Human alcoholic tendencies go way back, as described in one of the most interesting paragraphs I've ever read in a scientific paper:
In the warm tropical climate of sub-Saharan Africa, where the human species emerged, sweet fruit slurries can achieve an alcoholic content of 5% or more. If early hominids were primarily fruit eaters, at least up until about 1–2 Mya, when they began focusing more on tubers and animal fat and protein, they can be expected to have adapted biologically. One result, among many, is that about 10% of the enzymes in the human liver, including alcohol dehydrogenase, function to generate energy from alcohol. The genetic underpinnings of the presumed early human penchant for alcoholic fruit compotes, according to the so-called ‘‘drunken monkey hypothesis’’, has been partly borne out by the diet of Malaysian tree shrews. These nocturnal animals, which belong to a family believed to be ancestral to all living primates from more than 55 Mya ago, spend their nights feasting year-round on a frothy strong-scented palm ‘‘wine,’’ with an alcoholic content as high as 3.8%.
From Ancient Egyptian Herbal Wines, by Patrick McGovern, Armen Mirzoian, and Gretchen Hall, in a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and the US Treasury.