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Every June, millions of people across the UK come together to say ‘Cheers to Beer,’ banging the drum for Britain’s national alcoholic drink. With its roots deep in English heritage (apparently, the date is linked to the mention of ale in the Magna Carta over 800 years ago), this annual grassroots celebration welcomes beer lovers, both new and old, to take part.

Excitingly, it looks as though more and more revellers will be raising their glasses in container bars, pubs, and clubs. Recently, we’ve seen announcements in major nightlife cities up and down the country that point towards a number of innovative entrepreneurs who are making excellent use of the ways that shipping containers can be used for bars.

Header Image Source: Savored Journeys


When it comes to deploying shipping containers for a wide range of unorthodox but fascinating uses, BOXPARK is the gold standard. Having begun with the dream of bringing pioneering shipping container architecture to East London, BOXPARK has exploded not only across the capital but also Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bristol.

Along with restaurants, comedy clubs, and gyms, BOXPARK is also an inveterate exponent of the ways in which shipping containers can be used for bars and clubs.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the British summer with a bottomless brunch or watch football with friends, their use of containers allows for spacious and open-plan areas that are ideal for spending time with friends.

The container venue also hosts club nights, quizzes, and live music.

Speaking in 2018, founder Roger Wade said that he ‘wanted to create something new and fresh’ adding that he was ‘inspired by a love of small independent retailers and container architecture,’ displaying the importance of flexible and durable shipping containers to the BOXPARK vision.

Up and Coming Container Bars and Venues

It’s no bad thing that Roger Wade is an innovator by nature because competition in some burgeoning nightlife cities isn’t far away.

Frate Newcastle

In recent years, the nightlife in Newcastle has boomed. According to MixMag, the northeastern city, now a student hub, was recently crowned the UK’s favourite city for a night out. Capitalising on this, Frate co-founders Robert Clarkson and Tom Byron invested their savings in developing this hub for creatives, artists, music, and culinary experiences.

They also clearly understood how shipping can be used as bars, with Robert saying that ‘Geordies love drinking outdoors.’ The pair utilised recycled shipping containers with the aim of adding to the ‘vibrancy of Newcastle’ while providing a platform for local businesses to express themselves.

Frate reached new heights at Christmas when it transformed itself into a Winter Wonderland. Featuring DJs, food, and a festive drinks menu, this event helped to establish Frate as a nightlife institution in Newcastle.

STACK Sheffield & Seaburn

This huge new container complex is set to open in Sheffield city centre as early as the spring of 2025. Building on the success of their existing premises in Seaburn, Sunderland, STACK Sheffield intends to capitalise on the growing popularity of the South Yorkshire city with students. If it’s anything like its older Northeastern sibling, STACK Sheffield will promise a wealth of live music, karaoke, and corporate events.

An evening shot of STACK container bar/club in Seaburn featuring dancers and a DJ.

Above: STACK Seaburn Image Source: STACK Leisure

Like BOXPARK, the STACK business model revolves around providing an umbrella space that facilitates the growth of small, niche bars. The STACK Seaburn plays host to the YOLO cocktail and wine bar, as well as the Malibu and Captain Morgan bars. Most excitingly for Beer Day Britain is Barley and Me, which caters perfectly to all your beer, IPA, Lager, and Stout needs.

Kop Bar at Notts County

Rounding off our list of shipping container bars is this recent addition to the setup at Notts County Football Club. The Kop bar provides eight service points and a wide range of draft and bottled beers, as well as soft drinks and snacks.

Chief executive Joe Palmer is a big believer in the ways that shipping containers can be used as bars, having installed similar facilities at other clubs. He’s confident that this will help to make ‘the matchday experience better for everyone’ by providing more efficient service at a reduced upfront cost to the club.

An exterior shot of the Kop container bar at Notts County Football Club.

Above: Kop Bar at Notts County FC Source: Notts County FC

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