Beer was first discovered when a caveman left his gruel out for too long, natural yeasts drifted onto it, and it fermented into something mildly alcoholic. Ancient man, realizing this was awesome and probably the only awesome thing in his world of grinding labor and mud huts, enthusastically developed beer. Depending on who you ask, the first civilizations were built on beer and inspired writing.
Ever since the Egyptians discovered that getting your citizens shitfaced every night made them amenable to building really big and pointless piles of rocks, beer has been a vital part of our society. As noted by the Simpsons, beer is the cause of and solution to all of life's problems. Drinking too much of it will give you liver cancer and a big throbbing Ted Kennedy-style nose, and also probably make you homeless. But enough beer makes you think you can dance and that you're attractive, and can convince others of that same fact. Thus, beer has been vital in getting ugly, stupid, and otherwise unscrewable people laid.
We weren't joking about beer saving people from the Black Plague, either. You boil water to make beer, and whatever germs that doesn't kill, the alcohol will. So while the temperance crowd was getting all sniffy and drinking that plague-tainted water, the drunks were swilling the cheap stuff which was keeping them alive.
Beer is brewed by grinding up a bunch of grains and soaking them in water. After you do that for a while, keeping it warm, you get what's called the mash, named in 1790 for a popular TV show that had just started airing. Once you've got a decent mash, with plenty of sugar, you throw in some yeast.
The yeast, seeing the sugar, go apeshit like a fat camp at a Baskin Robbins and stuff themselves. Kind of like how you drink beer and turn it into urine, the yeast eats the sugar and pisses out alcohol. But unlike you, yeast hasn't learned about proper sanitation, and lacks the ability to build or use toilets, so as the beer ferments, the yeast slowly drowns in its own waste.
After that, you toss in some hops, let it brew for a while longer, and it's Spuds MacKenzie time. Enjoy your brew of urine and yeast corpses!
Domestic American macrobrews has long been at a disadvantage compared to other beers, like Mexican and Canadian, because unlike the Mexicans and Canadians, American mass brewers for some reason believe beer does not need to be brewed, but instead believe that if you mix horse urine, seltzer and a smidge of rubbing alcohol, nobody will notice the difference. Instead of improving their product, they instead spend billions of dollars advertising their products during televised sports events, at concerts, and in every other conceivable venue. This is why you paid ten bucks for a 8 oz cup of Budweiser at the last concert you went to.
Of course, sometimes this can burn you. Corona, which tastes like piss, made the mistake of emphasizing the Mexican connection and swiftly learned that everybody in America thought Mexicans hated them enough to piss in their beer, which we discuss over at www.cracked.com/article_16869_7-bullshit-rumors-that-caused-real-world-catastrophes.html
Just like pop music, trends in beer come and go, with connoiseurs drinking fine beers, sports fans drinking carbonated piss, and hipsters coming along to find something either modest or awesome and totally ruin it. Hipsters were responsible for the microbrew explosion in the '90s, when any asshole with a kettle and some bottles thought he was a master brewer and that his beer was totally innovative and brilliant. This yielded such abominations as beer with herbs in it, "fruit" beer not made by Belgians, beer with cutesy labels and bad puns, and "organic" beer, even though self-righteous hippies don't drink.
Currently, the hip beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon, a modest domestic brand brewed in some shithole in the Midwest. PBR is hip not because it's any good: it isn't. It's hip because it's cheap and the hipsters are all drinking it "ironically". You see, they can afford much better beer, but they don't buy it. They drink PBR, because it's cheap and bad, thus making what is to them this ironic statement and to the rest of humanity proof that a trust fund turns you into an asshole.
If you're at a crowded bar:
Attempt anything you see in a beer ad that gets the bartender's attention. Seriously. They love that. They'll have never seen it before.
If you're at home:
You will have to put on pants. And a shirt. Probably also shoes. And for the love of God, don't send this guy: