No, it is not. I am going to go into why I don't believe one country necessarily makes the "best" beer but some are certainly stronger than others.
I'd like to interject here and proclaim myself as very knowledgeable in beer. Here's why:
-Have tried over 350 types of beer
-Have brewed my own beer (and distilled spirits as well)
-Have covered the beer industry extensively with my last employer, a money management (think stock market) firm. I was the in house beverage and brew expert.
-Have worked with a beer company in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
-I absolutely love beer
Here's how beer works. There are several ways to classify beer. You can classify beer by its Region, you can classify beer by its type and you can classify beer by the size of the brewer it comes from.
In respects to region
, its common to classify beer by the country which originally brewed that beer. For example, Budweiser is an American Beer because it was originally brewed in the United States. Within a country, it is also common to classify by region. There are beers from different areas in Germany which can vary greatly. Beers from the Bavaria area are typically quite different from those in the Holstein area. Regions typically have distinct styles and tastes but like anything, you can only generalize so far. Although the United States typically has relatively weak, tasteless beer brewed with cheap ingredients, they also have some wonderful brews. There are even some beers brewed in other countries and exported exclusively to the USA. St. Pauli Girl is a German beer made by the Beck's brewery and only sold in the US, its a great beer similar to Beck's in taste and I've found it all along the eastern seaboard.
of beer are not as complex as they might first appear. Types of beer are classified by the brewing process and what ingredients go into the beer. There are two primary types of beer: those which are fermented using top fermenting yeast and those which are fermented using bottom fermenting yeast. Ales are top fermented, Lagers are bottom fermented. Ales were discovered first and much later, bottom fermenting yeast was discovered and used in the now Czech Republic for the first time and a new type of beer was born. Everything you hear about other types of beer (Stout, Pilsiner, etc) are just variations on either an Ale or Lager.
Lagers. Due to the bottom fermentation process in brewing a lager, the bubbles in Lagers are in the bottom and sides of this type of beer causing it to look like its constantly bubbling from the bottom. The beers where the carbonation is coming from the bottom of the beer are Lagers. A typical lager is fairly crisp and golden yellow in colour but like many things in beer, this can vary from beer to beer. Lagers generally keep longer than Ales and in my opinion, translate better when they are bottled or canned. Common Lagers:
-Some India Pale Ales are actually Lagers (I don't understand that either)
Ales are those smooth beers with the frothy head that tends to stick around a long time. Ales don't really bubble like a Lager. This is due to the fermentation process. I find these are great when you can get them in draught. It's hard beat a pint of John Smith's English Ale. Common Ales:
-Most India Pale Ales
-Belgian fruit beers like Framboise or Kriek
-Red Ale (Amber Ale)
There are two size brewers. Macro and micro. I am not sure if these terms are prevalent outside of North America. Macro are widely distributed while micro are brewed on a smaller scale. Macro breweries would consist of InBev, SABMiller, etc. Micro can be as small as an Bar that makes all its own beer or something you may only be able to get in your state/province/region. Micro brews generally are not shipped far. Sometimes micro brews are also referred to as Kraft brewers.
Some countries have great ales. Some countries have great macrobrews. Some countries have great lagers. There is no real "best" beer country but its obvious that some countries make much better beers overall than others. The fact is, the USA has probably the worst macrobreweries in the world. They're more or less tasteless and weak. However, they have some great micro-brews. Try Fat-tire, magic-hat and anchor steam if you can. These are great American beers.
I don't think many would argue in saying that England produces the best Ales and Bitters. Germany makes the best dortmunder and some great pilsiners. Czech Republic makes great pilsiners. Ireland makes the best stouts. Japan makes some great dry, hoppy lagers similar to a pilsiner. Belgium makes the best crazy fruity beer if you're into that shit. There's a ton of places to look depending on what you want in a beer. Denmark makes the best beer for getting you fucking drunk.
Well, if you have any questions on beer, feel free to ask me.
My favourite beers are Beck's, Guiness, John Smith's, Boddington's, Lowenbrau and Sleeman's Cream.