Here’s an entertaining and interesting article – In Vino, Civitas by James Bridle, author of Cooking with Booze. James’s idea is that we drank ourselves into civilisation, that the cultivation of grains was driven not by hunger but by thirst.
“Beer, as well as spirits, allowed us to crowd together into cities where the water was foul and undrinkable, and it allowed us set off on long sea voyages of exploration and conquest. These two opportunities – urbanisation and exploration, have fuelled all major human activity since the renaissance.”
I love his little diagrams, the one above cracks me up.