In these times of quarantine, every day brings with it news that we’d rather not hear. Today, it was about the news about one lakh litres of craft beer going to waste in Maharashtra that we weren’t hoping we’d hear. On the other hand, it also got us thinking about various ways in which we could use beer rather than simply throwing it away. And no, none of them involve drinking craft beer, even if it’s exactly what everyone was hoping for. Here then are 10 ways to use beer without drinking it, if only to avoid its colossal waste.
1 – Beer Bubble Bath
Yes, empty those bottles in your bathtub, and pamper yourself with a bubble bath. God knows you need one right now, especially after dealing with the lockdown for over a month now. Also, why should kids have fun all the time?
2 – Marinate Meat
Beer is acidic, which qualifies it for being an excellent marinate. It tenderises meat perfectly. Poke holes in the meat put it in a container or a large resealable bag, and add beer. Marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or preferably, overnight. Word of advice: Do not drink the marinade.
3 – Beer BBQ Sauce
Salivating already? At a time when we’re all turning home cooks, here’s a sauce that gets our vote.
1 medium banana pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers
5 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small can tomato paste
1/3 cup each wine vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp each – Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, honey, Dijon mustard, horseradish, oregano
2 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp cumin
Dash of ground clove
360ml amber ale or porter
Method: Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Lower heat and simmer about 4 hours until thickened. Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours so that the flavours can meld.
4 – Steam Shells
You heard us! Fill a large steamer pot with equal parts water and beer, then bring to a boil. Steam your little clams, mussels until their shells open. There’s no simpler way of steaming.
5 – Beer Bread
Now you can eat beer too, which technically means you’re still not drinking it. Here’s how to make beer bread.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp each salt, dried basil, dried rosemary, thyme
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp cooking oil
360ml beer, at room temperature
Method: Mix all the dry ingredients. Add oil and beer to it. Stir until dough is just mixed. Put the dough in a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
6 – Stain Removal
A stain that is not in a mood to leave your carpet? Is it that stuck-up red wine? Light beer to your rescue. Sometimes a little club soda first will also help. Then use a regular carpet steam cleaner after to clean the liquid and the smell.
7 – Highlight Your Mane
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you let your hair go crazy. After all, there are still Zoom meetings and Instagram Lives to attend. Soak your hair in beer and watch it shine. Beer is also a handy hair conditioner.
8 – Beersicles
If you feel you’re too old for popsicles, make Beersicles! Make varieties to choose from by selecting Indian Pale Ale, a lager, stout and so on. Okay, we’re dreaming. Let’s move on.
9 – Treat Your Insomnia
If you’re facing insomnia, and want to get over it, then wash your pillowcases with beer. That hoppy after-smell will help you fall asleep faster.
10 -Polish Metals
If you have a thing for antiques but don’t know how to clean them, then dip your rings, pots, stainless steel fixtures to remove tarnish and grime in beer. Because of its acidic nature, beer makes for an excellent metal polish. Once you’re done, rinse the metal with clean water and dry thoroughly.
See, there really isn’t any need to throw so much beer down the drain, especially when it can be repurposed so efficiently. The only question that remains is – is anyone listening?
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Gargi Shanbhag is a polyglot and bibliophile who is always up for discussing regional movies - preferably over many cups of filter kaapi.