Andrew Fullmer just wants to brew beer in Provo. This Springville native has had a passion for it for several years when he discovered home brewing. For the last five years, he has turned his passion into a business, Maple Mountain Brew Co. “I have a great community of friends that are very talented in artwork and video making, and engineering so we got together and put this project together,” Fullmer said. “We have a building in Provo already that we have spent time building the infrastructure for, but when I went to get a business license, they would not give me one because it is a brewery.”
Fullmer had done his homework. He chose the Provo area because he utilizes public transit for transportation since loosing much of his eyesight to Type 1 diabetes. Fullmer found what he thought was the perfect location, right by the front-runner station. When he began the process, he called zoning and was told he needed to be in the industrial/manufacturing area, which his current building is. He advised zoning of his intentions of opening a brewery and was told anything south of 800 south was good to go. Fullmer was able to get his current location ‘signed off ‘by zoning and the Chief of Police, but has since found out that the building is one block west of where it needs to be to have a brewery.
“I don’t know why individuals did not tell me ‘hey, that’s the wrong area’,” Fullmer states. “Now I have to pay this annex fee to get this one block radius annexed into the M2 zone. Besides the fact that Provo city told me they don’t have anything on the books that will allow the manufacturing of beer in Provo. So that is the law I am trying to get amended now.”
After meeting with Provo City’s Mayor, John R. Curtis and Deputy Mayor Dixon Holmes, Fullmer was hoping to find a loophole to start brewing. Unfortunately, he was told it would have to go before the City Council. Fullmer then created a petition, which has been circulating on Facebook, in hopes of showing the City Council that there is a demand for craft beer in the city. Currently they have 271 signatures with a goal of reaching 1,000.
Fullmer was able to initially get support from former City Council member Hal Miller but unfortunately Miller went off the Council in January, leaving Fullmer back at square one. He is approaching all current City Council members in hopes of garnering support to take his issue to a work meeting; this type of change requires a majority vote. According to Fullmer, Mayor Curtis has been understanding and supportive.
“Mayor Curtis has a history of being supportive of businesses that aren’t necessarily what some would consider as mainstream for this area, Corey Norman, Provo’s Deputy Mayor, said. “He supported the council’s changing of ordinances for Sunday alcohol sales and fought the State a few years ago to keep Provo’s liquor store open. The Mayor has been and will continue being an advocate for business.