Over the next several weeks come back each Tuesday to see how beer had major influence in society.  In many cases people look at me and say “It is just beer.”  Yeah it is just beer, but beer played a role in everything from the Agricultural Revolution to the Industrial Revolution to technological advancements to massive government policy decisions.  Thousands of people rely on beer for employment and the modern craft movement is one of many elements driving our society to be more sustainable.  So yes it is just beer, but beer is huge.

For years scientists assumed that civilization went from a hunter gatherer society to an agrarian one for the generic concept of growing grains and raising livestock.  Scientists are now beginning to believe early humans may of settled to raise grain for beer.  While no one knows exactly how beer came about there are some theories.

It is believed that originally a group of hunter gatherers left grain in a container and it either deliberately or inadvertently became wet.  Then wild airborne yeast mixed in and the grains fermented.  Some lucky man or woman got to be the first to taste beer.  Their identity will never be known but they told their friends to try beer.  It was discovered to be tasty and early man decided to settle down and domesticate barley.  We know barley was among the earliest domesticated grains.  Now most people would likely say grains were domesticated to make bread.  Scientists have dated beer to 9000 BC which is 3000 years before evidence of bread.  The domesticated grains were the spark that created what we now call Mesopotamia the cradle of civilization.

I am not one to argue that without this discovery we would of never settled down, but what if the catalyst for the Agricultural Revolution did not happen for 100 years?  I likely would be working in a factory instead or typing a blog on the internet.  Something to think about isn’t it?




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