Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dark Lord Day 2012....A Beer Adventure

Let's talk about Dark Lord Day 2012.  For those of you who may not know, Dark Lord Day is an event put on by one of my favorite breweries, Three Floyds.  They brew a dynamic Russian Imperial Stout called Dark Lord and they sell it on this day and this day only.  It is the lone time of the year where consumers are able to get their hands on this elusive brew.  Approximately 6000 tickets sell out in a matter of minutes for this event.  My friend Matt and I were able to get our hands on 2 tickets each.  So our good friend, Phil, and my little sister, Libby joined us for what would be an excellent beer adventure.

We arrived at Three Floyds at around 8:15am.  I can honestly say that this was the earliest time I have ever consumed beer.  I wasn't sure my system would be able to handle it.  Upon our arrival we saw the line of people that wrapped around the brewing facility and all through the streets.  I am sure that people began lining up around 5am or so.  Here are a couple of photos of us at the beginning of the day.

Phil and Libby enjoying breakfast beers

Phil, Libby, Me, and Matt at our first Dark Lord Day

Lines and gobs of people
One of the more interesting and unique traditions of Dark Lord Day is bottle sharing and the Dead Soldiers.  It was evident immediately that people here are incredibly friendly.  Many people bring some rare beers to share amongst friends they have never met.  Our group started the day with Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro.  The nitro made the beer incredibly smooth and velvety and was a perfect wake-up call for our still sleepy palates.  We met up with an old high school friend of ours, Rob, about 10 minutes into the event.  He shared his Oskar Blues Ten Fidy with us which was awesome.  We stood in line for about 2 hours, sharing brews, meeting friends, and just enjoying the company of many other craft beer junkies.  As the line started moving we came across several lines of dead soldiers.  When people finish bottles they line them up on the ground to pay tribute to the fallen brews.  A couple of photos of dead soldiers....

Dead soldiers

More Dead Soldiers
We enjoyed many many many awesome beers today.  One of these, and possibly my favorite of the day was Surly Darkness 2011.  Surly is a brewery out of Minnesota that exclusively distributes in their state only.  Darkness is a Russian Imperial Stout that is similar to Dark Lord in that it is only sold one day a year....Darkness Day.  I didn't have enough of it to write a complete review, but the sample that I had was spectacular.

Surly Darkness 2011 and me
Even More Dead Soldiers
We also met some pretty cool people along the way.  Here is a shot of the next generation of Dark Lord Fan...

A Dark Lord Fan to be...
 In front of us in line was an awesome guy named Ethan.  He writes the Midwest Beer Blog.  Ethan was generous to share his growler of Half Acre's Over Ale.  So far I have really enjoyed everything I have tried from Half Acre so getting to try something new was pretty special.  Ethan and I chatted up about various craft brews and I shared with him my limited knowledge of the Indianapolis craft beer scene. You can follow Ethan's beer blogging here.  He and I will surely connect when his adventures take him to Indianapolis.  Cheers Ethan!
Ethan and Me
Once we made it through the line and into the actual event, approximately 10:30 or so, we started scoping out the scene.  I grabbed a pint of Three Floyds Rye Da Lightning which I remember having quite a nice rye spice to it.  I snagged bottles of Live the Rich Life, Three Floyd's/Half Acre collab Mutiny and The Mollusk, Barrel Aged Alpha Klaus, and Three Floyds XV Baller Stout.  I found my buddy Rob and some of his friends at one of the few tables inside the event, where he convinced me to open the Baller Stout.  He did promise to replace the bottle, so that made this an easy decision.  While at the table I noticed  a bottle of Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout and whoever brought it was generous to allow me a small pour of it.  I remember the stout being full bodied, hits you with coffee in the front and finishes with the most amazing maple sweetness.  Truly an outstanding beer.  So outstanding that it required a photo....

A couple random photos from the day


Three Stooges
We then entered our group sales time for Dark Lord.  We only waited in this line for about 20 minutes or so, at least that's what I remember.  I snagged Matt's bottles since he didn't want them, and also "won" the chance for a Dark Lord variant.  I chose the Cognac barrel aged Dark Lord De Muerte which is aged with Ancho and Guajillo peppers.  I am a sucker for a chili beer.

Welcome to Dark Lord Day....Lib is happy
 The end of our dark lord day adventure.  Here is a list of beers that were tried at Dark Lord Day, followed by a picture of our groups haul:
La Pelican Brun
Three Floyds Baller Stout
Founders Better Half
Founders CBS
Founders KBS
Surly Darkness 2011
Bells Eccentric Ale 2005
Barrel Aged North Coast Old Rasputin
Firestone Walker Sucaba
Three Floyds Rye Da Lightning
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2011
Half Acre Over Ale
Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA
Cigar City Humidor Series Cedar Aged IPA
Schlafly Reserve Imperial Stout 2011
The Lost Abbey Deliverance Ale
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
Sun King Isis Imperial IPA
Triton Railsplitter IPA
Our Haul
And what trip to the region would be complete without a stop at Portillo's for the best italian beef sandwich in the world?  Here we are enjoying the beef.....

My haul

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