Charles Q. Choi interviewed archaeologist Brian Hayden on how beer may have aided in the rise of civilization:

Feasts are essential in traditional societies for creating debts, for creating factions, for creating bonds between people, for creating political power, for creating support networks, and all of this is essential for developing more complex kinds of societies... The brewing of alcohol seems to have been a very early development linked with initial domestication, seen during Neolithic times in China, the Sudan, the first pottery in Greece and possibly with the first use of maize.

(Hat tip: Max Read)

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