Benjamin Franklin and Beer

Whether it is a tourist trap in Boston, a tacky souvenir store in Chicago, or a street-side vendor in San Francisco, the quote “Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy” is attributed to Benjamin Franklin. However, these shirts and signs are incorrect when they cite Franklin as the author.

Franklin wrote in a letter to a French economist Abbe Morellet, who was a  contributor to Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, or the Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts. In the letter, Franklin conveys his love of not beer, but wine.

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”

Franklin enjoyed wine more than beer and even had a negative view towards the consumption of beer, especially when printers who have a mug or two at work. Rather, he extolled the virtues of wine and referenced the Biblical story of the wedding at Canna, where Jesus turned water into wine. The altering of the quote, however, is really meaningless in the grand scope of history. The confusion will not lead people to question the rule of law in their society or incite calls to destroy established institutions. It is a comical footnote, if that, that focuses on one of Americans favorite things, beer and one of its most famous founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin.


One thought on “Benjamin Franklin and Beer”

  1. It is genius how people market something in order to get as much money as possible. Think of it, who would want a shirt that says “Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”? It is not catchy at all, I feel like that is why it was marketed as beer. It is a shame that Franklin did not enjoy Beer and rather of had wine. In present day I do not think he would fit in very well. Beer at least in America is the norm and especially if you are drinking American Beer it is seen as patriotic. If Franklin was at my party and he was drinking wine I would look at him kind of funny. But if he was drinking a nice cold Bud Light at my party I would be like I like this guy he has character. For the people that made the t-shirts with the quote on it next to Franklins name are simple genius. They knew that there are die hard alcoholics that would love these shirts with “Franklin’s quote” on it. So shout out to the person that created these shirts, hope you that you are somewhere hot drinking a nice cold Budweiser right now. Franklin is probably enjoying some wine in the after life.

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