Who Is Randall and What’s Up With His Beer?!

by Phil Hagen on October 3, 2010

Have you ever had the chance to drink a “Randallized” beer? If you’re a Craft Beer fan, stop what you’re doing and make plans to sample one, courtesy of the newest hardware developed and distributed by Sussex County Delaware’s own Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

A what-ized beer?! Who is “Randall”?! To answer that, let’s take a quick trip back to 2004…  Seeking to deliver a resounding blow to esteemed West Coast beers during a East coast/West coast hops showdown, Dogfish’s Sam Calagione worked with his brewers to create a new beer-serving apparatus: Randall the Enamel Animal. Randall quickly bathes the beer in fresh hops before it was poured into the glass. The alcohol in the beer strips the distinctive oils, called Lupulin, from the fresh hop cones.  This provides a new and different flavor profile not previously found in commercial beers. Enterprising beer servers worldwide have taken the concept further, and infused excellent beers with fresh flavors of coffee beans, licorice leaves, spices and more – even toasted pumpkin seeds!

Fast forward a handful of years, and Randall has seen some technological advancements…  I was fortunate enough to attend the recent “Randall 3.0″ kickoff event at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth Beach. The latest revision is designed to minimize beer foaming while still providing a full kick of fresh hops to your cold beer. The unveiling event was a 9-site simultaneous throwdown – with 8 other bars, pubs, and alehouses nationwide providing pints of freshly infused Dogfish Head beers at the same moment.

I’m an admitted fan of hoppy beers, and the home town offering was absolutely fantastic. The crew decided on a brewpub exclusive, the small-batch “DFH Ale”, run through pungent, wonderful Cascade hops. The main difference between a fresh-hopped beer and a brewery-hopped beer is the aroma. A fresh hop pint has a full nose of the hop flower – not an experience for fans of whimpy, weak beers. After the nose hits, Randall really earns his name… The unmitigated hop oils and resins make you feel like you’re losing a layer of enamel from your teeth – no kidding!  It sounds odd, but for true hop lovers, it’s really something amazing to experience.

Randall reports for duty during happy hour every Monday and Friday at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, and you never know what extra infusions will be on tap. Personally, I’m excited to try out some non-hop additions – maybe coffee-infused Chicory Stout, or cacao nibs and Theobroma… The possibilities are endless, so every tapping will be a new experience – hopefully you’ll be able to come down and give Randall a try.

Cheers!

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