Do you ever watch movies or TV shows where the main character(s) have a spot they always meet to hang out? The staff know them all by name and they sit in the same place every time? On Friends it was Central Perk. Gilmore Girls had Lukes Diner, Cheers had, well Cheers. Well folks, we have found "our place". The Flying Saucer.
The Flying Saucer was founded in 1995 and is a largely Texan based franchise. We are lucky enough to have one in our home town of Charlotte, NC. A unique taproom with over 200+ beers at any given time available for the drinking, they also have a great bar food menu selection (the cheese fries surprise and the San Miguel burger? To. Die. For.) The bar itself is unique and cozy, the waitresses all rock, and they have a killer beer club, but more on that in a minute.
UNC- Charlotte, my alma mater (go 49ers), is conveniently located across the street, as is my former employer, a local hospital. I could often be found grabbing an after work beer at The Flying Saucer with a group of work friends after a particularity rough shift in the ED. This was back before my beer tasting palate had been truly refined, I stuck with my Bud Light and called it a night. After college and a new career, I forgot about my good friend Saucer. Fast forward a few years (more like 8) and mine and Mias hubby venture in one day after work and are talked into joining the UFO club (and subsequently roping us in along as well).
"The UFO Club?!" you say?
The UFO Club.
For the low, low price of $18.00 you are gifted with your very own membership card and a Flying Saucer shirt. Swipe your card at the computer kiosk each time you come it, choose and print 3 chits for 3 different brews. Drink said brews during your visit, turning in your chits to your waitress. Once you have sampled 200 different types of beers your name is forever immortalized on a large round saucer displayed proudly on the walls of the bar. The fine print: You may only add THREE beers to your tally per day. Drink as many as you want when you come in, but only three count towards your total per day. All 200 beers must be completely different from one another. As a way to keep you encouraged throughout your beer drinking challenge, you are gifted for each 50 beer milestone with a free $10 towards your purchase, a t-shirt, a hat, and finally...Drum roll please.... $100 towards your plate party to spend on drinks and food.
Once you have completed the arduous task of drinking all 200 beers, The Flying Saucer wants to celebrate! Tables are reserved in your honor for yourself and 15 of your nearest and dearest to unveil your plate on the wall. Choose a quote to personalize your plate and when the time comes, the manager will announce your amazing feat to the entire bar, while standing on a chair, ringing a loud bell, and have you ceremoniously unveil your accomplishment. Cue the applause and order another drink!
Now I'm not so good at math but let's break it down. 3 beers allowed per day divided by 200 beers needed for a plate equals roughly 66-67 actual visits to saucer until you achieve plate status. After visiting 66-67 times you get to know the waitresses pretty well. They know you by name, they know what's going on at work, they've met your kids (don't judge! It's very family friendly for lunch!), they are there to share in exciting news like buying a home or passing a stressful license exam for work. They sit and have a beer with you after their shift, they are a huge part of what makes The Flying Saucer such a great place to hang out.
Our hubbies are working on their third plate right now (THIRD?! Yes you can circle back through once you drink your first 200 and go round the merry-go again! Each lap around the beer drinking track gets you a different, distinct plate color and you can even bring home your previous plate to adorn the walls of your man cave, or dining room, whateves). Sadly Mia and I are only a forth of the way through on the way to our first plate, but have no fear, we aren't quitters, we will have our plate and drink it too! In true nerd girl fashion, we also have the perfect Harry Potter inspired quotes picked out and ready to go!
If you are in the Charlotte area, do yourself a favor and check out The Flying Saucer. I promise you won't be disappointed.