The Common Table enjoys a good reputation among local beer lovers for the ever-changing array of brews it offers. But in the next few days, that reputation stands to get even better for the beers it won't be pouring.
"Starting next week, we will no longer be offering mass produced beer," owner Corey Pond wrote on the gastropub's Facebook page last Thursday. "Instead we will only offer fresh, high-quality beers hand-crafted with quality ingredients -- many of which are made right here in Texas. We believe it's the right thing to do. We will work harder than ever to continue to spread the craft beer gospel and appreciate your support. Farewell BMC ... can't say we'll miss you at all."
Pond is a bit nervous about the risk that comes with not offering "BMC" (short for Budweiser, Miller and Coors products), though he notes that The Common Table wouldn't be unique among local beer bars that stubbornly refuse to stock the cheapest, most popular beers. He stopped ordering them and expects them to run out by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Which leads to the question of why the bar offered them in the first place.
"Primarily because of the location," Pond says. In the first few months, those watery light beers were a significant enough percentage of alcohol sales that he felt having them was the right decision.
"Once we got comfortable that people knew we were a great beer place and the numbers got to the point that it made it seem like we could do it, we decided to go ahead," he says. "It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. There are so many local breweries now, and there are so many new beers coming to Texas."
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The general increasing awareness of craft beer along with the excitement over Dallas' new breweries and whatever part his own bar may have played in opening his customers' minds to the idea that beer can actually taste like something made him comfortable with the move, he says.
As for whether it will affect his relationships with distributors, he says the major distributors here have plenty of beers to choose from, and points out that it would be illegal to refuse to sell to him.
He does expect some customer pushback, and says those light beers still account for about 100 bottle sales a week, but is OK with that.
"I think the increased support from craft beer lovers will more than make up for whatever we lose from the douchebag that just has to have a Miller Lite," he says.