The reason you love beer has finally been explained. Apparently the mere taste of the golden nectar is enough to trigger a dopamine surge, tickling your neurochemical pleasure centres. Basically, beer makes you happy, but we didn't really need science to tell us that, did we?
The interesting thing from a research perspective here is that the dopamine surge is independent of the known alcohol pleasure response. The dopamine response was also not random. Those with a family history of alcoholism showed a notably higher surge in dopamine release in their brains after a 15ml taste of beer than those without the same relationship with alcohol, which goes some way to explaining why some are predisposed towards alcoholism.
The trouble with all this pleasure in the brain is it also drives cravings, as the dopamine response is tied to a reward strategy within your brain. Essentially, the hormone is released to congratulate you on doing something good, like sex or sleeping, and as it's neurochemically intoxicating, it causes cravings for more. That's why when you have a small taste of beer, or maybe even just smell it, you crave a good beverage or three. [Neuropsychopharmacology via Smithsonian]
Image credit: Beer from Shutterstock