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