Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (900 Spruce Street, 314-932-1456)
The Hours: 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, specials all day on Mondays and Sundays.
The Deal: $1 off drafts during happy hour, $3 off some 60 beers and $3 Missouri beers on Sundays.
The Scene: For a place built so recently, Flying Saucer looks like it has been posted up across from Busch Stadium for forever. Parking is a little dicey (there is a gated lot next to the bar), but if you're willing to brave downtown, definitely put the Saucer on your list. The bar was packed on a Monday night, and Gut Check lucked out by finding a seat outside on the patio awash in light from the nearby ballpark.
If the name didn't already give it away, don't come to this "Draught Emporium" for anything but beer. There are nearly 70 beers on tap and around 200 varieties of bottled beer available. Flying Saucer specializes in brews from all over the world with enough craft beers to satisfy any beer snob's taste. The menu is separated by beer type for those who know their preferences. But for those who need a little help, the servers are quick and friendly with a recommendation. Ciders and wines are on hand for those who are feeling a little beer-shy. The German vibe carries over onto Flying Saucer's menu, with highlights like the Saucer Bratzel, a gigantic soft pretzel served with bratwurst, green onions and spicy mustard, and the out-of-this-world "Rocket Tots," which are spicy Tater Tots with a habanero sour cream dip.
Why You'll Go Back: Join Flying Saucer's U.F.O Club, and get your name engraved on one of the plates hanging from the wall after you've sampled 200 different beers. It's a competition that's not for the faint of heart...or liver. Also, roll out to Flying Saucer on Wednesday nights for "Brewery Night," and try a new beer and get the chance to take home a decorative glass.
The Verdict: Flying Saucer is a reasonably priced bar across from Busch that makes all feel welcome, no matter their allegiance to the Cardinals. And, yes, Flying Saucer is a chain, but it still retains enough St. Louis flair to make it feel like a local watering hole.