1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Flat Branch Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Flat Branch Pub & BreweryFlat Branch Pub & Brewery
BEER AVG
3.51/5
Based on:
98 Beers
292 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.44%
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

115 S 5th St
Columbia, Missouri, 65201-4230
United States
phone: (573) 499-0400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: maxpower)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stephensinner
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of UMph420
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of evilcatfish
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of TerryBerryHairyCarey
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of qcbrewer
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of DuffDaddy
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Redrover
3.79/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I was able to stop by during my latest visit to Columbia.

This is a pretty large and bustling place. We waited about 20 minutes to get a table at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, so I would say they have lots of fans. We had some beers which made the short wait seem shorter.

They have a really nice terrace that seems to be a big draw. There is a large dining room and nice bar room. The bar is a square in the middle of the room with service stations on each end. There are TV’s , so you can keep up with the games.

Service at the bar and table side was very friendly and prompt. Both servers were able to provide some beer insight.

Food was tasty and I thought pretty reasonable priced. They have some specials which are worth checking out. They offer really good homemade “blue” coleslaw. Get it!

Unfortunately the beer was not a huge hit with our party. We started with the Ed’s IPA. It was either old or the lines needed tending. The hops were pretty much MIA and there was a vegetable thing going on that was way out of place. The stout was better and we thought the best beer of the evening was the pepper ale which had a nice pepper aroma but was not overly hot.

I will be back again and will try some more beers.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.01/5  rDev -25.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.75

I had trouble finding the entrance. I didn't know there was a parking lot just past the lush, green bier-garden fence full with vines. The entrance is kind of hidden with a lot of rain lately causing a lot of growth of the greens on the fence. I almost went into the employee entrance on the front of the building facing the parking meters where I parked on 5th street, just off of the main drag, Stadium Blvd.

The place was busy. I heard from a family member that they were always busy which is why I showed up late afternoon Sunday. Granted it was Memorial Day Weekend. I ordered Edy's IPA and some wings. I ordered the Edy's as it was one of the best and most rated IPA. I was surprised to see their glasses were imperial nonics that pour 18oz with a good head. IPA was stale and lacking in hop character, although I did notice after looking at the board that all their styles were British. The hop character was small even for a British ale. The wings came fairly fast, within 10 minutes. They were ok, not very spicy like hot wings usually are. There was a BBQ flavor that took over, but it was like Cookies BBQ sauce, nothing great. They looked dry and they were, but they were fresh and hot.

The service was good, the woman who helped me was very attentive. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the clinking of the glasses against the tap nozzle and the sloppy pooring. The head never reached too high, so I guess they felt they could be lax in pooring. It was confirmed when both of my beers had little head. If it were to style this would be acceptable head in parts of southern England.

They also stacked glasses, I could see they had the bars being bussed by some college age students who were also taking the glassware and stacking it roughly, which was apparent when I got my second beer which was a nitro stout that has very small bubbles that show all the nucleation points around the bulge of the nonic affecting the appearance of the beer. I'm guessing the stacking comes from always being busy. They have a large bier-garden and a lot of seats inside, so they can hold a lot of people. They even have a nice complete circle bar that's raised up.

The wait is apparent as people with a party were waiting and my family member said they liked the food, but they are always busy was a complaint. That did ring true in my experience there.

Photo of Moon2Goddess
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This place is hopping, even on a day with tropical storm type of humidity! Due to nearly every spot being taken, my date and I ended up sharing a chair at the bar, which I did not complain about! The patio seating has beautiful plants and vines creating a private getaway, inside has that classic brewery warehouse look, with just a little more shine and newness.

The staff clearly enjoy working here and their attitude rubs off on the customers, the general vibe is cheerful and lively. It is obvious that the bartenders and servers are proud of their exceptional quality and specialty items.

We shared several samplers, the Oil Change Oatmeal Stout and the Green Chili Beer especially stood out to me. I was wary of the Green Chili variety at first, but it was quite remarkable and unusual. Their Brown Ale was sweet and delicious...hell, everything we tried was good!

The food was fantastic! The green chili chicken fingers made from the green chili beer batter will forever be praised and lauded as one of this earth's greatest culinary creations.

I want to go back!

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped over this place on the way to St. Louis from KC.

I had been here once before and thought it was a gem. Sat outside on a wonderful cool and breezy Fall Sunday. The place was crowded and busy but still everything flowed perfectly.

The patio area is nice and cozy with tons of vegetation covering the are and giving it a private feel.

I tried their IPA and got a growler of their APA. Their IPA is nice and citrusy with some fresh grassy hops to it. This place has a great feel, great service, great food and the beers are well crafted.

Photo of Northsider
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I guess you couldn't ask for much more in a small town like Columbia. But coming from Chicago this place severely lacked. It was really crowded when I went, and it was on a wednesday evening at like 6pm. Strange. I hung out at the bar while I waited and tried the chilli beer. Not my cup of tea whatsoever. Selection wasn't too bad, I've seen much much worse. All the tap beers are listed on a chalkboard near the bar. I also tried the Irish Red. Not bad.

Food was very 'meh' for me. Not only am I becoming a beer snob, I've long been a food snob. This place was a basic college joint: burgers, wings, etc. None of the options were exceptional. But considering the location, this was pretty good.

Not a bad experience away from home, but it just felt way to 'collegey' for me. But for a small town like this, it's a good option. Check it out if in the area, but I wouldn't make a special trek.

Photo of given2flybrewing
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Flat Branch is sort of a staple for anyone that lives in Columbia or in the surrounding areas. The restaurant is ALWAYS packed even though it has a large indoor and outdoor space (probably the nicest patio in town), which suggests that they do very good business! We go to Flatbranch every couple of months (even with a 1 year old). The food is average, but what I like about it is that they don't charge you an arm and a leg and you get large portions. The beer is average at best, some selections are better than others, but nothing that a beer geek would be overwhelmed by. I typically order the Green Chili Beer when I 'm, but it's not a great beer...just one I've enjoyed time to time. Their Oil Change stout won a silver medal this past year at GABF.

Photo of bunny3
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Have been to Flat Branch several times since coming to Columbia. The food has been up and down but is generally average bar food with a few stand outs here and there. This place stays packed for lunch and dinner, so plan ahead if you are going, especially if there are any major functions going on in town. They do several house beers and have a wide variety on tap. Most beers are average to not so good, but I am not a huge fan of english yeasts and they tend to use the same english yeast strain in all their beers. As such, their better beers tend to be english styles.

Photo of hopstradamus
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I stopped in for a late lunch on a Friday during a trip from Kansas City to St. Louis. The atmosphere is great. They have a dining area that is separate from the bar and would be great for a business lunch, as well as a large open bar. My visit was during the summer when school was not in session, but I can only imagine that this is the place to go on a football Saturday to watch the game on one of their large flat screen TVs. The place itself is a well renovated old warehouse that overlooks a park. It also features a spacious beer garden that I'm sure is a local favorite during the summer.

As far as the beer is concerned, I had the $6 sampler and bought a growler of the Rye Porter to take with me. I found all of the beers to be average. There was nothing offensive or spectacular about any of them really, with the exception of the Rye Porter which was delicious.

I had great service, but the place wasn't very busy. The staff was courteous and helpful, but did not seem to know an awful lot about their beers, just the talking points they had been given.

The selection was great compared to my expectations. They had all their regular beers and several seasonals, about 10 total. They had everything you would expect; a wheat, a pale, an IPA, a brown, and a stout as well as an unexpected Chili beer, and as I mentioned earlier several seasonals to keep things interesting.

As far as the food is concerned, I may not be the best judge. I was there for a late lunch and had been planning on eating at a brewery all day so my heart was set on a bacon cheeseburger and fries. It was delicious, and exactly what I wanted.

The prices were on par with my expectations as well. Being in Columbia, they can't charge as much as they could if they were in a bigger city. The prices were reasonable, and in line with what they provided.

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Flat Branch Pub and Brewery very much, and would recommend it to anyone traveling from Kansas City to St. Louis as a great way to break up what is otherwise a rather boring stretch of road.

Photo of Yetiman420
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I was in town for business at University of Missouri and had an open afternoon which I killed at Flat Branch and Broadway.

I visited from 12 - 2 on a surprisingly busy Tuesday. The environmnet is an old building near a park on the edge of downtown Columbia. Very nice old rehabed building with a historic cycling theme where I sat in the bar. Four, large flat screen tv's strategically placed in the bar and a large chalk board with a beer listing.

Service consisted of what appeared to be kids from the local school(s) and the place is very well managed.

I began with a $6 sampler of the chili beer, dopplebock, rye porter, hefe, English ale, and a honey wheat. The hefe and rye were both very nice. The others were average. I followed that with an imperial pint of Ed's IPA. If you're a hop head, this place will be a let down. The IPA was malty and sweet with very little bitterness or aroma. I ended with a ~3 oz sample of the oil change stout which was very good. I did not have the brown, Katy Trail pale (which I probably should have), ESB, or Irish.

I had a spinich, feta, sun dried pizza which was excellent.

Compared to Broadway, Flat Branch is a "better run" establishment with a nicer, more professional atmosphere. I can't say the beers were anything better than average though and at the end of the day, that's what counts for me.

Photo of greenfeet
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I was here in April, but I have to add a review. Traveling across from St. Louis to Kansas City, I am very glad we stopped here. Mid-day the patio seating was very full with happy looking patrons. Inside was open and uncrowded, pleasant decor with attentive, knowledgable service. I was quite impressed with the number of varieties available. Some were closes cousins, but still distinguishingly different in taste. On reflection months later, I still have good feeling and would go out of my way to visit again.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Made it by here on a trip to Columbia.

Atmosphere is good. Walking past the place I see a pretty large beer garden out front and a spacious inside. Brewing equipment is located in an open location. The bar is pretty large with a decent amount of seating.

Quality is good. All beers were poured with the proper amount of head and at the correct temperature. Additionally, the growler fills were solid, although I must warn you that electric tape is not provided and is not a bad idea.

Service is good. The bartender was attentive and knew everything that was on-tap without having to look over his shoulder.

Selection is solid. I remember between 10-12 beers on tap with a few on nitro-tap. The styles ranged from a Jalapeno beer to an Irish Red to a solid Stout.

Food was good. I can't remember what I ordered but it was slightly above average.

Value is good. Everything in Columbia seems a bit cheaper than it should be and this is no exception.

Overall this place has a good number of their beers on tap at any time and is certainly worth a stop.

Photo of qcbeerguy
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went there last night and had overall a very good evening. They had 13 beers on tap and beer engines. The beer for the most part was very good. My favorites were the stout, brown ale, tripel, esb, American Pale Ale, New Zealand Pilsner. Had a couple that had some unwanted buttery taste the Ed's IPA and the strong ale. I mentioned to the manager that I tasted butter on a couple beers and before I could same them he stated the Ed's IPA and Katy's pale ale. He then said they are beer at a sister brewery and have some quality issues with the brewer. They serve the sampler in a flight of 6 about 7 oz glasses for $6, so I feel it is worth the money.

The service at first was very good I was waited on right away when I set down at the bar. Then it went down hill from there, I waited about 15 mins. before another bartender asked me if I wanted anything to eat, since my original bartender disappeared. Then after that the second bartender disappeared and the manager was behind the bar. Not a good to treat a customer.

Hopefully the lack of customer service is a fluke.

Photo of Tone
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great brewpub all around. They have a large bar section with multiple flat screen tv's with the important games on. They also have a more private dining section without any tv's. The food is pretty darn good; ranging from burgers and sandwiches to my andoulie sausage cajun pasta and some smoked pork barbecue offerings. They always have at least 8 of the beers on tap if not more, when I went they had 12. So far all their beers are top notch. I recently had their '09 Barleywine offering and their '05 Doppelbock offering!. All I can say is this place blows any competition out of the water as far as fresh, great beer in Columbia, MO. The service is quick, friendly, and knowledgeable. Our server talked for length on their beer aging processes and release schedules. Not so knowledgeable on the exact differences amongst styles, but I'll still take it. The wait can sometimes be quite long, but if you avoid 5:00-6:00pm on weekends you can usually find a table relatively quickly. Overall, this place is just amazing and I always enjoy my return visits - worth a stop if you're in the Columbia area!

Photo of whiterascal
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

AMAZING! I thought that the food was spectacular. I had the soft pretzel appetizer while sitting at the bar waiting for a table, delish. For dinner, I had the veggie burger and it was also very tasty. It was crowded and there was a wait, but that was the perfect opportunity to sit at the bar and enjoy a couple pints. The bartenders were fast and attentive. The Green Chili beer is to die for. It had a little hotness, but not too much. They had quite a few beers on tap to choose from, but after I started drinking that I couldn't stop. I would recommend this to anyone that drives through or near Columbia, MO. Fabulous place.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: A really nice balance between traditional "local" restaurant and a brew-pub. It's casual with lots of raw brick and exposed ceilings, etc, but it definitely has a bit of class as well.

Quality: The beer is kinda all over the board. Their brown ale is quite nice, rich, malty, sweet, well balanced, etc. Their ESB is pretty tasty as well, and it's nice as it's served from the cask (at least so I was told, I haven't sat up by the bar any of the 3 times I've been there), their Vienna Lager is also quite nice. The other beers are so-so, nothing special, but fairly tasty nonetheless, and fresh and local, which is always a plus.

Service: The service is absolutely fantastic. The wait staff is quite professional, knows all about the beers that they have on tap at any given time, etc, and regularly double-check with you to make sure you're enjoying your meal/beer.

Selection: They usually have a pretty good selection of beers on tap, around ten or so, plus Strongbow cider (apparently it's a big thing here in town).

Food: Ok, don't get me wrong, it's not 3 star Michelin, but it's DAMN good for pub grub, and deft. a step above the norm. Last time there, I had a shepherd's pie that was to die for, and my fiancee had an amazing carrot/ginger soup. Good simple food, good fresh flavors, top notch.

Value: Flat Branch is a pretty good value as well; a great option is a mix-a-six sampler (30 oz. of beer total, six 5oz servings) for six dollars. This is really nice to split with someone (you can customize it to try any of the beers on tap at the moment) or have one yourself and see how the different flavors play with different foods. It's not cheap strictly speaking, but specials like Happy Hour 20oz drafts for $3.00 help out immensely.

Conclusion: Decent-Good local beer, plus great service, great food, and a nice atmosphere makes Flat Branch worth a stop if you're cruising through Columbia.

Photo of skrib09
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

i originally wanted to review this place because of the beer but i decided the food could use a little attention. first let me have a quick note about the brews.

i love their chili beer. it's really well done. it has good balance with the pepper note. if you love spices, hot peppers, or spicy food in general, you will dig this.

the service is always great. all of the servers know everything about the beers and are quick to answer questions about the food on the menu.

speaking of food, let me get to the point of this post. for a pub and brewery, flat branch does their food very well. they incorporate their beer into their dishes, such as the chili beer battered chicken tenders which are excellent.

the entres are nice and well priced. huge burgers. good quality fish. etc.

great place in columbia.

Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Flat Branch is located in Columbia which is pretty much halfway between KC and STL. The brewpub is not too far off I-70 on Columbia. There is a small private lot and metered street parking all around.

The exterior of the building is brick and they offer a view into where the pizzas are being made from the street. The inside boasts several flags with the University of Missouri colors. The bar is to the left of the entrance, with restaurant seating to the right. The brewing tanks are viewable behind glass in the middle area. There is a chalkboard in the bar listing all the beers on tap.

Flat Branch has 12 beers available and they can be sampled in groups of 6 for $6 per flight. The beers range from the ordinary like APA, IPA and Irish Red to more interesting selections like a Chili beer and Baltic Porter. The beers above average for the most part.

Service on a weekday dinnertime was pretty good at the bar. The bartender was familiar with their beers and helpful in explaining my samplers.

I did not try any food on this visit.

Overall Flat branch was a great way to break up a long drive between Kansas City and St. Louis. I would definitely recommend a stop to anyone passing by.

Photo of MTNboy
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Alright went back a bunch of times since my first review. I can't help it. Their food is amazing. The beers got better and they rotate well. As far as service. I have had good service in there twice after countless visits.

This place would have got an overall excellent rating from me if it had not been for the staff and honestly I thought the beers were pretty watered down.

Atmosphere: It was very nice. The redone warehouse look on the inside with the high ceilings makes it feel more spacious than it is. The patio was clean and well kept. We were there the day after Halloween so there were pumpkins everywhere but they were well organized and gave it a nice fall feel.

Quality: It is a nice place. Like I said before I thought all the beers were pretty watered down except the Great Pumpkin. Even the Oil Change was watery.

Service: Our server was very nice but we did not see her that much and she only had 3 tables to wait on. As for the other servers they were bumping people and going threw people with out even an excuse me. They all looked mad to be there and it really wasn't crowded. The bartender was the same way when I asked for a beer and a water for my wife he seemed like he had better things to do.

Selection: They have 12 of their own beers but if you get a sample wheel you only get 6 but that is OK because the sample wheel is reasonably priced.

Food: Excellent, My wife's chicken and avocado sandwich was awesome and the fries are some of the best I ever had. What ever they put on those things is genius. My banger and mash were great. No complaints in the food department.

The price was great the two of us ate for 25 bucks. That was banger and mash her sandwich a pint and a beer sampler.

I want to go back and give them another shot maybe the service will be better.

Photo of hwwty4
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

On my last visit to Columbia, I decided to hit up one of my old haunts and drink a couple of pints at Columbia's old brewpub, Flat Branch. As you walk up, there is a huge patio that is just perfect for sitting outside on a nice summer day and enjoying some brews with some friends. If you decide to sit inside, to your left is a huge rectangular bar with tables all around and to your right is a smaller seating section that allows for you to escape all the hullabaloo going on at the bar. The atmosphere is great. Loud and a bit rowdy it you want, or just quite enough to have a dinner out with the family. The service is normally pretty good. Beers are refilled, food is prompt, and dishes cleared away but sometimes when it gets a bit crazy, you might have to wait.

The best thing about the Flat Branch is that they always have a huge selection of beers on tap. They normally have about 10 different brews with about 5 selections always on, 3 or 4 or so seasonal selection, and 1 hard cider that's always there. Also, if you want something different, they have hand drawn root beer and cream soda that are both pretty tasty. The last time I was there I had a Kristalweizen, a Dunkelweizen and their Oil Change Stout. All were very good, but the Dunkel was just a bit sweet for my liking. The food is always good. Try the bangers and mash or their Fish and Chips. Both are excellent, but really, out of the 100 or so times I've been there, I never have had a bad meal. The reason that it is always packed is that it really is pretty reasonable. Your not going to loose an arm and a leg like some brewpubs.

Flat Branch Pub & Brewery in Columbia, MO
91 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.