The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 32 | Show All Ratings:
2.88/5 rDev -26.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3.75 | $$
Ok, I know the Saucer is a great place but the last visit was disappointing. The World Beer Festival was in Columbia last weekend and as usual for the last 6 years three of us in the retail beer end of things attended and as usual the first stop Friday was the Saucer. Sat at the bar and perused the draught beer list. Great, several excellent beer appeared there. We ordered one, "sorry we are out of that one" order another, same answer. We went through 5 selections before we found an excellent beer but not a stellar "we done get this very often" selection. We asked why those several stellar beers weren't available and the answer was "well the World Beer Festival is inn town". This is Friday afternoon, not Saturday night. Someone planned very poorly in the ordering department. Next, in years past the Saucer has replacement kegs for a tap when the serving keg was empty. Maybe a different selection but at least a new offering. This year they just put golf club covers over the empty kegs and had fewer offerings. Finally, unlike last year when Sam Adams was raffling off tastes of Utopia and there were lots of brewers and brewery reps around the Saucer, this year there was very little going on.
Later that night we did find a couple of stellar beers and several brewery reps and brewers but the were all next door at the World of Beer.
We will be back next year and hope that the beer festival is as good as it was this year and that the Saucer is back to its previous outstanding self.
01-25-2014 22:56:33 | More by Kenyon
4.13/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Comfortable and non-crowded in the heart of Columbia's Vista. The inside, like the rest of Columbia is non-smoking. Unfortunately the patio attracts an appalling number of cigar smokers.
Over two-hundred beers and ciders on the menu at any one time... but you should have a back-up ready because it isn't uncommon for them to be out.
Some of the food is very good (the Nacho's, the pizza, the spicy beer cheese soup) and some of it is generic bar food.
For the past several years the waitresses have been attentive and consistently knowledgeable. There are supposedly places within a block or two with a better selection or with better food... but its hard to leave a place that feels like home.
Edit: Upped the service to 4.5. The two servers we've had since we first entered this have been much more knowledgeable and attentive.
10-18-2013 23:00:37 | More by Bernoulli
3.35/5 rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$$
Decent place that has improved in the last year or so. They have a large selection of brews, and decent rate of turnover. Plenty of local stuff, lots of Highland, Thomas Creek, RJ Rockers.
Food is decent if you know what to order. I recommend the brats. Burgers are good, and they make a darn good German-style potato salad.
My primary complaint about this place is the prices. This can be mitigated by going on a Monday night (half-price pints). They have other deals on other days of the week, including half-price local brews (i.e. the Carolinas) on Sundays. They also get occasional "rare" kegs, but you'll pay a premium for a pull of one of those...
10-04-2013 18:44:37 | More by alanforbeer
2.68/5 rDev -31.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2 | $$
I have been to Flying Saucer in Cola, SC three times. The service was comically slow. Waitresses were unfamiliar with the selections listed on a board as specials. *Stock*: many-many of the non-seasonal beers on the menu were out of stock. We ordered appetizers which took over one hour to arrive, despite the slow crowd (2-4p). Burger was overcooked. Other Flying Saucer locations I have visited were fine, this one seems to be an anomaly. The waitresses, decked out in the traditional (for this location) mini-skirts, seemed pretty spaced out and were not able to answer any of the most basic questions (about the beers) from others in our party. On the third visit, I brought some concerns to the manager, about the very slow or absent service, and the low stock. He seemed aloof, disinterested.
09-08-2012 11:58:05 | More by katahdin01
4.03/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
If you've been to one Flying Saucer you've been to them all, or at least you know what to expect. Lots of taps, usually deals on local beers, plaid skirts with knee-high socks, passable food. You can generally find something pretty special on tap (2009 Abbey St Bon Chien this time) and lots of very solid beers of many styles.
Convenient to downtown hotels, this was only a 2 block walk from the Hampton Inn. Columbia looks like a sleepy town to me, and although a World of Beer just opened (never stepped foot inside) Flying Saucer is an easy and reliable choice.
01-26-2012 13:08:04 | More by TurdFurgison
4.14/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Noticeably smaller than the Flying Saucer in Austin, TX. Otherwise, pretty much the exact same menu aside from a different selection of local/regional brews.
Not cheap. The constantly rotating "fire sales" on the chalkboard are your best bet for getting a good beer at a decent price.
While this place has a pretty big number of beers, my main beef with it is that any beer geek has probably had the vast majority of them. Their craft beer selection seems to come straight from the shelves of Albertsons or some low end beer store.
On the plus side, they did have a nice selection of Trappist beers. Pretty much one from each brewery except for Westvletern, obviously.
Worth going to if you're in the area and want some craft beer you've probably had before. Otherwise, your best shot at finding something new is just to hit up Green's beer store.
09-18-2011 17:40:04 | More by ZenAgnostic
4.2/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
The Flying Saucer is the only bar and eatery in Columbia, to my knowledge, that I feel comfortable going to drink at and handing out my hard earned cash. The vibes are solid, lots of stuffs on the wall and couches to sit and chill at. Good ambiance. Dart boards and arcade games are there for those who enjoy them. Long bar with dozens of tap choices. Large selection of bottles as well. Overall the pub-ish feeling bar has a good plethora of beer (if not the best in downtown Columbia). Flying Saucer's Beer Goddesses will make sure you are thoroughly lubricated and informed, they are required to take tests on the menu first and foremost, the beer. As the name implies the serving staff might be the best also, 2nd maybe to Hooter's. The bar staff is good, but some better than others. Holler at my man Judson, (usually wears a black "Weiss Ass" shirt)he is by far the most knowledgeable and just overall a cool guy. Show them love and rest assured you will see the love returned. As for food I have only messed with the Luxe Cheeseburgers (standard burger with gourmet cheeses ex: gruyere, cotswold, goat, etc.) and cheese fries, which are satisfying bar food. The Saucer gets my vote and I usually fly 1-2x a week. Maybe lower prices would make it the top destination. Only gripe I have here... more dark beers!!
08-01-2011 17:19:22 | More by Brewski4Drewski
4.15/5 rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Come through on Sun-Mon nights for good deals on local beer, and pint nite!
This place offers the card where you can achieve one revolution by trying 200 beers and getting a plate on the wall, then you can do it all again. This idea was bitten by a restaurant nearby. The concept is cool, keeps people coming back often, and makes for less of a Bar environment.
Lots of couches to sit, tables for friends, room at the bar.
Service is good, the girls know whats up with their beers because they must take tests, etc. The bartenders always look out.
Rare keg, buy the beer, get the glass, pint nite, usually up there 3z weekly. Enjoying the vibe.
Lots of pretty ladies, lots of TV screens for sports/events, and the suds are most definitely flowing.
They have a few decent eats as well!
07-17-2011 13:38:29 | More by gatorbreath
2.4/5 rDev -38.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 4 | $$$
We been going to the Columbia, SC Flying Saucer for 5 years. Just like the review below, a step above BMC but barely.
After several managers, the place has steadily declined from the best beer-bar in Columbia to a so-so joint. The first to go were high gravity pours and live bands. The selection of drafts has steadliy declined, almost the inverse of the best local beer shop Greens. Belgian pours avg more for a snifter than for a 750ml. Many craft and import pints are the priced the same way. The happy hour 22 oz tall glasses at pint cost are gone, replaced by -$1 on pints. The place is being ran into the ground and it's really sad. The Charlotte FS is much smaller, doesn't have as large an outdoor deck but has much more going on. Beer Advocate mag is full of unique places, Columbia used to have one.
Captain Keith - step in and save this place!
05-25-2011 20:31:31 | More by biermark
3.8/5 rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
It's the best place to grab a craft beer in Columbia, but that doesn't mean a whole lot. It is an awesome place to someone just getting into anything other than the BMC beers, but to people who drink beer as a hobby it is nothing too amazing. The atmosphere is really cool...they have bands occasionally and porch is great when the weather is warm. The prices are a little high and their beer on draft is never very impressive and mostly subject to local beer and anything you can pick up at a gas station.
03-31-2011 03:27:33 | More by southside
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Columbia, SC
88 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.