The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Taps: 70 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 66 | Show All Ratings:
3.61/5 rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
To say that I've been slacking on BA participation since I've moved to Texas would be a vast understatement. But now that I'm finally settled in, I've found some free time.
The Saucer is located right in the middle of downtown, within walking distance of the metro rail, but parking is a definite problem if you are traveling by car. The bar is wide open and airy with a sort of warehouse vibe because of the open spaces. One very large tap selection but BMC seem to have the most popular taps so beware of freshness issues (don't buy anything on special). Bottle selection is decent for the Houston area, I just wish I had a place to buy some decent lambics. Prices average 4-5 bucks a pint for most American Micros. A bottle of Orval was $8, so it is a tad more pricey than other Houston hotspots. Will go back when attending astros games.
08-06-2005 19:40:06 | More by soper2000
3.63/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
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.
03-20-2008 07:18:46 | More by champ103
3.63/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2 | $$$
This place was packed on Wednesday! In Milwaukee, most of our craft beer bars are small and generally not the most popular bars in town. In contrast, this place was huge and packed! And while the enthusiasm for beer was good to see, the crowd didn't come without its problems - there was a bouncer, it was loud, service was slow due to the crowd, and when we came in an inebriated 30-something was being thrown out for harassing a member of the short-skirted waitstaff. This place has a giant selection, an age-diverse clientele, female servers in short skirts and tight tops (ours seemed to have beer interest and knowledge), and a very automated program which recognized patrons for trying great varieties of beer. Food was unimpressive, although I liked that they had some decent cheese. This place was OK, but something about it struck me as being not quite right. It seemed like whoever was running the show was executing a business model that was co-opting a growing craft beer segment, without really internalizing a passion for beer. As evidence I can't offer much, but aside from the fact that it is a chain, I will mention that the featured brewer when I visited was "Dos Equis," which is not a brewer (FEMSA) and is well, crap. I may return the next time I'm in Houston, but it won't be without hesitation and it will be preceded by a search for alternatives.
05-02-2008 14:12:12 | More by BeerBelcher
3.63/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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.
02-20-2009 19:40:17 | More by TheChauffeur1
3.65/5 rDev -13.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I have been to this place numerous times. I must give them a "thumbs up" for hosting beer seminars and such, because it is a really nice place to meet for those kind of events.
There are many taps on the wall that include a nice selection of local beers (within 300 miles is "local" in Texas). There is a chaulk-board above the bar that lists the latest additions, so frequent patrons can try the newest selections and get the beers they've tasted logged into the house computer thinga-majiggy. I am assuming that there were prizes for this or something, but I didn't personally investigate.
The food was pretty decent, but you aren't guaranteed to get what you asked for. The waitresses are cute in their "school girl" type outfits, but perhaps they are too busy trying to look cute than trying to take an order correctly.
I am sure that I will keep going here because they are one of the few places in Houston that get "local" beers on tap. I recommend the place, but advise you not to come here if you are in a hurry for food.
07-26-2005 06:41:05 | More by SkeeterHawk
3.68/5 rDev -13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$
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.
09-24-2006 17:46:01 | More by maybrick
3.73/5 rDev -11.8%
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.
07-09-2008 12:33:11 | More by harsley
3.85/5 rDev -9%
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).
03-04-2005 02:17:47 | More by texashammer
3.9/5 rDev -7.8%
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.
12-14-2005 08:18:07 | More by goochpunch
3.9/5 rDev -7.8%
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.
11-22-2006 00:44:05 | More by 4thoseabout2bock
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Houston, TX
94 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.