The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
3.64/5 rDev -11%
Can’t comment on the food since I’ve only come here for beer. The waitstaff here runs the gambit, from servers who are friendly, attentive and welcoming, quick to offer you a taster if you’re undecided—there’s a good number of taps here, and no list or easy way to find out what’s pouring unless you look (and squint, if your eyesight is as crummy as mine)—to those who are standoff-ish, inattentive, or (with some of the guys) running at an energy level that exceeded my espresso intake for the day. The place can definitely pick up a fratty/dude vibe, especially when it’s hopping. Sundays are quiet and Texas pints are $3 so that’s become my go-do day for sneaking over here to work. Mondays are a madhouse until after midnight since the majority of their taps are $3. It’s a mixed bag, as you can’t always get what you want (to borrow the phrase). Last time I visited on a Monday night I noticed all the pours came with easily a finger and change of foam on top. When you fly solo and hang around the bar you notice these things. Not cool guys.
11-02-2011 19:11:49 | More by elNopalero
3.1/5 rDev -24.2%
When I first moved to San Antonio I was excited to find out that I was living only a few blocks from the Flying Saucer. I had been to the one in Austin and enjoyed it so I was looking forward to living close to another one. Sadly this saucer is not like the one in Austin. There have been a few times that I'm pretty sure they were selling beers using dirty lines. I refuse to drink any beer there unless it was tapped that day, because of that. They very rarely tap "exciting" beers like the other saucers in the state. The feel of the establishment is that of a hipster bar. I have no problem with trendy places, but it is more like a college bar then a beer bar. I understand that I have the ultimate choice whether or not to go, and I choose to not go there. It's disappointing that this location is not as good as the other locations within the state. I've emailed them before, complaining about their dirty line and other various objections, but they just send me excuses and refuse to fix the problems. I'm not the only person that has experienced these problems with this bar before. There food is good though, but that is not enough to make me go there. If I were asked by someone visiting the city, where to go for a good beer, I would not recommend this place.
07-22-2011 20:57:40 | More by jamescain
4/5 rDev -2.2%
Stopped by afternoon of 4.20.11.
Located in a fancy strip mall about 7 miles NW of downtown, there's no sign on the main street to indicate this is the right location, thank goodness for GPS. The usual SAT layout, good size dog-friendly patio in the front of the building, about a 12 seat bar, and tables scattered not too close together. The usual impressive at first glance beer list, several Texas craft beers, but nothing too impressive. Didn't try the food. To be honest, pales in comparison to the other Flying Saucer I've been to, KC, which had Bell's Two Hearted on tap and on cask. I'm sure there's something for most everybody here, including plaid schoolgirl skirt aficionados, but I wasn't very impressed and if I come back to SAT I won't come here again.
04-21-2011 00:21:11 | More by jdense
4.5/5 rDev +10%
This place has become my regular haunt, having come here regularly for the better part of the past seven years, and deserves to be my first location review on this site. Indeed, one of the characteristics high on the list when looking for a new place to live was "proximity to the Saucer." It is just that wonderful, and the quality and service seem to have gotten better as I've patronized it more over the years.
As the beer menu implies, plenty of beers on tap, even more in bottles, with new arrivals rotating in on a regular basis. Beers are generally served at the correct temperature and in the correct glassware; during happy hour I do get something snifter-worthy served in a pint glass, but I obviously choose not to complain, as it is more beer than I'd bargained for. There is a "fire sale" for $3.00, and most beers are in the $4.50 to $6.00 range; considering that a lower-quality beer can sometimes set one back that much elsewhere, the investment is worth it. Also, the lack of liquor sales (some Saucers do sell liquor) means the focus is exactly what it should be, on beer.
The servers are certainly appealing to the eye, but they are more than that: most of the ones who can hack it and have worked there for a reasonable length of time definitely are knowledgeable about the product they are providing. Indeed, I have seen the managers training the servers, and they are tested on their beer IQ based on a thick binder that contains all sorts of knowledge on the styles and properties of beers. Definitely legitimate there. Service is generally prompt, except for when it's insanely packed (as can be expected) or ridiculously dead (an oddity I have yet to figure out, and possibly the only demerit sometimes). Once the first beer is in your hand, though, the servers do a good job of checking on you.
The food is quite good, and has rarely if ever missed. When I'm looking for something light with an after-work companion, a meat-and-cheese tray goes well and adds an air of classiness, with beer and cheese pairings that are often guided by the menu and/or the server and that do not overwhelm the palate. For an actual meal, the Saucer Bratzel (soft pretzel coated with cheese and slices of bratwurst) or the Chicken Philly (exactly what it sounds like... highly recommended with avocado) seem to complement any style of beer well. It is bar food, of course, and probably isn't Weight Watchers friendly... but it is probably better than going to an actual chain bar and only having "wings" or "wings" to choose from.
The atmosphere is very inviting, whether it is filled to near-capacity or waning in the late evening hours. There is a fair amount of seating indoors, either at tables in the front (by the projector, which is often on showing a sporting event), the bar itself, in the Beer Garden atrium in the middle, or outdoors. Plenty of televisions, an open layout, and you can actually hear the people at your table.
Having been to some of the other Flying Saucers, I do wish that certain other beers were served here; likewise, I wonder why some brews from particular breweries are available, but not others. This, however, does not detract, as there is usually something untouched on the beer menu that pleasantly surprises me. Overall, the place does a good job of making one want to come back. After all, the FS model is based on consumer retention. Needless to say, it has worked on me.
01-19-2011 08:33:33 | More by kinupanda
3.85/5 rDev -5.9%
Stopped by here on a recent trip to San Antonio. Like almost every other beer destination in SA this place is completely out of the way if you are staying downtown. You have to rent a car but it's worth it. Just make sure you bring a designated driver.
This place is pretty kitschy ad since it's a chain they have gimmicky things like plates hanging up with people's names who have sampled a certain number of beers. Other than that there is a chalkboard with new offerings which is very helpful, biergarten style benches as tables, and flat screen TVs.
They have a very large selection of beer including a ton of drafts and an extensive bottle list. Lots of good locals including St. Arnolds, Live Oak, etc as well as plenty of other American craft, German and Belgian beers. The selection is pretty incredible!
The service was decent. All of the servers are women in very skimpy tight clothes. Expect a lot of cleavage. This is kind of silly but it's a chain so you have to expect things like this. Our server was helpful about ordering flights and was knowledgeable about the food menu but she didn't know much about beer. She was very attentive to our requests and never left our glasses empty.
The food was decent but somewhat standard with typical sports bar apps, sandwiches and a couple of entrees.
Worth the trip because of the selection.
12-17-2010 08:49:10 | More by corby112
3.43/5 rDev -16.1%
The concierge at my hotel recommended this place so I had to try it.
When I got there, the place was packed in/out. The outdoor seating was plentiful and alot of people were outside even though it was about 100 degrees outside. I chose to go inside.
I decided to try a sampler, 5 5 ounce beers. The server told me I could only pick one belgian and then 4 others. After telling her I preferred Belgians, she could have told me there was a Belgian sampler for more $, but unfortunately, she didn't. I only noticed it on the menu after I gave her my selections and she had left.
Because of the limited draft selection, I had a difficult time coming up with 5. Especially because they were out of two of the ones I wanted to try and they didn't replace the taps with something else! (what a waste).
My final selections were Chimay Triple, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Breckenridge Porter, 512 Pecan Porter, and paulaner hefeweizen. The 512 Pecan Porter from Austin, TX was AMAZING!
When the beers arrived, some of each glass spilled on the tray (what a waste) and some beers didn't seem cold enough (perhaps due to the Texas weather?). It was an average place for beer selections on draft, but definitely a nice place for the younger crowd to hang out as well as try sampler trays.
08-24-2010 01:25:52 | More by mbonugli
4/5 rDev -2.2%
While making my move from Buffalo, NY to San Antonio,TX I stumbled across the Flying Saucer while staying in Memphis. I was rather impressed and when I found out there was one in San Antonio as well as more locations throughout Texas I was delighted. The atmosphere is really great, and if you grab a seat at the bar, the bartenders are more knowledgeable about the beers and can probably help enlighten you to some extent. I tend to go there for the beer and not the food, but what I can recommend is the beer cheese soup. It is delicious, spicy and comes in a bread bowl. This place is worth checking out in San Antonio, or anywhere else for that matter!
06-30-2010 06:49:59 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
3.95/5 rDev -3.4%
Took another long bus ride up here while in the area.
Atmosphere is good. They've got a nice beer garden out front with a bunch of tables that hold an exorbitant amount of people inside. The bar begins on the left-hand side and snakes around to the back of the bar. Saucers hang everywhere, trophies of people who (like myself) spend entirely too much money on beer. On the ceiling hangs actual plateware, looking slightly precarious.
Quality is good. All the beer I had was served in a pint glass but at a good temperature and with the proper amount of head.
Service is hit or miss. I finnagled a place at a makeshift bar in the middle of the place and was able to have a few beers and food brought out to me. Beforehand I had to venture to the bar where I dealt with a bit of guff from the overworked bartender.
Selection is very good, but definitely not great. Tons of taps with year-rounds and seasonals from locals including Real Ale, Live Oak, and St. Arnold's along with a nice selection of others but I didn't see anything that made me say "wow".
Food wasn't all that great. The chicken tenders and fries I had tasted as though they were straight out of the freezer but they were still more than edible.
Value is good. Right about par for what I came to expect in San Antonio.
Overall I got just what I expected. A nice tap list but nothing exceptional. Still, the best bar (not including brewpubs) that I went to while in the area, so it's definitely worth a stop.
04-30-2010 02:42:40 | More by glid02
4.65/5 rDev +13.7%
When approaching this place, I was a bit leery. Being in a strip mall, all I could think was "this is going to be a tourist trap." However, I was pleasantly surprised when I got inside and saw that not only did they have a lot of "pub" style seating, but they also had private tables, pool, darts, and just a nice, friendly atmosphere. Their selection is incredible, and the food, although a tad pricey, was still better than typical bar food. They also do all the gimmicky clubs and shirts and waitresses in skimpy schoolgirl costumes (which they are more than happy to use to their advantage to get better tips, I might add). However, the gimmicks really didn't bother me, and in fact, I left with one of their hundreds of collectible pint glasses, which by the way, came with a bottled hefeweissen, which in my opinion, can never go wrong. Their website also has a trader section for collectors of the pint glasses.
All in all, I found it to be a really fun place, and I plan on visiting others around the country.
02-05-2010 05:13:51 | More by evilbunnee
4/5 rDev -2.2%
The address was tricky, since it was located in the back of the Strand shopping complex off of Huebner Road. Facing the building, there was a wide patio area delineated by a short fence surrounding the sea of picnic tables covered by umbrellas. The entry was to the far left of the space and opened onto a bunch of high backed leather chairs and a leather sofa immediately left. Just beyond the comfy chairs, still left, were the kiosk and an ATM, followed by the long "S"-shaped Formica-topped bar. Here, the back bar was simply a long line of taps in front of laminated pennies, topped by a string of beer and wine BTs, further topped by three huge blackboards. To the right of the entry were a combo of high tables and chairs along with standard restaurant tables.
Continuing right, there was a restaurant area consisting of picnic tables and a high arched skylight that kept it brightly lit during the day. Along the back wall were the server's station, the kitchen, a cigarette machine, the lavs, and a couple of English-style dartboards.
The one thing that gave me pause as we pulled into the parking lot were the two servers on break smoking cigarettes behind the building. What must the neighbors in the gated community across the street think of scantily-clad, half-naked young women dressed as naughty Catholic schoolgirls?
80 taps and 180 bottles.
12-21-2009 23:50:57 | More by woodychandler
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in San Antonio, TX
91 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.