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David Emery

Misquote: Ben Franklin on Beer

By September 15, 2008

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A TIP of the glass to Dick Stevens, owner of the Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus in Columbus, Ohio, who announced the recall of a batch of promotional t-shirts featuring a witticism frequently — but erroneously — attributed to founding father Benjamin Franklin.

As reported by Aria Munro of eNewsChannels.com on Sep. 15, 2008:

Beer-themed web sites, brewing organizations and even "beer writers" are fond of quoting Franklin and his supposed love of beer — "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." But after recently hearing a lecture by Chicago-based brewing historian, Bob Skilnik, that convincingly asserts that Franklin was writing about rain, its nourishment of grapes, and ultimately, its conversion into wine, Stevens decided to do his part in correcting this historical inaccuracy. 

"I hope that we can set the record straight about this little white lie that has been repeated for years," Stevens said in a press release. "I have no doubt that ole Ben enjoyed a tankard or two of beer with friends and associates, but this beer quote, while well-meaning, is inaccurate."

The aforementioned Skilnik, author of Beer & Food - An American History, has issued a challenge to promulgators of the quote to come forward with proof, reported my colleague (and fellow beer drinker) Bryce Eddings in 2007. There have been no takers so far.

For the record, here, in a letter addressed to André Morellet in 1779, is what Benjamin Franklin actually did say:

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

(Source: Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. p.374.)

Yet more questionable quotes:
Did Mitt Romney Say "Of Course I'll Win, I'm the White Guy"?
Did Julius Caesar Say "Beware the Leader Who Bangs the Drums of War"?
Did Marie Antoinette Say "Let Them Eat Cake"?
Did Neil Armstrong Say "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky" on the Moon?
Did Sarah Palin Say "God Made Dinosaurs 4,000 Years Ago"?
Did Ronald Reagan Say "I Hope You're All Republicans" to His E.R. Surgeons?
Did JFK Say "I Am a Jelly Donut" to the People of Berlin?

Comments

September 15, 2008 at 6:11 pm
(1) SkrambledinPortsmouthNH says:

HOLY COW!!!!! Saturday, September 13 (two days ago), I got a birthday card from my colleages at the office with the alleged mis-quote from Franklin regarding beer.

I only came to this site to look up the validity of something I’ve been saying for years, but suddenly realized it was probably just another urban legend (this was was that Bob Marley died with ___ (7,18, 300, etc., depending on who tels the story) different species of previously un-identified species of head lice.

This blog entry on the Franklin quote being on the from page of urbanlegends.about.com really freaked me out. Spooky.

At any rate, the original quote sounds better!

September 15, 2008 at 6:59 pm
(2) SkrambledPortsmouthNH says:

Okay, just re-read my previous comment and I see all of the typos. Didn’t have time to proofread. Doh! All apologies, hope you can understand what I was trying to say.

September 16, 2008 at 11:45 am
(3) Ammy says:

Yah I think I heard it somewhere that Ben Franklin did enjoy that sort of stuff…..

September 30, 2009 at 6:33 am
(4) Cousin Dan says:

Bing.com included this misquote on their home search page for Wednesday, September 30, 2009, which highlighted Oktoberfest in Munich. Hope they have their other facts right!

December 7, 2009 at 6:07 am
(5) Mike says:

In fairness, I think the proper construction of that legitimate quotation is that Franklin is talking about wine, not rain, as the proof that God wants to see us happy, and that he references rain here as God’s instrument in the making of wine.

May 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm
(6) Beerfan says:

Yeah that’s a really good logic: Ben Franklin wrote a letter praising wine. Therefore he must have never mentioned beer as they are mutually exclusive to enjoy.
To me it sounds like he refined the thought he captured in a letter to be repeated in pubs. You guys are punks for defaming Ben Franklin’s relationship with beer. Slander!

May 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm
(7) Phil says:

HERE HERE….

May 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm
(8) Eric says:

RABBLE RABBLE

October 21, 2011 at 9:17 am
(9) jess says:

hahahaha! nice comment, I agree! It was a genious thing he wrote, he prob changed it up all the time to his own convenience :)

November 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(10) Erik says:

Okay, he probably did, but how can you quote him on it then? If any of you truly respect Benjamin Franklin, you will quote him only where he can be quoted, rather than put words into his mouth based on what you think he would have thought or said. It’s ridiculous to think that the false quote should bear any merit because “he probably changed it up to his own convenience” That’s absolutely ludicrous and unintelligible. So anyone who wants to use the quote “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” can use it (I myself think it is a wonderful quote) but don’t credit it to Benjamin Franklin, because it is a fact that he did not write that and you can never prove whether he did or didn’t use it like that for his own benefit. I honestly don’t understand why so many people care that this can no longer be credited to Franklin, I mean who gives a shit it’s still a great quote regardless of who first used it. Do you really need someone famous to back up your beliefs in order for you to feel secure about them? You can feel that way about beer whether or not Benjamin Franklin affirms it

November 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm
(11) Joe says:

Rabble Rabble

June 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm
(12) Sid E Fied says:

Bull Roar!! Why destroy an age old myth?

July 14, 2010 at 11:24 am
(13) Benjamin says:

I like the misquote and the real quote.

August 26, 2010 at 9:09 am
(14) ProfK says:

I agree with beerfan. The existence of this wine letter, to a Frenchie, does not mean that he never made a similar statement about beer. In fact, this is a strong indication that he did make the statement about beer. Among other things, Franklin was an inventor, writer and politician. If there is a common element among these professions it is that they all tend to stick to formulas that work. Franklin probably made this quote about wine, beer, rum, tobacco or whatever he was enjoying that day.

October 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm
(15) Silent 3 says:

ProfK;

It really doesn’t matter if your *think* Ben said it.

In order to quote it, you *must* provide the documentation to prove it. You can’t simply *assume* he said it. That doesn’t make it real; it just makes it your guess.

October 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm
(16) Silent 3 says:

The author of the article doesn’t claim that Ben never said anything nice about beer.

The point is this: the quote — as it is often presented — is *INACCURATE*. The subject of that famous quote is Wine, not Beer.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben said nice things about beer. However, if you want an authentic Franklin quote on beer, don’t misquote what he said about wine. Instead do some research and document something he said about Beer.

December 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm
(17) Jai Reeves says:

The actual quote about vineyards is better than the one using the word, “beer.” I suppose beer was used to make the quote more catchy while the original saying that was used as a reference for this quote is yet another powerful statement by the great Benjamin Franklin.

January 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm
(18) hiccup says:

I was going to comment but I forgot the subject.

January 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm
(19) Publius says:

founding fathers didn’t drink much beer. cider was the drink of the people, and most of the founders probably also drank wine.

January 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm
(20) Bytoragw says:

Everyone of that era drank beer. Do a little research and have your facts straight before you make another ill informed statement. Beer was not only a staple of that age, it had been since the first civilizations. Not only was it a libation, it was a huge part of all classes diets. In fact in Old England it was more common than water, seeing how water was the carrier of many diseases.

January 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm
(21) db says:

I know Dick Stevens and was surprised to see him as the source here. Cheers to Dick!

I was hoping to find how the phrase evolved over time into the misquote of today (which I just saw passed off as truth again on Discovery…)

January 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm
(22) BeerMan says:

Several of the founding fathers were brewers so how can you say that they didn’t drink much beer!

February 1, 2011 at 10:38 am
(23) DBhomebrewMN says:

Slander! I fail to see how proving one version of this quote disproves the other, you can not use negative logic to disprove the original version of this. Perhaps if you left your disdain for the oldest fermented beverage in the history of humanity aside, you could be more objective.

September 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm
(24) Jeff says:

Cheers! You should have been a founding father!

February 15, 2011 at 6:39 am
(25) Alan says:

The letter proves that he never uttered the beer quote about as much as it proves he never flew a kite. Whether he made the beer quote or not, it’s a good quote. I have a beer glass with the quote on it purchased in Philadelphia at the liberty bell gift shop. I’ll consider that proof enough that he said it.

October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm
(26) Silent 3 says:

Alan

I just made a mug that says “Alan thinks everyone who drinks beer is an idiot.”

Gee, i like that quote, and it’s on a beer mug, so that’s proof enough for me.

April 13, 2011 at 10:40 am
(27) Henrik says:

Your should NEVER let the truth ruin a good story (or quote)!! Personally, I like to quote Ben as saying ” Beer and Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”

May 11, 2011 at 11:25 am
(28) Silkworm says:

In his own autobiography, he tells the story of his years in England, where he had to work in a warehouse. He had more stamina and endurance than most workers because they have been drinking beer almost all the time, whereas his favorite was water. It kept him fit and helped him save more money as most of the workers spent their money on beer for lunch and dinner.
Like all his contemporaries, he probably enjoyed a glass of wine or beer occasionally but its hard for me to believe he spoke such fondly of beer. In fact, again in his autobiography he criticises a couple of friends for their drinking habit and how it ruined their lives.

June 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm
(29) Ben Franklin says:

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. There, I said it, now what?

No, but seriously, how many times have you caught yourself saying the same thing only slightly different. Who cares that I wrote a letter with a similar quote, it does not mean that I never stated the same to be true about beer. I love beer AND wine, and I would love to sit and have a pint (or a glass of wine) with all of you.

David Emery, you have disproved nothing!

June 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm
(30) David Emery says:

“David Emery, you have disproved nothing!”
I wish I had a beer for every time someone’s said that to me.

July 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm
(31) DMGoncalves says:

Ha! Good one!

David, although you have indeed “proved” nothing (this beer on me), your argument is entirely sound.

Until someone produces a credible source for the “quote,” it is really just an “attribution.”

However, for the owners of T-shirts, Frosted Mugs, and can insulators everywhere, I must admit
“Commonly Attributed to Benjamin Franklin” is a little bulky caveat to a witty paraphrasing of the fact that Ben liked his drink.

Bottoms up, everyone!

June 23, 2011 at 10:34 am
(32) Mark T. says:

As said in the John Ford/John Wayne movie, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” by a reporter listening to the true story of who shot Liberty, “When legend becomes fact, print the legend.” So, with a tip of my bottle of beer to old Ben, I’ll stick with the “misquoted” version.

July 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm
(33) Krugs says:

This is the perfect quote for beer WINE lover’s and it should be promoted as such. Hell, they’re both in the same “fermented intoxicants” family. I think what Ben was really attempting to do was to align God with the pro-drinking crowd. Back in those days, it wasn’t uncommon for non-drinkers to cite God as a reason for abstaining from alcohol. However, we must not forget, the first miracle that Jesus performed was to turn water into wine.

July 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(34) David Carlson says:

I believe research will indicate that Martin Luther is the author of the quote: “Beer is evidence that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

September 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(35) chris says:

Interesting. I was at the Liberty Bell in Philly a couple of summers ago and they had a gift shop and one of the most prominent items were t-shirts and mugs with that on them.

September 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm
(36) LindaD says:

Never believe anything you read on a T-shirt or mug….

October 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm
(37) Silent 3 says:

… especially when there’s a price tag attached to it.

November 7, 2011 at 9:54 am
(38) Weaviebee says:

I’ve heard this before, but I haven’t ever seen the credit for who coined the quote – which is still a good line even if it isn’t actually attributable to Ol’ Ben himself.

November 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm
(39) reveredelder says:

Oh dear, the Discovery Channel is perpetuating the quote as by Franklin on their show, “How Beer Saved the World”.

December 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm
(40) Andrew Carney says:

could it also be possible that Ben or whoever was talking about the rain gathering in pots of barley and fermenting and turning into beer ……regardless its the same message whether its wine or beer

December 12, 2011 at 11:19 am
(41) Kevin says:

Actually, pretty sure he was talking about how awesome wine is. Please correct me if anyone here is better at dealing with older styles of language than I am (although I’m usually pretty good with reading old letters). http://infomotions.com/etexts/literature/american/1700-1799/franklin-paris-247.txt

“We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in
Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness
of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which
descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of
the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves
us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only
performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present
necessity, which required it.”

If you don’t feel like looking for the quote in the letter, here in the whole paragraph where it’s from. In the section of the letter, he talks about the religious and philosophical implications of wine.

December 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm
(42) Oz says:

The article implies that because Ben stated this about rain/wine, he could never have stated a similar phrase about beer. I mean, is it really only one or the other? This particular quote is definitely in the context of rain/wine; but, the existance of this context does not disprove that he expressed a similar thought about beer.

January 7, 2012 at 3:31 am
(43) MsMolly says:

Actually, he’s really talking about the goodness of God, and His love and provision for us, and in that, His desire for our happiness…the rain and the wine are merely incidental to the subject of the text. He could have used any other provisional example as proof of God’s love of us. The POINT of the whole paragraph was neither the wine, nor the rain, nor in anyway shape or form the benefits of drinking anything alcoholic or non-alcoholic…it was that God LOVES and PROVIDES for us and DESIRES to see us HAPPY. It’s rather astonishing that today’s people can’t even comprehend that much from that paragraph!

January 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm
(44) yourface says:

Point is .. benjamin said alchol is created by rain which in turn is created by god &’ of course it makes us happy(:

February 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm
(45) Smoke says:

MsMolly:

Says you. It can be read any number of ways. That’s simply your opinion of what he’s trying to say, nothing more than that.

Sounds a lot like the Second Amendment though, doesn’t it? I wish those old guys would have used good English, yo.

February 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm
(46) me says:

Google included this quote as valid I sure hope they get thier facts right

February 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm
(47) Jimbo says:

Awful lot of hullaballoo over the meaning of a frivolous quote attributed to a dead man about how a mythical psychopath’s apparent adoration is demonstrated by numerous phenomenons that are entirely explainable scientifically.

I mean, it’s either that, or god really hates people that live in climates where grapes can’t grow. Right?

March 15, 2012 at 6:57 am
(48) Anonymous says:

Now I feel dumb for buying a decorative plaque with this very quote on it… Damn shame really.

March 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm
(49) Scott Lizza says:

And yet, Jimbo, you felt the need to comment on all this meaninglessness. You are so incredibly intelligent and droll! Post more for us, please!!!!

March 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm
(50) Tom Lessing says:

Are the rains, vineyards, the roots of the vine and subsequently the man-made alcoholic beverage called wine the ultimate proof that God loves us? Really! And I’ve always thought that He sent His only Son to die on a cross for our sins because He loves us. Ben Franklin’s remark is nothing short of blasphemy. What do you expect of a 33rd degree Freemason?

March 16, 2012 at 2:19 am
(51) PrsnlGrwthThnPrde says:

Another man blubbering about freemasons and stuff (above).

Anyhoots, quote or misquote, beer or wine, it doesn’t matter. Enjoy life and cheers!

April 7, 2012 at 1:40 am
(52) SakeBito-san says:

Ok, so the quote is not word-for-word what Franklin wrote in his letter – but the conceptual spirit of the simplified version is identical.

I get really, really sick of these pompous twits that get off on nattering at us that “No quote attributed to any of the Founders is accurate.” If I were to translate the between-the-lines message of any one of these, it would boil down to: “Dig ME!”

So the quote’s not verbatim. Fine. So we’ll takeit on its own merits, thereby handily avoiding the logical fallacy of argumentum ad verecundiam.

Some people need to get a life, and it ain’t me…

April 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm
(53) rkitekt says:

Rabble, Rabble, from now on just make it a quote from me. I dont mind taking credit for it. I think i said it before I knew I was (mis)quoting someone. So i expect from here on out to see everyone put in print… to quote the brilliant A. Palmer, “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

End of argument. :)

April 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm
(54) Heartbroken in Nashville says:

Thank you, Mr. Spoil-Sport/Kill-Joy!

May 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm
(55) Petros Schuller says:

In truth, if one actually makes the EFFORT to read Franklin, he often admonished his employees and other to DRINK LESS beer. In response this this, he writes, the standard rationalization was that the wheat or other grain in the beer (the beer was very thick with grain) was nutrition. And his rejoinder was to eat bread for its nutrition, not drink beer.
(Ah! how our times are so slothful and contemptuous of truths!)

May 8, 2012 at 12:50 am
(56) Neil says:

This is a good occassion to re-read Franklin’s autobiography, one of the best I’ve ever read. Too short, but engaging. In it he talks about his love of ale–and his strong belief in sobriety. It’s available for about $2 via Dover Publications, on line.

May 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm
(57) Ken York says:

I like the original quote and the new one. According to me he said them both. Anyone who disagrees obviously needs another drink.

June 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(58) MrB says:

OK, so the letter says he was talking about wine, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t at some time also make the same quote about beer, maybe down at his local tavern over a tankard or two.

June 17, 2012 at 1:58 am
(59) redonkulon says:

So yeah, looks like he is talking about wine which obviously has alcohol in it, so I don’t feel so bad misquoting and changing that to beer. Its all made by yeast anyway.

To paraphrase an Biochem proffessor: “Yeast are smart, when they lack oxygen, they make alcohol, we just make lactic acid.”

June 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm
(60) Big Bob says:

Quote still sounds neat-I’ll have another beer and think about it some more.

June 26, 2012 at 10:27 am
(61) Boobie the Rocket Dog says:

I’m guessing that ol’ Ben probably said something JUST AS PROLIFIC about beer that didn’t make the trivia page. I’ll go with that.

June 27, 2012 at 4:54 am
(62) melanie says:

I love the quote & although under scrutiny & question I feel Big Ben was a good ol’ boy & would concur with our interpretation of what “given” quote…would haveloved to share a pint with the brother right now!…:) All the same WE all know what he was insinuating, god left natural means for us for comfort & relief, bottom line!

July 1, 2012 at 10:17 am
(63) Dancing Rabbit says:

So it’s a paraphrase. Not entirely accurate but it accurately reflects the sentiments of the speaker (Franklin)

Franklin’s real quote is more eloquent, but who ever let eloquence get in the way of a good time.

July 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm
(64) Where's the still? says:

I guaran-damn-TEE Benny’s original quote was shortened-up by a drunken redneck not too unlike myself.

August 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm
(65) Truth Teller says:

Fact is, he wrote the one about wine, but he was ALWAYS saying the shorter version about beer to his friends.

August 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(66) weedwhacker says:

Actually, I had heard that it was Martin Luther that made that statement. Not too difficult to believe, seeing that he was quite fond of downing a few at the local tavern. I had also heard that his friends called him “the King of Hops”.

August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm
(67) Where's the party Ben? says:

Actually what Ben Franklin was referring to was rain nourishing the “wild weed’ plant, that of which he would partake in a pipe after a few glasses of wine and/or beer.

August 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm
(68) Marshall says:

I don’t get why people are so upset at this article. It merely shows that on record we have the wine quote which is a beautiful quote. This article does not attempt to disprove the beer quote, It’s just saying that we don’t have proof of the beer quote but we do have this wine quote. If anyone here is so sure that Mr. Franklin did say the beer quote, then please offer proof, that would wonderful.

August 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm
(69) Brian says:

A Myth is a story that conveys the truth better than the truth… The “real” quote contains the truth that Ben is asserting that God’s process that lead to alcohol (in this case wine) is that God wants us to be happy. The point is alcohol, not rain. Rain grows wheat, grass, and cleans cobble stone streets all the same – be he doesn’t mention those things. Rain wasn’t the point, alcohol was the point.

The “beer misquote” condenses this authentic sentiment down much more cleanly and concisely without altering the underlying meaning. So, if it’s a Myth that Ben said those things, it’s a great one, and that’s why it’s flourished through the ages.

September 10, 2012 at 8:06 am
(70) Captain Oblivious says:

I have a quote from beerfan: “Blah blah blah, I’m a beer-swilling moron who has to wear adult diapers.”

Doesn’t matter if you actually said it or not. You conveyed that spirit in your post.

People, this is a site about debunking urban legends. If you can’t handle having your sacred cows slaughtered and refuse to adjust your conception of reality based on actual facts, maybe you should go and watch Fox News or something.

Besides, the original quotation is far more elegant and befitting of Ben Franklin. Toughen up, internet.

September 12, 2012 at 10:40 am
(71) Ben Franklin says:

Subsequent to browsing through these posts, I now require both wine AND beer, for you have all transpired to both bore me and cause my head to ache!

September 26, 2012 at 11:24 am
(72) Tom says:

How interesting that folks get so fond of a statement like this, that it really doesn’t matter to them whether it is true or not. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Ben didn’t like beer, just that the quote attributed to him is misapplied.
I can look into his writings and find that he was fond of corn, and yet it doesn’t mean I should say, “Corn is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy. -Ben Franklin”. Big difference folks.

Why does it make people feel better to misquote Franklin when they have reason to believe that he would have agreed with the misquote too? This isn’t a wine versus beer debate, it’s a he said it or he didn’t one.

October 15, 2012 at 12:32 am
(73) Dr Mularkey says:

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” It doesn’t matter if Ben Franklin said it or not, the statement is the Absolute Truth! There would be no civilization at all without beer and I’ll drink to that!

October 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(74) Tom says:

You should all get a life

November 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm
(75) Alex Garnand says:

You are an obvious liar who spreads misinformation for the likes of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers. Americans and the whole world is sick of the lies and misinformation. “We never had WMD’s before”. Wow, this displays your believers’ ignorance. The Mongols used them to wipe out half a continent by catapulting dead Black Plague victims into western cities. When did you sell your soul and your descendents’ future to the devil or are you just an ignoramus? Why do you need our email address;to report us to homeland security and silence those of us who have a brain and heart?

November 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm
(76) Jason says:

The quote about wine failed to last. No one cites it. No one cares.

The beer quote is the only quote. True or not.

December 18, 2012 at 6:33 am
(77) kerredwen says:

I initially found this because was researching the phrase. I loved reading ALL of the comments because I like to hear different opinions, philosophies, etc. I tend to dislike when people are attacking others for their’s. Ben Franklin was an innovator of many new ideas that have become part of today’s American life. It is people like him who made our country and the world greater for him going against everyday thinking. I would bet that when he expressed his views at the time, there were many who were as negative and harsh to him as I have seen others be in this thread to people who have also expressed their ideas and opinions.

January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm
(78) Eileam says:

Given the undisputed fundamental truth of the statement, does it matter who said it.

January 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm
(79) precision says:

Theory – that there individuals dedicated to preserving historical facts, others dedicated to changing these facts, and some that do not care.

Proof – the misquote and comments on this page.

January 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm
(80) Karin Friedemann says:

Old Benjamin Franklin would be rolling in his grave listening to your surmising. The man was an anti alcohol advocate. He promoted smoking pot. Learn your history. He has a lot of sayings against drinking.

February 18, 2013 at 9:11 am
(81) Beer is Good says:

They sell beer glasses in the Franklin Institute Science Museum with that quote on it…..attributable to Franklin.

March 2, 2013 at 1:29 am
(82) Stosh says:

“when legend becomes fact print the legend”

Works for me. I like Ben’s (mis)quote better than the supposed real story.

March 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm
(83) gmlogmd says:

Obviously he took the rainwater to make beer……..and now you know the rest of the story.

March 28, 2013 at 10:32 am
(84) T. Jefferson says:

It amazes me how many of the people in this world don’t understand basic ideas like attribution and quoting. If you cannot point to a primary source, then it’s just not true. Those who want to print “the legend instead of the fact” live in a world of fantasy instead of reality. While I have nothing against that, at least admit and advertize that is what you are doing. Anyone might have said anything in particular, but unless you have a record of it, somewhere, you should not be attributing it to them. Saying, for example “George Bush said ‘Read my lips, No New Taxes.’” If I can’t point to a primary source for that (like the video of him doing so), then it is not an actual quote. If, instead, I look at what he did (which, indeed, included creating new taxes) it would be, in the fantasy world, never have been said, since, obviously, he did create new taxes, and therefore would not have ever said “no new taxes”.

There is primary source that Ben Franklin wrote something about water and wine, and the love of God. We can find that. We can quote that if we wish. There has yet to be turned up a primary source for him saying anything in particular about beer and the love of God. Until there is, then, it should not be attributed to him. If you are so convinced that he must have said it. There are lots of his papers, writings, and the like, feel free to pour through them, and look. It is dry and dusty work, so you might want to have a beer in hand while you do. Of course, along the way you might discover other gems, that would really enrich the world.

April 2, 2013 at 9:50 am
(85) Zoomie89 says:

I choose to continue quoting him incorrectly.

April 11, 2013 at 2:31 am
(86) REEFMANIA says:

Your mode of telling all in this article is actually fastidious,
every one be capable of without difficulty be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

April 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm
(87) Cam says:

Apparently to Franklin God did more than one thing to make us happy.

This is a logical fallacy. Sorry.

April 22, 2013 at 9:15 am
(88) Leslie says:

Just came back from Philly and a visit to the Franklin Institute, where they not only sell the glasses in the gift shop, but also project quotes on the rotunda wall, including that one. Wish I’d known this was not a true quote and had asked about it.

April 22, 2013 at 9:26 am
(89) David Emery says:

Regarding the Franklin Institute, here is what they say in their online FAQ:

Did Ben really say that beer is proof of God’s love?
There is no evidence to suggest that Ben ever said that beer is proof that God loves us. However, he did have this to say about wine:

We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.

This passage has been translated from the original French that Ben wrote in a letter to the Abbe Morellet in 1779. The subject of the letter was wine and Divine Providence.

April 24, 2013 at 9:45 am
(90) Stephen Sadler says:

“Ninety-nine percent of internet quotes are either misquotes, misattributions, or complete fabrications.”
Abraham Lincoln.

April 30, 2013 at 11:51 am
(91) wifi password hack says:

It’s truly very difficult in this busy life to listen news on Television, therefore I only use web for that reason, and get the latest information.

August 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm
(92) Belial Issimo says:

Independence Park gift shop in Philly sells tons of t-shirts, glasses, etc. with the same quote. Jeez, if you can’t trust the government to get it right…

October 3, 2013 at 12:51 am
(93) mashfan says:

Lolololololol!

Ben is in the afterlife laughing is behind off at everyone right now… because we’re seriously arguing the validity of this “quote” like it honestly actually matters beyond barside conversation.

I say *CHEERS* to that!

October 13, 2013 at 4:59 am
(94) T says:

~ Wow really..? A tad bit of research of the time B F lived in tells the whole tale… and in reality… All have lost the ENTIRE meaning of what he meant by saying wine brings forth happiness… Even if it were beer??? What does it take to make both of these, not to mention, all beverages??? H20….in the form of rain… Indeed is what B F was referring to, yep that’s right for without it you have no juice of any fruit, cept maybe beetle juice?

October 21, 2013 at 4:43 am
(95) sergio beans says:

Pretty stupid quote all things considered. Beer is man made, and thus a transformation (or rotting if you will) of something. It would largely make more sense if the quote was about opium or marijuana as those are relatively as nature intended compared to beer.

October 27, 2013 at 12:29 am
(96) 67Texson says:

It’s still a great line whoever stated it!!

Sergio, beer is actually made from water, malt, yeast, and hops, all natural ingredients, relying on the natural process of fermentation to create the alcohol. There is no “rotting,” just nature at work.

Cheers!

January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm
(97) Ivan Odor says:

I insist that people stop quoting Jesus until they can produce some proof that he said what he said; an eyewitness, maybe a home video.

January 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm
(98) Robin says:

Okay he didn’t say it about beer but he certainly said it about wine.
Hey, it’s alcoholic, it’s a social lubricant, it engenders joy and conviviality.
So in future while in my favorite Publick house, while talking treason with my mates, I shall use the two expressions interchangeably and believe I have Mr. Franklins full blessing.

January 21, 2014 at 12:26 am
(99) Lois says:

A few summers ago we visited Williamsburg, Virginia.
There was a Pub there that was a FAVORITE of
GEORGE WASHINGTON and many other of our
Countrys Founding Fathers. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
was also known to frequent that establishment.
He gets credit for many inventions and was an
established Scientists. I would love to visit the
FRANKLIN MUSEUM sometime.

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