I attended my first Dark Lord Day this past Saturday. If you're unfamiliar with this magical, alcohol-drenched pandemonium, it's a full day of beer euphoria presented by Three Floyds Brewery. Each year, the brewery unleashes its batch of Dark Lord, a Russian imperial stout sold for one day only. With the craft beer revolution in full force, friends have detailed the growth of this beer festival these past few years, and from what I was told, this year marked an exponential growth in attendees and just general pleasantry between craft beer snobs and advocates.
Now, I'm not going to feign to have vast knowledge about craft beer and the culture. To be completely honest, I'm still in the midst of learning. However, I do know that I enjoy beer, and I do know that I generally enjoy those who dabble in the production and promotion of hard-to-find brews.
Dark Lord Day only elevated my interest and subsequent passion for the pigeonhole of craft beer. A few friends and I arrived at the Three Floyds compound in Munster, Indiana around 2 PM on Saturday and were immediately bombarded by a behemoth line of Dark Lord enthusiasts. We assumed the massive line was for the purchase of Dark Lord (the beer has become so popular that you actually have to purchase hard-to-snatch tickets from the brewery's website in order to have a chance to buy Dark Lord). We opted to head into the brewery first to check out a scene in which there was no shortage of beer up for sale. Aside from Dark Lord, I was downing Three Floyds Alpha King (a favorite of mine), Samurai Gazebo (a delicious summertime lager), and Popskull (a hearty and robust collaboration with Dogfish Head).
But what made the festival so awesome was the uninhibited friendliness of the rest of the attendees. After checking out the compound and the stage area (oh yeah, the festival also boasts a solid lineup of bands for your entertainment), we settled in the line for our chance to get at the Dark Lord. The line was ridiculous (we waited in shifts for about three hours), but it didn't even matter. Other attendees troll the lines offering up their own beer for your tasting. Growlers and liters make their way into each nook of the festival as those with tickets patiently wait with their coolers, backpacks, and open arms to haul whatever they can pack away.
I semi-documented the day with my digital photo taking device. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, I got a tad tipsy as the day wore on and wasn't able to take as many photos as I would've liked. Regardless, here they are in absolutely no order whatsoever.