Late last week, with tongue firmly in cheek, Dogfish Head released a spoofy infomercial for its Randall Jr. The device, which retails for $19.99, is a cost-effective beer infuser alternative to the brewer's pricier and much more complex Randall 3.0.
South Florida beer expert John Linn -- baron of beer happenings for Brown Distributing Co., which owns one of the few known Randall systems in South Florida -- says the Randall is essentially a filtration system that can be used to infuse beers with ingredients like coffee beans, spices, or fruit peels.
The Randall Jr. video winks at the camera with such conviction that it's difficult to determine whether it's a sincere endeavor, but a bit of detective work reveals that the small device is indeed available for sale in the brewer's online store (you have to register with the site to add it to your shopping cart).
Talk of a Randall Jr. got us wondering exactly what a Randall in any size or shape accomplishes.
Linn says the full-sized device can be used by bars or home brewers -- or in the case of Brown Distributing Co., a distributor -- to infuse craft brews with creative flavors. Linn says the Randall seems to work best when the beer is one with a "higher" alcohol content and the ingredient used for infusing is something that produces plenty of essential oils.
Linn said Brown Distributing often would employ its Randall -- an "organoleptic hop transducer module," according to the Dogfish Head website -- at beer-tasting events and dinners in South Florida. Past flavor combos include infusing Magic Hat's Howl with caramel and chocolate last fall for the Fort Lauderdale Zombie Walk and giving Cigar City's Hotter Than Helles an infusion of blueberries for another event.
Unfortunately, Brown Distributing Co.'s device took a tumble at a recent event and has been out of commission since. The company is looking at getting the device repaired or replaced. In the meantime, Cervezas in Miami is likely the closest spot to find a Randall in working condition.
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"It's kind of an experiment every time you use it," Linn says of the full-sized Randall. It should be noted that he has never used a Randall Jr. or seen one in person. Watch the Randall Jr. infomercial below to determine if it's a small-scale experiment of which you'd want to take part: