The Washington City Paper has a nice brief interview with Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver about the impact of the American brewing industry on its counterparts worldwide. It’s not something we normally consider, having been conditioned to think of American brewers as making mandatory pilgrimages to Germany and Belgium to learn at the feet of Continental masters, but stateside brewing has evolved into a powerful force.

Oliver says, “If you go to Italy, or Brazil, to Denmark, to the rest of Scandinavia, even to Japan, you are going to see a very strong American influence. I think American brewers should be proud of that. We have created, essentially from scratch, a craft beer culture out of almost nothing. The U.S. has gone from probably the most conservative beer culture and least interesting beer culture on the planet to the most interesting one in just about 20 years.”

For related riffs on similar themes, a 2009 RateBeer piece celebrating the state of American craft brewing (“American craft brewing is, by and large, about risk-taking. It’s about trying things that have never been tried before”) and an essay on a Southampton, New York, microbrewery’s site about overcoming the American-beer inferiority complex: “the American ‘take-no-prisoners’ envelope-pushing is beginning to rub off on the stoic European brewers,” says it.

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