Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Shmaltz Brewing Death Hoppy Black Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Death Hoppy Black Ale.

I first saw this beer when I went to the Total Wine & Liquors opening in Westbury last week. As an aside, the store is quite impressive. They built out an old Sports Authority and turned it into two stores, one for the sale of beer and the other for wine and spirits. This is due to an arcane NY law which bars (pun intended?) the sale of beer and wine in the same store. When I visited for the opening they put on quite a show and I got to see the racks of kosher wine in one store and the many varieties of kosher certified beers (and munchies) in the other.

But back to the beer. Its an American Dark Ale which poured jet black with significant foam which quickly dissipated. Despite the color there was no coffee or stout taste. Instead it was dark IPA and a tasty one at that. The alcohol is on the low end for an American Dark Ale at 7%, but the complexity of the flavor made it worth the 9.99 for a six pack.

Shmaltz Death Hoppy Black 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/262/252726.

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 16, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Toldos

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.

The Gemara in Bava Basra 16b states that Avraham died on the date when Esav returned from the field and Yaakov was cooking lentil soup. The Gemara explains that when the Torah writes in Bereishis 25:29 that Esav was tired, it was due to Esav having committed five major sins earlier in the day. 

Although the Gemara in Bava Basra details the five sins and links them to other pesukim in the Torah, Rabbi Frand indicated that he wanted to focus on one particular sin --the rejecting of the Ikar (most important). The Gemara in Bava Basra explains that Esav rejected the Ikar by saying, why do I need the Bechora (first born rights)? The Gemara ties the use of the words Zeh Li to the statement made by the Jews after they crossed the Yam Suf  "Zeh Keili V'Anvehu". 

R' Frand quoted the Tolner Rebbi who explained the connection between the two pesukim by quoting another Gemara which states that the visions of the slavewoman when crossing the Yam Suf were more clear than the visions that the prophet Yechezkel had. But how can that be, since the week before the Jews were on the penultimate lowest level of tumah and the angels had remarked that both the Jews and Egyptians were idol worshipers? Meanwhile, in order to merit a prophetic vision, a prophet must improve himself to be worthy!

The Tolner Rebbi explained that Hashem gave the Jews a wonderful power -- the power of Teshuva, the power to improve and repent for what was done wrong. This was how the slavewoman merited the clarity of vision...and it was thoroughly rejected by Esav. Indeed, when Esav said why do I need the Bechora, what he was truly saying was, I can't repent, I can't change, I'm too far gone. How can I have the Bechora and do the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash, when I am such a Rasha? I don't have the power to change or do Teshuva.

R' Frand also linked this to a saying of the Kotzker Rebbi who noted that Esav's use of the words Haliteni Na (loosely translated in context as, please give me) in Bereishis 25:30 is odd, because the verb is more appropriately used in reference to animals, not people (see Gemara Shabbos). But when viewed in connection with Esav saying that he lacks the human element of change, it is logical. Esav is saying that he is like an animal, he can only act and cannot improve. This is a rejection of the important concept of Teshuva.

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 12, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Tropical Snow Storm IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac Brewery's Tropical Snow Storm IPA.

This beer is unlike any other IPA I have ever tasted. The first pour gave off a sweet scent which Mrs KB and I both thought was reminiscent of lychees. But the beer itself is not flavored and the tropical scent was all hop driven. It reminded me of the grapefruit flavor in Uinta Wyld (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/09/sunday-night-suds-uinta-wyld.html) which also makes you think that it has added flavor, but does not.

Another difference in this brew is that it is an unfiltered IPA, which is something that I can't remember seeing or tasting before. Although hefeweizen and American Wheat beers are commonly unfiltered, I don't recall ever seeing that in an IPA.

The beer was not as sweet as it smelled, but that is not a bad thing. It was floral and hop forward and it went well with Mrs KB's cranberry chicken. Although the beer is 6% abv, I did not detect any alcohol flavor in the brew.

The Tropical Snow Storm is only available in the 12 Beers of Winter mix box (2 per box) and does not appear to be sold in six or twelve packs on its own. I emailed Saranac to see whether it is available in six or twelve packs outside of the NYC area, but they never responded to my email.

Saranac Tropical Snow Storm IPA is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit as is every other beer produced at the Matt Brewery plant in Utica, NY. Keep in mind, Saranac has begun to brew many different varieties off site, so check bottles for kosher certification from the Va'ad of Detroit.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the brew, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/307405.

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 9, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Chaye Sarah

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.

R' Frand began the vort by recounting the story of Avraham and his interaction with Efron which runs the entire first aliyah of the parsha. R' Frand noted that in Bereishis 23:16, Ephron's name is spelled two different ways, once with a vuv and once without. R' Frand observed that while many words in the Torah are sometimes spelled malei or chasser, it is unique that the words are spelled differently in the same pasuk.

R' Frand quoted the Medrash which writes that Efron was a person who was stingy and while he did not know that the Torah would reflect this personality trait in the spelling of his name, it does teach us a lesson.

R' Frand quoted the Alter M'Kelem who tied this into a story involving R' Yonasan Aibshetz who was involved in a debate with world scholars. They believed that an animal could be taught to act and behave like a human, but he argued otherwise. The scholars took a cat and trained it to walk on its hind legs and carry a waiter's tray. This took some time, but once they completed the task, they made a party and invited R' Yonasan to attend. When R' Yonasan arrived the cat was serving as a waiter. But soon thereafter, R' Yonasan took out his snuff box which (unbeknownst to him) also had a small mouse in the box. When R' Yonasan opened the box, the mouse jumped out and the cat returned to its natural state and chased the mouse on all fours. 

The Alter explained that Efron pretended to be regal and magnanimous, initially offering Avraham the cave for free. But later in the story he asked Avraham to pay the value of 400 shekel and in specific form of payment. Thus Efron was exposed as being money hungry and the second  time that his name was written in teh pasuk it was spelled chasser, because his true nature was being stingy and lacking the personality trait of generosity.

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 5, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Blue Moon's Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale.

I found this beer in the little Target in Elmont, NY, although I had not yet seen it at any local beer store. As I had never seen any kosher certified apricot beer, I knew that I had to buy some so I picked up a six pack. (Since the beer was for sale in six packs, I would assume that it is also available in twelve packs, although I did not see any on the shelf).

They say that good things come to those who wait, but my life long wait for kosher apricot beer was not worthwhile (although Mrs KB did give the beer a thumbs up). The carbonation is strong, perhaps a little bit too strong. The beer poured a cloudy light orange and had a scent of kids lip gloss (yes, I have three daughters). The first sip was heavy with artificial faux fruit flavor and although I tried this beer both ice cold and closer to room temperature (and even after being left out to let the carbonation die down) the artificial sweetness overwhelmed the beer and was just not enjoyable for me.

Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, as is every other current variety of beer produced by Blue Moon. For the experts take on this beer, please click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/306/308084

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 2, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayera

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 discussing the people of Sodom's attempts to get at the angels who came to visit, the Torah notes in Bereishis 19:11 that even though the people had been struck blind while attempting to get into Lot's house, they persisted in trying to gain entry after being blinded.

R' Frand quoted the Sforno who explained that the people were so driven by their desire to get at the angels that they did not recognize the miraculous event which occurred and were undeterred from trying to reach the angels. He gave an example of a person who is on his way to do something that he should not do and then gets into a massive car accident. The person should realize that this is a message of deterrence, not try to get a cab to get him to where he had wanted to go in the first place.

R' Frand next quoted R' Elya Svei, who explained that this is the power of desire and is yet another proof to the ma'amar chazal that jealousy, desire and honor remove a person from this world.

R' Frand tied this into Bilaam and his desire for the $$ for cursing the Jews. Bilaam met all sorts of hurdles and had the open miracle of his donkey talking to him. Yet, his desire to be paid for cursing the Jews blinded him from seeing the evil of his ways.

[This is yet another example of the "daf laughing at you" as this week in Chelek we learned about Bilaam and Sodom].

R' Frand also tied this back to Lot. When Lot separates from Avraham initially he goes to Sodom because of the lavish greenery. But soon thereafter it becomes apparent that Sodom is a "sin city" and Lot eventually gets captured in battle. But after Avraham saves him, Lot goes right back to Sodom, because Lot's desire for money gets the best of him.

R' Frand also said a second vort which related to the Akeidah. R' Frand quoted the gemara in which it states that when a Jew wants to do a mitzva and is prevented from doing so, Hashem credits him for the mitzva. Meanwhile, when an akum intends to do a good deed, but is prevented, he does not have the same credit. But why is there a difference?

The Meshech Chachmah explains that this a result of the Akeidah. Avraham wanted to perform the act, but was prevented from doing so. This desire became part of our spiritual DNA and is another example of the concept of Sefer Bereishis being ma'asei avos siman l'banim.

R' Frand also cited to the Meshech Chachmah who noted that Avraham called the mountain (known as Moriah) as Har Yeraeh. This was a desire that Hashem look out and be reminded about how much the Jewish people want to do the right thing.

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!