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.

Recent entries:
“If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie” (9/14)
“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world” (9/14)
“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us” (9/14)
“Wineaux: A wine lover who uses a glass” (9/13)
“Make yourself at home! Clean my kitchen” (9/13)
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Entry from December 31, 2012
“They who drink beer think beer”

"They who drink beer will think beer” is a saying that has been printed on many gift items, often with a picture of author Washington Irving (1783-1859). Irving did write this in his essay “Stratford-on-Avon” in Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1820), but Irving merely used an existing saying.

William Warburton (1698-1779), the Bishop of Gloucester from 1759 until his death, said the line to actor David Garrick (1717-1779), according to an account published in 1805:

“When Garrick was a boy, on his dining at Dr. Warburton’s table with his father, he was asked to take a glass of wine; which, as he was not used to it at his own house, he declined, and said he would rather have a glass of beer.—‘No, no, young gentleman,’ cried the Doctor; ‘take your wine: people who drink beer, generally think beer.’”

Warburton probably meant that wine drinkers were superior to beer drinkers, but the saying is used today to show the superiority of beer drinking over drinking water, soda or anything else.


Wikipedia: William Warburton
William Warburton (24 December 1698 – 7 June 1779) was an English critic and churchman, and served as Bishop of Gloucester from 1759 until his death.

Google Books
A Journey in the Year 1793, through Flanders, Brabant, and Germany, to Switzerland
By Charles Este
London: J. Debrett
1795
Pg. 92:
This may, in some sort, explain the intellectual pretensions of the present people. For, as Bishop Warburton so neatly said to our great actor, then a boy dining with him at Gloucester, “they who drink beer, think beer.”

Google Books
Memoirs of Samuel Foote, Esq: with a collection of his genuine bon-mots, anecdotes, opinions, &c.
Volume III
By William Cooke
London: Richard Phillips
1805
Pg. 39:
CCXXI. Garrick.
When Garrick was a boy, on his dining at Dr. Warburton’s table with his father, he was asked to take a glass of wine; which, as he was not used to it at his own house, he declined, and said he would rather have a glass of beer.—“No, no, young gentleman,” cried the Doctor; “take your wine: people who drink beer, generally think beer.”

Google Books
10 October 1820, The Kaleidoscope: or, Literary and Scientific Mirror, pg. 115:
Among others, the people of Stratford were called out to prove the strength of their heads; and in the number of the champions was Shakspeare, who, in spite of the proverb, that “they who drink beer will think beer,” was as true to his ale as Falstaff to his sack.
(Also published in Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., “Stratford-on-Avon”—ed.)

Google Books
7 March 1829, American Masonic Record and Albany Saturday Magazine (Albany, NY), pg. 43, col. 3:
KNOWING PEOPLE.
How happily do these few lines characterize a certain set of people who pick up news from “good authority,” and settle the fate of the nation over strong potations of brandy and water or Calvert’s porter, forgetting that “people who drink beer, think beer.”

21 May 1835, New-York (NY) Spectator, pg. 1, col. 3:
It is an old remark, that those who drink beer, will think beer; but the rule does not hold with the Copenhagen porter, which has no quality in common with the “heavy wet” of malt and hops.

Chronicling America
27 January 1855, The Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, OH), pg. 1, col. 6:
“Those who drink beer,” says Dr. Johnson, “think beer.”

Google Books
A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Edited by Wolfgang Mieder, Stewart A. Kingsbury and Kelsie B. Harder
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1991
Pg. 43:
They who drink beer think beer. Rec. dist.: Wis. 1st cit.: 1958 Browne, Death; US1818 Irving, Sketch Book: Stratford.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 71:
People who drink beer, think beer.

Google Books
Famous Lines:
A Columbia Dictionary of Familiar Quotations

By Robert Andrews
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
1997
Pg. 16:
They who drink beer will think beer.
WASHINGTON IRVING, (1783-1859) U.S. author. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. “Stratford-on-Avon,” (1819-1820).
This quotation has also been attributed to William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester (1698-1779).

Google Books
The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
By Ebenezer Cobham Brewer
Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd.
2001
Pg. 365:
Those who drink beer will think beer. A saying attributed to Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester (1698-1779). Some non-teetotaller parodied it with “And those that drink water will think water” — suggesting that whatever might be said of the thoughts of a beer-drinker those of a teetotaller had very little strength in them.

Google Books
Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
Edited by John Simpson and Jennifer Speake
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2008
Pg. ?:
He that DRINKS beer, thinks beer.
1820 W. IRVING Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon vii. 70 (footnote) They who drink beer will think beer.
1867 A. D. RICHARDSON Beyond Mississippi i. “They who drink beer think beer,” but Catawba and Muscatel neither muddle the brain nor fire the passions.

Google Books
The Quotable Drunkard:
Words of Wit, Wisdom, and Philosophy From the Bottom of the Glass

By Steven Kates
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2011
Pg. 26:
“They who drink beer will think beer.” —WASHINGTON IRVING

Urban Beer Nerd
November 27, 2012
DRINK BEER, THINK BEER
“They who drink beer will think beer.” - Washington Irving
That Washington Irving, man, he was one smart motherfucker. The more beer I drink, the more I think about beer. I can’t get my mind off of the Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA I picked up during my lunch break, and it’s not helping me get any work done.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, December 31, 2012 • Permalink