Miller High Life’s Backyard Dive Bar Winner Is From Wisconsin

This Wisconsin man just won a national contest.

Just in time for the cold weather, Miller High Life announced the winner of its Backyard Dive Bar giveaway. The winner, James “Jim” Kasten, is from Shawano, where he and his wife have lived since 1970. He is retired from the dairy industry and now enjoys golfing, boating, working on gardens and overall spending time outside.

Kasten stumbled across the contest while he was “perusing some websites” to check the news one afternoon, and since he has been a Miller High Life fan for around 65 years, he decided to enter. He told Milwaukee Magazine that he was surprised and happy that he won.

He decided to have the dive bar installed in his daughter’s yard because he had already built a tiki bar down by the river near his house, but nonetheless he’s excited to visit his family and enjoy the bar.

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“The folks that Miller hired to build the dive bar and then erect it on our property were fun people to work with,” he shared. “The craftsmanship and the workmanship and the materials they used were real, real good quality, and it’s going to last a long time. We’re happy with it.”

The dive bar is equipped with an actual bar that has Miller High Life tap handles, quirky bar stools, a popcorn machine and more. Kasten is currently looking for antiques to put inside to “dress it up a little bit more,” and he says he is going to “convince people to pin dollar bills on the ceiling.”

As part of the winnings, Kasten also received enough beer to “live the high life” for the rest of 2020. We asked him just how much beer for the rest of the year is “enough,” and he said he received a $200 gift card for Miller. After a laugh and some calculations, he concluded that it should be enough beer for the rest of the year.

Kasten was one of the over 100,000 submissions in the contest, and with over 20,000 of the submissions being from Wisconsin alone, we were the most represented state in the giveaway.

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Brianna Schubert is an editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine. She is studying journalism, psychology and Spanish and is in the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.