New evidence could strengthen the argument that the Stone Age domestication of cereals—which in turn led to farming and "settled behavior"—was intended for beer, not food. Yes, that's right: Without beer, there might never have been civilization.
"It's not that drinking and brewing by itself helped start cultivation, it's this context of feasts that links beer and the emergence of complex societies," Hayden said....
"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," Hayden explained.
"Feasts are reciprocal - if I invite you to my feast, you have the obligation to invite me to yours. If I give you something like a pig or a pot of beer, you're obligated to do the same for me or even more."