Beer Is Proof

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ben franklin beer is proof

Bacteria was first observed in 1676 by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, but he called it animalcules. The word “bacteria” become more well-known with Louis Pasteur’s germ theory in 1870, which is a full 80 years after Franklin died. Writer Dale Carnegie wrote this witticism in his 1936 best-seller How to Win Friends and Influence People. It follows a quote from Franklin, hence the attribution confusion. Always quick with a bon mot, Benjamin Franklin has been quoted and paraphrased endlessly.

Aiding the framers through the birth of modern democracy was an astronomical amount of booze. While an opioid epidemic intensified after the Civil War, when ten million prescription pills were given to Union Army soldiers, substance abuse has been around since the days of the American Revolution.

Ben Franklin Quote

In comparison, a contemporary American downs just over two gallons each year. Like Adams, the fourth president of the United States and drafter of the Bill of Rights was known to guzzle a pint of whiskey each day.

ben franklin beer is proof

It’s tough to say, but John Adams may have been the biggest drinker of the Sons of Liberty. He began every day with a draft of hard cider before breakfast. He drank three glasses of Madeira, a wine fortified with rum, every night before bed. During the bad old days under British taxation, Adams wrote to his wife, “I am getting nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this cause alone.” He died at 90. Your average colonist guzzled about seven gallons of alcohol per year.

Say What? Says Who? Benjamin Franklin On Beer

Franklin was writing about wine, and QI has been unable to locate substantive support for instances referring to beer. Needless to say, Benjamin Franklin was successful in his job at the London printing house, as he was with pretty much everything else in his life. So if you want to take away a little beer wisdom from the great man, don’t drink beer at work; drink water instead. Although Franklin does love wine, here, he may be referring to the greatness of God and the wonders of the rain and the vineyards, rather than the greatness of wine. However, either way, the quote never had anything to do with beer.

Perhaps treatment for alcoholism may have helped Adams win a second term in office. Jefferson was a classy drinker who was known for having a penchant for French wine (also for having fake wine bottles inscribed with his name, but that’s another story). The first time this quote was seen was in 2004, long after the third president of the United States died. In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin can be credited with the passage he wrote in his letter to André Morellet as published in 1818. The popular concise modern statements evolved from Franklin’s words, but were imprecise.

After his presidency, he opened one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the country at Mount Vernon that produced 11,000 gallons in 1799, the year he died. On top of being statesmen and revolutionaries, men like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington also knew how to drink — and drink they did. In the 13 years between our declaration of independence in 1776 and the election of our first president in 1789, these men were tasked with creating a new nation from scratch. There were fierce debates, false starts, and terrible failures before a Constitution was finally ratified and a president elected.

However, contrary to popular belief Benjamin Franklin did not in fact ever say these alleged words. This has created a common misconception about Franklin being a lover and avid consumer of beer. On occasion I carried up and down Stairs a large Form of Types in each hand, when others carried but one in both Hands. They wonder’d to see from this and several Instances that the Water-American as they call’d me was stronger than themselves who drank strong Beer. We had an Alehouse Boy who attended always in the House to supply the Workmen. But it was necessary, he suppos’d, to drink strong Beer that he might be strong to labour.

ben franklin beer is proof

This little mistake is not likely to profoundly affect the course of human history or anything so drastic but, still, it’s best to use factual information, especially when there is written proof of what he actually said. I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer. You don’t like me and I don’t like you, but let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer. Instead, rather than rely on a false quote from a historical icon, let us instead seek enlightenment from the famous philosopher, Homer . But, the acceptance of fake news, bad quotes and memes is becoming an American epidemic.

What Did Ben Franklin Say About Beer?

As Franklin reminded Monsieur l’Abbé Morellet in the same letter, “In vino veritas…Truth is in wine.” And truth, according to Morellet’s motto on the bookplates in his vast library, triumphs over all—Veritas omnia vincit. Although he enjoyed beer—especially small beer, perfect for long sessions devoted to discussions of political philosophy, economic theory, science, and the arts—Ben Franklin was first and foremost a great lover of wine. It is still unknown who started this rumor, or when his words got twisted since it it so hard to trace the roots to a rumor that started so long ago.

Even though drinking was common in the late 18th century, as alcohol was considered safer to consume than the drinking water at the time, a pint a day was still considered quite excessive. The southern Democratic-Republican would today be considered a candidate for intensive alcoholism treatment. As the first vice president and second president of the United States, Adams liked to drink alcohol—mostly beer, wine, rum, and cider. The successor to Washington was such an excessive drinker that he was known to have downed large amounts of hard cider every morning for breakfast.

He didn’t say everything that’s been attributed to him. Here are the top misquoted and misattributed Ben Franklin sayings. Thanks to a forum participant at Snopes and to a volunteer editor at Wikiquote who mentioned the letter above. Also, thanks to top researcher Barry Popik who explored this topic. The comment on wine was remembered and reprinted repeatedly. The phrasing evolved and was streamlined over the period of nearly two centuries since the above publication.

Here are seven famous drinking quotes that are either attributed wrong or made up entirely by some meme prankster. The variant mentioning beer appeared relatively recently circa 1996, and it was constructed by simply replacing “wine” with “beer”; hence, it was not supported by Franklin’s primordial remark. Many of us have probably seen this quoted at least one time in our life whether it be on a t-shirt, a mug, a poster, etc. with a picture of Benjamin Franklin above or below it.

  • On occasion I carried up and down Stairs a large Form of Types in each hand, when others carried but one in both Hands.
  • Ben Franklin Quote – BEER is PROOF that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
  • Meanwhile, Anchor Brewing — an ipso facto founding father of the modern craft beer movement —attempted to debunk this oft-quoted “beer is proof” myth in 2012.
  • According to his own journals, he may have had a few toots before the ride was over.

Others say that’s just drunken rationalizing; that, in fact, our British heritage was a lot more to blame. The popular belief in England at the time was that water, clean or not, was bad for your health. Beer and cider weren’t even categorized as alcohol, but rather as food, and as status symbols.

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The founding fathers would have been exposed to opioids and alcohol, and some of these famous historical figures depended on them for pain relief and emotional comfort. Who wouldn’t want to believe that one of America’s most important founding fathers — especially one who was known for consuming his fair share of drinks — didn’t also spew wisdom about said drinks?