|This article was migrated from v0.34:Alcohol and may be inaccurate for the current version of DF (v0.40.02). See this page for more information.|
Alcohol is the favored drink of the dwarves; a dwarf will drink booze an average of four times per season to satisfy their thirst, and although they can subsist on water, without booze they will work increasingly slowly. Dwarves like to have some variety in what they drink, and will garner a bad thought if they are forced to drink the same variety of drink repeatedly ("has been tired of drinking the same old booze lately"). Every dwarf likewise has preferences for various types of drinks, starting hidden and then appearing as each type of drink becomes known to your fortress. Thus alcohol is important both for maintaining your fortress (at a minimum) and (with some investment in variety) for keeping your dwarves happy.
Most of the plants in the game can be turned into drink, and thus most drink is sourced from dwarven farming, both indoor and out. Most of the plants gathered from the wild can also be used for brewing, but the reduced yields relative to farming makes it a less ideal solution. Drinks can be sourced at embarkation, and taking at least a few barrels with you is recommended to hold your initial dwarves over until you can build a still. Caravans always bring some drinks along as well, although not enough to support a reasonably large fortress. Finally, honey acquired through beekeeping can be brewed into alcoholic mead, the only form of drink that is not derived from plants.
The most direct way to acquire the booze itself is through a still; large fortresses will usually have one or more dedicated brewers keeping the dwarven drinks cellar well stocked. To brew a drink a dwarf will need an empty watertight container of some kind (either a barrel or a large pot) and a stack of brewables. Each brewing job produces five units of alcohol per brewable item and deposits the alcohol in the container, recovering any plant seeds in the process. The size of a stack does not affect how long it takes to brew it, which is based entirely on the brewer's skill, making brewing jobs performed on large stacks much more efficient than those done on individual consumables. Stacks of alcohol do not have quality levels, and the strength of a happy thought obtained by drinking alcohol is based entirely on the value of the drink (including the stack size) and the dwarf's personal preferences.
Dwarven thirst is constrained by the important [ALCOHOL_DEPENDENT] creature token tag, which causes them to suffer severe performance penalties when deprived of alcohol. Thirsty dwarves increasingly lose speed in almost every activity, including basic movement; dwarves will also wait longer before drinking from a non-alcoholic water source, resulting in negative thoughts from thirst. Alcohol withdrawal appears in the dwarf's thoughts and preferences as "starting to work slowly due to its scarcity" after 3 months, "really wants a drink" after 6 months, "has gone without a drink for far, far too long" after 9 months, and finally "can't even remember the last time he/she had some" after an entire year. Precisely how much dwarves trudge their feet due to alcohol withdrawal is unknown.
While dwarves rely on alcohol from the moment they are born, creatures of any race who are exposed to enough combat to become fully hardened ("doesn't really care about anything anymore") will also become alcoholics.
Setting booze on fire will not cause it to explode, but exposing it to high temperatures will cause it to boil away. If the container is flammable, it (and, subsequently, the booze) will be consumed by fire; magma-safe containers would never be destroyed by magma, but any booze inside will likely quickly perish due to heat transfer (unless the container is made of nether-cap).
 Types of Alcohol
 See also