As beer drinkers, remaining at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus can lead to frequent thoughts of, well, drinking beer. From supporting your favorite local breweries with to-go orders to popping open a few bottles you’ve been saving for a special occasion, it’s easy to end up consuming more than you might ordinarily.
So, to what are some other ways you can engage with your beer hobby without necessarily finishing off a four pack of IPA? I reached out to several knowledgeable people who suggest three shelter-in-place-approved, sober-friendly activities for beer lovers.
Making Beer Art
Sheltering in place is an ideal time to start creating beer art, says Boozy Craft Corner’s Sabrina Rain. Draw inspiration from themes and subjects of interest and then play around with different compositions. “Part of Boozy Craft Corner’s mission is to make women in beer as normal as the sky is blue,” says Rain, and creating harmonic depictions of women and beer is one way she does just that. She recommends new artists start with a medium they love: ink, pencil, paint, or iPad. Jump-start your creativity with Rain’s Boozy Craft Corner Coloring Book and free downloadable coloring pages.
Brewing at Home
“People always think they need plenty of space to brew beer,” says beer writer Josh Bernstein, but “you can brew beer anywhere, in any square footage.” Stovetop kits for one-gallon batches are available online, and the equipment stores easily in a kitchen cupboard or the corner of a closet until you’re ready to use it again. For inspiration, check out his book Homebrew World, which focuses on makers of small batches throughout the world, from Iceland to South Africa. Looking for an excuse to safely get out of the house? Deliver a sanitized bottle of finished homebrew to the porch of a house-bound friend.
Cooking with Beer
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of incorporating ale or lager into dishes you enjoy cooking. Start simple by subbing in beer when a recipe calls for water or wine. And while you shouldn’t cook with flawed beer, “it’s okay to cook with beers that you wouldn’t normally drink,” says April Boyce, lifestyle blogger at April Newly Me and member of the Beer Kulture movement. Not typically a fan of dark lager, she added New Belgium’s dry, roasty 1554 to Creole-seasoned black beans and rice as an experiment with delicious results. “The chocolate, cocoa flavor offset the spices […] It was perfect!”