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Wisconsin zoning board orders pro-Democrat brewery to close; owner claims it’s political payback

A Wisconsin zoning committee has revoked Minocqua Brewing Company's permit on Wednesday, with owner Kirk Bangstad claiming the move is retaliation for his open support of Democrats.

A zoning committee has ordered a northern Wisconsin brewery that has supported Democratic political figures to close its doors.

The Oneida County committee revoked Minocqua Brewing Company’s permit on Wednesday, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. The committee members said owner Kirk Bangstad violated prohibitions on outdoor sales.

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Bangstad told the committee he has allowed people to sit outside the establishment but insists he’s really just being punished for his liberal views.

Bangstad ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2015 and for State Assembly in 2020. Among the beers the brewery offers are Evers Ale, named for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, and Tammy Shandy, in honor of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

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Bangstad also runs the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, which has purchased billboard ads attacking Republicans and raised more than $1 million during the 2022 campaign cycle, federal campaign finance data on OpenSecrets.org showed.

The zoning committee’s chairperson, Scott Holewinski, told Bangstad during Wednesday’s meeting the committee has treated him fairly and that there was “nothing political” between the two of them.

“You keep (saying) we’re after you because you’re a liberal, because you’re a Democrat,” Holewinski said. “You make this all up against us.”

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