Well that is a reckless blanket statement! I am sure you have tried all American beer and that is how you are able to make such a statement.
I think this is a fair statement about the quality of European beers before the popularity of American Craft Beers started making them available. I'm sure that is what the Earl was referring to.
Edit: Oops; European beers were diverse and flavorful all along. It's the American Craft Beers that were new.
(edited for clarity)