Quittin' Time: Flying Saucer On The Lake
Where: Flying Saucer on the Lake, 4821 Bass Pro Drive, Garland. 972-226-0725.
When: Happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays, plus $2.75 "Fire Sale" pints daily and $2.75 Texas pints Sundays and select $2.75 pints Mondays.
What: Happy hour consists of "Biggie Beer" 23-ounce glasses for the price of 16-ounce pints for all draft beers available by the pint. Additionally, the Saucer offers all Texas pints (more than a dozen of 'em) on draft for $2.75 a pint on Sundays, and extends the $2.75 price to most pints on Mondays.
Why: Because it's American Craft Beer Week. With its ever-evolving list of nearly 200 beers, Flying Saucer on the Lake (or the Addison or Fort Worth locations) is a great place to try a few of them.
But there are plenty of reasons to visit the other 51 weeks of the year.
The daily $2.75 "Fire Sale" pints can be hit or miss. A recent visit found Kostrizer Schwarzbier, a fine German light black lager, as the featured beer, though the selection isn't always so exotic. Through Sunday, however, they're a sure thing, starting today with an offering from Dogfish Head, ollowed in order by Stone, Live Oak, Boulevard and Saint Arnold.
But you can expand your horizons beyond these shores, as Flying Saucer offers excellent beers from around the world, with particular emphasis on Belgian and German brews. Some of them are a bit pricey and available only in bottles, but well worth it nonetheless -- like Malheur 12, a phenomenal 12-percent ABV Belgian quad. If you're pretty sure you're gonna like whatever you choose, be sure to get there during happy hour, when you can supersize your draft beer to a 23-oz. "Biggie Beer" for the price of a pint. On the other hand, for the curious or indecisive, go with a sampler flight, whether you choose one of the themed pre-chosen flights or build your own.
The Lake location differs from the other two area Saucers in that it offers seafood in the form of fried catfish and shrimp baskets and po' boys, in addition to brats, cheese platters and typical bar food.
The scene is pretty typical of a suburban bar and grill, with patrons of all ages relaxing at large biergarten-style tables, dartboards and the large outdoor patio overlooking the titular body of water. Customers are a mix of beer lovers and their (sigh) Bud Light-drinking friends. As at the other two locations, servers seem to be chosen more on the basis of how they look in short tartan skirts than their beer knowledge. Fine by us -- the menu descriptions and chalkboards give all the information needed to make a sound decision.