Just the Taste of Beer Is Enough to Make You Happy, Study Says

Researchers found that after tasting beer, men's brains showed a spike in dopamine

Here's the reasoning behind nonalcoholic beers we've been looking for: Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine looked at the effect of tasting alcohol on the brain, and found that just a little taste of beer could up the dopamine levels in your brain.

Researchers gave 49 male volunteers a tiny half-ounce taste of their favorite beer over the course of 15 minutes, scanning their brains for dopamine levels. The 15 minutes were enough for them to taste the beer, but not feel the effects of alcohol. In contrast, volunteers were also given a sports drink or water.


The results, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, found that higher increases in dopamine were common after tasting beer, suggesting that just the taste of beer could make people happy. And while the researchers couldn't quite account for potential lightweights in the room, it's true that nothing makes us quite as happy as cracking open a cold one on a warm spring day. We just wonder how this compares to teenager dopamine levels when drinking soda.