I am a Brit married into a French family, so there has obviously been some teasing and so-on over the years about the relative merits of the two cooking cultures :P
I recently took my wife's uncle to the UK, and made certain that he ate well - he came away impressed with the food (despite some preconceptions!), but less so with the beer. He is from the North of France, near the border with Belgium, thus giving him access to a lot of different beers.
I made sure he had the opportunity to try what I consider to be good British beers (he mainly tried Shepherd Neame Kentish ales, as we were in Kent) - and the problem for him was that they were too light, as if they were lacking something.
Real British ale's alcohol content usually hovers between 4 and 5% alcohol, while Belgian beers can obviously go a lot higher. While my father-in-law has developed a fondness for British beers, my wife's uncle wasn't particularly impressed, and I think it was mainly because the beer lacked the 'punch' he is used to.
This made me wonder why British beer's alcohol content is so low compared to the neighbouring cultures- is it just a quirk of different cuisines, or is there some more sinister underlying reason such as the UK government wanting to reduce the impact of drunk workers on the economy at some point in the last few hundred years?
Please don't take this as an attack on British beer - I have always been a big fan of the stuff, and always try to paint British food in a good image!