PUT OUT A FIRE
Now.. It ain't a fire extinguisher, but a can or bottle of beer can act like one if none is available. Simply shake and spray. Beer is mostly water. This works on small grill flare-ups, and some people have been known to carry an emergency can in their car in case of engine fire. Or at least that's what they tell the NY State Troopers.
Beer is slightly acidic, and that makes it an excellent meat tenderizer, says Linda Omichinski, R.D., a nutritionist. This allows you to enjoy leaner cuts that otherwise might be too tough. Beer also won't alter the meat's flavor as much as wine and vinegar marinades do. Poke some holes in the meat, put it in a Tupperware container. STOP! I know you have Tupperware, take the screws from the cheap furniture you bought out of the bowl, find the lid wash it. OK? You could use a large resealable bag, and add beer. (English ale is great for beef.) Marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or, better yet, overnight. Do not drink the marinade!
In days of yore, the last bit of beer from spent kegs was collected and used to polish the copper vats in breweries. Greg Smith, general manager of the Idaho Brewing Company, is keeping the tradition alive by using beer to put a shine on the copper-top tables in his Idaho Falls establishment. "Because of its acidity," he explains, "you can just pour some on, let it sit for a while, then wipe it off. It also works well on Revere Ware pots."
Not only is beer the remedy for a dull party, it's also the cure for dull hair. Dump a cup into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Let it reduce until there's 1/4 cup left. This removes the alcohol, which can dry hair. Let the beer cool, then mix it with a cup of your favorite shampoo. Pour it into an empty shampoo bottle, then wash and rinse as usual. It'll give your hair more shine and luster. If you don't fancy yourself a shampoo chemist, the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Lewes, Delaware, sells 10-ounce Beer Shampoo bars made with pale ale. The brewery also makes Beer Soap from its chicory stout. Each bar costs $6 (plus shipping) and can be ordered at www.dogfish.com or (888) 836-4347.
LOOSEN RUSTY BOLTS
Pour some beer on them and wait a few minutes. The carbonation may help break up the rust.
CLEAR UP BROWN SPOTS IN YOUR LAWN
According to Andrew Lopez, a professional gardener, the fermented sugars in beer stimulate plant growth and kill fungi. He recommends spraying either home brew or Rolling Rock (both are chemical-free) on those annoying brown spots in your lawn. (Either that, or contain yourself and run to the bathroom for Pete's sake.) "The grass will absorb the sugar in the beer and draw energy from it," Lopez explains.
STEAM CLAMS OR MUSSELS
Fill a large steamer pot with equal parts water and beer, then bring to a boil. Steam them until their shells open. Couldn't be simpler. The beer imparts a nice flavor.
PASS A KIDNEY STONE
As you've undoubtedly noticed, beer is a diuretic. It helps flush the kidneys and bladder. This can be beneficial if you're suffering from a bladder infection or kidney stone. "You can drink water or cranberry juice, but beer also works. It helps dilate the ureters [the tubes connecting the kidneys and bladder], which may help you pass a stone quicker and easier. Plus, the alcohol will take the edge off the pain." But don't drink beer if you're taking antibiotics or narcotic pain medications. You'll render the drugs useless and make yourself sick.
Gather a few empty salsa jars (or similar wide-mouth containers) and fill them a third of the way with cheap beer. Then bury them about 15 feet from your garden, corvette,girlfriend, or whatever you're trying to protect. Make sure the rims are almost level with the soil surface. For some reason, slugs love beer. They'll find the traps, drop in, and drown. Do this in the late afternoon, let the slugs party all night, and give them an honorable burial in the morning.
FIND DUE NORTH
Okay, here's the scenario. A bit far-fetched, we admit, but Bear Grylls will be proud of you prowess. Let's say you're hopelessly lost in the wilderness, and all you have is a can of beer, a sewing needle, a small bowl, and a pair of extra-large silk panties. (Because this is a matter of life and death, the model you saved from that scary pine tree should give hers up.) First, open the beer, pour some into the bowl, and let it go flat. (Better drink the rest; cause that'd be alcohol abuse.) Next, magnetize the needle by stroking it repeatedly in one direction with the panties. This will generate a charge of static electricity. Then float the needle in the beer. When it stops, it'll be pointing in a north-south direction. Now get outta there! Bring the model.
SOOTHE TIRED FEET
Pour a couple of cold ones into a bucket and soak your dogs. Ice-cold beer with lots of carbonation can be soothing for tired feet. Stop at two; you don't want to start staggering... AAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAA... ahem.
MAKE A BEER SLIDE
Ask the ladies over, lay a large vinyl tarp on the hill in your back yard, then make it slick with lots of beer. Have your girls strip down to their underwear or bathing suits, get a running start, and slide downhill. on a side note only use Piels or old cans of your Grandfathers Genny Cream Ale. Water works great as well.
LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
John Palmer, a hypertensive home-brewer and engineer in Monrovia, California, puts a handful of dried hops or hops pellets (available at any home-brew store) in a coffeemaker and brews them with hot water. It makes for a bitter tea, but he claims it brings his blood pressure back to normal within 10 minutes by dilating the capillaries. "There may be something to it," says Dr. Alexander. "A person who's intoxicated is usually flushed and sweaty. Some ingredient is dilating the blood vessels, which, in turn, lowers blood pressure." DON'T STOP TAKING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE MEDS! Duh.
TRICK A CHEAP LANDLORD
Live in an apartment where the landlord pays the heat bill and sets the thermostat pretty low? Ice up a can of beer in the freezer, then set it atop the lockbox that encloses the thermostat. The cold from the beer will trick the thermostat into thinking the temperature has dropped so it'll turn the heat on.
Slugs aren't the only pests with a fatal attraction to beer. According to Neil Herbst, owner of the Alley Kat Brewing Company in Edmonton, Alberta, you can also trap mice with it. He recommends setting out a few small pails or bowls of beer (Usually Piels or old cans of his Grandfathers Genny Cream Ale... see what I did there?), with a small ramp leading up to the lip. The mice will be attracted by the smell, hop in, drink their fill, then be unable to climb out.
TIE A FLY
This tip is from the book Curiosities of Ale and Beer, published in 1889: Mix beer, chimney soot, walnut leaves, and a little powdered alum(??? what the) in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then chill. Dipping any natural materials you're using in this solution prior to tying is supposed to make for a tighter, more attractive fly. No promises as to whether it will catch more fish, though.
Greg Smith, author of The Beer Drinker's Bible, says women often show up at his brewery asking to buy not his beer but the hops he uses to brew it. "They sew it into pillows," he explains. "The smell of it is supposed to be a sleep aid, especially for colicky babies. I've never tried it, but we get enough requests that there must be something to it." Hops is a type of flower, though, so be careful if you have allergies.
A full can of beer is a great self-massage tool, according to Dori Love-Bentley, a certified massage therapist. For instance, take off your shoes and roll a can underfoot. Or put one in the crook of your back or between your shoulder blades and lean back against a wall, rolling it around as you do so. It works just about anywhere -- quads, glutes, neck, calves. "The pressure loosens up muscle tissue," explains Love-Bentley, "and encourages bloodflow to the area."
CALM AN UPSET STOMACH
Sipping on a highly carbonated beer can settle a stomach just like Seven-Up or Sprite can. Plus, the alcohol helps buffer pain. "I've never seen a true medical study supporting this," says Dr. Alexander, "but I have patients tell me it works. The only time you have to be careful is if you have an ulcer or gastritis. Alcohol can inflame that."
Rinse 1 cup jasmine rice in water. Do it twice more, then drain well. Next, dump the rice into a medium-size pot and add 12 ounces of beer. (A nut-brown ale works well.) Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat to low, and cover the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from the stove and cool for an additional 10 minutes. The rice won't be lumpy, and it'll have a nuttier flavor, just like you after you eat it.
If your sonic impersonation of a chainsaw gang taking down a forest is ruining your marriage, try this: Get a pocket T-shirt and a 6-ounce mini-can of beer. Put the can in the pocket and fasten it closed with a safety pin. Just before you go to bed, put the shirt on backward. Research shows that you're more likely to snore while hanging out in dreamland on your back. This little can setup prevents you from rolling over. Plus, come morning, you won't have to get out of bed for breakfast.
ICE A HAMSTRING
Frozen or very cold cans of beer make great ice packs. Hold one against whatever is ailing you, a sore muscle, a sunburned neck, a pounding headache. With an Ace bandage, you can even wrap a frosty 16-ouncer against the back of your thigh. Or use a sweatband to strap a can near your elbow after a tennis match. "A metal can will transmit the cold very rapidly," says Larry L. Alexander, M.D., medical director of Central Florida Regional Hospital's emergency department. Just make sure to put some thin fabric between the skin and the beer can to avoid frostbite.
TAME A WILD HAIR
A few drops of beer is sticky enough to subdue any sudden uprising on your eyebrow or scalp that you spot in a barroom mirror. Just wet your index finger and demurely slick it down. Think of it as Miller mousse.
Nail or glue three or four beer caps to a sturdy piece of wood that's roughly 6 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1/2 inch thick. Keep the caps in a line and make sure the serrated edges are facing out. Then attack those fish.
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