For nearly as long as humans have been remotely civilized, we have engaged in bonding over ingesting intoxicating substances in a social setting. Beer drinking is just another step in a long history of this practice. The practice of social intoxication helps us bond with our fellow humans and makes us more willing to laugh and share stories together. It is an important part of our social fabric.
The following reasoning is of a biased opinion because I am not a person who drinks, both for personal reasons and for religious reasons. However, I do feel that drinking does not benefit the social environment; if anything I feel that it hurts the social interaction between individuals. Since drinking beer (or alcohol in this reference) causes a person to lose control of themselves, we shouldn't rely on their interaction with another individual to be sound or effective; the person who is intoxicated would not be expressing themselves truthfully and therefore their entire interaction with the crowd would be false, untrue and disingenuous. For this matter alone, I don't feel that drinking beer is socially beneficial.