By José Ralat Maldonado

Craft beer has earned equal footing with wine, recognized as a mature beverage worthy of study, rumination and aging. An increasing number of bars and restaurants are employing cicerones (the beer equivalent of a sommelier) and offering vintage suds. They’re also stockpiling kegs for special events. Corey Pond, owner of the year-old The Common Table and its cicerone, Jeff Fryman, are doing just that below the feet of the beer nerds, the hops curious and macrobrewery-diehards, all of whom, true to the establishment’s name, congregate happily for a drink and a bite. The latter might include the pork tenderloin grilled cheese with smoked Cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, and Parmesan on sourdough or the bouncy cornmeal-encrusted calamari with cilantro sriracha sauce and garlic aioli.

(credit: Jose Ralat Maldonado)

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Stockpiled in the approximately 800 square-foot, multiple-compartment walk-in, a leftover from the former occupant, are the likes of Dogfish Head Theobroma and Burton Baton, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot barleywine, Green Flash Double Stout and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. Some of these delights, beloved enough to parch the most suds snob at their mention, have been cellared since The Common Table opened.

And on June 5, 2012, the second anniversary of operation, Pond and Fryman will throw open the doors of the cellar and tap the reserved kegs at intervals through 2014. That’s how much has been saved!

(credit: Jose Ralat Maldonado

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Fans will throw up their arms in adulation; raise pints and tulips in praise of the restaurant’s forethought. The first keg has yet to be chosen. However, among selections on the 2012 docket are a 2011 Unibroue La Terrible, a 2010 Dogfish Head Midas Touch and a 2010 Stone Double Bastard. In 2013, a 2011 Real Ale 15th Anniversary, a 2011 Stone Belgo Imperial Russian Stout and a 2010 Reverend quadruple from Avery.

Pond says, “This won’t solely be a celebration of our years in business, it will be a celebration of our customers.”

Like the organization of the kegs, the event’s particulars are still being sorted, cautions Pond. “There is some flexibility, but, for the most part, breweries are on-board,” he continues, explaining the fruit born from his hour daily spent on the phone and/or corresponding via email with breweries nationwide. Beer is hard. Beer is good. And The Common Table is one of the best beer bars in Dallas. Now, a question: “Is it too early for a drink?”

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The Common Table
2917 Fairmount St.
(214) 880-7414