There are plenty of ways to analyze the rise of civilization. The development of weapons and tools, the beginnings of language, the notion of counting, the demise of large predators, the change in climate, the rise in agriculture, a trading mindset, shipbuilding and roadbuilding all surely played a part.
It is something to contemplate over a glass of beer.
But take a moment to scrutinize the amber liquid in your glass as well.
If you make a good beer, the world will beat a path to your tavern door.
Devin Briski and Johann Swinnen argue that beer promoted the rise in agriculture in Mesopotamia, re-structured feudal society, bankrolled Britain's empire and jumpstarted the industrial revolution.
That craft brewed IPA your sipping may just be the descendant of the fuel that fired the world.