It is often suggested that human consumption of alcohol began approximately 12,000 years ago however, this view may be wildly inaccurate.
In his book ‘The Drunken Monkey’ published in 2014, Dr Robert Dudley’s proposal that human ethanol metabolism may derive from the dependence of our primate ancestors on ripe and fermenting fruit as a dominant food source has now gained the interest of paleogenetic researchers in 2022.
Paleogenetics explores genetic material from the remains of ancient organisms and a recent paleogenetic article suggests that an adaptation occurred 10 million years ago in our ape ancestors at the time they came down from the trees and began to inhabit the forest floors. The adaptation was a defensive chemical called alcohol dehydrogenase4 (ADH4) that could metabolize various alcohols produced by plants… like ethanol.
April 2022 Study https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220401141345.htm