Blog of an aspiring foodie

Reconsidering the Flying Saucer

Posted by beer_chris on 16-December-2009

A few months ago I participated in a discussion attempting to name the most overrated places in Houston as a part of a rather infamous ‘Eating … Our Words’ post over at the Houston Press,

My comment included a statement about the Flying Saucer beer bar in downtown Houston – that it was easily the most overrated place to have a beer in town, and that I could think of 12 places I would rather have a pint than the Saucer. That led to this blog post.

Conincidentally, the very next  weekend I stopped by the Saucer just to try it again. It had been some years since my last visit, but I had a nice time. The staff were very knowledgeable; I witnessed them doing a good job of helping a few beer newbies pick out a tasty pint, and I had a nice pint of Steamworks Steam Engine on draft – my first since I was in southern Colorado a few summers ago.

Not a few days later I had an email from the GM at the Saucer, a Mr. Jake Rainey. He had stumbled on my original post, looked me up on Twitter and sent me a direct message asking for feedback. The ensuing email exchange has really convinced me that Mr. Rainey is committed to making the Saucer a nice place to have a beer – even for a picky beer geek like me.

The biggest problem for me was an issue with beer staling in the lines – with so many beers on tap its a huge challenge to keep everything fresh and tasty. Jake explained the process being used to keep beer fresh, which basically puts the kegs/lines/faucets on a strict rotational cleaning schedule.

After a few months and many visits, I think they have really improved what was a showstopper problem.

In addition, the bar staff really are quite knowledgeable – much more so than in the past. Every staff member I’ve come in contact with has worked hard to make recommendations, explain styles and stay informed about what is new on tap and in the bottle.

Although there are still some problems, the Saucer is back in my rotation of bars I regularly visit in Houston and I do now firmly believe that they care about the product they are serving.

So – I take (almost) all of it back. I now would most certainly include the Saucer in my list of Houston bars where I would choose to have a pint. However, getting Saint Arnold Brown Ale on tap would really take the cake!

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