Well, not really aliens, but true on the beer. The Flying Saucer is a fantastic place to go in Northwest San Antonio to enjoy a beer (or several beers), listen to 70’s rock, and maybe grab a quick bite. The incredible thing about this place is the number of beers they have on tap. Many of the beers you can get all the time, and a number of selections rotate. Nevertheless, you can expect to encounter well over 100 beers on tap ranging from the most popular American beers to some of my favorite Belgian Tripel ales from the likes of Maredsous and Maudite (which may be alien to most non-beer snobs who skip the corked bottles at the store and head straight for the cases with convenient handles).
The beer menu is quite extensive and is separated by category (i.e. Belgian, Pale Ale, Dark, etc.) to make things easier to find. In addition, the prices are listed and several of the high alcohol content beers are clearly marked (and clearly more expensive). Expect there to always be several specials at reasonable prices. The two times that I have gone, a bartender and a waitress were able to make a good recommendation based on my beer preferences. The design of the menu makes it pretty easy to find something you like in the same category.
The two times I have visited I have also ordered food. I can’t remember what I had the first time, but I do remember it being pretty good for bar food. This time around my wife and I split a couple of things. The menu is somewhat small, limited to a few appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. But this is a bar, after all. Nevertheless we started with the Rocket Tots while perusing the beer menu before deciding on the Westmalle Belgian tripel ale (very delicious, but expensive at $7.50 per 12oz. bottle). The tots are a thick disc of potato and mild cheddar cheese fried to produce a nice, crispy outside. They were served with a side of ketchup and a habanero sour cream. Both the tots and the sour cream needed salt, but good beer food, nonetheless.
We decided on splitting the Club which came with honey ham, smoked turkey, smoked apple bacon (lots of it, too), lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard served on what they called a Biatta bread (really just a small Ciabatta loaf). This was a surprisingly good hot sandwich. The bread had a nice crispness on the outside and was very soft altogether. The ham and turkey gave the sandwich a good meaty bite and the thick slabs of bacon added a lot of flavor. It came served with a side of french fries (potato salad is available too) that were hot and crispy.
What I like about the Flying Saucer (aside from the beer selection) is that it is not a rowdy, college-type of establishment. The setup is more like a German beer hall in its decor and use of long, community-type tables. The walls and ceilings are wallpapered with so many ceramic dishes that it would put your grandma to shame (tacky, yes, but kitschy). The clientele is a mix of young to middle-age people enjoying a few beers with friends. The music is loud enough to hear it, but not so loud you have to yell at your friends. You can even become a part of the UFO Club by becoming a member and keeping track of the beers you consume, eventually to be immortalized in the Ring of Honor.
If you are ready to try something other than the typical, same-old boring beer, head to the Flying Saucer and grab a draft and a bite.