Controversy brewing as Provo Council passes measure allowing brewpubs downtown

Local News

PROVO (ABC4 News) – Something’s brewing in Provo…or soon could be after the Municipal Council approved a measure to allow brewpubs in the city by a close and controversial 4 to 3 vote.

Provo does have a few bars but no microbrewery restaurants that make their own beer on-site. The land-use measure allowing those types of establishments in two downtown zones had the two opposing sides at “lager” heads.

RELATED: With the possibility of breweries coming to Provo, residents continue to react

Clifford Strachan is the Executive Director of the Provo Municipal Council.

“Both sides of the issue were really concerned about the image of Provo,” Strachan told ABC4 News Thursday. “Some are very happy that Provo is considered to be stonecold sober like BYU. Others expressed an interest that a brewpub might add to the vibrancy of the downtown especially for convention traffic and for people who do like to drink.”

ABC4 asked some people on Center Street what kind of “pub” this would bring to Provo and whether they saw the mug as half-empty or half-full.

“I don’t know how popular it would be here,” Orem resident Marco Catalano said. “Culturally, standards and values are different so I don’t know how successful that could be either way so I don’t think this is the right place for that.”

“I just think that people are responsible in Provo,” Addie Beaslin said. “So I don’t think it will become a problem.”

“It would be fun to go to the Temple, do some baptisms and then hit the bar,” Edward Pollei joked.

“Maybe it’ll bring a little more crazy to the streets I don’t know,” Gigi Rogers added.

“We’re not going to be Park City, Salt Lake City or Las Vegas,” Strachan said. “Although that’s a concern for some people you know. We heard arguments about whether it’s a slippery slope or not.”

The measure now heads to Mayor Michelle Kaufusi’s desk for a signature but ABC4 News has learned there’s already a group opposed to brewpubs that’s considering a referendum to get it on the ballot for voters to decide.

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