This room held not only the officers' wines, but also the beer ration for the other ranks. Officers were allowed to keep alcohol in their rooms, which was forbidden to other ranks. Every common soldier, however, received one pint of beer a day. Originally, the soldiers were issued spruce beer (boiled spruce, molasses and yeast) in order to prevent scurvy.
Drunkenness was a serious problem in the army, and was the most common reason for soldiers' crimes. Pay was issued daily in order to prevent the drinking binges that occurred when pay was issued monthly. Regardless, soldiers often clubbed together for the purpose of heavy drinking.