Exactly when humans first began making alcoholic beverages such as beer is not known with any amount of certainty. However, a major turning point in human history was the transition from a foraging and collecting society to a productive, agrarian one.
This gradual transition happened very early (ca. 9000-7000 BC) in the Near East and the Fertile Crescent and the rest of the world followed. As a result, many historians are inclined to give credit the history of beer and brewing as starting with the Sumerians because of ancient records that tell of a prehistoric Eurasian cereal grains cultivated by the civilization at the time. It has been assumed that beer may have been brewing many years before then, primarily by the Chinese.
The historic grain, called emmer, is commonly thought to have been involved in the birth of beer. Horst Dornbusch, noted beer author, relays a familiar anecdotal story about some bread that was left out and got wet and was forgotten about for several weeks.