Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale.

This beer is classified by New Belgium as a Cream Ale, but should not be confused with a can of Dr. Brown's Cream Ale. As explained by the experts at BA:
Cream Ales, spawned from the American light lager style, are brewed as an ale though are sometimes finished with a lager yeast or with lager beer mixed into the final product. Adjuncts such as corn or rice are frequently used to lighten the body but it is not uncommon for smaller craft brewers to make all malt Cream Ales. Pale straw to pale gold in color, they were known to have a low degree of hop bittering yet some hop aroma. More recently, a number of breweries have put their stamp on the style by giving it more of a hoppy character, nudging it toward Imperial. Well carbonated and well attenuated.
Interestingly, BA's definition of Cream Ale has a very wide range of abv as the style (according to Beer Advocate) can range from 4-8.5% abv.

When I first poured this beer I was struck by two things: (1) despite the Nitro in the name of the beer, there was no appreciable escape of fizz sound like when opening an over carbonated beer and (2) the beer poured rich brown and then when it settled it took on a much darker appearance. 

I took a few long sips from my pint glass and thought to myself - this is like a Guinness, but lighter. I then read the can and saw that they made the beer with High Brew Coffee, so that was why there was a strong coffee flavor. But there was some other smoothness there which I read came from oats.

So basically, this is a breakfast beer which goes very well as an after dinner dessert. Mrs KB really liked this and I am certain that I will be buying more six packs of it, if and when I remember where I found it.

The New Belgium Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale 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 Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale, click here https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/444929/.

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, January 16, 2020

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shemos

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.

Rabbi Frand first said a vort discussing Hashem's direction to Moshe to return to Egypt as it states in Shemos 4:19 - וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֤ה אֶל־משֶׁה֙ בְּמִדְיָ֔ן לֵ֖ךְ שֻׁ֣ב מִצְרָ֑יִם כִּי־מֵ֨תוּ֙ כָּל־הָ֣אֲנָשִׁ֔ים הַֽמְבַקְשִׁ֖ים אֶת־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ - Moshe was commanded to go back to Egypt because the people who wanted to kill him have died.

R' Frand quoted the Da'as Zekeinim M'Ba'alei HaTosafos which cites a gemara in Avodah Zarah which states that the people who wanted to kill Moshe were Dasan and Aviram. But they were not dead? The gemara explains that they must have become poor, because a poor person is considered like dead (Ani Nechshav C'Meis).

The Da'as Zekeinim then asks - how do we know that they were poor? After all, there are four categories of people who are considered like dead - the Metzora, the person without children, a blind person and a poor person. The Da'as Zekeinim then proves that Dasan and Aviram could not fit into the other categories, as they could not have been Metzoraim as they would have been sent outside the camp and there is no indication that this occurred. It cannot be that they had no children, as in Parshas Korach there is a mention of their children being punished with them. Similarly, it cannot be that they were blind, as there is a mention of being blinded in Parshas Korach.

R' Frand then asked - but why could they not have been blind at the time and healed at Har Sinai when all those with ailments were healed? He answered that everyone who was healed at Har Sinai saw their affliction return after the sin of the Egel.

R' Frand then quoted R' Baruch Sorotzkin who asked - why were these people punished when others seemingly were not? After all, the people who had been miraculously healed saw their ailments return, but no one else was sickened?

R' Sorotzkin answered that the people who were miraculously healed were obligated to change the way they lived their life, because they were healed. When those people sat back and did not react when the people sinned with the Egel, they were punished as they proved themselves as unworthy of the miracle when they did not stand up and protest.

R' Frand said a second vort in connection to the reunion of Moshe and Aaron at Har HaElokim which was the same mountain that the Torah would be given on later - Har Sinai. He noted that in Parshas Yisro the Torah states in Shemos 19:2  וַיִּֽחַן־שָׁ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נֶ֥גֶד הָהָֽר - they encamped but the Torah uses singular form. The meforshim explain that they were like one man with one heart.

Rashi explains that this was the one and only time that the Jews encamped without infighting or bickering.

What was unique here? R' Frand quoted a sefer called Toras Hashem (whose author was unknown to him) who uses the principle Ma'seh Avos - Siman L'Banim - the actions of the fathers are a sign for the children. When Moshe and Aaron met - there was incredible love and selflessness, as Moshe had protested that Aaron should lead and Aaron was pious and genuinely happy that his younger brother was the leader.

This sense of achdus was infused into the location, so that years later when the Jews came to Har Sinai, they too felt like one.

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, January 12, 2020

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Citrus Freeze Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac Citrus Freeze Ale.

As mentioned in last week's Sunday Night Suds column, the Citrus Freeze is one of two* new beers in the Saranac Beers of Winter mix box  for 2019-2020. The box also includes new offering The Saranac Holidaze IPA (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2020/01/sunday-night-suds-saranac-holidaze-haze.html), old friend Black Forest Cake (reviewed here https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2010/01/sunday-night-suds-saranac-black-forest.html) and Season's Best, which I am still trying to figure out if its the same Season's Best beer which was itself a recast of the Nut Brown Ale.

The Citrus Freeze is a juice infused Pale Ale brewed with tangerine and orange peel. Neither the website nor the BA review mention the type of hops which were used in the brew process and my palate can't figure it out either. I am sure that there are hops in the brew (beyond the obvious reasons) and there is some hop bite. But mostly this is a juice plus beer, the kind that you can give to someone who prefers alcopop. This beer claims to be 5.5% abv, but I feel like that may be a bit on the high side. 

Besides being sold as part of the 12 Beers of Winter mix box, this beer also is sold in six pack boxes of cans, so if you like fruity beers with no added juice, you may want to keep an eye out for the six packs.

The Citrus Freeze Ale 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 varieties off site, so check the cans/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 https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/453748.

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!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayechi

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 49:5, Ya'akov gives his "beracha" to Shimon and Levi and tells them שִׁמְע֥וֹן וְלֵוִ֖י אַחִ֑ים כְּלֵ֥י חָמָ֖ס מְכֵרֹֽתֵיהֶֽם. This is translated as "Shimon and Levi are brothers; stolen instruments are their weapons." Rashi explains the last word as weapons, but also offers an alternative explanation that in the land that they lived in they carried weapons.

R' Frand quoted R' Elya Meir Bloch who was a Rosh Yeshiva in Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland in the 1940s who explains that it did not mean that were armed where they lived. Instead it means that their regular lifestyle was to carry weapons. He further explained that this is not a way to live - there is a time that one needs weapons, but it should not be part of one's regular attire. By example, Ya'akov used trickery when it was needed, but this did not become part of his personality. Ya'akov gave the brothers musar that they should not live their lives in a constant state of being ready for battle.

R' Frand said a second vort on the posuk in Bereishis 49:21 which contains the beracha to Naftali - נַפְתָּלִ֖י אַיָּלָ֣ה שְׁלֻחָ֑ה הַנֹּתֵ֖ן אִמְרֵי־שָֽׁפֶר - translated as "Naftali is a swift gazelle who utters beautiful words."

He quoted the Tolner Rebbi who in turn quoted the Alexander Rebbi who linked this to the parsha of the Nesi'im in Nasso. The nasi for Naftali who was Achira Ben Einan offered the last of the twelve identical sacrifices. Rabbi Frand remarked, it is discouraging for a speaker to speak last but even more so when he is repeating what was said by many speakers before. But Achira did not have this attitude as is seen in his name - Einan - he had an Ayin Yafeh and was genuinely happy for all those who offered their sacrifices before him and was content in being last.

R' Frand linked this to the pasuk in Devarim 33:23 containing Moshe's beracha to Naftali - נַפְתָּלִי֙ שְׂבַ֣ע רָצ֔וֹן וּמָלֵ֖א בִּרְכַּ֣ת יְהֹוָ֑ה יָ֥ם וְדָר֖וֹם יְרָֽשָׁה - Naftali is satisfied and full with Hashem's blessing... - since Naftali was satisfied, he was filled with Hashem's blessing. This trait was endemic to the tribe and why Achira had no problem being last.

R' Frand closed the vort by returning to the Tolner Rebbi who explained that this is the reason that Naftali utters beautiful words - he said wonderful positive things because he was happy with his lot in life. 

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, January 5, 2020

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Holidaze Haze IPA


The holiday season may be over, but its not too late to looks at Saranac Holidaze Haze IPA for this week's Sunday Night Suds review.

The Saranac Holidaze IPA is one of two* new beers in the Saranac Beers of Winter mix box  for 2019-2020. The box also includes new offerings Citrus Freeze, old friend Black Forest Cake (reviewed here https://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2010/01/sunday-night-suds-saranac-black-forest.html) and Season's Best, which has been rebranded and may or not be the same beer which was itself a recast of the Nut Brown Ale.

The Holidaze Haze IPA is an unfiltered IPA brewed with Centennial, Calypso, Citra, and Galaxy hops and like many of the recent new IPAs to the market - bursting with juice but with no added juice for flavor. As this is an unfiltered beer, it poured a rather cloud rich orange color with trademark Saranac carbonation. The initial sip was a cross between grapefruit and tangelo and successive sips were all citrus. Although the beer is 6% abv, it does not have alcohol flavor and quite addictive. 

Besides being sold as part of the 12 Beers of Winter mix box, this beer also is sold in six pack boxes of cans, so if you like fruity beers with no added juice, you may want to keep an eye out for the six packs.

The Holidaze Haze 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 brews some varieties off site, so check the cans/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 https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/447344.

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!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayigash

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 quoting a Rashi on Bereishis 45:27 wherein the Torah states וַיַּרְא֙ אֶת־הָ֣עֲגָל֔וֹת אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח יוֹסֵ֖ף לָשֵׂ֣את אֹת֑וֹ וַתְּחִ֕י ר֖וּחַ יַֽעֲקֹ֥ב אֲבִיהֶֽם - that Rashi states that Ya'akov believed that Yosef was alive because he saw the wagons and remembered that the last topic they learned together was Eglah Arufa.

R' Frand then asked the famous questions asked by the Sefer Moshav Zekeinim which is a compilation of the Ba'alei HaTosafos that Eglah and Agalah are not the same words, so how could this be what caused him to believe? They answer that Ya'akov and Yosef were not learning about Eglah Arufa, they were learning about the wagons in Parshas Nasso in connection with the consecration of the Mishkan. Immediately after the dedication there were sacrifices that the Nessim brought, which included six covered wagons which were donated to carry the items. Why six wagons? Because there was a partnership among the tribes in the wagon. But there were also twelve oxen, one per tribe. The Ba'alei HaTosafos write that Yosef sent six wagons, so Ya'akov realized that there was a message.

R' Frand then quoted the Sefer Minchas Ani who explained that the six wagons vs twelve oxen show that sometimes one must act individually and other times, collectively. Certain times in life a person may need to act alone, by example if there is a non-glamorous job that no one wants to do. But other times a person can act with a group. Here, the oxen could be donated individually - because a person can give his own sacrifice, but the wagons could be the donation of a group.

R' Frand noted a deeper message - that he sent six wagons, one wagon per two tribes. Yosef was trying to tell Ya'akov - we are together now, there is a sheves achim - and this is why Ya'akov felt better.

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!