Sam Calagione and his team at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery didn't make names for themselves by leaving beer alone and sticking to standard recipes.
They've won awards, earned their short-lived show Brew Masters and struck up a deal with chef and restaurateur Mario Bataly's Eataly franchise by pushing limits and toying with beer's potential. Out of that creativity came The Randall, a two-chambered tap add-on that allowed bars and brewers to infuse their beer with the flavor of the hops, fruits and spices in the one chamber while sucking excess foam into the other. Hop-heavy breweries such as Bale Breaker in Washington's hop-growing Yakima Valley have used the Randall to great effect with their own beers, but at $288 it's a bit cost-prohibitive for more recreational drinkers.That's where Randall Jr. comes in. For $20, a beer fan gets the same effect by taking Randall Jr.'s 16-ounce container, loading it with hops, cinnamon sticks, citrus peel or anything else that sounds appetizing and allowing drinkers to pour their favorite beer over it. Once they've let their concoction steep a bit, drinkers can pour it through the Randall Jr.'s strainer into a pint glass and enjoy. It seems like a whole lot of work for some flavor and aroma, but when you're a beer lover looking constantly for the next great flavor, sometimes you have to make it yourself.