Like Wine, Beer has a long history, one that's longer than we'll ever be able to trace. Beer is one of the oldest and most popular social drink consumed widely in the world, the third most preferred drink overall after Water and Tea.
Beer was spread through Europe by Germanic and Celtic tribes as far back as 3000 BC. The Ebla tablets, discovered in 1974 in Ebla, Syria, show that beer was produced in the city in 2500 BC. A fermented drink using rice and fruit was made in China around 7000 BC.
Some of the earliest Sumerian writings contain references to beer; examples include a prayer to the goddess Ninkasi, known as "The Hymn to Ninkasi", which served as both a prayer as well as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people, and the ancient advice (Fill your belly. Day and night make merry) to Gilgamesh, recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh, by the ale-wife Sidurimay, at least in part, have referred to the consumption of beer.
Beer is recorded in the written history of ancient Iraq and ancient Egypt, and archaeologists speculate that beer was instrumental in the formation of civilizations. Approximately 5000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk (modern day Iraq) were paid by their employers in beer. During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five litres of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids' construction.
Frederick the Great of Prussia banned coffee in 1777, issuing a manifesto to his people that …"It is disgusting to notice the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects… My people must drink beer. His Majesty was brought up on beer, and so were his ancestors."
Almost any substance containing sugar can naturally undergo alcoholic fermentation. It is likely that many cultures, on observing that a sweet liquid could be obtained from a source of starch, independently invented beer. Bread and beer increased prosperity to a level that allowed time for development of other technologies and contributed to the building of civilizations.