So I'll admit - I've read before of the famed Dogfish Head invention Randall the Enamel Animal and didn't really give it much thought (thoughts like "what is this Randall the Enamel Animal?" and "why should I care about this Randall character?" ran briefly through my mind, but it didn't go much further than that). But then the email came from Tria that I would have the chance to taste Burton Baton after it had run through Randall, and I decided I needed to know more about it.
Here's what I found.
The first Randall was built in 2002 in response to a beer showdown between west and east coast brewers called The Lupulin Slam. Although DFH originally thought they would just build the one, beer lovers and other brewers asked for a Randall of their own; today Randalls are being used as far away as New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan.
The latest Randall - Randall 3.0 - debuted in September 2010. This is a new double barrel model that was built to reduce foam. Randall is a filter that you connect to the tap of your favorite beer. You fill the chamber with hops, and as the beer runs through the chamber, the alcohol in the beer takes the flavor from the hop oils and puts it in the beer. The result - an intensely hop flavored and smelling beer.
All of which explains why I'll be at Tria this Thursday, December 2 for the Burton Baton. The Burton Baton, in case you don't know, is a blend of an English Style Old Ale and an Imperial IPA. Both batches are brewed and fermented separately, then blended together and aged for a month in an oak tank. Sounds (and is) awesome, which is why I can't wait to try the Randall-ized version. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Make sure to get there early, if you plan on coming. Event starts at 5 and the beer is sure to go fast. You'll also have the chance to meet Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, from 5:30 - 6:30.