Beer. It refreshes and relaxes, it fuels sociability and cools the burn of spicy food. It is the most-widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, and the third most common beverage overall. It is the oldest alcoholic beverage produced–and in fact, the oldest known code of laws (the Code of Hammurabi ca 1750 B.C.) called for the death penalty for drinking-house proprietors found guilty of watering down their beer. (Those Babylonians took their suds seriously.)
But aside from the numero uno use for beer–drinking! woohoo!–it is one of the most over-looked components of many a DIY solution to common household conundrums. Here are nine alternative ways to put your brew to good use:
1. Bring on the Butterflies
Although in my perfect world butterflies live on nothing less magical than flower nectar, ambrosia, and an occasional marshmallow, the truth is that many butterflies feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion, urine, and other not-so-pretty, non-nectar sources of nutrients. You can allow fruit from your fruit trees to decay on the ground, leave your pet’s droppings where they drop, or place a bit of raw meat or fish in a discreet part of your garden. Sweet! Or you can use beer to make this awesome butterfly bait to get some flutter-action in your garden
1 pound sugar
1 or 2 cans stale beer
3 mashed overripe banana
1 cup of molasses or syrup
1 cup of fruit juice
1 shot of rum
Mix all ingredients well and splash on trees, fence posts, rocks, or stumps–or soak a sponge in the mixture and hang from a tree-limb. For other ways to invite in the butterflies, try growing some of these plants.
2. Boost Your Bounce
Limp, lifeless hair bringing you down? Drink a beer and maybe you won’t really care, or better yet, use a beer rinse to restore bounce and body. The vitamin B and natural sugars in beer add body and shine, while acting as a natural setting lotion that increases resilience, vitality, and hold. Pour one cup of beer into a glass and allow it to go flat and warm. Shampoo and rinse hair as usual. Pour the flat warm beer on your hair and work it through. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. For extra shine, try this formula.
3. Say Sayonara to Slugs and Snails
I have a hard time snuffing out any creatures in the garden, but truth be told, slugs and snails can wreak all too much havoc on the green growing things. Rather than harsh chemicals or the old sizzle-with-salt method, beer may be the kinder option. Bury a clean container (like an empty juice carton cut length-wise in half) in the area where you’ve seen the pests, so that the the top is about one-half inch higher than ground level, and pour in leftover beer. Slugs and snails will be drawn to it, fall in, and drown. Not pretty, I know, but neither are holes in your spinach. For some non-lethal methods, see this post.