How to shotgun a beer is one of those things that you learned in college, but was never on the final despite the countless hours you spent studying the craft. As many college alums and tailgaters can tell you, shotgunning a brew is a pretty fun way to get the party started. If you’re unfamiliar with how to shotgun a beer, it’s pretty simple.
You take a can of beer, hold it just past horizontal so the bubble in the can is just above the part where the base and sides of the can meet. From there you pierce the can with something, put the hole to your mouth, and in one motion pop the top and throw your head back. If you did it correctly you’ll down all 12 ounces in less than 8 seconds. While it sounds fun, it’s not without its perils.
First and foremost it can be messy. Beer is obviously carbonated, which leads to foaming. Slinging beer around, and drinking it as fast as you can only exaggerates that foaming. However, dribbling some suds on your clothes pales in comparison to the next danger. As I said before you have to make another hole in the can, otherwise it doesn’t work. Piercing the can usually involves some sort of sharp/pointed implement. Since you are holding the can in your hand, stabbing it with a knife/screwdriver/ice pick/awl can lead to disaster. While it seems safe enough when you’re coherent, after you’ve downed 2 or 3 beers in under an hour it gets much more dangerous. I won’t be too graphic, but stabbing a knife towards your hand, which is protected by an aluminum can, doesn’t lead to good things. I think you can figure out why.
There are many products available that are designed to make shotgunning easier and safer. One of these products is the Flowzie. What separates it from other products is that it also doubles as a beer koozie. When the folks that make the Flowzie contacted us and asked us to take a look at their product and pass along the findings to you all, we were happy to oblige.
2nd disclaimer: I think that when done responsibly shotgunning beer can be a very fun thing to do. Just remember that when you choose to do it, you are going to be drinking much faster than if you were to spend 10 minutes on that same drink. Please know your limits so that you, and everyone around you, can have an enjoyable time.
My initial impression upon receipt of the Flowzie is that it is not unlike a lot of foam koozies I’ve used in my life, with the exception of a plastic plunger type device attached to the side. Pushing this button/plunger causes a spike inside the Flowzie to move inward, towards where the can would be. The button will spring back out one you stop pushing. Around the button is a plastic frame with air holes to allow air to enter the can through the new hole. Since the Flowzie is obviously designed for shotgunning a beer that is one of the things I’ll test. The 2nd thing I will test is how effective the Flowzie is at keeping a beer cold for longer.
The first thing you have to realize about the Flowzie is that when you shotgun from it, you are in essence doing it upside down. Since the can is in the Flowzie, and the hole you punch with the button is concealed within, you have to pop the top and drink from there. The technique I decided to use was to, pop the top, put the can to my mouth (as I would if I were drinking normally), and in one motion start drinking and press the button on the Flowzie. The very first time I did this I had some difficulty puncturing the can with the button/plunger. I don’t know if it was just me being a pansy and not pushing hard enough, or if I had an usually strong can, but I managed to get it with two hands pushing on it. In all the subsequent attempts after that I did not have any trouble. After doing 3 or 4 “good” ones, I developed a pretty good rhythm for punching the can and drinking. I’m not entirely sure if I was chugging faster, slower, or the same speed as a traditional shotgun but it was still pretty darn quick.
The second test, which was focused around the claims of keeping your beer cold, was pretty straightforward. I took 2 of the same brews out of the fridge, put one in the Flowzie, and left them on the counter for 15 minutes. While there wasn’t much difference the beer in the Flowzie was a few degrees colder. The next test was to hold them both in my hands for 5 minutes and see what happened. It should come as no surprise that the insulated beer in the Flowzie came out victorious in this trial as well. Even though my dial thermometer was difficult to get a precise reading I could easily see a difference. If you were wondering if a Flowzie, or any koozie for that matter, was beneficial this test confirmed it.
Among my incidental findings is that I did have some dripping from inside the Flowzie after shotgunning a beer. A little spillage here or there is not uncommon with shotgunning, but I do feel that having your beer in a koozie may give one a false sense of security. My main reason for bringing it up was to make sure that anyone who decides to purchase one knows you may need to rinse it out after use. Another thing I noticed is that it seemed to work a little better with the taller/skinnier cans like those that used for Coors Light and Keystone Light. That is not to say that it doesn’t work with the more conventionally shaped cans, it absolutely does, I just think it worked better on the others.
In conclusion I would say that the Flowzie is fun. One application I can see myself using it for is finishing up, or slamming, that last beer before I head into the game. Because of this I will am deeming the Flowzie “Tailgating Approved.”
A quick glance at the Flowzie website shows that they sell them for a very reasonable price of $7.99, or a special price of $15 for 2. Combined with the variety of colors available, it shows that is a good deal for a product that is sure to get people participating in your tailgating shenanigans.