Shotgunning Beer (The Good, The Bad, and How To Do it Right!)

While drinking beer normally is great, sometimes I feel the need to spice things up. Shotgunning a couple of beers with my friends is one way to do that.

To shotgun a beer, all you need to do is puncture the bottom of a can of light beer, fold the sharp edges in, position the opening at your mouth, crack the top, and chug. When done properly, shotgunning is safe, but drinking several beers quickly increases the likelihood of alcohol poisoning. You can strawpedo a bottle of beer for a similar effect.

Continue reading to see a step-by-step breakdown of how to shotgun a beer as well as some tips and answers to common questions.

What does it mean to shotgun a beer?

Even if you haven’t heard the term, you’ve likely seen what it describes.

Shotgunning a beer is when you make a hole in the side of a beer can near the bottom, crack the top open, and quickly drink the entire beer in one go from the hole you made.

It’s basically just an efficient way to drink a beer as quickly as possible. If you’ve ever seen a movie about college students you’ve probably seen a frat boy shotgunning a beer.

Does shotgunning beer get you drunk faster?

The speed at which you get drunk greatly depends on a couple of different things, but drinking faster will get you drunk faster.

Shotgunning a beer will get you drunk faster. It allows you to drink quickly, meaning you can drink more in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, shotgunning puts an entire beer’s worth of alcohol in your system at once to be absorbed at the same time.

Depending on various factors, such as how recently you’ve eaten, your weight, and height, beer may affect you more or less when shotgunned.

Alcohol is absorbed faster on an empty stomach regardless of how you drank it. With this in mind, it is recommended that you don’t shotgun without having eaten beforehand.

Weight and height both affect how much of a lightweight you are. In general, the more space for the alcohol to be diluted, the less it affects you.

Is shotgunning a beer dangerous?

Drinking beer – no matter the method – can be dangerous in excess. With enough effort, anything can become dangerous.

If you shotgun a bunch of beers in quick succession you increase the likelihood of alcohol poisoning. It can be especially dangerous if you don’t know your limits and surpass them before the alcohol hits.

Beer is great and shotgunning can be fun. You just have to know how to handle your alcohol and respect the inherent dangers. If you do this then it isn’t dangerous.

It is also possible to hurt yourself before getting to the alcohol consumption portion of shotgunning your beer. You could slip while making the hole and cut yourself or you could cut yourself on the edge of the opening. 

Is shotgunning a beer easy?

Easy is a relative term, but most people will find shotgunning easy once they get the hang of it.

Shotgunning a beer can be very easy if you’ve done it a lot. The individual steps are simple to learn. The difficulty can come from making a hole without cutting yourself or from chugging if you’re not used to chugging carbonated drinks.

Once you get well-practiced, it can be very quick. According to the site Record Setter, the quickest beer shotgun took 1.73 seconds.

At first, you probably won’t be that fast. If you don’t know what you’re doing it can be easy to mess up, but once you learn how it is pretty simple. 

How to shotgun a beer (faster and without spraying)

If you’ve never done this before and don’t know how this guide is for you. In five steps, I will break down how to shotgun a beer. 

Make sure to have everything you need on hand to speed up the process. Even with these steps, shotgunning a beer can still be a mess. Accidents happen. It is best to shotgun beers in a place that you don’t mind getting beer on it. Outside is best.

The best way to shotgun a beer is to:

  • Create an opening 
  • Fold sharp edges in
  • Put the opening to your mouth
  • Crack open the top
  • Chug!

Create an opening

You will want to start by finding a good spot to make the hole.

The best place for the puncture is near the bottom of the can. It can be on any side of the can, though it may be easier if it is on the same side as the pop-top opening.

Now hold the can so that the air inside is directly under the spot you’re about to puncture. This way you don’t spill any as you open it. 

This also prevents it from spraying as long as you make the hole with confidence. If you make a small hole the beer will likely spray.

Use any sharp object you have on hand to start the opening. Knives and keys also work well. You can even use your teeth if you have nothing nearby.

I don’t recommend using your teeth unless you really want to show off. It makes mine hurt just thinking of it.

Fold sharp edges in

This step is optional if the opening looks big enough and doesn’t have any sharp points. 

Once the opening has been created you should fold the edges of the hole inwards. If you are careful you can do this with your thumb, but it is best to use a knife or key.

This will not only make shotgunning a little safer but will also make it a little easier by making the hole bigger.

Put the opening to your mouth

Move your mouth to the opening of the beer instead of lifting the beer to your mouth like normal. Once your mouth is over the opening turn the can so that the pull tab is on top.

You will want to tilt your chin up a bit so that everything goes down smoothly.

Don’t start drinking yet!

Crack open the top

With your other hand crack open the pop-top.

This will allow air to get into the can and make it easier to chug. 


At this point just chug the beer as fast as possible without spilling.

Chugging a beer this fast will build up gas in your stomach. Burping afterward will help you feel much better. Extra points for the best burp!

Tips for shotgunning beer

Nothing to it!

Shotgunning a beer is pretty simple but there are a few things you can do to make it easier:

  • Choose the right beer – First and foremost, you have to choose the right beer to shotgun. For this, you’ll want light, easy-to-drink, beers. Good choices are any light lager beers. You can shotgun any beer in a can if you want, but heavier or more flavorful beers will be harder.
  • Keep it cool – The temperature of the beer will also affect how easy it is. Room temp or warmer beers will work just fine but might foam up more and make it harder to keep it down. Your best bet is roughly fridge temperature. You don’t want it too cold though. So somewhere between room temp and fridge will do.

How to shotgun a bottled beer

Some will say that you can’t really shotgun a bottled beer since the process is different. In the end, they’re just two ways to quickly drink beer. Sounds similar enough to me.

But if you want to get particular, shotgunning a bottled beer is called “strawpedoing.” As you can guess, this method involves a straw. It has to be a bendy straw for this to work.

The process is very simple:

  • Open the bottle
  • Insert the straw
  • Bend the straw so that it points down
  • Drink without pinching the straw

For the web story version of this article click here!