The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
the flying saucer delivers as soon as you walk in the door and see the long bar with a huge variety of taps behind it. they have a very large draft selection. you can even order "beer tours" where they will give you a tray of samples so you can try several beers in a visit. the food there is good and the female servers dress in schoolgirl uniforms... which is just an added perk. the saucer also will have live music from time to time which makes for a fun expierence. its one of the better beer bars in columbia if you aim to get a taste of several different beers in one sitting.
02-15-2011 15:23:38 | More by mattkoon
4.25/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The beer quality and selection are excellent, including of regional beers. Also, the menu changes, with new beers added regularly. The food is good with the beer, and includes hummus, smoked salmon and a good selection of cheeses and meats. The physical space is big and relatively open, so the atmosphere is good but not exceptional. The bar and the booths are the best. It is also nice to sit on the deck. Like other Flying Saucers I've visited, the service is mixed, since they hire young women who seem to have uneven beer knowledge and interest - some know a lot and care and some don't.
07-30-2010 02:24:13 | More by mmonagh1
4.05/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I've been to 3 Flying Saucers and I would rank this one as the second best I've been to (after Memphis before Charlotte).
This place is big and I have never had a hard time finding a place to sit. Granted I've never arrived late at night on any of their busier nights. They have several TV's and a huge projector they use for special sporting events. There is no smoking inside so that is a definite plus, however you can smoke at the tables outside so when my dad comes to town I can still take him.
The service is pretty good. Sometimes you can get a bad waitress but most tend to be pretty good. They aren't as knowledgeable as your average BA but they aren't clueless when it comes to beer.
The selection is great. They have an extensive draft list and a lot of other things in bottles. They carry a lot of beers brewed in the Carolinas (and even have those on special on Sundays, my favorite day to go). They even had 3 different vintages of Sexual Chocolate when I went a few Sundays ago. Only the newest was on special but $2.75 SC was a great deal.
The food is solid. If I wanted to go out to eat somewhere nice I wouldn't go here but if I wanted to go out and have some beers and have a decent meal then I would. The big dipper is a great sandwich. Also the hot German potato salad is delicious. Cheese fries are also pretty solid. They also have a decent selection of vegetarian options and even some vegan ones.
Overall this is one of the better places in Columbia to drink beer. It doesn't wow you but it is a good place to go and I visit this place regularly. Luckily for my wallet it is on the other side of the city so I'm not in there all the time!
03-07-2010 14:54:50 | More by jpmclaug
3.6/5 rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
visited on 28 Nov 09:
Stopped by the Flying Saucer after dinner while in town visiting a friend for Thanksgiving. After stopping at a couple of disappointing bars down in the Five Points area earlier in the weekend, I was looking forward to Columbia's premier beer bar. It wasn't as good as I expected, though.
Granted, it was on a Saturday after a big USC game, but the bar was not overly crowded -- there were more than a few empty tables. Service was still slow; I had polished off my pint (a German hefe poured into normal US pint glass) well before our waitress returned to see how we were doing. She also took a bit to come back and tell one of us that the Tripel Karmeliet ordered was not available, recommending a Tres Pistoles instead... So, in addition to an at-best average experience and an overall vibe that just didn't work for me, but my major gripe was that their vast number of taps were taken up with what for me are a lot of stand-bys or US pale ales. In other words, most of the beers I would like to have on tap were available only in bottles because the pale ales, etc. were eating the tap slots.
That said, this place is head and shoulders above the other bars we stopped at in town. So, while I was disappointed, I'd still head there if I was in the area and wanted some brews on tap.
11-30-2009 03:53:47 | More by ocmpoma
4.25/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
This Flying Saucer is similar to the others I've been to. They have a huge bar with about 70 taps, tables for eating and the couches, living room chairs, and coffee tables for just kicking back at. Mondays are $2.75 draft night, as long as it's not "high gravity" which seemed to be about 7ish% or above. There is a pretty good selection of regional beers including; Sweetwater, Terrapin, Highland, Foothills, and Thomas Creek. All the drafts I had were fresh and seemed well cared for.
The food menu is a bit more limited than the beer menu. The double brat sandwich was good, but I'd steer clear of the beer cheese soup. It was way spicier than I would expect and there was only about 4 oz. of it in the small bread bowl it's served in.
Since Columbia is a college town, most of the waitresses looked very nice in their uniforms. Both of the servers we had on our visits there last week seemed knowledable about the beers and were very attentive to our needs. When back in Columbia we'll definately visit again.
04-19-2009 20:18:08 | More by Fireboy
3.88/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The Flying Saucer is definitely a college bar. Just walk in the Columbia location, and you'll see what I mean. Lots of cute girls & frat guys. They also have a sort of hall of fame where they list the names of people who have had 200+ varieties of beer there.
Quality is good. I had a Victory Moonglow in the bottle, and it was very fresh. The taps lines seemed clean as well. The service was a bit lacking. Inattentive, and a little on the flakey side with comments like, you know that's a bottled beer, right?
Selection is excellent--Avery, Victory, Highland, Carolina as well as lots of German & English beers. Then again, anything is better than Louisiana. The food's pretty good too. There's the typical bar stuff--hamburgers, pizza, and sandwiches. There are also cheese pairing boards.
Overall, a pretty decent experience.
03-17-2009 03:24:11 | More by theghost3
3.83/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2 | $$$
Atmosphere is pretty good. The location in the Vista makes for a pretty nice mix of people, always a welcome change from the overall belligerent attitude of the Five Points crowd. Pint Night on Monday is obviously a different story, as can be expected when pints of delicious beer are a mere $2.75.
I think the selection of beers is outstanding, particularly for South Carolina. I like being able to line up Victory Prima Pils, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Allagash White, Bear Republic Red Rocket, and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. It's all the names you're familiar with from being a BA. The pre-selected flights and build your own flights are also great ways to try something new without having to worry about being stuck with a pint of something you don't enjoy.
Service isn't great, but it's also not poor. Yeah, the girls wear skanky outfits. It's nice, but it doesn't make up for them being slow. On Pint Nite, I can understand it. On the plus side, the waitresses I've had have all been pretty knowledgeable. I don't care if they're just mentioning stuff the guy at the last table ordered, at least they're being helpful.
I don't care for the food here at all. If I'm eating at Saucer, it's going to be appetizers. The giant pretzels are a personal favorite.
Pint Nite is a great value. The firesale special is a great value as well. If it's not on special, I'm unfortunately not ordering it. I'm giving it 3 dollar signs. I was torn between 2 and 3, then I remembered what you pay for the food.
01-22-2009 14:42:17 | More by Gyle41386
4.03/5 rDev +3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
The atmosphere has been pretty good the times I've been there, but can get a bit swollen with USC Law douchebags and people spouting off about high gravity beers without knowing anything more than the ABV of the brew they're seeking.
Good quality selection, and the service leaves little to be desired. The food is pretty pedestrian. My only complaint about the selection is that it seems that they focused on having a set list of all the important beers a quality beer bar would have, but without the inventiveness and dynamism that are present in some of the ever shifting, seasonal-aware venues that I prefer. I might also like more domestic microbrews, but that's a trifling complaint.
01-06-2009 19:02:50 | More by HeyItsChili
4.13/5 rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is great to try and find new favorite beers. I have been frequenting this bar for several years, but only recently joined their beer club. I could have finished the list twice by now. But the food is pretty good, they have lunch specials every day and they have a lunch card that gets you a free meal every 7, not bad. When I go, it's pretty much to drink great tasting beer, have fun with friends, and gawk at the beer goddesses. What else you need in life? This place is definitely one of my favorites to hit when I do get a night out. See ya there!
10-21-2008 20:10:52 | More by felipesegundo
3.58/5 rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
Ok, so I make my first trip down to Columbia in a good long while and since I am actually staying for a couple days, I make it my mission to check out a few places along the way. First up had to be the saucer, as I have heard a ton about this place. Walk in during the panthers game and the place was seriously pretty dead for what I would think it would be. No matter I cozy up to the bar, and this is where i will differ with most. I was a bit underwhelmed with the tap list I have to admit. Most everything was fairly common. Those of you who know me, know that if I hit up an Andygator, it was relatively common. Still over two hundred beers with alot of focus on imports, and almost complete lineups from Abita, Highland, Thomas Creek, North Coast and Great Divide. Food was rather bland, with the burge just being plain average. Service was good though, but seriously I asked for seasonals and everything was Summerfest?
Overall this was a bit dissapointing for me. I was used to Barleys and Thirsty Monk, Brick Store, and really good beer bars, and I think they are a little to Mainstream Craft Scene if that is even a term, Anyway Not bad and if this is the best Columbia has, then its ok.
09-07-2008 23:39:38 | More by mikesgroove
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Columbia, SC
88 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.