How to strike up a conversation with Europeans in the US: join in the complaints about top-loading washing machines and American beer. On the washing machines, point granted. The old saw that American beer is bad applies pretty much to the mass-marketed national brands, which are uniformly watery, flavorless, and pretty much only good for marinating beef (even then, a proper beer would be better). People with longer or tastier experience in the Statiunitima know that there are a lot of very fine small-production and local brews. Personally, I'm a fan of the products of the Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown, NY. Americans are moving away from the stereotypical product as well: domestic sales are stagnant, while imports are growing rapidly.
The most representative of the domestic mass-market bunch, and object of innumerable jokes (one of them involves canoes, but that is as far as I am going), is the flagship product of the brewery giant Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser (introduced in 1876). For over a hundred years, Anheuser-Busch has been in a trademark conflict with the Czech Budweiser Budvar brewery, which has marketed a far superior product under the same name since 1895. A-B claims exclusive rights to the Budweiser name, which kept the Czech product out of US markets for a very long time and may cause some easily resolved confusion in Europe.
Now Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar have reached an agreement, whereby A-B (which already has marketing agreements with several international producers, including the Belgian giant InBev), agrees to market and distribute the Czech product in the US. It will continue to be sold under the deeply unsatisfying compromise name Czechvar.
It is one small step.