Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dogfish Head and The Daily Growler Let You Build A Beer

Representatives of Dogfish Head Brewing were at The Daily Growler in Upper Arlington on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.  (The Daily Growler is a great place to try new beers or fill up a growler with one, if you've never been there.)  I'd have announced this on our calendar page, but only found out about it the night before it happened.

They were present to showcase both the Dogfish Head beers on tap at The Daily Growler and to show off their Randall Jr. product.  Since I'm a big fan of several of the Dogfish Head beers (especially those in the Ancient Ales line, but also several others), I made it a point to be there.
I'd never heard of the Randall Jr., so I asked some questions about it.  It's a portable version of something they have at their brewery called "Randall the Enamel Animal". That device allows Dogfish Head to infuse a previously brewed beer with any flavor they want, right from the tap.  For example, they might run an IPA through fresh peaches and cilantro.  They might run a different beer through additional hops or fresh oranges.  The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Dogfish Head's Randall Jr.

The Randall Jr. (pictured at the left) is a portable version of that device.  It consists of a plastic cylinder with a screw-on lid and a strainer.  You put any kind of flavoring item you like inside the Randall Jr., such as fresh fruit, chocolate, coffee, ginger, or hot peppers.  Mash those items up to release their flavors, then pour in your favorite Dogfish Head beer.

At the May 29 event, Dogfish Head reps brought in several of the Randall Jr. devices and a range of items you could choose from (see the photo at the right).  You purchased a sample of any of the Dogfish Head beers on tap that evening (which included a 60-minute IPA, the Indian Brown Ale, and Black & Blue) and then selected the ingredients you wanted to infuse into that beer.  The reps mashed those flavorings up to release their juices, then poured in your beer sample and allowed it to steep for a few minutes.  When it reached maximum flavor potential, they poured it into a sample glass and you were allowed to enjoy it.

Beer Flavoring Options
During my visit, I had them mix the Indian Brown Ale with coffee, chocolate, and jalapeno peppers.  This amped up the beer's existing coffee flavor and added a very spicy and peppery note to it.  Not a bad concoction.

For my second sample, I had them mix Black & Blue with black cherries and ginger.  The resulting beer had a slightly medicinal taste to it, but was actually quite good.  The ginger seemed to work well with the beer.  I'm not so sure about the cherries.

The event was very well attended.  I counted at least 30 people inside the Daily Growler at one point, and several more had come and gone in all that time.

If you want to purchase your own Randall Jr., you can do that from the Dogfish Head web site.
I had the opportunity to have a nice chat with Wendy Domurat, Dogfish Head's Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager.  She recommended touring the brewery.  It's also clear that she's not just a Dogfish Head employee, but a lover of good beer as well. 

I would imagine that other local bars or beer shops will feature a similar event in the future.  If you get the chance, and you like Dogfish Head's products as much as I do, you'll want to check it out.

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