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The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Not Rated.
The Flying Saucer Draught EmporiumThe Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

107 Ratings
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 7.78%
Taps: 70
Bottles: 150
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

705 Main St
Houston, Texas, 77002-3313
United States
phone: (713) 228-7468

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @flyingsaucerhou

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Xadoor)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dogbrick
3.9/5  rDev -8%

Flying Saucer is located right on Main St in downtown Houston. There is lots of metered street parking and a couple garages nearby, and it is right on the trolley route as well. The building is attached to some apartments and has a nice look.

The inside of the bar is spacious, with high ceilings. Lots of wood everywhere. The eye is immediately drawn to the wall of taps behind the bar on the left. The number is almost staggering. There is seating in the middle and along the right side, The space then wraps around the corner, so this place is really a lot bigger than it looks when you first walk in. I noticed people going up stairs as well but I did not check out that area. After the taps, the saucers with everyone's name and catchphrase who have completed the 200-beer tour are the next attraction.

As evidenced by the wall of taps, the number of beers here is impressive. There are at least 75 different draughts from the US and all over the world. Local/regional selections like Live Oak, Real Ale, St. Arnold are alongside Avery, DFH, Rogue, Stone etc. International selections are available as well, with special attention given to Belgium (Affligem, Hennepin, Grotten Cave etc). As for bottles, there are over 150 with mostly the same brewers represented. Flying Saucer has several different "flights" of beers available for sample, divided by geographic location. However, patrons have the option to "build your own flight" by selecting any 5 beers for $10.

Service here is spotty. We were there on an early Monday evening and the place was surprisingly crowded, most likely due to $2.50 pint night. The server did a fair job with refills and food but she was hard to track down occasionally. Points for knowing what style of beer Skinny Dip was without having to check though.

Food here is also hit or miss. The spinach artichoke dip was pretty good, and my wrap was decent. My colleages had mixed reviews of their sandwiches though.

All in all this will definitely be a regular stop for me on my visits to Houston, if anything for the expansive draught selection of Texas beers.

Dogbrick, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.9/5  rDev -8%

Flying Saucer has the feel of your basic downtown chain (similar to Rock Bottom ambiance). Unfortunately we were there on a Friday night. It was LOUD. It was crowded. It was apparently the *only* place to go downtown.

The beer list, while extensive, was not that varied. (Pretty heavy on light colored lagers, pilsners and IPAs which isn't really my thing.) Happy hour prices were a plus (upsized to 20oz hefe glasses for the price of a pint). Quality was fine.

Service was distracted, but it was loud and busy.

As for food, don't get the nachos. You get about a dozen chips with beans meticulously applied to each chip and a couple of shreds of cheese melted on top. This is not the usual copious brewhouse platter.
I also got the buffalo chicken wrap which was fine, but again a little expensive for what you got. This is not a food destination.

My opinion of the atmosphere would likely be different if I went at an off time, but given my experiences at Ginger Man on Thursday and Flying Saucer on Friday, I preferred the selection and ambiance at the former.

4thoseabout2bock, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%

Another edition of the Texas-based beer bar chain and, from what I see, possibly the nicest one I've visited. Located directly on Main Street, ample mass transit points and a parking lot (pay to park) just across the street.

Opening up with high ceilings, this Saucer is essentially one large room (large enough that the Fort Worth Saucer would fit within it). Plenty of tables, a bar running almost the length of the room and a line of bar-tables nearby; even when packed on a weekend, there's a lot of elbow room and it never feels crowded. A row of booths runs back to the kitchen for a little area of privacy and the second floor is open and overlooks the bar area, which is a nice touch.

Roughly 85 taps, all of which seemed to be in great condition. More selection than the FW Saucer, more emphasis on Texas micros and a few other US craft brands. The staff seems fairly knowledgeable about what they're selling, nice and friendly and quick with the samples. Didn't try the food but the menu is standardized across the chain, so it should all be very similar.

Props to BA VoodooBrew, one of the bartenders. Be sure to say "Howdy" to him if you sit at the bar.

assurbanipaul, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of maybrick
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%

I really liked this plae except for the food but more about that later. All 86 +/- taps were in use and obviously, I couldn't drink from them all. The place is very appealing on the inside. It's clean, high ceilings, some overstiffed chairs in the fronnt, dining tables, and a decenlty long bar offering about 20 or so stools. The variety of brew avialbale was pretty good with all of the sections of the country represented. The bottle list was also on a par with the draught selections. I was quite disappointed with the very limited menu. I had the salmon wrap which was good. There were really no entre items offered.

maybrick, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of beertastegood
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%

All right, time to review this joint since I have moved closer to downtown and made it one of my weekly haunts.

Located in the heart of Houston downtown, which makes it kind of bear to get down there. However, there is almost always ample parking and the trip is well worth it.

Atmosphere: Medium sized place that has a classy look to it, yet a laid back feel. Downtown officeworking crowd, a smattering of UH students, beer geeks like myself, and Astros fans. When there is a home game, expect the bar to be filled. There are booths ringing the entire room, comfortable couches and armchairs in the corners, and a high table in the center of the room for the more transient customers. Bar itself is long and impressive-looking. Several comfortable picnic-style tables are located outside. This is a smoking bar. However, even though I can't stand it when people smoke around me and my craft beer, this bar is not the least bit smoky.

Quality: I have never had anything but the highest quality beer here. Draught beer is always fresh, and bottled beers are good too (although I tend to not get bottled, because what's the point at a bar with so many taps?).

Service: From good to outstanding, depending on how crowded it is. I for one have never been left without a beer in my hand, but sometimes the food is slightly slow. The waitstaff is probably the best aspect of this bar, next to the tap selection - they all know their beers/glassware, and are quick to let you know when something is on sale or just arrived on tap. And 99% are good-looking women in short skirts and tight "Beer Goddess" shirts, so that is just extra icing on the cake!

Selection: No other beer bar in Houston has the selection of the Saucer. Not even close. Local TX brews are the beers to get at this bar. No, not Shiner...Real Ale, St Arnolds, Rahr, Live Oak, Independence. All of them are fresh and tasty. And if you desire, there is a plethora of other beers as well.

Food: Much better than I expected; this place makes some delicious food. The garlic chicken pizza, the caesar chicken wrap, and the bratwurst plate are probably the best dishes I have had there. It is all high quality, made-to-order grub.

Value: If you are drinking beers on tap, you can't go wrong with the value here. It's a quality beer bar, so don't expect dirt cheap. The high turnover ensures beer is always fresh. Number one beer bar in Houston, IMO, and worth every minute of the drive there.

beertastegood, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of jwff
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

I'd consider this one of my weekly haunts despite it being a 20-25 minute drive from the suburbs. It's one of those places where the game is always on (in this case a few smaller tv's above the bar and a projector style hanging down in the table area) and even though you can smoke in there it's spacious enough to where it doesn't feel smoky.

The waitstaff is very friendly and extremely knowledgeable in the ways of beer. It's also not a bad thing to get a beer in the proper glassware served by a waitress in a plaid skirt and knee high socks. Around 70 or so regular taps with about 5-10 rotating kegs. I like this place because it usually has the Rogue special offerings that never make it to the shelves.

There is always a deal going on with the beer whether it be 2.50 pint night on Mondays or the daily fire sale beer which is always 2.50 a glass. I also scored a great Unibroue glass from the weekly "keep the glass" night when they featured Trois Pistoles. Every Tuesday is trivia night with bar cash as the prize, so you can hang out with your friends and drink a little cheaper all at the same time. Food is solid and reasonably priced and I'd recommend the garlic chicken pizza.

Shout out to the ABC Team and the short chick who calls the trivia.

jwff, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of HardTarget
4.58/5  rDev +8%

In the shadows of downtown, the Saucer has a great street view, and the obligatory plates everywhere. Nice combination of seating options, overstuffed chairs and couches along one wall, straight wood dining tables in the open, slightly secluded booths toward the back, seating at the bar and another bar like row behind that. I didn’t make it upstairs.
Tap board as long as Texas with what has to be close to 90 taps (menu lists 76, but my math shows more, and the Freshly arrived aren’t listed yet). Freshly tapped Live Oak Hefe was an easy choice. Served with lemon (I forgot to ask them not to). Friday afternoon crowd is a mix of office drones, leisure hip, and older moms. Wifi available with a code. Beer goddesses, well, at least mine, were in top form. Knowledgeable about the beers, suggested a sample when I asked about the Frosty Frog, and generally took care of me (even directed me to the one seat that I could plug in my laptop- single tall two top by the dart board).
A great place to spend time and money. If you’re hitting Minute Maid park, this is the before/after spot. You have to hit Spec’s down the road too.

HardTarget, May 05, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%

Houston's top beer bar. Sure, others may be cozier (The Ginger Man) or more convenient (i.e. not downtown), but taken as a total package, The Saucer tops my list.

* The Saucer is at the bottom floor of what feels like a refurbished bank. The ceilings are incredibly high (high enough to have a little second floor interior balcony) and are covered with a couple hundred golden platters (saucers), commemorating those dedicated Beer Knurds who have drank at least 200 different beers at the establishment. This feat is a little more impressive when you consider that the Saucer will only count 3 beers per day to your total. As of this writing I only have 185 to go. Good luck to me!

The crowds can get fairly large during the early-mid evening hours, with a strong after-work contingent to go along with the dedicated beer seekers. Daily rotating specials also help to keep interest high and prices reasonable.

* Despite the tendency for healthy crowds, service is still usually easy to come by thanks to the large squadron of cocktail waitresses servicing the floor. Oh, and it helps that they wear high socks and schoolgirl-style skirts and are pretty much all good-looking.

* Since I rated G Man's selection a 4.5, The Saucer has to get a 5. This rating is relative to its market, of course, and I'm sure there are other bars in the country and in the world that will blow it away.There are enough drafts to satisfy the serious beer connoisseur, and the bottle selection is equally impressive, if still not all-encompassing of the Houston market's offerings. For that you'll have to head to Spec's.

VoodooBrew, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
3.9/5  rDev -8%

This place is pretty alright by me. Place wasn't too loud or smoky. I was very pleased with the foxy waitstaff and those great uniforms. The barstaff never left me waiting and seemed to be quite attentive. One little qualm I have with the place is that when I went, they were out of two beers on their beer list that I've been dying to try for sometime. One was draft and the other bottled. I had the grilled chicken and pesto pizza which was decent. Overall, I could most definately see myself returning while in the Houston area.

goochpunch, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of skittlebrau
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

Ok, even though it can be expensive to come here, it is still one of my favorite beer bars in town. Mainly for the selection and quality of beers that are available. Anyway, let's get to the details...
Atmosphere. It's very loud and crowded, but not too smokey if I recall. We usually end up sitting outside, which is a good place to meet the bums. Be careful, you never know which one has a knife.
The service is so-so. I gave them an extra .5 point for the uniforms. They can be slow sometimes, but I have been to plenty of places with worse help.
I think I already mentioned that the quality and selection are excellent. There are over 200 beers here and I have never gotten a skunky one. Quality and selection are really why we go to bars anyway, right? Overall the saucer is a great place to get sauced and sausages at the same time.

skittlebrau, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of damifino
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

-=[Atmosphere]=-
Defintely not the place you want to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk, especially with those waitresses in pigtails, plaid skirts and bobbie socks. It is noisey, especially on game nights. You can sit upstairs to get away from the bar or sit back in a couch to throw some down while looking att he flying saucers on the ceiling. Sitting out on the patio can give you a good glimpse of the "Wham-Bam" train or share a beer with one of Houston's fine homeless folks.

-=[Quality]=-
I like most about Flying Saucer. It is a good concept, and there is something new all of the time.

-=[Service]=-
The bar staff are the best. They serve you some excellent samples and always suggest really good beers. You cannot go wrong if you are the bar. The waitresses, fun to look at, but they could you know loosen up a bit. Either they do not deliver you timely beer or your food takes forever to reach you.

-=[Selection]=-
This is their strong point. 80+ draft beer and 100+ bottles, and they mix it up too. They have good glassware as well, themed pints.

-=[Food]=-
Believe it or not, you can actually eat a meal here without have to do the "Pepto" dance.

damifino, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of soper2000
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%

To say that I've been slacking on BA participation since I've moved to Texas would be a vast understatement. But now that I'm finally settled in, I've found some free time.

The Saucer is located right in the middle of downtown, within walking distance of the metro rail, but parking is a definite problem if you are traveling by car. The bar is wide open and airy with a sort of warehouse vibe because of the open spaces. One very large tap selection but BMC seem to have the most popular taps so beware of freshness issues (don't buy anything on special). Bottle selection is decent for the Houston area, I just wish I had a place to buy some decent lambics. Prices average 4-5 bucks a pint for most American Micros. A bottle of Orval was $8, so it is a tad more pricey than other Houston hotspots. Will go back when attending astros games.

soper2000, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%

I have been to this place numerous times. I must give them a "thumbs up" for hosting beer seminars and such, because it is a really nice place to meet for those kind of events.

There are many taps on the wall that include a nice selection of local beers (within 300 miles is "local" in Texas). There is a chaulk-board above the bar that lists the latest additions, so frequent patrons can try the newest selections and get the beers they've tasted logged into the house computer thinga-majiggy. I am assuming that there were prizes for this or something, but I didn't personally investigate.

The food was pretty decent, but you aren't guaranteed to get what you asked for. The waitresses are cute in their "school girl" type outfits, but perhaps they are too busy trying to look cute than trying to take an order correctly.

I am sure that I will keep going here because they are one of the few places in Houston that get "local" beers on tap. I recommend the place, but advise you not to come here if you are in a hurry for food.

SkeeterHawk, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of texashammer
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%

Some may think that this makes me a little biased, but bear with me and I'll explain. I worked at the Flying Saucer for two years off and on. Very interesting, let me say, viewing BA's from the other side of things. I was a beer girl in a short skirt and thank you for keeping your hands to yourself.

That said, I have been a customer for longer than I was an employee and I think I am an objective reviewer. Nowhere else in Houston offers 200+ beers (85 taps). No competition there. Food is mediocre but that's not what they claim to do, is it. Service has definitely gone downhill. TIP: please, please sit at the bar. Floor staff are, for the most part, hopeless. Get Tammy as your bartender if at all possible.

Biggest drawback is definitely atmosphere. Way too smoky, music usually loud and not good, often a slightly obnoxious crowd. All this, by the way, has come into play since Superbowl. Before football descended upon this bar, the establishment made much less money but was a much more pleasant place to be. However, still definitely worth being there for the beer and good company. Again, look for Tammy.

If you're in Houston, the Saucer is near the top of the list. Certainly the best selection in town. Also try: Rudyard's, the Gingerman, Brewery Tap. Cecil's isn't too bad either (they pay close attention to the temp's there).

texashammer, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%

Ah, yes... The Saucer. Conveniently located 4 blocks from where I was doing training in Houston for 2 weeks, this was the "well worth it walk after work" (say that 5 times fast). Big open room, with a high ceiling that displays plates and saucers of all types and shapes and along the top of the walls are the "UFO Club" saucers with people's names on them (like mug club trophies, after so many beers they put your name on a saucer and post it on the wall). They have a long bar with stools, a middle island counter with stools on both sides, tables and a few couches in the corners for chillin'. Nice and comfortable.
They've got about 80 beers and ciders on tap and another 100+ in bottle. Some good stuff on tap (Arrogant Bastard, some Anchors and Sierras (including the Bigfoot) a handful of Rogues, as well a good selection of German & English, and a few Belgians to boot) and then some not so good stuff on tap (8 unimpresive Texas beers, so-so micros and a bunch of macros). The bottled menu has more in the way of macros but also has a much better German, English and Belgian selection. I spotted a 22 ounce RedHook Double Black Stout above the bar but sadly it was only a display piece and they weren't giving it up.
The food selection is small, just a handful of sandwiches and wraps, hot pretzels and the like, nothing too impressive overall.
And then there's the waitstaff... amazing eye candy, just beautiful girls and the uniforms are a "beer goddess" t shirt, with a plaid schoolgirl skirt and knee high socks (Meeeeeeeeeoooooooooowwwwwww!!!!!!!) And when asked to recommend a wheat beer to my non-regular-beer-drinker coworker, she said, "Well, we have the Pyramid Hefe-Weizen and the Paulaner, too, but my favorite is the Aventinus" (I'm in love!!!!).
Most certainly the best bar in the "downtown area" of Houston.

slander, May 03, 2003
Photo of Redrover
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

I was back in Houston this week (1/30/06) and of course ended up at the Saucer. I thought the service at the bar was very good.

The bar was louder and more raucous then I remember and that is a good thing. Great mix of people. I sat between a group of bicycle messengers ( the kamikazes of the business world ) and a group of buttoned down business men. Both groups were having fun.

I wish there was no smoking, but it is what it is. The pizza was also a bit of a disappointment. I should have went with the Brats!


*** Original ***
This was the best bar I have been to in Houston. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, they know their beer!! The decor is nice and the customers seem pretty cool. The beer selection is simply awesome. I'm not sure how they can keep everything fresh and rotated. They also have good specials and often give away glasses. I'm looking forward to my next trip back. This is a great bar!

p.s. I also like going to their outlet in Fort Worth, which is another great Texas beer bar

Redrover, Feb 04, 2003
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

For the True Beer Connoisseur this is hands down the best beer bar in Houston, TX.

There are 2 routes to go when visiting this place. You can sit at the bar. Get exceptional service from Tammy, Frank, Krissy, or Mark. There are others but these are your experts on the beer that is in the fridge or on one of the 85 taps on the wall behind them. Their service is excellent and their recommendations are excellent. Or you can sit at a table and get good service but with limited knowledge on the beer. However, it is easier to carry on a conversation. The Managers Jeff and the asst Mgr Scott are both quite knowledgeable as well and they like a challenge – ask them to find a beer that is hard to find and they will try.

Krissy has several blended beers that are excellent - She is 100% sucessful on hitting the mark when I can't make up my mind. If you come in make it a point to ask for Chrissy-Weiss - which is my favorite blend of hers: Franziskaner Hefe-Weizen with Maredsous 8 in a 1:1 ratio that is the bomb. Black & Tan should be ancient history if you try this one. And where else can you find a 6 foot tall gorgeous blonde that knows everything about beer. [Besides Germany ;-) ]

For a place that has personal service – and sadly “where everyone knows your name” you can’t do better. I am not the bar type but this is home away from home and the place I would choose first to go hang out. Hope to see you there.

AtrumAnimus, Nov 25, 2002
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Houston, TX
94 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.