A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 22, 2012
“In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom; in water there is bacteria”

“In vino veritas” is an ancient Latin phrase meaning “in wine there is truth.” The saying arises from the belief that alcohol releases inhibitions and that a person tells the truth when drunk. A frequent addition is “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas” ("in wine there is truth, in water there is health").

“In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom/strength; in water there is bacteria” is a modern saying that has frequently been credited to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who never said it. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary has the first known use of “bacteria” in 1881.

William Barker used this as his Usenet signature in 1995:

“In Wine there is Wisdom, In Beer there is Strength; In Water is Bacteria.” —Old German Saying.

Wayne Lutz used this as his Usenet signature in 1996:

“In beer there is strength,
In wine is wisdom,
In water is bacteria.” – Olde German saying.
(Or something an old German said; I’m not sure which.)


There is no evidence that this is an old German saying. “In beer there is freedom” replaced “in beer there is strength” in about 2004. The popular saying has been printed on many gift items, such as T-shirts and signs.


Wikipedia: In vino veritas
In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that translates, “in wine [there is the] truth”. It is also known as a Greek phrase “Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” En oino álétheia, which has the same meaning. The author of the Latin phrase is Pliny the Elder; the Greek phrase is attributed to the Greek poet Alcaeus. A more proper form of the phrase is “In vino veritas est”. The word “est” is however often omitted.

The Greek poet Alcaeus is the oldest known source for the phrase. The Roman historian Tacitus described how the Germanic peoples always drank wine while holding councils, as they believed nobody could lie effectively when drunk.

The phrase is often continued as, “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas”, i.e., “In wine there is truth, in water there is health.”

FoodReference.com
“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.”
David Auerbach, 2002

Goodreads
“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”
― Benjamin Franklin

Google Groups: rec.skiing.snowboard
William Barker
10/31/1995
(...)
Bill Barker
Biological Structure, SM-20
University of Washington
Seattle WA 98195
(206) 543-7315
“In Wine there is Wisdom, In Beer there is Strength; In Water is Bacteria.” —Old German Saying.

Google Groups: bit-listserv.blues-l
Greg Hermanns
5/10/96
(...)
In wine there is wisdom. In beer is strength. In water is bacteria.
-- German saying

Google Groups: misc.writing
The Last Real Marlboro Man
6/25/96
(...)
Wayne Lutz: 
--------------------------------
“In beer there is strength,
In wine is wisdom,
In water is bacteria.” - Olde German saying.
(Or something an old German said; I’m not sure which.)

1 March 1998, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “Traveler’s Table,” pg. K12:
The menu itself offers a witty list of truisms and sage advice such as “Grits are a Southern excuse for salt and butter,” “In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is strength; in water there is bacteria” and “Eat something you have not tasted before; your life will be prolonged 75 days.”

inkgrrl’s inkblog
November 20, 2000
(...)
inkGrrl – Might as well drink – ’twas a great one who said, “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.”

The Survival Forum
AyersTG
10/13/03 06:43 PM
(This prol should get moved to campfire) - I’ve been hanging around BladeForums too much lately - but here’s my recollection of a tagline from a frequent poster:

“Beer makes us stronger
Wine makes us wiser
Water has bacteria in it...”

The SuperHeroHype Forums
Metamorpho1977
05-13-2004, 01:23 PM
(...)
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Wikiquote: Talk:Wine
Any source on this?
I read a very good quote today:

“In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria.”

The only issue is, I can’t find a reliable source for the quote. I quick Google search gives me Ben Franklin, but I’m just getting a bunch of forum sig line and such; nothing reliable. Plus, I’m skeptical that the word “bacteria” was around in Franklin’s day… 68.221.219.156 18:27, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Hop Talk
Help me find the source of this quote
Posted on January 9, 2008 by Al
(...)
COMMENTS
Al on January 11, 2008 at 8:38 AM said:
Heh, so much for that.

A quick search of Usenet archives shows a person named Wayne Lutz using it in his signature in 1996. He lists it thus:

“In beer there is strength,
In wine is wisdom,
In water is bacteria.” – Olde German saying.
(Or something an old German said; I’m not sure which.)

Of course, every collection of German proverbs I’ve looked at doesn’t have it.

Al on January 11, 2008 at 8:58 AM said:
Another version I found:
“Wine has body, Beer has strength, Water has bacteria”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 22, 2012 • Permalink