Dogfish Head has become one of the most beloved names in the craft beer world over the last 20 years, known for their innovative IPAs and funky, historically themed Ancient Ales series. What you may not know is that Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione is also the inventor of the Randall, the most useful infusion tool since the French press.
Calagione developed the Randall in 2002 for an ultra-hopped beer competition known as the Lupulin Slam. The device connects via bar or keg tap and runs the beer through an infusion chamber. While the original version was just a single chamber, the current version of the Randall has two chambers, one for infusing and one to reduce foaming for a perfect pour. The second chamber also has an ice compartment, so the beer doesn’t warm up while it's infusing.
This largely experimental device has already caught on in bars and beer festivals nationwide. While some purists may protest messing with a beer’s flavor profile, Randalling beer is a great way to get an idea of what a certain beer would be like if additional ingredients were introduced. Don't act like you've never thought about it, it's okay: imagine Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine with even more dates and raisins, Saison Dupont with peppercorns and lemon peel, Stone IPA with chunks of mango and pineapple or Oberon with an extra hit of orange peel and fresh coriander. Or, like the Randall's original purpose, you can super-hop your brew.
If you’re thinking, "hey this sounds great but I don’t own a bar or have a keg of brew readily available," don’t sweat it. Dogfish Head also has a Randall Jr., similar to a tea infuser, which performs a more basic version of this experiment at home. Just combine ingredients in the chamber along with your favorite beer and you’re in for a fully customizable drinking experience.
These products might not excite beer purists and sure, brewing a beer with ingredients is the best way to see it reach its full potential; however, there’s simply no way breweries can cover the endless possibilities of infusion experiments we can dream up. Beer lovers: it’s up to you.
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