Beer School

What is Shotgunning Beer? How to Shotgun a Beer like a Pro

Shotgunning beer is a great way to get drunk fast and impress your friends at house parties. But chugging a beer can be harder than it looks. Continue reading to learn how to shotgun a beer fast.

What is Shotgunning Beer? How to Shotgun a Beer like a Pro

College teaches kids a lot of great lessons, and one of those lessons is how to shotgun a beer. If you’re feeling left out because you didn’t attend college or missed out on all the learning opportunities offered at college parties, this is beer shotgunning tutorial is for you.


What does it mean to “shotgun a beer”?

Shotgunning is the act of consuming a beer, or another beverage, very fast by creating a hole in the side of a can and placing your mouth over the hole. When the beer can tab is opened, the beer quickly drains through the hole and can be drunk very fast.


How does shotgunning beer work?

The beer can drain fast from a beer can if there’s a hole in the bottom because it allows air to enter into the container. When your mouth is covering the only hole in the beer can, a vacuum is created that actually slows down the flow of beer. Once another hole is added to the bottom of the can, air can enter freely to help push the beer out.


Does shotgunning get you drunk faster?

Yes, shotgunning a beer will get you drunk faster than drinking a beer normally. It’s no secret that the faster you consume alcohol, the drunker you’ll get. It’s basic science. Your body can absorb alcohol much quicker than the liver can metabolize it. On average, it takes your body roughly one hour to metabolize one beer. If your body can’t metabolize the alcohol fast enough, your body’s alcohol level will rise and you’ll get drunk.

There are several factors that can affect the speed that your body can absorb alcohol. Your height, weight, alcohol tolerance, and whether your stomach is full or empty can all affect how fast you get drunk.


Who invented shotgunning beer?

John Cusack.


Fun Beer Chugging Fact:
What is the world record for chugging a beer?

The fastest beer shotgun world record was broken on December 31, 2008, when William Paul knifed open a 12-ounce can of Bud Light and shotgunned it in 2.78 seconds at a New Year’s Eve party in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This new world record for shotgunning a beer beat the existing record by more than 2.5 seconds.


How to Shotgun Beer Fast


Step 1: Create a shotgun hole.

Using a sharp object, like a knife or a key, poke a dime-sized hole in the side of your beer can, roughly an inch from the bottom. Be extra careful not to cut yourself!

Shotgunning Tip #1

In order to decrease the amount of spillage, hold the beer can horizontally and at a slight angle, so the shotgun hole is over the air pocket in the can.


Step 2: Get ready to shotgun your beer.

Place your mouth over the hole while you rotate the can (and your head) straight up and down.


Step 3: Open the beer can.

Take a deep breath in and out, then crack open that beer can. When the can’s tab is popped open, the liquid will quickly drain through the shotgun hole.


Step 4: Chug your beer.

Now that the beer is flowing into your mouth, start chugging!

Shotgunning Tip #2

Open your throat. Start by exhaling all the air out of your lungs. Once you’ve exhaled as much as you can, open your mouth wide and try to relax the muscles in your throat.


Shotgunning a beer bottle: Strawpedoing

The battle between bottles and cans is still an ongoing debate, and many can-lovers claim that another reason why they think cans are better than bottles is that you can’t shotgun from a bottle. This actually is not the case and it is possible to shotgun a beer from a bottle.

Shotgunning beer from a bottle is called strawpedoing. Strawpedoing can be performed on any beverage container that is not as easy to puncture, like glass beer bottles.


How to chug beer from a glass bottle:
  1. Open your beer bottle and insert a flexible straw into the bottle.
  2. Bend your straw so it folds over the lip of the bottle. The straw will allow air into the bottle, making the beer to flow out of the bottle easily.
  3. Tilt your head back and chug that beer!



Shotgunning Beer Tips:
How to Get Better at Chugging Beer


Chug the right kind of beer

Use cheap beer. Don’t waste your money on a can of craft beer only to have it shoot down your throat in a matter of seconds.

Carbonation levels will also play a factor in your shotgunning experience. The most chuggable beers are going to be smooth, light and with minimal carbonation.

Are you planning a shotgunning competition with your friends?
Pick up a case of Coors Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon, or Old Milwaukee. Not only are these beers light and easy to drink, they are also friendly to your wallet.

An India Pale Ale or a Stout brewed by your favourite local brewery is not a good option for shotgunning.

Shotgunning Tip #3

Take your beer out of the fridge an hour before you plan on chugging them. This is one of the times where lukewarm beer is superior to ice cold beer.



Your surrounding is critical for a successful shotgun. Even the best of the best beer shotgunners can spill a little brew. You want to make sure you are focusing on your ‘gun and have no concerns that you’re getting the carpet dirty. When getting prepped for a shotgun, pick an area outdoors or a place that will ensure an easy clean-up.


Shotgun hole

When creating your shotgun hole, you want to think like Goldilocks and make sure it’s not too big or too small. The hole should be small enough that your mouth can cover it, but large enough that beer can flow through at a good speed.


Still feeling like a beer shotgunning newbie? To make yourself feel better, watch this video by Buzzfeed where people shotgun a beer for the first time.


The Shotgun Shell: A Beer Shotgun Device

The Shotgun Shell is a device that cleanly punctures the bottom of your beer can, leaving it with no sharp edges for a smooth shotgun.

“The Shotgun Shell was specifically engineered to puncture the perfect sized hole in beer cans to maximize speed and minimize spillage. The perfect angled design delivers the “sweet spot” for preventing messes when you satisfyingly press to puncture.”

Simply slide your beer into the shell, push down on the button, and voila! You’re ready to shotgun your beer.

Preorder the Shotgun Shell on Kickstarter, here.


Shotgun Drinking Game:

Turn shotgunning into a drinking game by challenging your friends. Receive points on the least amount of spillage, and shotgunning speed.


JustBeer does not condone binge drinking and asks everyone to please drink responsibly.


Now that you are a shotgunning pro, and know everything you need to know about the art of shotgunning beer, check out these other great beer articles and drinking games:

How to Play Dodge Beer Drinking Game
The 5 Stages of Getting “Beer Drunk”
Sociables Drinking Game Rules
What Really Happens When We Drink Alcohol

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