How to Shotgun a Beer: Expert’s Quick Guide

Shotgunning a beer is a popular party trick and a rite of passage for many beer enthusiasts seeking to master the art of drinking their favorite beverage in an innovative way. This technique involves puncturing a hole in the side of a beer can and rapidly consuming its contents while the can’s opening creates an air flow. With the right know-how, it can be a fun experience, a great way to bond with friends, and a memorable way to elevate a night of celebration.

NEW YORK-JUN 26: Country musician Dierks Bentley (R) and a fan shotgun a beer onstage at the 2015 FarmBorough Festival – Day 1 at Randall’s Island on June 26, 2015 in New York City.

Before diving into the world of beer shotgunning, it’s essential to choose the appropriate beer and can. Light beers are preferred due to their easier drinkability in comparison to heavier or more flavorful options. The can’s size and thickness are also important, as they can affect the puncturing process and the overall experience. By carefully choosing the right beer and can, even beginners can learn to shotgun like a pro.

The key to mastering this technique lies in understanding the proper positioning, puncturing, and drinking process. This ensures minimal beer wastage while still allowing for a swift and efficient chug. Following the right steps and practicing with caution will ultimately lead to a successful and impressive beer shotgunning experience that can be shared among friends for years to come.

Choosing the Right Beer

When it comes to shotgunning a beer, not all beers are created equal. The ideal choice is a light beer with a relatively low alcohol content. This will make it easier to drink quickly and lower the risk of alcohol poisoning. A preferred brew for this activity is a pilsner as it’s typically lighter and has a milder flavor.

Pay attention to the temperature of the beer. A properly chilled beer will taste better during the process. Therefore, it’s important to check the temperature of the beer before you start. Store it in a fridge or cooler for at least a few hours before planning to shotgun. Cold beer is easier to consume quickly and results in a smoother experience.

Lastly, always opt for canned beer as the process of shotgunning a beer involves puncturing the bottom of the can. Cans with tab tops work best, as they can be easily opened and allow for uninterrupted airflow. However, avoid using cans with thicker walls or unusual shapes, as this might make puncturing them more difficult and messier.

Remember that shotgunning is meant to be a quick and fun way of enjoying your beer. So, keep these factors in mind, and choose the right beer for an optimal experience.

Required Tools and Preparation

To shotgun a beer, you’ll need a few essential tools and some preparation to ensure a successful experience. The primary objective is to create a hole in the aluminum can to enable a smooth and quick flow of beer.

First and foremost, grab a beer can, preferably an aluminum one. Glass bottles are not suitable for shotgunning as they can be dangerous when puncturing. Light beers are often easier to chug, so opt for one if you’re new to shotgunning.

Select a puncture tool to create a hole in the can. You can use a variety of sharp objects, such as a key, a knife, a spoon, or even a specialized shotgun tool. Ensure your chosen tool is durable and sharp enough to efficiently puncture the beer can.

Before making the hole, position the beer can correctly. Hold it horizontally, either laying it on a table or holding it in your hand. This reduces beer wastage by moving the air bubble inside the can towards the side rather than at the top.

Mark the spot where you’ll create the hole, which should be near the bottom of the can and slightly to the side, to make it easier to chug. Use your puncture tool to pierce the can at the marked spot, creating a hole big enough for a swift flow but not too large to control. A smooth-edged hole prevents any cuts while consuming the beer. Remember to open the can’s regular tab to facilitate airflow while shotgunning.

Lastly, ensure you’re in a suitable environment for shotgunning—a space where you can let loose without worrying about making a mess. Following these preparations and ensuring you have the right tools will set you up for a successful and enjoyable beer shotgunning experience.

Location and Safety Considerations

When planning to shotgun a beer, it is important to choose an appropriate location that ensures both safety and comfort. Since shotgunning can be a messy process, consider doing it in a bathtub or near a sink. This allows for easy cleanup and minimizes the risk of slipping on spilled beer.

Moreover, it is wise to avoid places where accidents could occur, such as on balconies or in moving boats. These locations might cause instability and increase the chances of falling or getting hurt.

Before attempting to shotgun a beer, check the position of the air pocket in the can. Holding the can horizontally will help the air pocket move towards the side and create a smoother chugging experience. Properly positioning the can not only prevents excessive spilling but also ensures you don’t accidentally drink the air pocket.

Handling sharp edges is another crucial safety consideration. When puncturing the hole in the bottom of the can, be careful to fold the sharp edges inwards to avoid cutting your fingers or lips. Using a towel or koozie to hold the can might also protect your hand from sharp edges.

Finally, it is essential to remember the importance of drinking responsibly. Chugging beer rapidly increases the amount of alcohol ingested in a short time, potentially leading to alcohol poisoning. It is crucial to know your limits and avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Remember that shotgunning beer is meant to be a fun activity, not an invitation to overindulge or put yourself and others in danger.

Step-by-Step Guide to Shotgunning a Beer

Find the Sweet Spot

Before you begin, it’s crucial to find the sweet spot on the can. The sweet spot is where there’s a slight curve in the can’s surface, typically ¼ of the way from the edge, or where the beer’s gravity aids in quickly draining the liquid. Rotate the can horizontally to ensure the air bubble rises to the side, resulting in less beer waste when making the hole.

Punching a Hole

Now that you’ve found the sweet spot, it’s time to punch a hole. You can use a clean, sharp object like a key or a pocketknife. Hold the beer can horizontally and press the pointed edge of your tool against the sweet spot on the can.Apply gentle pressure and slowly puncture the can to avoid sudden spray or waste. Once done, gently remove the sharp object and enlarge the hole to ensure smooth beer flow when chugging. Be sure to remove any sharp edges as well to avoid cuts.

Positioning the Can and Popping the Tab

With the hole created, position the can for shotgunning. Follow these steps:

  1. Cover the hole: Place your mouth over the hole, sealing it tightly with your lips to prevent leaks.
  2. Turn the can vertical: Rotate the can smoothly so that the tab is at the bottom.
  3. Tilt your head: Lean your head back slightly to help with the actual chugging process.

Now you’re ready to pop the tab. Make sure to maintain your grip on the can, keeping your mouth firmly over the hole to avoid spills. Then, use your other hand to pop the tab open, breaking the seal and allowing air to replace the drinking beer.

Chugging the Beer

The final step in shotgunning a beer is to chug it as fast as possible. As soon as you pop the tab, begin chugging the beer, allowing gravity to help the liquid flow quickly. Keep your mouth sealed around the hole and take large gulps to efficiently consume the beer. Aim for 5-10 seconds as an optimal shotgunning time, but remember to drink responsibly and avoid overconsumption.

By following these steps and being confident, you’ll be able to shotgun a beer with ease and enjoy this popular drinking technique with friends during social gatherings.

Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Experience

Shotgunning a beer can be a fun drinking game, but there are a few tips and tricks you should follow to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. First, always choose a light beer, as it will be less difficult to drink quickly compared to heavy or flavorful beers. Additionally, using a can is crucial for this technique, as it allows you to puncture and control the airflow while chugging (source).

Properly puncturing the can is an important aspect of shotgunning. Lay your beer on its side on a flat, firm surface, with the longer edge facing you. This will move the air bubble to the side of the can, thus wasting less beer as you make the hole (source). Make sure to press the can slightly while puncturing to avoid cutting yourself while creating the hole.

Next, position your mouth correctly to drink beer quickly and prevent leakage. Place your mouth over the hole you created, ensuring your lips seal tightly around it. Then, turn the can vertical so that the tab is at the bottom and the hole you created is at the top. Tilt your head back and open the can, allowing the beer to flow smoothly into your mouth (source).

To make the experience more comfortable, consider learning the technique for both left-handed and right-handed drinkers, as it may be easier or more convenient depending on the situation. Also, practice your chugging skills in a more controlled environment before participating in drinking games. By doing so, you’ll be able to gauge your limits and increase your confidence for the main event.

In summary, the key to a smooth shotgunning experience is choosing the correct beer and can, puncturing the can properly, positioning your mouth effectively, and practicing in a controlled environment. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of shotgunning a beer and impressing your friends at your next gathering.

Alternative Methods and Variations

Shotgunning a beer is a popular party trick, but there are alternative methods and variations to consider for consuming drinks quickly and entertainingly. If you or your friends prefer soda or other canned beverages instead of beer, the same technique can still be applied to create a fun and exciting atmosphere at a gathering.

One notable variation is the strawpedo. This method involves inserting a straw into a bottle’s opening and using the straw to create a vacuum as you drink. This can work with both soda and beer, allowing you to drink faster and finish the bottle in record time. This technique can provide an amusing alternative to shotgunning while still creating excitement at a party.

The beer bong is another alternative to shotgunning. Essentially, the beer bong is a funnel connected to a tube that allows a large amount of beer to be consumed in a short period of time. This method is quite popular at tailgates and other large gatherings due to its speed and efficiency, especially when entertaining a crowd.

While these methods are designed to help you get drunk faster, it’s important to remember to drink responsibly and know your limits. Always choose your beer with care and only consume what you are comfortable with, as well as ensuring that your friends are doing the same.

Another interesting twist on traditional shotgunning involves using a dime or another small, flat object to puncture the can. This can make the process a bit more challenging and enjoyable for those who have already mastered the classic technique.

Finally, keep in mind that anyone looking to experiment with shotgunning other drinks, like soda or even wine coolers, should use caution. Some beverages might not be suitable for quick consumption, due to carbonation or alcohol content. Always consider the drink’s properties and potential reactions before attempting these alternative techniques.

In conclusion, there are several alternative methods and variations to shotgunning a beer, each with its own unique appeal. Whether it’s strawpedo, beer bong, or trying your hand at shotgunning different drinks, exploring these options can make for an entertaining and memorable party experience. Remember to drink responsibly, choose your beverages wisely, and enjoy these fun and engaging methods for enhancing any social gathering.


Shotgunning a beer is a popular drinking game and party trick that can be a lot of fun when done safely and responsibly. Remember to choose a light beer in a can, as it is easier to puncture and consume quickly. Practice puncturing the can properly, positioning the hole about 1 inch from the bottom of the can, on a flat surface and with a firm grip.

Place your mouth over the hole, sealing it tightly to prevent any leaks. Once you have a good seal, turn the can vertical, with the tab at the bottom and the hole at the top. Tilt your head back, open the can, and chug away. But always remember to enjoy this activity in moderation, and know your limits. Drinking responsibly is key to having a good time and enjoying the fun of shotgunning a beer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the quickest method to chug a beer?

The quickest method to chug a beer is by using the shotgunning technique. By puncturing the bottom of the beer can, opening it at the top, and chugging the beer through the newly created hole, you allow the beer to flow faster. This helps you drink the entire contents quickly.

Which tools are necessary to shotgun a beer?

A key, knife, or any sharp object can be used to puncture the bottom of the beer can. You need to carefully create a hole without cracking or damaging the can. Make sure to fold the sharp edges in to avoid injury.

What safety precautions should be taken when shotgunning a beer?

Always be mindful of the sharp edges when puncturing the can. Use a clean and safe tool to create the hole. Also, be aware of the risks of alcohol poisoning when consuming several beers quickly. Drink responsibly and know your limits.

Are there any beginner-friendly techniques for shotgunning?

For beginners, it’s important to practice finding the best angle and position for chugging the beer. Start with a smaller hole and gradually increase its size as you become more comfortable with the technique. Make sure to maintain a steady grip on the can to prevent spillage.

Is there a recommended beer type for shotgunning?

Yes, lighter beers are recommended for shotgunning due to their ease of consumption. Heavier or more flavorful beers may be more challenging to chug quickly, which can defeat the purpose of shotgunning.

What are common mistakes to avoid while shotgunning a beer?

Some common mistakes to avoid are puncturing the can in the wrong spot, not sealing your lips around the hole properly, and failing to tilt your head back enough. These mistakes can cause spillage, waste beer, and slow down your chugging process. Practice the technique and focus on proper puncturing and positioning to avoid these issues.

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