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 September 20, 2018
“To beer or not to beer, that’s a stupid question—Shakesbeere”

"To beer or not to beer, that’s a stupid question—Shakesbeer(e)” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many images. The pun is on the famous “To be, or not to be” soliloquy in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

“John Barleycorn will have to gird up his loins for a tough contest; to beer or not to beer is the momentous question at present” was printed in the New York (NY) Tablet on June 27, 1857. “‘To be or not to be,’ said Hamlet to himself. ‘To beer or not to beer,’ said the gimlet to the untapped ale keg” was printed in many newspapers in February 1860.

“To beer, or not to beer. That is a stupid question!” was posted on the newsgroup rec.food.drink.beer on April 1, 1994. “‘To beer or not to beer ?’ SHAKESBEER” was posted on the newsgroup pl.soc.seks on November 8, 1995.


Wikipedia: To be, or not to be
“To be, or not to be” is the opening phrase of a soliloquy spoken by Prince Hamlet in the so-called “nunnery scene” of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Act III, Scene I.

27 June 1857, New York (NY) Tablet, “Our London Correspondence,” pg. 12, col. 1:
John Barleycorn will have to gird up his loins for a tough contest; to beer or not to beer is the momentous question at present.

16 February 1860, Albany (NY) Evening Gazette, “Funnygrams,” pg. 2, col. 3:
To be or not to be,” said Hamlet to himself. “To beer or not to beer,” said the gimlet to the untapped ale keg.

23 February 1860, The Country Gentleman (Albany, NY), “Funnygrams,” pg. 136, col. 2:
To be or not to be,” said Hamlet to himself. “To beer or not to beer,” said the gimlet to the untapped ale keg.

Google Groups: rec.food.drink.beer
Meat Beer
Richard John Brennan
4/1/94
(...)
“To beer, or not to beer. That is a stupid question!”

Google Groups: pl.soc.seks
Panienki w metrze…
YELLKY
11/8/95
(...)
“To beer or not to beer ?” SHAKESBEER

Google Groups: uk.local.southwest
Valentines Day (Was:Bristol Beer Festival)
Tyger
2/7/97
(...)
“To Beer or not to Beer?  What a stupid question!”

Google Groups: alt.games.mame
[OT] Beer Quotes
Martin Steen
7/26/06
To beer or not to beer - that’s the question.
-- Shakesbeer

Twitter
Ronnie B
@alt_horizon
to beer or not to beer… by shakesbeer.
Feeling slightly out of focus and wanting to party… mmm beer
12:02 PM - 27 Feb 2009

Twitter
Brian Bertrand
@AlkaloidEntInc
Hmmmm . . . to beer or not to beer? That is a stupid question.
9:08 PM - 21 Mar 2009

Twitter
Fabian
@FabianInPHX
To beer, or not to beer? That’s a stupid question.
1:19 AM - 11 Jun 2011

Twitter
PuntoG(igi)
@Juijui_
To beer or not to beer? (W. Shakesbeere)
2:16 PM - 13 Feb 2013

Twitter
Rabong
@brabioli
To beer or not to beer? That is a silly question.
7:54 PM - 16 Apr 2013

Twitter
El César
@PauloGaFer
To beer or not to beer, that’s a silly question.
1:34 PM - 5 May 2013

Twitter
The Deaner
@Dean_Murdoch
To beer or not to beer, that’s a stupid fuckin question. -Shakesbeere
1:22 PM - 7 May 2013

Twitter
ANBL
@ANBL_ENG
To beer, or not to beer… Is that ever a question? @beausallnatural Full Time IPA is now available in 473 ml cans! https://bit.ly/2Qn1OCt #craftbeer
5:30 PM - 13 Sep 2018

Elite Daily
30 Clever Happy Hour Captions, Because It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Wine O’Clock
BY RACHEL CHAPMAN
September 13, 2018
(...)
17. “To beer or not to beer. That is a silly question.” — Unknown

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, September 20, 2018 • Permalink