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What Ben Really Said

 

Beer-themed websites, brewing organizations and even "beer writers" are fond of quoting Franklin and his supposed love of beer - "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." But Chicago-based brewing historian, Bob Skilnik, convincingly asserts that Franklin was writing about rain, its nourishment of grapes, and ultimately, its conversion into wine. 

"I hope that we can set the record straight about this little white lie that has been repeated for years," he said in a press release. "I have no doubt that ole Ben enjoyed a tankard or two of beer with friends and associates, but this beer quote, while well-meaning, is inaccurate." 

The aforementioned Skilnik, author of Beer & Food - An American History, has issued a challenge to promulgators of the quote to come forward with proof.  There have been no takers so far. 

For the record, here, in a letter addressed to André Morellet in 1779, is what Benjamin Franklin actually did say:

"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."