How to shotgun a beer in 8 easy steps for lightining-quick chugging!

Sometimes you have to throw “class” out the window. You just want to down beer(s) as far as possible. 

Whether it’s to impress your friends or for the pure scientific efficiency of consuming more brew in a shorter amount of time, shotgunning is great. It’s widely considered the fastest way to down a beer, par excellence.

“Shotgunning” is the art of puncturing a beer can on its side and swiftly downing its contents, aided by gravity and fluid dynamics.

In this article, we share tips on how to perfect your shotgunning skills.

We break down the shotgunning process into 8 steps so that we can discuss the entire operation in more detail. Those steps are:drinking the punctured beer can

  • Grab the right type of beer
  • Use the right tools
  • Hold the can horizontally
  • Check where you will puncture the can
  • Place your thumb to find the sweet spot to puncture and tilt the can
  • Get your key or knife and puncture the can
  • Make the hole bigger
  • Chug!

Here’s a detalied explination of those 8 easy steps, by the bros. Take a look!

8 Steps (and tips) on How to Shotgun a Beer

1. Grab the right type of beer

grabbed a can beerYou have to go for two things when selecting your beer to shotgun.
A) Make sure it’s a beer you like. If you hate the taste, you won’t enjoy the shotgunning and if you don’t enjoy it your performance will suffer.
B) Make sure it’s a lighter beer. Shotgunning heavier beers (probably anything above an ABV of 5%) is more difficult.

2. Use the right tools

A key or knife will help you puncture the can easily. If both are not available, you can use any sharp object to make the hole. Just be careful not to puncture the can too hard and don’t be sloppy with the hole – you don’t want to cut yourself or make a hole that’s too big. Take a look also at our suggested tool: the famous Bear Claw . [1]

3. Hold the can horizontally

Place it on top of a table, and this will move the air bubble inside to its side. Also, less beer will be spilled when you puncture the can.

4. Check where you will puncture the can

1 inch from the bottom of the can is your safest spot. The aluminum in this part of the can is softer, helping you puncture the can easily.

5. Place your thumb to find the sweet spot to puncture and tilt the can

Continue to press on it until you feel a pocket of air inside the can. Then push the can slightly with your thumb to leave a dent and know where you will puncture it.

6. Get your key or knife and puncture the can

Puncture it swiftly on the dent you made, so it pops a hole. Expect that some beer and foam might spill out of the hole.

7. Make the hole bigger

punctured the beer can

Place the key or knife inside the hole and make it bigger by making a circular motion. Make the hole a little smaller than a quarter. IMPORTANT: make sure that the edges are bent inward to avoid cutting yourself when you are drinking the beer!

8. Chug!

Place your mouth over the hole and tilt the can towards you. Let gravity do the work and pop the tab open with your other hand. Keep your throat open and let the beer go down freely.


“The sweet science of shotgunning depends on atmospheric pressure and fluid dynamics, which themselves depend on your can “having two holes for air to flow through”.”
– Dave Infante, Thrillist

No Sharp Objects Available? Use Your Thumb

When there are no keys, knife, or any sharp objects available, shotgunning a beer is still possible – you can use your thumb to puncture the hole.

This is an impressive trick to learn, showing off your superhuman skills to those who do not think it is possible!

To do this:

  1. Hold the beer horizontally
  2. Place your thumb 1 inch away from the bottom of the can. Use your index and middle fingers to support your grip
  3. Press the can (imaging squeezing a grape)

Be careful while doing this trick though since your thumb might get cut as it penetrates through the can.

Other Shotgun Techniques

Find that interesting? Well, we have more interesting shotgunning techniques that you can try with your buddies:

  • On your head – smash the can into your forehead and when it bursts, chug from the top
  • Snake – squeeze the beer can between your legs (you can also try your biceps), chug the beer once it explodes
  • Gorilla – crash the can using your closed fists and chug the remaining beer

Just kidding! Please don’t do these!

Extra Tips When Shotgunning Beer

Here are some extra tips on shotgunning a beer faster and more efficiently:

  • Aluminum Can – Make sure that the beer can is made from aluminum. This makes the can easier to puncture whether you are using a tool or just your thumb.
  • Choose a light beer – Heavy or flavored beer will be more difficult to drink quickly.
  • Push Hard – When using your thumb, push real hard, and the can will open. The hole made by punching a hole using your thumb should already be enough. No need to enlarge it.
  • Suck – To shotgun a beer fast, you can try sucking the beer from the hole using your mouth.

Using the shotgun method might get you drunk faster so drink moderately. Once done, dispose of the can responsibly.

Our #1 Recommended Shotgun Tool

Bear Claw shotgun toolDrinking your favorite beer using the shotgun method sounds fun. And now that you know how to shotgun a beer properly, you’re going to want to practice and perfect this skill. Use the Bear Claw to make the puncturing easier.