I talked about this a little on the WPR radio piece that I did a few weeks ago, and which I'll post later this week so you can listen in full. I think the Atlantic article actually covers the issues pretty well. But, I think the list can be shortened to one reason:
5. Openness/curiosity - Unlike England or Germany, America has no real beer tradition of its own. What is American beer? It's everything and nothing. English ale and Czech pils are both accepted. Americans import their styles, and so beer is nor a national symbol or a part of ist culinary patriotism. You'd never find a German brewery that makes a Belgian beer: The German beer culture is too proud of itself. In contrast, in America such internationalism is the ideal.You'd never find a German brewery that makes a Belgian beer. And that, I think, says it all. But, Germans need to understand that they don't need to make a Belgian beer. But they can learn from Belgian brewers and incorporate and experiment. And, they can look down their noses at beets and cracked pepper and apricots and blueberries, but they can experiment without violating the Reinheitsgebot.
I don't need a Weihenstephaner tripel, but maybe their dunkel with a tripel-like kick would taste really nice. We'll probably never know. As Mr. Risen says, "Germans are uninterested in innovation or even a wide variety of choice, because they feel they have already found perfection."