BREAKING NEWS! According to a new scientific study, beer makes you happy. Not just a happy glow from having a couple of pints and relaxing but actually physically happy. In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in Germany analyzed 13,OOO different foods in order to find out which were the best at stimulating the reward center in the brain. Some foods trigger what scientists call hedonic hunger – the drive to eat for pleasure rather than to satisfy an actual biological need. This feel-good effect is caused by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Tempting foods stimulate the reward center in the brain where the dopamine D2 receptor is located. To the surprise of the scientists, beer topped the list. This is due to hordenine, a naturally occurring alkaline that appears in barley and beer, and apparently does a good job at cheering people up. Hordenine reacts in a similar way to cheery chemical dopamine when it interacts with the D2 receptor in the brain, meaning those pint perk one up more than you might think. What’s more, the way hordenine reacts with the D2 receptor might even provide a longer positive reaction than dopamine itself. Bottled happiness . . . who knew?