Hard to believe I've experienced my fourth Dark Lord Day. But then again, my first DLD was in 2005, when it was just a few dozen of us hanging around at the garage entrance of Three Floyds Brewing Co.
This year, 6,000 people showed up at the brewers' headquarters in Munster, Indiana, all holders of a "Golden Ticket," purchased at an online offering that sold out in three minutes. Beer buddies, I just lucked into my ticket online like everyone else.
The industrial park where Three Floyds sits was jammed with cars and tailgaters, with some of the park tenants opening their parking lots for $20 a car. You could have paid much more to park near US Cellular or Wrigley, and not gone home nearly as happy.
Probably all of the ticketholders exercised their option to buy the full allotment of four 22 oz. bottles of Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout at $15 each. Buyers were also issued a scratch-off ticket; if you scratched off a winning ticket, you had a chance to buy extremely limited edition bottles of Dark Lord aged in a Pappy Van Winkle whiskey barrel, or one of three brandy barrel-aged Dark Lords: one simply barrel-aged, one "de Muerte" with ancho and guajillo peppers, and another with vanilla beans. Either at a bargain price of $50 each. Yes, I was prepared to pay that much, too.
On the Three Floyds property itself, plenty or regular Floyds beers could be had on tap, as well as guest taps from across the Midwest. A special selection of Indiana craft brews was tapped inside the brewery, where there was also a stage with a performance by Lair of The Minotaur, the metal band listed as co-brewers of Three Floyds' Evil Power Imperial Pilsener.
The Munster Police Department was out in force to keep the streets clear and to remove loiterers who had no tickets. This arrangement was required after last year's DLD, when some drunk and disorderly arrests were made among over 10,000 people who had showed up. This year, I could only confirm that a few over-served patrons were escorted off the premises. Overall, I thought the police presence was quite obvious, but very friendly.
This is my observation from attending the event. I also shot some tape while there, which I present for your edification. Be warned, this video has a sad ending.