Ben Franklin Beer Myth Busted

By all accounts, Benjamin Franklin was a very social guy.

He enjoyed spending time with friends. He preached temperance but couldn't seem to lay off the Claret. It's even rumored that he had quite a good time while serving as the first U.S. ambassador to France.

Like so many party-animals, the myth has outgrown the man. Here's one piece of Franklin lore that is seemingly everywhere:

It's on signs...

Source: Flickr, Jim G

Source: Flickr, Jim G

Pint glasses...

Source: Flickr, Reclamation Revolution

Source: Flickr, Reclamation Revolution

And even t-shirts...

Source: Flickr, Rhys A.

Source: Flickr, Rhys A.

The truth is Franklin never said this. Some enterprising sign/pint glass/t-shirt salesperson slapped the quote on a few tchotchkes and pulled the wool over the eyes of beer drinkers everywhere.

So, what did Franklin really say?

Here's the original quote, taken from a 1779 letter to his friend Andre Morellet:

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!

Yep. Franklin was really talking about wine.

On the next rainy day, open a nice bottle of wine and raise a glass to Ben Franklin: inventor, statesman, and wine lover.

Posted on December 18, 2014 and filed under Wine Discoveries.