The folks at The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe wondered what would happen if they made a Double IPA with herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper, dried onion, sea salt, and black pepper.
So they made one and called it The Bradbury.
Making a large batch of beer with such wild ingredients is a risk. Enter the Randall.
Originally devised by Sam Calagione, craft beer pioneer and founder of Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware the Randall is a small filtration system that allows brewers to infuse an already made batch of beer with fresh ingredients of their choosing. Like sage, basil, and peppercorn. Or Nutella. Or gin.
A small container holds these ingredients. The base beer is drawn through the container, letting the ingredients infuse the beer, which creates a new beer. That new beer is then lined directly into a tap, where it can be poured.
The Randall can also serve as a lab to see how ingredients will taste when combined within a certain style of beer without the risk of making a giant batch and not liking the result.
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The Randall-made beer on tap at The Shop Beer Co. changes weekly, with a new flavor introduced every Wednesday at 5 p.m.
A recent Randall was based on Arizona ingredients. The base beer was The Shop's Desert Pale Ale (DPA), an agave pale ale. The beer alone was already unique. But The Shop doubled down by adding fresh orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, and lime zest. The DPA has sweetness from the agave, and these additional ingredients added a level of citrus to cut through. The added flavors also complemented the hops and amplified the already-slightly-present citrus of the DPA. The beer tasted amazingly fresh. Because the ingredients directly touch the brew right before it goes into glasses, you get fresh flavors rarely present in beer.
Follow the brewery on Instagram @theshopbeerco to learn the week's new flavor.
The Shop Beer Co. 922 West First Street, Tempe; 480-747-7316.
Monday to Tuesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.