Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like kicking back in the garden with a cold beer in hand, but what if we could make that experience even better? Having your own outside bar area is a great way to take outdoor drinks to the next level and allows you to make some serious waves among your friend group. Let’s dive on in and take a look at how to build a garden bar.
Where to Begin?
The easiest way to get started with building a garden bar is to use an existing structure. If you’ve got a garage, a garden shed or any other type of outbuilding on your property that you can use for this project then you’re already off to a great start.
If you don’t have a building to use you might want to consider purpose building one specifically for your bar. While this is a lot more work it does allow you a greater deal of freedom when it comes to designing your bar.
Don’t have a structure and don’t feel like putting one together? That’s cool too. You can use a ton of the tips in this article to create an open air bar that’s ideal for those long summer evenings where the weather stays.
Building the Bar Area
At its core a bar is really just a counter that you prepare drinks on. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like, but the more space you have available to make delicious drinks for you and your guests the better. The garden bar shown throughout this article used to be a single flat roofed garage. It was transformed into this amazing space by Warton Woodworks, who are Bar Builders in Essex, UK.
The bar top itself
If you’ve got plenty of space and money to blow then you can’t really get much better than building the bar itself from scratch. This isn’t actually as hard as it might sound and can be achieved using not much more than an off the shelf worktop and some supports on the simpler end of things.
Bar builders on a budget should consider looking at used kitchen counters. These can usually be found for a steal advertised on local community selling pages. Give them a lick of paint and they’ll be good as new.
Anyone looking for a portable option that can be moved around the garden should check out the wide range of bar carts available online. You can also use a wheeled kitchen island if you’d like a bit more space to sling drinks than the average bar cart offers.
At the end of the day, the main thing to do is to make sure that your bar counter fits into your dedicated space and gives you plenty of room to make drinks and entertain your friends.
99 bottles on the wall
You can keep spirits right there on the counter, put them on shelves or even add a dedicated bar cart just to present your fanciest bottles. No matter how you choose to store and display your collection you’re going to want to make sure that they’re easy to reach and aren’t at risk of falling. Broken bottles of single malt are never a good look.
All about the beer
While you could plumb in lines to a full size keg just like they’ve got at the local watering hole, you might want to go for something a little less ambitious. Adding a mini keg dispenser to your bartop is the easiest way to get that draught beer experience without shelling out a small fortune.
For cans and bottles, it’s hard to beat a small glass fronted fridge. They look great when they’re full and can even be used for chilling the odd bottle of wine.
Keep it clean
If you’ve got the facility to add one then it’s great to have a small sink. It makes it so much easier to keep things clean and avoid a huge pile of washing up the next morning.
A drip tray for your beer and bar mats to avoid those nasty ring marks will help you preserve your investment. Throw in a damp cloth to take care of any marks and spills, you never know when they’re going to pop up on you.
When it comes to building a garden bar, the décor is very important. Maybe you just want a private man cave, maybe you’re trying to create a private tiki bar, either way, the decorations that you choose really shape the experience that you’re going to have drinking at your bar.
With that in mind, it’s important to be deliberate when choosing decorations. Making an inspiration board is a great way to keep on track and avoid accidentally buying things that don’t quite fit the mood you’re going for.
Kitting out your Bar
Every great craftsman has his tools and when you’re entertaining your pals’ things aren’t much different. You don’t need to go crazy and spend an absolute fortune, but having a few essential pieces of kit can help you take your garden bar from glorified countertop to the hottest after hours spot for you and your mates.
Yes, you can drink a beer straight from the can, but if you’d like something a little more involved than a tin of lager you’re probably going to want to put it in a glass. Having a selection of drink appropriate glassware is a surefire way to impress even the pickiest of guests.
A cocktail measure, mixing spoon, muddler and a cocktail shaker, they’re all essential tools of the trade for the enthusiastic mixologist. Make sure to check out exactly which tools you’ll need to make your favourite drinks.
It’s all well and good building out the flashiest garden bar in the neighbourhood, but there’s no point in inviting people over if they can’t see what they’re doing when the sun goes down. Luckily, there’s no shortage of outside lighting available to the budding barkeep. Go for tiki torches if you’re looking to create an exciting tropical vibe, or for a more relaxed and cosy environment try some outdoor fairy lights.
While you might not have the room to cram a full size pool table into your garden shed (kudos to you if you do) there are plenty of games that can keep the fun flowing through the evening.
A dartboard takes up very little space and offers up hours of entertainment. Card games are always a winner, but try to avoid losing your shirt in a game of Texas hold ‘em.
Remember, you do not need to be rich to own a garden bar. You can build something amazing on a tight budget if you really think about it. Building the perfect garden bar just requires creativity and careful planning.