Has Tokyo’s craft beer explosion hit critical mass? It’s certainly getting there. These days it seems like every area boasts at least one good specialist serving pale ales, saisons, porters, sours and/or stouts. Is that a problem? Not when they’re as down-home well put together as Two Fingers.
This bright little eight-tap, 15-seater pub in the residential streets in northwestern Ikebukuro was opened in February by two enthusiasts who turned their shared passion for beer into a classic labor-of-love project: Stef is Australian; his partner, Nao, hails from nearby Saitama Prefecture.
Their eight taps are loaded with an excellent rotating selection of well-kept beers, mostly from small-scale local breweries they know and trust, with occasional tap takeovers. Together behind their massive counter, which also boasts an impressive array of craft gin, they make a great double act.
Two Fingers is new enough that the bar snacks are still developing. The chili hot dog is a great addition, while the pan-fried Gorgonzola sausage is already a standard. The smooth, creamy chilled tofu is freshly made by an artisan just down the road, who also supplies the ganmo (deep-fried tofu patties) that are used as a base for the Two Fingers “pizza.” Definitely not one to be missed.
Ikebukuro 3-54-2, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0014; 03-6882-4300; twofingers-craftbeer.com; open 4-11 p.m. (Sat & Sun from 1 p.m.); closed Mon; beer from ¥800; bar foods from ¥400; nearest station Ikebukuro; credit cards accepted; nonsmoking; Japanese & English menu; English spoken
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5