Beer has been used for a wide variety of different things. It once formed the cornerstone of feasts and festivals during ancient times, and has been a "social lubricant" as long as it's been around. Today, most people use beer as, well, a beverage. However, there are a few other uses for your favorite brew that you might not be aware of. Here are some of the weirder things that you can do with a can of your favorite lager.
1. Boost your Wi-Fi Signal: If your Wi-Fi signal sucks, then you should rejoice because there's a simple way to fix it using beer – specifically the aluminum can that houses your golden beverage. You'll need to cut off the bottom of the can, and then slice up the sides toward the top of the can. Then, cut along the edge of the top, but leave a couple of inches uncut on the side. Spread the sides out so that the top becomes a sort of dish, then place the entire thing over the antenna of your router (insert the antenna through the mouth of the can top).
2. Fertilize Grass or Gardens: Beer is chock full of nutrients and yeasty goodness. Pretty much everything that goes into making a beer is good for plants. You can use it to fertilize almost anything, from dead spots in your lawn to vegetables and flowers. Just dump out any leftover excess beer on the areas of your yard or garden that need some TLC and it will do them good. Of course, buying brew just to use as a fertilizer might be a bit excessive in terms of cost, so stick with using half-drunk cans and bottles that would otherwise go to waste.
3. Clean Stuff: Most of us don't necessarily equate beer with cleaning. After all, it's sticky and has that unmistakable aroma. However, the fact remains that many of the ingredients in your preferred brew make great cleaning agents. What can you clean? While it might surprise you, you can actually clean quite a few different things.
- Polish Gold – You can use your favorite brew to help restore shine to your gold jewelry. Just wet a cloth and polish the metal. You'll need to use a clean cloth to dry and buff the jewelry though. Avoid using this method on jewels or stones.
- You – You can add beer to your list of bathing necessities. It works great as a bath additive and the yeasts will help soften your skin. You can also use it as a shampoo or add it to your regular shampoo bottle. Beer can give extra shine to hair, and can also provide additional strength. Mix 1 beer with 1 egg for the best results (but don't keep it more than a day or so).
- Wood Furniture – Beer can help clean and restore the shine to your wood furniture. You'll want the beer to be flat and stale, and you don't want to use too much of it. Dampen a cleaning cloth and then clean the surface. Use a clean, dry cloth to buff it afterward.
4. Cooking: Ok, this one probably isn't so weird. Most people have at least heard about using their favorite brew in cooking. Actually, it's a very popular additive for many different dishes and has a lot of historic uses. Beer is also a great additive when you're cooking shrimp and other seafood, as the flavors mesh very well. It can also be used as a replacement for liquid ingredients in pancakes and other baking recipes.
You can use it to make marinades that will tenderize meat, use it in bread recipes as a flavoring and leavening agent and you can even use it in roasting/grilling chicken and other fowl. It's also easily added to with other ingredients. For example, you can combine jelly or syrup with your preferred brew to ramp up the flavor and aroma of marinades and food dishes. It's also an ideal option for exploration – don't be afraid to try some very different brews in your recipes as they can yield surprising results.
5. Medicine: Beer has been used for medicinal purposes since time out of mind. Ancient societies also used it in religious services. During the Middle Ages, wine and beer were used to treat drinking water to make it safe for consumption (the alcohol killed bacteria in the water). However, your favorite bottle of brew might have some other significant uses and modern medicine is beginning to catch on here.
- Sleep Aid – Of course, you'll get some extra z's if you drink too much, but even minor consumption can help you sleep. Hops is a proven sleep aid. Hoppier brews will give you more benefits, of course.
- Heart Health – One of the most surprising things that modern science has found about this golden brew is that it actually offers some surprising benefits for heart health. Moderate consumption (the key being moderate) can reduce cholesterol, help with hypertension and even reduce your chances of heart disease.
- Vitamins – Beer is packed with B vitamins, which are essential for healthy energy levels, a strong immune system reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Stomachache – You'll find that your preferred brew might also be a good remedy for a stomachache (the non-hangover related variety). The carbonation in the brew helps to ease stomach upset and the alcohol can reduce pain. Serious stomach illnesses (ulcers and the like) should not be treated with alcohol, though.
As you can see, beer has a lot of uses beyond the obvious. It has long served as a homeopathic remedy – in fact, that's one of the main reasons that the ancient Egyptians used it. Of course, there are probably many more uses than the few listed above. What do you use it for? Do you have any interesting beer tips that take it off the table and put it to use in some other capacity?
Dustin Canestorp is the Founder and General of the Beer Army. Join the ranks of the Beer Army at BeerArmy.com. Take a stand and let the world know your position. If you are going to drink, drink BEER!
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