Flat Branch Pub & Brewery

Flat Branch Pub & BreweryFlat Branch Pub & Brewery
Liked Their Beers
3.54 w/ 337 ratings
Flat Branch Pub & BreweryFlat Branch Pub & Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

115 S 5th St
Columbia, Missouri, 65201-4230
United States

(573) 499-0400 | map

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Added by maxpower

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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of whiterascal
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

AMAZING! I thought that the food was spectacular. I had the soft pretzel appetizer while sitting at the bar waiting for a table, delish. For dinner, I had the veggie burger and it was also very tasty. It was crowded and there was a wait, but that was the perfect opportunity to sit at the bar and enjoy a couple pints. The bartenders were fast and attentive. The Green Chili beer is to die for. It had a little hotness, but not too much. They had quite a few beers on tap to choose from, but after I started drinking that I couldn't stop. I would recommend this to anyone that drives through or near Columbia, MO. Fabulous place.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: A really nice balance between traditional "local" restaurant and a brew-pub. It's casual with lots of raw brick and exposed ceilings, etc, but it definitely has a bit of class as well.

Quality: The beer is kinda all over the board. Their brown ale is quite nice, rich, malty, sweet, well balanced, etc. Their ESB is pretty tasty as well, and it's nice as it's served from the cask (at least so I was told, I haven't sat up by the bar any of the 3 times I've been there), their Vienna Lager is also quite nice. The other beers are so-so, nothing special, but fairly tasty nonetheless, and fresh and local, which is always a plus.

Service: The service is absolutely fantastic. The wait staff is quite professional, knows all about the beers that they have on tap at any given time, etc, and regularly double-check with you to make sure you're enjoying your meal/beer.

Selection: They usually have a pretty good selection of beers on tap, around ten or so, plus Strongbow cider (apparently it's a big thing here in town).

Food: Ok, don't get me wrong, it's not 3 star Michelin, but it's DAMN good for pub grub, and deft. a step above the norm. Last time there, I had a shepherd's pie that was to die for, and my fiancee had an amazing carrot/ginger soup. Good simple food, good fresh flavors, top notch.

Value: Flat Branch is a pretty good value as well; a great option is a mix-a-six sampler (30 oz. of beer total, six 5oz servings) for six dollars. This is really nice to split with someone (you can customize it to try any of the beers on tap at the moment) or have one yourself and see how the different flavors play with different foods. It's not cheap strictly speaking, but specials like Happy Hour 20oz drafts for $3.00 help out immensely.

Conclusion: Decent-Good local beer, plus great service, great food, and a nice atmosphere makes Flat Branch worth a stop if you're cruising through Columbia.

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Photo of skrib09
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

i originally wanted to review this place because of the beer but i decided the food could use a little attention. first let me have a quick note about the brews.

i love their chili beer. it's really well done. it has good balance with the pepper note. if you love spices, hot peppers, or spicy food in general, you will dig this.

the service is always great. all of the servers know everything about the beers and are quick to answer questions about the food on the menu.

speaking of food, let me get to the point of this post. for a pub and brewery, flat branch does their food very well. they incorporate their beer into their dishes, such as the chili beer battered chicken tenders which are excellent.

the entres are nice and well priced. huge burgers. good quality fish. etc.

great place in columbia.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Flat Branch is located in Columbia which is pretty much halfway between KC and STL. The brewpub is not too far off I-70 on Columbia. There is a small private lot and metered street parking all around.

The exterior of the building is brick and they offer a view into where the pizzas are being made from the street. The inside boasts several flags with the University of Missouri colors. The bar is to the left of the entrance, with restaurant seating to the right. The brewing tanks are viewable behind glass in the middle area. There is a chalkboard in the bar listing all the beers on tap.

Flat Branch has 12 beers available and they can be sampled in groups of 6 for $6 per flight. The beers range from the ordinary like APA, IPA and Irish Red to more interesting selections like a Chili beer and Baltic Porter. The beers above average for the most part.

Service on a weekday dinnertime was pretty good at the bar. The bartender was familiar with their beers and helpful in explaining my samplers.

I did not try any food on this visit.

Overall Flat branch was a great way to break up a long drive between Kansas City and St. Louis. I would definitely recommend a stop to anyone passing by.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Alright went back a bunch of times since my first review. I can't help it. Their food is amazing. The beers got better and they rotate well. As far as service. I have had good service in there twice after countless visits.

This place would have got an overall excellent rating from me if it had not been for the staff and honestly I thought the beers were pretty watered down.

Atmosphere: It was very nice. The redone warehouse look on the inside with the high ceilings makes it feel more spacious than it is. The patio was clean and well kept. We were there the day after Halloween so there were pumpkins everywhere but they were well organized and gave it a nice fall feel.

Quality: It is a nice place. Like I said before I thought all the beers were pretty watered down except the Great Pumpkin. Even the Oil Change was watery.

Service: Our server was very nice but we did not see her that much and she only had 3 tables to wait on. As for the other servers they were bumping people and going threw people with out even an excuse me. They all looked mad to be there and it really wasn't crowded. The bartender was the same way when I asked for a beer and a water for my wife he seemed like he had better things to do.

Selection: They have 12 of their own beers but if you get a sample wheel you only get 6 but that is OK because the sample wheel is reasonably priced.

Food: Excellent, My wife's chicken and avocado sandwich was awesome and the fries are some of the best I ever had. What ever they put on those things is genius. My banger and mash were great. No complaints in the food department.

The price was great the two of us ate for 25 bucks. That was banger and mash her sandwich a pint and a beer sampler.

I want to go back and give them another shot maybe the service will be better.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

On my last visit to Columbia, I decided to hit up one of my old haunts and drink a couple of pints at Columbia's old brewpub, Flat Branch. As you walk up, there is a huge patio that is just perfect for sitting outside on a nice summer day and enjoying some brews with some friends. If you decide to sit inside, to your left is a huge rectangular bar with tables all around and to your right is a smaller seating section that allows for you to escape all the hullabaloo going on at the bar. The atmosphere is great. Loud and a bit rowdy it you want, or just quite enough to have a dinner out with the family. The service is normally pretty good. Beers are refilled, food is prompt, and dishes cleared away but sometimes when it gets a bit crazy, you might have to wait.

The best thing about the Flat Branch is that they always have a huge selection of beers on tap. They normally have about 10 different brews with about 5 selections always on, 3 or 4 or so seasonal selection, and 1 hard cider that's always there. Also, if you want something different, they have hand drawn root beer and cream soda that are both pretty tasty. The last time I was there I had a Kristalweizen, a Dunkelweizen and their Oil Change Stout. All were very good, but the Dunkel was just a bit sweet for my liking. The food is always good. Try the bangers and mash or their Fish and Chips. Both are excellent, but really, out of the 100 or so times I've been there, I never have had a bad meal. The reason that it is always packed is that it really is pretty reasonable. Your not going to loose an arm and a leg like some brewpubs.

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Photo of Dusty278
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

By far, Flat Branch is my favorite place to eat, have a beer, have a beer drinking session, or watch a game.

First off, their beers are delicious. If you are driving through Columbia Missouri, stop by and have a beer and if you don't have time, buy a growler and bring it with you. If you have time to stop in, it's a great time and the food is wonderful (Try the Shepard's pie, you'll thank me). If you are feeling like desert, they make a wonderful float out of their stout (Oil Change). Katie Trail Pale Ale and Oil Change Stout are their top beers that most people get but they are all good.

Sit outside, at the bar or in a booth, just make sure to change which beer you get each time. And you can get a sampler of either 6 or 8 beers at a time for not too much. BUT one thing is, if you try the green chili beer, I would suggest you do it in the sampler first to see if you like it.

The one downside is how crowded it can get. But everyone there is drinking good beer and it's always a good time.

Oh yea, and only go if you do indeed like good beer because they only serve what they make there, no bud and no coors for you who drink it.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Very pleasant looking, newish, even my wife liked it. Big place, lots of area, we had a group of 20 and this was the best place we had dinner in Columbia by far.

First, at the bar we had a taster, great value, 6 beers of 5oz each, for less than $8. Really nice offerings, did like the spicy green chili beer, very well done and worth a try, good for food, the stout was loved by alll, I enjoyed the mibock, and most of all the Irish Red on Cask, creamy, smooth the a slight sweet finish, wanted more but a pint was great.

Food was way better than regular bar food, my neighbor had 2 big sausages with pasta, mine a meatloaf sandwich, nice sweet potato fries. All well done. Nifty waitress.

Bar service was exceptional. We asked for margaritas for the kids (no alco), she whipped them up, and said it was the first time, so she charge us a buck a piece, wow!!We will be back

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Photo of curiamagna
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Every year, I drive 800 miles round trip to eat and drink at Flat Branch. Their baby back ribs are the best I have had anywhere (I travel a lot and love ribs - no other establishment has come close in five years). Their pretzels are also very good.

They always have a good selection of beers that are consistently very good. The service is usually very good, even when they are busy (I visited once during a Cardinals' World Series game and had only a short wait). My one suggestion is that they bottle some of their beer or improve their growlers. Often, a growler is flat 24 hours later when I get home. The growlers are also clear glass - brown would be better. These issues are minor. Anyone passing through central Missouri should stop and give Flat Branch a try.

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Photo of BSnead4n6
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to Flat Branch for a few years now. The atmosphere is usually good. Can be crowded on weekends, but it has a nice big bar, plenty of table space and a nice patio in front.

The beer itself is usually very good. They have a few brews that are almost always on the menu (one/two pale ales, good stout, hefe, etc) plus seasonals. They have a six beer sampler if you want to try a few at a time. I feel like I always leave very satisfied with my beers whether I get my usual IPA or try something new.

The food menu is varied and usually very tasty. Good options and deals for lunch, dinner, or late night-happy hour food.

Service is usually fine, but servers are sometimes stretched a little thin when it's busy. Never had any problems.

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Photo of MOShepp
3.95/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Nice atmospher in a college town, big bar with plenty of seating.

Good beer with plenty of their own on tap. I have been there a couple of times and would recommend getting a growler to take home and enjoy. I have done this before when having a small party, good way to keep your friends happy.

Service is pretty good and everyone knows their beer and are good at giving you an idea of what to expect. They pour small samples (for a price)if your not sure what you want.

Food is average to pretty good.

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Photo of jcompton
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped by on a trip to Kansas City on a business trip. Was served a sampler that included the extra special bitter, katy pale ale, oil change oatmeal stout, great pumpkin ale, special bitter, and green chili beer. The ESB was pumped from the cask, and was an above average cask ale. All of these choices were good. I recommend trying the green chili beer, as this type of beer is not often found at other breweries. It had a unique pepper aroma with a spicy finish.

I had the "chokes and cheese" for lunch. The chokes and cheese is a cheese and artichoke dip in a bread bowl served with broccoli, carrots, and celery. I was pleased.

I recommend this brewpub to anyone visiting Columbia. And like I said, at least get a sample of the green chili beer.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Only brewpub currently operating in Columbia, MO.

Flatbranch almost always has 12 of their beers on tap. Katy Trail Pale Ale, Oil Change Oatmeal Stout, Honey Wheat, Brown Ale, Green Chili, and British India Pale Ale are there everyday. The other six beers vary, at one time or another they've made just about every style of beer from pumpkin beers to bourbon barrel aged stouts to strawberry lagers to a steam style rye. They sell kegs, growlers, and offer a daily happy hour. The beer is good, some times great. Beer knowledge among the wait staff varies greatly.

The food is reasonably priced and they have a large menu. They offer many items for vegetarians if you are so inclined. Flat branch also bakes their own bread and they brew rootbeer and cream soda.

They have a nice beer garden if you want to grab a beer and a pizza outside. The bar is one of the largest in town.
If you're in Columbia and you like beer, you have to stop at Flat Branch.

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Photo of RedBaron
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A nice brewpub in the middle of a huge Midwest college campus that I visited on Labor Day, 2007.

Atmosphere: A lively dinner crowd congregated here on my visit. Ample seating available in both the bar area (a very large bar, for sure), as well as the back dining area, where me and my sister's family ate.
Quality: Pretty decent beers served up at Flat Branch, and possibly the best beers I had of the three brewpubs I visited on my recent road trip through Missouri. In particular, their roasty Irish stout was a dead-ringer for the old bottled Guinness we used to get in America of a decade ago (dryish, but with a distinct sourness that was outstanding and unique). Other very good beers included their wheat and English IPA (right on the money for the style; hoppy, for sure, but in a reserved English way).
Service: We had a good waitress, and although she was responsible for several tables, she tactfully made her way back to our table to check on us from time to time.
Selection: Great beer selection. I tried the six-beer sampler, and I lament the fact that I didn't try at least one of their two cask-conditioned, hand-pumped ales (the English IPA was one of them). I only found out about these as we were exiting the pub. Doh!
Food: Pretty good pub grub. We (me, my sister, my brother-in-law, and one nephew) each had different appetizers, and we were satisified with the quality. I had the caprese salad appetizer, and it was wonderful.

Flat Branch has definitely carved out a nice little respectable niche for itself in the Mizzou-crazy Columbia. They make some damn fine beers, serve good food in a lively and comfortable setting, and it's small wonder they've been around for over a decade now. Kudos and continued success to those folks!

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Photo of zeff80
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Edit: The beer quality keeps slipping. Most are average. Many are below average.

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this place until now. I've lived in the Columbia area since 2000 and have visited Flat Branch many times.

The atmosphere isn't much different from any other brewpub I've ever been to. Flat Branch doesn't have a bunch of beer memorabilia but it looks like a classic brewpub. Nice flat screens near the bar area playing sports programming.

Service is very good. In fact, on my most recent visit I was having a couple brews at the bar and the bartender brought me a Stout free of charge because a patron made a last minute change in their order. Nice...never waste good beer!

The selection is good because they usually have 10 to 12 beers on tap but not so good because they lack variety (ie. most are low gravity and lightly hopped). Their 8 regular beers are always available. Usually they have 2-4 seasonal brews on tap. On this day they just had 2, because their weizens were gone.

Most importantly the beers are good. I've never had a bad beer here. I've never really have an average beer at Flat Branch either. The Oil Change Stout and the Katy Trail PA are their two most well-known and popular brews and possibly two of their best regulars. The Katy Trail can often be found on tap at other local establishments.

Food is always good, too. The appetizers are very good.

Overall, I'd say I really like the Flat Branch. I don't think I am a biased local, either. I grew up in Kansas and visited many quality brewpubs in Colorado, too. It's worth a stop on a trip through Missouri.

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Photo of 86sportster883
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Middle America's all Caucasian Brewpub

The Flat Branch Brewpub is housed in a 1920's era brick warehouse, with a curved, barrel-trussed roof and, was once a Studebaker dealership. It is a large, cavernous place with a big black granite topped bar, ample seating, and many sizeable windows allowing in plenty of light. A fenced in patio area provides outdoor seating as well, but it was way too cold to attract any customers today.

On tap they offered a Stout, Green Chili, Honey Wheat Brown, British IPA, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Scottish Ale, Red Wheat, and an American Pale. On hand pump they offered an ESB and Irish Red.

I started with the Irish Red ($2.75 for a 10 oz pour) which had a strong malt nose and complex malt flavor. This was followed a sampler of six, 5 oz pours ($5.50) that included the following beers (no substitutes although you can purchase individual samples for a $1.25):

Green Chili - Smells like green chili and is probably the first pepper flavored beer (in this case Anaheim and Serrano peppers) that I would consider drinkable.

Honey Wheat -primarily a chick beer with mildly sweet and definitely wheat-based aromas with a clean wheat finish.

Brown - Went great with the BBQ ribs I ordered for dinner.
British - Good
Katy Trail Pale - Good

Stout - silky smooth, great black malt nose, bitter chocolate and alcohol blend nicely to give this beer a distinct taste.

On a Wednesday, at 5pm, the brewpub had a decent sized crowd dispersed throughout. The music appeared to fade in and out, but never got any louder than the lazy, late afternoon atmosphere warranted. Between 5:30 and 7:00 the place filled up nicely, yet didn't feel too crowded. The four good sized flat screens surrounding the bar were all tuned to NCAA ball games. The clientele ranged in age from college kids to your Grandmother, and, maybe this is a Middle America thing, but almost every one there (except for one or two Asian guys) was about as White as you can get.

I finished the evening with A 10 oz serving of the IPA. This was an interesting beer that nicely balances Clementine-like sweetness against hop bitterness to achieve a pleasantly semi-dry finish. Different, but good.

The Flat Branch is a pretty nice brewpub with good food, good beers and character. If you're crossing Missouri on route 70, this would be a good choice for a stop.

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Photo of Bang34
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One of the first places I visited when I moved to Columbia 2 years ago.

The layout is large and open with what they claim is the largest bar in Columbia. It is a huge square bar with a couple banks of taps, two casks and a nice selection of single malt whiskeys. It is very industrial with tall brick walls and big steel rafters. They also have a beer garden or rather an outdoor patio with some potted palnts, which is open when the weather is nice.

The only beer they have is brewed in house, but they always have a nice selection of about 13 beers, a couple of them being rotating seasonals.

Their standards such as the RSB, Oatmeal Stout, Hefeweizen, Pale and such are all at least mediocre offerings with some that are actually quite good representations of the given style.

They also are not afraid to experiment with their seasonals, offering more traditional beers such as a Vienna Lager, Barleywine and Imperial stout, all of which are quite good and branching out to include a pumpkin ale around Thanksgiving which tastes a lot like a pumpkin pie stuffed in a pint glass.

The food is excellent with regular pub grub such as burgers and sandwiches, but also a nice selection of brick oven pizzas.

I went here about once a week for a while when a professor of mine used to treat the entire class to the first round after class to "continue the discussion" in an informal setting.

They also offer growlers, refills are $6 on mondays and $8 every other day.

This is Columbia's original brewpub and is also a smoke free bar which is hard to come by in this part of the country.

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Photo of karst
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very nice atmosphere can get crouded bar limits eating area Crowed and busy on weekends. At 3 pm July 1st we had no wait. If there is a croud in town for a MU event expect a crowd. Limited off street parking.

The food is a little pricey. Fish and chips were good. Fresh bread baked on site. Bangers and mash are are house speciality. A well maintained web site will give you a great list of the food and beer. Flat Branch's beers especially Oil Change Stout are well brewed. A chalkboard by the bar lists the day's selection.

Worth a visit for the beer selection of about a dozen ales. A 5 ounce sample serving is available for a dollar. An 18 oz. pour goes for $3.50. I found most were rated average and very typical of the styles. Weather permiting a fenced outdoor beer garden is available. The service is average as is their beer knowledge,

Service is reasonably efficient and prompt.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I used to go to Flat Branch quite a bit when I lived in Columbia.

Very nice atmosphere, exposed wooden ceiling, lots of brick, industrial venilation system. Could use more seating. Massive centrally located bar seems to rob the place of eating area, and add an element of chaos with foot traffic through dining room. Long waits on weekends. Bad tv placement, I remember watching a basketball game here sitting at the bar, head turned at an angle and having an aching neck, but who judges brewpubs on tv location?

Great food, cooked with their beer. Bangers and mash are pretty all right. Beer bread served with honey butter is great. Strip steak is okay.

Flat Branch's beers range from peculiar to tasty. Their ESB is a little too sweet, with not enough hops for an ESB IMO. Oil Change Stout is a nice one, very drinkable IPA and porter.

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Photo of Reneejane
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I've been to Flatbranch 2 times in the last 6 months. I actually went to Columbia the second time because of Flatbranch! The food is spectacular, but do expect to pay more for that. I enjoyed an appetizer of pretzels (have them the german way: ask for butter to spread on them). I had a steak the first time, and it was great. But the second time I had the baby back ribs. Fantastic! The bbq sauce has beer in it and you can kind of taste it. But they are fabulous. We really enjoyed the beer selection, you get a lot of options, and order samples of the ones you want to try. I wasn't that impressed by the pre-set sampler variety they had. Try to go at an "off time." We went in July (it's a college town) and we had no wait. We went again in October (but really one of those baseball teams was playing...) and it was crowded.

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Photo of Juggernaut
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Flat branch is a great place to go to whether your out for a nice dinner family dinner, or looking for a place to hang with the guys (or girls).

There is plenty of seating at table or the bar, with a nice selection of excellent brews. The service is great and the people are always quick and cheerful.

The food is spectacular, though a little expensive. Though the great lad back relaxing atmosphere and good beer make up for that. It is a popular place and you should expect a wait especially during peak times.

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Photo of maxpower
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Flat Branch Brewery is a solid brewpub to visit, they have a great selection of decent brews, usaully around a dozen. There is a good sized bar and plenty of seating in the restaurant, and in the warmer months they open the outdoor beer garden. The service is average as is their beer knowledge, the food is regular pub fare that is always good, they even have an in-house bakery. Also have a good single malt and bourbon selection. If you are passing through the area stop by you won't be disappointed.

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Flat Branch Pub & Brewery in Columbia, MO
Brewery rating: 38.3% out of 100 with 337 ratings
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