|Sure. Like you don't have a beer writing hat.|
I wrote for a small paper in a small town. There were millions of guys like me, educated but barely employable in any other industry. We were all gravitating toward the local beer story, but not in a "beer blogger" kind of way. We were drawn to the possibility rumors of a brewery opening held and stayed on through the process. Finally, by the time the brewery opened, we'd all familiarized ourselves with the legislative processes, zoning ordinances and other regulatory aspects of opening a brewery. Plus, on the publishing side, it was a "positive" business story that didn't require reprinting contrived realtor quotes about how this was, "The best time to buy a home."
Reporters are nothing if not lazy. If I have a thousand confirmed economic development and regulatory facts about the brewing industry in my head, they are going to make their way into stories. The brewers did all the work, and much of the promotion, but news coverage of every aspect of the process, like brewing itself, created a culture of craft-beer-savvy reporters. Large and small outlets around the country had the same craft beer reporting expertise, meaning local papers easily could tap into national trend stories. Business Week runs stories like this regularly.
In fact, the accidental collusion between the reporters and the brewers created the national trend stories. As the publishing industry bled writers, beer remained one of the easiest ways to get a freelance gig. Beyond event coverage, there are always new trend stories, and, in many towns, economic development angles readily apparent to someone who knows where to look. Five years ago, it was rare to find a craft beer news story on the web. It was easy, however, to find a blog. Now they're interchangeable. Professional writers blog about beer for pay or for love (this one's for love) and there's no end to the beer news.