Today we delve into one of the non-specific “beers of Christmas” that will appear over this 12 day period. Most of my “12 Beers” are actually specific beers, but there are other things worth mentioning, and so I shall do that.
Today, we discuss Randalls.
Don’t know what a Randall is? No worries! I didn’t either until last December, when The Pine Box (a bar in Capitol Hill) kept talking about the “12 Randalls of Christmas.” And I was like, who is Randall, and why are there 12 of him?
Well, let me tell you, a Randall is a super cool “contraption” that makes beer taste super exciting! In fact, it kind of makes beer taste like whatever you want it to. It’s pretty crazy. Before I get into the facty-facts, here’s a photo of a holiday Randall:
Some of you may have figured out what a Randall is simply by looking at this photo. If you didn’t, here’s the skinny: A Randall is basically a “double tap” contraption whereby the beer (any beer you want, really) is pulled from the draft or keg through a canister containing other “ingredients” and then re-drafted into a glass through a second tube. So basically, you’re pulling the beer through something else in order to “quick-infuse” it with a bunch of flavors.
At first, I was skeptical.
But then I tried it.
Imagine drinking a porter that you like a lot. Probably not your favorite (no one wants to “alter” their favorite things), but something you’re enjoying at the moment. Then imagine drinking that with the added flavors of coffee and vanilla bean. Yeah. I’m serious. It’s like drinking a completely different beer! But in a really good way!
The Pine Box (bar mentioned above) generally has at least two of their beers on Randall. It’s great because you can order the beer by itself, and then you can order it through a Randall and it’s like having a completely different beer.
I have had 2 Randalls at the Pine Box. The first was (in fact) a porter pulled through coffee and vanilla beans. It was intense and unlike anything I’d ever had. Definitely wouldn’t be my first pick on most occasions, but really quite delicious.
The second was Laurelwood Brewing’s Vinter Varmer (their holiday seasonal) pulled through lemon rinds and cinnamon.
It was so incredible! Before choosing I tried both the “original” and the Randall version, and I couldn’t help but pick the Randall. It was unlike anything I’ve ever had!
So, dear friends, if you ever have the opportunity to try a Randall, I highly recommend it. I guarantee it won’t be like anything you’ve ever had, and chances are you’ll decide it’s not really your thing. But it’s worth checking out. Drinking beer like this totally changes the experience of drinking beer, and sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.