Often it was safer to drink wine than water (taken from sources also used to dispose of sewage and garbage !).
The Mayflower shipped more beer than water when it departed for the New World in 1620.
Later, end of 19th century, workers drank around 3 L of wine per day !
It was also believed that alcohol was an effective analgesic, providing energy necessary for hard work, and generally enhancing the quality of life.