What came first - beer or wine? Beer was produced in Mesopotamia at least 6,000 to perhaps even 8,000 years ago. This probably makes it the first alcoholic beverage produced by humans, even before wine. Beer and wine were the earliest components of drinking culture. In Egypt around 4,000 BC, half-baked bread was fermented with water to produce a kind of beer. The god of fertility Osiris himself is said to have taught the Egyptians how to grow grapes and make beer. In the Sumerian Gilgamesh Epic, which tells of 2700 BC, the development of the primitive man Enkidu into a "cultivated man" is recounted. He was offered beer, which he had not known until then. He drank seven cups of it and his heart became light. In this state he washed himself and became a human being.