5 Reasons We Owe Civilization as We Know It to Beer

At some point, most of us have partaken in the frothy bit of delectation known as beer. Beer is not only the oldest fermented beverage in the world, but remains the most popular, and the third-most popular drink overall, behind only water and tea. Given its prevalence, the history of beer is usually disregarded in lieu of getting hammered, but beer is much more than just the frat bro drink of choice. In fact, we owe civilization as we know it to beer.

1. It single-handedly created an agricultural revolution

We as humans in our current form have been around for about 100,000 years, but for 90,000 of those years, we basically did nothing. Cut to 9000 BC. Somewhere around that time, we shifted from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural one. Previously, anthropologists thought this agricultural revolution was due to a desire for grains used for food, but more recently have hypothesized it was more likely because of a desire for barley in order to produce beer. Basically, our ancestors were a bunch of drunks who were only motivated to cultivate crops when it resulted in booze.

2. A desire for for mass-produced beer led to a slew of new inventions

Contextually, beer played an enormous role in society back then. It was not only used as currency, but it engendered the concept of feasting. Feasts were a societal staple that served as both celebrations and important gatherings in order to form political alliances. At these feasts, the presence of beer was fundamental, giving rise to the need for mass production. Out of the need for mass-produced beer came the invention of irrigation, the plow, the wheel, sickles, baskets, mathematics, mortars, a system of writing etc. These beer-born inventions would later be used to build entire civilizations.

3. Beer eliminated the herd mentality that had previously been ubiquitous

Thus leading to a breakdown in rigid social structure, resulting in cultural enlightenment that gave way to a more synergistic and creative civilization. The ideas that grew from that newfound broad-mindedness are infinite.

4. Beer gave us other alcoholic goodies

The process of beer cultivation, fermentation, and production gave way to the introduction of other fermented beverages, like wine and liquor.

5. Beer’s impact on society is present in our everyday lives

Beer has been attributed to everything from the creation of modern refrigeration and germ theory to the invention of the factory and abolition of child labour.

With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, most of us will undoubtedly be consuming ungodly amounts of beer as we watch overpaid giants in Spandex headbutt each other, so, in addition to toasting to the hopeful victory of the team of your choice, you can raise a toast to beer, for giving us the world as we know it.

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