Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Starship IPA

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger American Haze IPA.

In one of my most recent trips to the beer store I saw that they had the New Belgium Voodoo Ranger American Haze in six packs at 8.99 (a very decent price for Voodoo Ranger products) so I jumped at the opportunity to add it to my cart.

By my count, this is the eighth Voodoo Ranger that New Belgium has released. Previously reviewed Voodoo Ranger brews include Voodoo Ranger American Haze IPA (reviewed here https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2020/03/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html); Voodoo Ranger Hop Avenger IPA (reviewed here https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2019/12/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html); Juicifer IPA (reviewed here https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2019/11/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-juicifer.html); Juicy Haze IPA (https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2018/02/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html); Imperial IPA (https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/10/sunday-nigh-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html); Atomic Pumpkin IPA (https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/10/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html); and the first - the Voodoo Ranger IPA (https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/02/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html).

This beer poured a mid-dark gold with impressive foam and lacing. The first smell was citrus, but it was not a one note citrus as it had grapefruit and tangerine notes, along with some pine. The beer had some bite, but was not as strong as I expected and the 7/7% ABV seems overstated. Mrs KB found this beer to be enjoyable and if you have a spouse that knows and appreciates an IPA, you know that you have found a good one. (She never reads my blog anyway).

As far as I am aware, this beer is only available in six packs of cans, which seems to be a trend for the Voodoo Ranger. Its not a hard and fast rule as New Belgium does produce a seasonal mix box which usually includes one Voodoo Ranger, but its just one kind.

The New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Starship IPA is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, and their symbol is on the bottom of the six pack can box. However, not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision, so look for the Scroll K on the six pack holder or box when considering purchasing any NBB product. Many of the "sours" such as the Peach Kick which was released over the summer cannot be certified kosher.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Starship IPA, click here https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/455117.

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).

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!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Motzei Shabbos Special - R' Zev Cohen on Bamidbar & Shavuous

As I mentioned in a Pre-Pesach post, for as long Mrs KB and I have been married, I have been a chassid of Rabbi Zev Cohen of Congregation Adas Yeshurun in Chicago. He has such a powerful and positive way of speaking which I find inspiring and I try to make his replay of his derashas for Shabbos Shuva (given on Hoshana Rabbah night) and Shabbos HaGadol (given on the motzei Shabbos of Chol HaMoed) every year. 

Last week, Rabbi Cohen spoke on Shavuous and Parshas Bamidbar in connection with the public health crisis. This shiur is available on line at www.adasyeshurun.com. Same rules as usual apply, although I have not attempted to summarize the entire shiur,  I have tried 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' Cohen.

Rabbi Cohen began by quoting Rashi 19:2 on the pasuk וַיִּסְע֣וּ מֵֽרְפִידִ֗ים וַיָּבֹ֨אוּ֙ מִדְבַּ֣ר סִינַ֔י וַיַּֽחֲנ֖וּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר וַיִּֽחַן־שָׁ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נֶ֥גֶד הָהָֽר - Rashi asks - why the transition from plural to singular and he answers quoting the Mechilta that they were K'Ish Echad B'Lev Echad - they were like one man with one heart.

R' Cohen said that although there is a concept of Achdus, there needs to be color to it as some people say - if you don't agree with me there is no Achdus. R' Cohen then gave three scenarios which explained the true concept of Achdus.

The first story had to do with making tea on Shabbos. When he was first was married, his wife wanted tea on Shabbos and he looked in the R' Shimon Eider book which said that you can put a tea bag in a Kli Shlishi to make tea. However when they moved from Lakewood to Chicago and he was learning in Kollel and someone pointed out to him that the Aruch HaShulchan says that this is Chayav Skilla. So how is this that if you put a tea bag in a cup of boiling water - so hot that you could burn your hand on it, that R' Moshe Feinstein says Mutar L'Chatchilla and the Aruch HaShulchan, the Rav of Novardok, says Chayav Skilla.

R' Cohen gave another example involving R' Schwalb. When he went to R' Chaim Ozer as a young man he asked - can you shake a woman's hand? The response he got - ask me an easier question like being mattir an Agunah.

R' Cohen explained that in Germany at that time it was permitted, but in Poland, the Steipler said - Yehareg V'Al Ya'avor. R' Cohen said that he knew of a good friend of his wife who when she got engaged the couple went to see R' Breur in Washington Heights, he stuck out his hand to shake her hand. The German Jews felt that there was no derech chibba and the Polish Jews said - Yehareg V'Al Ya'avor.

R' Cohen gave one more example as to voting in the Israeli elections. The Satmar Rebbi said - Yehareg V'Al Ya'avor. Meanwhile Rav Shach at the age of nearly 100, took an ambulance to the polls so that he could vote, as he felt that voting in the election was worth being Mesiras Nefesh. Again - Yehareg V'Al Ya'avor vs Mitzva!.

R' Cohen then  asked - would the Satmar Rebbi have invited or allowed R' Shach to attend his daughter's wedding? Would R' Moshe have attended a simcha for the Aruch HaShulchan? Would R' Chaim Ozer have gone to a simcha that R' Schwalb was making? Of course they would.

R' Cohen mentioned the song - Hashem, the Jewish People and the Torah are all one and we sing about it. He quoted the Sefer Nefesh HaChayim - when the Jews are learning Torah, our souls are attached to the letters of the Torah and Hashem.

But what does it mean that we are one? Hashem and the Torah being one is understandable, but how about the Jews? He explained that in order to say Na'aseh V'Nishma there had to be achdus. If there is achdus, that allows us to be one together and to get to Har Sinai where we can say Na'aseh V'Nishma.

But included in this accepting the Torah as Na'aseh V'Nishma there has to be an acceptance of the Ratzon Hashem. R' Cohen quoted R' Akiva who famously said Kol Ma'an D'Aved Hashem L'Tav Hu. We need to be together and accept that Hashem does only for the good for us.

R' Cohen then linked this to the reopening of Shuls. He said that whether the shuls reopen this week or next week, the bottom line is that everyone agrees that the shuls will reopen and that they will reopen with social distancing and with masks and gloves. Whether this one opens a week earlier than the other is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Everyone agrees that children should not be playing ten together at a time without masks and distancing. We should not be focusing on when the particular shul reopens - they will all reopen with the same guidlines.

R' Cohen noted that Rabbanim had disagreements, but Achdus means that I can disagree with you, but still accept you. But a higher level is accepting Hashem is doing only for the good for us. Do I want to be in my house, do I want to ease my way back into shul? 

R' Cohen asked - do you think that when the Jews left Egypt they were all united in thought? There is a Medrash that they each had their own path across the Yam Suf and he quoted R' Yerucham that even at Har Sinai, each of the 600,000 accepted the Torah in their own way. But they each accepted the Torah and they stood together in accepting the Ratzon of Hashem,

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, May 21, 2020

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Bamidbar

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 by quoting Bamidbar 2 which discusses the flags and the configuration of marching. It begins with 2:3 which introduces Yehuda - וְהַֽחֹנִים֙ קֵ֣דְמָה מִזְרָ֔חָה דֶּ֛גֶל מַֽחֲנֵ֥ה יְהוּדָ֖ה . After this, Yissachar is introduced in 2:5 as וְהַֽחֹנִ֥ים עָלָ֖יו מַטֵּ֣ה יִשָּׂשכָ֑ר. However when it comes to  Zevulun in 2:7, the Torah merely writes - מַטֵּ֖ה זְבוּלֻ֑ן וְנָשִׂיא֙ לִבְנֵ֣י זְבוּלֻ֔ן אֱלִיאָ֖ב בֶּן־חֵלֹֽן. The Ba'al HaTurim explains that it is written this way, even without a Vuv drawing them together, because Zevulun supported Yissachar. Zevulun was in business and Yissachar learned and the Torah did not want to treat Zevulun as lesser or just an add on. Therefore its not written as a Vuv - an and. Instead they are like one tribe together.

R' Frand quoted the Sefer Kol Dodi from R' Dovid Feinstein who asked - how did Zevulun make his money? The flag of Zevulun had a flag with a ship on it, because Zevulun made his money as a merchant on the sea. He explained that this is not the safest way to make a living, but the tribe did not choose a safer way of earning a living. Why? Because this had a tie to Hashem, they knew that it was not safe and they relied on Hashem to safely guide them through. This also allowed them to part with their money for Tzedakah much more freely. When a person thinks that their money comes from their own efforts ("my hard earned money") they are not apt to give it away. But when a person sees that Hashem protects him on the seas, he is more willing to follow the command to give Tzedakah. 

R' Frand also said a second vort from the Ramban who noted that the tribe of Levi was much smaller than the others, even though Levi was quoted from one month old instead of 20 years old. Why were they fewer in number? The Ramban explains that this supports the Chazal that the more the Egyptians oppressed the Jews, the Jews were more fertile and multiplied. Since the Tribe of Levi was not enslaved, they did not have the bracha of fruitfulness - six children being born at a time.

R' Frand said that the lesson from this is the Yiddish expression (translated to English) - man thinks and Hashem laughs. R' Frand quoted the Sefer Be'er Yosef who states that the plague of blood came on the Egyptians because they did not allow the Jewish women to go to mikva - blood vs blood. What Pharaoh did not know is that when women are stressed and in a difficult situation, they sometimes stop seeing niddah blood and then don't have to go to mikva. Thus the other tribes could continue to be together, but the tribe of Levi was not stressed and the women did see niddah blood, but they still could not go to mikva. Again man thinks and Hashem laughs. And another reason that Levi was smaller in number.

R' Frand also noted that R' Chatzkel Levenstien observed that the tribe of Dan was the second largest tribe, even though Dan only had one child when he went to Egypt. Meanwhile, the tribe of Binyamin had ten sons. Again, man thinks, but Hashem laughs at man's calculations.

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, May 17, 2020

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium The Purist Lager


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium The Purist Clean Lager.

This is another of the beers that I picked up on my first post-Pesach trip to Total Wine in Westbury. While not every brewery is pumping out new beers, New Belgium has continued to do so and two of the three beers that I bought last week were from New Belgium.

Much like last week's Blue Moon Blue Sky (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2020/05/sunday-night-suds-blue-moon-light-sky.html) this is a light beer - 95 calories and 3g carbs. And much like the Blue Sky, it is a bit light on taste, although since this is a lager its not so far off. The beer did pour the same pale gold color as a pilsner and the breadiness was there, albeit somewhat lighter. This was not as solid as a Stella Artois, but it was stronger and tastier than a Heineken. The 3.8% abv did seem accurate as there was little to no alcohol taste.

The New Belgium The Purist Lager is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, and their symbol is on the bottom of the six pack can box. However, not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision, so look for the Scroll K on the six pack holder or box when considering purchasing any NBB product. Many of the "sours" such as the Peach Kick which was released over the summer cannot be certified kosher.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium The Purist Clean Lager, click here https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/482338/.

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).

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, May 14, 2020

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Behar-Bechukosai

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parshios 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 first referred to the end of the tochacha and noted that it ends on a positive note. R' Frand noted that after the tochacha, the Torah then discusses the concept of Erchin - that people have specific appointed value based on their age and that a donation can be made based on this valuation. But the obvious question is why does the category of Erchin follow the tochacha?

R' Frand gave two answers to the question. The first was said in the name of the Kotsker Rebbi who explained that even when a person is beaten to the ground and feels destroyed, he has a value. Regardless of what happens to a Jew or the Jewish people, it does not change the fact that he has a value and he needs to remember he has a value.

R' Frand quoted R' Mordechai Kaminetsky who told a story about the Kloizenberger Rebbi which symbolizes this thought. When the Nazis came to a town they would find the Rebbi and single him out, because the Nazis wanted to show that this was a war on the Jews. 

Rabbi Frand said that as an aside, he heard from a Holocaust historian that when the Nazis were faced with the choice of killing a Jew or burning a Sefer Torah, they would burn the Sefer Torah. He also mentioned that when the Nazis came to Lublin, they took all the seforim from the Yeshiva which had the largest collection in Europe and burned them in the courtyard first as a symbol and the seforim burned for 24 hours.

R' Frand said that when they took the Kloizenberger Rebbi out to humiliate him a Nazi hit him and pulled his beard and then asked -are you from the chosen people? The Rebbi replied yes. The Nazi then knocked him to the ground and kicked him and said - are you sure you are from the chosen people? Again he responded yes. The Nazi then said - you are lying on the ground - how can you be sure you are the chosen people. The Rebbi responded - because as long as I am not the one who is doing the hitting and the kicking, I know I am one of the chosen people and you are not. I still am a Jew and I act like a Jew and that gives me value.

The second answer was said in the name of R' Moshe Sherrer who said that if you want to know the true value of a person, you need to see how a person is during a problem and after the problem - how he behaves when things are not so great and how he is after the problem has ceased. 

R' Frand said that this led him to the following thought. R' Frand is among the baby boomer generation and he did not live through a World War. His parents lived through Kristallnacht and his mother had to walk through the streets afterwards. His parents came here penniless right before the Holocaust and he wondered if he had gone through that if he would have come out the same way.

R' Frand said that this does not minimize the personal troubles that individual people have dealt with, but on the mass level, the current pandemic seems like the same type of situation where masses of people are suffering and this is similar to a World War. This has impacted on everyone's lives as they are with their families 24-7 and other than a ride with his wife on Yeshiva Lane - they are there. And he has not lost his job and still has a paycheck. But it is still very hard. 

After this is over, each person will have to ask - how was I with my wife or children? Was I short tempered? How was I about davening when I did not have a minyan? How was I about learning if I now had a lot of extra time on my hands? How did our cushy generation (compared to our parents and grandparents) live through our own difficult time? BH we are not being slaughtered, but it is a period of great difficulty and it touches everyone. So when it is over bimhera biyamenu we will need to ask ourselves - was I a good parent? Was I a good spouse? Was I a good son/daughter? Was I a good Jew?

The time of the mageifah is unfortunately not over yet and R' Frand noted that if we are not happy with how we have behaved until now, there is still time to change. We can still answer the question that we came through it well and we can have our own Erchin and see how we behaved during and after our generation's troubles.

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, May 10, 2020

Sunday Night Suds - Blue Moon Light Sky


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Blue Moon Light Sky.

This past Friday I made my first successful post-Pesach beer shopping trip and went to the Total Wine & Liquor in Westbury, where after only a fifteen minute wait, I was able to get in to shop. This was the longest wait to get into any store over the last four weeks, other than one trip to Aron's Kissena Farms over Chol HaMoed.

I mention that this was my first successful trip, because I made a few previous trips to smaller beer stores and did not see any new beer, or in one circumstance there was new beer but the price point was exorbitant and I could not bring myself to spend $17 on a case of smaller sized cans.

So during this trip I was able to pick up three new beers (including the Blue Moon Light Sky) for a little more than $7 plus tax, which was a nice score. I also saw a few 12 packs which have new beers in them, but for the moment I am holding off in the hopes that one of the beer store will break open the boxes and sell some as singles.

But back to the Blue Moon Light Sky, this beer is one of the new ultra light beers as it has 3.6 grams of carbohydrates and 95 calories. The beer poured a light golden orange with decent foam, but not much of a scent. The initial taste was tangerine and the beer is made with tangerine peel. There were additional citrus notes as I sipped the beer, but neither Mrs KB nor KBjr were crazy about it. I did not detect much of an alcohol flavor and the beer's 4% abv seems to be high. Still, for a light beer there was decent flavor and I could see having more if the situation presented itself.

Blue Moon Light Sky 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/306/465978.

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).

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!