The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

BA SCORE
93
outstanding

140 Ratings
The Flying Saucer Draught EmporiumThe Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

705 Main St
Houston, Texas, 77002-3313
United States

(713) 228-7468 | map
beerknurd.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by Xadoor

PLACE STATS
Score:
93
Ratings:
140
Reviews:
72
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
5.26%
 
 
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Ratings: 140 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ah, yes... The Saucer. Conveniently located 4 blocks from where I was doing training in Houston for 2 weeks, this was the "well worth it walk after work" (say that 5 times fast). Big open room, with a high ceiling that displays plates and saucers of all types and shapes and along the top of the walls are the "UFO Club" saucers with people's names on them (like mug club trophies, after so many beers they put your name on a saucer and post it on the wall). They have a long bar with stools, a middle island counter with stools on both sides, tables and a few couches in the corners for chillin'. Nice and comfortable.
They've got about 80 beers and ciders on tap and another 100+ in bottle. Some good stuff on tap (Arrogant Bastard, some Anchors and Sierras (including the Bigfoot) a handful of Rogues, as well a good selection of German & English, and a few Belgians to boot) and then some not so good stuff on tap (8 unimpresive Texas beers, so-so micros and a bunch of macros). The bottled menu has more in the way of macros but also has a much better German, English and Belgian selection. I spotted a 22 ounce RedHook Double Black Stout above the bar but sadly it was only a display piece and they weren't giving it up.
The food selection is small, just a handful of sandwiches and wraps, hot pretzels and the like, nothing too impressive overall.
And then there's the waitstaff... amazing eye candy, just beautiful girls and the uniforms are a "beer goddess" t shirt, with a plaid schoolgirl skirt and knee high socks (Meeeeeeeeeoooooooooowwwwwww!!!!!!!) And when asked to recommend a wheat beer to my non-regular-beer-drinker coworker, she said, "Well, we have the Pyramid Hefe-Weizen and the Paulaner, too, but my favorite is the Aventinus" (I'm in love!!!!).
Most certainly the best bar in the "downtown area" of Houston.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Located on the corner of Main and Capitol Streets, the entry and outdoor seating were both on Main. Entering, there was a vestibule oriented to the corner, but the interior ran parallel to Main Street. A stairwell to the second floor "Pub of Love" began just inside the door, along Capitol. The long, aluminum-topped, "L"-shaped bar began just to the right of the stairwell. The back bar consisted of a wall of pennies under acrylic laminate out of which the bank of 84 taps ran. Two coolers full of about 135 bottles divided the run of taps. A long, high, dark wood bar with high chairs on either side separated the bar area from the restaurant area. The restaurant area fronted the Main Street window and consisted of standard restaurant tables and chairs. The lavs were down a short pathway right of the English-style dart boards. To the left of the dartboards, down a pathway, were the Men's on the left, a row of booth seating, and the kitchen.

Standard Saucer d├ęcor, but hats off to Yellow/Gold # 26, Rod Reese of Ephrata, PA! Way to represent, homeboy!

The Mutt' n' Jeff team running around. The tall one was a blonde and her diminutive partner in serving was an Asian-American. Ha!

Mom test: Are you effin' kidding me?!? She's a 70's era feminist who still uses "MS". I would be in for an earful of sexism, the Male Gaze, VVSW, ad nauseum. Look, I didn't tell the dollies to dress like Catholic schoolgirls, but I'm not dead, either. I'm going to look (not ogle), I keep my paws to myself, and I tip handsomely. For this, I'm supposed to apologize, feel guilty, genuflect? Sorry, kids, but I'm a retired USN sailor. I was involved in some things that would cause my mom to gouge her eyes out and cut off her ears. This is pretty tame.

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Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

A number of taps may have been on longer than optimal.

54 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Flying Saucer is located right on Main St in downtown Houston. There is lots of metered street parking and a couple garages nearby, and it is right on the trolley route as well. The building is attached to some apartments and has a nice look.

The inside of the bar is spacious, with high ceilings. Lots of wood everywhere. The eye is immediately drawn to the wall of taps behind the bar on the left. The number is almost staggering. There is seating in the middle and along the right side, The space then wraps around the corner, so this place is really a lot bigger than it looks when you first walk in. I noticed people going up stairs as well but I did not check out that area. After the taps, the saucers with everyone's name and catchphrase who have completed the 200-beer tour are the next attraction.

As evidenced by the wall of taps, the number of beers here is impressive. There are at least 75 different draughts from the US and all over the world. Local/regional selections like Live Oak, Real Ale, St. Arnold are alongside Avery, DFH, Rogue, Stone etc. International selections are available as well, with special attention given to Belgium (Affligem, Hennepin, Grotten Cave etc). As for bottles, there are over 150 with mostly the same brewers represented. Flying Saucer has several different "flights" of beers available for sample, divided by geographic location. However, patrons have the option to "build your own flight" by selecting any 5 beers for $10.

Service here is spotty. We were there on an early Monday evening and the place was surprisingly crowded, most likely due to $2.50 pint night. The server did a fair job with refills and food but she was hard to track down occasionally. Points for knowing what style of beer Skinny Dip was without having to check though.

Food here is also hit or miss. The spinach artichoke dip was pretty good, and my wrap was decent. My colleages had mixed reviews of their sandwiches though.

All in all this will definitely be a regular stop for me on my visits to Houston, if anything for the expansive draught selection of Texas beers.

 2,110 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I did my research on Beer Advocate and decided to make this my evening focus during a quick business trip to Houston. Ironically after a year in the Raleigh Durham area, I still haven't made it to the Raleigh location.

I really enjoyed this place. Without question, it's all about the beer. The beer selection is outstanding and the atmosphere is unique. As if this place isn't good enough, Monday is $2.50 pint night. It doesn't include the Belgian's but it covers just about everything else (including Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA).

I started with a Bear Republic Big Beer Black Stout. It was spectacular. A nice strong Imperial stout with great balance, a thick foamy head and a consistency deserving of a knife and fork.

I also tried the Beer Republic Racer 5 (good but not great), Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale (very good) and Victory Prima Pils (a regular favorite of mine).

I love the Houston Flying Saucer. I hope the Raleigh location is similar.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Located in downtown Houston, very easy to get to from the Metro. This has the same winning formula as the other Flying Saucers I've been to, an easy choice for dinner in any city that has the franchise. There were maybe 60+ taps, just about every major style of beer available in some form from draft. One cask, serving Avery IPA when I was there. The bottle list is even more extensive but I usually am happy to get fresh draft beer when there's so much to choose from. Long bar with many seats, and enough tables to make seating for probably 100+ people. The food is mediocre in my opinion, actually I haven't liked much but the beer and atmosphere at any of the saucers (but those 2 attributes are reason enough to go there).

 728 characters

Photo of Redrover
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I was back in Houston this week (1/30/06) and of course ended up at the Saucer. I thought the service at the bar was very good.

The bar was louder and more raucous then I remember and that is a good thing. Great mix of people. I sat between a group of bicycle messengers ( the kamikazes of the business world ) and a group of buttoned down business men. Both groups were having fun.

I wish there was no smoking, but it is what it is. The pizza was also a bit of a disappointment. I should have went with the Brats!


*** Original ***
This was the best bar I have been to in Houston. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, they know their beer!! The decor is nice and the customers seem pretty cool. The beer selection is simply awesome. I'm not sure how they can keep everything fresh and rotated. They also have good specials and often give away glasses. I'm looking forward to my next trip back. This is a great bar!

p.s. I also like going to their outlet in Fort Worth, which is another great Texas beer bar

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Dicers
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of greenspointexas
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of mynie
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Right downtown, near that weird monorail funicular thing that they have in lieu of actual public transport. Kinda neat, really, and it sums up Houston quite well: a city that provides minimal infrastructure for the majority of its citizens also has a really convenient, futuristic semi-train thing that services only those who live or work in the city's most expensive area.

So the vibe of this joint is kind of that of its neighborhood, i.e. solidly white collar and upper class. You don't get any of the annoying bits associated with a shitkicker or bro bar, but you also have to deal with listening to rich people speak.

The building is old. Its ceilings are high and the interior is spacious is woody. Old beer swag and mug club completion trophies line the wall (which are just the saddest goddamn things; why don't you mug clubbers simply review 2000+ beers, like Real Men?).

The vibe is pleasantly quiet: no loud music, even fairly late at night, and while there are sports that play TV the volume is on low enough that you can easily carry on a conversation even if you're sitting right beneath a TV.

The bartenders and wait staff were friendly and fast, knowledgeable about the beer selection without seeming pretentious or condescending. I cannot vouch for the quality of the selection, since I don't really know of any other south texas joints to compare it it, but the breadth was excellent: about 30 taps, all good to great, and then another 50 or so bottles.

Draught selection was a great combination of local brews (Arnolds, Live Oak, Karbach, Brash), nationally available craft brands, and good European imports. Nothing struck me as particularly rare--even during their rare beer tapping on Thursday--but it was all good.

Pours ranged from 5-7. Same with the bottles, aside from some obvious exceptions like Cascade.

Overall, the best place to stop for a beer in downtown Houston.

 1,917 characters

Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

This place is very large. Several TV's, it is always crowded and loud. Usually hard to find a seat. A long bar with a huge tap wall. There is an area upstairs that is usually reserved for parties. The Saucer sometimes lets BA have a tasting upstairs. The service can be spotty. Though the waitresses are well informed about what they have. Correct glassware and temps. The selection is great. Lots of local Texas beers, many US micros, and good Imports. The selection is always rotating. Probably the best selection in town. The food is nothing special at all. Some pizzas, brats, pretzels. Most of the food is just appetizers, and bland pub grub. Overall this is a place to find some good beers in downtown Houston.

The selection is so damn impressive that it is worth putting up with the other downfalls (spotty service especially when at a table, always crowded, and crazy chaos). Though I still enjoy coming here on occasion. The mangers do an excellent job as well. It probably has a better selection than Gingerman, but I think the atmosphere and service is much lower here.

 1,082 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Sludgeman
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

A good atmosphere, has a big main room. Some don't like the big open bright bars and might prefer something more intimate. There are some booths in the back, but its all about the front room.

I was there on trivia night, which was fun to play. Make sure you bring some friends. You'll need help.

Huge selection of beer. I like the option to get a taster flight of any six beers on tap. A busy place, but the bartenders could be a little more engaging.

Did not try the food.

I visit Houston on a regular basis and will be back.

 531 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of bulldogg915
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Todd
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Gobzilla
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Found this joint in 2008 while in texas when my budy got us tickets to the latin grammy's at the toyota center.The place was jumpin with people having a good time. As soon as I walked in I couldn't help but notice all the plaques that covered the walls and ciellings. When I asked what they where about I was told that people were honored by the pub depending on how many beers were tried under the flying saucers roof. So the people that had tasted over 150 beers were awared a plaque that carried thier name and was placed on the wall to commemerate their achievement. I thought that was so cool and would have had one back home if they had this program back at my favorite pub. The food was OK but the beer selection was great. They carried the local brews, us craft, and some begian imports that made my week while I chilled out in texas. Overall would definitely come back if I ever make it back to houston. I had an awesome time there.

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Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.14/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

If I lived anywhere near downtown Houston, this is the place where I'd hang out. It's shaped like a backwards L. You're in the bar area as you enter, with tables in the middle and on the right, and a long bar on the left. The blackboard behind the bar lists the newly arrived beers, on tap and in bottles. Saucers decorate the walls and ceiling. Go to the end of the room and turn left, and you will find booths along the mirrored walls. Several TVs complete the picture.
Many, many different styles of beer. I counted more than 60 beers on tap, and over 100 in bottles. The drafts were pretty much all in the $4 to $5 range. The most expensive bottle was $16 (for a 750ml bottle). There were also seven beer flights, as well as a build your own flight. I had a couple glasses of Victory's Prima Pils. They were out of North Coast's pilsner.
The food was typical pub food, with brats being the feature food. We had brats con queso. Very good.
Service was attentive and prompt.
Had a great time.

 994 characters

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

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The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Houston, TX
4.18 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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