Man’s best friend is a dog. His second best friend is, obviously, beer. We’ve been consuming beer as a people since fermentation was first discovered, which was even further back in time than my college days. There is nothing quite like cracking open a cold one after a long day of work, or a long day of play, or even a short day of either. Or just because you want to. See what I mean? Beer is our friend.

Short Version
  • Helps deal with mice, slugs, roaches, and other pests
  • Keeps bees and wasps away from the gathering area
  • Condition and highlight your hair
  • Take a beer bath and/or soak your feet in it
  • Polish metals and gold jewelry
  • Revitalize wood furniture
  • Clean carpet stains
  • Cook with it.  A lot.
Knowing full well and intimately the primary use of beer, I was shocked and amazed to discover that this wonder drink had other useful properties as well. And I don’t mean making people look better or instigating a conga line during your barbeque. No, you can actually make good use of beer without consuming it, hard as it is to believe that. No one in their right mind would use a perfectly good (and I do mean perfectly good) Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout for any of these, but hey, that’s why they make Miller Light, right? Sit back, pour a cold one into your frosted mug, and read on…




Deal With Pests

Beer: It's Not (necessarily) Just for DrinkingAt a bar, beer attracts and even creates pests (am I right ladies?), but around the yard it is quite good at getting rid of them as well.

You can make a beer trap to catch and kill a variety of pesky varmints and insects. For mice, pour an inch or so in a bucket and make a ramp for them to climb up the outside. They’ll dive in, get drunk, and stay there until you dispose of them. Dishes or jars of beer placed around your garden will attract and drown slugs and snails.

Fruit flies are also drawn to beer like flies to a…beer, I guess, which is useful if you have a compost pile or anything else that attracts the little pests. Take a jar or can with beer in it and place a plastic baggie or other kind of plastic wrap, cut a small hole in it where the opening to the jar/can is, and put a rubber band around the outside to hold it in place. The fruit flies will be drawn in but unable to get out. Because flying drunk is really tough.

The fruit flies will be drawn in but unable to get out. Because flying drunk is really tough.

For roaches, put some beer in a jar and cover the interior of the lip with vaseline. No, not your lip, you moron, the lip of the jar. Again, they go in but can’t get out. And for your outdoor grilling and gathering, place cups of beer around the perimeter of the yard or space to distract bees and wasps.


Fertilize With It

The yeast in beer will enrich the soil in your yard or garden. Use warm, flat beer and spread a few tablespoons of the formerly delicious beverage into the soil. It will help the vegetables and flowers in your garden grow better. Indoor plants enjoy some beer now and then as well, but it should be used more sparingly since there’s no rain to evenly distribute the brew. Finally, the acids in beer will destroy fungi and pests that cause brown spots in the lawn, and the grass feeds off of the sugars as well.


Clean Up With It

You may have heard of this one before, but using beer as a hair rinse after shampooing will give extra bounce and shine to your locks. Or you can pour some in your hair and lay in the sun to get highlights. I wouldn’t know of course, since I haven’t had any hair on my head for 15 years. Never, ever do a comb-over. Be a man.

Don’t just stop with the hair either. Pour some dark beer into your bath (or a full keg). The beer’s yeast and other properties will exfoliate and cleanse the skin pretty darn well. Of course you may want to take an extra shower afterwards. You can also pour a bottle in with ankle-deep warm water for a great foot soak.

The beer’s yeast and other properties will exfoliate and cleanse the skin pretty darn well. Of course you may want to take an extra shower afterwards.

Beer: It's Not (necessarily) Just for DrinkingBeer cleaning isn’t limited to your body and hair, oh no. Use some beer and a damp cloth to polish your brass and copper pots. It’s been done for centuries. Rubbing flat beer into wood will also restore some of the color and polish it up. It even cleans gold jewelry. Just place the jewelry into a dish of beer, let it sit, take it out and polish it with a clean cloth.

Finally, proof that beer conquers coffee and tea. Tough carpet stains like tea, coffee, and even red wine can sometimes be eliminated by pouring beer on it, allowing it to sit for a few minutes, and blotting it up. Just like you would with a chemical carpet cleaner, only with beer.

I sincerely apologize to coffee if I offended it in any way with that last paragraph. Please, still be there when I wake up in the morning. Tea – you can go jump.


Cook With It

Beer: It's Not (necessarily) Just for DrinkingNow we’re talking. The only thing better than having a beer while you grill out is having a beer while you’re grilling out with beer. It turns out that beer (dark beer in particular) is a great meat tenderizer as well as an awesome marinade. In fact, a recent study showed that marinating meat in dark beer before firing up the grill can cut down on the carcinogenic compounds that form when grilling animal meat (just saying animal meat makes me hungry). If you’ve already had a few before this point in the article, that means that grilling meat increases cancer risks, but marinating the meat in dark beer for four hours cuts that risk as much as 50%. Beer-marinated mushrooms are also pretty awesome

…marinating meat in dark beer before firing up the grill can cut down on the carcinogenic compounds that form when grilling animal meat…

No new news here, but beer battered food is always yummy as well. And if you’ve never added a full-flavored brewski to your award-winning chili, then you’re probably not winning as many awards as you could. White rice tastes much better than brown rice, but soaking some white rice in a rich-tasting beer will magically transfer that hoppy goodness into the rice (it absorbs it, it’s not really magic). Plus, people will think you’re eating healthy.

As long as you’re putting beer into your meat and chili and drinking it, you may as well have it in your bread, too.


Random Beer Goodness

I can’t vouch for all of these, so take them with an experimental attitude, a grain of salt, and, of course, a beer.

  • The acidity in the beer may work well for loosening rusty bolts.
  • This seems ridiculous, but shaking up a can of beer and punching a hole in it or putting your thumb over the opening can be a makeshift fire extinguisher.
  • Some say the smell of hops helps one fall asleep, so they wash their pillowcases in beer. Or you could drink a couple before bedtime, your choice.
  • Beersicles – does this really require an explanation?

Beer: It's Not (necessarily) Just for DrinkingSome people have built retaining walls and even houses out of old beer bottles or cans, but that seems like someone with too much time and too many forgotten evenings to me. One aspect of the idea is intriguing for building a getaway or prepper cabin, however. If you use full beer cans as insulation between the layers of a wall, the full cans will absorb the cold and keep things comfy inside. Which is what beer was meant to do.


Beer Usage Checklist
  • Beer is good. And awesome. And really good.
  • I’m grilled some beer-marinated steaks tonight
  • The beer-soaked rice idea is definitely on an upcoming menu
  • Don’t use beer as a fire extinguisher unless absolutely necessary
  • At some point before I die, I am going to build a cabin somewhere just so I can use beer cans as insulation, so help me God!

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About The Author

Wally Peterson

Wally Peterson is a writer and aspiring beach bum living sixty seconds from the sand in the southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. He has a face made for blogging and his idea of fashion is wearing socks.

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