The Randall has two chambers, one where flavours are infused, the other to stabilise the flavoured beer
Craft beer enthusiasts have much to cheer about. Starting next week, they can add a flavour of their choice to a glass of draft, without calling out to the bartender. The men behind Woodside Inn's craft beer concept announce the arrival of the Randall or the "hop transducer".
For the lay man, it's a sophisticated filter system that allows you to run the beer through a chamber of spices, herbs, fruits and flowers. The apparatus was invented in Delaware in 2002, by Dogfish Head Brewing Co.'s founder, Sam Calgione. This is the first time that the machine will be installed outside America, say Pankil Shah, Abhishek Honawar and Sumitraj Gambhir of the pub chain.
Mogra is one of the many beer flavours that will be introduced
Home brewer Abhishek Chinchalkar, who works with Woodside as consultant, explains that the Randall has two chambers, of which one holds the flavour ingredients. It is connected to the cold-room (that stores the beer kegs) wall, so that as the beer flows out, it pours directly into the Randall, passes through the flavour chamber where it settles and stabilises, before it trickles out of the tap. "The longer you infuse it in the first chamber, the more flavour it packs in. Like tea," he says. American breweries experiment with a variety of flavours, and the guys at Woodside didn't want to miss out. Chinchalkar speaks of Independent Breweries' raspberry flavoured beer and Doolally's mango cider. That Woodside is a restaurant, not brewery, may be a disadvantage, but the Randall allows the chain to stay on top of beer experimentation, he thinks.
A flavour they are keen to introduce is the mogra or Indian Jasmine into the White Zen, with fresh mogra flowers being packed into the first chamber. "Flowers are delicate to work with, especially on the hot side. It is only possible to work them when the beer is cold," Chinchalkar says, adding that they are also looking at rosemary, basil, coffee, Valencia orange and mandarin flavours. .The first Randall trial was held at Woodside Inn's Colaba outpost three years ago. Having tackled the logistics and expense of transportation, the pub chain is ready to have the Randall up and running next week. The good news: the flavoured beers will be available at the same price as the rest of the craft offering on the menu.