Imagine stepping into your garden and wandering into your own personal tavern, the familiar clink of glasses and the rich aroma of pub fare welcoming you. This isn’t a far-fetched dream; it’s the reality for those who’ve turned the humble garden shed into a cozy pub shed. However, is a pub shed really worth it?
A pub shed is more than just a structure; it’s a slice of paradise in your backyard. And it is totally worth it, as long as you are prepared for the investment and effort needed to build one. Think of it as a hobby, all hobbies take money and effort, a pub shed is no different. If you enjoy socialising, then having your own bar in the garden is definitely worth it.
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I obviously have my own pub shed, and essentially that’s what this website is about. So I get involved with anything to do with home bars and pubs sheds. This means reading or watching videos about other peoples backyard bars.
I have just seen a few questions about pub sheds on the popular community network website Reddit. Those questions inspired me to write this post.
These are the questions I am going to address:
- People with pub sheds in their garden, how does it work?
- How often do you go to your pub shed?
- If you have guest round, do you charge them for drinks?
- For draught beer, is it easy to buy one keg from a brewery?
The person who asked the questions had just been watching the popular UK TV show Sunday Brunch. The programme has a feature where people send in photos of their sheds.
A large percentage of them seem to be pub sheds.
So I am going to answer these questions based on my own daily pub shed experience.
Owning A Pub Shed, How Does It Work?
A pub shed is more than just a structure; it’s a slice of paradise in your backyard.
In essence, it’s a converted or purpose-built shed that simulates the atmosphere of a public house or bar.
Regular sheds store garden tools; pub sheds store good times. But it takes a fair bit of passion, effort, and indeed, investment to bring this miniature pub to life.
There’s the initial outlay for construction or conversion, interior design, bar essentials, as well as entertainment features.
Then there’s the ongoing cost of utilities, refreshments, and upkeep. Quite a checklist, right?
Yet, if done thoughtfully, the return on investment is more than monetary; it’s measured in quality time and memories made.
The charm of a pub shed lies in its ability to offer an escape without the need to travel far. It’s a private space that’s open to you and your chosen few.
A place to relax, have fun, play games and generally enjoy yourself.
The sophistication of a pub shed is down to the individual. Keep it simple and basic and it will not take a lot of investment or up keep.
Go to town on it, adding everything you would find in a normal pub, and it will no doubt cost a pretty penny.
How Often Do You Go To Your Pub Shed?
Personally, everyday, unless I am away, during the week it might only be for 10 minutes. But come the weekend and it’s more like a few hours.
Mainly it is just Lou and I enjoying each others company in a great space. Chatting, listening to music and playing darts.
When friends do come round, it is exactly the same, chatting, listening to music and playing darts. Just the same things as you would do in a normal pub.
Rain or shine, cold or hot, the pub shed gets used, it’s like going out without going out.
I still love going out to the pub, just not as frequently as I use to pre pub shed.
The amount other people use their pub sheds is something I can’t answer. However going by the many pub shed groups on social media, there are a lot that use them frequently.
I guess there are those people that have built pub sheds, used them for a while, but then got bored with them.
Some people invest in golf equipment, play a few times and then never bother again. Other play every week because they love it.
Think of it as a hobby, all hobbies take money and effort, a pub shed is no different.
If you have guests round, do you charge them for drinks?
No No No No No!
It is a definite no, never charge anyone for a drink in your pub shed. You need to have a licence to sell alcohol.
If I go to a friends house for a gathering, then I take my own drink. I don’t expect my friends to ply me with drinks all night at their expense.
The same goes if friends visit my pub shed, they always bring drink with them.
It is the old BYOB (bring your own booze) rule. An unsaid rule that has been around for years.
It works the other way too, sometimes there may be some of your guests drinks left after they leave. I am not one to consume what my friends have brought to my pub shed, unless of course it is a gift.
Anything left by a guest, is kept for their next visit, I even put their name on the bottle or can.
If you have a party in your house (the kitchen maybe), then the old custom of BYOB is the norm. A pub shed is no different, it is just a purpose built space to entertain, an extension of your home.
So the same rules apply.
For draught beer, is it easy to buy one keg from a brewery?
Buying a keg from a brewery for your pub shed is pretty straightforward. Many breweries are more than willing to sell kegs to individuals, especially if you’ve got a setup like a pub shed.
Many small breweries will sell mini kegs or fill your own corny keg or polypin (beer in a bag). These can then be hooked up to your own system.
Though there might be a bit of a learning curve, many pub shed owners find that the effort is well worth it for the authenticity it brings to their backyard oasis.
Personally as yet I have not got a draught beer system in my pub shed. However, I do like to brew my own beer, so I will be installing a small system going forward.
I prefer ales or bitters, as opposed to lagers, so when I brew beer it is always a real ale. My set up will be a converted fridge, into a fermentation unit that can be used for brewing beer, then as a cooling unit for serving it.
This will be hooked up to a beer line and beer engine, so I can pull my own beer on draught.
Now for the crucial part; owning a pub shed is delightful but it has its own set of pros and cons.
What are the pros and cons of a pub shed? An in depth look at the good and bad of owning a pub shed.
A major pro is the convenience of having a personal retreat just a few steps away. It can become a hub for making memories with friends and family.
However, it’s not free from its cons. There’s the upfront investment, continuous upkeep and, if you’re keeping a keg, the ongoing costs to consider.
That said, if you love entertaining and enjoy being a self-made publican, the joys likely outweigh the expenses.
Whether you’re dreaming of your own pub shed, or you’ve already built your backyard bar. Remember that the true worth of a pub shed isn’t measured solely in cost and convenience.
It’s about the stories you’ll tell, the gatherings you’ll host, and the community you’ll foster—one finely poured pint at a time.
Personally, I love mine, in the winter it is a cosy little haven. In the summer it becomes an indoor and out door entertaining space.
Rob is a passionate home bar and pub shed enthusiast with a passion for craft beer. With hands-on experience in designing and building his own home bar, Rob shares his knowledge, tips, and inspiration to help fellow enthusiasts create their own perfect space. Alongside the world of home bars and pub sheds, Rob also explores the diverse and exciting realm of craft beer, providing honest reviews to help you discover your next favorite brew. Join Rob on a journey of flavor, design, and craftsmanship right here on Home Bar Kit.