Home bars have been popular for many years and are believed to have originated in the United States in the 1940s. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, many homes began to include them within their living rooms. The ’70s and ’80s saw a nightlife boom across towns and cities, negating the need for home bars. However, in recent years, with everyone forced into spending a lot more time at home, the home bar has risen in popularity once again as people make the most of their spaces and entertain at home.
A home bar can offer you and your friends a far more relaxing experience than fighting to get to the bar at the pub for a drink. Better yet, you’ll get to choose the music, what your bar stocks and who to invite! So what do you need to create your perfect home bar? Let’s look at the home bar essentials, from location to beer gas cylinders.
Where is the Best Place to Put a Home Bar?
The vital first step is figuring out where you plan to have your bar. Gardens are great if you don’t have space inside; however, if you’ve got a rarely used room in your home, a designated entertaining room can also be an excellent place for enjoying a drink with friends after a long day. Perhaps you have an unused basement? If there is a will, there is always a way to find space for your home bar.
Deciding where you plan to have your bar will help you determine the structure. Keeping it as basic as a trolley on wheels may be your style, but for those more adventurous, there may be some DIY to do, or you could hire someone to build in the space you desire. You will also need to consider if you wish for a wet or dry bar. With its own running water and drainage system, a wet bar will require plumbing, so this is best suited for an area already near existing pipes or drainage.
What Makes a Home Bar?
An impressive home bar structure needs the following;
- A cooling facility (fridge)
- An ice well
- Waste solution (for any bottles for recycling, used fruit and packaging)
- Optics or back bar shelves for spirits
- A beer font and dispensing equipment
- Storage and countertops
If you are looking to create a home bar that will bring everyone to yours, we also recommend a sound system like a good quality Bluetooth speaker, some unique ambient lighting and, of course, plenty of comfy seating. If you’re a sports fan, consider installing a TV so you can watch the games live. If you want to impress your guests, why not more than one draught product? With a twin beer font, you could dispense both lager and cider, and since both these products use CO2, you won’t have to worry about stocking two different types of home beer gas.
If a purpose-built structure isn’t your style, or you simply don’t have the space, and you’re looking for something more subtle, sideboards can create ideal minibars. Through the power of upcycling, you can be a little more creative and find a way to install a mini-fridge or a keg discretely. Some incredibly talented woodworkers online explain how you can install a beer tap in everything from an old bureau to behind a picture frame on a wall.
Glassware and Optional Equipment for a Home Bar
Every bar needs a collection of glasses. The basic list starts with;
- Whiskey tumblers
- Gin glasses
- Wine glasses
- Pint glasses
- Half-pint glasses
- Shot glasses
These are the necessities in a home bar. However, if you plan on creating extravagant cocktails, then a range of cocktail glasses and a two-piece shaker set will make a perfect addition. Most homewares shops will sell shakers as part of a set, giving you all you may need for those summer cocktails. Ice – Whether you have opted for a built-in sink you intend to fill with ice or use an ice bucket, no bar is complete without ice. Make it a feature by finding some quirky shaped moulds, or if you are building an almighty home bar, you may wish to look for a countertop ice maker.
Fruit not only looks great in drinks but, in many cases, can enhance the flavour. So whether you are a gin and tonic or a cocktail fan, adding a fruit garnish will take your homemade drinks to the next level.
Speed pourers make it easier to pour and measure spirits more accurately than trying to pour from an open bottle. A bar spoon, Hawthorne strainer, tea sieve, tongs, thimble measures and a bottle opener are great additions to any home bar.
The Right Gas for The Right Beer
Of course, the most significant sign of a good bar is the selection of drinks, none more important than your draught beer. The right beer can make you go from zero to hero, and to ensure your draught retains its quality, you will need the best gas.
Depending on the product you’re dispensing, you’ll need either CO2 or a mix of CO2 and nitrogen. Always check your beer kegs to ensure you get the right gas from your bottle gas supplier for a perfect pint every time.