Monday, June 26, 2017

Belated Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Cold Brew Coffee Lager


This week's (belated) Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac Cold Brew Coffee Lager.

With things starting up for staff at Camp M, this week's Sunday Night Suds is a bit belated due to the move up schedule. So how else can I wake myself up after driving back and forth (and going to work) other than with a coffee lager.

The Cold Brew Coffee Lager is not a typical coffee infused brew as it does not attempt to mimic the earthiness of a stout, nor is it an ale with coffee undertones. Instead, this brew tastes like an iced coffee, sans sweetener. I did not detect hops or even any alcohol bite. Rather this beer is almost like an alcopop, albeit made for coffee drinkers.

Saranac Cold Brew Coffee Lager 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 brews some of its beers off site and these bottles do not have 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/99/235896.

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, June 22, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Korach

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 quoting the Gemara in Sanhedrin 109 which discusses the role of On Ben Pelet's wife. By way of introduction, the first pasuk of the parsha describes Korach's gang which included the instigators - Dasan and Aviram as well as On Ben Pelet. However, the Torah makes no further reference to On and he does not die in the plague or by being swallowed up by the ground.

The Gemara discusses how On's wife talked him out of participating in Korach's rebellion. She reasoned with him by saying --what is in this for you? You won't become a Kohain as this fight is among the sons of Levi and you are from Reuven. You will always be an On, so why get involved? This argument proved successful and On retreated to the inside of the tent while his wife sat outside and warded off Korach and his men. The Gemara links this to a pasuk in Mishlei in which it is written the Wisdom of a woman builds her house.

R' Frand then asked on this Gemara --why was On's wife effective? Korach's complaint was not only about the role that Moshe assigned to his brother Aharon. He also made fun of the shaving of the Levi'im and the fact that Moshe picked them up and waved them like lulavim. He also circulated a story about an indigent widow who Moshe supposedly required to give leket, shichicha, peah and ma'aser from her field. And when she had animals which gave birth, Moshe required her to give the first animal as a bechor and the Kohanim took their priestly gifts. As a result, she and her daughters died of famine. So why was On's wife able to convince him not to join the revolt?

R' Frand answered that On's wife was able to convince On that the revolt was not about the nepotism or the way that the Levi'im were treated. And the story about the woman was "fake news" invented thousands of years before the combover. She convinced him that the machlokes was entirely based on Korach's jealousy and his desire for power. Being a wise observer, she recognized that these other issues were merely devices to garner support, but at its core, a machlokes is never about the ancillary issues. It revolves around jealousy and a desire for money, or in this case, power. And since On was not in line to accede to any of the lofty roles that Korach sought, there was simply no reason for him to get involved.

R' Frand also said a second vort on the complaint by Korach that Moshe was "haughty". R' Frand quoted R' Bunim M'Parshizcha who R' Frand applied in a 20-21st century manner. He theorized that a person could not logically state that Einstein was a genius, but did not have a grasp of physics. You could perhaps say that he did not know how to balance a checkbook, but anyone who knew Einstein would reject the claim that he did not know physics.

R' Frand gave another example of a person saying that Warren Buffet was brilliant but did not know how to pick stocks. Again, anyone who knew him would reject this statement out of hand.

But since Hashem had said that Moshe was an anav and everyone knew him to be that way, what gave Korach the legs to make this argument?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Sfas Emes who stated that there are two kinds of anav. The first kind is a person who knows that he has talents and works hard at trying not to be arrogant or to give the impression that he is important. This person is always worried that people will think him haughty and he thinks about what others may perceive before he acts.

The second kind of anav is someone who has a close relationship with Hashem and by way of the connection, he is an anav. This person does not worry about others' impressions of him and he is naturally humble. 

Moshe was this second kind of anav and this freed him to occasionally take positions which to an outsider might appear to be hubris, but which was really just standing up for what was right.

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, June 18, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Negev Oasis Beer

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Negev Oasis Blonde Ale.

This brew is another of the fine beers carried at the Beer Bazaar in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. (Click here https://beerbazaar.co.il for a link to their beer menu). Although the bottle did not give much of an indication about the style of the beer, I thought that it was cool that there was a beer brewed in the Negev, so I added it to my six pack at the store.

The Oasis poured a darker orange than I expected, but the flavor was pretty close to American Blonde Ales. There was a bit of malt and some citrus, but the overall hop flavor was pretty subdued. I In some ways this beer reminded me of the Layla brew which was produced by a defunct brewery in Ashkelon. I would not mind trying this again if it ever makes it to the US.

The Negev Oasis Blonde Ale is certified kosher by Rabbi Weiss of Kfar HaRo'eh,. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew (yes its on BA), please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29093/247241.

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).

Also, 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 check the label on the bottle you are purchasing (since the the kosher beers list link does not include beer brewed in Israel).

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, June 15, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shelach

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

There are two stories of meraglim (spies) which will be read on Shabbos. There is the story in Parshas Shelach wherein Hashem told Moshe to send the spies, making the task a mitzva and there is the story in the Haftorah from the book of Joshua which discusses the spies sent to Jericho.

R' Frand first asked about the spies sent in Parshas Shelach ---If Hashem knew that the task was fraught with danger, why did He order that they be sent in the first place ("Shelach Lecha")? 

R' Frand then quoted the Medrash on the spies sent in the book of Joshua wherein they are referred to as being unparalleled in their endearment to Hashem because they were Sheluchei Mitzva --messengers tasked to perform a mitzva, who risked their lives to do His will. And who were these praiseworthy men who risked their lives - Kalev and Pinchas. And they went forth and were moser nefesh and succeeded.

The Medrash notes that when Kalev and Pinchas entered the city of Jericho, they were pottery  (Klei Cheres) salesman. They simply set up shop out in the open and anyone who wanted to buy pottery would come and buy from them. It was a simple way not to be called spies, since they were out in the open as "salesmen."

R' Frand quoted the Sfas Emes who addressed the first question by stating that Hashem knew that the spies in Parshas Shelach were in a dangerous position. It was for this specific reason that he made the sending of the spies a mitzva ---because if Hashem endorsed the desire to send the spies and made it a mitzva instead of a voluntary act, the mitzva will protect them. However, the spies did not take on this task as a mitzva. Instead they viewed it as a task for personal gain. In contrast, Joshua sent the spies as a mitzva and they viewed it as such and succeeded.

The Sfas Emes then asked ---why did they specifically choose to be pottery salesmen? He answered that pottery is not intrinsically valuable, it is utilitarian and serves a specific purpose to hold or store things. It is for this reason that a kli cheres is not mitamei from the outside and only becomes tamei when something tamei comes into (or in contact with) the inside of the vessel.

R' Frand closed this part of the vort by noting that a person who goes to work needs to realize that he is serving as a "butcher, baker or candlestick maker" because he needs to earn a living in order to support a family and give tzedakah and not to simply amass personal fortune. We are vessels which hold our souls and we need to realize that the jobs we perform are a mechanism to fulfill a task, not an end of itself. This is not an easy mindset to have as there are many distractions which may cause us to feel a need to work in order to earn prestige or build our bank accounts. But if a person who works realizes that this is simply a means to support his family and to use the earned funds to perform mitzvos, he can succeed like Joshua's men.

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, June 11, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Citradelic (the other one).

Last year New Belgium introduced the first Citradelice (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/05/new-belgium-citradelic-tangerine-ipa.html) a fantastic tangerine flavored beer which drew accolades wherever I brought it. For reasons I can't fathom, this year New Belgium created another beer which it also calls Citradelic, although with the extension of "exotic lime ale." But other the name, these two brews have very little in common.

The beer has a hazy pale straw color with a hint of citrus emanating from the glass, but the sips are all artificial lime, almost like someone poured lime juice into a bottle of blonde ale and mildly shook it up.

If you are into sweet lime flavor, this beer might be for you. If you are looking for a beer light on hops but calling itself an ale, this beer might be for you. But if you are looking for an ale with a little hint of fruit, just keep walking down the beer aisle.

The New Belgium Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/262267.

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, June 8, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Beha'alosecha

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 Bamidbar 11:1, the Torah states that the Jews were "K'Misonninen Ra" in the ears of Hashem. R' Frand opened the parsha portion of the shiur by exploring what the word Misonninen meant. He first quoted the Ibn Ezra as cited in the Ramban which states that the Jews says words of sinning. But how do we see that from the pasuk and what was their sin? 

The Ramban rejects this interpretation and instead states translates the word as complaining. He notes that the Jews had just left Har Sinai which was close to civilization. They were now travelling in real desert and were wondering what they would eat and drink. But the language that they used was indicative that they were complaining about their own lot, akin to the pasuk in Eicha (3:39) which states "Mah Yisonnen Gever"  --of what shall a living man complain? 

The Ramban explains that Hashem's problem was that the Jews made themselves out as if they had real problems and it appeared as if they were rejecting the good that Hashem had done for them. The Jews should have been happy and joyous that Hashem had taken them out of Egypt with many great miracles and then given them the Torah. But instead they expressed a "woe is me" attitude which showed no regard for all the good they had received. R' Frand remarked that Hashem does not tolerate those who do not show thanks for what they received.

R' Frand quoted the Brisker Rav who said that a man who has a penchant for jealousy or anger is a deficient person. However, one who does not recognize the good that another person has done for him is not even a person.

R' Frand also quoted a Rashi on Devarim 32:6 wherein the Torah states "Ha L'Hashem Tigmilu Zos Am Naval V'Lo Chacham" -- Is this to Hashem that you do this, you vile and unwise people? Moshe is chiding the Jews for complaining about the good they received. Rashi compares them to a carcass of a dead animal - a neveilah.

R' Frand then connected this with Bamidbar 11:4-6 wherein the "asafsuf" complained about not having meat to eat and how they longingly remembered the gourds and watermelons they ate in Egypt. In the next pasuk the Torah describes the Manna as like coriander seed and the color like the bedloach. Rashi explains that the one who made the complaints in 11:4-6 was not the same as the One who described the Manna. The Jews complained --we only have the Manna to eat and Hashem spoke in praise of the qualities of the Manna and said look at this miracle which you are rejecting.

R' Frand also quoted a story from R' Pa'am who said that a man once came to him and said that he was having shalom bayis issues. Why? Because every day when he came home from work the house was a mess and strewn with toys and this was impacting his relationship with his wife as he constantly complained about the state of the home. R' Pa'am commented that how many families would give anything to have a home full of messy children instead of childless marriages.

R' Frand also talked about how the greater the person, the greater their sense of recognizing the good that Hashem has done for them. He quoted a Medrash on Parshas Shemos that when Hashem told Moshe to leave Yisro and go down to Egypt, Moshe said to Hashem --first I need to ask Yisro's permission because he has hosted me these years in Midyan. R' Frand commented that Moshe did more good for Yisro than Yisro did for Moshe, since Moshe saved Yisro's daughters at the well and married one of them. Yet in Moshe's eyes it was important to recognize the good that Yisro did for him.

R' Frand quoted the Baalei Mussar who say that a person has a natural inclination not to thank someone who helped him, if the doer gets paid to do that job. But we see from Moshe that there is a need to thank everyone who helps you.

R' Frand had a few more stories to illustrate this point, but I may save them for a future blog post.

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, June 4, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale.

I remember going on a tour of the FX Matt Brewery not long after I started writing this blog and being amazed that craft brewers were actually canning beer. It seemed to me at the time that the only beer that came in cans was Bud or other macro lagers and I could not remember trying a beer from a can which did not taste like metal. The tour guide explained that they had engineered cans which did not react with the beer and that (then) beer could be canned without a reduction in flavor.

Fast forward to 2016 (yes I know its 2017) and I caught my first glimpse of the Samuel Adams nitro cans. Much like the concept behind the rocket widget in the Guinness bottles, these nitro cans are manufactured in a way that the beer which is poured is creamy and tastes almost like it came from tap. And yes, the Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale is creamy. The pour gave foam which was reminiscent of having beer straight from the tap at the brewery with reach cream at the top of the glass.

Although the good folks at BA call this is a witbier, it really is light on the phenols and there is little to no clove taste in the brew. But it is rich and creamy with a little of complex flavor towards the end of the swallow.

The Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the can. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/197070.

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!