Well, this was a close call: According to Smithsonian magazine and Dogfish Head's resident ancient-fermented-beverages expert, Dr. Patrick McGovern (he's a professor by day), the Egyptian pyramids wouldn't be here without the motivational capacities of sweet, sweet suds: “It was a source of nutrition, refreshment and reward for all the hard work. It was beer for pay. You would have had a rebellion on your hands if they’d run out. The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn’t been enough beer.”
We'll take his word for it. For one thing, the pyramids are the only Wonder of the World that still stands today the boozers must have been doing something right. Also, this guy "identified the world’s oldest known barley beer ... the oldest grape wine ... and the earliest known booze of any kind, a Neolithic grog from China’s Yellow River Valley brewed some 9,000 years ago." Most recently, he helped Dogfish Head create Midas Touch, "a beer based on decrepit refreshments recovered from King Midas’ 700 B.C. tomb."
We like his résumé, but we'll be really impressed if he can figure out something special to do with the Coors Light we still have left over from our Memorial Day barbecue.
The Beer Archaeologist [Smithsonian]