Monday, April 28, 2008

Beer: Dark Lord Day

I attended my first Dark Lord Day on Saturday and I've got some bullet-point thoughts about the experience:

The Good:
  • I got some Dark Lord!
  • The line was mostly orderly. A little extreme drunkenness and some line-jumping here and there but luckily those two forces never butted heads.
  • Oak Aged Dark Lord is delicious. And -- BONUS! -- it actually costs less than Dark Lord in the bottle. A 22oz bottle of Dark Lord was $15, or $0.68/oz. A 10oz sample of aged Dark Lord was $5, or $0.50/oz. You explain that one to me...
  • We also sampled Flossmoor Station Pretty Big IPA, which is very, very good. I think it's a little misnamed though -- more like Almost DIPA! I'd never even heard of them before Saturday, so I look forward to checking them out in the future. Looking at a map, they're a little SW of Chicago, just a little off my regular route from Indy to my older brother in Evanston. I feel a side-trip in my future.
The Bad:
  • A lot of people didn't get any Dark Lord. It seems from reports around the internet that if you weren't in line by 10 or 10:30am -- yes, 30 minutes before the doors even opened -- you were SOL. They ran out of Dark Lord sometime between 4 and 4:30pm.
  • The line CRAWLED. It took us a little over two hours to move 200 feet. For my fellow geeks out there, that's 0.019 mph or about 20 inches/minute. Supposedly there were improvements made to the sales system this year, so they were either very ineffective or were simply overwhelmed by the increase in attendance this year.
  • I forgot my camera. Good thing Mike and Matt have you covered.
  • We made the decision in advance to not stay over in the Munster area on Saturday night. This required that one person in our group DD, which put a little bit of a damper on everyone's drinking. Getting the Dark Lord is great and all, but most of the fun of the event comes from sampling great exotic beers and carousing, so I regret not staying around. We won't be making that mistake again next year.
All in all, a very fun event. Our group declared the day a success, a "scouting trip" of sorts that should make us that much more prepared to enjoy the event next year.


Erik Huntoon said...

Did you have to wait till you got all the way to the end to get the samples of the oak aged? I have never been to Dark Lord day.. curious if everyone was bringing beer on their own to drink in line or if there was some sales to the people in line.

All in all, I don't know if I could handle that kind of hassle. I don't mind crowds.. but I have a strong dislike of long lines.

Matt said...

I didn't make it out until 6:00 PM, so I missed all of the action. I still had a good time though!

Next time I hope to meet up with some fellow bloggers!

CorrND said...

Beer in line.....Y-E-S. Everywhere. Crazy stuff I'd never heard of. People slugging back 22's like it was malt liquor. Many people brought whole coolers full of beer. Three Floyds had a couple stations where you could get their beer as well.

As for the samples, there was a separate door at the loading dock where you could get the samples of oak aged and the other guest breweries. The Dark Lord line spilled out into this area, but you didn't have to go through the line to get there. You had to step out of line to go do it, though, so we only sent a person or two at a time to save our space. The brew pub had other stuff on tap but we never got in there.

rodney said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! We're thinking about going up next year and maybe visiting Flossmoor or Walter Payton's as well.

Erik Huntoon said...

Well now.. that would definitely make the wait much more palatable. I was on my way back from the East coast so this year was not meant to happen for me, but next time I will plan accordingly. Sounds like a good time.

CorrND said...

You know what's funny? I thought Flossmoor was some kind of goofy brewery name (i.e. a different spelling on 'Floss More'). Turns out they're from a town called Flossmoor. I almost wish it WAS a goofy name instead of having a perfectly good reason for the name!