Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dark Lord Day 2008, my experience

Dark Lord Day 2008 was yesterday April 26th, 2008 at the Three Floyds Brewery in Muster, IN. The event centers around the brewery's release of their Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout, which is generally thought to be a top rated, award winning beer. The beer is made in a small batch and only available at the brewery on the release day. They have been making it an event for several years now, and this year was expected to see a large turnout.
Steve, Lauren, Fred and I decided to take a trip down there and see what it is all about. (note: Muster is "closer" than you think, as compared to Naperville). Fred drove, as he is "in training" and was planning on not drinking very much. Thanks very much Fred. The weather was pretty cold as compared to the previous week's weather, and it was very windy, but also sunny. We were moderately prepared for the cold, but I should have worn a stocking hat and brought some gloves (and sunscreen).
I will sum up our experience in one word: Unprepared. We had no idea what to expect and dove in head first. We got there right at 11AM, which is when the beer was scheduled to go on sale. First thing we noticed was the extremely long line, which was the line to buy bottles of Dark Lord. We quickly got in the line after walking around the various industrial park parking lots through which the line was winding around and around. Check this google map I made to show approximately where the line was.
Most of the day was spent rotating the 4 of us in and out of the line, going into the brewpub or to the tents they setup outside to buy drafts of beer and food and go to the bathroom and stuff. We did get to try all three different drafts of Dark Lord (regular, vanilla, and bourbon). And we did get to eat some really good BBQ, sausage and weiners all on pretzel bread, and it was all excellent. We made friends with the people in line in front and behind us and shared our beer and food back and forth with them.
However, after 4 hours of waiting, some of the staff came out and determined that a point about 30 yards ahead of us in line would be the end of the sales of bottles of Dark Lord. Fred and I walked into and out of the warehouse a few times trying to make our own estimates of how many people were in line in front of us. We determined the same thing, no dice for us. Failure. So we decided that we had experienced what we could experience, and left the line to go home.
If we decide to come back next year, we WILL be more prepared. We will bring a bunch of stuff to setup camp outside the brewery. We will bring plenty of food and drink to complement the beer and food that is available at the brewery. We will bring chairs and perhaps a canopy tent or something to sit around so that we don't have to stand or sit on the ground. We will setup a system to rotate people in and out of the line and we WILL get there much earlier in the day to ensure that we are able to buy our cases of Dark Lord. And after we buy the beer, we will have a sweet space to hang out in and carry on and stuff with anyone who may stop by.
Thanks Three Floyds for a great event, but make more Dark Lord next year!

No comments: