The pen-tailed tree shrew hits the "bars" of the rainforest every night in their native Malaysia, according to a 2008 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their poison of choice? Fermented palm nectar, which has an alcohol strength similar to beer. They spend about two hours per night – every night – boozing it up. Remarkably, they don't get inebriated, despite their small stature.
Robert Dudley, physiologist at the University of California, Berkeley told National Geographic that there may be some "positive effects" to alcohol consumption, like protection against cardiovascular risk and more food intake due to the "munchies."
Although the shrews can metabolize alcohol much better than their human counterparts, they are theorized to be very similar to the common ancestor of all primates, including humans, which existed more than 55 million years ago, according to a 2005 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Keep in mind, humans only figured out how to brew beer about 9,000 years ago. But this study implies that we could have been boozing it up since the beginning of time. Dudley suggests that our ancestors may have inherited this desire to drink alcohol in order to keep our calories up.
So, beer saves lives. And possibly all of humanity.