I've been reading Harold McGee's fascinating On Food and Cooking, and the chapter on alcohol has some interesting historical notes. He describes the widely varied and creative methods used in various cultures to produce alcoholic beverages from available ingredients: wine in the Mediterranean, beer in the Middle East and later in Europe, sake and other rice wines in East Asia, and so on.
It got me wondering:
Which cultures did not historically have a traditional method for producing alcohol?
For instance, I am not sure that pre-Colombian North American cultures knew about alcohol. Is there any evidence one way or the other? (In South America, the Inca had chicha.)
I am most interested in cultures where alcohol was (effectively) unknown. I am less interested in cultures where it was known but forbidden or discouraged (Islam, for example).