Curiosity will often get you into trouble, but other times can result in some truly excellent finds. Underdog was one of these, as I was intrigued where people kept disappearing to underneath Brewdog Shoreditch and I stumbled upon this hidden bar. The first time, we accidentally crashed the soft open and, instead of being justifiably kicked out, we were welcomed by the owner who then spent some time discussing his vision for the place. Since that was not a typical experience, I thought I should head back for a more subtle try to see how it really was. And it’s still bloody amazing.
The menu has slimmed down a little bit from the soft open – a few drinks were excellent ideas but not commercially viable such as the “Hot Dawg” which required a special machine to warm the drink and could only last 30 minutes before the whole machine’s contents had to be tossed. However, it still boasts a pretty good spread and the extra twist that all drinks incorporate one of Brewdog’s beers. My personal favourite is the Toussaint’s Tipple which is a potent bourbon-based drink garnished with atomised Tactical Nuclear Penguin – Brewdog’s 32% ABV whiskey-like beer. Delicious spicy oak taste with that malty Penguin smell makes it a winner in my book.
For the fruit lovers, the Cobbler is a compilation of citrus notes blended with a light beer (perhaps an IPA?) or if bitter is your thing go for the Dead Pony-groni which mixes your standard Negroni with Dead Pony Club, one of BrewDog’s most popular beers in the California Pale Ale style. I’m going of my decidedly hazy memory as there is no website to double check the cocktail menu. In fact, the BrewDog website doesn’t mention Underdog at all, meaning it’s a good thing you’re reading this or you may never have known about it!
Underdog is definitely a catch up and chill place (or play Cards against Humanity) with the soft lighting, laid back jive bar atmosphere, and plenty of seating. In fact, the lights are so low that most illumination is by candlelight which makes it an excellent date spot although incredibly challenging to read the menu at your table. When seated, there is table service but you may find it quicker to drop by the bar if the thirst is upon you. In fact, it’s a good idea to go to the bar and chat to the top notch bartenders. I went to get a round in and my friends had to come drag me away as I was in deep conversation with one French chap (if I guess his name I’m sure to spell it wrong) over various Japanese whiskies we wanted to try.
Oh, if you want shots you are out of luck. The only shot they serve is a pickleback (a shot of whisky chased by a shot of pickle juice). Highly entertaining to watch people try one for the first time as it’s not an easy one for the uninitiated.