Dos Coronas!

“The Brewer’s Backstory” – Episode 12

August 2004

The Brewer's Justice cover

Coming January 2016!

“I say we grab those empty chaise lounges.”

“What happened to, ‘I can hardly wait to hit the beach?’”

“That was before I saw this monster pool and the bar,” Brad said, settling into one of the chairs and stretching out his bare legs and feet.

“Welcome to Cabo, dude,” Eric said.

Brad so needed this break. With the breeze and the shade from a blue and white striped patio umbrella overhead, the dry heat was tolerable. The steady splash of water just to their left, falling over the artificial cliff and into the pool, made it easy to start forgetting Boulder.

A waitress with a shiny black ponytail headed their way. She pulled a pen and order pad from the pocket of the apron tied over her shorts. Brad shot Eric an eye roll. “Dos Coronas, por favor.”

Sí, como no,” she replied, scribbling on the pad. She wore sandals—totally forbidden for employees at the Flunky Flatirons—with nails painted a fiery red. It occurred to Brad that girls in close-toed shoes at a pool would look a little weird.

“That was sooo cool!” Eric said.

“You sound like we’re five-year-olds who just ordered Happy Meal by ourselves.”

“Come on, admit it. Didn’t you feel cool? You just ordered our first legal beers—in Spanish, no less.”

“What I should feel is embarrassed. I’m going to have to live the rest of my life knowing my first legal beer was a Corona. I can’t believe I let you talk me into that.”

“We’re at a Mexican beach resort, surrounded by gorgeous girls in bikinis. How could we drink anything but Corona?”

“Okay, yeah, it did feel kind of cool.”

“Yeah, buddy!” Eric said, reaching out for a high-five.

The waitress returned and flashed Brad a smile full of white teeth. “Dos Coronas,” she said, handing them each a can.

Gracias.” Brad grinned back and winked. Her rich cinnamon tan suited her dark eyes and hair. God, he’d been so busy over the last year that he’d hardly had time for flirting with girls.

“Let me know if you need anything else.”

“Hey, why didn’t you tell us you speak English?”

“What for? You were doing fine in Spanish.” She turned and walked away, butt swaying.

Brad popped the tab and tilted his can back for a long, cold swig. “It must be the place and the heat. This actually tastes decent.”

“And you always say I don’t know anything about beer,” Eric said, taking a good pull on his own drink. “So, if we can buy beer in Mexico at nineteen, does that mean you could get a job in a brewery here?

“Where do you come up with this stuff? First, I’m pretty sure I’d need a work visa. And, second, I think I’d need more Spanish than dos Coronas.”

“You’re the one who’s tired of bussing tables. I was just suggesting a possible solution.”

“Thanks, but I don’t see a Mexican brewery job in my future. For the next four days, though, I do see a lot of Mexico.”

Brad took another drink and closed his eyes, listening to the waterfall. A seagull cawed from the direction of the beach. Two older women sitting on a wide band of steps into the pool were talking about dinner reservations and “poor Harry” who might not join them because he had forgotten to put on sunblock before he and Sam played golf this morning.

The last eleven months of his life, he’d hardly had a day off. He’d started bussing tables at Funky Flatirons in October and barely made it through the fall semester, ending up with a C in English. The only brewing he did the rest of the semester happened when he went home for Thanksgiving and brewed with his dad.

They’d had a serious talk about priorities that led to Brad taking only twelve credits in the spring and hanging on to his twenty-five hours a week at Funky Flatirons, thinking that was where his future lay. That had given him time to homebrew once a month with Zeke, who had graduated in May and moved back to Houston. Brad inherited Zeke’s already used brewing equipment and his room at the house he had rented with three other guys. Mike, one of the others, had also graduated and Eric took his room. During the summer session, Brad stayed in Boulder, working at Funky Flatirons and catching up academically. In two weeks, he and Eric would begin their sophomore year, but for the next four days, no thinking about that or whether he could play busboy for another year and a half before he turned twenty-one and the world of brewing finally, legally opened up for him.

“Dude, wake up.”

“I’m not asleep,” Brad said, refusing to open his eyes or do anything else he didn’t want to for the next ninety-six hours.

“Well, if you don’t open your eyes, you’re gonna miss two angels headed our way in tiny bikinis.”

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