Proving That We're "Brewing Better Local Economies With American Craft Beer."

All the way back on June 15, 2005, NAC took a look at beer-fueled revitalization:

Beer Basics considers pubs, restaurants and downtown revitalization

The "Beer Basics" article referenced came from 2003, so obviously these thoughts have been floating around for a good long while.
"Certainly, one of the trends in downtown revitalization is to focus on food and entertainment -- brew pubs, ethnic restaurants, street cafes, etc.," he said. "Downtown retail has moved away from general merchandise of 30 years ago to specialty retail that, combined with food and entertainment, create a 'sense of place' downtown."Almost ten years later, we see evidence of prescience. Thanks to A for this new and updated link to an article that enumerates an expansion of consciousness during the intervening time.
Brewing Better Local Economies with American Craft Beer, by Kai Olson-Sawyer (Civil Eats)

... Microbrewers use these advantageous attributes to encourage strong and vibrant communities, keeping customers coming back for more. In fact, it seems that in today’s uncertain and flagging America, one sign of community prosperity and revitalization is a microbrewery or brewpub in town. So one small way to encourage an economic recovery while holding to your values is to say cheers to local, sustainable beers!