is a “three-foot-long, cylinder-filter packed with a half pound of whole leaf hops” which is affixed to the beer line leaving a keg. 

It means that the beer comes into contact with hops during the very act of being poured.  Those otherwise very sensible beer scientists at Coopers refer to the process as “Crazy Late Dry Hopping.”

The aim is to impart and/or enhance hop aromas, flavours and even bitterness in the beer being served.  Filters are used to ensure that plant matter does not end up in the glass though some of us hardened Hop Heads probably would not object to a delicate garnish of Humulus Lupulus on their pint. * 

Russian River Brewery proudly boasts that their legendary Pliny the Elder Double India Pale Ale is so hoppy that there is “no Randall required.” **

Today, there are a variety of systems working on the same principles and processes that Randall pioneered.  In fact, Randall has almost become an unoffical generic term for these devices.  They are quite commonly known as Hopinators as well.  Dogfish Head also refers to Randall as an Organoleptic *** Hops Transducer module or OHT.  Some places have called them Hop Aromation **** Devices. 

Now, Malthouse has one.  It is called Modus Hopperandus and it is seriously cool.

So far it has dispensed Wig and Pen English Indian Pale Ale and Cooper’s Vintage Ale 2009 through a cylinder of New Zealand hops.  Right now, it is pouring Wigram Honey Harvard through a tempting bed of New Zealand Cascade and New Zealand Hallertau hops.

While a Randall is traditionally associated with hops, it can work with other ingredients and flavourings.  Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor of the Malthouse has been musing about dispensing stout through a container of chocolate, or maybe porter over a bed of truffles.  ***** 

My research for this post came across people using herbs to flavour pale ales and spices to lift ciders.  Anything is possible.  Personally, I stand by my original assertion that the only thing apart from hops which should ever go into the Modus is even more hops.

The intent is for the Modus to operate pretty much permanently though the beers and flavourings will be changed regularly.  Don’t be afraid to astound your neighbour at the bar by enquiring “what is in the Modus Hopperandus today, o redoubtable bar keep?” 

One of the beers patiently waiting in the queue for an empty tap at Malthouse would lend itself nicely to the Modus treatment.  This year’s edition of Epic Mayhem is about to hit the taps and the Impish Brewer’s hop-fuelled brewing philosophy is a natural fit with the Modus’ mode of operation.  The mere thought of a tall glass of Epic Mayhem which has been lovingly trickled through a pile of juicy American Cascade hops brings on a near-fatal hop grin.  I believe the technical term is “All Your Noms Belong To Us.” *******

Also getting some regular tap time will be Beervana favourites Stone and Wood Draught and White Rabbit which eventually turned up after a trip to Wonderland.  Interestingly, White Rabbit already uses a hop back in the brewing process so it might work better than expected in the Modus. 

There is only way to find out.

* Not that you can ask for nor serve a pint in New Zealand of course.  I saw it on Campbell Live.
** Quite possibly true.  It is the best single beer I have ever tasted.
*** This is a real word.  Organoleptic means relating to the senses.
**** This almost certainly isn’t a real word.
***** The TAB is apparently offering rather good odds against a person of Scottish origin buying truffles to pour beer through.
****** This is a near-fatal combination of two in-jokes/pop-culture references.


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Real Beer New Zealand
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