Alcohol has been around since the beginning of mankind. It is believed that alcohol was first discovered by accident as early as 7000 b.c. The earliest civilizations would gather wild fruit and grains in hand crafted containers. They would bring this food back to their family. Anything not eaten would be left on the table for another day. In the following days it was soon discovered that due to the sometimes large amounts of berries, some berries would get crushed creating pleasant tasting juice. Due to the lack of refrigeration, the berries and juice would begin to spoil. Unknown to our earliest ancestors a microorganism called yeast occurs on just about everything outside. It is this naturally occurring microorganism, through a process of fermentation, the berries would soon contain alcohol. The alcohol contained in this primitive alcoholic drink was about 3-4% and it was noticed that alcohol created “A pleasant feeling when consumed in small volumes and a sense of otherworldliness when those initial small volumes were followed by more.”
Today consuming alcohol is often cast in a negative light: crime, violence, immorality, physical and mental illness and even death. The positive qualities of consuming alcohol are often overlooked. Some of which are: a feeling of warmth, hospitality, spirituality, fertility. Drinking beverages containing alcohol is sometimes prescribed for health reasons, also it gives people a feeling of well-being or pleasure. There are some areas of the world where it is recommended to drink an ‘alcohol containing’ beverage instead of their local water because of unsanitary conditions.
Although use of alcohol for human consumption can be seen since the beginning of mankind, it was not until the mid-19th century that the creation of alcohol was explained as a biological process. The biological process is called fermentation. Fermentation is the process of converting sugar (naturally occurring or added) by the use of a microorganism called yeast (naturally occurring or added) into alcohol. To make alcohol all one needs is a form of liquefied sugar, yeast, and a warm room. This fermentation process is the same process used when making beer, wine, or distilled spirits and all of these can be easily made in the comfort of your own home.