Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Baderbrau Lawnmower Lager IPL


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Baderbrau Brewery's Lawnmower Lager IPL.

This is another of the beers that I picked up at the Binny's in Lincolnwood over Sukkos. Since we finally have snow on the ground in New York, I thought it was high time that I review a lawnmower beer since its unlikely that my lawn will be mowed again anytime soon.

The good folks at Beer Advocate have classified this beer as an American Pale Lager, but I found that the brew had a lot more character than the typical brew of this style. The beer poured a darker yellow which was not entirely transparent in my pint glass. There was quite a bit of hops and some cinnamon notes which I found pleasant and surprising. There was some citrus as well, but the bitter element was prominent, much more than I could have anticipated in a brew of this style.

The Baderbrau Lawnmower Lager IPL is under kosher supervision by the CRC of Chicago and has a CRC logo on the side of the can.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Baderbrau Lawnmower Lager IPL, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29318/119018.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

Please Note - if you are reading this post more than six months after it was written, please note that it is possible that the product is no longer still certified kosher. To verify that the product is still certified kosher, please click on the kosher beers list link on the top left corner of the blog.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeshev

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening along with the summary of a Chanukah vort he said last week. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

Rabbi Frand's parsha vort was more of a discussion of a Medrash than a traditional parsha vort. The Medrash in Parshas Vayigash asks Mi Haya Michaceh - who would have waited or anticipated and then poses the question about various people. [For purposes of this vort I will just refer to the introductory statement about each person as "Who would have anticipated "].

The first subject was Avraham and Sarah and the Medrash asked, who would have anticipated that they would have a child when Sarah was 90 years old. The next was Ya'akov and the question was, who would have anticipated that he would go from being penniless to having a large family and possessions. The next subject was Yosef and the question was, who would have anticipated that he would have gone from the prison to being Pharaoh's number 2. The next was about Moshe and who would have anticipated that Moshe would have gone from being put in a basket in the river and became the leader that would lead the Jews out of Egypt. Similar discussions were made as to David, Ruth and Chananya, Mishael and Azaryah.

R' Frand remarked that the Medrash is a nechama (consolation) for the Jews that even when it appears that times are bad, there will be an unanticipated positive result. R' Frand remarked that 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and who would have anticipated that Israel would be what it is today. [I kept expecting a Trump/Jerusalem reference, but R' Frand did not make one]. He referenced how the Ottoman Empire which had ruled the land for hundreds of years had an unanticipated rapid collapse which led to the possibility of a Balfour Declaration. He also referenced how small yeshivos in America in the 1930s and 1940s grew into Lakewood and Ner Israel and how that in the shadows of the Holocaust, who could have anticipated this success.

R' Frand then quoted R' Elya Svei (sp?) who had a different explanation of the Medrash. He answered the question as if it was not rhetorical --- Yosef anticipated this result. Yosef knew from his own dreams that he would one day rise to leadership. When Yosef heard the dream of the Sar Hamashkim he heard Hashem speaking to him. The three sarigim were a reference to the three leaders who would take the Jews out of Egypt and through the desert - Moshe, Aharon and Miriam. Yosef knew that the four references to Kos Pharaoh were a message that the Jews would undergo four exiles and Hashem would redeem them from each one.

Similarly, there was someone who was anticipating Moshe rising to prominence--Miriam. She had a dream that her parents would have a son who would lead the Jews out of Egypt. When Moshe was born and the house filled with light, Amram kissed Miriam on the head and lauded her prophesy...and when Moshe was put in the river, Amram hit her on the head and questioned the prophesy. But Miriam was anticipating Moshe's greatness.

I also wanted to do a brief summary of part of the Chanukah vort said by R' Frand last week. He referenced a Rashi in Behalosecha which mentioned that Aharon was saddened when he saw that every tribe was contributing nedavos and the tribe of Levi was not. Hashem then told Aharon, yours will be greater, because you will have the opportunity to light the menorah every day.

R' Frand quoted the Ramban who said that the lighting of the menorah transcended every generation and did not only refer to the menorah in the Beis HaMikdash. It referred to the mitzva that even to this day we continue to light the candles at Chanukah.

R' Frand then asked -- but how is this an answer to Aharon's concern? He was upset that he was not making a nedava, he was not making a contribution. How is the lighting of the candles an answer to his concerns?

R' Frand answered that Aharon's children and grandchildren saw his devotion to the act of lighting and that this became a part of them and they too would be moser nefesh for this act. There is a famous Rashi that says that he had the same enthusiasm on the first and last day that he lit the menorah.

By seeing his excitement and energy and the way that he gave of himself to light the candles, it insured that his grandchildren and great grandchildren would have this dedication to the mitzva of lighting the candles. This was more than just a one time donation to the Mishkan. Aharon understod this and that is why the answer was accepted by him.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Lakefront Brewery's Smash Hull Melon Hops Blonde Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Lakefront Brewery's Smash Hull Melon Hops Blonde Ale.

Although Lakefront started their Smash series almost two years, the first beer that I came across in this collection was the Hull Melon Hops which I found at Binny's in Lincolnwood, Illinois. It was sitting among the generous mix your own six pack collection (from which I mixed more than two sixers) in the back of the store.

After keeping this blonde ale in the fridge for about a week, I shared it with some friends at the Shabbos table, including a Milwaukee native. The beer poured a darker yellow than I was expecting with fragrant hops which I could smell the moment that I brought the glass to my face. There was more than ample carbonation and decent lacing on the glass. Successive sips exposed a broader base of flavor as the beer had some pepper along with the pine. I found myself wishing that I had bought more than just one bottle, as the beer was intriguing to me, much more than the average blonde ale. 

Lakefront Brewery's Smash Hull Melon Hops Blonde Ale is under the kosher supervision of the Star-K (there is even a Star-K on the label). For the experts' take on the brew, please click here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/741/292057.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you are reading this post more than six months after it was written, please note that it is possible that the product is no longer still certified kosher. To verify that the product is still certified kosher, please click on the kosher beers list link on the top left corner of the blog.

Lastly, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayishlach

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In the fifth aliyah of this week's parsha is the troubling story of Dina who was violated by Shechem. R' Frand quoted a vort from R' Elya Svei (sp?) to try to explain how this episode occurred.

There is a Medrash in Parshas Vayeitzei which states that a person should not be praised based on what will happen tomorrow, because it is unknown what will happen tomorrow. When Ya'akov was dealing with Lavan in Vayeitzei, he said to Lavan (Bereishis 30:33) V'ansa Bi Tzidkasi Machar (translated as let my integrity testify for me in the future). In so doing, Ya'akov was saying to Lavan, my righteousness will show that I have worked so hard for you. 

But what was wrong with saying this? Why could he not stand on his integrity?

R' Frand answered that Ya'akov was resting on his deeds, saying that they will insure his success in the future. However, a person needs to know that every day is a present and that each day he needs to have help from above and that he cannot rely on his actions from the day before as insurance that he will be successful today. 

Its not coincidental that the word used for the violation of Dina is "Vay'aneha". The root of inui is similar to the word oneh, which means answer. The Medrash linked the two events to say that a person cannot rely on what happened in the past, he needs to work and daven for the future as well.

R' Frand also said a nice vort about Chanukah which was somewhat linked to this vort. I hope to iyh blog that vort over the weekend.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Shmaltz Brewing - Brewers Wanted Pale Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Shmaltz Brewery's Brewers Wanted Pale Ale.

I found this beer in the mix your own six section in a Price Chopper in Albany. Its a Pale Ale, which to me is always a reason to buy something to try. But the name intrigued me as well. I checked the website and learned this about the beer:

In 2015, the number of U.S. breweries grew to 4,000 for the first time since the 1870s and New York State now has 238 breweries and counting. Now, more than ever, we need more passionate men and women willing to learn the craft of brewing. Shmaltz Brewing teamed up with Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), the Greater Capital Region Workforce Development Boards and fellow New York State breweries to start our first regional Brewers Training Program. A portion of the proceeds from BREWERS WANTED will help train new brewers through this program and help support SCCC’s efforts to create an Associates Degree in Brewing. 

The beer poured a dark gold and had nice lacing and strong carbonation which lasted for more than an hour after the pour. There is a good amount of citrus and hop bite and the beer is clean and refreshing. I unintentionally had some with my daughter's mocha cake and to my absolute surprise, the flavors worked nicely together. If you find this brew and have a positive pairing experience, post it in the comments below.

Shmaltz Brewers Wanted Pale Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the KSA, as are many, if not all of the Shmaltz products.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the brew, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/262/214845.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

Important Disclaimer - If you are reading this post more than six months after it was written, please note that it is possible that the product is no longer still certified kosher. To verify that the product is still certified kosher, please click on the kosher beers list link on the top left corner of the blog.

Lastly, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeitzei

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In Bereishis 31:22, the Torah writes that on the third day after Ya'akov left Lavan's house, it was told to Lavan that Ya'akov had left. In the end of the following pasuk, the Torah indicates that Lavan caught up to Ya'akov at Har Gilad. Rashi writes that at the time that Lavan left to chase after Ya'akov, Ya'akov had a six day head start on Lavan, but Lavan caught up to him in one day because he had kefitzas haderech.

R' Frand quoted the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh who asked -- why did Lavan have kefitzas haderech? If anything, Ya'akov should have had the speed in his trip, much like in his travels to get to Lavan! Eliezer had merited this assistance, so why would Ya'akov not have it on his return trip? And even if not, why would Lavan get it?

R' Frand answered that Hashem wanted Lavan to catch up to Ya'akov, so that Ya'akov would have the confrontation with Lavan in which he said in Bereishis 31:32 that whomever had taken Lavan's idols would die, because this would be the key to later ending the Jews' galus.

R' Frand quoted the famous Medrash in Eicha in which the patriarchs individually prayed that Hashem would end the galus. This began with Avraham praying and saying that in the z'chus of his sacrificing Yitzchak, Hashem should end the galus and Hashem said, no. Yitzchak then prayed and said that the galus should end in the z'chus that he did not challenge his father over the akeidah and Hashem said, no. Ya'akov too prayed and asked for the end of galus in the z'chus of his actions in the house of Lavan and Hashem said, no. Even Moshe prayed and asked that the galus end in the z'chus that he led the Jews in the desert for 40 years and Hashem said, no. Until Rochel prayed and said that the galus should end in the z'chus that she gave her sister the signs and helped her trick Ya'akov so that Leah would not be embarrassed, and for this Hashem agreed that there would be an end.

The Ohr HaChaim HaKadish explains that this conversation or prayer to Hashem occurred as the Jews were passing by Rachel's tomb on the way to Bavel. This needed to happen there and it was for this very reason that Lavan and Ya'akov had to have the confrontation that they did. Although the death of Rochel seemed to be a tragedy, it was the Divine reason that the Jews would have an end to their galus.

R' Frand also mentioned a vort in the name of the Rokeach who wrote in the sefer Galya Raza that Ya'akov was supposed to live 180 years like his father Yitzchak. However, he lost 33 years and only lived 147 years. He had a novel reason for this loss and it was also linked to Lavan. In 31:44, the Torah mentions the treaty made between Lavan and Ya'akov. As part of this event, they build a pillar of stones. Although Ya'akov called his pillar "Galed", Lavan called it Yiga Sahadusa. The Rokeach writes that this was the sole time that Aramaic was written in the Torah and it was a tragedy that Ya'akov was responsible for. As such, he lost 33 years (the gematria of Gal).

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting R' Simcha Zissel who said in the name of R' Epstein that on the same day that Columbus sailed for America, the Spanish began the expulsion of the Jews under the Inquisition. Although this seemed like Tzadik V'Ra Lo, it was the beginning of a process in which there would be an America to bring in and save the Jews who were fleeing oppression.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!