Beer and Loathing in Minocqua

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post in this style because “leftists at craft breweries” is not exactly a shocking new development, and I’m generally able to shrug these things off. When it’s all you see, you sort of get used to it.

That said, @dnewlander brought this one to my attention a couple of days ago, and this one did hit me hard. If I had to guess why, it’s because I actually know this place and therefore it hits closer to home for me. And so like a song that won’t get out of your head, I’m writing a post. If it doesn’t get it out of my head I can at least share the misery.

Take a look at this masterpiece of jackassery:

Before I start, for those of you who aren’t familiar which I expect is most of you, Minocqua is a tourist haven/summer house destination for FIBs* in northern Wisconsin.

Here’s a bit from their website:

Located in Minocqua Wisconsin, MBC started making #progressivebeer after closing our brewpub because Donald Trump played politics with Covid-19 and Mitch McConnell let restaurants twist in the wind.

Yes, because they were the only ones, it was just all the Democrats doing it were doing things you liked, so it wasn’t “politics”.

All right, let’s break it down.

“We’re already annoyed by all the kvetching about gas prices.”

I don’t know how long they’ve been in operation, but I lived in the area for more than half my life and it’s been a pretty constant theme the whole time. Not only that, it’s a big empty area on the map. You’re gonna have to worry about it if you want to get anywhere.

“If you’re gonna regurgitate Fox News and blame your president for making gas prices high, do it with a little flair!”

I’ve watched about half an hour of Fox News over the past couple of years. I don’t need them to tell me that gas prices have gone crazy. I can see it.

“We suggest listening to Mozart. Copy the way he composed variations on a theme instead of playing the same worn-out melody over and over.”

You lead with a Fox News hit and you’re complaining about worn-out themes? Mr. Pot, have you met Mr. Kettle?

“Stop snowmobiling altogether and go cross-country skiing instead.”

Well, the good news is if I’m going to do that I’ve got a lot more options available to me. I might not even have to go to Minocqua.

“Once you’ve given up motorsports, you won’t need a gas-guzzling truck to haul your machines around anymore.

I think this is what really got me. You’re in a place where people drive trucks for actual use and yet you still mock them.

“Get an electric Subaru to carry your skis.”

Not content with being smug jerks, you have to be stereotypical too? Maybe when I have confidence that the battery won’t die in -30 degree weather, then I’ll think about it. Or when there are actually enough people to support a charging station. Or when I’m not worried about the vehicle range allowing me to actually get anywhere.

“If you insist on the truck, take the Trump flag down…it shows the world you’ve got “low mileage” in other “performance” categories as well.j

What was that about “variations on a theme” again?

“After you’ve saved all that money on gas, treat yourself to a relatively inexpensive can of Kamala stout. It’ll get you almost as buzzed as three cans of Bud Light.”

Point 1: If you had been bold enough to tell me that it’s what she has before she has any speaking to do, I’d be convinced of its effectiveness.

Point 2: They got a four-pack at $14.99. I see Bud Light at $19.99 for a 30-rack. Since the Kamala stout is in a pint can, three of them is equal to four 12-oz. Bud Lights. By my reckoning, it looks like I can get slightly over 16 cans of Bud Light for the same price.

Cheers to economizing in the Northwoods this weekend!

Well, you convinced me. I guess I’ll stay home and have a Bud Light or three.

*If you know, you know.

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I find usefulness in the “Fox News” references.  It’s an early warning  “stop reading now” sign that one is dealing with an un-thinking ideologue.  I haven’t watched Fox in a month but I don’t get cheaper gas for it.

    • #1
  2. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I find usefulness in the “Fox News” references. It’s an early warning “stop reading now” sign that one is dealing with an un-thinking ideologue. I haven’t watched Fox in a month but I don’t get cheaper gas for it.

    I’d say don’t give them ideas but I would also guess it’s something they thought about.

    • #2
  3. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    We did a couple of family (on Mrs. Tim’s side) vacations in Door County and loved it.   Struck me as somewhat of a “poor man’s Martha’s Vineyard.”  Nice people and beautiful scenery.  Sorry to hear the populace is commie-lite (assuming Door County is like Minocqua, which I’d bet it is).

    • #3
  4. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    I don’t know what “FIBs” means.  But I am sure that I don’t like these brewers.  Smug idiots.  Probably wouldn’t like FIBs either from the sounds of it… 

    • #4
  5. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Some Call Me …Tim (View Comment):

    We did a couple of family (on Mrs. Tim’s side) vacations in Door County and loved it. Struck me as somewhat of a “poor man’s Martha’s Vineyard.”

    You and all the travel writers. I know they mean well but it still kinda irritates me.

    Nice people and beautiful scenery. Sorry to hear the populace is commie-lite (assuming Door County is like Minocqua, which I’d bet it is).

    I don’t know. Northern WI in general is one of the places abandoned by Democrats and thus willing to take a chance on Trump, then becoming active supporters. I believe Oneida County where Minocqua is is fairly conservative in general but overall the tourists and summer vacationers tend to have an effect on it.

    • #5
  6. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Pulled this from the “about us” section.

    Kirk Bangstad and his late wife,  Elizabeth Smith, purchased the business in early 2016 from the Dan and Laurie White family who ran the business for just over 10 years. The historic 1929 Free Mason’s building was renovated from to a school, library and then a church before transforming to a restaurant and Brewery in the early 2000’s.

    New owners. Now I see what’s up.

    After the coronavirus shut down all restaurants in March, 2020, and the Trump administration failed to have a national plan to slow down contagion and the restaurant industry suffered unnecessarily by having to limiting capacity longer than necessary, Bangstad aired his frustrations by hanging  a huge “Joe Biden for President” sign on his wall after having to lay off his entire restaurant staff.

    I mean, I guess I’d just fight to remain open but I guess he had different ideas.

    That stance alienated many conservatives in his area but endeared him to progressives around the country, leading him to decide to sell #ProgressiveBeer. 

    Like I say, these are not “conservatives” in the traditional sense, but then again, his attitude is why they are now.

    His first two efforts, Biden Beer (Inoffensive and not Bitter)

    So we’re back to the Bud Light now I take it.

    and Inauguration Day Beer (A Peaceful Transition of Flavor), sold out before they were even made. 

    I don’t know what that means but I’m don’t think I trust it.

    Bangstad sold his building to hedge against Covid and is currently focused on selling #ProgressiveBeer nationwide.  

    By which I take it he made too many people mad in the local area and has to find customers elsewhere.

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Why drive that far for pretentious swill when there is plenty of pretentious swill in Illinois? Some dump in the woods filled with heavily-tattooed, barrel-chested, tobacco-chewing Packer fans? And they’re the bar maids.

    • #7
  8. Adios Muchacho Member
    Adios Muchacho
    @OldDanRhody

    From their blog:

    The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC is trying to remove U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Reps Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald from the 2022 ballot with a lawsuit claiming they aided and abetted the January 6th insurrection. 

    Besides this lawsuit, there’s a lot of money being spent in Wisconsin in an effort to defeat Senator Johnson’s bid for reelection this Fall.  The mailers we’ve been getting weekly in this effort have been sent by a group calling themselves Wisconsin Progress.

    • #8
  9. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Nohaaj (View Comment):
    *If you know, you know.

    I believe it means “F**ing Illinois Bastards.”  As a former Chicago suburbanite, I think I am one.

    • #9
  10. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    When I first read this thing in the PIT the other night, I thought it was satire. You can’t even parody these people anymore. Great rejoinders to their idiocy there, Matt.

    • #10
  11. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    When I first read this thing in the PIT the other night, I thought it was satire.

    Yeah.

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw:

    “If you insist on the truck, take the Trump flag down…it shows the world you’ve got “low mileage” in other “performance” categories as well.

    That’s how far I got before deciding it wasn’t. Satire has an obligation to be funny.

    • #11
  12. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Percival (View Comment):

    Why drive that far for pretentious swill when there is plenty of pretentious swill in Illinois? Some dump in the woods filled with heavily-tattooed, barrel-chested, tobacco-chewing Packer fans? And they’re the bar maids.

    I may be wrong but I get the feeling this is a guy is a transplant who couldn’t find his way out and ended up with a brewery because he had to do something. 

    • #12
  13. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    When I first read this thing in the PIT the other night, I thought it was satire.

    Yeah.

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw:

    “If you insist on the truck, take the Trump flag down…it shows the world you’ve got “low mileage” in other “performance” categories as well.

    That’s how far I got before deciding it wasn’t. Satire has an obligation to be funny.

    The ‘get a Subaru’ bit is the part that had me wondering. If he had gone straight to an Outback as the model of choice it’d be even more difficult. 

    • #13
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Contempt for your customers is always a winning business strategy. . .

    Look who’s “low mileage” in other “performance” categories now. Idiots.

    • #14
  15. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw: can of Kamala stout.

    I can understand blaming Donald Trump for shutting your business down, I can understand voting for Joe Biden and going all in on selling to the hard left. I can’t understand anyone being that excited about Kamala Harris. 

    • #15
  16. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw: can of Kamala stout.

    I can understand blaming Donald Trump for shutting your business down, I can understand voting for Joe Biden and going all in on selling to the hard left. I can’t understand anyone being that excited about Kamala Harris.

    To be fair, his description of the Biden beer brings to mind Bud Light, so let’s see what they say about the Kamala beer.

    “a strong vice presidential stout”.

    Well that tells me nothing and everything. 

    • #16
  17. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw: can of Kamala stout.

    I can understand blaming Donald Trump for shutting your business down, I can understand voting for Joe Biden and going all in on selling to the hard left. I can’t understand anyone being that excited about Kamala Harris.

    To be fair, his description of the Biden beer brings to mind Bud Light, so let’s see what they say about the Kamala beer.

    “a strong vice presidential stout”.

    Well that tells me nothing and everything.

    Since this was a duplicate I’ll just say even they can’t find much to say about her.

    • #17
  18. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    Adios Muchacho (View Comment):

    From their blog:

    The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC is trying to remove U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Reps Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald from the 2022 ballot with a lawsuit claiming they aided and abetted the January 6th insurrection.

    Besides this lawsuit, there’s a lot of money being spent in Wisconsin in an effort to defeat Senator Johnson’s bid for reelection this Fall. The mailers we’ve been getting weekly in this effort have been sent by a group calling themselves Wisconsin Progress.

    You know, the way they put names and faces on their beer cans is illegal under Wisconsin law. People have the right of personality, which is effectively a copyright on their names and faces, as long as they’re alive. That covers everyone on his cans with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders. 

    This isn’t the kind of thing we could sue them over though because we lack standing.

    • #18
  19. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    When I first read this thing in the PIT the other night, I thought it was satire. You can’t even parody these people anymore. Great rejoinders to their idiocy there, Matt.

    Yeah, I thought it had to be satire too.

    • #19
  20. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    When I first read this thing in the PIT the other night, I thought it was satire. You can’t even parody these people anymore. Great rejoinders to their idiocy there, Matt.

    Double post.

    • #20
  21. Sam Rhody The Insane Member
    Sam Rhody The Insane
    @SamRhody

    I find it funny how Trump gets blamed when it was Evers that kept things locked down until the courts got involved. 

    • #21
  22. Sam Rhody The Insane Member
    Sam Rhody The Insane
    @SamRhody

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    I find it funny how Trump gets blamed when it was Evers that kept things locked down until the courts got involved.

    Note: it was the mask mandate that got struck down by the court as far as I remember. 

    • #22
  23. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    I find it funny how Trump gets blamed when it was Evers that kept things locked down until the courts got involved.

    Note: it was the mask mandate that got struck down by the court as far as I remember.

    I seem to recall it being more excessive than that, at least I remember reading an article begging Wisconsinites to take it easy at the bars because of the ‘rona.

    • #23
  24. Sam Rhody The Insane Member
    Sam Rhody The Insane
    @SamRhody

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    I find it funny how Trump gets blamed when it was Evers that kept things locked down until the courts got involved.

    Note: it was the mask mandate that got struck down by the court as far as I remember.

    I seem to recall it being more excessive than that, at least I remember reading an article begging Wisconsinites to take it easy at the bars because of the ‘rona.

    I’m sure it was, I just had do deal with those bloody masks for a year at work.   

    • #24
  25. Sam Rhody The Insane Member
    Sam Rhody The Insane
    @SamRhody

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    Sam Rhody The Insane (View Comment):

    I find it funny how Trump gets blamed when it was Evers that kept things locked down until the courts got involved.

    Note: it was the mask mandate that got struck down by the court as far as I remember.

    I seem to recall it being more excessive than that, at least I remember reading an article begging Wisconsinites to take it easy at the bars because of the ‘rona.

    I’m sure it was, I just had do deal with those bloody masks for a year at work.

    I can’t remember the dates off the top of my head, but it got longer as a company policy.  They didn’t relax it until one of the guys threatened legal action. 

    • #25
  26. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    I’m always surprised by this.  So many small brewers are leftist dolts, including, I am sorry to say, my own eldest son.  He was crippled by the WuFlu regulations in 2020-2021 and yet thinks his Pacific Northwest governor is the cat’s meow.  These are people who work 12 hour days, 8 days a week, for years to get their dreams off the ground.  They should all be Reaganites.

    • #26
  27. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    I’m always surprised by this.  So many small brewers are leftist dolts

    I’m not sure why that’s the case, if it’s because a lot of them start out in those areas so it’s the default or what.

    including, I am sorry to say, my own eldest son.  He was crippled by the WuFlu regulations in 2020-2021 and yet thinks his Pacific Northwest governor is the cat’s meow. 

    Why they don’t seem to want to learn from the experience is more confusing to me.

    • #27
  28. db25db Lincoln
    db25db
    @db25db

    Kamala Stout.  Warning:  Makes you burst into spontaneous uncontrollable laughter during extremely awkward moments.

    • #28
  29. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    db25db (View Comment):

    Kamala Stout. Warning: Makes you burst into spontaneous uncontrollable laughter during extremely awkward moments.

    Followed by gibberish.

    • #29
  30. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    db25db (View Comment):

    Kamala Stout. Warning: Makes you burst into spontaneous uncontrollable laughter during extremely awkward moments.

    Followed by gibberish.

    So… it’s beer?

    • #30
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