I usually try to drink all of the beer in my growler over the course of two nights. While the second serving is usually a good bit less stellar than the first it's usually still quite drinkable.

However, because I almost always plan to drink it over two nights, sometimes the second half of the growler gets left a few days longer. After that it's basically undrinkable.

Usually I snag Imperial Stouts, or other high gravity brews (currently I have a Southern Tier Creme Brulee ripening in the fridge :().

Is there a good use for this spoiled beer or should I just pour it out? I was wondering if beer bread was a good idea or not.

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    I use it to make chili. Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 13:57

8 Answers 8


Supposedly washing your hair with it has some nice effects, and people have found other creative uses: How to make good use of flat, leftover beer from your Christmas party.

However, if it is only a few days old and has been in the fridge, it's unlikely that it's done much more than go completely flat, so any use that doesn't require it to be carbonated would be fitting. -- I'd go for the bread.

  • 2
    +1 for the hair-washing - I've done it! It left me with very soft hair, plus I got to smell beer all day.
    – hairboat
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 15:44
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    My grandmother told me beer-washing hair was very popular when she was young (she used to do it often). +1
    – JDB
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:32
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    I have yet to try it, but I know my roommate does because occasionally I smell it while they're in the shower.
    – darwhen
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:41
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    If you're old enough to have watched a lot of TV in the 70s, you might remember Body On Tap shampoo.
    – Dave
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 21:57

In my experience, many recipes that call for beer either work fine with flat beer or call for it that way. Examples include chili, fish poached in beer, and some stews.

I would be reluctant to use it for bread unless the recipe calls for a "normal" amount of yeast, though. Some recipes seem to rely on the yeast in the beer and others add bread yeast, so check in order to avoid baking a hockey puck.

This is for conventional bread. If you're making a quick bread that uses baking soda, you don't need help from the beer for rising. (Thanks waxeagle.)

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    We usually make beer bread with self rising flour so it's a quick bread that relies on baking powder rather than yeast for it's leavening.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 18:47
  • Ah. Yes if there's baking soda then you're fine. Edited, thanks. Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 18:48
  • And, if you have a hockey puck at the end, you can break it up and make chowder out of it. Interestingly chowder probably originally used hard tack (basically a baked hard, unleavened loaf) instead of the potatoes that are used today. Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 7:18

Cooking with beer is always a good decision, and stouts are a prime choice. Since it doesn't matter if they're a little flat, why not try some?

  • Corned beef in a crock pot is good with stout: just add stout along with veggies and spices to cover the beef and let it stand on low all day. I usually use a bottle, but the carbonation simply doesn't matter so flat beer will be fine.
    – RBerteig
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 23:07

I'd definitely say cook with it as others have mentioned. You're really just trying to impart some of the beer flavors into the food; you don't really need a fresh beer to do that as carbonation doesn't affect the flavor, it affects the mouth-feel. The carbonation from a fresh beer would be lost in cooking anyway. If it's only been 2 days, it probably hasn't spoiled, so you're fine.

Beer bred is always an option. I also saw someone else on here mention Polish Beer Soup. Beer-battered fish is another option. I could go on and on with recipes though. The Brooklyn Brew Shop has a lot of interesting ones that I've never seen before, such as french toast (might be good with a chocolate stout or other dessert stout) and beer braised greens.

Household uses include trapping insects in your home, washing hair, fertilizing plants, cleaning wood furniture, etc.

  • just minor correction: carbonation does affect flavor, but when cooked, all the carbonation (including the flat flavor) will be cooked off. So it would be more precise to say carbonation doesn't affect the flavor of the finished product. Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 7:20
  • I still don't think it affects taste; all the ingredients are still in the beer. It's just mouthfeel IMO. But yes, that's what I said; it'll be lost in cooking anyway. Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 23:16
  • Carbon dioxide dissolves in the watery liquid and imparts a sour taste. This is quite noticeable if you ever brew uncarbonated beer, which has a very different flavor profile. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 13:21
  • In the direction of "trapping insects": A well-known but doubtfull application is a snail trap in your garden. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 19:02

Making it into a marinade for steaks would work.

Depending on the type of beer, I would also consider using it for boiling sausages/bratwurst with it. Though I find that the darker beers are the best for this.


You could use it to make steak and ale pie, this works particularly well with darker beers. Although you don't need much - about 1 cup / 220ml.


Another option is to make your own malt vinegar. You can just put a piece of cheesecloth over the top (with the cap removed), or you could add a little vinegar mother, like from the bottom of a "natural" bottle of vinegar, and it will turn it to vinegar for you.


I've seen a lot of people commenting to cook with it , which is my advice , but I haven't seen someone speaking about crepes. I don't know if we only do this here (france) but I've always used beer to make crepes and it's realy great. I recently thought about using strong flavored beers (like dark ones) but didn't try it yet so if you try it soon a feedback would be appreciated !

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