Okay, so I'm still perusing some beer blogs -- and I see a link to "beer quotes." Which sounded worth checking into.
And sure enough, there was my old friend, the Ben Franklin quotation. You know the one I mean: "Beer is living proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy." Or: "Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy." Such a cute quote. Has made certain t-shirt printers rich, happy, and fat (Ben Franklin would approve!) O
nly problem, of course, is that Ben Franklin didn't say it. As near as I can tell, the quote was concocted by a bunch of guys who own a t-shirt printing company in (I believe) Delaware.
How do I know that Franklin didn't say it? First I did my own research and in the space of about 15 minutes discovered that this alleged quote only shows up on undocumented websites.
That set off my historian's alarm bells, so I decided to dig deeper. One of my best friends is a Franklin scholar, and he, in turn, is friends with nearly all the Franklin scholars working in the U. S. So I asked my friend to check into it -- and he asked his friends for some help. Including the kind folks at the National Archives who are busy digitizing all of Franklin's works (your tax dollars at work!) They all confirmed what I already suspected: Franklin didn't say it.
One of the scholars said it actually sounded more like Samuel Johnson, so I did some more digging. Nope, Johson didn't say it either........ So "beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" is quite possibly the most famous fake quote on the planet!