Unusual uses for your favourite beer

That ice cold beer after a run, or a bite of tender chicken cooked in a brew – these are well-known to many for their enjoyment factors, but beer also has many other lesser-known uses.

There are myriad other benefits associated with the brew which are not as well known.

The Austrians, Germans and Czechoslovakians believe so much in the restorative powers of beer that beer spas, where people bathe bin beer, have been around since the Middle Ages. This is believed to aid muscle tension, draw out toxins and open the pores, basically meaning that physicians believe beer is just as good a treatment for your skin as it is for a rough day at the office. However, this trend has not caught on outside of Europe, so is probably best enjoyed as a fun experience and not something your medical aid is likely to pick up the tab for.

Beer used as a conditioner is said to restore life to limp and lifeless hair, thanks to the vitamin B and natural sugars, which add body and shine. So next time there is leftover beer lying around after braai, allow it to go flat and warm and work it through your hair after conditioning. It can also extra hold to keep your style in place while looking incredibly vital. American actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was recently reported to have said she swears by this method to keep her tresses looking red carpet worthy despite smelling like a brewery.

With beer’s slight acidity, it has benefits as a tenderizer for food. Something hearty, such as a Castle Milk Stout works well for this. Add herbs and spices to your meat or vegetable dishes, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. And stay away from drinking the marinade! Beer could also help remove rust from stubborn nails or bolts which refuse to budge. Pour the liquid over, wait a few minutes and see if the carbonation helps.

Next time someone spills beer on a wooden table, rather than mopping it up quickly, pass the guilty party a microfiber cloth and get them to rub it gently into the wood. This should polish the surface and give it a nice sheen.

While tea and coffee stains can be stubborn, a little beer can be a miracle-worker. Douse the stain in beer, blot and repeat.

While not as effective as a fire extinguisher, a shaken can or bottle of beer can be used to put out small fires, thanks to its water content and pressure. This is why it’s regularly tossed over the braai when the flames flare up, but you’d still have to call in the professionals to extinguish a grease or electrical fire.

After polishing the table, marinating the meat and putting our fires, you’re probably going to be exhausted, so pour two ice-cold beers into a bucket and soak your feet. The carbonation is said to soothe tired feet.

Of course, with all of these tips, it means sacrificing what you’d slake your own thirst with, so make sure your fridge has enough of your favourite brew chilling for your personal consumption first.