Did Beer Create Civilization?

Did beer create civilization or did civilization create beer?   Is the entire premise of mankind's rise from cave to castle, in fact, little more than chasing a beer buzz?

The story starts 10,000 years ago around the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers near Baghdad.  Like Coors in Colorado, it' all about the water, baby.  And that's what's behind the theory bubbling up in archeology circles this week.

Nutritional properties of beer trumps bread. Aside from the fun beer brings the brew is busting with B vitamins, the essential amino acid lysine and was safer to drink than water as the brewing process killed off bacteria and viruses.

The theory of beer founding civilization was first bounced around by Middle Eastern pre-history scholar Robert Braidwood at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. But somehow the novel idea got buried in some dusty annal somewhere and fell out of favor.  After all, beer is certainly less heroic than bread.

It does make sense when matching human behavior to what beer brings...Who in their right mind would give up water buffalo and brisket for a loaf of dried-out, harder than a brick, blunt of mold-ridden worm-laden bread anyway?  Of course beer, what were we thinking?