The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev -0.8%
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 +4.4%
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 +7%
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 -7.3%
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
4.2/5 rDev +8.8%
Visited Flying Saucer a couple of times last summer when visiting SC with my fiancee, and when we move to Columbia next year, it will definately be a regular haunt.
With an extensive range of British ales, including the magnificent Fraoch, Fuller's London Pride and the sublime Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Flying Saucer has everything for the ale drinker.
I particularly enjoyed the sample trays which introduced me to the delights of American beer - which has a poor press in Europe due to ignorance.
I only ever got superb service, though I wonder how much of that was due to the fact I am Scottish and have an "accent".
Even so, this is a great pub.
06-18-2008 10:32:00 | More by velkyal
4.15/5 rDev +7.5%
Probably my most often visited beer joint in Columbia. They have a great selection with tons of beer on draft and in bottles. They have a fire-sell beer every day offered at $2.75. I've seen things like Sierra Nevada Celebration, Bigfoot, and Kasteel Brune for fire sell. They have Carolina pint night on Sunday (anything brewed in SC or NC priced at $2.75) and a regular pint night on Monday where almost everything on tap is $2.75. On Wednesday night they have glass night where you keep the glass to a specific beer.
I'd probably best describe the food at saucer as average. Some things are better than others. I've never had anything I would call bad there. Their burgers are pretty good.
Service is usually fine but I've had a few really slow waitresses. Service does get a plus since they wear nice "beer goddess" uniforms.
They also sell glasses leftover from glass nights for $2. I picked up a nice Corsendonk tulip and North Coast snifter this way.
04-22-2008 01:07:08 | More by hellomcfly
4.58/5 rDev +18.7%
Oh my goodness!! 200 differnt beers in one place is enought to make you have a serious beergasm! They had pint night on monday, and firesales on great stuff tuesday and wednesday...I wish i lived in columbia..i could get used to this place. The bar help were very knowledgeable and the service was great. I will definately be dropping in again.
They have a nice menu of food, nightly specials...and they have a firesale each night with whatever it is on sale for 2.75 a pint...can't beat that. They have a beerknurd terminal where you can keep up with what you have tried. Glassware for sale, tshirts...girls in miniskirts waiting tables...yes a college boys dream...too bad i am past 40...
For the beerhog ...this is nirvanna....no much more you could ask for. They have a lot of odd beers too and supposedly rotate things...so you might find something new. But at a count of 200+...it will take a while to get through them all.
03-17-2008 04:30:40 | More by harpo111
4.2/5 rDev +8.8%
Atmosphere- I was frequenting this place quite a bit on my last stay in Columbia. I have to say that I really love this bar. It is fun, very beer orientated, great music on the weekends and there are plenty of fun themed nights. I love glass night on Wednesday.
Quality & Quantity- They about 200 beers on their changing menu over if you include the beer mixed drinks. Also everything is always fresh.
Selection- Is great. There are lots of different imports and micros from all over the country. They have plenty of samplers called saucers that have a wide variety of beer or you can create your own this is perfect for some one who gets on this site.
Service- Is usually great and most of the waitresses are cute to hot. I had bad service one time and I had not seen the waitress since. She was super rude and did not know anything about beer and slow. Like I said I did not ever see her after that night. Blair is great and seems to know her crap.
Food- I eat here a lot and I have no complaints. The turkey sandwich is great.
Value- A little pricey but all the bars in the Vista are.
02-05-2008 13:10:32 | More by MTNboy
4.63/5 rDev +19.9%
As you can see from my avatar, I've patronized the saucer once or twice. It's not the best bar, but it's got the most beer, at least here in Columbia. Things have changed since these last reviews... the staff have to sample the beers, review them, and learn about styles now, and the menu is set up by style with prices right next to the selections. If you go, eat. the food is amazing. From my favourite chicken sandwich in the world (the kick-ass chicken) to an excellent spicy beer-cheese soup, to brats that make german bars jealous... the food is GOOD. Ok, so for the beer. We can't get beers over 6%ABV in South Carolina, at least not legally. (if you're here, and want to know where you can, then message me:-) With that taken into consideration, the flying saucer is the best place to go for beer. They do have a bunch of old standbys, but they try to keep beers from as many countries as possible. Don't go anywhere near any bar after a USC game. And don't go to the saucer to see the eighties cover bands that frequent it either... unless you want to stand in an aisle for 30 minutes just trying to mosh your way to the bathroom. We always sit on the patio, even in freezing temperatures, they drop these clear plastic sheets down over the windows and turn on a big heater... it's comfortable. Go on a Monday night, almost all drafts are $2.50. Oh, and the waitresses... you need to see for yourself. Hopefully I'll see you at the next table!
02-25-2007 17:24:10 | More by khiasmus
3.6/5 rDev -6.7%
Just a block or two from the brewpub I just left, easy enough to find. I'm expecting to find this Flying Saucer to be similar in concept yet different in selection from the location I've visited in Houston, although hopefully the range of beer is a constant. What with the "space ship crashing into the building" motif from yesterday's pizza adventure in Asheville, and a place called the Flying Saucer today, I have to wonder if there's a preoccupation with UFO's in the South. Assuming the worst, I will have to refrain from having more than 2 beers here and be on my guard as not to become a victim of alien abduction again...
Big open room with high, high ceilings. An "L'ish" stainless steel topped bar to one side seats 15, looking over some 81 taps alternating on 2 rows (upper, lower, upper, lower, upper) on the pennyback panel wall running the length of the bar. 90+ bottles displayed from end to end above the dark wood bar back unit, lined with spruce & white strung lighting, and spaced stockings & Xmas ball ornaments. "Just landed" bottles & taps board located centrally above, with smaller longer boards to both sides listing wines & daily specials. Wines displayed up there, and a sign reading "Amateurs request frosted mugs" as well. Phil's golf game (complete) and a pair of dart boards in a nook wrapped around the corner of the bar. Flatscreens mounted in all the corners, and decorative plates of all sizes, shapes and patterns covering the walls and ceiling. Angled trim above holds numbered name plates with cutesy quotes or one liners of people who've completed the mug club quota. The walls wood slat lowers with painted yellow uppers, large checkerboard floors in light/dark blue, drop glass star lamps and lighting on ceiling fans. 2 dozen booths & tables throughout the room and a some couches & easy chairs, plus a few more in the elevated areas to the rear separated off by railings with end pillars holding potted plants, and nearly a dozen and a half picnic tables in an outdoorish plastic tent wall seating area along the entranceway beyond.
They've got a 3 page beer menu, differentiating first draught from bottled, then secondarily by pale, amber & dark, and then by country. The list here is dated for Fall 2006, so done seasonally, I cannot expect it to hold any great accuracy which would explain the "just landed" board above the bar. The beer menu shows roughly half the taps as being American micros, with a dozen and a half of them local/regional (Charleston, Palmetto, Thomas Creek, Duck Rabbit, Highland, Carolina, Terrapin, RJ Rockers), and then elsewhere (Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Flying Dog, Sam Adams, Harpoon, Abita, Red Hook, Shipyard). The rest of the tap list is made up of mostly standard and blah imports and some macros, ciders and a root beer.
The bottled list is also heaviest on the American micros, with a decent collection of Germans and English, and then the obligatory beers of the world (There once was a Lager from Lima...), macros, maltos, ciders and N/A's. They offer a variety of flights ("The Carolinas", "UK & Ireland", "USA", "Germany", etc), and beer mixers, if that's your thing (in which case, please go sit over there by yourself). Also, there's a pricing key on the cover of the menu with symbols that you need a secret decoder ring to decipher. I spun the (rigged) wheel in my head and it landed on the Highland Oatmeal Porter.
Beer was fresh, just a chore getting it because the service gods were frowning on me. And, it's dankish here. Okay, here's the thing. It's Saturday, early afternoon, the place is dead empty and smells like, well, it just doesn't smell very good here and I'm a garbageman with no nose. Doesn't anyone else smell that? Not cool. Good beer here, but overall, it just wasn't...
02-16-2007 20:05:35 | More by slander
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Columbia, SC
87 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.