Beer Writer is a term that gets tossed around a lot these days, but it’s used to describe a wide variety of amateurs and professionals alike. Everyone from a personal blogger to a freelancer writing for magazines, to an author with half a dozen books under their belt, to people who cover the business of beer for established outlets like the Tribune or the New York Times. But each of these kinds of beer writers has their own audience and their own angle on the beer world, which of course is also incredibly diverse in terms of the types of beers being made, business models they support, and the markets those brands are active in. Everything is changing all the time.
One of the writers I like the most here in Chicago is Peter Frost who writes for Crain’s, a business focused publication that has increasingly written about smaller breweries over the years as they collectively started to occupy a sizable portion of the market, which makes them a factor in the lives of investors and entrepreneurs - the heart of a business publication’s audience.
But there’s also clearly a personal interest being expressed by Peter as some of the writing he’s produced around smaller breweries isn’t about the business angle at all — at times it’s been a bit personal and review-like. Something quite uncommon for a publication like Crain’s.
I wanted to sit down with Peter and get the wider view on how he ended up writing about beer for a place like Crain’s and how a reporter like him thinks about the industry at large. But also, what motivates him and his publication to keep doing it at all.
Peter is a beer writer, but also a business and food industry writer. Before that he wrote about healthcare and a host of other things. He’s one more fascinating part of our world.