PROVO, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Provo City Council approved a measure to allow brewpubs in the city by a close, but controversial, 4 to 3 vote in February. But months later, the brewpub controversy is continuing to gain traction on both sides of the issue due to social media.
One recent tweet that has people buzzing once again about the breweries coming to Provo garnered over 70 retweets and over 600 likes in the past few days.
The post is poking fun at those who are against breweries in Provo for various reasons along with posting the arguments laid out by those in opposition to the brewpubs. Some Twitter users take jabs at those against the breweries because they make points such as ‘brewers like to choose names that mock the prevailing religion and culture’. Other points that are receiving jabs include people wanting to keep Brigham Young University ‘stone cold sober’ and the argument that ‘people like Provo because it has an intentionally upheld community standard’.
While snarky shots are being fired online over the brewery issues, residents and city council members who are in support of the breweries sight plenty of reasons to allow the change. Provo City says restaurants/pubs bring expanded economic activity to downtown areas. The city also says that the Utah Valley Convention Center will garner more business because of breweries while also pointing out that safety has not decreased because of brewpubs in other Utah cities.
Those in support of Provo’s new change point out that beer is already permitted to be sold at several different stores and locations. The city also makes Utah’s current alcohol laws clear. The law already includes having the alcohol purchased with food and consumed on site. Also, alcohol sales must not exceed 30 percent of the location’s total revenue in order to maintain a license.
The 4 to 3 vote allows breweries in a few downtown Provo zones. Provo has a few bars but no microbrewery restaurants that make their own beer on-site.
Some Provo residents such as former Provo City Councilman George Stewart proposed a referendum in April in hopes to eventually reverse the decision made in February. The referendum that was recently created is ‘doing quite well’ to get to its needed 3,300 signatures to get on the ballot in November says Stewart. Stewart also says he is in support of the referendum because breweries promote drinking and simply says that alcohol is not healthy and questions why anyone would support it.
But ultimately, Stewart says, “We just want people to be able to vote on it for themselves come November.”
For more information on Provo’s brewpub decision and the possible referendum visit provo.org.
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