Five Things I'd Rather Do With a Guinness (Other Than Drink One)

While it may seem blasphemous to speak ill of a beer on this day, the most high and holy of drunken holidays, I simply cannot stand Guinness.

I want to love it, I really do. A proper Guinness pour--billions of tiny bubbles rising slowly through the blackness--is truly food porn at its finest. And the UK marketing campaign includes some of the most artful and visually stunning ads I've ever seen, many of which have competed (and won) at Cannes. Yet for some reason every time I drink a Guinness I'm left feeling a lot like Violet on Willy Wonka, that is to say, as if I should be rolled away and juiced. If I'm in the mood for a dark, heavy beer (which, admittedly, I rarely am), I'd much rather sip on something as flavorful as it is dark, like Mikkeller's Chipotle Porter, known round these parts as a Texas Ranger.

However, the vast and ever-accurate Internet supplied an abundance of alternate uses for beer, five of the more interesting are listed below. Granted, I don't do half of them on a regular basis, but if I did, I'd be doing them with a Guinness (or any other beer I don't particularly care for).

5. Put out a fire - just not a car fire

An article in Men's Health suggests that a rigorously shaken beer can be used as a fire extinguisher in a pinch, even mentioning keeping one in the trunk in case of an engine fire. Yeah. And the cops will completely understand when they arrive and you're standing beside your car on the side of the road, reeking of booze and holding an open container. Right.

4. Inebriate your yard

A number of sources recommended using beer to clear up brown spots on your lawn. Just be sure to shout, "This is for all my homies" before pouring it on the grass. See "Bet on Black" (2000). The snails in this commercial seem eager to meet their sudsy end.

3. Drown small animals in it

Now this one I have heard of before, and it's most often associated with Guinness. A shallow pan of the beer left in your garden overnight (or a small cup, filled to the brim and buried halfway in the soil) will attract, and ultimately kill snails and slugs. A few sites listed similar tactics for exterminating mice, only with a larger container and a board leading up to the rim. While drowning may not seem like the most humane way to kill an animal, we can think of worse ways to go.

2. Bathe in it

As if you needed an excuse to bring your beer into the shower. In addition to being a clarifying agent, the hops and malts in beer are thought to tighten the follicle shaft, producing shinier, stronger hair with beautiful shine. Dark beers are rumored to work best, although Dogfish Head uses pale ale in their signature "Beer Shampoo" bars (they use Chicory Stout for their soap).

1. Eat it

A Google search of "Guinness" and "recipe" yielded a mere 5,430,000 results - basically you can add the stuff to just about anything, from ice cream to macaroni and cheese. Last week Endless Simmer posted "100 Ways to Cook with Guinness", and yesterday we provided a few additional suggestions of our own. In addition, the acidity acts as a natural meat tenderizer, making Guinness an ideal marinade for steak.

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Lauren Marmaduke
Contact: Lauren Marmaduke