How to make good use of flat, left-over beer

By Rona Moon

Ever had the problem of undrunk beer sitting round wastefully in bottles, cans or glasses after a house party? Sigh. It’s flat, warm and disgusting. You could play a hearty round of morning-after beer roulette, the thrilling game where if you find a half-empty vessel, you challenge someone to rock-scissors-paper and the winner downs it in one (possible floating cigarette butt and all).

But here’s the beer problem solved more efficiently — waste not, want not. Here are some creative and unexpected uses for old beer that folks came up with in Japan.

Firstly, it’s worthwhile noting that the problem of left-over beer is more a Japanese problem — if you’re having a large party, beer in Japan is found in large communal bottles which are poured out into small glasses for each person, rather than in individual cans or bottles. I’m not really suggesting that you re-use dregs of beer that have been backwashed by your buddies. But if you have some relatively innocent and untouched flat beer sitting around, here are some things you can do.

1) Beer left-overs for cleaning

So, you’re looking around at the ruins of your house, beer may be splashed on every wall, and now you can use the remaining beer for cleaning? Really?? Perfect. I love that beer smell.

The alcohol (and possibly vitamin E) in beer removes grease. Wet a cloth or paper towel with leftover beer, and you may be able to remove grease and oil stains, including stains on flooring or windows that won’t come off with water. Some say you can rub it on wooden furniture with a cloth to get it looking good. But definitely spot-check first before you put beer everywhere.

2) Use old beer in cooking

Soaking in beer can tenderize tough meat. Also, you’ve probably heard of beer-battered fish and chips, but have you heard of beer-battered tempura or fritters? Beer evaporates more easily than water, and may even turn into little crunchy bubbles when deep-fried because of the carbonation.

You could use beer in Japanese hot pot dish sukiyaki in place of old-fashioned rice wine sake, or use it to pickle cucumber. Just mix slices of cucumber with a little sugar, salt and beer in a plastic bag and leave them for half a day.

3) Give it to your plants

Even if your house plant isn’t as rapacious as the one from the "Little Shop of Horrors," it may enjoy a tipple. The acid in beer can kill fungi and insect pests (or at least get them drunk and make them easier to kill), while the sugar content provides the plant with nutrition.

However, make sure your plant consumes in moderation. Don’t apply too much beer directly to leaves or roots, and dilute with water if you’re pouring it over leaves. It’s probably better dribbled sparingly into the soil.

4) Kill slugs

Slugs love beer. They also love munching on pretty much everything in your garden, or sometimes just wandering around the kitchen or bathroom leaving disgusting slimy trails in their wake. So what better way to lure them to their doom than with their favorite drink – of which you just happen to have some that you’re not in need of? Put some old beer in a saucer and fill it with intoxicated, drowned slugs as they’re drawn to its pleasing aroma.

With alternative uses like these, there’s no excuse for wasting undrunk beer. Cheers to the holiday season!

Source: Naver Matome

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- The Museum of Yebisu Beer worth visiting -- Matcha beer is absolutely delicious -- Asahi Unveils Efficient New Beer Tap

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Can't see me cleaning the house with stale beer because the house will end up like, well, smelling of stale beer. Must admit that in my earlier days I did live in houses which at times smelt of stale beer but it was definitely not because someone tried to clean the place. Fact is, if beer could clean, back in those days our carpets were spotless.

Using beer for batter is the obvious one although to be honest I've never found it to make a good batter unless it was fresh from the can/bottle. Try putting some good lager in chicken stock when roasting or slow cooking chicken and you may be surprised by the results.

The other one I know back from my Grandma was using it to wash your hair as it gave it a shiny finish. I tried it as a teenager but apart from the issue of pouring good beer over your head seeming a waste - cold beer in a hot shower never mixed that well. I think, looking back at my Grandma, that she probably used a good draught stout. And to be fair, she had a gleaming head of hair.

On the slug thing - it works but hedgehogs are fairly partial to beer. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen a hedgehog in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nope, never had the problem of undrunk beer sitting round.

12 ( +13 / -1 )


This article is ridiculous. They must have been desperate for a topic or something.

Trying to salvage all the beer dregs just makes it longer to clean up, and whatever alleged benefits you get from the beer, (that you couldn't buy for a couple hundred yen) wouldn't justify the extra time running around checking all the empty bottles.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is a joke, right? Even if it isn't, it is.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I don't think I know anyone that leaves behind beer....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What leftover beer? Never any of that in my house!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Definitely no leftover beer in my house ever.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Try and add left over beer to Chili and Beans. Wala... you will get the best Chili and Beans.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

surprised they left out shampoo. the proteins are very good for hair care/ damaged hair, and of course the famous grease - removing properties are mentioned above. finally, it gives you an attractive smell, so you will be literally swatting away the ladies (or gents) irresistibly drawn to you!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another tip is to heat it on the stove, add an old shoe, then serve it to your mates from England.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

My grandma used to make stews using stout and they tasted great. I doubt she used dregs though. I doubt you could use lager type beer unless you want to entertain your guests with a new little creation called 'fizzy piss stew'.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Huh? Leftover beer?

2 ( +3 / -1 )


Don't dismiss lager for cooking. A big pile of chopped mushrooms, a smaller pile of chopped chorizo, some lager, and simmer till delicious. Eat with bread and more beer. (Learned from some Spanish friends)

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Nope, never had the problem of undrunk beer sitting round.

Same here ! My mother also said it was good for the hair but since I've never had any "leftover" beer, I've never been able to try !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are times (late summer early fall that we have a huge influx of " fungus gnats" they thrive on overripe fruit (bananas etc) and or garbage some one taught me a trick. Put a little flat or not flat beer in a bowl then stretch some saran wrap very tightly over the top and punch three or four holes into the saran ( not too big and leave the edges of the holes pointing down). I use a sharp pencil) and just park it next to the fruit . You would be amazed where those little flies will go ( I also make my own beer and wine that attracts the little guys as well but a couple of those traps next to fermentors and no problems!) I will send you the bill for these tips soon, a bottle of Sake will do LOL

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abaleo - I'll give that a go. Maybe add some shallots to the mix.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Leftover beer has never been a problem for me; rather the opposite, actually. Flat beer is unlikely to work well in a beer batter, IMO, but fresh, still carbonated beer works very well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just put it back in the fridge, I'm gonna drink it

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good to make morning after pancakes, too!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Often used it for killing slugs in the garden, best use of leftover beer !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Slugs love beer"

Slugs ain't dumb!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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