Elephants, like many of us, enjoy a good malted beverage when they can get it. At least twice in the past ten years, herds in India have stumbled upon barrels of rice beer, drained them with their trunks, and gone on drunken rampages. (The first time, they trampled four villagers; the second time they uprooted a pylon and electrocuted themselves.) Howler monkeys, too, have a taste for things fermented. In Panama, they’ve been seen consuming overripe palm fruit at the rate of ten stiff drinks in twenty minutes. Even flies have a nose for alcohol. They home in on its scent to lay their eggs in ripening fruit, insuring their larvae a pleasant buzz. Fruit-fly brains, much like ours, are wired for inebriation. The seductions of drink are wound deep within us. Which may explain why, two years ago, when John Gasparine was walking through a forest in southern Paraguay, his thoughts turned gradually to beer.
more from The New Yorker here.