The aim of the present study was the identification of gene loci that contribute to the development and manifestation of behaviours related to acute and chronic alcohol exposure, as well as to alcohol withdrawal. For this purpose, we performed a serial behavioural phenotyping of 534 animals from the second filial (F2) generation of a C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ mice intercross in paradigms with relevance to alcohol dependence. First, ethanol-induced hypothermia was determined in ethanol-naive animals. The mice then received an ethanol solution for several weeks as their only fluid source. Ethanol tolerance, locomotor activity and anxiety-related behaviours were evaluated. The ethanol was next withdrawn and the withdrawal severity was assessed. The ethanol-experienced animals were finally analysed in a two-bottle choice paradigm to determine ethanol preference and stress-induced changes in ethanol preference. The genotypes of these mice were subsequently assessed by microsatellite marker mapping. We genotyped 264 markers with an average marker distance of 5.56 cM, which represents a high-density whole genome coverage. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) were subsequently identified using univariate analysis performed with the R/qtl tool, which is an extensible, interactive environment for mapping QTL in experimental crosses. We found QTL that have already been published, thus validating the serial phenotyping protocol, and identified several novel loci. Our analysis demonstrates that the various responses to ethanol are regulated by independent groups of genes.