Shotgunning a beer

Informant Background:

The informant is a Junior at USC in the Naval ROTC program. he considers himself the typical college boy and often enjoys attending the numerous parties around campus.

Informants story:

“So, something that literally any body who’s been to a college party knows how to do is to shotgun a beer. Its pretty easy to set up when you get the hang of it, but the actual shotgunning its self can be hard for a new person. What you do is you first take a can of beer, hold it side ways and cut a whole in the side toward the bottom without letting it spill. I usually do this with keys, but do it however that will get you that hole. When you’re ready, you put your hand like you’re gonna open the can, put the hole to your mouth with the top straight up, pop the top and chug as fast as you can. You pop the top so the air goes in and helps push the beer out and into your mouth.”


The shotgun has been preformed since the college kids first got their hands on beer cans. This classic college act serves two functions. For one, It delivers a large quantity of alcohol to the body in a very short amount of time, thus allowing for the participant to get drunk faster. The other function is that its used as social reinforcement. Any college drinker will tell you that shotgunning is not something you do alone. Shotgunning is something that generally occurs at parties, and preformed among those whom you want to create a bond with. The act of shotgunning allows the participants to share the same experience and in turn creates a small bit of trust. Should the participant not be able to shotgun adequately, the provide a source of entertainment as they struggle to drink as it pours down their face. Should the shotgun be successful, the participant is seen as someone who can handle themselves in the college part atmosphere. Someone asking you to shotgun with them, should be seen as a high compliment as it is a sign that they wish to reinforce or create a friendship.