At Naperville Ale Fest, we love creating one-of-a-kind beer experiences for our guests. That’s why we’re proud to announce the return of the Infusion Tent to this year’s festival. The Infusion Tent will feature beers from Pollyanna Brewing, Right Bee Cider, Boston Beer Company and Half Acre Beer Co. infused with unique flavors by a feat of beer-engineering called a Randall. What’s a Randall? Glad you asked.
The Randall: A Craft Beer Infusion Machine
Originally created by the craft beer innovators at Dogfish Head Brewery, a Randall is an organoleptic hop transducer module… which is a fancy way of saying it’s a device that infuses flavor into beer. The beer flows through the Randall on its way from the keg to the tap, pulling flavors out of the ingredients in its path. Randalls run beer through fresh hops, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla beans – anything really, making it a fantastic way to participate in one of our favorite parts of craft beer: the experimentation. It’s a way to take something great, and make it even better.
We sat down with the brewers behind each of the Infusion Tent’s custom Randall Recipes to learn more about their creative process and inspiration. Check out the interviews below and grab your tickets before they’re gone!
Rebel Juiced IPA With Fresh Mangos
Brewery: Boston Beer Company (Boston, MA)
Recipe By: Jennifer Glanville, Brewer
“Our recipe takes the newest member of our Rebel IPA family, Rebel Juiced IPA and adds fresh mangos – which will give us a delicious fruit forward, juicy IPA. Rebel Juiced IPA is a hop hurricane of juicy, citrusy hop varieties amplified by a touch of mango puree. The result is a refreshing taste of the tropics in every sip. At 6.2% ABV, Rebel Juiced IPA is a medium-bodied beer with a slightly veiled golden color that brings a big tropical aroma, of guava, passionfruit and mango. The tropical hop aroma gives way to a juicy, fruity flavor with a hint of sweetness, followed up by a clean, citrusy finish.
There are so many different directions you can go when using a Randall. And although we feel like the beer is perfect as is, it’s fun as a brewer to experiment with flavors and push boundaries. Ultimately, we look for what ingredients work best to enhance the overall flavor profile of the beer. We love how the mango contribute to the overall sweetness and juiciness of the beer.” – Jennifer Glanville
Behind Abbey Doors Belgian Brown Ale with Raspberries & Ethiopian Coffee
Brewery: Pollyanna Brewing Company (Lemont, IL)
Recipe By: Brian Pawola (Brewmaster) & Chris Koentz (Brewer)
“The base beer is a Belgian-style brown ale that’s similar to a Dubel but a little more dry. We named it “Behind Abbey Doors.” It’s our winter seasonal, a darker Belgian-style beer. This year, we decided to change it up and add raspberries. It’s fruity, a little bit spicy, nice toffee malt sweetness but is still balanced and dry.
When we were designing the recipe for the Infusion Tent, we wanted to use coffee because it extracts really quickly when it’s running through a randall. We had been messing around with coffee in our fruit beers because we wanted to do something a little different than your general coffee stout and porter, and Chris came up with all these interesting coffee ideas.” – Brian Pawola
“I was looking for interesting coffees to use in our fruit beers, and we came across Ffeine. The owner’s name is Alex, he’s also the roaster, the marketing manager, the delivery driver — he’s the everything. One of our distributor reps was out at a store and saw a roast of his called Pollyanna, and he texted us and told us we had to check it out. He does a lot of really small batch coffees, and he roasts and blends everything himself. We wanted something really bright, with lots of berries and asked if he had anything African, with a light roast that would really make this pop. We just wanted to add a layer of flavor, instead of a flavor bomb. He narrowed in on an Ethiopian single-origin because it had a tone of berry flavors, a nice acidity and a strong roast aroma to it. It melds really well with the beer, giving it a nice coffee aroma without any bitterness, and the acidity from the light roast tones down the raspberry in the beer. It’s like a punch in the face of really bright coffee that goes well with the raspberries.” – Chris Koentz
Half Acre Pony Pils with Mint, Lime & Cucumber
Brewery: Half Acre Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)
Recipe By: Lee McComb (Special Projects Brewer)
“Usually when I try to think of a recipe, I sit and drink beer and eat the ingredients and see how it works. I think about what would go nicely with each beer, then experiment to figure out ratios. Do we want more lime? Or more mint or cucumber? From there, I’m thinking about if anything clashes.
For the Infusion Tent, the base beer will be Pony Pilsner, our American pilsner. It’s a little above 6% alcohol, with lots of noble hops, a German lineage, and a floral, perfume-y, spicy hop quality. I started with limes because they’ll bump up the “chugabililty” factor — any lager that you throw limes into becomes five times more drinkable. From there, I added mint and cucumber because they go great together, and am balancing everything to bring out more of a botanical side. It’s super refreshing.”
Right Beer Cider with Watermelon
Brewery: Right Bee Cider (Chicago, IL)
Recipe By: Katie Morgan (Co-Owner), Charlie Davis (Co-Owner & Head Brewer) & Patrick O’Rorke (Director of Sales and Marketing)
“I was at Extreme Beer Festival and everyone was going nuts about super sour beers, and high ABV beers, and this brewery had a watermelon beer that was only 4% abv. I thought, what’s more extreme than that? Ever since then, I wanted to make a watermelon cider. Before these guys even hired me I said, ‘Let’s make a watermelon cider’ and they said, ‘Yes.’ We’re working on it now, and we had a version of it at Small Bar and someone said, ‘This is going to ruin people’s lives. In a good way.’
The full version that we’re working on has cut watermelon juice in the cider, where a randall is going to impart the essence of the watermelon. It’s a 5% abv, crushable, watermelon cider that will make people dance in the streets” – Patrick O’Rorke
“We call it ‘Wudermelon’ which is our base cider with watermelon. Patrick is originally from New Jersey and says “watermelon” funny. We love to make fun of him for that and he had the idea for this recipe, so we call it ‘Wudermelon.’ We’ll be at Naperville Ale Fest pouring, so come out and say hello!” – Katie Morgan
The Naperville Ale Fest – Winter Edition is a celebration of American Craft Beer. The 2017 fest will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2017. and will feature over 150 unique craft beers, live music and food from 15 of Chicagoland’s favorite food trucks.
Naperville Ale Fest – Winter Edition
Saturday, February 25, 2017
12:00 to 4:00 pm
Frontier Park – Naperville, IL