Ben Franklin and Beer

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There is a famous quote credited to Ben Franklin that states, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” You may walk around the city of Boston and shirts and souvenirs with this quote stated on it attributed to Ben Franklin, but these souvenirs are misleading because Franklin did not actually state these exact words. Although Franklin may have enjoyed beer, he was more so a lover of wine. The quote that is statement originates from a letter written by Franklin to his friend Andre Morellet, a writer, theologian, philosopher, and economist, in 1779. Franklin writes:

“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, 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!”

As you can see, Franklin is talking about wine, not beer, and it is clear that he has been misquoted. It is not clear as to why Franklin’s words were twisted. Even though Franklin was not referring to beer when stated this quote, you can find it plastered on all sorts of beer memorabilia across the country.

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