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Hack Your Beer: Pedicures, Food, and Beer Shampoo

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With warmer weather right around the corner, we here at Greatist aren’t the only ones looking forward to a cold, heart-healthy brew or two. But in case an upcoming patio party results in a few extra six-packs (alack!), we’ve got four great hacks for those leftover beers. From marinating steaks to volumizing hair, put those brews to good use.

1. Cook Your Rice in Beer: Everything’s better with beer — at least we think so — and this versatile staple is no exception. Try using beer instead of water when boiling rice to add a rich, nutty flavor. Or split the recipe with beer and water for a hint of extra flavor. It’s probably best to avoid very hoppy brews, though, as doing so could leave behind a slightly sour flavor.

2. Marinate Meat: Sure there’s coffee-soaked steak, but beer also makes a great lower-sodium alternative to bottled marinades. Experiment with different flavors to add punch and tenderize the meat.

3. Give Yourself a Beer Pedicure: The yeast in beer is actually a great skin-softener. Soaking feet in a (preferably warm) bowl of beer can do wonders for calloused heels, helping exfoliate and soften the skin. The alcohol also acts as a natural antiseptic. Some high-end spas have even begun offering beer-based pedicures for their clientele.

4. Shampoo with Beer: It’s never fun to get beer spilled all over that favorite shirt, but spilling a bottle over your head is actually a nifty way to get healthy, shiny hair. The proteins and vitamins found in beer can leave hair feeling noticeable thicker and shinier. While beer is not a permanent substitute for normal hair care products (alack!), beer can be added to shampoo or combined with scented oil to make a great conditioner on its own. Just don’t forget to wash it out afterwards, lest L'Odeur du Frat Party is the goal.

Bonus! Cooking with beer? Different brands and types can accent unique flavors in food. Here’s the (rough) breakdown.

  • White/Wheat: These beers give extra sweetness and a note of citrus. Example: Blue Moon.
  • Pilsner: Pilsner's are a little spicier than wheat beers but with less sharp tones than an IPA. Example: Pilsner Urquell.
  • IPA: To highlight bitter undertones, try an IPA, a favorite of microbrewers across the country. Example: Sierra Nevada IPA.
  • Ales: Ales are great for imparting deep, nutty flavors. Example: Newcastle.
  • Stout/Porter: To get even more flavor (and some notes of coffee and chocolate)than an ale, try stouts and porters. Example: Guinness.

What’s your favorite beer, inside or outside the kitchen? Tell us in the comments below!

Want even more hacks? Need more info on beer? Check out Greatist’s Hacks and Beer Resources!

I'm the chief research officer for Greatist.com and a greatist since 2011. Originally from Kentucky but now calling NYC home. Read More »