It's the ultimate dilemma that any summertime party host has face—what are you supposed to do with all of the leftover, straggler beers? Rather than sending it down the drain, repurpose these brews with one of the following clever uses instead, and feel good about getting the most out of your unwanted six-pack.
Even though excessive grocery shopping, house-tidying, and prep work are all necessary chores required to pull off a successful summer party, it will all be worth it in the days after your get-together because of one thing and one thing only—leftovers. Even if you’re a gracious, generous host and send your cheery guests off with tupperwares filled to the brim with leftover pasta salad, hamburger patties, and peach cobbler, those aren’t the leftovers that I’m talking about. What’s most important is the fully stocked beverage drawer that your BYOB-ing party-goers left behind.
Now, because we are all humans who are just trying to live our best lives and drink the finest alcohols, it’s not uncommon for those straggler beers to which you are the proud new owner to be, well, somewhat sub-par. Those high gravity craft beers and refreshing, seasonal summer ales either got slurped down during the festivities, or they were cleverly swept up by an observant party-goer who knew better than to make their exit without scooping up a parting gift (dammit!). So that leaves you the next day, a slightly-hungover host staring at a messy kitchen and a disheveled backyard, with a random conglomeration of mediocre beers that you don’t really want to drink, but you’d be a fool to throw them away. And if there’s not another upcoming cookout or poolside party already on the books, the idea of holding that inherited bulk of beer until the next shindig seems like a pain.
So, rather than being the biggest killjoy in all the land and pour your below-average beer down the drain (SMH), put those brews to good use with these clever tips.
Make Beer-Battered Chicken or Fish
For the Michelob Ultras and Bud Lights that are taking up precious door shelf space and maybe causing you an eyesore every time you open the fridge, this is your best bet. It’s as simple as a gentle toss in flour, salt, oil, and beer—you really can’t mess this one up. And because you are a focused home cook who will not rest until all the leftover beer has been put to good use, go ahead a crack a cold one with your beer-battered fish tacos.
Make a Cheese Dip
Two words: Beer. Cheese. Take your next pot of fondue or bubbly cheese dip to the next level with a splash of beer. From crusty bread to crudite to an assortment of meats to your dang pointer finger, there’s nothing we don’t want to dunk in a warm beer cheese spead.
Make a Cocktail
Beer before liquor makes you sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer IN your liquor… how have we not thought of this quicker?! Send a cold Corona into your next margarita, or dump any Mexican lager into your Bloody Mary and call it a Michelada. Need some extra help making the most of cheap beer? Don’t be afraid to add some refreshing mixers— ginger beer, fruit juice, flavored seltzer, fresh citrus juice, or a dash of bitters should do the trick.
Make a Marinade
That steak isn’t going to flavor itself, now! Get a marinade going with beer, soy sauce, brown sugar, and whatever else you want to toss in there, let your meat basque in the exquisite flavors of the beer that your friends were so kind as to let you top off, and get to grilling or braising.
Make a Soup or Stew
Whether you’re working with vegetable, chicken, seafood, or beef stock, you can always add a splash of beer. The darker the beer, the richer the flavor will be in your hearty stew, but we understand that you’re working with the reject pile, so anything will do. Let it simmer for a couple hours and voilà—your unwanted beer is now safe and sound in a delicious soup.
Let’s face it—there will always be a time and place for cracking open a cold, reject beer, and we support you in your less-than-glamorous boozy endeavors. Sure, it may not be your first choice or your finest hour, but when life’s hardest dilemma is finding a use for leftover beer, then it’s safe to say you’re doing okay.