In economics there is this theory called Kuznet’s curve that states basically that as a market develops things will get super unequal but then level out to being more equal. It makes this curve like a sad mouth of a beer bro who had it in his cart but Eventbrite hates locals.
Basically, once things get up and running, there’s more capital and efficiency and even the poor hicks get to enjoy the spoils of an advanced economy. Trickle down beeronomics.
In the beginning craft beer was expensive, hard to find, a niche product that you’d have to bust your ass to locate or dedicate a segment of your personality to pursuing. Then 9000 breweries open making mostly fine beers, a few exceptional producers, but thousands of “local-location name + 5 CA ale strain tap handle” spots. It’s fine.
The result is a weird egalitarianism meets stark inequality. Everyone can have a Weihenstephan and have the best most ubiquitous hef in the world. By the same token, if you want a rare, marginally better stout, be prepared to pay someone in St Louis exponentially more for the “best” stout.
So yeah craft beer is everywhere, but is the best craft beer everywhere? Ehh. Kinda?
Moonlight makes arguably one of the best pilsners in the world, but it’s far from everywhere. But what about when these same hucksters make a barleywine? Will that automatically also be the best and reduce inequality? Ehh. Kinda?
If by the best, you want a completely old school, resinous, chickory root, allspice and sandalwood sort of barleywine then yes. Moonlight has captured the past and improved upon it. But is has done so in a vacuum without the forces of modern palates. Most people don’t know to “want” barleywines like this, even if it is well done. The abv is “too low” the sweetness is “dialed down” and the old school Old Foghorn meets Bigfoot cum de Gratitude aserose profile is a relic. American barleywine is an unfinished barrel aged beer in modern parlance.
This is a good beer that most people wont recognize as reducing the inequality of what they seek. Kuznet didn’t account for tradebros and flippers who don’t actually want to experience new things. Palates remain unequal in perpetuity.