What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “bar shed?” I’m guessing many of you have never heard that phrase. It’s so simple, yet until I saw my first one (above this paragraph), I’d never heard of them, let alone seen one.
It’s pretty genius, right? When a friend of mine sent me that picture a few weeks ago, I was blown away. How have I never thought of this? I wondered. You’ve got a private area, outdoors (yet still covered), disconnected from your regular living space. An attainable retreat at almost anytime. It’s perfect.
From what I've gleaned, the trend started in the UK with Community Gardens, where everyone is given an allotment to grow fresh fruit and vegetables. Oftentimes, these allotments have sheds for storing gardening tools and what not. Naturally, folks started enjoying a quick beer or cocktail in these sheds, and eventually, a few people gathered, mini happy hours casually formed, and from there, the natural evolution of bar sheds began.
I did a little digging and came across a website based out of the UK, called ReaderSheds. The website serves as a hub for “sheddies” to share thoughts and pics of their pimped out shacks. The Pub page is home to 350 different pub sheds, as they call them, displayed in digital photo albums.
I got in touch with the man behind ReaderSheds, Andrew Wilcox, also known as “Uncle Wilco, Head Sheddie,” and he told me a bit about the rise of this trend in the UK: “When the indoor smoking ban came into force in 2007, I saw a steady increase in the number of pub sheds added to my website,” Uncle Wilco told me. “But for years and years people have always had a quick beer in their sheds on allotments.”
So we’re looking at over seven years in the UK, and it’s now starting to pick up steam in the US as well. Many homebrewers use their sheds on brew day and refer to the space as a “brew shed.” And of course, we’ve all seen a backyard shed fitted with tiki decor.
I even have a friend whose parents have a bar shed. They don’t call it that, and I never realized it until writing this article, but it’s the size, shape, and build of a standard shed, located near their pool. It houses all of the pool supplies, alongside a nice 4-person bar, a beer fridge, and a sizable selection of liquor. It was right in front of my eyes all this time. I just never really thought of it as a bar shed.
[Check out some of my favorites from the ReaderSheds website below]
So, now that you’re convinced, and you’ve realized you need a bar shed for your backyard parties this summer, what’s next?
Well first, do you have an operational shed in your yard? If not, you may need to look into either buying a pre-made shed or building one yourself. Many places will deliver the shed right to your home.
That should be enough to whet your appetite. You’ve seen the light. Bar sheds are the next big thing, and now you know. Expect more from us in the future on building and outfitting your bar shed. For now, however, I think we’re all just focused on the 4th.
If you’re lucky enough to celebrate American independence inside a fully-functional bar shed this weekend, please send us some pictures. May the Fourth be with you all.