As Protests Divide Wisconsin, Beer is Bringing Folks Together

If you’ve been following the news, you know there’s quite a dust up happening in Madison, Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to weaken the union rights of state workers.  And while the two sides can’t agree on the major points, apparently they can all agree that beer is good. 

After a day of making their opinions known Saturday, parched protesters from both sides converged on Madison’s bars for a little liquid refreshment.  A popular spot was the Old Fashioned Tavern, which boasts 30 Wisconsin beers on tap, including New Glarus Moon Man and Central Waters Mud Puppy Porter. Maybe it’s time I got out there and “protest” for the cause, a pint at a time. 😉

As a testament to just how nice folks from The Badger State are, there were no brawls or shouting matches during the post-protest partaking.  Instead, folks had a pint and shared their thoughts.  Some even helped their opponents get a beer (from Reuters):

Zog Begolli, a 23-year-old bill opponent, met four bill supporters at the Old Fashioned when they helped him get a drink at the crowded bar. “They allowed me to get closer so I could order a beer,” Begolli said.

“Beer is something we can all agree on,” said Randy Otto, 59, from Lake Mills, one of the bill supporters who let Begolli squeeze in.

“I was outnumbered,” Begolli said. “But the conversation was civil.”

It is estimated that 55,000 people were on hand to demonstrate over the weekend, and that the atmosphere was more like a festival than a riot.  And as the beer flows freely and opinions are exchanged, I can’t help but thinking of one of my favorite beer quotes.  Hopefully it will hold true.

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
-Abraham Lincoln




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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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15 Comments on “As Protests Divide Wisconsin, Beer is Bringing Folks Together”

  1. February 21, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I wonder if they’d be angry if they were sippin’ whiskey 😉

    I guess people are just people. You get everyone in the right setting and tempers diffuse. It’s like those old History Channel specials where they get WWII veterans from Hawaii and Japan together and they start hugging and saying they’re sorry and you wondering how did things ever escalate that bad. It’s not that extreme in this case, but it just reminded me of that show.

    Great blog guys,

    • February 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      If this was in Kentucky, someone would lose an eye.

      • Don
        February 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

        Or more likely a tooth.

        • February 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

          I based my comment on the fact that they probably wouldn’t have teeth left to lose.

      • February 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

        Here, now! I’m going to have to take exception to the tooth comment, but as to losing an eye. . .well, I make no promises.

        • February 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

          I thought we’d hear from a Bluegrass representative!

      • Gordon
        February 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

        You know how we know that a Kentucky native invented the toothbrush?

        …because if anyone else had, they’d’ve named it a teethbrush.

        • February 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm #


  2. Don
    February 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    We’ll see if the congeniality lasts. Last I read the Dems had gone home in protest and the Reps are not willing to negotiate on collective bargaining. Protests today are supposed to be the largest to date with over 40,000 converging on the state capital including a bunch of Tea Party Whack Jobs. Cross your fingers and crack open a central waters.

    • February 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Hopefully folks will continue to peace out.

  3. Rich Blair
    February 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I happened to be in Madison for work last week, so was there to witness the Thursday and Friday protests. Passionate people that will not, it seemed, change their view of the situation, but also very civil. Regardless of where I stand on the topic, I stand with the fine folks in Madison. Civility in politics is a rare treat these days.

    The Old Fashioned was great as well. 50 beers on tap, all from Wisconsin. the entire square is filled with great craft beer bars. Those proud people know how to drink.

    Cheers to my friends in Madison.

    • February 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      Wisconsin is a pretty nice place, and also to spiritual home of our clan (our folks grew up there and retired to Wauwatosa).

      I also heard that the Old Fashioned has 100 bottled beers as well, all from Wisconsin, except for a single “import” (as they call it) from Minnesota.


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