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7 Quotes About Beer from Famous Writers

7 Quotes About Beer from Famous Writers

Beer has a long history, and it has found romantic renderings and associations in many books, especially literary and romantic works of fiction. Beer is a drink loved in many countries and, as such, it has influenced the thoughts and writings of several great authors. Students choose the history of breweries as the theme of their research papers by researching heavily on the topic.

Read on to explore seven notable quotes from famous writers and literary icons on the wonderful subject of beer.


John Steinbeck

“There is nothing in the world like the first taste of beer.”

The above quote on beer was mentioned by John Steinbeck in his novel Cannery Row. Published in 1945, it was set during the Great Depression. The novel centers around characters whose lives revolve around the sardine canneries on the streets of Monterey, California. With derelict characters, it was all about how they strove to reduce their woes by turning to brews which softened reality and helped people remember good times and enjoy the company of their loved ones. The quote above, found in this novel, has been one that many have referred to as a way to describe their feelings about the drink.

John Steinbeck, who died in 1968, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. His writings were recognized for the blend of imagination and realism along with a keen eye for human detail.


Ray Bradbury

Ray Radbury is a famed author as well as a screenwriter of repute. Indeed, he covered several genres in his writings spanning mystery, science fiction, horror and fantasy. Bradbury did not want to be categorized for science fiction alone but wanted his writings to be known as fantasies. Among his writings, the novel Fahrenheit 451 is well known as a dystopian study of American society in the future. He predicted here that critical thoughts would be less favorable for many.

“Beer's intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it.”

The above quote is from the book called “The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse.” Many would remember it well, the name reminding them of their favorite table games at online casinos. Indeed, a poker chip has several references and meanings, one of them being the virtual table games that gamblers enjoy at the live casino sections.

In this novel, George Garvey is a middle-class character who enjoys simple joys of life such as Guy Lombardo’s music and Milton Berle’s comedy. He comes across a group of youngsters called The Cellar Septet who like the uniqueness of his character, his simple nature and lack of knowledge of the fine works of art. Later on, when his popularity is on the decline, he resorts to a poker chip eye painted by Matisse and a finger guard of gold of Mandarin origin simply to have some unique possessions that would ensure his popularity.

The combination of intellectuals and simple-minded fellows in the text are reflected well in the quote about the beer, which has stood the test of time.

David Sedaris

David Sedaris is a humorist in the literary circles of America in the late 20th century.

“I'd tried to straighten him out, but there's only so much you can do for a person who thinks Auschwitz is a brand of beer.”

This quote, a humorous one by David Sedaris, is taken from a novel called Naked. Here he portrays several essays that showcase the real-world experiences he had. These include his coming to terms with homosexuality, losing his mother to cancer, measuring himself against his siblings, all including an approach based on humor.  His other well-known books are Me Talk Pretty One Day, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, many of which have references to the drink.

Photo Copyright Harald Krichel/Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Edgar Allan Poe

The influence of drugs and alcohol loomed large in this writer’s life. Edgar Allan Poe is also known as a poet and literary critic of America. His short stories and poetry typify American Gothic themes.

Poe resorted to drugs and alcohol when he lost his adoptive and biological mothers as well as his wife. He sought out alcohol as a way to overcome a depression, which also influenced the dark styles of his writings.

“What care I how time advances? I am drinking ale today.”

While this quote likely served as a tongue-in-cheek enabler of someone looking to get “day drunk,” these words uttered by Poe likely prophesied a day of doleful drinking in a darkened room.

Poe also presented his struggles in several of his narratives. One would find mention of alcohol in several of his stories such as Hop-Frog, The Masque of Red Death, and The Cask of Amontillado. These stories portray the unique style of writing he had that reflected his upbringing in an unsupportive and dysfunctional family, as well as the darkness of his times.


Other Writers and Their Ode to the Drink

"24 hours in a day. 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not." This is a quote from H.L. Mencken, a well-known essayist and journalist. His writings and essays on diverse topics like music, literature and contemporary political movements are still widely imbibed.

"To some, it's a six-pack. To me, it's a support group." This quote was uttered by Hall of Fame baseball manager Leo Durocher, who piloted the New York Giants (then a baseball team) to a 1954 World Series win with the help of all-time legend Willie Mays.

"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." This quote comes courtesy of Dave Barry, an author and syndicated humor columnist for the Miami Herald.


RichInLife2's picture

I've searched for years for the source of that Edgar Allen Poe quote, to no avail. Does anyone know which story, poem, essay or letter it comes from?