Shotgunning beer is a great way to enjoy some cold brew without having to worry about pouring or measuring.
The problem is, you might get a little too enthusiastic and end up with a mess of foam everywhere. How can you prevent this from happening?
Beer is one of the most popular beverages around the globe. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, it accounts for 7% of global alcohol consumption.
Over the centuries, people have developed all sorts of different methods to down a cold one without just drinking it normally.
However, there are few methods that are as popular as shotgunning.
A staple activity at house parties, frat parties, and practically any other occasion where people can get their hands on a can, shotgunning has become one of the arts of booze-ups.
But just how do you shotgun a beer? Don’t worry, because we’ve got all the answers right here!
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about shotgunning beer, from how to do it to things that you should really avoid.
So read on, and soon you’ll be chugging a cold one with the best!
What Does ‘Shotgunning A Beer’ Really Mean?
If you’ve never done it before, shotgunning a beer might seem like a mystery.
It’s essentially a method of chugging a can of beer that relies on making a second hole other than the one at the top and drinking out of that.
The increased airflow through the can will make the beer come out faster, meaning that you have to chug it.
To do this, you need to puncture a hole in the side of the can. This is where things can go wrong pretty easily, especially if you’ve already had a few to drink.
Punching a hole in a can isn’t easy to do, and requires a good amount of force and a sharp or pointed tool like a screwdriver or a pocket knife.
If you aren’t careful, this could very easily lead to injury.
Once the hole has been made in the can, the person shotgunning will put it to their mouth and pull the tab at the top of the can.
This will make the beer come out of the hole much faster than usual, and they will have to chug it to keep up.
And that’s all there is to it, really. Shotgunning is a pretty simple art that needs a surprisingly careful hand to do it, but it is also one of the best and most fun ways to knock back a brew!
Is Shotgunning A Beer Dangerous?
As mentioned before, if you aren’t careful when you shotgun a beer it is easy for something to go wrong.
There are a couple of things that make shotgunning risky, especially if you’ve been drinking already before you give it a go.
Here are some of the risks to look out for.
Punching The Hole In The Can
The most dangerous part of shotgunning a beer is putting the hole in the can in the first place. Because you need to use a pointed instrument with a decent amount of force in order to puncture it, using the wrong technique can be dangerous.
Keys, screwdrivers, and pocket knives are all common tools used to puncture the can.
If you miss the can or if it slides off (which is easy to do given that it is a sloped surface) then chances are you’ll be ending your night with a trip to the ER.
Another technique some people use is to bite into the can with one of their canines – get this wrong and you might be looking at a trip to the dentist instead.
On top of the can being sloped, there’s also the issue of it being pressurized.
The carbonation inside the can pushes against the inside, meaning that even if you do get the punching technique right you might end up with more of the beer on you than in your mouth!
Chugging The Beer
Chugging beers is a risk in itself. Chugging makes it hard to judge how much you’re drinking and means that you’re consuming much more alcohol in a shorter amount of time.
Shotgunning multiple beers in succession will get you drunk, fast.
Not only does this open you up to the possibility of alcohol poisoning if you aren’t careful, but it’s easy to think you’re more sober than you really are.
Add in the carbonated element of beer, and even if you are careful there’s the risk that the beer will come right back up.
Just because there are some risks involved doesn’t mean that you should avoid shotgunning beer altogether, however. As we mentioned before, it’s a fun alternative to normal drinking that everyone should try at some point or another.
Just remember to stay safe and drink responsibly, and you shouldn’t have any issues!
How To Shotgun A Beer: A Step-By-Step Guide
So now you know what it means to shotgun a beer, it’s time to give it a try for yourself!
This step-by-step guide will take you through the whole process of shotgunning so you know exactly what you need to do to safely and properly gun back a beer.
Step 1. Pick Your Poison
One of the most important things to do is to pick the right beer for the job.
Not all beers are created equal, and while there are some beers that seem like they were made for shotgunning, there are far more that you should avoid at all costs.
First, it needs to be in a can (duh). It also needs to be a light beer, preferably one with smoother bubbles.
Heavier beers such as IPAs and stouts are too heavy to chug normally, and shotgunning is no exception.
You should aim for a light beer like a lager, nothing heavier than a pilsner.
Step 2. Punch The Hole
This is the most important step involved in shotgunning, but as we’ve mentioned before it can also be the most dangerous.
The best place to make the hole is at the lower end of the can, but not on the bottom. Aim for around an inch or so from the bottom rim of the can.
Using an implement like keys, a small screwdriver, or even a strong finger, quickly punch a hole in the can.
The aluminum here is pretty soft, so you don’t need a massive amount of force – the main reason this step can go wrong is if people use too much force or start too far away from the can.
All you need is a short, sharp motion in order to puncture it. When you do this you’ll probably get some foam coming out.
We should also probably mention that the can should be held horizontally with the hole at the top, for fairly obvious reasons.
Step 3. Get Ready To Chug And Pull The Tab
Here’s where the magic happens! Take a few deep breaths and place your mouth in the hole you just made.
When you’re ready, pull the tab at the top of the can to open it like you normally would. When you do this, the beer will start coming out fast, so be ready to start chugging ASAP.
Unless you chose a taller-than-average can, you should be able to empty it in just a couple of seconds. This is where the beer choice is important, as a light smooth beer will be the easiest (and most pleasant!) beer to chug by far.
When all the beer is gone, congratulations – you’ve just shotgunned a beer for the first time!
Throw your can to the side and bask in the cheers of your onlookers! Don’t be afraid to belch when you’re done – after all, you’ve just chugged a can in a few seconds.
Something to consider, especially if you’re new to it, is that shotgunning a beer can be messy. It’s easy to spill foam everywhere, particularly when you move the can up to your mouth.
There is a certain technique you should use, where you move your head down to the hole as you start to lift the can up.
With practice, you can do this and pop the tab in a single fluid motion to prevent the risk of spills.
Shotgunning a beer is a fun and exciting way to chug a cold can, but it’s important to do it properly so you can stay safe.
You should always drink responsibly, so be careful when chugging drinks to avoid getting too drunk too quickly.
As long as you follow this simple guide and stay safe when you’re drinking, you can become a shotgun master in no time. Enjoy!
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