There’s no need for me to prattle away here, extolling the virtues of beer as a superlative beverage. I could do that at length (you know that by now, dear beer reader). And as much as I would love to fritter off the hours discussing this piney hop aroma or that fine roasted malt and how it lingers on the tongue, today we are going to talk about unusual and not well-known uses of beer other than drinking it.
“Gasp!” you say. (Or rather do, as one doesn’t exactly say the word “gasp,” one tends to just go for it and gasp away.) Yes, my friends, our finest libation is good for so much more than pairing with a fine cut of prime rib or being guzzled in victory as the local sports club trounces their hated rivals! Beer can be used in all sorts of wacky ways.
What are they, you ask? Too many to cover today, sadly, but I’m going to drop five kernels of knowledge on you that should, for now, satisfy your hunger to know some great uses of beer that are beyond the obvious (and delicious).
5. And Finally… Budweiser Fertilizer!
Just as beer can help your confidence and self-esteem grow, the uses of beer extend to your garden. Some suds can also help your fruits and vegetables grow! Sprinkling beer into the soil – whether used for planting edible vegetables and fruits or blooming flowers alike – can provide valuable nutrients and minerals to the earth that will help plants grow. Especially encouraged if they are grain, wheat, or hops plants that will be used to make more beer!
The fermented sugars will stimulate plant growth and kill fungi. However, watering plants with beer is an expensive option even if you’re buying the cheap stuff.
4. Cleaner Metals
Cleaner metals through beer? Indeed. It even sounds like a badass album title. Using a little beer to scrub at tarnished, dirty metals such as copper, pewter, or brass may be just what the doctor ordered. This is, of course, assuming that your physician has taken an interest in both your physical health and the cleanliness of your metallic possessions.
There is a light acidity to beers, especially IPAs and the like, that will help dissolve and break up tarnish stains and bits of dirt and other unpleasantness. A bit of scrubbing with beer and then some rinsing and drying and your old metal knickknacks will shine like new. Also, if your gold jewelry is looking a little dull, don’t buy expensive cleaners. Put the jewelry into a container of beer for 10 to 20 minutes, then remove and polish using a dry cloth, and your gold should have a beautiful sheen.
3. Kill the Slugs
When you’re not using beer to help your steed, use it to bait traps that will attract slugs, snails, and other unfriendly garden characters (insert tasteless joke about box car hobos here). The good thing about this use of beer? The cheaper the brew, the better. Slugs and college freshmen – peas in a pod, right?
Salt is a common and effective way to dry up these pests but you have to find each one so you can put the salt on them. However, slugs and snails are attracted to beer. If you fill a tin or an empty salsa jar and fill them a third of the way with beer and leave it on the ground, slugs will be attracted to the beer and fall in and drown. A little better than a death caused by shriveling up from salt. The beer only attracts slugs in the surrounding few feet so you’ll need a lot of tins if you have a garden bigger than 4 feet.
2. Get That Horse a Beer! For Its Health, of course,
The uses of beer are also beneficial to horses. Beer, it turns out, is good for the Mr. Eds and Black Beauties in your life in much the same way as it’s good for you – in moderation, and of fine quality. Better yet, horses love the taste of beer, most probably because it contains ingredients such as barley and hops which is similar to the grains in horse feeds.
Beer is potentially good for horses because it provides minerals, B vitamins (B1, B3, and B6), niacin, flavonoids, and folate, all of which are beneficial to horses. The minerals, iron and copper, in particular, help make more red blood cells which increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
The minerals, manganese, and selenium are powerful antioxidants that help to protect cells and tissues from superoxide free radicals. Dark, rich porters and stouts can help maintain healthy levels of iron in a horse’s body and can provide lots of important vitamins, to boot. Beer may even help settle a horse’s stomach and lead to a healthier, shinier coat.
1. Beer Up That Do! That Hair Do, I Mean
Yes, it’s a fact: beer is wonderful for your hair. Why? You see, all that grain and all those hops (and other ingredients for beers not cleaving to the Reinheitsgebot) used to make our favorite drink contain lots of nutrients your hair is only too happy to suck up as well. The Vitamin B so prevalent in most beers is great for enhancing the strength and elasticity of your locks, and the sugars in beer can even make your hair appear more lustrous and shiny.
Beer can also help towards triggering hair growth as it can help to stimulate blood circulation to the scalp. Finally, it maintains the pH level of your scalp while conditioning your hair which keeps the hair from getting too dry or oily. So shampoo, rinse, soak in beer, rinse, drink a beer, and repeat the last step all night long!
As if you needed a reason to love beer more, right? Well, nonetheless, now you have five uses for beer. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start drinking—I mean, gardening and getting healthier hair and catching slugs and such. And if you’re a true fan of beer, what are your opinions on beer yoga?