Wine was probably the first alcoholic beverage discovered, but beer goes way back too.
An archaeological dig in Mesopotamia, for example, yielded beer brewing instructions on stone tablets dating from about 7000 B.C., and we know that Neolithic man grew wheat, barley, and millet 3,000 years before that.
However, wine most likely came first.
Beer, after all, has to be brewed while wine will often just sort of happen if you leave a fruit juice out long enough.
Persian poet and astronomer Omar ‘Khayyam (A.D. 1050-1122) claimed wine was discovered by a member of a Persian king’s harem.
According to his story, grapes were stored in jars in the king’s palace for eating out of season. One jar developed foaming grapes and a strange smell, so it was set aside as probably poisonous.
A harem woman, suffering from excruciating “nervous headaches,” decided to use this poison to commit suicide and free herself of the constant pain.
However, after she drank it, her headache disappeared.
She became the life of the party and then sank into a restful sleep.
Historian Hugh Johnson, however, believes that wine was discovered two million years ago, long before there even was a Persia.