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Two Bit

Bars and pubs Shoreditch
2 out of 5 stars
Two Bit

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

A bar in the basement of Brewdog Shoreditch featuring a collection of retro arcade games.

Calling a US-themed bar ‘Two Bit’ is a bit like naming an Irish pub ‘Feckin’ Shoite’. But this attempt to relaunch Brewdog Shoreditch’s basement as an American craft-beer bar doesn’t just involve US brews from the likes of Dale’s Pale Ales. It’s also a dive-ish, low-lit retro gaming bar that serves up button-bashing fun times. Hence ‘two bit.’ See what they’ve done there?

Judging by our visit, you probably won’t. The smattering of quirky pinball machines themed variously around Metallica, ‘The Simpsons’ and The Rolling Stones – including one where you can satisfyingly launch the ball right at Jagger’s gurning face – sat ignored in the corner. As did three arcade games. Meanwhile, a group of Spanish tourists opted instead to while away their holiday by writing names on Rizlas and sticking them to each other’s heads. With too small a selection for it to feel like much more than an afterthought to this venue, we can’t see this becoming a retro gaming destination.

What it does far better is specialist US craft beer and whiskey imports, with ten drafts and over a dozen bottled brews from the likes of revered US brewers Ballast Point and Oskar Blues. Unfortunately, they don’t exactly make it accessible for the casual craft beer fan. With the cheapest bottle coming in at £7 (and the menu mostly hovering around the £11 mark), as well as none available in pints – which, ironically, you wouldn’t find in an actual US craft beer bar – most drinkers seemed to be buying the cheaper beers from upstairs and then bringing them downstairs. 

Given the brilliance of the USA’s craft beer scene, a decent bar dedicated to it is a great idea. But this isn’t that place. Too expensive for the casual drinker. Too confused in its half-hearted attempts to court the retro gaming pound. Not focused enough on what it should be about: delivering the charm and vibrancy of the US craft beer scene in an affordable manner.

By: Alexi Duggins

Posted:

Details

Address: 51-55 Bethnal Green Road
London
E1 6LA
Transport: Shoreditch High St rail.
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