http://www.standaard.be/artikel/det...=biz&utm_content=article&utm_campaign=seeding This article, which appeared in the Thursday online edition of one of Belgium's most well-read newspapers, is a great example on what I call the steep decline in Belgian beer culture. Though I know that Belgium still houses some of the best beers in the world and I won't deny that fact, you'll be hard pressed to go beyond traditional geuzes, lambics and trappist ales and see some beer innovation find its way into mainstream media. For those of you who don't speak Dutch, the article basically tells of two brothers - one a brewer and one a coffee roaster - that have collaborated to bring us "Belgium's first coffee beer". This as in: the first beer brewed with actual coffee rather than just using roasted malts for the coffee aroma. That's your first fictional statement right there, as most of us have probably tasted Struise's Mocha Bomb, which for me still holds up as arguably the best coffee stout in the world. Adding to the lie of this being a first for Belgium, it also states that only America has a tradition in coffee beers, with roughly "a dozen" supposedly released in the US. This is mind-bogglingly inaccurate, as there are obviously hundreds upon thousands of coffee-infused beers available in both the States and all over Europe, primarily the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Reader replies on the article clearly consist of people that have never touched a beer beyond Stella and Jupiler, including such poetic words as "ew" and "yeah, I'll just pour a shot of espresso in my beer". One reader came a bit closer to the truth, but was still hilariously far off by writing "what about Guinness then?!" This seems to be the general problem with Belgians and our approach to beer. We have been indoctrinated from a very young age that our country has the best beer in the world, and most people that don't go beyond the call of duty simply agree without question. They only drink Stella and Jupiler or maybe the occasional Leffe (!!!) and refuse to believe there's anything out there in foreign territory, or even refuse to try some innovative beer styles from their own country. Because yeah, Heaven forbid that your beer would actually have some flavor to it. After tasting some of the gems our beer culture has to offer, I have significantly mellowed down in my rants regarding the decline of Belgian beer culture, but I do wish people would look beyond what they were taught as children. I've officially given up on letting people try exciting new stuff, just so they can enjoy their umpteenth blond triple by their regional small brewery. I do hope that some day there will be room for more innovation in Belgium (and yes, Struise and Dolle have been doing a good job, so it has been steadily improving), but until that day I wish that journalists would grow some work ethic and do at least the tiniest bit of research before making bold claims in newspaper headlines. tl;dr: This article is shit.