Minocqua Brewing Company permit to operate revoked

A temporary restraining order was filed on Tuesday, Aug. 1 by Bangstad and the Minocqua Brewing Company against Oneida County supervisors
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 10:28 PM CDT
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WOODRUFF, Wis. (WSAW) - After a years-long saga, the Minocqua Brewing Company learned its fate. Owner Kirk Bangstad’s administrative review permit that allows him to operate has been revoked. Last night, he filed a temporary restraining order against Oneida County in hopes that the hearing would get put on hold, but that didn’t stop the county.

While the decision to revoke his permit means Bangstad isn’t allowed to operate, he says that won’t stop him.

“I am open for business until somebody puts a padlock on my business. They had planned this ahead of time to revoke my permit to do business. This was a charade. This whole meeting was a charade,” said Bangstad.

Wednesday’s meeting was originally going to determine whether Bangstad’s conditional use permit, also called a CUP, would move forward so he could expand and build a beer garden. This would eliminate parking required in his original administrative review permit or ARP. Instead, it determined his underlying permit allowing him to operate.

Committee member Mike Timmons says that because of schedule conflicts on both ends, the meeting to vote on Bangstad’s CUP was scheduled for August 2. Not because they wanted to vote on one permit before the other.

“The rest of this came up because of the way he’s done business,” said Timmons, referring to his violations of the terms of his ARP. Last week, the hearing got cut short.

“They changed the rules just today to allow me to have 15 minutes to rebut, but I didn’t know that. So I had to recruit 8 people to help give my defense of my position,” said Bangstad.

This change came after Bangstad tried filing a temporary restraining order against the county yesterday. It was, however, denied by the judge this morning. This meant he was able to give his defense. Bangstad was not the only one who got to speak. There were people there who heavily supported him, some who were heavily against, and some who were in between.

“Thank you for using the term ‘apolitical’ today,” said a Lac du Flambeau citizen while speaking to the room during public comment.

“I’m a Republican. This gentleman is a Democrat, bless us. But there’s no room for the personal attacks,” said a Rhinelander citizen while speaking to the room during public comment.

After about two and a half hours of discussion, a decision on his ARP was made.

“I’ll be the best citizen you ever see,” said Bangstad to the committee. He was met with laughter.

“We can’t work with somebody that tells us one thing and does another,” said Timmons.

Committee Chairman Holewinski said that it’s not because of Bangstad’s political beliefs that they’re having this meeting.

“Bottom line is he’s violated and violated and violated. He’s been warned and warned and warned and warned,” said Holewinski.

“We’re going to fight this. We’re going to fight this in court and keep on fighting it up the ladder of the Oneida County chain of command,” said Bangstad.

During the second part of the hearing, after his ARP had been revoked, they discussed his CUP to build a beer garden. Even though his ARP had already been revoked, the committee tried compromising with Bangstad in some way. The chairman told Bangstad to come back with a different CUP that would better work with his property. The decision has been postponed until the next hearing on August 8th.