Five things to do with your leftover Guinness

For the day that’s in it!

Guinness is considered to be perhaps Ireland’s finest export, and it’s easy to see why. It’s delicious, easy to drink, plus it looks great too. But Guinness is also rich in iron as well as folate, fibre, and ferulic acid — especially compared to most other beers. So, having a pint of Guinness on St Patrick’s day is a tradition worth keeping alive.

If you’ve got leftover Guinness or you’re just looking for something new to do with it, the folks at Alliance Online Ireland have researched five unusual ways you can use Guinness this St Patrick’s Day.


1. Bake with it

Most of us have tried our hand at baking during the lockdowns over the past two years and incorporating Guinness into the batter can add a lovely depth and richness to chocolate cakes. But, if you’ve overdone it on the sweet stuff, how about Guinness bread? Beer already contains yeast, so you don’t need to add any of your own, just a bit of baking powder. And, if you add a good amount of sharp cheddar too, you’ll end up with a deliciously beery cheesy loaf. What’s not to love?

2. Make a sauce with it

Guinness’ unique flavour means it can be used to make amazing sauces for all kinds of meals. Steak and Guinness stews, for example, will be richer and have a darker taste than if you used a lighter ale. But the stout can also add a wonderful, caramelised flavour to BBQ sauce that would be perfect for sticky ribs, burgers, hunters’ chicken, and countless other dishes. The best part? You only need to add about one cup of Guinness (or around half a can) to your favourite BBQ sauce recipe, so you’ll still have plenty of beer left over to use in other weird and wonderful ways.

3. Feed your plants

When pubs were forced to close during the height of the pandemic, they had to figure out what to do with all their unsold beer. The Guinness brewery actually sold most of their excess to be used as plant food for Christmas trees, so that the saplings could absorb all the nutrients in the stout. You can apply the same principle to your own garden if you wish, as Guinness is 100% compostable and could make your plants grow healthy and strong. This is a great option if your Guinness is out of date, or if it has been opened and left to go flat.

4. Apply it to your hair


Among a slurry of other nutrients, Guinness is also rich in protein which means it can be great for your hair. You can apply the beer directly as a shine-boosting rinse, massaging it into your scalp and leaving it for a few minutes to allow it time to do its thing before you wash it out. Alternatively, combine with other protein-rich organic compounds you use to make homemade hair masks, such as avocado, egg white, or banana. Apply this mask once a week for at least four weeks and you’ll start to notice shinier, glossier, and softer hair.

5. Use it to clean with

The acidity of Guinness means that it can be a great cleaner for pots and pans — simply leave them to soak and the beer will do the rest. This also applies to any fine jewellery you have that’s losing its sparkle — drop gold and silver rings, necklaces, bracelets into a container of Guinness, leave them soak for a few minutes, then give them a rinse with clean water. You’re sure to notice less grime and more lustre as a result.

John Girvan, manager at Alliance Online Ireland, said, “The countdown to St Patrick’s Day is on and after two years of restrictions we can officially celebrate in style this year and enjoy a Guinness or two! And, there’s plenty more things you can do with this wonderful beer than just drink it, including cleaning, baking, and even beauty treatments.

“The nutritious properties of the world’s favourite stout mean that merely drinking it almost seems like a waste. So, if you’ve got leftover Guinness or you’re just looking to try something new, give one of these five alternative uses a go.”

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