Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.
That quote —attributed to Ben Franklin— can be seen on the bathroom wall at a well-known Washington D.C. beer bar, and on many other bathroom walls, tee-shirts, websites, and in articles referencing beer. The problem is ... Benjamin Franklin never wrote that.
What he did write, in a rambling letter, was this:
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.
What Ben Franklin Didn't Say About Beer
[retrieved from the web]
Franklin was, in fact, talking about ... wine.
The four sleuths who should receive acclaim for researching this are
- The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, which, in 2006, mentioned that it had found no corroboration of the beer-related quote.
- Historian Bob Skilnik, who researched and posted about the situation at length on his website.
- Mid-Atlantic Brewing News writers Alexander D. Mitchell IV and Phil Sides, who, also in 2006, wrote an article debunking the quotation.
Now, you too, Mr. Bar Owner: whitewash that bathroom wall!