Flying Saucer Draught Emporium Celebrates 16 Years in Downtown Houston – Beer
On Sunday, August 14, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in downtown Houston is celebrating its sweet sixteenth birthday party. As is appropriate, that means birthday cake , ice cream floats and, of course, sweet, sweet beer. The special kegs to be tapped include Freetail Elijah Craig 12 Coconut La Muerta, Brash Pussalia, Nebraska Vanilla Fathead and Deschutes Abyss. VIP tickets are sold out, but the general admission festivities start at noon.
Leung’s beer floats sound especially interesting. Manager Joshua Justice says the most unusual option will be No Label’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Time stout with blue cheese ice cream. If that sounds a little too wild, there will also be No Label’s Nightmare on 1st Street imperial pumpkin ale with malted barley ice cream. “Reactions to the blue cheese one have been aghast, but I’ve never had anything bad from Chris,” said Justice. “The things that have been ‘out there’ from him have been the things I’ve liked the most.”
Celebrates 16 Years in Downtown Houston – Beer
It’s an appropriately lush celebration for a craft beer bar that predates most others in Houston. Flying Saucer has been supplying patrons with some of the best suds since long before it was trendy. Every available inch of the upper walls and ceiling is covered with the special plates (or the “rings of honor”) that are given to “UFO Club” members after they buy 200 different beers. Anyone can be a club member after paying an $18 fee, and they’re also treated to a beer party with their friends when they earn a plate.
According to Justice, some patrons have five or more plates. At that point, they’re called “MOUs” or “Masters of the Universe.” It’s indicative of the loyalty that Flying Saucer customers have to this longtime watering hole. “There aren’t many of us who have been in downtown this long,” he pointed out. “Vic & Anthony’s has done a really good job, and Pappas [Bar-B-Que]. That’s about it. Sixteen years here is like 40 years in River Oaks or Upper Kirby.”
With its 85 taps, approximately 150 bottled beers and unpretentious atmosphere, nothing about Flying Saucer seems canned (so to speak), but it actually is part of a chain. The downtown Houston bar and restaurant was one of the first established by a company that now has 15 locations across five states. “Yeah, we’re a chain,” said Justice, “but we work very, very hard to be the best, regardless. We have a very good program above us with Shannon [Wynne], Keith [Schlabs] and Larry [Richardson], who founded Flying Saucer. They’ve given us the tools so we can run this with its own individual identity.”