Happy Holidays! I’d like you to meet my friend, Randall. No, you can’t shake his hand. He doesn’t have one. But you can stuff him full of hops (or coffee, or fruit, or spices or any number of other flavoring ingredients). Randalls are devices that are hooked up between the keg and the tap, allowing the beer being served to be infused with whatever is stuffed into the randall on it’s way to the glass. This allows for some interesting combinations.
Randalls are probably most popular as a way to instantly fresh hop beers coming off the tap. You can fill the Randall with the desired hop (Cascade or Citra, for example, are good choices for some IPAs), and give a real boost to the hop aroma in the beer and flavor to a slighlly lesser degree. Another popular use of a Randall is filling it with coffee beans when pouring a stout or porter. Yet another example, and one of the more delicous Randallized beers I’ve experienced was an imperial stout though a Randall of bourbon-soaked oak chips.
I think you get the idea here. You can get pretty creative with different beer/Randall combinations; and The Pine Box in Seattle is a big fan of the Randall. In fact, they have a Randall permanently installed on one of their taps, and always have something flowing through it. They also held an event during Seattle Beer week back in May, where they had 11 different Randalls on the bartop. Well, they’re getting ready to top that tomorrow evening, December 12th, with The 12 Randalls Of Christmas. The following beers will be pouring through the Randall (randall ingredients listed):
- Big Time Breakfast Cereal Killer w/Candy Canes
- Elysian Bi-frost W/ Nutmeg & Coriander
- Fremont Abominable w/Ginger, Cinnamon, & Cloves
- Lagunitas Brown Shugga w/Vanilla Beans
- Maritime Jolly Roger w/Rum Raisin Coconut
- Ninkasi Sleigher w/Bourbon Cherries & Chocolate
- Schooner Hoppy Holidays w/Fruit Cake Goodies
- Sierra Celebration w/Becherovka Soaked Apples
- Sound Brewing Tripel w/Gran Marnier Soaked Cranberries
- St. Bernardus Christmas, W/Anise
- Rodenbach Grand Cru w/Rums Soaked Currants
- Tieton Wild Washington Apple Served Hot w/Mulling Spices
Some of these combinations, particularly the Lagunitas Brown Shugga on a Randall of vanilla beans and the Rodenback Grand Cru on a Randall of rum-soaked currants, sound really delicious. Don’t forget, all this happens tomorrow, 12/12/12 at The Pine Box. What a great way to get into the holiday spirit, and the spirit of great Winter beers.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.