How To Shotgun a Beer Fast and The Best Shotgun Beer Tool To Use

Apr 2022 | Last modified: November 14, 2023 | 8 min read | By David Scott

guy shotgunning a beer

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It is a daring speed-drinking challenge that seems a little barbaric but can give lots of laughs. Whether at a party or home alone, shotgunning a beer is a thrill worth experiencing.

You don’t have to be a college student to enjoy fun drinking games. Shotgunning beers have become a very popular drinking game with your buddies.

What Is Shotgunning a Beer?

The general premise of shotgunning a beer is to poke a hole on the lower side of a beer can while holding it horizontally. The hole must be on the opposite side of the opening where the tab is located. You then put your mouth covering the hole while simultaneously opening the tab and positioning the can vertically.

You will experience the magic of physics when the atmospheric pressure forces the beer into your mouth in one big gulp. You’ll be able to finish a 12-ounce can of beer in less than four seconds hopefully without being soaked in it.

It is a thrilling experience and a great way to finish a cold beer. Shotgunning a beer is a skill that few have mastered and most have made into a big wet and sloppy mess.

How To Shotgun a Beer Faster?

Let’s review how to shotgun a beer so you can show off your skills at the next party.

1. Choose the Right Beer Type

As you know, there are a wide variety of beer styles. Although when shotgunning a beer you really won’t have much time to taste it, you still want it to be an enjoyable experience. The taste doesn’t matter since you will quickly swallow it, but it might go down easier if it is a lighter beer.

Heavy beers or those with a high alcohol content usually don’t work well with this drinking game. Beers with strong flavors will be much harder for shotgunning, so go for a simple light beer that won’t’ take such a toll on you.

Something with a 5% alcohol by volume or less would be ideal, or even a non-alcoholic beer could be used. There are many beers from the large commercial breweries that you can buy much cheaper than some of the specialty craft beers at the liquor store.

2. Be Aware of Your Location

As you can imagine, shotgunning a beer can become quite messy. It will probably take you a bit of practice before you’re able to shotgun without spilling. Since it is a technique that takes some time to master, be sure to practice in a location that can easily be cleaned.

You certainly don’t want to hold a session of beer shotgunning in your mother’s living room on top of her luxurious rug. Outdoors is certainly the best place for this game, but there are places indoors that are suitable for this messy game.

3. Be Methodical With the Puncture

Shotgunning a beer requires more fineness than just poking a hole through the can. An excellent shotgunning technique starts with a well-placed puncture.

First, you must lay the can horizontally on a flat solid surface. More experienced shot-gunners often hold the can in one hand while they puncture with the other.

The purpose of placing the can horizontally is to move the air bubble to the puncture point. The air bubble is always on the top, so when the can lays horizontally, you will find it on its side. It is important to puncture at the position of the air bubble to prevent spillage.

4. Dent the Can

The next step is to make a dent in the can about one inch from the base. When the can lays horizontally, the base will be on the side. Going one inch from the base ensures that the puncture is not attempted at the thicker metal part of the can.

The dent will easily help you position the puncture, which must be strategically placed for a smooth movement vertically for drinking. This means that if you are left-hand dominant, the tab should be on the left side of the can and the dent will be made with your right thumb. The opposite is true if you are right-hand dominant.

Once you find the correct position, roll the can until you can detect the air pocket. When your thumb feels the air pocket instead of liquid, you have found the right spot to make the dent.

5. Puncture the Can

When you have correctly marked the dent that indicates the correct placing for the puncture, you are ready to choose your favorite beer shotgunning tool.

Whichever tool you choose, just keep safety in mind. Carrying around sharp objects can be dangerous. Once you are ready to puncture the can, locate the dent and softly push down your sharp object against the can to make a hole the size of at least a dime, but not bigger than a quarter.

If the hole needs to be bigger than the original puncture, carefully use your sharp tool to push the metal inward to avoid any sharp edges that can cut your mouth. Don’t try to puncture the can with your teeth or fingers, it is dangerous and you’ll have lots of cleaning up to do afterward.

When choosing the right tool to puncture the can, you may be tempted to shotgun a beer with your thumb, but using your bare hands can get tricky, so it is best to use a sharp tool.

6. Get Ready to Chug

Now that you have carefully selected and prepared your can, it is time to get ready for a waterfall of beer down your throat. Start by lifting the can towards your mouth keeping it horizontal to avoid any spillage.

In one swift motion, take a deep breath and lock your lips on the punctured hole as you tilt your head back and pull on the tab ending with the can positioned vertically. When you pull the tab the airflow will make the beer flow quickly and smoothly through the punctured hole and into your mouth.

The can will empty so quickly that you won’t have time to zip or suck on the hole. Be prepared to swallow quickly as the liquid builds momentum. Be sure not to let the beer accumulate in your mouth because your cheeks will inflate like a blowfish and you’ll probably get drenched.

When you get some practice under your belt, you will find a smooth technique with a steady pour and swallow action.

7. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Of course, the best way to end the game is by ensuring all the cans go to the recycling bin. Shotgunning a beer may not seem like the most responsible activity to engage in, but recycling the cans will certainly elevate it!

Bear Claw
Shotgun Tool & Bottle Opener

Pro Tips

  1. To shotgun beer like a pro the most important thing is to know your limit. Keep the game fun by making sure you don’t overdo it. Since the point of the game is to drink a beer at a ridiculously fast speed, the alcohol will reach your bloodstream much faster. Maximize your fun by simply setting your limit and not going beyond it.
  1. When playing this beer game amongst friends, you can use a scoring system awarding the person that has the smoothest technique and less spillage.
  1. With practice, you will figure out how to shotgun a beer faster by pushing on the can, choosing a light beer, making the hole bigger, and other methods. Just be sure to pace yourself to avoid getting sick!

Other Drinks to Shotgun Besides Beer

If you’re not into beer or alcohol, you can do this trick with other canned drinks like non-alcoholic beer, soda, lemonade, or another favorite drink of yours. However, keep in mind that soda has more carbonation and will produce more bubbles.

What To Use To Shotgun a Beer: Beer Shotgun Tools

Almost any sharp object can be used to easily make a hole in the can.

bear claw for shotgunning a beer

Who Was The First Person To Shotgun a Beer?

There are different stories about the invention of beer shotgunning, but the first time anyone saw it on the big screen was when John Cusack appeared in the movie “The Sure Thing” in 1985.

Now you know!

Last Call

There it is, a simple guide for how to shotgun a beer! Remember to prepare well by choosing the right beer and venue. Be sure to take your time to understand the air pocket for the best puncture placement.

When choosing what to use to shotgun a beer, use a tool like the Bear Claw for easy and safe puncturing. You will find the best techniques that suit your abilities. Keep it fun, keep it simple, and most of all keep it safe.

Bear Claw Shotgun Tool

Find some neat stuff for your next round of drinking games including one of these cool beer pong tables.

Now you know how to shotgun a beer faster, so get ready, set, cheers!

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