Beer is one of the most popular beverages in human history. It’s actually the second most popular beverage in the world thanks to all those tea drinkers. It’s not all about drinking the stuff either, which is why I’ve decided to write today about the many interesting uses of beer which don’t involve drinking it and dancing merrily.
I’ll also cover some really interesting facts about beer which I bet you don’t know.
- I bet you didn't know these facts about beer?
- The many interesting uses of beer!
- Got any better beer ideas?
I bet you didn’t know these facts about beer?
Did you know at one point in time beer was considered worse than water?
With such a long and ancient history, it’s not surprising the drink has such an interesting history. So let’s unearth some interesting facts!
- Beer is the second most popular beverage after tea.
- Monks in the Middle Ages spent a great deal of time brewing beer, and were permitted to drink 5 quarts per day (almost 5 litres!)
- The oldest known recipe to mankind is a beer recipe.
- It’s hard to imagine these days, but beer was once considered inferior and less hygienic than water. That’s saying something when you consider how bad water used to be a few hundred years ago.
The many interesting uses of beer!
Let’s take a look at the many uses of beer other than drinking it.
I’ll start with a use of beer which all Australians should make better use of – making popsicles from beer!
Think about it – hot day, lunch break or smoko, and you need something refreshing?
What about when the kids are having a party and you don’t want to offer the parents ice lollies? Why should us adults miss out?
Making beer popsicles is simple. Just pour small amounts into individual trays (such as ice cube trays) then use toothpicks for sticks.
And before anyone asks – no worries if there are leftover beers; we’ll get them drinkin’ somewhere else 😉
When beer is called for in recipes, just about any kind of beer will do. If you can drink it, you can use it. Trust me, I’ve tried. A lot.
The Belgians are famous for their love of ale, with their Carbonnade à la Flamand a prime example. This hearty beef stew is comprised of beef and onions gently simmered in ale until the onions are sweetened and the meat is tender. The result is the beer turns into a delicious rich gravy.
It’s worth visiting Brussels for!
But you don’t have to live in Belgium to appreciate the wondrous flavours of beer in your cooking. Beer has inherent tenderising properties which make it ideal for marinating all kinds of tougher cuts of meat. Beer and Kangaroo stew anyone?
Beer and bacon recipes work really well, as does beer in chili dishes.
For those who enjoy a homemade plate of fish and chips, add beer instead of water when making the batter.
Not only will it taste amazing, but the yeast present in beer acts as a mild leavening agent. To you and me that means it will turn the batter nice and fluffy.
Did you know that beer can be added to rice?
You may be thinking “Beer and rice? Don’t be stupid!?”, but I urge you to give it a go. You’ll be surprised.
Just make sure you use a strong tasting beer. Brown ales and stout are great choices. The rice will instantly drink in the beer and give your otherwise boring rice dish a delicious flavour.
More beer recipe ideas…
Many pioneers have tried all kinds of recipes using beer, so the world’s your oyster.
But here’s a few ideas to start you off:
- Beer is an excellent ingredient when making bread.
- You can also add beer to deserts and cake recipes (assuming they’re not for the kids).
- Add a cup of beer to a salad dressing – this can really excite the taste buds.
- For a quick, tasty supper snack, add beer to a serving of Welsh rarebit just as the cheese begins to gently melt.
Don’t forget to wash all the above down with a pint of beer!
Beer vs. Garden Snails
Snails and slugs are a gardener’s curse. Ruddy pests.
There are lots of ways to deal with the little pests, but finding them can be a problem in and of itself … unless you tempt them with a drop of beer!
Garden snails love beer!
How to get rid of garden snails with beer:
Pour some into shallow containers and place them around the garden. When an enquiring little snail crawls alongside to investigate, it will slip inside and drown. Yes I know this sounds a bit cruel, but when it’s snails or your garden vegetables you need to be ruthless, and what better way to die than in a big pond of beer?
My French isn’t that good, but L’Escargot de Bier sounds like a posh meal your lady might be impressed with?
Beer is a Great Fertilizer
The next time you have a party and find yourself wading knee-deep in half-empty beer cans, save them to pour over your houseplants. The yeast in beer makes a superb, nourishing plant fertilizer.
Oh, and don’t forget the garden vegetables if that’s your thing. Just like you, vegetables love beer too.
Beer vs Bees
As summertime approaches and people are out in the yards with their barbecues, don’t be surprised to see the arrival of some uninvited guests … in the shape of bees.
Bees love the smell of beer, so be prepared.
How to get rid of bees with beer:
Pour some ale into jars or plastic containers and place them randomly around your yard. The bees will be attracted to the smell and will go for a permanent swim, instead of bothering you and your friends.
But unlike the Snails & Beer idea earlier, I wouldn’t recommend serving up Beer marinated bees to anyone other than your ex.
Beer as a Furniture Cleaner
We’ve all spilt beer on the furniture. Don’t deny it. Usually most Friday nights around 9.30pm.
Beer is actually a great furniture cleaner, particularly for wood.
So if you have a load of half-empty beer cans after a party, use that flat beer to give your wooden furniture a new look.
How to clean furniture with beer:
Simply dampen a cloth with the leftovers and rub gently over your furniture to give it a polish and restore some colour. Buff with a clean cloth.
Relax in a Beer Bath
Cleopatra bathed in milk, so what about bathing in a bathtub of beer?
Does it sound appealing, or is it a waste of good drinking ale?
However you look at it, beer baths are supposed to be relaxing and ideal for softening skin, due to beer’s inherent vitamins and yeast.
In fact, during the last decade, a number of beer spas were opened in parts of Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. If you don’t believe me, read Beer Spas: Yeast of Eden on the New York Times.
Beer baths allow folks to relax in their favorite tipple. And you have to admit it sounds like a great idea (especially if you work in a brewery).
How to make a beer bath at home (cheaply):
If you like the idea of relaxing in your own homemade beer bath, empty several cans into your water and allow the invigorating bubbles to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. You don’t need to fill the whole bath with beer (unless you’re rich like Bill Gates), so just a few will do.
Here’s a good tip: Dark beers are the best choice for beer baths.
And don’t forget, follow it with a shower!
The Great Beer Foot Bath
They carry you through all the elements, get stepped on, squashed into ill-fitting shoes, and they never complain, save an occasional twinge or two.
Our feet never let us down, so why not give them a little pampering?
After a hard day at work, stick your feet in a bowl of beer, and within twenty minutes your spirits will soar.
Just don’t drink it afterwards. Unless you’re a real man.
Restore Gold Jewelry with Beer!
Did you know you can restore the shine to any lackluster gold jewelry with beer?
How to restore gold jewelry with beer:
Just pour a touch of beer on a soft cloth and rub it gently over the gold jewelry. Then make sure you use a second clean cloth to dry it.
A word of warning though: Don’t use this method to clean jewelry with stones.
Beer as a Hair Shampoo
Beer makes a super homemade shampoo that leaves hair shiny, with lots of body – without the use of harsh chemicals!
And what’s better, beer shampoo is easy to make.
How to use beer as a hair shampoo:
There are lots of different recipes for beer shampoo, but if you’re in a hurry, simply shampoo your hair and rinse thoroughly as normal. Then pour one bottle of beer through your hair and massage it in, finally rinsing with cold water.
Definitely don’t drink this beer afterwards. Beer and Head & Shoulders is a sucky combination.
Beer as Hair Conditioner
Not only does beer make an excellent shampoo, it makes a perfect hair conditioner, leaving those locks smooth and easy to manage.
Here’s how to use beer as a hair conditioner:
- Simply take two tablespoons of shampoo and three quarters of a cup of beer. Mix well.
- With your fingertips, rub the scalp and hair with the conditioner. Rinse well with water.
Got any better beer ideas?
I bet you’d never thought of some of the beer ideas and uses I’ve mentioned above? Perhaps you have some other great ideas. If so, comment!