Whether you’re pregnant, a designated driver, on medication, or just don’t want to get drunk, non-alcoholic beer is a safe and worthwhile alternative to the alcoholic stuff. The taste, however, is not comparable. According to Gizmodo, non-alcoholic beer goes through the same process as alcoholic beer, only instead of being bottled toward the end, manufacturers use heat to get rid of the alcohol. This is also likely to remove the traditional flavor and aroma — the latter of which science found is why non-alcoholic taste is so unpopular.

The study, published in the Journal of Food Engineering, aimed to recover the alcohol-inspired aromas lost in the process of making non-alcoholic beer. "This technique consists in using a semipermeable membrane to separate two fractions from alcoholic beer: one liquid phase in which alcohol is retained, and another gaseous phase, where the aromatic compounds come in," Carlos A. Blanco, lead study author, said in a press release. "Then, this gaseous phase can be condensed, the aromatic compounds extracted and added to non-alcoholic beer."

The aromatic compounds are otherwise known as ethyl acetate, isoamyl acetate and isobutyl alcohol, and researchers extracted all three from a beer with 5.5 percent alcohol, as well as a reserve beer with 6.5 percent alcohol. They then enriched a low-alcohol beer (less than one percent alcohol by volume) and a non-alcohol beer (0.5 ABV) with the aromatic compounds. And when a panel of “experts” sampled both original and enriched “almost” alcohol-free beer, 90 percent preferred the enriched low-alcohol beer; 80 percent preferred enriched non-alcohol beer.

"In light of these results, we conclude that the taste is improved, and thus the quality of this 'alcohol-free' beer, as the majority of panelists preferred the beer with aromas to the original," Blanco said. However, Blanco added more research needs to be done before this technique can be capitalized on to improve all current non-alcoholic beers.

Until then, Gizmodo reported Clausthaler Golden Amber is a full-bodied, non-alcoholic beer that’s hard to tell apart from the alcoholic version. Additional brands include Buckler, Kaliber, and O'Douls Amber. Though it’s estimated it would take around nine non-alcoholic beers to achieve the buzz of standard beer, it’s not recommended for individuals in recovery to taste-test. Some brands still include a significant amount of alcoholic albeit less than the average, and it could encourage a relapse.

Source: Olmo Á, Blanco CA, Palacio L, Prádanos P, Hernández A. Pervaporation methodology for improving alcohol-free beer quality through aroma recovery. Journal of Food Engineering. 2014.