Thursday, September 23, 2010

In which this is now a Dogfish Head blog, and I want a Randallizer for my mouth

The last post here was about the Dogfish Head night at Monk's Kettle. It was a month and a half ago. You should rest assured that I have been drinking since then and now, and that I don't discriminate against other breweries, but right now all I can think about is Burton Baton on draft, pulled through a Randallizer with cascade hops and oak chips.

If you weren't there, you missed out.

I'm obsessed with the Randallizer. I am. I have had DFH's 90 Minute IPA through it, and now I have had Burton Baton through it, and right now I am considering what my latte would be like if the Starbucks downstairs had one. I want the curry place across the street to somehow push my chicken tikka through it. Get on it, everyone else.

(I will note that I laughed at the guy standing in front of me at Toronado last night wearing a Pliny the Elder t-shirt that made a crack at their beer being good enough that it doesn't need to be randallized. Pretty funny.)

My need for randallized cake aside, the event at Toronado was lovely. I got there about two hours in and was pleasantly surprised that the bar wasn't completely overrun. The crowd dynamic changed throughout the night, but I never had much of a problem getting through. Bryant greeted me when I walked in, I met Ian (formerly of DBI) for the first time, and got to chat with Wes for a few minutes. Had my phone not been dead, I would have been obsessively texting every single person I know in the Bay Area, because Toronado had Bitches Brew on tap.

(Photo courtesy @dogfishbeer's twitter feed)

In addition, they also had every other thing I love from Dogfish Head. On draft. Between Harry and I, we had every single one. (I probably didn't need that 13 oz. of Palo Santo at the end, but how often am I going to get that opportunity?) The only thing I hadn't had was Bitches Brew, since my bottle is currently sitting at home, so it was the second thing I had after my randallized Burton Baton.

It just breaks my heart that we don't get these on draft more often. Across the board, everything is so very different. And for the most part, "different" really means "mellowed". Mellowed means drinkable; drinkable means I'll be thinking about it for days to come. I love all of Dogfish's beers - though I understand that some people disagree with me - but they're a lot to handle. On tap, all of those in-your-face flavors pull back a little. They're there; they're certainly the same beers, but there is a softness and balance that you don't get when they've had the time to sit in the bottle. They are fantastic.

Special thanks to Bryant for making me feel so welcome, Wes for reassuring me that there would still be beer when I got there (and how!), and Ian for not judging me too hard for The SF Weekly Incident (a link I dug up, incidentally, by googling "SF Weekly Bud Light Lime"), and of course to Toronado for yet another one-of-a-kind event. And, kind readers, I promise I've got something backlogged that won't mention randallizing. You'll just have to trust me for a few days.

(Shameless plug: Since literally every bartender except Dean is in Amsterdam celebrating the 19th anniversary of Tom's 21st birthday, I'm filling in at Shotwell's for the week. Come visit me Friday or Saturday night, or next Tuesday or Thursday for a lighter, more conversation-friendly open.)

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