I’m not a good surfer. I’m not good at a lot of things, but I’m particularly not good at surfing. I struggle catching waves, it takes me too long to pop up on the board if I do catch a wave and then I can pretty much just turn right. It’s an awkward process that makes me realize that I am indeed in my 40s, not my 20s. And yet, I absolutely love to surf. I don’t care that I’m not good at it. I’m still going to do it as much as possible. I’m like that co-worker you have who insists on going to Wednesday night karaoke even though she can’t do justice to “I Will Survive.”

So I drag my family on a week-long surf vacation every year. They think we’re going to the beach to build sandcastles and spend quality time together, but really, we’re going to the beach so I can surf. Sorry, so I can try to surf. We always go to Folly Beach, outside of Charleston because of its laid back vibe and mediocre surf. Mediocre surf is perfect for me. A two-foot mushy beach break is my wheel house. I spend the days surfing as much as possible, hitting the waves in frantic spurts until I’m too tired to stand on the board. Then I exit the ocean a little bloody from getting dragged across the shell-ridden sand. I take a rest and go at it again.

I also drink a lot of beer. I’m in the constant search for the perfect beach beer and I spent my vacation cycling through an astonishing array of South Carolina options. I’m happy to say, after knocking back more than a dozen different styles of beer from almost as many breweries, I settled on Charleston Session IPA, from Palmetto Brewing Company. I’ve seen Palmetto’s beers on the shelves in my hometown before, but I’ve largely eschewed them for other options, so this was the first time I had their session IPA. And it blew me away. It’s brewed with wheat, which delivers a creamy texture that’s balanced with Belgian yeast and punchy, citrusy kick from the extensive hop bill. The total package is fruity and crisp with a dry finish, and it’s way sessionable at just 4.2% ABV.

Is it the perfect beach beer? Maybe. It was definitely the perfect beach beer for my latest beach vacation, providing a bit of balance to my mediocre surfing. There’s definitely nothing awkward about this beer.