Restaurants in certain areas of Provo will soon be allowed to brew beer on-site.
The City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday for a land-use change that would allow brewpubs in two separate downtown commercial zones as well as The Shops at Riverwoods and Provo Towne Centre shopping areas.
Don’t expect alcohol production to happen immediately, though. The city must still adopt beer licensing regulations before a restaurant can start brewing beer or serving thirsty customers.
Still, the vote is a significant step for Utah County’s largest city, which has not allowed manufacturing of alcohol in its downtown core since before Prohibition.
During a lengthy public comment period Tuesday before the vote, dozens of community members spoke on the issue, showing how divisive the topic of alcohol can be in the conservative community of more than 117,000 people.
Some were in favor of allowing beer brewing, saying it could improve economic development and the city’s teetotaling image. Others were opposed, pointing to alcohol’s impact on health and safety.