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We’re in the midst of the Craft Brewers Conference. The Monday through Thursday festival is meant for beer lovers. To get in the spirit of conference, here’s Rob Benning, assistant general manager of TAKODA Restaurant & Beer Garden’s, Drink Diary. Also, TAKODA just celebrated one year in D.C. That’s a fine reason to celebrate with beer during the work week.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we could never put together a beer program. Our livers would collapse.

Rob Benning


7:45 a.m.

Glass of water, and a cup of Café Cubano coffee…ok, maybe two.

9:45 p.m.

I head home. Just before dinner, I try the new cannon from Heavy Seas, called TropiCannon. The citrus aroma hits you in the face as you pour it in the glass. I can smell the blood orange and taste the grapefruit. There is a good balance between the fruit and the hops: about 65ibu’s. My beagle loved it so much that she shoved her whole snout in my glass.

heavy seas alehouse


11:15 a.m.

I have two cups of Café Cubano coffee whilst watching the Saints beat the Tigers, 3-0. I was happy to see the Saints win, but I would be sad if Leicester City got relegated.

6:50 p.m.

While making dinner, I opened a bottle of Invisible Art, an Imperial IPA aged in bourbon barrels by Adroit Therory. According to the website for the brewery, it has 100 ibus, which shocked me because it doesn’t drink like it. As I took my second sip, my beagle jumped on my lap to sample too: she loves IPA’s! I will have to try some more beer from this brewery.


11:45 p.m.

After a slow Monday night, I’m back home. First, say hi to the dogs and take them out for a quick walk. The trick is to get them downstairs quickly, so that they don’t wake my wife. Then, I stare at my beer closet for a bit, trying to decide what to have. I pull out a bottle of 2012 Bigfoot: perfect!


2:00 p.m.

I play with kegs to prepare for the incoming orders. I sign for two kegs of Tröegs Nugget Nectar wishing I could tap it right away: one of my top ten favorite beers!

12:10 a.m.

After getting home from work, I decide to indulge myself and open up a bottle of Victory’s Old Horizontal from 2013. The thing I love about barley wine’s is that they age so well. Flavors of dates and spices…mmm, delicious.


12:30 p.m.

It’s my two days off, so I drive up to Hampden in Baltimore and have lunch with my brother at some place called Blue BBQ pit. With my BBQ sandwich, I have a glass of Brewer’s Art Czar’s Porter: slight acidity paired well with the BBQ.

1:15 p.m.

Since I’m still in Hampden, I stop by the Union Brewery. After touring the facility, I sample Chessie (their barley wine) and their latest brew: a dark sour called Midnight Marauder. I love the sour! It has a creative combination of tart mixed with a little sweetness from the malt. It will be on soon at Takoda


7:00 p.m.

I had a couple of my homebrews, an abbey ale I made a month past, with dinner (not a master brewer yet, but the clove and caramel have a good balance), and then for dessert Evolution’s Southern Pecan Ale. With the strong maple and pecan flavors, I could’ve had this for breakfast!


7:00 p.m.

Before dinner, I have a bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock, a rauchbier. This style of beer is not for everybody, but I do love it when it is cold outside. The smoked malt is just heaven to my belly! For dessert, I have a can of Starsky and Dutch, a double Dutch chocolate stout from 3 Stars. I have found a new after dinner beer. However, I had to wave off the beagle on this one. My wife reminded me that chocolate, even in beer, is bad for dogs.



3:00 p.m.

I have a couple of samples from a new brewery to try. The first one, Great Dismal, is a black IPA. The blend between malt and hops is decent. I have had better, though.

11:00 p.m.

I have another sample from the same brewery as before. El Guapo, an agave IPA, was not fit for consumption. I should’ve listened to my beagle, she wouldn’t have any. So, I discarded the beer, and opened one of my abbey ales and poured myself a little Whistle Pig: great gift from my new father-in-law.

Rob Benning