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What is Shotgunning a Beer?

What is shotgunning a beer? You’ve heard the term, and you’ve seen it in movies and TV, but what exactly is it?

Like most things you do with alcohol, it sounds more complex than it really is.

In this blog post, we’ll demystify shotgunning a beer and talk about all there is to know about this fun form of beer drinking.

What Is Shotgunning A Beer?

At its core, shotgunning a beer is simply a way of getting one or more cans of beer open quickly and drinking them all at once. It’s quickly gained popularity since its invention in the early 1990s.

It often takes place in environments with loud music or amongst friends as a fun challenge among peers.

How Does Shotgunning Work?

Essentially, when performing a shotgun pour, you create an opening in the side of the can that allows air to get inside the can (or bottle). As air rushes into the can through this hole, so do its contents when the container is opened.

This creates an effect similar to a waterfall which causes the beverage to pour out much faster than if no hole were present.

What You’ll Need for Shotgunning A Beer

When planning to shotgun one or more beers, you will need:

  • Beer can (of course!)
  • An object that can puncture a hole in aluminum like a key or pocket knife
  • A flat surface (like a table) for opening your beer

Step-by-Step Guide To Shotgunning A Beer

  1. Select your beer – Choose whatever type of beer you want. Your favorite craft brew or mass-market lager will both work just fine!
  2. Prepare your openings – take your puncturing object and make small openings on each side near the top edge of your cans or bottles (be sure not to make these holes too big). If using bottles, puncture two holes: one on each side near the lip of the bottle neck opening.
  3. Place your cans/bottles on their sides on top of a flat surface – Place them so that the side with holes is facing up and away from you for easy access before opening them up completely.
  4. Lift your can/bottle – Make sure you have a firm grip on your container before lifting it off the table and place it in front of you with enough room for pouring out its contents quickly!
  5. Pop and pour – Get ready for some fast-paced drinking! Quickly open up both sides of your container with one hand while keeping a hold on either end and tilt downward towards yourself as if pouring from an upside-down teapot—similar to how you would pour ketchup from a glass ketchup bottle! Then enjoy!

Safety Considerations For Shotgunning A Beer

Although drinking games may appear harmless when done within reason, there are many safety considerations that must be taken into account before participating in activities involving alcohol consumption:

  • Always drink responsibly – know when enough is enough!
  • Do not drive after consuming alcohol – Have someone else do so or plan ahead by arranging alternative transportation such as public transit or rideshare programs such as Uber/Lyft instead.
  • Ensure that all participants are over 21 years old – no underage drinking should ever be tolerated!
  • Be aware of city ordinances around public drinking – Check local regulations before gathering together and consuming alcohol in public spaces or parks where doing so may be illegal or prohibited due to noise levels/disturbances caused by activities such as singing loudly etc…

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Shotgunning A Beer

Nowadays, shotguns are often done for pure enjoyment but there are benefits and drawbacks associated with this activity:


  • Quicker beverage consumption – You’ll have finished up those cans faster than ever before!
  • Increases social interaction between participants – By sharing cans together (especially outdoors), fellowship between friends becomes even stronger!
  • Can be enjoyed in any setting – Whether you do it at home while watching TV series marathons with friends or outdoors at BBQs, concerts…you name it—you can now enjoy beers even faster without having to worry about fumbling bottle caps/openers every now then again…which means more time spent enjoying yourself instead 🙂


  • Messy cleanup – While yes it’s easier and quicker to finish up those drinks fast…it also means having a deal clean up those spilled liquid messes afterward which may prove quite tricky depending upon the area where they occur i.e indoors vs outdoors etc…
  • Be careful not to overconsume–Be mindful not to overindulge given the higher speed rates at which beverages will be consumed here as well the potential for spills due to openings made prior consume too much.
Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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