March 29, 2013

March 30 | Misquote Ben Franklin Day 2013
Tomorrow marks the fourth year that I have encouraged others to take part in Misquote Ben Franklin Day, a day in which we make up things Ben might have said or could not have said. The roots of this exercise is to vanquish the glurge about beer being proof of God's love. He said this about wine, not beer.

It's been heavily debunked for over 5 years and it simply refuses to go away. Ben Franklin never said it. He said something strikingly similar about wine in a 1779 letter to André Morellet:
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.
 (Source: Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. p.374.)

Though I see just as many instances of the misquotation as I ever had (These pictured examples hit my feed just this week.), at least the numbers of people refuting the misinformation is growing. I'm also keenly aware that some of  my beer business friends post signs or have t-shirts celebrating this utter falsehood. Bah! What's a righteous blogger to do? I've actually had a few people now admit that Franklin may not have said it, but certainly may have said something close to it because, after all, he was a brewer.

Was he? I don't actually believe he was. I can't find anything but baseless supposition online. Someone please cite a primary source. The sources I found seem to imply that he thought less of ale than he did wine. In any case, cider, not beer was the concoction of choice in that era. Discussion with citations on these points are welcome.

My latest crusade is the bacteria quote, a quote that uses the word bacteria in a way that would not have been used until decades after Franklin's death.
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. -Benjamin Franklin
Bacteria, it is true, was first observed by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in 1676 though he did not name it as such, referring to them as "animalcules". Further, there was no connection of bacteria to disease until many others contributed findings. This lead to Louis Pasteur's germ theory in the 1870's.

Bacteria was a word rooted  in the Latin bacterium, meaning "small rod". It was introduced as a scientific term in 1838 by German naturalist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg.

Benjamin Franklin died April 17, 1790.

If you think he was that prescient, then perhaps you should tweet or add to your social media status a whopper like these tomorrow!
"In several generations, all of my writings about beer produced in the home (HOMEBREW) shall also apply to a set of conventions which issue forth instructions on a small communication device to be held in the palm of one's hand. All of my quotations on WINE will apply to a set of conventions and instruction which will ensure the matrimony of two libraries. These are not conventional libraries to which we are accustomed... but we have no time for that now. If you remember nothing, place all of your fortunes on the colonial NAVY in the America's cup." - Bejadamus Franklinus.
 Upon the condition that one has the time, so too is it that we have the beer. - Ben Franklin


March 15, 2013

Haven't we ruined this holiday enough?

There's a movement a-foot to replace the standard Guinness pint on St. Patrick's Day with American Craft Milk Stouts and Oatmeal Stouts. There is no doubt that a good deal of alcohol is poured on that day. It makes sense that our local breweries are eager to hitch on to that green painted wagon.

It's probably fairly easy pickings for a number of us to wag our beer snob fingers at those that drink Guinness or even the green colored macro offerings like Bud and Miller. Resist that, please. It's not a teaching moment. Believe me.

Lest we think we know it all, here are a few things about the holiday that you may not have considered.

It's St. Patrick's Day. You may call it St. Paddy's, but never St. Patty's day.

Paddy is from the masculine Pádraig. Patty is from the feminine Patricia. If you've been doing it wrong for years, you may as well get a dubious Chinese tattoo.

The shamrock is not a four leaf clover. 
Taking the Lord to the Fourth Dimension.
The shamrock has three leaves which were used as a homily to teach the Holy Trinity by, you know, that guy the day is named after. Put that 4 banger on a shirt and now you look like the dubious Chinese Tattoo guy with a questionable Abercrombie and Fitch T.


The green beer thing? 

Invented by a New York coroner in 1914. It may as well be a Halloween drink. (It's Curtin's for you!)

I enjoy a Dry Irish Stout and Guinness is a notable BJCP example of that style. Are you going to quibble with me about Murphy's or Beamish? They didn't exist in the US in my formative drinking years, so slag off. You can enjoy your American Craft Milk Stouts and Oatmeal Stouts. I'm OK with that.

Just don't be surprised if someday you find yourself celebrating Zombiecrombie and Fitch Patricia Day drinking a black mint saison with a corned oxtail kimchi fried chimichanga.

March 12, 2013

Where in the Phoenix Beer World?

Do you know where in the beer world this photo was taken? Yes, I have obscured part of the logo. What is this? Where is it now? How does it relate to Arizona beer?

The concept is simple. We post a picture that is relevant to the Phoenix area beer scene and you try and identify it. Sometimes there will be a larger story involved, but often there will not. So, for glory and a tip of the glass next time we see you. Please, no social media cheating!

Answer after the jump

March 8, 2013

Memo to the, "It's Too Crowded Crowd."

RE: Last Night
The Yogi-ism, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." applies. It was a good crowd of people at both places I went to. I'm not going to name the places, but these businesses get routinely beat-up about it. If twice as many people showed up last night then there would have been a good chance that I would have twice as many friends to hang with.

We're a fickle bunch in Phoenix. We want to have the beer scene of San Diego but we don't want the crowds. We want to live in the bedroom communities of the Valley, but we want the 'burbs' to have everything the central city SHOULD have.

 Having crowds of people for events IS a sign that your beer scene is thriving. Get out of the bubble people or your exhalations will certainly cause it to burst.

Crowded beer scene. Phoenix? or San Diego?