and as the pleasure of music re-enforces, we all live our lives by a certain cadence.
Work hard. Rest.
Those two inertial elements are generally the primary beats of our song--at least for those of us who, like me, grew up in middle-class Wisconsin. But if you only emphasize 1 and 3, your aria ain’t gonna be that interesting. It’s those off-beats that get us onto the dance floor…
…Being lost, falling in love, wondering if there’s a heaven beyond the sunset, creating art, building something with your hands, cheating, lying, feeling remorse, making things right, accidentally falling out of a tree stand, seeing someone you’ve lost in the eyes of an eagle, and gently crying while taking stock of life’s memories--both the good ones and bad….
At the end of the dance, it’s time to go home—whether that’s walking through the pearly gates or simply finding that elusive, philosophical, peaceful state-of-mind.
The cadence of the Minocqua Brewing Company is no different. 

After serving ~11K customers this summer, being “shut down” a few times, organizing a few rallies to protest being shut down, stubbornly shutting down a “rigged” county board meeting, being given the finger at least once a day by truck-driving Neanderthals, and swatting away social media trolls every waking hour of the day, I’ve started feeling that inevitable soul-weariness that tells me it’s time to take my foot off the gas pedal.
This October, I’m going to do my best to hibernate a bit, but that wouldn’t be possible without all the wonderful people in my life that will keep the progressive ball rolling.
This week’s missive is my thanks to all of them as I tell the rest of the world that the dog is probably going to eat my newsletter for the next few weeks.
First and foremost, thanks to my team at the taproom and my beer distributor, whose work this summer will keep the lights on this winter for the whole company: Kristin, Chelsea, Dawn, Ron “the “most interesting man in the world,” and of course Emanuel, the “Beer Sherpa with a Million Dollar Smile.”
Next, my graphic designer Tony, whose art is the FACE of this company. In #progressivebeer land, he’s the Elton John to my Bernie Taupin.
My brewers, winemakers, coffee roasters, cherry soda creators, and snarky t-shirt makers—without whom I would be merely an aging white dude shaking his fist at the sky: Tim, Scott, Matt, Jim, Tom, and Mike.
All of my lawyers (you’ll love this, because how ridiculous does one’s life have to be to have this many lawyers?!)…Collin, Fred, Brian, Greg, Tim, Rich, Julie.
This team, in many amalgamations, are:
-Suing the Town of Minocqua and Oneida County for Political Harassment
-Defending me from a crazy defamation lawsuit that’s been languishing in the courts for two years. This Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit is the first in Wisconsin history where a newspaper (the widely-panned Lakeland Times) has sued a private individual to suppress his speech--because, you know, real newspapers would see the irony in that and not do it.
-Preparing a lawsuit to overturn the parasitic voucher school system in Wisconsin.
-Making sure I don’t run afoul of all the laws created to make it hard to sell beer. This constant and annoyingly large amount of red tape may have, in normal times, turned me into a Republican--if the Republicans weren’t currently part of a nihilistic cult of personality, of course.
Next, I must thank my building team, many of whom helped put our Minocqua Tap Room on the National Register of Historic Places. This group has recently expanded now that we are designing a new Madison Tap Room: Chris, Ken, Gretchen, John, Jeff, Jennie, and Tony.
I also must mention the folks working hard for/with the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC. This list includes political advisors, radio personalities, video editors, and those who generally grease the skids: Thad, Patti, Pat, Jerry, Tim, and Brian.
I've just listed over 30 people. Most of these folks found me because they saw, through our company’s mission, a way to “do something” to stop their once-beautiful state and country from becoming further disfigured by cynical, traitorous, power-hungry profiteers.
Why haven’t I given you their last names?
While these folks are generally stronger than most of the people I’ve met in my life, I doubt many would want to be downstream of all the horse puckey channeled my way on a regular basis. Best let these superstars stay relatively incognito so they can do what they do best without having to waste time washing off political filth.

I’d call these people my team, but we’re all just swimming upstream while trying to hold hands--a group of fighters tethered together by the bonds of patriotism (and a few paychecks of course). Along the way, we saw enough good in each other’s eyes to build the level of trust that it takes to do big things.
Thanks to you, my fellow swimmers, and thanks to all of you who care enough to stick your necks out for the common good and to fight for all of us that can't afford yachts. Together, there is no doubt in my mind that we will stabilize Wisconsin, one of the rockiest ships in our 50 vessel armada. 

It’s just probably gonna take a few more beers.
Take care and we’ll see you after a few revolutions of the moon.
Kirk  Bangstad
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC

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