The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

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

117 Ratings
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: n/a
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: 117 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rawbeads
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of soper2000
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of TheChauffeur1
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is in downtown Houston, which means public transit which is always cool. These are Chain Beer Bars with a theme. Decent bar food and good service. Great beer choices and the lady severs are outstanding in those skirts and socks. I really dig the way they lay out their taps. I wish I had one of those walls in my basement. They also give glasses away and you can buy any left over for a great price. Try the mystery beer (you know the ones they can't sell) I was surprised to receive a good beer. I was not a member, but it was kind of weird when my partner swiped a card in a computer and it suggested beers for him. Keep drinking and maybe someday you will get your name on a saucer. It is always easy to beat up on chains, but after visiting several I wish I had one in my town. Later.

Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

This place is very large. Several TV's, it is always crowded and loud. Usually hard to find a seat. A long bar with a huge tap wall. There is an area upstairs that is usually reserved for parties. The Saucer sometimes lets BA have a tasting upstairs. The service can be spotty. Though the waitresses are well informed about what they have. Correct glassware and temps. The selection is great. Lots of local Texas beers, many US micros, and good Imports. The selection is always rotating. Probably the best selection in town. The food is nothing special at all. Some pizzas, brats, pretzels. Most of the food is just appetizers, and bland pub grub. Overall this is a place to find some good beers in downtown Houston.

The selection is so damn impressive that it is worth putting up with the other downfalls (spotty service especially when at a table, always crowded, and crazy chaos). Though I still enjoy coming here on occasion. The mangers do an excellent job as well. It probably has a better selection than Gingerman, but I think the atmosphere and service is much lower here.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

This place was packed on Wednesday! In Milwaukee, most of our craft beer bars are small and generally not the most popular bars in town. In contrast, this place was huge and packed! And while the enthusiasm for beer was good to see, the crowd didn't come without its problems - there was a bouncer, it was loud, service was slow due to the crowd, and when we came in an inebriated 30-something was being thrown out for harassing a member of the short-skirted waitstaff. This place has a giant selection, an age-diverse clientele, female servers in short skirts and tight tops (ours seemed to have beer interest and knowledge), and a very automated program which recognized patrons for trying great varieties of beer. Food was unimpressive, although I liked that they had some decent cheese. This place was OK, but something about it struck me as being not quite right. It seemed like whoever was running the show was executing a business model that was co-opting a growing craft beer segment, without really internalizing a passion for beer. As evidence I can't offer much, but aside from the fact that it is a chain, I will mention that the featured brewer when I visited was "Dos Equis," which is not a brewer (FEMSA) and is well, crap. I may return the next time I'm in Houston, but it won't be without hesitation and it will be preceded by a search for alternatives.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

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.

Photo of maybrick
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 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.

Photo of Avi
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

This review is for the Sugar Land Location. Great selection of beers on tap or in the bottle. Bar people are knowledgeable and friendly. They carry a good selection of different breweries throughout the US. Great service on the weekdays...the weekends are hit and miss due to overcrowding. The food is pretty good.

Photo of harsley
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This place wasn't bad and was down the street from my hotel in Houston right on Main street and easy to get to from the MetroRail. Not a bad place...pretty crowded at 7pm on a Thursday and it was really loud but we found solice in sitting outside at a table as it wasn't super hot out. Service was kind of slow but not bad considering how busy it was. Food seems to have gotten a bad rap on here but it really wasn't half bad. The pretzels were the best I've ever had probably with 2 dipping sauces...the chicken on the salad was actually not over cooked and the avocado was in good shape. It's your typical pub grub besides the pretzels but it's not too bad. Beer selection was great. I may think it was better than it really was because coming from Boston they served things I can't get up here. Had some New Belgium and some Texas beers....they had some Belgians and some sampler trays that seemed like they could be worth trying. Everything was clearly maked as on tap, bottle, etc...I'd recommend it if you're going to downtown Houston for any reason.

Photo of cfrobrew
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of CraigTravor
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of texashammer
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

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).

Photo of Dogbrick
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

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.

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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.

Photo of goochpunch
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

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.

Photo of azorie
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited again May 2010: Notes the place is the same, food was good, beer was good, same old super crowded place.
parking is not cheap, take the train if you can.

First visit June 2008:
Visited 1 times around 4pm, Very crowded place, you have to get there early if you want to sit at bar, no service upstairs. They have outside table service, why you want to sit in the sun in Humid Houston (my Home Town) and bake, but some do.

Anyway we got a table and service very quick. I was told 85 different taps. Lots of Texas beers, Standard common bottle selections, which is good, but nothing rare I seen, but hey they got most of them. Its a wild and crazy place, and its a fine bar. Recommended.

Food was good.

Sadly that kind of crowd and noise gets on my nerves, that's why I have to rate it lower. On the plus side if you get their early they are some nice seats, think lazy boy type.

Houston prices are a tad expensive for my tastes. I Still do not get why bottle prices are basically doubled what you pay for retail at spec's, but I noticed this in Atlanta also at the Red brick pub, so maybe its a planned thing? ;.) anyway I seen it, had a few beers, I will most likely never go back, just not my kind of bar. plus Houston traffic now is just not any fun anymore, was it ever, well its just plain hours now to go anywhere.

again recommended if you like serving girls in short skirts and a place so loud you have to scream to be heard.

Photo of ruckzuck
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Whenever I'm visiting home (I yearn for Houston as I write this) my cousin and I enjoy hitting Flying Saucer. What a place. I'm sort of torn in some ways. It's huge, it's loud, I find the "Beer Goddesses" (the barmaids in short skirts and knee highs) to be kind of silly (the service has always been great, I'm referring to the uniform exclusively here), and I don't recall anything I ate there being exceptional.

However, I think there's enough positive stuff about the place to warrant the score I gave it. It has a great selection. My cousin has the membership card which allows you to swipe it, keeps track of the beers you've already had, and recommends beers you haven't had. I find that incredibly cool, and I think it's what stands out about Flying Saucer the most to me. Is the plate on the wall thing a bit gimmicky? Sure, but if you've had that many at the place I figure you deserve some sort of recognition. Selection is great. I'd recommend at least one trip, and if I still lived in Houston I'd probably have the card as well.

Photo of dnarx
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5

I know this place is a favorite of many many beer enthusiasts, unfortunately it's just not really my bag.

It is always loud and at least slightly crowded, it just gets increasingly louder and more crowded during peak times. Because it is so popular the service is slower than I would like. I almost feel like I should order two at a time just in case.

They are reasonable-pricey depending on what you order. However, the place that they stand out it the amazing number of beers on tap and/or available. It is truly every beer enthusiasts wet dream in that regard.

The beer selection is the only reason I am amped about getting one closer to my neck of the woods this fall. Who knows, maybe it'll grow on me.

Photo of wizzy
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Spent an enjoyable two hours here this evening. On Wednesdays, if you buy the beer of the night (in this case, Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock), you get the "official" glass for a $1.

Started with that (bottle), followed up with Lagunitas Lucky 13 and then Greenflash West Coast IPA (both draft). I'm from Michigan, so it was nice to see draft options that I'm not familiar with.

The bar was crowded when I arrived at 7pm, thinned out a bit about 7:45, then picked up again a little after 8. Service was attentive, but not overbearing. Didn't ask about beer recommendations; too many things looked interesting that I wanted to try.

Photo of Hopmodium
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25

The selection is undeniably the best in Texas, after that, the place has little to offer compared to smaller places like The Hay Merchant or The Petrol Station. Many downtown douches frequent this place keeping it from truly being a fun beer hangout, in my humble opine. Nevertheless, after moving to Seattle I can now say that I have experienced much better but this is towards the best Texas has to offer until laws change. Cool reward club allows frequent drinkers to chart their progress (?) and get points for drinking more. Works for everybody. The lady and I ate across from a guy taking his daughter on a date but his phone was his best friend, poor lil' gal. Waitress was being hit on by businessmen wishing and hoping, praying and preying. This bar as compared to the dive bars across the street highlight the lack of middle class in our country. What happened to middle class pubs? When in Texas, if in Texas again, I will stop by again to see if my views have changed or if my jaded self has been correct in its assesment. Are there 4 s's in that word? Anyhoo, give this place a shot and see what you think, it is truly a sight to be seen but consider if you want to become what the regulars here are.

Photo of PhishNoC
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of phildehart
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of msanborn
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Weisseguy1
4/5  rDev -5.9%

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The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Houston, TX
94 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.