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Flat Branch Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Flat Branch Pub & BreweryFlat Branch Pub & Brewery
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.66%
Active Beers: 98
Beer Ratings: 284
Beer Avg: 3.51
Taps: 12
Bottles: 0
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
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.01/5  rDev -25.5%

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.

Erdinger2003, May 28, 2013
Photo of qcbrewer
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

qcbrewer, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of Northsider
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

Northsider, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this place until now. I've lived in the Columbia area since 2000 and have visited Flat Branch many times.

The atmosphere isn't much different from any other brewpub I've ever been to. Flat Branch doesn't have a bunch of beer memorabilia but it looks like a classic brewpub. Nice flat screens near the bar area playing sports programming.

Service is very good. In fact, on my most recent visit I was having a couple brews at the bar and the bartender brought me a Stout free of charge because a patron made a last minute change in their order. Nice...never waste good beer!

The selection is good because they usually have 10 to 12 beers on tap but not so good because they lack variety (ie. most are low gravity and lightly hopped). Their 8 regular beers are always available. Usually they have 2-4 seasonal brews on tap. On this day they just had 2, because their weizens were gone.

Most importantly the beers are good. I've never had a bad beer here. I've never really have an average beer at Flat Branch either. The Oil Change Stout and the Katy Trail PA are their two most well-known and popular brews and possibly two of their best regulars. The Katy Trail can often be found on tap at other local establishments.

Food is always good, too. The appetizers are very good.

Overall, I'd say I really like the Flat Branch. I don't think I am a biased local, either. I grew up in Kansas and visited many quality brewpubs in Colorado, too. It's worth a stop on a trip through Missouri.

zeff80, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of bunny3
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%

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.

bunny3, May 04, 2011
Photo of jcompton
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%

I stopped by on a trip to Kansas City on a business trip. Was served a sampler that included the extra special bitter, katy pale ale, oil change oatmeal stout, great pumpkin ale, special bitter, and green chili beer. The ESB was pumped from the cask, and was an above average cask ale. All of these choices were good. I recommend trying the green chili beer, as this type of beer is not often found at other breweries. It had a unique pepper aroma with a spicy finish.

I had the "chokes and cheese" for lunch. The chokes and cheese is a cheese and artichoke dip in a bread bowl served with broccoli, carrots, and celery. I was pleased.

I recommend this brewpub to anyone visiting Columbia. And like I said, at least get a sample of the green chili beer.

jcompton, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of karst
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%

Very nice atmosphere can get crouded bar limits eating area Crowed and busy on weekends. At 3 pm July 1st we had no wait. If there is a croud in town for a MU event expect a crowd. Limited off street parking.

The food is a little pricey. Fish and chips were good. Fresh bread baked on site. Bangers and mash are are house speciality. A well maintained web site will give you a great list of the food and beer. Flat Branch's beers especially Oil Change Stout are well brewed. A chalkboard by the bar lists the day's selection.

Worth a visit for the beer selection of about a dozen ales. A 5 ounce sample serving is available for a dollar. An 18 oz. pour goes for $3.50. I found most were rated average and very typical of the styles. Weather permiting a fenced outdoor beer garden is available. The service is average as is their beer knowledge,


Service is reasonably efficient and prompt.

karst, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of given2flybrewing
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

given2flybrewing, May 05, 2011
Photo of stephensinner
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

stephensinner, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of evilcatfish
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

evilcatfish, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of maxpower
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

The Flat Branch Brewery is a solid brewpub to visit, they have a great selection of decent brews, usaully around a dozen. There is a good sized bar and plenty of seating in the restaurant, and in the warmer months they open the outdoor beer garden. The service is average as is their beer knowledge, the food is regular pub fare that is always good, they even have an in-house bakery. Also have a good single malt and bourbon selection. If you are passing through the area stop by you won't be disappointed.

maxpower, Jan 12, 2003
Photo of hopstradamus
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

hopstradamus, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of Redrover
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

Redrover, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of beergoot
3.84/5  rDev -5%

My wife and I made a return visit to the brew pub in late May. We were seated immediately in a nice, shady spot in their outdoor patio area. The waitress quickly came and took our drink orders and gave us plenty of time to peruse the menu before ordering.

Food and beer were both great and tasty. My wife got a huge salad (a half-portion would have been better since we couldn't take left overs with us) and I opted for their chicken wings and a Cajun sausage and pasta special, again with very generous portions.

The beer selection was large and extensive as far as styles go. I tried their green chili beer and brown ale, both refreshing and quite tasty.

Excellent atmosphere, service, and food and beverage offerings. Highly recommended.

beergoot, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of Reneejane
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

I've been to Flatbranch 2 times in the last 6 months. I actually went to Columbia the second time because of Flatbranch! The food is spectacular, but do expect to pay more for that. I enjoyed an appetizer of pretzels (have them the german way: ask for butter to spread on them). I had a steak the first time, and it was great. But the second time I had the baby back ribs. Fantastic! The bbq sauce has beer in it and you can kind of taste it. But they are fabulous. We really enjoyed the beer selection, you get a lot of options, and order samples of the ones you want to try. I wasn't that impressed by the pre-set sampler variety they had. Try to go at an "off time." We went in July (it's a college town) and we had no wait. We went again in October (but really one of those baseball teams was playing...) and it was crowded.

Reneejane, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.88/5  rDev -4%

Only brewpub currently operating in Columbia, MO.

Flatbranch almost always has 12 of their beers on tap. Katy Trail Pale Ale, Oil Change Oatmeal Stout, Honey Wheat, Brown Ale, Green Chili, and British India Pale Ale are there everyday. The other six beers vary, at one time or another they've made just about every style of beer from pumpkin beers to bourbon barrel aged stouts to strawberry lagers to a steam style rye. They sell kegs, growlers, and offer a daily happy hour. The beer is good, some times great. Beer knowledge among the wait staff varies greatly.

The food is reasonably priced and they have a large menu. They offer many items for vegetarians if you are so inclined. Flat branch also bakes their own bread and they brew rootbeer and cream soda.

They have a nice beer garden if you want to grab a beer and a pizza outside. The bar is one of the largest in town.
If you're in Columbia and you like beer, you have to stop at Flat Branch.

BradLikesBrew, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of MOShepp
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

Nice atmospher in a college town, big bar with plenty of seating.

Good beer with plenty of their own on tap. I have been there a couple of times and would recommend getting a growler to take home and enjoy. I have done this before when having a small party, good way to keep your friends happy.

Service is pretty good and everyone knows their beer and are good at giving you an idea of what to expect. They pour small samples (for a price)if your not sure what you want.

Food is average to pretty good.

MOShepp, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of MTNboy
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

MTNboy, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -1%

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.

glid02, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of 86sportster883
4/5  rDev -1%

Middle America's all Caucasian Brewpub

The Flat Branch Brewpub is housed in a 1920's era brick warehouse, with a curved, barrel-trussed roof and, was once a Studebaker dealership. It is a large, cavernous place with a big black granite topped bar, ample seating, and many sizeable windows allowing in plenty of light. A fenced in patio area provides outdoor seating as well, but it was way too cold to attract any customers today.

On tap they offered a Stout, Green Chili, Honey Wheat Brown, British IPA, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Scottish Ale, Red Wheat, and an American Pale. On hand pump they offered an ESB and Irish Red.

I started with the Irish Red ($2.75 for a 10 oz pour) which had a strong malt nose and complex malt flavor. This was followed a sampler of six, 5 oz pours ($5.50) that included the following beers (no substitutes although you can purchase individual samples for a $1.25):

Green Chili - Smells like green chili and is probably the first pepper flavored beer (in this case Anaheim and Serrano peppers) that I would consider drinkable.

Honey Wheat -primarily a chick beer with mildly sweet and definitely wheat-based aromas with a clean wheat finish.

Brown - Went great with the BBQ ribs I ordered for dinner.
British - Good
Katy Trail Pale - Good

Stout - silky smooth, great black malt nose, bitter chocolate and alcohol blend nicely to give this beer a distinct taste.

On a Wednesday, at 5pm, the brewpub had a decent sized crowd dispersed throughout. The music appeared to fade in and out, but never got any louder than the lazy, late afternoon atmosphere warranted. Between 5:30 and 7:00 the place filled up nicely, yet didn't feel too crowded. The four good sized flat screens surrounding the bar were all tuned to NCAA ball games. The clientele ranged in age from college kids to your Grandmother, and, maybe this is a Middle America thing, but almost every one there (except for one or two Asian guys) was about as White as you can get.

I finished the evening with A 10 oz serving of the IPA. This was an interesting beer that nicely balances Clementine-like sweetness against hop bitterness to achieve a pleasantly semi-dry finish. Different, but good.

The Flat Branch is a pretty nice brewpub with good food, good beers and character. If you're crossing Missouri on route 70, this would be a good choice for a stop.

86sportster883, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of UMph420
4/5  rDev -1%

UMph420, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -1%

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.

Dogbrick, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev -1%

jaminjohnson, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of RedBaron
4/5  rDev -1%

A nice brewpub in the middle of a huge Midwest college campus that I visited on Labor Day, 2007.

Atmosphere: A lively dinner crowd congregated here on my visit. Ample seating available in both the bar area (a very large bar, for sure), as well as the back dining area, where me and my sister's family ate.
Quality: Pretty decent beers served up at Flat Branch, and possibly the best beers I had of the three brewpubs I visited on my recent road trip through Missouri. In particular, their roasty Irish stout was a dead-ringer for the old bottled Guinness we used to get in America of a decade ago (dryish, but with a distinct sourness that was outstanding and unique). Other very good beers included their wheat and English IPA (right on the money for the style; hoppy, for sure, but in a reserved English way).
Service: We had a good waitress, and although she was responsible for several tables, she tactfully made her way back to our table to check on us from time to time.
Selection: Great beer selection. I tried the six-beer sampler, and I lament the fact that I didn't try at least one of their two cask-conditioned, hand-pumped ales (the English IPA was one of them). I only found out about these as we were exiting the pub. Doh!
Food: Pretty good pub grub. We (me, my sister, my brother-in-law, and one nephew) each had different appetizers, and we were satisified with the quality. I had the caprese salad appetizer, and it was wonderful.

Flat Branch has definitely carved out a nice little respectable niche for itself in the Mizzou-crazy Columbia. They make some damn fine beers, serve good food in a lively and comfortable setting, and it's small wonder they've been around for over a decade now. Kudos and continued success to those folks!

RedBaron, Sep 11, 2007
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Flat Branch Pub & Brewery in Columbia, MO
90 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.