21 great uses for beer
I’ll make no bones about it; I love beer. From a warm, nutty pint of English bitter, to an ice-cold Belgian lager, I’m all over it. But you don’t just have to drink beer straight from the bottle or jar (although that’s the best way to use it). If you’re feeling experimental, here are 21 (the legal drinking age in most states) different uses for beer, other than just pouring it down your throat.
1. Put it in your chili
One of the best ways to add flavor and a little extra liquid to a chili is with a nice bottle of beer. Use the darker beers — they have more flavor and add more punch.
2. Make bread
My wife’s grandma is from Germany and she swears by a good loaf of beer bread.
1 12oz can of beer
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch baking pan.
3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
4. Add the beer and sugar, mix well, place in pan.
5. Top with melted butter.
6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
3. Kill slugs
Worms are a gardener’s best friend, but slugs are not. Salt is a great way to dry up these slimy pests, but that means you have to find them first. Instead, entice them with a little beer, which slugs love. Simply pour a little into some empty jars and place them in the soil, with the rims of the jars at ground level. The slugs will drop in for a drink, but they can’t get back out. And what a way to go; Certainly better than the salt-shriveling death.
4. Take a beer bath
It’s said the Cleopatra used to bathe in milk. Pah, that’s for lightweights. P. Diddy went one better and filled bathtubs full of expensive champagne at a birthday party. I say, go with the middle ground. Drain a few kegs into the tub and let the invigorating bubbles cleanse the skin and exfoliate. The yeasts and other ingredients are great skin-softeners. Then take a long shower.
5. Cure your lawn of brown spots
I’ve done a cure for a green lawn already, but I talked to another gardener who assured me that the acids in the beer would help kill off bugs and the other ingredients would help promote green growth. Does it work? Alas, I cannot swear by it as I haven’t tried it yet. My lawn is dormant here in Colorado. But if anyone can try it for me, that would be great!
6. Ease a stomachache
What? Surely not. Well, the carbonation in the beer can help ease your nasty tum rumbles. Of course, this is not a good one for children, or people with an ulcer or serious other stomach illness.
7. Stain removal
Something nasty on your carpet? Maybe a red wine stain? Well, a light beer will help pull that stain out. Sometimes a little club soda first will also help. Then use a regular carpet steam cleaner after to lift out the liquid and the smell.
8. Make a killer meat-tenderizing marinade
I have used soda in the past to help soften a steak before putting it on the grill. But that was sweet, too sweet for me. Now, I use a good beer or lager, and sometimes a stout if I’m feeling the need for some hearty flavor. The beer will really help soften the meat, add a distinctive taste, and it’s way better than those chemical tenderizers.
9. Revive wooden furniture
Got a few opened, half-empty beers from a party? Well, flat beer makes a great wood reviver. Just dampen a microfiber cloth with your flat beer, then rub gently into your furniture It will give it a polish and bring back some color.
10. The easy hair highlighter
Give your lovely locks that sun-kissed glow. Soak you hair in beer and then lay in the sun. It will pull out terrific highlight and make you smell deliciously hoppy! (Alternately, wash the beer out if you’d rather smell like a normal person.) Beer is also a handy hair conditioner.
11. Polish your gold jewelry
Don’t bother buying expensive store-bought cleaners. Drop your rings and other trinkets into a dish of beer, then remove and polish to a beautiful sheen using a dry cloth.
12. The bee attractor
I really don’t like bees and wasps, especially at barbecues and get-togethers in the park or back yard. So, an hour before the event is due to kick off, place some small containers of beer around the perimeter of the yard. The sugar and smell will attract the bees and they’ll be happy enough around the beer while you enjoy your shindig bee-free.
13. The inevitable beer-batter
I’m English, I love my fish ‘n’ chips. And a good batter is essential. Follow this recipe for great-tasting beer-batter on your piece of prime cod.
1 12oz bottle of beer
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
14. Use it to heal
As some of you may know, beer is a diuretic. And therefore, it can be used to help pass a kidney stone. It cannot, however, be used like other diuretics — to treat liver cirrhosis (for obvious reasons).
15. Liven-up some bland shrimp or lobster
Well, OK, lobster usually isn’t that bland. But shrimp can certainly lack “oomph” on occasion, and flat beer can help. Simply boil it up with some spices, like turmeric, Cajun seasoning, the classic Bay Leaf, salt, pepper and a touch of cayenne pepper. Then, add your raw shrimp and cook for around 5 minutes (15 for lobster). Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.
16. Make beersicles
Get yourself a popsicle maker from your local grocery store and instead of adding fruit juice, add a selection of different beers. An Indian Pale Ale, a lager, a bitter, a stout and so on. You’ll have a set of tasty adult treats for a hot summer day. (You can also make smaller versions using an ice-cube tray and toothpicks.)
17. Start a conversation
By carefully spilling a little of the beer of the attractive person next to you, male or female, you give yourself an opening to apologize, buy them a new drink and start a charming conversation. Just a nudge though, if you drench them they’ll be ticked off and you’ll be considered a prize moron.
18. Soak your feet
If you’ve had a hard day at work, a cold beer isn’t just good for your spirits. Those tired, aching feet can be revived by a beer foot-bath. Please, don’t be tempted to drink the contents afterwards…I’ll never do that again.
19. Turn ordinary rice into something very special
Next time you cook up a pot of long-grain rice, perhaps Jasmine or Basmati, cook the rice up in beer. Something with a lot of flavor will work well, like a brown ale or stout. The rice will absorb the beer and have a lovely flavor. Better still, it will look brown in hue, making people think you’re eating healthy!
20. Wash your pillowcases in it
This may be an old wives tale, but apparently the nutty smell of hops helps you fall asleep. If you’re an insomniac, try washing a pillowcase in beer and you may just get to the land of nod sooner than you think.
21. Give yourself movie-star looks
Simply buy many bottles of beer for the person you want to date and ensure they drink it all. By the time they’ve finished, they’ll think you have the looks of a million-dollar Hollywood star. (Warning: beer-goggle effects will wear off quickly.)
And a few things I wouldn’t do with beer:
1: Put out a fire — what a waste of good ale.
2: Give it away as a gift — it’s mine, all mine.
3: Make an icy slide out of it.
If you know of any other uses for the mighty brew, please let me know. And as always, never drink and drive folks. Stay safe.