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Alcohol is the favored drink of the dwarves; a dwarf will drink booze an average of five 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. "Dry" dwarves increasingly lose speed in almost every activity, including basic movement. 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.
Vampire dwarves are just as alcohol-dependent as the mortal kind. Despite this, in Fortress Mode, they will only ever drink blood, ensuring they eventually suffer withdrawal even if your pantry is stocked to the brim with every beverage imaginable.
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).
Dwarves prefer drinking alcohol out of a mug, cup or goblet and will receive an unhappy thought for drinking alcohol without one of the three. These may be placed in coffers in designated taverns. Visitors will drink alcohol too.v0.42.01.
 Types of Alcohol
|Ingredient||Beverage Produced||Beverage Value||Type||Source|
|Plump helmet||Dwarven Wine||2||Plant-based||Indoors|
|Pig tail||Dwarven Ale||2||Indoors|
|Cave wheat||Dwarven Beer||2||Indoors|
|Sweet pod||Dwarven Rum||2||Indoors|
|Muck root||Swamp Whiskey||1||Outdoors|
|Bloated tuber||Tuber Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Prickle berry||Prickle Berry Wine||1||Outdoors|
|Longland grass||Longland Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Rat weed||Sewer Brew||1||Outdoors|
|Fisher berry||Fisher Berry Wine||2||Outdoors|
|Rope reed||River Spirits||2||Outdoors|
|Sliver barb||Gutter Cruor||1||Outdoors|
|Whip vine||Whip Wine||3||Outdoors|
|Wild carrot||Carrot Wine||2||Outdoors|
|Sweet potato||Sweet Potato Wine||2||Outdoors|
|Single-grain wheat||Single-grain Wheat Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Two-grain wheat||Two-grain Wheat Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Soft wheat||Soft Wheat Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Hard wheat||Hard Wheat Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Pendant amaranth||Pendant Amaranth Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Blood amaranth||Blood Amaranth Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Purple amaranth||Purple Amaranth Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Pearl millet||Pearl Millet Beer||2||Outdoors|
|White millet||White Millet Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Finger millet||Finger Millet Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Foxtail millet||Foxtail Millet Beer||2||Outdoors|
|Custard-apple||Custard Apple Cider||2||Outdoors|
|Sand pear||Sand Pear Cider||2||Outdoors|
|Passion fruit||Passion Fruit Wine||2||Outdoors|
|This page contains information only relevant to DF v0.42.01 and newer. Most or all of this information will not apply to saves from v0.40.24 or before, although those saves can still be used.|
 Alcohol poisoning
The update to .42.xx saw the introduction of alcohol related syndromes, progressing to inebriation, unconsciousness, and death. Each species has its own tolerance level (dwarves' being higher than average) and each individual will consume more or less according to their need to drink.
 See also
|Primary Industries||Beekeeping - Farming - Fishing - Gathering - Meat - Metal - Poultry - Stone - Wood|
|Secondary Industries||Alcohol - Armor - Arms - Ceramic - Extract - Finished goods - Fuel - Furniture - Gem - Glass - Paper - Soap - Textile|
|Tertiary Industries||Military - Health care - Noble - Trade|