Did beer save the world? According to this infographic, beer has been a boon to mankind since the time of the Egyptians (who used it as medicine), an economic driver behind railroad development, commercial refrigeration and, yes, the automatic (and hypnotic) bottling process.
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Hmm. You know, it has been suggested that our ancestor's thirst for brews made human civilization possible -- by driving man to cultivate cereal crops, fruits and vegetables to ferment. I suppose hunger may have had something to do with the development of agriculture as well, but after all, isn't beer food?