Ok... it sounds ridiculous, but really, I had this epiphany while vacation in Como, Italy, on the Lago di Como (Comersee in German). First, in the tourist town of Como, where there are lots of foreigners (George Clooney is one), I found a bottle shop that had... wait for it... Westvleteren 12 in stock! as well as 100 other fabulous beers from around the world. It got me thinking. Craft beer is the rage in Italy, but not yet (ok.. green shoots are visible) in Germany, but why is that? It hit me... Italy as wine-centric has virtually no prejudices towards beer and therefore is ripe for a beer revolution that allows creativity and unrestrained enthusiasm about something that is completely foreign. Yet in Germany, with a 1000 years of tradition weighing it down, there's virtually no creativity and being a slave to tradition while focusing on price vs. quality is dooming it to stagnation. Those built in prejudices are what is hindering being open-minded about the possibilities beer can offer in Germany. Ok, but what's the point? It's that history can often doom us. I was absolutely blown away at the quality of beer available at some pizza places in Como. On the menu was 2 kinds of Chimay (blue and red), Affligem, and Hofbräu from München. Almost every major restaurant had some German beers on the menu as well as a Belgian. I mean... a lack of tradition is better in the modern world than a long history of beer?