Ben Franklin: Wine snob

Must we throw away our T-shirts with “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” and an attribution to Benjamin Franklin plastered across the back?

Mid-Atlantic News documented that Franklin was talking about wine in a story more than a year ago. But that’s not online, but details from author Bob Skilnik are at Beer & Food: An American History, a site he has created to promote his upcoming book of the same name. The book is already available for order and should be in stores next month.

Skilnik quotes from a letter in which Franklin wrote: “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.”

That was in 1779. Who knows what he might have written about some of today’s craft beer? Probqably something worth putting on a T-shirt.

2 Replies to “Ben Franklin: Wine snob”

  1. I’d be more surprised to find that Franklin, having once found acclamation for attributing fermented beverages to proof of god’s love and desire for our happiness, didn’t repeat that phrase ever again than to find that he used in many times, modifying it as required to best suit each different audiience.

  2. After doing a computer search of Franklin’s written words, the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary also questions the God and beer quote; a search for “beer” in all his writings yielded nothing even close to his supposed pronouncement about God and beer.

    The Belleville News-Democrat (IL) actually reported on the BFT’s findings in a June, 19, 2006 article. The newspaper notes that “Anyone who attributes that quote to Franklin is full of hops.”

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