Flying Saucer, Ginger Man listed among top best chain beer bars

Photo by An Chih Cheng/ American-Statesman. Fun-loving Austinites may find Flying Saucer a great neighborhood pub. A penny wall holds about 85 beer taps. The pub also has a great wine menu.

Photo by An Chih Cheng/ American-Statesman. Fun-loving Austinites may find Flying Saucer a great neighborhood pub. A penny wall holds about 85 beer taps. The pub also has a great wine menu.

Both the Flying Saucer and the Ginger Man, two bars that have been integral in introducing Austin to good beer, have gotten a nice tip of the hat in Draft Magazine’s “Six best chain beer bars 2016.”

The beer-focused magazine also named Bangers & Lace, Toronado, HopCat and World of Beer in the article. One of those bars, World of Beer, is going to be familiar to many locals: World of Beer opened its first location here in 2015 and closed less than a year later, after being unable to attract a following.

When it closed earlier this February, a World of Beer employee noted that the company may try to find another location in town, although there have been no whispers since then of that happening.

But the Ginger Man and the Flying Saucer — which Draft Magazine noted have been around since 1985 and 1995, respectively — still command a considerable crowd of regulars.

“What started in 1985 in Houston has expanded to seven Texas locations, all of which have a laid-back neighborhood vibe and top-notch beer lists,” Draft said about the Ginger Man, adding about the Flying Saucer that it “has set the standard” with its 16 locations stretching from Texas to North Carolina.

Austin, a city that tends to like keeping it local, nonetheless recently drew another chain beer bar to the Domain Northside this spring, with the opening of Yard House. The California-based chain now boasts more than 60 locations nationwide and, although it didn’t make Draft’s cut, has done well in Austin, at least, in giving the bar and restaurant a focus on locally and regionally made brews.

Growler USA is another chain beer bar that we seem to be embracing after it opened as a campus-area pub in February. The franchise is much smaller, but one day, we just might see it on Draft Magazine’s list.


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