Under Duress, We're Opening a New Taproom in Madison

Under Duress, We're Opening a New Taproom in Madison

Hi Folks,

This week was a doozy.

Last Friday, the Minocqua Brewing Company included Oneida County in our federal lawsuit against the Town of Minocqua for political harassment. We did everything we could over the last three years to avoid what will probably be a very expensive, multi-year lawsuit involving now two local governments, but these guys simply refused to leave us alone and let us operate under the same rules that they applied to every other business around us.

Luckily, through the help of thousands of small donations from you, we raised the money to defend ourselves.

Here's a blog I wrote that goes into detail on why my team believes the county's offer of a "compromise" last month, which was the reason we didn't sue them initially, was merely empty political rhetoric intended to dilute the negative publicity they were getting statewide after trying to shut us down.

As a direct result of this local treachery that leaves our Minocqua tap room in a precarious situation, I signed a lease last Tuesday to open another tap room in a much more business-friendly city-- Madison, Wisconsin.

Our second space will be located right next to Trixies Liquor in Madison's ultra-progressive East Side.

Here's the story of what turned into a very busy August after Oneida County voted to revoke our permit to do business. 

I immediately started looking for a new location because there is now a real possibility that our largest source of revenue will be shut down within a few months. 

Focusing on Madison as our "safety-valve" city was a no-brainer because a) I've been spending a lot of time there due to all of our Super PAC's political activism, b) Madison is by far our largest market for #progressivebeer, and c) this city is a model for how local urban planning SHOULD work.

One of the first calls I made was to Chris Welch, the owner of Trixie's Liquor. Chris was an initial supporter of our cause-based #progressivebeer concept, and he resold a TON of our "Biden Beer" when we first launched it a few years ago.  

It turned out that Chris had recently closed down the space next door to him called "Growlers to Go-Go," which was a concept he started during Covid to provide customers with to-go draft beer. Since sheltering at home is largely behind us and buying to-go growlers has become less popular, he was happy to offer that space to us.

I took a look at the space and instantly fell in love. Not only is there green space in back that we can build into a beautiful beer garden with a stage for live music, but there's AMPLE parking in front where we can offer food truck options to our customers--basically everything that the Town of Minocqua won't let me do.

I'm hoping that opening this second location will stabilize the Minocqua Brewing Company after years of spending extraordinary time and money fighting to simply exist "Up North." That being said, I will NEVER abandon our beautiful refurbished gas station in Minocqua that we were able to get listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and I will fight as long as it takes to fully realize my vision for what that location can become.

Once I secured the new Madison space, I hired many of the same members of the team that built and designed our first tap room. They're currently drawing up plans and will hopefully be able to "break ground" in the coming weeks. Given our precarious situation in Minocqua, I want to open our doors as soon possible, but I also don't want to make any promises that we'll be open before the new year.

As with all new commercial projects, my team is telling me that construction on this new space won't be cheap, and unfortunately, being forced to open a second location because our town is hellbent on punishing us for being progressive wasn't exactly part of our budget this year.

While I have no trouble asking the public to fund lawsuits to overturn the parasitic private school voucher school system, or chipping in to help us defend ourselves from out-of-control, autocratic, right-wing town/county board members, I don't think it's appropriate to ask for donations to help build our new tap room.

So instead of asking for donations, my team and I have created ways for future customers to invest in this project by buying goods and services that can be used when we open.

Here's the list of what we came up with. Some offerings are pretty grandiose, but we had to get creative to raise the money we think it's going to take to get this new Tap Room off the ground.

Presale Mug Club Membership for 2024--$100 Buy Here
We plan to open our doors by January 2024, but if we finish construction earlier, you get benefits in 2023 as well. 

Membership includes:

  • $1 off all cans/pours at all times
  • $2 off can/pours on Mug Club Thursday and Mug Club Sunday
  • 10% off Merchandise
  • One free can/pour anytime during you birthday month

Presale Mug Club Membership for 2024 and Customized Founding Member, Minocqua Brewing Company Madison T-shirt: $200.  Buy Here

  • Get all the benefits of a yearly mug club membership plus a T-shirt with your name that says you helped bring us to Madison.

Permanent brass name plate on a chair: only 30 spots available: $1000--Buy Here

  • Your name will be forever remembered on a chair in our main space or in the beer garden.
  • Ask the person sitting in your seat nicely if they will move to let you sit in your chair and the bartender will buy them a beer for their troubles.
  • T-shirt with your name that says you helped bring us to Madison
  • Lifetime mug club membership
    • $1 off all pours/cans at all times (lifetime)
    • $2 off pours/cans on Mug Club Thursday and Mug Club Sunday (lifetime)
    • 10% off Merchandise (lifetime)
    • One free pour/can anytime during you birthday month (lifetime)

Fully-catered party including endless #Progressivebeer and Choice Wine, and a Dom Perignon Toast from Kirk:  $10,000

  • Bring up to 40 of your friends.
  • We’ll provide all the food and beer you can drink.
  • Kirk will toast to your health with a bit of song, some progressive words of encouragement, and of course a little Dom Perignon.
  • Lifetime mug club membership
  • T-shirt with your name that says you helped bring us to Madison

Email info@minocquabrewingcompany.com if interested

Your own Beer Label for the progressive cause of your choice. Only 4 available: $25,000 

  • We will collaborate with you to create a beer and can label for a progressive cause nearest and dearest to your heart.
  • We’ll make and can a small batch, and distribute to all the stores that currently carry our beer.
  • You can take as much product as you want.
  • Lifetime mug club membership
  • T-shirt with your name that says you helped bring us to Madison.

Email info@minocquabrewingcompany.com if interested

Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping assist our company as we bring a piece of it down to the much more friendly and progressive city of Madison. We hope to get this new tap room up and running as soon as possible so that we can once again focus more intently on the issues that really matter, like restoring pride in our state's public school system.

Kirk Bangstad
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC

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