The Common Table reinvents the beer dinner

Dallas Craft Beer Examiner

Common TableTraditionally, there are two types of beer-pairing dinners. The most prevalent type is one in which a restaurant provides an evening with multiple food courses, each served with a thoughtfully chosen craft beer (or house beer, if a brewpub) that individually complements the dish. The beers available may follow a theme, or feature a particular brewery, or may be rare or hard-to-find offerings.

Whereas this type of beer dinner is usually hosted by a beer-focused establishment, a second type of beer dinner has arisen from restaurants without a dedicated craft beer focus. This second type is a collaborative effort with one location’s chef and kitchen pairing with a craft beer brewery, bar or retailer. (The World Beer Company, a.k.a. the “Bottle Shop,” excels at this type of event.)

Now The Common Table in Dallas, known for their marvelous food and craft beer pairings, introduce a third type: beer dinner as weekly special. Dubbed the “Poor Man’s Beer Dinner,” this combo is offered every Monday evening and includes four courses paired with four 8-oz samples from their beer menu, all for $29 per person. No reservations are required, just show up and ask for it. (The regular menu is still available as well.)

Why the switch to smaller and weekly? According to manager Corey Pond, hosting beer pairing dinners monthly made each “less special,” with increasing effort required to be creative and original when new releases, seasonal beers or limited batches may not be accessible on such a schedule. The traditional TCT beer-pairing events will continue but less frequently than the recent pace, and each will be more focused and distinctive.

Meanwhile, a more affordable price point available on a drop-in schedule will hopefully make the beer dinner concept more comfortable for those who have never attended such events. It will also allow Chef Mike Smith to revisit some favorite courses and experiment more without committing to a restaurant full of diners all on the same timetable.

The beers selected for each course are from TCT’s current tap and bottle selection, which is considerable even on an ordinary day. The special is ongoing and changes each week, so stop in and give it a try.


Originally published June 28, 2012, at

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