How To Shotgun A Beer: The Ultimate Guide

How To Shotgun A Beer

A well-liked social activity among drinkers is known as “shotgunning,” a beer. This involves puncturing a hole in the side of an opened can and quickly consuming its contents. Shotgunning typically occurs at college parties, tailgate events, or other gatherings where drinking games are played.

Many individuals choose to shotgun beers for various reasons. Some find it enjoyable and thrilling to drink beer with their companions. In contrast, others incorporate shotgunning into drinking games or contests in which the objective is to finish the beverage as fast as they can. 

Certain social circles utilize shotgunning a beer as a means of induction or hazing ceremony. Although shotgunning a beer may appear effortless, it is crucial to master the proper technique to prevent harm and guarantee safe consumption. Moreover, being able to shotgun a beer is frequently viewed as an initiation ritual among certain social groups; therefore, possessing this ability can be advantageous for those who wish to partake in such events.

Materials Needed

To perform a beer shotgun, you only require two essential components: an aluminum can of your preferred brew and a piercing tool. Let’s delve into the details of each of these constituents separately.

Beer Can of Choice

If you want to find, the perfect beer can for shotgunning, keep a few things in mind. You need to ensure they can stay steady while making the hole. It is important to pick a can that feels nice in your hand and is simple to manage while puncturing.

Certain beer cans have large lips, making it difficult to drink rapidly. You want to choose a can with a narrow mouth that allows the beer to flow quickly and smoothly. Additionally, you want to choose a can that is easy to drink from.

Puncture Tool

To shotgun a beer, you need a tool that can puncture through the can. Different options exist, such as using a key, spoon, knife, or even a specific tool designed for shotgunning purposes.

If you require a puncturing tool, it is essential to select one that is durable and boasts a razor-sharp blade. Your top priority is a dependable tool capable of effortlessly penetrating the can without any risk of bending or breaking. Moreover, safety should be your top priority while using such tools since mishandling them could lead to hazardous consequences.

It’s important to mention that there are particular tools made exclusively for shotgun beers, known as specialized shotgun tools. These tools typically feature a pointed end for puncturing the can and a tab opener for quickly opening the beer after puncturing. While not strictly necessary, these tools can make shotgunning a beer easier and more efficient.

How to Shotgun a Beer

Drinking enthusiasts often engage in a fun activity known as shotgunning, commonly practiced at parties or social events. The game entails creating a small opening on a beer can and promptly consuming its contents. This guide will walk you through shotgunning your drink using simple steps.

1. Choose a beer can and locate the air pocket

To start shotgunning a beer, you must first decide which can of drink to consume. Remember, only some can are suitable for this technique. Certain types may present challenges due to their larger openings or thicker walls, which could complicate puncturing them. Your best bet is a standard 12-ounce aluminum can with thin walls for easy piercing.

After choosing your beer can, it’s crucial to find the air pocket, a tiny dent at its bottom that divides the liquid from pressurized air within. This small feature matters as it simplifies piercing through the can and ensures a seamless stream of delicious beer.

2. Puncture a hole near the bottom of the can

Once you have found the air pocket, your next move is to create a hole towards the base of the can. To ensure that you do not damage or deform the can, it’s important to choose a durable and sharp instrument. You have various tool options, including a key, knife, or specialized shotgun tool.

To create a hole, hold the can levelly with one hand and position the tool at a slight slant close to where the air is trapped. Put force on the tool and insert it through the can until you detect a hissing noise. This sound implies that pressurized air within the can is being released through the opening.

3. Open the tab and place your mouth over the hole

After piercing the hole, proceed by unlocking the lid on the upper part of the container. Unlock it by raising and pulling it back with your finger until it clicks. Take care to hold onto the tab so that it won’t detach from its position.

Once you’ve opened the tab, position your mouth over the punctured hole. Ensure a secure seal is formed between your mouth and the opening to prevent any beer from spilling out.

4. Tilt the can back and open the tab simultaneously

To enjoy your beverage, tilt the can backward while opening the tab simultaneously. Angle it 45 degrees and pull back on the tab using your finger. While opening it up, begin sipping from the hole you made in a puncture style. To manage beer flow better, consider supporting the bottom of the can with your other hand.

Consuming the beer steadily and swiftly is crucial to prevent air pockets or bubbles from forming inside the can. An inconsistent pace, whether too rapid or sluggish, may disrupt the beer flow and impede the finishing of the can.

5. Finish the beer in a short amount of time

One must briefly gulp down all its contents to complete the process of shotgunning a beer. This activity aims to drink the beer as fast as feasible, typically within 5 seconds.

Once you’re done with the beer, squash the can and throw it away correctly. Remember to drink responsibly and never operate any vehicle after consuming alcohol.

Tips and Tricks for Shotgunning a Beer

Shotgunning a beer is a fun way to drink a cold at parties quickly. Yet, if done correctly, it may be smooth and safe. Follow these guidelines for a good and safe experience:

Use a key or other sturdy tool to puncture the can

To open the can, use a sharp tool to make a small hole on its side. Ensure the tool is strong enough to avoid crushing or piercing the can in the wrong spot. A key or screwdriver will suffice.

Make the hole slightly bigger than the tool used to puncture

Once you pierce the can, ensure the hole is bigger than your tool. This helps the beer flow out effortlessly and fast.

Open the tab slightly before puncturing the can

Before opening the can, slightly lift the tab to release pressure and make it easier to puncture.

Tilt the can at a 45-degree angle for better airflow

To shotgun a beer, tilt the can at 45 degrees to improve airflow for a smooth and quick pour. This helps prevent choking or spilling.

Use a koozie or towel to hold the can to avoid cutting your hand

Shotgunning a beer can be messy, so use a koozie or towel to hold onto the can and prevent it from slipping. This will also help absorb any spilled beer during the process.

Variations of Shotgunning

Shotgunning is a drinking game where you drink beer quickly by piercing the can and opening the tab to let it flow down your throat. Many versions of this game exist, including:

Sipping from a can that has an opening at the base

The can has a hole at the bottom rather than the top in this version. One places their mouth over it to drink fast and flips the can upside down. It may be messier than usual, as beer could spill out if consumed slowly.

To perform this variation, you will need the following:

  • A can of beer
  • A tool to puncture the bottom of the can (such as a knife or key)
  • A receptacle to catch any spilled beer


  1. Using your tool, puncture a small hole in the bottom of the can.
  2. Hold the can over a receptacle to catch any spilled beer.
  3. Put your mouth on the opening at the base of the container.
  4. Flip the can over and speedily chug the beer.

Shotgunning from a bottle with a straw

Use a straw to make a hole in the bottom of a beer bottle and drink quickly through it. It’s harder than can shotgunning because you have to avoid breaking the bottle.

To perform this variation, you will need the following:

  • A beer bottle
  • A straw
  • A device to pierce the underside of a bottle (like a nail or an awl).


  1. Using your tool, puncture a small hole in the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Insert the straw into the hole, ensuring it is securely in place.
  3. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Quickly start drinking through the straw while simultaneously pressing down on the bottle to increase the speed of the beer flow.

Shotgun Relay Races

Shotgun relay races involve teams completing shotgunning challenges in the fastest time possible, which can include traditional and other variations.

To perform this variation, you will need the following:

  • A timer or stopwatch
  • Several cans of beer
  • A variety of tools for puncturing the cans (such as keys, knives, or screwdrivers)
  • A clear area to set up the relay course


  1. Divide into teams of two or more people.
  2. Set up a course that includes a series of shotgunning challenges.
  3. Each team member must complete one challenge before passing the can to the next team member.
  4. The team that completes the course in the fastest time wins.


If you want to shotgun a beer, choose the right type and make sure it’s cold. Make a hole in the can, or use a straw with your bottle. Tilt it and start drinking! Try other variations, like chugging from the bottom of a can or doing relay races. Enjoy having fun with friends, but stay safe while enjoying this activity! Remember to drink safely and know your limits because shotgunning may be harmful if done incorrectly.

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