A quality pint makes the world a whole lot rosier, and we’re not alone in feeling a little sentimental about the magical combination of hops, malts, yeast, and water. Plato, Sylvia Plath, and Jack Nicholson are among famous figures who have thoughts on the subject.
Even Edgar Allan Poe, our favorite gloomy-faced bad boy, wrote a short ode to beer. “What care I how time advances? I am drinking ale today.” We’re going to assume this was written before he ended up drunk in the gutter.
Some of the quotes we’ve unearthed might surprise you. Martin Luther, the man behind the Protestant Reformation, essentially claimed that those who drink beer get to walk straight through the pearly gates. Cheers to that!
In celebration of the weekend, crack a cold one and read the suds-fueled of philosophizing of famous drinkers past and present. Whether you are drinking a Goose Island, a Dogfish Head, or even a Bud Heavy, we challenge you to get on the level of these artists and writers.
Scroll down to read our favorite beer-related musings.
Who? Classical Greek philosopher
Thoughts on the matter: “He was a wise man who invented beer.”
Who? Third U.S. President
Thoughts on the matter: “Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.”
Who? Comedian, writer, genius
Thoughts on the matter: “In a study, scientists report that drinking beer can be good for the liver. I’m sorry, did I say ‘scientists’? I meant Irish people.”
Henry David Thoreau
Who? American author, poet
Thoughts on the matter: “Instead of water we got here a draught of beer…a lumberer’s drink, which would acclimate and naturalize a man at once—which would make him see green, and, if he slept, dream that he heard the wind sough among the pines.”
Who? British Prime Minister
Thoughts on the matter: “Most people hate the taste of beer—to begin with. It is, however, a prejudice.”
Who? Irish-American novelist
Thoughts on the matter: “When I die, I want to decompose in a barrel of porter and have it served in all the pubs in Dublin. I wonder would they know it was me?”
Who? Actor, psychopath admirer
Thoughts on the matter: “Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world.”
Who? Rocker, potential murderer
Thoughts on the matter: “I’ve only been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.”
Who? Writer, documentary maker
Thoughts on the matter: “There is no such thing as a bad beer. It’s that some taste better than others.”
Who? The Gladiator, the end
Thoughts on the matter: “I have respect for beer.”
Who? Feminist poet, writer
Thoughts on the matter: “God has a brown voice, as soft and full as beer.”
Who? Author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Thoughts on the matter: “Isn’t beer the holy libation of sincerity? The potion that dispels all hypocrisy, any charade of fine manners? The drink that does nothing worse than incite its fans to urinate in all innocence, to gain weight in all frankness?”
Who? Sci-fi author, book lover
Thoughts on the matter: “Beer’s intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it.”
Who? Author, drinker
Thoughts on the matter: “stay with the beer. beer is continuous blood. a continuous lover.”
Who? Author, pop-culture junky
Thoughts on the matter: “A man who lies about beer makes enemies.”
Who? Protestant Reformation, wore a funny hat
Thoughts on the matter: “Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”
Who? Playwright, philanderer, all-around character
Thoughts on the matter: “For a quart of Ale is a dish for a king.”
Who? 16th U.S. president
Thoughts on the matter: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
Who? Humorist and writer
Thoughts on the matter: “Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”
Who? Author, Gravity’s Rainbow
Thoughts on the matter: “Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it’s all–hahhhh.”
Edgar Allan Poe
Who? Sad-faced poet
Thoughts on the matter:
“Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chambers of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies,
Come to life and fade away:
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.”
Hunter S. Thompson
Who? Wild-card, drug consumer
Thoughts on the matter: “There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it.”
Who? American feminist poet
Thoughts on the matter: “The beer tastes good to my throat, cold and bitter, and the three boys and the beer and the queer freeness of the situation makes me feel like laughing forever. So I laugh, and my lipstick leaves a red stain like a bloody crescent moon on top of the beer can. I am looking very healthy and flushed and bright-eyed, having both a good tan and a rather excellent fever.”
Who? Canadian essayist, professor
Thoughts on the matter: “Nothing ever tasted better than a cold beer on a beautiful afternoon with nothing to look forward to than more of the same.”
Who? Last King of Prussia
Thoughts on the matter: “Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.”