The beer beta had a flurry of activity to start, and then quickly tapered off. There was nothing to keep it going.
I'm of the opinion that a general 'beverages' SE would be more appropriate.
The beer, coffee, wine, tea, cocktails, and other liquid-drinkers' site?
Personally, I doubt very much that we would be able to find a passionate and engaged community to rally around a subject called "beverages." That is just my opinion.
There's a point where you're just piling on the subjects into a catch-all room just to hit the numbers… and the term you come up with to describe them all becomes so ubiquitous that you're not describing a community at all.
Sad to read/hear that a Beer group just barely missed out on Beta (I haven't been on here in a while).
DW might be on to something if it were kept specific enough - Craft Beverages, Handmade Beverages, etc. to feature wine, beer, & coffee questions, practices, devices, etc. The tea-lovers could probably even jump on the bandwagon... but then Robert's point starts to sound valid about the group becoming too ubiquitous, killing the passion of the niche.
What about a Brew Group? If you can brew it, you can talk about it - I guess that'd still include tea, coffee, beer, kambucha...
I think it is good to be open enough to reach a big enough target to grow the site, but also keep it special enough for people to think that this is the site for their need. I would say that coffee and tea would be an optimal mix, as many techniques to achieve a good result is common.
Chances are you're pulling a lot of coffee addicted workaholics from the other communities. Guess it is save to say that anyone active on SE sites is passionate about what they do and they drink... a lot of coffee! ;-)
Where beer is more appropriate for certain moments of the day. Coffee is something that is being drunk during the process of all those questions and answers around stack exchange.
My initial reaction to this repeated suggestion is negative. I am less interested in participating if the focus starts to become too broad, since I don't have much interest in using SE for topics like beer, wine, or tea. Diluting the subject gives me less reason to show up, since it worsens the signal to noise ratio.
The contrary position is that other sites are popular with very broad subjects, like History or Scifi & Fantasy. Both include loads of different interests that might be able to fill entire sites themselves. But sometimes that means the site first page fills up with a lot of stuff you might not want to read, like when History gets full of WWII questions or SFF is full of Harry Potter questions. An appropriately narrow site can get more enthusiastic support because it's more likely to reward a visit with something relevant to your interests.