10 uses for your surplus suds

Juliana Sauvé illustration

We’ve probably all found ourselves at some point or another with the unusual dilemma of having unwanted beer. Whether it’s cans of Coors Light left in the cooler that a bad friend brought to a party, a failed batch of homebrew or even an open growler of your favourite local craft brew you forgot in the back of the fridge, it just seems wrong to pour it down the sink.

Fortunately there are plenty of ways to “waste not want not” since, not only is beer an easy fix for a boring party, it has a whole bunch of other uses as well. Here are 10 to keep in mind.


Heat your home

If you live in a place where the landlord pays the heating bills and they like to cut costs by keeping the temperature low in winter, a handy heating hack is to place a frozen can of beer on top of the thermostat to trick it into thinking the place is cold and turning up the heat.


Beautify your lawn

Got ugly brown spots on your lawn? Beer can help! Grass gets thirsty too, and the fermented sugars in organic beer are great for both aiding plant growth and killing fungi, so just sprinkle some on and wait.


Lather up your locks

While beer is best-known for going to your head, it can also go on your head as a makeshift shampoo for shinier and more voluminous hair. Flat beer is best to help avoid the tell-tale smell and funny looks. Repeat as necessary.


Slay some slugs

Marauding molluscs on the notoriously rainy West Coast can wreak havoc on your garden and/or nearly legal outdoor grow-op. One solution is to bury a jar with the rim level with the surface, fill it a third of the way with beer and wait for the slimy bastards to fall in and drown.


Murder some mice

Of course, slugs and sorrows aren’t the only easy things you can drown with beer. If you don’t have a cat at home, one way to get rid of mice is to put out buckets with beer at the bottom and with a ramp leading to it. The blind-drunk mice who find their way in won’t be able to climb out again.


Soak your dogs

Beer can make you legless, but it can also put you back on your feet after a long day. Fill a bucket with ice-cold beer and soak your tootsies in it to enjoy the soothing effect of carbonation on sore feet.


Soothe your gut

While some people swear by hair of the dog as a hangover cure, in moderation beer can also sometimes help settle an upset stomach thanks to the same carbonation that makes ginger ale do the trick. Only using real ale instead is more fun.


Polish your pots

Back in the olden days, breweries would use the last bit of beer from empty kegs to polish the copper vats. Beer’s natural acidity makes it a great natural polisher for pots, pans and even jewelry, and it can also help loosen up rusty bolts.


Put out a fire

While obviously not as effective as the real deal in the event of a fire, a shaken up can or three may be able to get the job down in the event of a barbecue flare-up. Or, speaking of barbecues…


Marinate meat

Beer is slightly acidic and therefore makes for a mean marinade. While it won’t alter the flavour as much as wine-based marinades might, soaking meat for a few hours before tossing them on the grill is a great way to tenderize leaner cuts. Added bonus: marinating with beer before grilling may reduce carcinogens present in the char.


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