For years I’ve been going to the Outer Banks (NC) with friends from college. It’s evolved significantly over the years; in our early 20s we were getting drunk and cramming as many as we could in a four bedroom house with guys sleeping on couches, the floor and even the closets. Now we have traded a few guys for wives, kids, and a much bigger house.
This year we had 16 adults and 13 ½ kids (one more is on the way later this year). The oldest is my first son, who turned six just a few weeks ago. Yes, 13 kids under the age of seven were occupying this house. Tantrums, running, screaming, you name it -- this house was fucking nuts. Do I know how to relax or what?
We all arrived on Sunday and immediately the kids jump in the pool. They were screaming, splashing, laughing, and screaming; the kids were out of their minds. Have I mentioned screaming? Anyways, the kids were having fun in the pool while the parents played lifeguard and caught up on the last 12 months, picking up right where we left off last summer.
I have two boys – ages 3 and 6. My oldest is smart, kind, and we can generally trust him as much as you can trust a kid that age, which is great because our youngest requires all of the attention. The youngest is fast, fearless and strong; never giving us a break. This trip was no different…
While everyone was having a good time, he decided it was time to get out of the pool. I took him out, removed his swim vest, and dried him off. He hung out with me playing with some pool toys while I was sitting with my feet in the water chatting with one of his several beach “aunts.” Even when I have an eye on him, he still manages to get himself into trouble. Then it happened – he looked at us, smiled, and the child who can't swim jumped right into the pool. I pride myself on my catlike reflexes, but he was too damn fast. The rest of the kids learned a new word while I dove into the pool after him. I was easily able to scoop him up and get him out. Obviously he was fine, a little scared, but fine.
After my heartbeat returned to normal and my son was smiling again, I opened my cooler and grabbed the perfect beer for the moment – Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale. It's not because inside of my bathing suit may or may not have resembled a post from J.R Shirt, but rather the can has a chocolate Labrador Retriever on the front. The dog reminds me of the loyal chocolate Lab I had as a kid. As Lab owners know, they’ll dive into the water at a moment’s notice. I’m not sure who the Lab is in this story, but the can says its “Lab Tested,” and, to my knowledge, I’m the only one between me and my son who has had this outstanding brew.
This full flavored brown is my favorite of this style. The toasty nose is followed by chocolate, roasted nuts, and a hint of vanilla, adding a subtle cream to the mouthfeel. It finishes smooth, and is definitely sessionable. While it also comes in a bottle, the cans are great for the pool, boat, or any other place you find yourself among friends and the water.
As I sat back enjoying my Ellie’s Brown, I realized that I had only arrived two hours ago and had six more days of this madness…
Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale
Look - 4.5 (I've had this several times before - color is a rich yet clean brown)
Smell - 4.5
Taste - 4.75
Mouthfeel - 4.75
Overall - 4.5
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