Many of you may have seen our blog post titled Move Over Man Caves – There’s a New Trend on the Rise: Bar Sheds. I wrote that post last summer, but it recently picked up steam again, and we’ve seen it pop up in a lot of places. Because of that, we’ve had some really great people contacting us on Facebook and/or through email, sharing pictures and stories about their own bar and pub sheds.
One of those people was Helen Backus. Helen and her friends (seen below) are all current and/or former members of the Royal Air Force in the UK. They’re also members of their own private beer club. They meet on the first Sunday of every month inside Helen’s pub shed, also known as “The Dog House,” to kick back, try new beers, and share stories from their military days.
In addition to her monthly beer club meetings, Helen’s husband, Bill, also hosts a monthly meeting with his beer-loving buddies, all of whom are retired Navy, Marines, Army, and firemen. Bill Backus – who met Helen while they were both serving in Northern Ireland – is the man responsible for the beauteous bar shed you see here (click any of the images below to enlarge).
Helen and Bill bought the shed premade a little over a year ago, and immediately started decking it out. In addition to their dry bar, they have a sofa bed, a dartboard, multiple racks and shelving, plus a “proper beer fridge.” Oh, and of course, loads of beer and spirits. The unit measures 10-feet long by 8-feet wide, holding seven people comfortably, according to Helen.
The Dog House walls are decorated with different beer coasters, fun sayings, multiple Royal Air Force Ensigns (the official flag of the Royal Air Force), and spreads from Pilot Pals magazine. If you’re unaware of Pilot Pals, as I was, Helen describes it as “a softer version of Playboy – woman in skimpy bikinis, posing on or near airplanes, jets, and other military vehicles.” They have the entire collection, which was given to them as a gift.
Open year-round, Helen and Bill will hoist a red flag when they’re inside hanging, so the neighbors know when it’s open for business. But even if Helen and Bill aren’t around, they leave a key for some of their most trusted companions. “If someone has a bad day at work, and they need a nip of something to take the edge off, they’re welcome to go to the shed. All we ask is that anything drank is replaced in due time,” Helen told me when we spoke on the phone last week.
Take a look below at the setup on the outside patio as well. The fire pit you see is a smoker and Barbecue, all in one unit.
Helen and her family also hold a massive Nerf Gun War in the summer where the kids have to “capture” the grown-ups’ headquarters (the bar shed), and the adults have to capture the kids’ headquarters (a summer house in their orchard). Helen says, “The kids always win, and then we have a ‘peace treaty’ discussion over barbecue.”
Since we uncovered this pub shed trend, I’ve seen my fair share of these things, but I have to say, the Backus Dog House is one of the best. And after speaking with Helen for close to an hour, I can tell you this, her and her husband most certainly know how to have a good time. She told me if I ever come across the pond, they’ll hoist the red flag for me and share a pint. You can bet I’ll be taking her up on that offer, should I make it that way at any point in the future.
For anyone reading who owns their own bar shed, feel free to share it with us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on any of our social networks. Cheers to good beer, and long live the pub shed!