Very cute place just off the main drag of downtown Columbia. About 12 of their own taps. First one I'm having is the Katy Trail Pale Ale which is pretty solid. Food menu looks good - sandwiches, burgers, pizza and entrees. Just ordered the ribs. Service has been good so far, and prices seem reasonable. Definitely recommend!
Flat Branch is a Columbian institution for a reason. If you arrive there and donít have to wait, you immediately get ushered into the building, which is very spacious with high ceilings. Also, the way the space is organized is very nice, but the lighting can get awkward. If you go there once it has gotten dark, there are tables that are in the shadow and some tables that are in the spotlight and directly underneath low-hanging lights; however, you can sit outside in a very pleasant vine-fenced patio if it is nice enough to do so. Iíve never had a bad service experience here, but the business does lend itself to some issues with speed but not quality (on any given Friday or Saturday night, you will have people willing to wait an upwards of an hour just to be seated). There is a great variety of food that even the pickiest of eaters can find and enjoy something on the menu; Iíve had the pulled pork, the fish and chips, the pizza, the burgers, and others and have not once been unsatisfied with what I received despite not being blown completely away. Furthermore, the beer they have generally covers a great spread of styles on their 12 taps, but their beer tends to be on the malty side of the spectrum.
Stopped by for dinner on a Thursday evening. Very crowded, 20 minute wait. Service was good, server knew her beers. 12 beers Flat Branch on tap. 6 year round, and 6 rotating. Beers were average and above. Worth a visit. Nice college town pub.
Iíve visited Flat Branch a number of times over the past 2 years. They are almost always packed, with a waiting list, if you come around dinner. Usually they have around 12 beers on tap, with sample trays available. Most beers are average to above average. I would say that I like Flat Branch beers a little better than Broadway Brewery, but they are pretty close. Flat Branch also has pretty good food, and is a great place to take anyone visiting for the weekend.
Met up with an old friend over the weekend for dinner and brews at Flat Branch. A big place, large enough to accommodate the local college crowd. Sports playing on a few TVs in the bar area. Ten different beers on draft, spanning a wide variety of styles. The food was pretty tasty. I ordered pasta with sausage and thought it was delicious. Service was very friendly and prompt. Most of the beers were below average quality with a few that were slightly above average. Definitely a "go to" establishment if youíre in the area.
Re-rating after a few revisits. The place still has fine atmosphere, decent grub, and a nice large patio. But the beers have gone downhill in my view, which is a shame. Or maybe they were also sweet and under-attenuated, but these days I have a clearer idea of what I like. Meanwhile there seems to be little imagination or new ideas going into the lineup. They are coasting, and maybe they have been for a while, getting a free pass because it survived long enough to become a local institution. Or, maybe I will find better beers and new life next time around. I hope so.