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Doesn't that smell good?Image: GfÖ

A Rose is a Rose is a...Beer?

DW staff (sac)
December 9, 2004

Next time you want to bring your loved one a bouquet of roses, you're just as well off with a bottle of beer. A German professor has discovered that the smell of beer is similar to that of roses.


They say that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. But roses are the last thing you think of when putting a nice cold beer to your mouth.

"Yet flowers and beer have more in common than you'd think," said Dietrich Wabner, a professor at Munich's Technical University and president of the Natural Oils Research Association.

Wabner developed a procedure to determine the ingredients responsible for the taste and shelf life of beer. To his surprise, he discovered that the fragrance of beer resembles that of roses.

"We found the same essential oils in beer that are contained in roses, jasmine, grapefruit and clary sage used in perfumes," he told the German Brewer's Association DBB.

Aroma therapy with beer

Oktoberfest in München: Bierkrüge
Pretty much the same thing: Flowers and beerImage: dpa

Wabner also has an explanation for the pleasant sensation we get drinking a beer.

"When we smell these aromas, it immediately triggers a sense of well-being in us," he said.

The sense of smell is tied to the limbic system in the brain, where our feelings are also located.

"The smell of a fresh beer causes the disbursement of the body's own opiates, which activate our memories," he said. "We immediately have comforting feelings: the end of the work day, nice conversations with good friends -- you could call it a downright aroma therapy with beer."

It's good for you, too!

The golden brew has other benefits, too.

"Hops is anti-bacterial and anticonvulsant," Wabner said, adding that beer's good qualities can only be enjoyed when it's drunk in moderation. "The soul is happy about a comforting, analgesic and tonic effect."

And most importantly: "A fresh beer tastes darned good."

So, cheers!

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