After a party you may be left with cans or bottles of a type of beer you don’t like and half-empty glasses of beer going flat. Before you pour it all down the drain, consider the many ways you could use it. Here are ten practical things you can do with beer besides swigging it.
1. Steak marinade
Beer contains enzymes that help break down tough fibers in meat, making it more tender and flavorful at the same time. If you plan to cook your steak on the barbecue, a beer marinade will also reduce the carcinogens that come from charred meat and burning fat. Simply put the steak into a zip-top plastic bag and pour in enough of your favorite beer to cover it. Push the air out of the bag, seal it and leave the meat to marinade for two hours before cooking.
2. Slug trap
If slugs are a problem in your garden, a ‘slug pub’ could be the solution. To make one, bury a clean margarine tub or other container so that the top is about an inch above the soil. Fill it with beer. Slugs and snails will be attracted to the smell, fall in, and drown. To keep rain from diluting the beer in the trap, cover it with a flat stone raised up just enough for slugs to crawl beneath.
The sugars and proteins in beer leave hair feeling thicker and looking shinier. To make your own beer shampoo, put one cup of beer in a saucepan and boil it for 15 minutes to reduce it by
half. Remove from the burner and let it cool completely. Pour in one cup of any brand of shampoo and whisk to combine. Use a funnel to transfer the mixture to an empty shampoo bottle.
4. Furniture polish
Flat beer can help to restore the color and sheen to wooden furniture. Pour some stale beer into a bowl. Dip in a soft cloth and wring out the excess liquid. Rub the beer into wood to bring out the luster. Finish by buffing with a dry cloth. Be sure to spot check on an inconspicuous part of your furniture before polishing since beer might damage certain finishes.
5. Beer can chicken
Rub a chicken with oil and season it with salt and paprika. Place a half-full can of beer on a solid surface. Grab a chicken leg in each hand and drop the rear cavity over the can. Arrange the chicken upright on a barbecue grill with the two legs and the can acting like a tripod. Cover the grill and cook the bird over medium-high, indirect heat for 1 ½ hours or until the thigh juice runs clear. As the beer evaporates it flavors the meat and keeps it moist.
6. Metal cleaner
Due to its carbonation and slight acidity, beer can be used to restore shine to all sorts of metals. To clean gold, silver, brass or copper coins and jewelry, put them into a bowl and pour
over enough beer to cover them. After 15 minutes, remove, rinse and polish with a soft cloth. To clean copper pots and brass ornaments, rub them with a cloth dipped in beer. You can also use beer to clean stainless steel sinks.
7. Fish batter
Beer batter makes a light, crispy, flavorful coating for fried fish. The carbonation in the beer acts as a raising agent. Put 1 ½ cups of plain flour and half a teaspoon of salt in to a bowl. Slowly pour in a 12 ounce can of beer while stirring constantly. If the batter seems too thin, add a little more flour. Dredge the fish in flour and shake off the excess. Dip fillets into the batter and carefully lower them into hot oil. Fry until golden-brown.
8. Fruit fly trap
If your fresh produce or compost pail is attracting fruit flies into your kitchen, get rid of them with a trap that uses beer as bait. Save a small pickle or mayonnaise jar and wash it out. Use a hammer and nail to poke several holes in the metal lid. They should be big enough for the flies to get in, but not so large that they can easily escape. Fill the jar halfway full of beer and put on the lid. When the flies smell the beer, they’ll enter the trap and eventually drown.
9. Cooking broth for seafood
Beer imparts a pleasant flavor to seafood. Put three bottles of flat pilsner into a large soup pot and stir in ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Add clams or mussels, cover and steam until the shells open. Alternatively, add raw unpeeled jumbo shrimp and cook for five minutes or until they turn pink. You could also toss a lobster into the broth and cook it for approximately twelve minutes.
10. Massage tool
A chilled can of beer is a great massage tool for sore muscles, especially following exercise in warm weather. If your feet are hot and achy after a jog, take off your shoes and roll a can underfoot. To relieve lower back pain, put a can in the crook of your back and lean back against a wall. Move up and down to roll the can over your muscles. After your massage, drink the beer and relax.