Kelly the Culinarian: My First and Last Dark Lord Day

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My First and Last Dark Lord Day

Littering/Bottle bragging
Ah, the illusive Dark Lord Day. For the uninitiated, once a year, 3 Floyds Brewing Company in Munster, Ind., releases a very special beer called Dark Lord. It's so exclusive that one has to buy tickets for the privilege of standing in line to purchase the beer. The line, and then the festival that has arisen from this strange ritual, is a day-long commitment featuring heavy metal bands, the largest legal bottle swap in the country and all sorts of exclusive "whale" beers on tap.

Such mud
The day actually starts two months in advance when you purchase tickets to the festival, which are hard enough to get. You can either get an allotment, which gives you the ability to purchase up to four bottles of Dark Lord (allotment changes every year), or you can purchase general admission, which just gets you into the game. I went with that option and ended up rolling in around 3. Doors open at 10, but people get in line as early as 5am to start snaking through the doors. While in line, people start imbibing, the evidence of such lines the streets from the parking lot.  It's easy to spend an hour just looking at all the empty bottles, which represent some of the finest, most expensive and highly sought after beers in the world.

I didn't bring in a single beer, but it's smart to arrive late and bring a tasting glass. By the time I showed up, people were feeling both happy and generous. However, the place was showing the wear of the day, with puddles and mud slicking every surface. It was cold and windy, I feel like I could have traded my case of hot hands for some really nice beer if I thought ahead.
Bottle Trade Tent

The allotment mob, now with mud
I did not end up listening to the bands, but I made a beeline for the beer tents and immediately got a nine-ounce pour of 2015 Dark Lord. All of the beers were $5, and new, rare blends of 3F were constantly being tapped. It was a tad chaotic and every line was long, but other than the allotment line (roughly a 2 hour wait), everything moved fast.

In the center of the festival, the brewery set up a tent with tons of picnic tables for people to hang out. There was food available for purchase, and every table was littered with remnants, empty tasting glasses and bottles. I joked that any other place on the planet, you have to watch your drink. Here, no one cares and everyone's filling up each others' glasses with whatever they brought in.

The reason why I think this was a first and last was although it was fun, the weather sucked and generally does this time of year. It was muddy and unsanitary with the amount of people getting sick from getting over served. Also, it goes against my frugal nature to buy a ticket to get in, pay to park and then still have to buy drinks and food and such.

So one, fun and done.


Maggie W said...

So how was the beer?

KellytheCulinarian said...

The beer was good, how could it not be? Was it like $50 good for a nine ounce pour? Nope. But that's what went into those cups with admission, parking, gas and hoopla. Give me a Victory at Sea any day and I'm totally fine.

Maggie W said...

Yeah, that's kind of what I've heard about this event ... the beer isn't that good considering the hype and cost and crowds. Seems that it's gotten to the level of "nothing draws a crowd like a crowd." Oh well. Thank you for checking it out for me :)