The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

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

98 Ratings
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: n/a
Taps: 65
Bottles: 190
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

328 W Morgan St
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27601-1369
United States
phone: (919) 821-7468

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @flyingsaucerral

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Place added by: yosh

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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 66
Reviews by LittleDon:
Photo of LittleDon
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great selection, clueless but attractive waitstaff, loud young professionals crowd.

Now that I've been to my third Saucer, I've seen the formula. Find a trendy spot in town to open a place with a dark interior and plenty of outdoor seats. Staff it with beautiful women under 25 who need know nothing about beer, food, or service. Use just about the same large beer selection found at every other location with a few locals thrown in for variety. Add some decent bar food.

You've got a winner.

This Saucer is similar to the other two I've been two. The main difference has been:
1) How much attention has been given to what's on tap beside the standard micros and,
2) How much the waitresses/bartenders know about beer
Some are better than other. Overall, it's formulaic. Novel at first, but tiresome after you've seen the show a few times.

My visit produced several mediocre local beers (all my doing as I tend to order what's made close by), served by a cute but clueless server (I'll give her points for trying, perhaps too hard, to be attentive). The food was surprisingly good and the prices were dirt cheap (Sheboygan Side-by-Side and six pints for under $30 + tip during happy hour). Deafeningly loud by the time I left despite it not being very crowded.

Would I go back? If I can find a place in Raleigh that scales back the quantity, focuses on quality, and gives a shit about beer more than what the servers look like (and I'm sure I can) absolutely not.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MIchael_D_Larkin
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Just about my favorite place in Raleigh. Occasionally the service can be slow (still very friendly but it gets very busy or the waitresses can sometimes be... herbally infused...). I stop by just about every time I go to Raleigh. The food menu has just recently been changed, I wish they would have expanded it more and left the original menu for the Hungry Farmer. Sit outside on the patio and enjoy a cigar. The most dog-friendly place I've seen in Raleigh so far.

Photo of jprivott
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

80 beers on tap is quite a thing to behold. I was enthused to see the nightly specials were local beers, and our bartender was prompt and attentive. Shared a light platter of meats/cheeses so I don't have much input on the food, although it looked tasty on the menu. I showed up on a weekday, and could imagine it getting quite packed on the weekends. There was also a nice patio for folks to sit or stand. Found the place by chance after pulling off the interstate, would bring a friend back, seems like a successful venture!

Photo of rw1992
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Interesting place to go to. It was quite busy, but we did go on a Saturday night. Loved the selection of beer and the overall atmosphere for the place. I would definitely go again due to my first experience there. However, I would go at a different time/day in order to receive better service (due only to the fact that they were packed).

Photo of HopintheSouth
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Great selection of good beer, gets very packed, especially on Monday (Pint Night). Worth trying out, good place to go after work for a cold beer. I spent my 21st birthday here on Pint Night and was welcomed to 'real beer' after drinking mass amounts of Coors Light and Natty Light.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

You walk in to see a long bar down one side, with open seating all in front of it, and a raised area with some sofas and chairs. Great vibe right off the bat. Of course, the walls and ceiling are decorated with their Member Saucers, and as you hang out, give some of them a read, because there are a few pretty funny ones. Our "Beer Goddess" was very friendly, although she seemed a bit frazzled on a very slow early afternoon, with many empty tables around. Great beer list, with a ton of local NC brews, as well as some other craft from all over the country. We only ate off the appetizer menu, but what we got was very tasty. I'm not sure how many taps there were, but it was a lot, and they are ever rotating. There is also a bottle menu, with some more rare bottles being available if you are willing to shell out for them. Their Saucer club is 200 beers, and they use a swipe-card system to help you keep track. When you finish, you get one of the aforementioned plaques on the wall/ceiling. Everything looked fresh, the place was very clean, and we had a really good time. I get the feeling this place packs people in on evenings and weekends, but we were there on a Friday afternoon and it was very chill. Can't wait to go back when we are in town again.

Photo of dirtylou
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

"The Saucer"

This was a much different joint when i was in school (c/o 2004) - it used to be about as smoky as anywhere on the planet, where any one of their bountiful taps would end up tasting like a camel light stub eventually. Thankfully, times have changed and you can actually breathe in this place now.

It's a chain - at least their patronage club is quirky and unique. The walls and clings are covered in plates/saucers that are fun to visually peruse.

I hate the beer list. Its difficult to read as taps and bottles aren't segregated and I'd be worried about how up to date it was. They had foothills Jade on tap, which was all i needed. Great beer, and a fun visit to a haunt of years past.

Photo of TheRougeBastard
4/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Great place to begin a night a brew tasting! Local breweries as well as some of the best BA rated examples filled their menu! We went on a Saturday night and while it was busy, service wasn't slow by any stretch! Didn't try the food, but some examples others close by ordered smelled and looked amazing! Ditto on the Patio on a nice night, it doesn't get much better!

Photo of tsing
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.75

Great place to go drink great beers in Raleigh. It is almost always busy, and they have something special going on every night. Rare Kegs, glass night, locals on special, etc...
I go here almost everytime I am in Raleigh.

Their Beer selection is great
The Food is average.
The Service is usually good, they do get busy often though.

They have a big patio that is in high demand when the weather is nice.

Photo of SteveMi
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

A - It's a bar but with a nice large bar area and plates everywhere honoring those who have made it through 200 different beers at least once.

Serv - The service has been good every time I've been there. The bartenders make a point to learn your name and help find drinks you'd be interested in.

Sel - Seriously? It's amazing!!

F - Better than average bar food but not by a whole lot. It's the normal dishes and a few salads. I ordered one of the salads last time I went and was surprised at how well it was presented (and good it tasted).

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.6/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This place is kind of downtown, sort of near NC State. Parking can suck if you have poor timing, as its mostly on the street. The draft selection is amazing. Im down with any place that has Bell's Two-Hearted. I went down to hear what everyone was talking about. I didnt get any food, just went down for the beer selection. The prices were fair (about what I would expect for the area). I do like the saucer club. Kind of shows you how much beer they really offer. Im guessing this place is the equivalent to The Winking Lizard in NE Ohio.

It was a small room, with a low ceiling. Kind of dingy, but appealing if that makes sense.

The service was helpful, and even gave me amazing directions over to the Big Boss Taproom.

Photo of BeerNoobNC
4.09/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The best thing about this place, in my opinion, is the atmosphere. They have a decent selection of taps, but they tend to stay mostly the same. If you're going to try something new, they probably don't have it on tap and if they do have it, it's probably something you could easily get in a bottle for a third of the price just down the road and Tasty Beverage or another store.

I usually go on Monday for $3 pint nights or Wednesday for Brewery night (where you keep the glasses from the brewery of choice for that night). They also have a "fire sale" every day (except Mondays) for a select beer for $3. The brewery night and the fire sales have prompted me to try several new good beers. The pint nights usually involve just drinking stuff I have had before, as the taps are quite limited (they only have about seven very common IPAs on tap, for example).

If you have a group of friends that you want to go drink some good beer with, and do not care about trying all new beers, I recommend going here on Mondays or Wednesdays. Wednesdays are more likely to bring new selection and you get a cool glass, but you will probably come away with a cheaper tab on Mondays (after fighting the crowd).

Photo of bikehorn
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The Saucer is definitely an interesting place. They offer tons of beers - but often are out of stock of the things I'd most like to try. They occasionally have events with some interesting/rare type stuff, but the place becomes a mad house and I'm just to cynical to elbow through that crap. The draw is always what they have (or don't have, as it may be) on tap. They also have a great selection of bottles, but I don't like to order bottles when I could get something on draught.

The food is German-style pub grub - you like sausage and you may like this place. Personally, I like things on the lighter side, and I know that I'm not necessarily going to be successful there. They did recently revamp their menu a bit, which has streamlined it and added a few options. My hope: that they perfect the items that they have on there.

And the service...if you go into the Saucer and want to find the right beer for your mood, don't rely on your server. Ask a friend instead. You could ask the bartender, and if she looks clueless, get a sample. I've had patchy service both at the bar and at inside/outside tables. I appreciate that the servers are young, marginally attractive and wearing short skirts, but if I am curious about a beer on the menu, I'd love to talk to someone who's been over the age of 21 for longer than 6 months and who has tasted some of the beers.

Overall, I like the Saucer, but it gets loud and rowdy even though it does appeal to a (somewhat) professional crowd.

Photo of wedge
3.3/5  rDev -22.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

The Flying Saucer is a local bar, 10 minutes from my door, with a long wall of some 50+ taps...and I hardly ever go there.

Dude, the beer selection is huge. Most of it I skip over. When I go out to drink, I like to try the current seasonals or other special beers floating around. Often, I'll stick to the locals or a select few classics. All the other taps are just fluff for me. There's a good selection of bottles too - but I buy bottles at the store, you know? I can drink them at home for much less. I come to bars for draught beer. Basically, I don't even look at the impressively large, multi-page, small type beer menu anymore. All I need is the chalkboard above the bar with the "recent landings" and there are other, better places that offer what I seek.

They do get rare kegs/casks, sought after seasonals and local one-offs, and seem to treat their "UFO members" well. It seems to cater to the college crowd though...big loud room, short skirts, some sort of phony attitude vibe, plates (sorry, saucers) lining the ceiling celebrating the personal achievement of drinking many different beers. I like the idea, getting people to break outside of their narrow beer universes...but those damn plates. The acoustics are terrible, so it's near impossible to hold a conversation on a busy night.

The food is pretty average bar grub, with everything feeling just a little bit more bad for you than it should. There's just nothing that's ever stuck out. I feel like my wife and I have been told they were out of a certain beer we ordered multiple times. Not sure if that's just coincidence, bad luck, or what, but we joke about it, so it's left an impression on us.

Service is really spotty. We've been ignored for too long several times at the bar and honeslty, I haven't met an outwardly friendly or remotely memorable bartender yet. Call me crazy, but I'm attracted to bars where the guy or girl behind the bar remembers your face or at least tries to interact with you in some way. We're not hard to please. Service at tables is fine, I guess.

I just don't really enjoy being there. I don't get the attraction.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

A nice big open space with tables and a few tvs over the bar. A big chalkboard lists the new/roatating stuff. Normally packed and pretty loud, not from music, but just chatter from everyone - again it's a pretty big place. Live music around the weekends. When I say packed, I mean it. Finding a place to sit can be frustrating sometimes.

Kegs are stored in a huge walk-in right behind the taps, so shorter tap lines that never taste "off" are nice. I've always had good tasting beer there. Beer is served in appropriate glassware. I don't drink bottled beer at bars, so I can't speak on that.

The girls (aka Beer Godesses) are nice on the eyes, and generally have decent beer knowledge...but damn if it doesn't take forever to get one of them at your table. Service at the bar is better. Those guys are on point. I really have to take some points away here though from the VERY slow service at the tables.

Selection - I had trouble rating this one. I mean shit, they have a TON of different beers. If you aren't a seasoned beer geek, this is absolutely the place to go. For those vets looking for a heavy stock of rotating/seasonal/new release stuff on tap, they aren't the best. However, they do have a good stock of new bottles. This could go 4.5 I guess...I am going to keep it at a 4 though.

The food is typical bar food. The cheese fries are good, but really, nothing too impressive by any stretch.

Photo of wchollif
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Dropped in for brunch this weekend and thought Flying Saucer Raleigh was deserving of my first beerfly review. The brunch buffet food was good, but not stellar. Pastry, egg burritos, sausage, fruit, and such. The price on the other hand, stellar! The food is free on Sunday if you're a member. The tap beer for my brunch included Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter and Founders Breakfast Stout (both around $6/each). The selection at FS Raleigh is exceptional, soon I'll make it to a Thursday cask night. Overall a great experience, great value, great start to a football Sunday!

Photo of slowbie
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This place is almost always packed when I go. Granted, I am a grad student, so I rarely go before 9 pm and usually go on weekends, but it usually seems to be pretty full and loud.

However, I guess I should be thankful for that, because even when I order an IPA that's more obscure, it always seems to be fresh, which is really impressive considering the number of taps they have.

The service is good. It's pretty clear that they hire their waitresses for their looks and not their beer knowledge, but they're very helpful when they can be and are obviously trained in beer knowledge at least a little bit.

This place has the best selection I've ever seen. It's one thing to have a lot of taps, but they fill most of them with really interesting stuff. All of their BMC options are in bottles and they have a rare beer night every Thursday.

They don't have a dinner menu, but their pretzels are really good after two beers.

A note about pricing: Most of their beers are very reasonable and their $3 pint night is about as good of a deal as you'll find on craft around here, but it seems like there's this arbitrary line where a beer suddenly jumps up in price. It's usually around $8 for a snifter of any imperial stout, but a couple (Brooklyn BCS, Bear Republic Big Bear) come in a pint glass for about $5. I'm aware that those are two cheaper RIS choices, but the $8 snifters usually aren't nearly twice as expensive outside of the bar.

Photo of beer2day
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

The Saucer in Raleigh is located smack dab between the two enterntainment districts in downtown. A short walk from either one and the area around it is growing.

Long bar area with many tables, couch seating up front, and picnic tables outside across from the bar. Don't forget to check out the back room, around the corner of the far end of the bar. If the place appears packed, there's usually room back there.

Service can vary wildly. Most of the table staff are not beer educated (though there are some notable exceptions). Most of the bar staff are well versed in what they sell, though there are notable exceptions there too (as I experienced on my most recent visit).

They are doing a much better job in the last few years of stocking local beers. They weren't doing a bad job before, but seem to be very interested now in promoting the local beer scene. If you want to try a variety of NC beers, then this is a good spot to hit.

Prices are ok, with some higher or lower depending on the beverage. Works out to about average.

Food is ... well, this is the Saucer. Eat before you get here.

Photo of bs870621345
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Just flew down to see my brother and hit this place up as soon as i landed in RDU. Monday is $3 pint night so not a bad deal at all.

Place was packed but after a few minutes we got stools and then a table when we were ready with other people. Felt right at home as a younger person.

A great bar from what I'm used to...lots of taps...lots of bottles. Definitely something for everyone.

The service was pretty good at the bar, not as much at the table. Bar-tenders were excellent.

Selection was fantastic, tried 9 new beers. Can't say anything else as this was a great thing for me.

Food was not so good. Standard bar food. Nothing special at all and sort of disappointing for me.

Overall a great place for a beer, lots of selection and good people.

Photo of jhall00
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

When you go here, know what to expect.
The saucer, and this goes for all of them in the chain, have a large beer selection, both on draught and bottled.
There is a little here for both worlds craft beer seekers and mainstream drinkers.
I applaud the beer clubs incentive to introduce the mainstream beer drinker to the rest of the world that we have discovered.
While visiting Raleigh, it is a distraction. That being said, if i lived down the street from one, I am not sure that I would visit often.
And the school girl outfits...well they are what they are. I, for one, am not a big fan, but not a big hater either.
On certain nights, the Raliegh saucer pushes local NC beer and on another night taps a special rotating keg, so there is some genuine interest in local craft brewed and specialty beers.
My bottom line is, if near any of the saucer locations, try one and see for yourself. There are much worse places to go.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

With all of the non smoking laws enacted around the country, I find it hard to accept restaurants and bars that still allow the smokers and non-smokers to be grouped together. I am all for smoking, but it would be nice to atleast have the two parties seperated so that those who dont smoke can breathe. I am used to most restaurants disallowing smoking and requiring them to go outside: I like that. So, this place remains one of the last bastions for smokers and is therefore one of the last places I like to patronize. I went on this occasion, and it will be my last, only to obtain "Das Boot" during the Warsteiner "Keep the glass" night.

The draft selection was pretty good. Founders Breakfast Stout and Celebration had just landed and they had Cold Mountain on draft as well. I was hoping the IPA selection would have been better but it was only marginal.

The service is always dodgy but on this night I was nearly sent into a fury. I arrived at 6pm for the sole purpose of purchasing the aforemetioned boot. They didnt start selling them until 7pm. The server was taking reservations for those that wanted the boot. Apparently, this was done during the two minutes I was in the restroom and my vote was not counted. When 7pm came around, I asked for the boot and she said they were sold out. I expressed my displeasure and told them I had been there over an hour and "I am getting my damn glass". Thankfully, the bar manager was a reasonable guy and I received my boot.

They do have an outdoor area but that is filled with smokers too, so for nonsmokers it is a lose-lose situation here. I will only return in case of an emergency.

Photo of apbarwood
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

As atmosphere goes, it was better than average. The decor is nice and it's fairly open so not too smoky. That being said, it was louder than I like my watering holes to be but there's a patio if you can find a table so it wasn't a total loss. The selection is the best I've found in the area. Pretty much everything available locally is at this bar and a ridiculous amount of stuff on tap. They lose points on quality for pouring my Weihenstephaner hefe in a regular pint glass. A place of this caliber should have more unique glassware. They pour Belgians in special glasses so why not hefe's, or any beer for that matter? Service was good, no complaints though the waitresses uber-mini skirts seem unnecessary and trashy but that's my taste. The cost is normal for what you get but I went on a Monday and all their drafts were 2.75 which was pretty sweet and they had some great beers on tap for an awesome price.

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

I moved to North Carolina last fall from Chicago and was worried about finding a great bier bar; well, my prayers have been answered in the form of the Flying Saucer. This place has a nice outdoor sitting area that is reminiscent of a German biergarten, nice waitresses, usually a happening crowd, many TVs, and a knowledgable clientele when it comes to bier.
This place has many, many biers. I would estimate there are over 150 in stock. Many countries are represented and they always serve it in the correct vessel.
In terms of food, they have some good German items-sheboygan bratwurst, pretzles, etc as well as your typical pub dishes.

Overall, I strongly recommend this place. One of the best, if not the best place, in the triangle to drink good bier.

Photo of JWD
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

WOW, where are these on the west coast???

This was a day trip from Fayetteville and i was just blown away by the great selection.

A- Great, hot girl servers, plenty of seating and an overall great beer bar.

Q- Food and beer were outstanding

S- the server look better than they work!!!This was a compliment as if they worked as good as they looked then i would have been blown away!!! Overall it was on par for a beer bar and i really have no issues as i was not in a rush.

S- I am sure this was about as good as it gets here, but hey i don't even have a place this good in Sacramento!! I would love a beer bar like this on the west coast!!

F- Outstanding, above average for a beer bar / brewery.. very impressed

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I can't believe I have never reviewed my local bar that I frequent most often.

Atmosphere:
Overall, the crowd is just about any and every type or person looking for a good beer.

Sundays: Brunch from 12-2 has the regulars there to enjoy a meal and get beers counted toward their plate. Dead mid-afternoon and even less of a crowd later. Usually the bartenders and waitresses not working are at the bar.

Mondays: Not too busy during the day. After 5:00 a mixed crowd on a normal night there for good beer and food. Later, it might get busier. And on certain late Mondays, crowded due to PINT NIGHT 2.75 for most all their pints.

Tuesday: Normal, picks up around 6:00 and stays busy till 10:00. This is typically a pretty busy night.

Wednesday: Glass nights are busy around 7:00 Buy the pint, keep the glass

Thursday: Tap nights can be busy or not. Not their busiest night. But, sometimes special events are nice.

Fridays: Late night crowd, not much else

Saturdays: Normal throughout the day. Busy late night crowd.

Overall, If you can get there early on a Monday you are good. Sundays for NC pint nights are good as well. If you wan to sit outside, their patio is nice as well.

Quality
The quality of beers is amazing. They have just about anything that anyone who drinks beer could want. High end stuff is served in proper glassware, everything else in pints.

Service
The servers know the basics of the beers and are very friendly. The bartenders know quite a bit more and will be willing to chat if it isn't busy.

Selection
Top-notch draft changing seasonally with 3-5 taps changing about once a week or so.

Food
The food I have has always been good. Typical bar food done well. Fresh-made pretzels are big crispy crust and soft dough inside made and cooked fresh. They have plenty of tasty appetizers to keep munch on with your beer--the rocket tots and chips and queso are good options. Their sandwiches are also tasty. Finally, if you are there with a friend or two splitting a plate of meats and cheeses is always great.

Value
Honestly, the value cannot be beat by any beer bar in Raleigh. They always have a fire sale beer for 2.75 if you don't care too much about what you are drinking. Sometimes they are really good though as I have had a Dale's Pale and Foothills Hoppium on fire sale.

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The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Raleigh, NC
94 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.