21 September 2010

The Dogfish "Randall" is back

Version 3.0 of the Dogfish Head Brewing publicity gimmick/ flavor infuser "Randall the Enamel Animal" is now out and about at selected DFH-friendly venues.  They've supposedly re-engineered the thing to be resistant to the foaming problems that were common with earlier versions.  Furthermore, unlike the earlier versions which more or less only saw fresh or whole-leaf hops added to them, DFH is promoting the use of this device for other flavoring agents as well, such as spices, herbs, or fruit, or (as reportedly tested) espresso beans for the Chicory Stout. 

DFH will be "debuting" the new Randalls at nine bars nationwide tomorrow; sadly, the nearest ones are in Rehoboth Beach (naturally) and Philadelphia.  But no doubt we'll be seeing them here soon enough--one of the nine locations is the Moan & Dove in Amherst, Mass., owned by the same folks who own the newly-opened Alewife downtown; they'll be pumping Midas Touch through Saaz hops.  Other "infusions" include Olde School Barleywine pumped through prunes (!) soaked in 1997 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (!!!); Palo Santo Marron pumped through coffee beans, and Punkin Ale with fresh roasted pumpkin seeds & cinnamon sticks.

DFH will also start offering built-up units "at cost" through their website for $375.00 beginning Thursday.

(Photo: Dogfish Head Brewery)


Bryan Cain said...

This may be the first time DFH has been promoting their use with substances other than hops, but it's certainly not the first time it's been done.

I sampled some Bell's Expedition Stout through a Randall full of espresso beans as far back as 2007. I'm sure it was done prior to that as well, but that was my first experience with it.

JohnM. said...

Agreed Bryan. At the Horse Brass in Portland a couple years ago, they were pouring NB Sunshine wheat through a Randall filled with orange peels. I have to say it really didn't add a whole lot to the smell or taste of the sunshine wheat.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

I'm certainly not saying that this is the first time something other than hops has been put through a "Randall," DFH or otherwise. I've just never witnessed it firsthand that I remember, nor did I hear about DFH or others putting stuff besides hops in those things. For that matter, there are/were quite a few "bootleg" or homebuilt Randall-like hop/adjunct filters floating around out there. The spike in hop prices 2-3 years ago put most of those in storage for the time being, but it appears they're now being dusted off and cleaned up for service here and there.