As Rob Dunn writes in his first of a series of posts about alcohol on the Scientific American Guest Blog today, the first alcoholic beverages consumed by our ancestors might have provided the impetus for agriculture (to produce the grains to feed the yeasts, of course) and served an important medicinal purpose (more on that from Rob tomorrow).

But let’s be clear, this ancient beer a) probably didn’t taste good and b) was low in alcohol content.

My how far we’ve come – In the spirit of highlighting the diversity of beers now available in these modern times (and the wide array of ingredients used to brew and flavor beer) I polled folks on Twitter and in person, asking them:


[View the story “What’s your favorite beer and why?” on Storify]Ok, I’ll admit it. I was looking for suggestions of new beers to try. But I also think it’s cool to think about how a beverage so many of us consume in our every day lives is connected by culture and evolution to the distant past.

So let’s raise a pint to progress and the wheat, barley and Saccharomyces cerevisiae that produce the beverage we enjoy so much. Cheers!

Part 2 in the alcohol mini-series: Fruit Flies Use Alcohol to Self-Medicate, but Feel Bad about it Afterwards

** For those of you REALLY fascinated by the science of beer, check out a post by our pal and beer guru Matt Shipman on The Science of a Good Pour over at The Abstract**