The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +19.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
As you can see from my avatar, I've patronized the saucer once or twice. It's not the best bar, but it's got the most beer, at least here in Columbia. Things have changed since these last reviews... the staff have to sample the beers, review them, and learn about styles now, and the menu is set up by style with prices right next to the selections. If you go, eat. the food is amazing. From my favourite chicken sandwich in the world (the kick-ass chicken) to an excellent spicy beer-cheese soup, to brats that make german bars jealous... the food is GOOD. Ok, so for the beer. We can't get beers over 6%ABV in South Carolina, at least not legally. (if you're here, and want to know where you can, then message me:-) With that taken into consideration, the flying saucer is the best place to go for beer. They do have a bunch of old standbys, but they try to keep beers from as many countries as possible. Don't go anywhere near any bar after a USC game. And don't go to the saucer to see the eighties cover bands that frequent it either... unless you want to stand in an aisle for 30 minutes just trying to mosh your way to the bathroom. We always sit on the patio, even in freezing temperatures, they drop these clear plastic sheets down over the windows and turn on a big heater... it's comfortable. Go on a Monday night, almost all drafts are $2.50. Oh, and the waitresses... you need to see for yourself. Hopefully I'll see you at the next table!
02-25-2007 17:24:10 | More by khiasmus
4.58/5 rDev +18%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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
4.35/5 rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
76 beers, 3 ciders, 1 root-beer
120 beers, 4 ciders, 4 non-alcholic brews.
I've been living in Columbia for at fifteen years now and am well pleased with the introduction of a Flying Saucer to Columbia.
The variety of options is quite good, with many unexpected brews available on-tap. This allows a nice "what shall I try today?" experience.
With an outside, under-cover seating area, the spring/fall/winter drinking experiences tend to add a more friendly "communal" environment. However "summers in South Carolina" pretty much leave this area a sauna.
With a 23oz glass option for any beer during the "happy hour" time period, the value of drinking a beer you enjoy is almost doubled. However, if you are in a "searching" mode, you may be "stuck" with more than you want, of something you don't like.
I have "mixed feelings" regarding the food, and I find that the only weekness of this Flying Saucer. While the "beer food" is very good, the sandwiches are a bit of a disappointment. On two occasions I tried their sandwiches (the "pastrami reuben-esque" the first time and the "Turkey Meltdown" the second) and were not overly impressed. The "beer food" selections are very good, and compliment the variety of brews present. Specifically the Chips and Queso goes well with the brown ales available (there's even a bowl of salsa that comes with it) and also the "Big Soft Pretzels" add a more "Germanic" feel to outdoor dining.
I must comment on the waitresses, and digress to a purely "male-perspective" for the moment. The added value of a girl wearing a short plaid skirt and a rather "form-fitting" top emblazoned with "beer-goddess" serving you adds a bit more "spice" to a drinking establishment.
10-15-2005 21:06:35 | More by Nesued
4.28/5 rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
The Flying Saucer in Columbia is a very nice place. It has a large covered patio as you enter and the exterior is pretty easy to spot due to the flaming gas torches. It is about 1/2 a block off Gervais street.
The interior is cavernous in size. The tables are large and the ceilings are very high. Even though the table next door was smoking, the smell did not permeate my clothes.
The service was pretty good, could have been slightly better, but nothing to complain about. The selection was huge for Columbia, SC. Lots of great choices, all within their legal limit.
Beers were served for the price on the menu in 23 ounce glasses for some reason. You would think that would be a plus, but only being able to drink two beers before you have to call it a night and head out was a little dissapointing. Much better IMO are the standard 16 ounce pints you find elsewhere.
The food was very good, but the size of the portion was very small for the amount paid.
The Flying Saucer gets high marks all around. I'll definitely stop back in when in Columbia.
12-07-2003 17:40:05 | More by GCBrewingCo
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
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
4.22/5 rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
This is part of a chain, but well worth checking out nonetheless. If in Columbia, be sure to swing by. The beer selection was really good, especially considering the rather limited availability of good beers in South Carolina (thanks to 'the cap') -- though I was disappointed that they did not have Paulaner Oktoberfest available.
I was very impressed with the atmosphere - very cool. The service was slightly slow, but helpful and informed. Oh, and despite some of the horndog comments in previous posts, this is NOT a Hooters type experience, thankfully.
The food, well, ours was quite greasy. Over all, definitely a cool place. Now, if only SC would lift the cap...
11-28-2005 01:17:35 | More by kingjames1
4.2/5 rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
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
4.2/5 rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Visited Flying Saucer a couple of times last summer when visiting SC with my fiancee, and when we move to Columbia next year, it will definately be a regular haunt.
With an extensive range of British ales, including the magnificent Fraoch, Fuller's London Pride and the sublime Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Flying Saucer has everything for the ale drinker.
I particularly enjoyed the sample trays which introduced me to the delights of American beer - which has a poor press in Europe due to ignorance.
I only ever got superb service, though I wonder how much of that was due to the fact I am Scottish and have an "accent".
Even so, this is a great pub.
06-18-2008 10:32:00 | More by velkyal
4.2/5 rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Columbia, SC
88 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.