All posts by Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

Recap of my trip to Washington


Yikes!  Who's the creep? @ Port City Brewing Co.
Yikes! Who’s the creep? @ Port City Brewing Co.

A couple of weekends ago I went to Washington DC with the wife. The reason for the trip was two fold: to hang out with our very own Silvio and to run our first ever 10 mile race. The trip was fantastic. Below is a brief recap, along with some photos, mostly courtesy Silvio.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and after getting settled into the hotel we called up Silvio, who picked us up and took us to Enjera, an Ethiopian restaurant. This was extra cool for Melissa, who had “eat at an Ethiopian restaurant” on her bucket list.

Lunch was accented by Silvio asking “can I taste your diarrhea?” in reference to wanting to try a soupy looking (albeit delicious) part of the vegetarian sampler Melissa and I were having. It was only one of about a half dozen epic quotes that I later wished I had written down (most are lost to drunken memory).

Just another day wrangling bears.
Just another day wrangling bears.

Speaking of lost to drunken memory, I have little recollection of where the above photo was taken. It was almost certainly on Friday night, and mostly likely at Meridian Pint. The Meridian was one of our first stops, however I blame the table-top draft lines and the Ways & Means Rye from Port City Brewing for getting a bit too much of a jump-start to the evening!

Taps at the table = bad news
Taps at the table = bad news

Now that I think about it, I’m getting way ahead of myself. BEFORE Meridian we hit up Port City Brewing, where I indulged in six 5-ounce samples. I actually started humbly with two samples. As I considered cashing out, the bartender told me that samples were $2.50 each, or six for $10. Economics made me drink.

We ended the night at Shaw’s Tavern, which had great cocktails and a decent beer list.

Outside DC Brau Brewery
Outside DC Brau Brewery
DC Brau Brewery - making out with an epic reindeer.
DC Brau Brewery – making out with an epic reindeer.

On Saturday we took things at a slower pace. The big race was Sunday and we wanted to be in good shape the next morning. We hit up Sticky Fingers for an amaze-balls brunch, and then shot over to DC Brau Brewery for a couple of hours.

@ DC Brau.  Silvio isn't flicking us off on purpose.  At least that's what he says.
@ DC Brau. Silvio isn’t flicking us off on purpose. At least that’s what he says.

DC Brau was a good time, perhaps in part because the brewery offers samples – in volume! They even had a few tables, one of which we managed to snag. My favorite beer was their El hefe Speaks, a deliciously refreshing hefeweizen.

Silvio captured a ghost on camera @ Busboys and Poets
Silvio captured a ghost on camera @ Busboys and Poets

Our next stop was The Passenger, a relatively small bar with tons of character and very unique cocktails. Sadly, the entire block where The Passenger stands is planned for demolition. If you’re in the DC area, you may want to hit this place up before it’s no-more.

Dinner was had at Busboys and Poets. I didn’t have a beer with dinner. Seriously…I didn’t!

Next up, we hit Dacha Beer Garden, an outdoor beer garden that featured Das Boot.

The night rounded out with trips to Right Proper Brewing Company and Boundary Stone Public House.

If this was “taking a slower pace”, I really wonder what our Saturday would have looked like had we not had a huge race the next day!!!

Let's do this thing!
Let’s do this thing!

All that beery carbo-loading appeared to do wonders. We were blessed by absolutely gorgeous weather for the run and all three of us ran a great race. I beat my target time and managed a personal record for 10 miles. The race itself was amazing. The route started at the pentagon and took us by the monuments, parks and neighborhoods. There were live bands playing along the route, including a dude shredding to a rendition of Sweet Child of Mine around mile 8…a massive pick-me-up at a point in the race where I was starting to hurt.

Another amazing thing to see were the wounded warriors running the race. I finished near a man who was a double-amputee running on blades. I’m getting a little choked up just recalling it now!

My final results were as follows:
* 5-mile-split: 39:23.
* Total time: 1:17:28 (a PR).
* Average pace: 7 min 44 seconds per mile.
* Division place (males 35-40): 373 out of 2327 (top 15%).
* Gender place (all males): 2398 out of 13,863 (top 17%).
* Overall place: 2910 out of 26,238 (top 11%).

Melissa’s results were:
* 5-mile-split: 49:35.
* Total time: 1:42:44 (a PR).
* Average pace: 10 min 16 seconds per mile
* Division place (females 30-34): 1163 out of 2413
* Gender place (all females): 5620 of 12,375
* Overall place: 15,485 of 26,238

Silvio and I near the finish line.  Our 10th and  last mile was our fastest!
Silvio and I near the finish line. Our 10th and last mile was our fastest!

To Silvio: I owe you a debt for hosting us, planning our whole weekend out and chauffeuring us around. Thanks for motivating me to run this race,for running right along side me for 10 miles and being a fantastic running partner. You’re my boy, Blue!

Silvio will soon be moving to the west coast, so I’m very thankful that I got to visit him before the move. Good luck with the move, my friend. I hope you find everything you’re looking for and we look forward to visiting you sometime!


Thanks to Sarah for making the awesome sign and cheering us on all day.
Thanks to Sarah for making the awesome sign and cheering us on all day.

Clown Shoes Pecan Pie Porter

Clown Shoes Pecan Pie Porter

This weekend was a super lazy one here. Both Saturday and Sunday we sat on the couch and watched TV and goofed off on our cell phones and/or laptops. That may sound boring, but to me, after a long week of work, it was magic. My only regret: I should have taken a nap at some point. Today I watched football from 1:00 – 7:30pm and it was glorious. Well, all except the part where I was bounced out of my survivor league, courtesy the Cleveland Browns coughing up an awful loss to the worst team in the NFL right now – the Jacksonville Jaguars. #fail.

This evening I’m enjoying my last few hours of weekend with a bottle of Clown Shoes Pecan Pie Porter. I bought the beer purely for the novelty factor, and I have to say I’m disappointed in lack of novelty flavor. That is, while the beer has a sweet and nutty aspect, I wouldn’t equate it to pecan pie. It’s all good though, because it’s still a decent beer. Although, perhaps too sweet for my taste when it comes to American porters. It’s a bit syrupy, which could have to do with the relatively high ABV of 8%. Seems like it should be categorized as an imperial porter, but what do I know?

All in all, it’s just an OK beer.