Made entirely from recycled materials and featuring its own beer garden, Boozer’s backyard has been crowned Britain’s Pub Shed of the Year.
It took John Simmons, 50, more than a year to build the amazing man cave in his garden Portsmouth.
It can double as the real deal with its dart board, wood decor, rustic pub-style seating, a ceiling covered in fairy lights, and even its own outdoor beer garden and decking area.
The father of three built the miniature pub out of much reclaimed materials he could find from salvage yards and a Facebook page for pub shed enthusiasts.
John supplied, cut, sanded and repaired every wood himself – plus all 4,500 screws.
The temporary pub — called The Dog & Ball, named after the family’s Labradoodle Bertie — beat out more than a thousand entries to win the title.
“It was all a little overwhelming, but I’m depressed to bits,” John said.
“We had 18 friends over last night to celebrate the final and it was great to know I won – I was really thrilled.”
“I started building it last year and wanted to complete it this summer for my 50th birthday.”
“It took the largest portion of the time to get the reclaimed materials.”
“I am an avid DIYer and love a project.”
A lot of people were doing this kind of thing during lockdown, so I got inspired by that, wanting a getaway at home that was cheaper than a pub.
“It’s a place I can go and enjoy being with my friends and family, and that was really the whole point.”
“It cost about four figures, and it’s a lot cheaper than it would have been if I had done a proper build and had to go to the stores to buy materials.”
John started building booze last year and said he wanted a “home getaway” that he could enjoy cheaper than a pub.
Avid DIY-er John, a safety management consultant, said the pub cost four figures to build, but it would have been more expensive had he not used reclaimed materials.
Wife Anita, 49, put the finishing touches on the dog and ball and the couple enjoyed the celebration with kids Libby, 23, Jacob, 19, and Evie, 12.
John, who has been in the Royal Navy for 22 years, said his favorite part of the pub is the oak beams that make up the main structure.
The three-meter-long logs notably came from the old shipyard where John worked.
He said: My favorite part is the oak main beams.
“They’re from an old shipyard building that I worked in years ago before it was demolished.
“These three-meter beams that make up the main structure of the pub had been in a yard for 20 years and then I was able to buy them.
“It’s a great story.
“My family and friends have been very supportive of this project, and it was great that everyone enjoyed the project.
“My wife Anita put all the finishing touches on the bar to make it look as amazing as it is.
The Dog & Ball beat out two other finalists, a country-style pub called The Tiger, in Somerset, and The Stagger Inn, in Manchester – a nightclub-style pub.
John said: Doing it all salvage was of course a challenge – thank goodness for the FB market, the advice from the wonderful members of the GSPN UK Facebook page and a very understanding wife who took her years around reclaiming it locally through sifting through old wood. “
“With the exception of the main roof joists, every other part of the building is made from reclaimed, reused, or recycled timber and materials.”
“Each piece has a different story, from the ironmongery that belonged to my late father-in-law from his days as an engineer in the RAF, to the oak main vertical timbers.”
More than two million backyard pubs are now believed to be operating in Britain after their popularity exploded during the coronavirus pandemic.
They have continued to grow amid the cost of living crisis after the average price of a pint rose to £4 across the UK and £5 in London.
As a result, two Fat Blokes bar banners, Pub Shed Radio and the Garden Shed Pubs & Nightclubs Facebook group have started running the national competition.
The winner was announced live on Pub Shed Radio on Saturday.
Ashley Turner, owner of Two Fat Blokes Bar Signs, said: “The quality of the bars and the variety of entries was exceptional.
“We ran the competition to showcase the amazing community of pub barns in the UK.
“Society has exploded during the pandemic and now with a pint costing north of £6 it looks like the trend will continue.
“The Dog & Ball is a fine example of a great pub bar and deserves to be won over with a great handcrafted pub.
“This year’s Pub Shed was a great way for the pub shed community to come together and celebrate the growing army of boozers in the back garden,” added Tommy Fonca, who runs Pub Shed Radio.
Pub Shed Radio’s DJ Mupps said, “It was great to knock on the winners bar door live on Pub Shed Radio.”
“John and Anita were stunned to find that they had won. Then we went straight from the pub in a real party atmosphere.”
Nick St. John, owner of the Garden Shed Pubs and Nightclubs Facebook group, added: “Participating in this year’s Pub Shed was the culmination of our spirit of encouraging and helping people build their own backyard pubs.”
“With over 280,000 members, our group has already joined the competition.”
“Judging the entries was very difficult – The Dog & Ball is a fine example of a proper pub shed.”
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