Craft beer is boomin’ and the overall appreciation for the suds just keeps getting bigger and bigger. What a time to be alive, really. There has never been a better excuse to open a cold one (or seven) and celebrate. Whether it’s at a bar, a party, or in front of Netflix on the couch, beer will be consumed. It must be.
To make your brew appreciation a little more epic and a whole lot easier, we present you with eight brilliant beer hacks to solve your most obnoxious beer-related conundrums. Need cold beer stat? No bottle opener on hand? We’ve got you.
Put these tips and tricks to good use — all we ask is that you enjoy a cold one for us. We think you can manage.
PHOTO: GOOD FOOD STORIES
To keep your beer cool without ice cubes watering your drink down, try making beer cubes instead. All you have to do is fill an ice cube tray with beer and stick it in the freezer, just as you would for regular ice. Then you can pop these cubes in your brew and enjoy a seriously cold, full-bodied beer.
Disclaimer: I’ve never actually seen someone drink a beer with ice in it, but I would honestly try it if I was using this hack.
PHOTO: THE KITCHN
Stay with us… this one is a little weird. Pouring beer is an art form, and if not quite mastered, you can end up with a cup full of foam rather than drinkable beer. A quick tip is that oils reduce the surface tension of the bubbles in the foam. Translation: oils make the foam vanish quickly.
You could probably drop a little vegetable oil or olive oil on the foam to make it disappear, but it’s a little known fact that you can also use the oil on your face. With a finger, swipe a little oil off your nose or forehead and put your finger in the foam. It’ll be gone in a few seconds.
Gross? Absolutely. But at least it’s YOUR nose oil going in the beer. (Please don’t try this trick with someone else’s beer. We will not be held responsible for any ensuing World Star-worthy rumbles.)
COOL A PITCHER
PHOTO: ANCHOR HOCKING
When you’ve got pitchers for a crowd, they can go kind of slowly. That depends, of course, on the crowd you’re drinking with. But say you know the pitcher is going to be out for some time, slowly growing warmer. There’s a quick way to keep a whole pitcher cool until your friends have crushed it.
Fill up a plastic cup with ice and float it on top. This will cool the beer without directly putting ice in the brew and watering down the whole batch.
DIY BOTTLE OPENER
GIF: HACKING UNIVERSITY
This happens way more than any of us would like to admit. You’re off of work, you’re ready to relax with a cold one — and you realize you don’t have a bottle opener on hand. What do you do? The answer is not to put the beer back in the fridge and go to bed. There’s a way around this classic conundrum, and we’re going to tell you what to do.
Start with a piece of paper. Fold it in half hamburger-style (so horizontally, not vertically). Then continue folding the paper until you have a thick, thin wad of paper. Fold the paper in half so it makes a “V” and then wedge the point under the bottle cap. With a little elbow grease, you should be enjoying your brew in no time.
WATER PLANTS (LAZILY)
PHOTO: HOMESTEAD LIFESTYLE
If you have plants but you don’t know why you have plants because you always let them die, drinking beer is actually good for your green thumb. Or rather, your lack of it.
When you’ve finished a bottle of beer, fill it with water and stick it upside down into your plant’s soil. It will gradually water the plant over the course of a few days without drowning it, which means the only thing you have to do is drink more beer. Poor you.
CHILL A BEER
PHOTO: THRIVE MARKET
Need to chill a beer in a snap? All you have to do is wet a paper towel and wrap it around your beer bottle. Stick the bottle in the freezer for five to fifteen minutes (depending on just how quickly you need to chill that bottle). When you pull the beer out of the fridge, it’ll be covered in frost and refreshingly cold.
Forget beer charms, this is a much cheaper, easier, and less dorky way to keep everyone’s beers straight. Get a bag of colored elastic bands at the dollar store and put them out in a bowl for your party guests to grab. When they get a beer, everyone gets an elastic band to put around their bottle, easily distinguishing whose cold ones belong to each other.
DIY KEG TAP
If you’re really going for it and you’ve gotten a keg for your celebration, then you’ll want to make sure you have a tap to open that bad boy. Completely forgot the tap? You poor soul. Don’t worry, you didn’t kill the party vibe. You can tap that keg with an easy trick.
First, dislodge the retaining ring at the top of the keg using the flat screwdriver. Use the screwdriver to tap around till you find the end of the retaining ring. Pry on the ring with the screwdriver till it gives way and slowly strip it out. Apply pressure on the ball valve again to remove any pressure.
Do you have any life-changing beer hacks? Share them in the comments section below.