When your favorite local craft beer bar or brewery says it’s putting something special in its Randall for the next big event, it doesn’t portend weird things for someone named Randy. It means that a draft beer is being infused with ingredients that weren’t originally brewed into the beer.
Simply put, a Randall is a device that infuses your beer of choice with flavor-enhancing ingredients. Want to add more hops? Maybe a little bit of fruit? It can be done! Unleash your imagination!
The Randall was developed by Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione back in 2002, and he’s have been improving upon it ever since.
It was actually redesigned in 2010 as Randall 3.0 by Dogfish Head engineer Greg, who improved issues related to the over-production of foam.
It’s probably best to let the man who created it explain:
“Randall the Enamel Animal is the original gangster organoleptic hop transducing module. Basically, it’s a sophisticated filter system that allows the user to run draft beer through a chamber of whole-leaf hops, spices, herbs, fruit, etc., so that the alcohol in the beer strips the flavor from whatever you add and puts it in the beer.”
Randall the Enamel Animal was originally created for The Lupulin Slam, an event designed for East Coast and West Coast brewers to showcase their most hoppy beers. Calagione thought the Randall would be a one-off project, but brewers and beer lovers across the country wanted one of their own. Now, Dogfish Head sells them on its website for anyone to purchase.
At this point, you might be asking yourself how the Randall works. It goes something like this:
The beer enters the first chamber, which is the infusing chamber. This is where you put your hops, spices, fruit, etc. The beer strips the ingredients, thus infusing the beer. Your beer’s interaction with the ingredients in the infusing chamber will cause the beer to foam, so the second chamber allows the beer to settle and “de-foam,” resulting in the perfect pour. An outer tube containing ice ensures the perfect temperature for your perfect pour.
So, the next time you hear your favorite IPA is being infused with grapefruit or Simcoe hops in the Randall, you know what to expect (and can explain it to your friends).
Have you had your favorite beer Randallized and if so, did it make it better? Have you experimented with funky ingredients? Give us your thoughts on Randall the Enamel Animal.