Chapter 1.1.3 Modern Viewpoints of Origin of Brewing Alcoholic Beverages

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Scientists recently discovered there exist some heavenly bodies composed of alcohol in the boundless universe. The reserves of alcohol in them, if made into beer, could be adequate for humans to drink hundreds of millions of years, which suggests that alcoholic beverages are the products of Nature. The mankind did not invented alcoholic beverages but discovered them . The main composition of alcoholic beverages is ethanol (its formula: C2H5OH). Plenty of substances can be turned into alcohol by different means of changes, e.g. glucose can be changed into alcohol by the enzyme secreted by microorganism; a given substance can be changed into alcohol if conditions are suitable. Therefore nature possesses all the elements and conditions resulting in these changes.

Jiang Tong, an author of Jin Dynasty, wrote in his 《Jiu Gao 》 (a book giving orders and recommendations ) , "Brewing of alcoholic drinks were originated in the primitive times possibly by Di Yi or maybe by Du Kong. But in fact some food left in a bowl was then placed aside without any care for a long time, it then fermented itself and our ancestors found it fragrant. They imitated the material method, and then invented the brewing of alcoholic drinks. That was how brewing of alcoholic drinks was invented. " That our ancestors suggested making alcoholic drinks by itself brewing quite meets scientific laws. Jiang Tong was the first one who presented the opinion that grains itself fermented and changed into the alcoholic drink. Modern science explained the secret. The starch of remaining food under the action of enzyme secreted by microorganism of nature is gradually divided into sugar and alcohol, changing into flagrantly -smelt alcoholic drink. During the primitive period, the wild fruits collected by our ancestors as food contained a high percent of sugar, they were very easy to ferment and change into alcoholic drinks themselves, and unnecessary to liquidize and saccharificate. Fruit Wine and Milk Wine—the First Beverages

Human beings first copied the great wonder of nature then started alcoholic drinks consciously, which was recorded in many ancient works in China. For instance Zhou Mi of Song Dynasty recorded in his works 《Gui Xing Za Shi 》 that pears kept in a jar and forgotten latter changed themselves into fragrant pear wine . Yuan Haowen , another author of Yuan Dynasty wrote in the preface of 《 Pu Tao Jiu Fu 》 that a villager escaping into deep mountains placed some grapes into a jar which themselves changed into pleasantly smelt wine . Some ancient works also recorded a story so-called "Ape Wine". This "Ape Wine "was not brewed by the apes consciously, of course, but the fruits picked by apes fermented themselves then became a kind of fruit wine.
During the Old-Stone Age, our ancestors made a living by collecting and hunting. Fruits contained much sugar and other substances which, under the action of microorganism, were easy to ferment and change into pleasant and delicious fruit wine, and the animal's milk contains protein and lactose which are also very easy to ferment into the alcoholic drink, our ancestors who lived by hunting might happen to obtain the milk alcoholic drink from remaining milk. In 《Huang Di Nie Jing 》 there is a record of a kind of alcoholic drink named "Li Lou", which is the oldest record about milk alcoholic drink in China. According to the ancient legends and reference based on the brewing principles, the earliest alcoholic drinks the mankind had an idea to brew should be fruit wine and milk alcoholic drink, for fruits and animals' milk were fairly easy to ferment into alcoholic drinks, which only needed rather simple brewing techniques.

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