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Beer sold in a country other than the one where it is brewed. Simple enough, but I've noticed a strange phenomenon regarding imported beer.

To pick a few examples, let's look at Heineken, Grolsch, and Fosters in the United States. The first two are brewed in the Netherlands; the last in Australia. In their home countries, each is considered to be cheap and low-class. In America, however, they are thought of as being innately superior to domestic beer, and priced accordingly.

Well, you could say that's just a matter of American beer being so awful that anything would be a relief in comparison. This is a stereotype with some truth to it, though the situation has improved a lot in recent years. But my sources tell me that in Australia and the United Kingdom Budweiser--a paragon of awful American beer, a fine example of what spring water might taste like if you added a few drops of beer for flavor--is thought of as innately superior to (Australian or British) domestic beer, and priced accordingly.

What gives? Is it just that things are better if they come from a long way away? My theory is that, when we drink a beer that comes from thousands of miles away, we don't know about its bad reputation.

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