28 March 2009

Mossback & Guinness

You might have heard the expression "mossy back" or "mossback" to refer to a stubborn, old-fashioned person who is set in their ways. According to Webster, a mossback can also be a large, sluggish fish. Presumably the fish is large because it is OLD. The term is applied to turtles that have lived so long they've collected a colony of algae on their shells. Old-growth conifers are often much the same--their trunks are covered with a thick, mossy pelt. In the west, a mossback is a deer or other large game animal like an elk or moose that has a rack so big the withers are shaded and the hide there can support a small forest of mosses! Which brings me to Mossback IPA from the Etna Brewery. (How's that for a segue?) I've blogged about these fellows before and their wonderful beer. I had a couple of pints of Mossback IPA at my local pub last night. It is my beer of choice these days. Dark amber, intensely hopped, yet smooth and drinkable, this brew is a local treasure, and Dave the Barman knows we get cranky when he doesn't keep it stocked. Last week we had a St. Patrick's Day fest at the pub, lots of Guinness and Celtic music, and my pal Jon M. came up with a new combo. He's not a Guinness man, but he got into the spirit of things by asking for a half-pint of the black brew to be floated on top of a half-pint of Mossback IPA. We looked at this lovely creation and thought about what to call it. We barely started brainstorming when the obvious answer sprung forth--simultaneously--from our lips :


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